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Scripture Memory: Generosity.
VERSE : Proverbs 11:25 
“ The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”* * *

O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

22 December 2013
9.30 am Combined English Christmas Service
Rev Colin Wong (Christmas Is..., John 3:16-18)

6:00 pm Evening Service:
Dn Joel Seah (The Gifts of Faith, Mt 2:1-12) 

29 December 2013
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:
Eld Chin Hoong Chor (Are Are Your Works Acceptable to Christ? Mat 24:32-51)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Have You Used Your Talents Well? Mat 25:14-30)

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THE CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS

Christmas falling on December 25, has been regarded by many to be the most joyous and happiest time of the year. Weeks before this day streets and shopping malls have been brightly lit and beautifully decorated.

Departmental stores are filled with merchandise strategically displayed to catch the eyes of the many shoppers, luring them to purchase that special gift for family and friends.

Games, fun rides and activities, Santa Claus, Rudolph the red nose reindeer, frosty the snowman, the well adorned Christmas tree, the familiar Christmas songs and carols, all these give added boost to the Christmas spirit, bringing an air of excitement to both young and old.

Eating establishments are fully booked and packed to overflowing. Homes are also beautifully lit and well decorated with households busy with adorning Christmas trees, wrapping gifts and preparing for the traditional Christmas dinner. This day is celebrated by both Christians and non-Christians alike.

To non-Christians Christmas marks the beginning of year end festivities. It is a time for frolicking, fun, merry making and wild parties – a time to eat, drink and play to their heart content.

To Christians, Christmas take on a different note very different from non-Christians. It is not a day for merry making. It is a day to remember and commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s precious gift to mankind. It is a day of praise and thanksgiving to God. However there are many Christians and Churches today that do not celebrate Christmas.

Reasons for not celebrating Christmas. These include the following:-

Christmas is not a Bible doctrine. Nowhere in the Bible does it say Christians are to celebrate Christmas. The apostles and the early church never celebrated Christ’s birthday. If the Lord wants His followers to celebrate, He would not only have told them to do so but how as well.

Christ was not born on December 25. When Jesus was born Luke 2:8 says “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”

This could not have been in December as it would be too cold and raining out there in the fields. In Palestine the flocks were only out from April to October, thereafter they would be kept in the folds.

Also Caesar Augustus would not have chosen such a time to get people to return to their own city to be taxed. These prove that Jesus could not have been born in December. In fact no one knows the exact day of Jesus’ birth.

Christmas has a heathen origin. It originated from the worship of the Sun god Saturn. This event called Saturnalia was observed with great festivity, rowdiness and revelry. Houses were brightly lit and decorated. It was a time of singing, merry making and exchange of gifts. The Roman Church later adopted this same day as the birthday of Christ which was celebrated with a mass called Christ-mass- thus the name Christmas.

Christmas has been highly commercialized by the world. Indeed, merchants and retailers have capitalized on this day reaping enormous profits for themselves. The Christmas spirit is created each year not to honour Christ but to sell merchandise. It has been estimated that 60% of annual retail sales occurs during the Christmas season. All the buying, eating, drinking and merry making have turned Christmas into a worldly event and Christians are commanded in Scriptures not to love the world.

Christmas was condemned by the Puritans. They did not observe it as they regarded it as a pagan holiday. Even Charles H. Spurgeon, the famous English preacher of the last century spoke against the celebration of Christmas. He wrote “how absurd to think we could do (celebrate) it in the spirit of the world, with a Jack frost clown, a deceptive worldly Santa Claus and a mixed program of sacred truth with fun, deception and faction.”

Should Christians celebrate Christmas? What do we say to these arguments. Should Christmas be observe. The answer must be a resounding “Yes”. True, Christmas has pagan origins; true, it has been highly commercialized; true, many celebrate without having their eyes on Jesus. But it must be clear in our minds that the birth of Christ just as His death and resurrection is a very important event, There was even a multitude of heavenly host praising God at Christ’s birth.

Although the Bible does not say that Jesus’ birth must be celebrated neither does it say we should not. Christmas marks God’s greatest gift to mankind, Jesus Christ. It is God coming to earth in human form to save mankind from sin and death in fulfillment of prophecies recorded in Holy Scriptures. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoso ever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16)

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 6:23)

Although the exact day of Jesus’ birth is not known, December 25 is as good a day as any. We are not celebrating the day but the event. However in the celebrating, we must always maintain a standard of righteousness and devotion to God far above those of the world.

How should Christians celebrate Christmas?

Listed below are some God honouring things we could do on Christmas day.

1)    Spend time to read and meditate on God’s word especially those portions concerning the birth of Jesus. Praise and thank God for His most precious gift to us in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

2)    Attend Christmas Worship Service. Bring along some unsaved friends or relatives. This is good opportunity to introduce them to the gospel and Jesus Christ.

3)    Participate in carolling or in distribution of tracts. Talk about Christ to someone. People are generally more receptive to the gospel this time of the year.

4)    Remember the mission outreaches of the church and all who labour tirelessly on in spite of problems and difficulties. Make a generous donation towards the support of missions.

5)    Remember the poor and needy. A token gift will surely brighten their day and bring them much joy.

6)    Gather some friends and relatives in the home for a caroling session and thereafter enjoy a hearty meal together. Exchange gifts if you wish to. There is nothing wrong in the giving and receiving of Christmas presents.

The list is not exhaustive. The guiding principle should be “Whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1Cor 10:31b).

Let not those Christians who do not celebrate Christmas condemn those who do and let not those who celebrate Christmas speak evil of those who do not. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul “One man esteemeth one day above another: Another esteemeth everyday alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.” (Rom 14: 5-6) —Elder George Foong

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Watchnight Service 
(with Holy Communion)

31 Dec 13 (Tue), 10.30 pm - 12.00 am

“Behold, the Bridegroom Comes!”

(Mat 25:1-13) by Rev Quek Keng Khwang

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60th YF / 32nd YAF Anniversary 2013

Theme: King of My Life, I Crown Thee Now

Speaker: Elder Khoo Peng Kiat

Date: 31st December 2013, Tuesday (before Watchnight Service)

Time: 7 pm

Venue: Beulah Centre MPH

Other info: Everyone is invited to fellowship over dinner thereafter (dinner will be provided)

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1) The offering collected at the Christmas Carol Service on Tuesday will be designated to help the poor, needy and underprivileged through Christian ministries in Singapore and overseas.

2) The Life B-P Church Camp will be held from 16 to 19 June 2014 at Awana Genting, West Malaysia.  Dr John J Davis will be preaching on the theme “Called unto Holiness.”  Please book your leave early to avoid disappointment. Registration begins early 2014.

3) Scripture Memory Verses 2014: “O Taste and See that the LORD is Good”. Memory verse booklets are available at the front counter.

4) Catechism Class for Easter Baptism on 20 Apr 14 commences on 5 Jan 14 at Beulah Centre Rm 5-4, 9.30 am. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the catechism Class.

5) Life B-P Church Calendar 2014. Members who wish to have additional calendars as Christmas gifts for their friends and loved ones may request for up to 2 additional ones from the deacons.

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