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Scripture Memory: Courage for Living.

VERSE : 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”* * *

O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

15 March 2015

8 am & 11am Worship Service
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Is Your Body the Temple of God? 1 Cor 6:9-20)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Charles Seet (Knowing What God Hates, Pro 6:16-19)

21 March 2015

8 am & 11am Worship Service
Eld Lim Teck Chye (Intimacy in Marriage, 1 Cor 7:1-7)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Eric Kwan (He Who Finds Me Finds Life, Pro 8:22-36) 

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PERSONAL WITNESSING

By Tan Thiam Hong

Does the subject of personal witnessing frighten you? If it does, you are not alone. Even the seasoned evangelist and preacher Dr. Stephen Olford (1918-2004) said this about his early years as believer in his famous book “The Secret of Soul Winning” (2007 revised edition with his son Dr. David Olford):

“The fact that I was a committed Christian did not seem to make much difference. In one sense it made me worse. As a saved person, I knew it was my duty to witness for my Lord and, when possible, seek to win others to Him. But such a sense of duty only brought me into inner bondage. I have known what it is to gather up my courage and walk the entire length of a train, giving out gospel booklets to anyone who was courteous enough (and, I often thought, pitying enough) to take a copy. But was I ever glad when such a task was complete.”

       Many of us who went to Toa Payoh and later Yishun for door-to-door evangelism could identify with the same predicament. Although the E-band or Evanglistic-band (later under the Evangelism and Discipleship Department of Life Church) which conducts the local evangelism outreach started almost as early as Life B-P church when it was established 65 years ago, participants would still at times be fearful of the unknown response by the person behind the door, whether it would be a friendly conversation or a harsh refusal or even a slam at the door. When we first started evangelizing, many of us wished that after pressing the bell or knocking, the door would remain unopened, which means the welcome relief of leaving the gospel tract at the iron-gate.

If that is the picture with strangers, we should find ourselves at ease with our friends and loved ones in sharing the gospel. Alas, the situation did not improve, as we were tongue-tied and froze in front of our would-be gospel recipients. Dr. Olford recalled:

“Then God graciously stepped in. He had permitted me to struggle on long enough to convince me that I could do nothing about it. I was shy; I was bound; and I was defeated. In a word, I was a failure.”

Dr. Olford recounted how sometime later he was brought out of the “bondage of soul-winning in the flesh” and “into the blessing of soul-winning in the Spirit”, when he came across a solemn question put up to him by one of his old friends:

“Tell me, did you get the permission of the Holy Ghost to speak to that man about his soul’s welfare?”

The young Dr. Olford began to realize that soul-winning is God’s work. As such He must plan and carry it through from start to finish. Our involvement is to be in line with His will, and to let the Holy Spirit take the lead. He further cautioned us that Jesus Christ is the only successful soul-winner, but to try to copy Him is to fail miserably; for His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. But since Christ has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, the Spirit can lead us to do His work, as long as we surrender to His sovereign will. Dr. Olford was transformed as saying:

“That evening I went home determined to cease trying and to start trusting. From that moment soul-winning for me has been different. Not only have I been delivered from shyness and self-consciousness, but I have been introduced to a level of soul-winning that is divinely directed and unspeakably joyous.”

Dear brethren, evangelism is one of the greatest privileges the children of God are bestowed with. Not even the angels in heaven have been given the honour to proclaim it. Unfortunately because of the makeup of our personality many of us believers consider ourselves unfit for the job. Therefore evangelism becomes a burden, and we drag our feet to do it. Worse still, many have the misconception that evangelism is a spiritual gift: “I don’t have it and therefore I am absolved from this responsibility.”

NO, evangelism is a discipline, for the great commission is given to every believer, just like reading the Bible, praying, and fellowshipping with the saints, it all starts from ground zero at the moment we are spiritually saved. But how good it would be if evangelism is as easy as reading the Bible, praying, and fellowshipping with the saints – the other three special privileges of believers.

Believers are not meant to be passive in sharing the gospel. We are to be the influencer instead of being influenced by the people around us. Jesus mingled and ate with sinners, but He always led the conversation and was least influenced by others around Him. Many non-believers are absolutely right in assessing the contagion effect of us as believers when we want to share the gospel. Once they are aware that we have come to share Christ Jesus, they immediately shut us up or run away for fear of being infected with the ‘gospel disease.’

It has been found that new believers are more zealous in sharing the gospel than older or more mature ones. While new believers do this because being saved spiritually is still a fresh experience for them, mature Christians are actually more apt to do the work of evangelism. They have been trained in doctrine through the reading of the Word, they have the more intimate relationship with the Spirit through praying, and they have the encouragement of the brethren through close fellowship within and outside the church. What is needed is just a step of faith to reach out to the unsaved.

The great preacher Dr. Stephen Olford testified that there was a time in his life when he was afraid to share the gospel. He said, “Even the thought of talking to people, publicly or privately, paralyzed me with fear. I was painfully shy by nature but also hopelessly indisposed to meeting new faces.” But thanks be to God, he came to understand that evangelism is totally the work of our Lord Jesus Christ who must lead, and thus his work is just to keep in line with Christ’s leading. This made Dr. Olford one of the most successful soul winners we have ever known. May we be encouraged to learn from this man of God and by the leading of the Spirit, may all of us be a soul-winner for the Lord and for the extension of His kingdom.

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)

PERSONAL WITNESSING SURVEY

From 2007 to 2012 the church conducted regular surveys to help our church leaders to understand the spiritual life of the congregation. The participation and comments of those who responded to those surveys have helped the church to make adjustments in order to meet the needs of its members.

Through the last two surveys which were conducted in 2010 and 2012, we received feedback which has made us aware that members are interested to learn more about evangelism, e.g.

-    The need for evangelism, the salvation of friends and loved ones.

-    How to start sharing the gospel with others.

-    How to create a love for souls.

-    Conviction of the gospel.

-    Evangelism as the reason for the church’s existence.

-    How to answer questions from agnostics and skeptics.

-    The importance of reaching out to the unsaved.

-    Salvation and the gospel are not just a few times a year.

-    Evangelism - how to do it in school and at work.

-    Common questions asked by non-believers and how to answer them.

-    Preach the gospel in a comprehensible language to non-believers who have no biblical knowledge.

According to Acts 2:42,46-47, the early church continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers; they were in one accord, having favour with all the people, and the Lord added to their numbers day by day. The growth of the early church was the outcome of their unity in the Lord and in evangelism. As we all know, the gospel later spread to many parts of the world and came to us because our spiritual forefathers were obedient and committed to the great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).

Because of this we need to look into this important ministry of evangelism, and we have designed an on-line survey to help us to assess how best the needs can be met, for the extension of God’s kingdom and for His glory.

Please take a few moments to pray and participate in this on-line survey at http://www.lifebpc.com/witnessurvey.  The nine questions will not take more than five minutes of your time. May the Lord bless us as we seek to be sanctified for His service.                                  – Pastor

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Good Friday & Easter Services

Good Friday (Bilingual Service), 3 Apr, 8pm “The Son Given For You” (Luke 22:19-20) by Rev Isaac Ong. (The Lord’s Supper will be served.)

Easter Sunday (Baptismal Service), 5 Apr, 7 am (followed by Breakfast Fellowship).   “Christ is Risen in Glory and Power” (1 Corinthians 15) by Rev Charles Seet.

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

Date:                           28th March 2015 (Saturday)

Prayer Time :             6.00pm in Beulah House 

Departing Time:        6.30 pm (leave church to outside CK Tang Entrance)

Evangelism Time:    7.00 to 8.30 pm (Evangelism time at Orchard Road walkway )

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1) Combined Ordination Service at 11 am on Sunday 29 March: Mr Lee Hock Chin will be presented for ordination as a Minister of the Gospel by the ordaining council. (There will be no 8:00 am service, Children’s Ministry, YLW and Filipina service, but Sunday School and Catechism Class will proceed as usual.)

2) Personal Witnessing Survey 2015. Hard copies of the form are available at the front counter for those who need it.

3) Hermeneutics Seminar by Dr Carl Martin. Saturday, 13 Jun 152.00 to 5.30 pm. Beulah Multi-Purpose Hall.

4) Devotional by Rev James Smith, Vol 2 (Apr to Jun 2015). Available at the front counter. The same devotions are available online at http://www.lifebpc.com/devotions.

5) The Coffee Corner. Volunteers and contributions of food are welcome. Contact Bro. Daniel (hp: 96919853) or Sis. Amy (hp: 97962880).

6) Traffic Wardens are needed during the following time frames - before & after 8am worship; before & after Sunday school and before & after 11am service. Please contact Dn David Tan, 9667 9733.

7) Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Andrew Goh on the birth of a baby boy on 11 Mar 15.

Preaching appointment:  Rev Seet at Thai Service, 2.30 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

December 3 & 10 - Holy Living

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 2 Peter 3:11