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Scripture Memory: Hope of Heaven.

VERSE : Rev 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

27 November 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Lee Hock Chin (“I Appeal Unto Caesar!” Acts 25:1-27)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Peter Tan (No Fruits, Mark 11:12-14)

4 December 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Colin Wong (Almost Persuaded, Acts 26:1-32)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Jesus is Lord, John 18:1-11)

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THE CHRISTIAN IN THE BUSINESS WORLD (Part 2)

By Pastor Charles Seet & Elder Tan Yew Chong

The Christian who enters the world of business will soon find himself at the mercy of the market forces, facing keen competition and many temptations: to cut corners, and to employ unethical means used by other successful businesses. As Christians, our concern in doing business should not be for the profits alone, but also that in the conduct of our business we will successfully maintain a good testimony for the Lord (cf. Proverbs 22:1).

In the first part of this article we had seen that a Christian can succeed in keeping his hands clean and testimony shining and still be blessed with sufficient profits, by applying biblical principles in managing funds and in his business partnerships. There are two more areas where biblical principles should be applied:

Maintaining Fairness

First of all, a Christian businessman must be honest and fair with all his clients. God takes a serious view of any attempt to defraud or cheat others. This amounts to stealing from others (cf. Leviticus 19:35,36; Micah 6:10,11). Thus, a Christian businessman should not intentionally sell defective products, or sell less than what is advertised of a product. Any promises made in a promotion or an advertisement must be kept. Advertisements should never exaggerate the qualities of the product or service offered just to expedite sales.  One good test is – do you believe it yourself? If not – are you lying to your customers?

What about pricing? This depends on many parameters, like overhead expenses and market forces. In times of need some businessmen overprice a product which is a basic necessity in order to make exorbitant profits. Even though some people can still afford it, the poor will suffer. Charging unreasonably high prices to take advantage of a monopoly crosses the line into extortion, and destroys one’s testimony.

The same principle applies to usury (charging people unreasonably high interest on loans). Exodus 22:25 – “If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.”

This happened in the time of Nehemiah: because the majority of the Jews were too occupied with building the wall of Jerusalem to grow any crops, they had no choice but to borrow money from others to buy food. Those who had money to lend saw an opportunity to make huge profits by charging very high interest rates. The people ended up becoming heavily in debt to the extent of selling their houses and even themselves into slavery to pay their greedy creditors. They earned a stern rebuke from Nehemiah for this! (Nehemiah 5:1-10) To avoid this, always ensure that your prices are not oppressive but affordable to those in need. Let your business bring blessing rather than suffering to others!

The second group of people that a businessman needs to be fair and honest with are his own employees. He must pay his workers fair wages for the amount of work that they do. The market rate is a good yardstick for what is fair. He should be careful not to show favouritism to certain employees and deprive others what is due to them. He should also be careful not to exploit his employees by delaying or withholding all or part of an employee’s salary or by making an employee do more work than what he is being paid for, e.g. forcing him to work on his day off. According to Leviticus 19:13, to withhold salary payment even overnight is sinful in God’s sight!

A businessman should also be honest with government authorities, especially when declaring his taxable assets. Some may find a legal loophole against the spirit of the tax laws that enables them to pay less tax than required. But Jesus said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21) Even if a method is legal, it may not be acceptable in God’s eyes.

A Christian businessman must also be honest in his dealings with competitors. Christ said that in this world, we should be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) A businessman should not run down rival companies with false accusations or steal their company secrets.

Another sin that some businessmen are often guilty of is bribery. This gives them an unfair advantage over others. Exodus 23:8 says, “And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.” Although bribery is vigorously prosecuted in Singapore, it is a normal way of business in some countries around us, tempting businessmen to practise it when they are overseas. But whether it is receiving a gift from a customer to gain a favour from you which you would otherwise not have granted, or giving a gift to a government official to overlook red tape or help you jump the cue, the Bible is very clear about this practice: “A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.” (Proverbs 17:23)

Even in Singapore, we should always be mindful of our intentions – as there is often a thin line between a gift to express gratitude, a commission for services rendered, and a bribe to gain unfair advantage.  The test is to ask two questions, “Would the decision or judgement have been the same without the gift? and “Would both giver and receiver be happy for the gift to be known publicly?” If you cannot answer ‘Yes’ to both, it is a bribe.

If you want your organisation to be based on Christian principles, make sure that all your business decisions comply with God’s standard of righteousness, truth and honesty. Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.”

Honouring God

1 Samuel 2:30 – “for them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” A Christian businessman is a steward of all the wealth that God has entrusted to him, and he must regard God as the Head of his business. Hence he must be willing and ready to do whatever God has commanded him to do in His Word.

Since the Lord has commanded that His day is to be kept holy, a Christian should not open for business or require his employees to work on the Lord’s Day. He should trust God to make up for all the business that he may lose by doing this. Church history records that as early as 200 AD, Christians laid aside business on Sunday, even though it was not a non-working day then and the rest of their pagan competitors continued to do profitable business.

If a Christian has to be overseas on Sundays because of business trips, he should look for a fundamental church there to attend. If he cannot find a church he should gather for worship with Christian colleagues or worship in the privacy of his hotel room.  Especially in this present age of the internet – there are many good fundamental online worship services that one can download and join while in their hotel rooms.

All success in business comes from the Lord. Psalm 127:1 – “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Ultimately God is the one who gives prosperity or loss. Are you willing to depend fully on Him?

And do not forget the principle of returning a portion of your profits to God. Whenever the Israelites harvested their fields, they gave the first fruits of their harvest to the Lord. This was their expression of thanksgiving to God, who was the source of their good harvests. In the same way, let us always remember to return to the Lord a good portion of what He has blessed us in our work or business. This not only helps you to acknowledge your dependence upon Him, but it also prevents you from thinking that your business has done well because of your own skill or ingenuity.

Dear Reader, if you are engaged in business please remember to honour the Lord in it. Run your business differently from the way that the world runs its businesses. Glorify God in your business! Let Proverbs 22:1 become your company’s policy: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”

May the Lord enable you to maintain a good Christian testimony in the management of funds, in your business partnerships, in exercising fairness with everyone, and in honouring Him in your business!

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Christmas Programme

Sunday School Christmas Gathering 17 Dec 16 (Sat) at 10.00 am

Christmas Carol Service (English & Chinese) 24 Dec 16 (Sat) at 8.00 pm

Combined English Christmas Service 25 Dec 16 (Sun) at 9.00 am 

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EDD is organizing a Street Evangelism at Orchard Road. Please come and join us.

Date           : 17th Dec 2016 (Saturday)

Prayer Time               :           6.30pm in Beulah House 

Evangelism Time     :           7.00 to 8.30 pm (commence at outside CK Tang Entrance and witnessing at Orchard Road walkway)

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ERBL LECTURES (JAN-MAY 2017)

Day  Duration                    Course                 Lecturer

Mon 9 Jan - 15 May 17      Esther                  Rev Charles Seet

Thu 12 Jan - 2 Mar 17       Galatians             Rev Colin Wong
        23 Mar - 11 May 17   Bible Geography  Rev Quek Keng Khwang

Lectures commence at 7.30 pm. Register before 9 Dec 16 for early bird discount. Please complete registration forms and place them in the box, together with payment.

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1) Bright Sparks. From 1 Jan 2017, the Children’s Ministry will start a Bright Sparks Worship for children born in 2014 and 2015. It will be held concurrently with the 11am worship service in FEK Room 1 (Green Doors). A short briefing for interested parents will be held on 18 Dec 2016, 12.30pm  in FEK Room 1.

2) Sanctity in Worship: Come early on Sunday. Being habitually late for worship dishonours God. Remember to switch off your handphone, and avoid conversation during worship.

3) Family Seminar 2016 recordings: Video(MP4) in thumb-drive at S$6.00 & Audio(MP3) in CD at S$1.00 Kindly place orders at RTL Office after worship services.

4) Catechism Class for Easter Baptism on 16 April 2017 commences on 8 Jan 2017 at Beulah Centre Rm 2-1, 9.30am. Please pre-register by emailing church office or filling up the form available at the front counter. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the catechism class. Closing date: 1 Jan 2017.

Preaching appt: Rev Seet at New Life BPC, 9.30 am. Rev Wong at New Life BPC Tamil Service, 9.30 am. Rev Khoo at Chinese BSF, 7.00 pm.

 

 

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25