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Scripture Memory: Contentment.
VERSE : Proverbs 30:8 
"Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

17 February 2013
8 am Worship Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Victory Over Vain Religion, Jas 1:22-27)
1045am Worship Service:
Eld Ng Beng Kiong (Victory Over Vain Religion, Jas 1:22-27)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Dn Joel Seah (We Have Found Christ! Jn 1:43-51)

24 February 2013
8 am Worship Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Victory over Personal Favouritism, Jas 2:1-13)
1045am Worship Service:
Dn Lee Hock Chin (Victory over Personal Favouritism, Jas 2:1-13)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Calvin Loh (Christ Manifested His Glory, Jn 2:1-11)

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BE YE NOT UNEQUALLY YOKED

This is what Paul wrote to the Corinthians concerning their relationships with idol-worshipping friends (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1). These Christians lived in a very worldly, immoral and idolatrous society. It had a strong influence on them. Because of this, a case of immorality in the church could not be resolved easily. Some members also had a dissenting and divisive spirit and some were adopting worldly methods to deal with their problems.

The Corinthians needed to renounce all compromise with their worldly environment. But they could not do this as long as their unbelieving friends continued to influence them. Hence it was needful for them to sever their ties with these friends. It is never easy to break a close relationship. This is why Paul had to use the strongest possible argument to convince them to do this: Their relationship with God! Their relationship with a holy and righteous God demands a radical change in their relationships with unbelievers.

The contrast between God and unbelievers is brought out in five stark comparisons: righteousness and unrighteousness, light and darkness, Christ and Belial, the believer and the unbeliever, the temple of God and idols. These comparisons are presented in the form of rhetorical questions. The answer to all of them is obvious. There can be no fellowship, no communion, no concord, no part and no agreement between these two. Hence our relationship with God demands a change in the way we relate to unbelievers.

When we turned to Christ for salvation we entered into an unbreakable covenant relationship with Him. We took Him to be our God, and He took us to be His people. He is a holy and righteous God who will not tolerate any sin. Our relationship with God must bring about fundamental changes in the way we relate to others, and especially in the way we relate to unbelievers. We may still enjoy meaningful interaction with them for a time. But as we grow in our love for Christ while they remain unreceptive to the gospel, a painful parting of ways is inevitable.

However, the pain of losing close friends is usually compensated by the joy of making new friends with like-minded Christians in church or in a fellowship group. We develop new relationships that are more meaningful than the ones we used to have, because there is now a spiritual dimension added to the relationship.

But our relationships with unbelievers are not over yet, because our daily interaction with people at home or in the course of our work or studies still brings us into contact with them. And God never wanted us to be completely isolated from society. In fact He wants us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13,14) as it is only through contact with us that they will be able to learn about Christ and be saved.

While God wants us to be in the world He also wants us to be careful not to be of the world (John 17:15,16). This means that we must strike a balance in our relationships with them. On one hand we must be close enough to reach out to them for Christ, but on the other hand we must not be so close as to be drawn away from Christ by them. Striking this balance is not easy. Two guidelines should be followed closely.

Guard yourself from being influenced to compromise your loyalty to God.

Do not allow anyone to compromise your relationship with God, even if they are very close to you. King Solomon with all his wisdom could not resist the strong influence of his 700 wives and 300 concubines. Most of them were gifts to him from neighbouring nations that sought his favour. But they brought their pagan idols into Jerusalem and gradually led him into idolatry (1 Kings 11:4-6). This dragged Israel down from the heights of spiritual and material prosperity into the depths of sinful darkness and national captivity!

Some believe that in order to win unbelievers to Christ they must fully identify with them even to the point of adopting their appearance, language and worldly lifestyle. They think that this was what Paul meant when he said, "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (1 Corinthians 9:22) So in order to reach out to those who frequent discos and other night spots, they actually join in with them going to these places and doing whatever their non-Christian friends do, hoping that this would provide an opportunity to communicate the gospel to them. But what usually happens is the very opposite. The unbeliever asks them,"How is it that you, a Christian, can indulge in all these things with us?" Infiltration is not God’s way to save souls from sin.

If you have a long-standing relationship with an unbeliever and all your efforts to win him to Christ are producing no results and it is starting to drag you down spiritually, then it is time that you end the relationship.

But what if it is a family bond? What if your parents are the unbelievers? Then you cannot just leave and separate yourself from them. Instead you have to resist their adverse influence. When issues like ancestor worship, eating food that has been offered to idols and Chinese funeral rites surface, you feel pressured to do everything they want you to do because you love and respect them and you do not want to upset them. Then you must apply the important principle that you cannot compromise your loyalty to God no matter how much you may want to please them.

One way you can avoid unpleasant confrontations is to talk plainly about these issues long before critical situations arise. If a festival is coming, tell them a few weeks beforehand that you cannot eat the food that will be offered to idols. This will give them time to get used to the idea.

Do not become unequally yoked with them.

The Scriptures clearly demarcate a line that must never be crossed when you build relationships with unbelievers. Once you cross that line, you become unequally yoked. This term is taken from 2 Corinthians 6:14 –"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

1. In Courtship and Marriage

Whenever you enter into a relationship that compromises your holiness you go against the Lord. This is especially the case in courtship and marriage. You have to be extremely careful in this matter. I must say this very emphatically because many fine Christians have ended up marrying non-Christians even though they knew full well what the Bible says about unequally yoked partnerships.

The question is often raised, "I know it is wrong to marry a non-Christian, but can I go out for a date with one?" This is a dangerous thing to do. Such ‘missionary dating’ often does not lead the unbeliever to Christ, but it leads the couple into a steady relationship that becomes harder to break. The unbeliever may be open and tolerant at first but when the relationship has become steady he will take his stand against going to church, praying and reading the Bible. The process takes a heavy toll on the believer’s spiritual life.

Time after time single Christians find themselves attracted to non-Christians by a love that is not from God. No committed Christian ever sets out purposely to fall in love with a non-Christian. They start out as friends or even casual acquaintances. The critical point when the faith of single Christians is put to the test is when the friendship crosses the line into a dating relationship, a relationship which is exclusive to some extent. Single Christians must be very selective about whom they should and should not date. Why? Because for most men and women some date will eventually lead to marriage. While the purposes of dating go beyond just looking for a marriage partner, the fact is that the majority of marriages begin with a date.

When a Christian deliberately marries a non-Christian, he has fallen into two grievous errors: Firstly, he has disobeyed God’s explicit command "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers." Secondly, he has broken the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." By making an unsaved sinner an object of greater love than God, he has mocked God to His face.

What should matter most to you is not whether "She is all that I’ve ever wanted" or whether "He is the man of my dreams." What matters most is whether he or she is the one God wants you to marry. This is one instance where you must be fully controlled by your mind and the Word of God. Do not allow your heart to take over the control from your mind. As Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?"

What should you do then, if you are already in a dating relationship with a non-Christian? Although breaking up will be painful it is better to bear the pain than to grieve the Lord your God.

2. In Business Partnerships

This same principle also applies to a Christian who enters into a business partnership with a non-Christian. Although the prospects for success in such a partnership may appear to be very good, there is no firm assurance that it will prosper. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3) Differences will be encountered. The non-Christian partner will not use the same ethical principles as the Christian partner. The Christian will probably end up making all the compromises.

The awful consequences of entering into a business partnership with a non-believer can be seen in King Jehoshaphat’s shipping venture with the ungodly King Ahaziah. "And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly: And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Eziongeber. Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the LORD hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish."(2 Chronicles 20:35-37)

But someone says, "I have a non-Christian business partner, but my business is doing extremely well. God is apparently blessing it." Do not be mistaken. Prosperity should never be used as a criterion to judge whether something is right or wrong. When wicked men prosper this does not mean that God is blessing them and that He approves of their wickedness. Psalm 73 reveals that He is allowing them to prosper for their greater destruction.

The only criterion you should use is the Word of God. This must have the final say in all your relationships. Therefore you must not become unequally yoked with unbelievers. God has made a wonderful promise to all who obey His Word – "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:17,18)

May the prospect of having a deeper and more intimate relationship with the Lord our God motivate us to be equally yoked in marriage and in business partnerships. 
— Pastor

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Book Table (17 & 24 Feb 13)

Winners of Scripture Memory Verse Review and Sunday School prizes can use your vouchers to purchase books at this booktable.

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GAF 13th Anniversary Thanksgiving

Date : 2nd March 2013 (Sat)

Time : 4pm-6pm, followed by dinner

Venue : Beulah House

Speaker : Rev Colin Wong

Topic : Never Too Old to Press On (Phi 3:12-21)

Those who would like to contribute food, please contact Mrs Evelyn Tay at 6280-3344.

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1) The transport provided by the Chinese service that fetches brethren from MRT to church and return trip will have some amendments. Please note that from March onwards, there will only be return trips.

2) The Young Adults Fellowship will be holding our Retreat from 21 - 24 Mar 13 at La Grandeur Palm Resort in JB. The theme for the retreat is "Building, Bonding and Bridging". Speaker: Rev Quek Keng Khwang. Registration opens today! Simply go to the link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9G6XYNJ to sign up! For any queries, please contact Mark Liu at 9667-4268 or Jeremy 9179-7061. You can also contact us atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3) Life B-P Church Camp, 17-20 June 2013 at Bintan Lagoon, Indonesia. On-line registration at the church website, www.lifebpc.com. Registration forms are also available at the front entrance for those who have no internet access.

4) Infant Baptism on Easter Sunday, 31 Mar 13Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 24 Feb 13. Please call the Church office (6594-9399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

5) Far Eastern Kindergarten Registration for 2014 Intake : Priority registration in February for church members. Pre-Nursery-YOB 2011, Nursery-YOB 2010. Please visit our website athttp://www.lifebpc.com/fekedu/ or call 6251 3676 for more information.

Preaching appt: Rev Wong at Thai Grace BPC, 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

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