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Scripture Memory: The Creator of All Things.

VERSE: Colossians 1:16  “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

6 August 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Dr Michael Barrett (Where God Meets His People, Exodus 25:10-22, 29:38-43, 30:1-10)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Revive Us Again!, Psalm 85)

13 August 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (The Right Purpose, Matt 5:9-12)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Eric Kwan (O Teach Me Thy Way! Psalm 86)

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PRAY FOR THE GOVERNMENT

As we celebrate our nation’s 52nd anniversary this week it would be good for us to consider this subject. One Scripture passage that speaks on this is 1 Timothy 2:1-4 – “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Here we are urged to make praying for all men a priority, and especially for the government. This must be done whether or not the government is good and favourable to us. At the time that Paul wrote this epistle to Timothy, the ruling authority was the Roman Empire. Up until that time, the Roman emperors had not paid much attention to Christians because they were a harmless minority. If Christians were persecuted in any place, it was usually the local Jews and pagan worshippers who were responsible for persecuting them, and not the Roman government.

But towards the end of Paul’s life when he wrote this epistle, Rome had a new emperor called Nero, and in his reign there was a great fire that burned up the whole city of Rome. Many who lost their homes, their wealth and possessions in the fire felt resentful and upset with the government. They even accused Nero of starting the fire. His solution was to divert the frustrations of the people away from himself by blaming Christians for the fire.

Thus began an era where God’s people were persecuted by kings and those in authority, in line with this new policy. To be a Christian was to be a public enemy. The Roman historian Publius Tacitus wrote: “Some were covered with the skins of wild beasts and then torn by dogs, some were crucified, some were burned as torches to give light at night.” From then onwards it became very difficult for Christians anywhere to live in peace, and to have freedom of worship. Churches had to resort to having worship services in secret underground places called catacombs, where they also buried their dead secretly.

In this situation some Christians were perhaps wondering, “Why should I pray for the well-being and salvation of the Roman emperor and all his officials in authority, when they are the ones who are against me, persecuting me and bringing so much misery to the church? If they hate the cause of Christ, do they deserve to be prayed for?”

The answer to this is two-fold: Firstly those who are in authority are ordained of God (Romans 13:1). Although they have come to power through the people’s vote or otherwise, it is God who ultimately decides who should be given authority over each nation (Daniel 4:17). Hence we ought to pray for our nation’s leaders, recognizing that God uses them to carry out His purposes on earth. However, this does not mean that a leader can claim divine right to rule and demand unquestioning obedience from every citizen. To whom much is given, much is also required (Luke 12:48). When God sees fit, He will remove power from oppressive leaders and replace them.

The second part of the answer is found in 1 Timothy 2:2 – “…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” Praying for the government can usher in better conditions that will help God’s people to live and serve Him better. This is the result of the wisdom, help and direction that God gives to the government in answer to our prayer. Proverbs 21:1 tells us that “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”

When the Jews in Babylonian captivity prayed, the Babylonian empire was overthrown by the great Persian King Cyrus who released them from captivity and even commanded the rebuilding of their Temple at Jerusalem (Jeremiah 29:12-14; Ezra 1:1-3).

Lord Alfred Tennyson, an English poet of the Victorian era, rightly observed that “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” When all things are finally revealed at the end of time, we will be able to look back at the whole of history and stand amazed at all the government policies that have been changed through prayer, all the wars that have been averted or ended through prayer, and all the nations that have enjoyed peace, prosperity and progress through prayer!One of the reasons why the Gospel of Christ was able to spread so rapidly in the early days of church history, was because of the famous Pax Romana (Roman Peace) that was well maintained throughout the Roman Empire. The Romans also built an excellent system of roads that promoted commerce and travel throughout the empire. This, plus the peaceful conditions, enabled Christians to travel quite safely from place to place, bringing the Gospel within a few decades from one end of the empire to the other end.

As we had seen earlier however, the Roman government turned against Christianity later on, and for a time, the church suffered great persecution. But the early Christians must have obeyed the injunction in our passage to pray for “kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” In less than 200 years Christianity arose from being an officially persecuted religion to becoming the state religion of the Empire. What a powerful testimony this must have been to God’s people living at that time, of how great God is to change the hearts of kings and those in authority through prayer. They could now enjoy the quiet and peaceable life that they had been praying for. They could now live godly lives and worship the Lord openly without fear of persecution.

We too need to be thankful to God for the peace and freedom of worship that we are enjoying here in Singapore. And we should pray that this will continue to prevail, so that we can keep on serving Christ freely.

However, our main purpose for praying for kings and for all that are in authority should not be for our own enjoyment of ideal conditions for trouble-free living and serving the Lord without any persecution. Our main objective is to accomplish God’s will, as spelled out in vv.3,4 – “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Whatever we pray for should have the accomplishment of the will of God as its primary object. Only then will it be good and acceptable to Him. Perhaps this is really the basic issue that needs to be settled in our hearts. How greatly do you desire to please God and do what is good nd acceptable to Him? Is He truly the Lord of your life? Is His will more important to you than your own will? May the Lord move us to please Him by praying for our Government. Pastor

 

NATIONAL PRAYER ITEMS:

1.   Thank God for watching over our island and making it what it is today. (Psalm 127:1)

2. Pray for Bible-believing churches to be revived, effective, strong and vibrant. (Philippians 2:15)

3.   Pray that Christians in Singapore will be good stewards of every available opportunity to build His kingdom. (1 Peter 4:10)

4. Pray for the salvation of Singaporeans of every language, race, income group, educational level and social stratum through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

5. Pray that God will grant much wisdom and guidance to the government and all who are in authority to make the right decisions and to lead the nation well.
(1 Timothy 2:2)
 

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Reformation Conference

 

1) 9 & 10 August. Parking in Calvary BPC
is very limited. Those who drive are encouraged to park in the multi-storey carparks nearby (Free for 9 Aug).

 

2) Those who signed up for bus transport arrangements to Calvary BPC, see details below:

9 August (Wednesday)​
Depart Life BPC: 0815hrs
Depart Calvary BPC: 1440hrs

10 August (Thursday)​
Depart Life BPC: 1445hrs
Depart Calvary BPC: 2140hrs

Please be ready to board the bus
10 mins before the scheduled departure time. ​

For bus transport enquiries, contact​
Dn Michael Sim (COM)
. 

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1)        Church Camp 2017 Messages CD & Photos DVD are available at the Front of Sanctuary after 1st & 2nd Services TODAY. Thereafter, get the CD/DVD from RTL Office after Services time. CD/DVD at S$1/- per copy.

2)        Infant Baptism on Anniversary Sunday, 15 October 2017. Parents who intend to have their infants baptized must register by 10 September 2017. Please email to Doris Chik  by giving the child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

3) You are invited to join the Door to Door Evangelism at Yishun on every 1st and 3rd week of the month. For enquiry, please contact Amos.

 

Preaching appointments: Rev Khoo in Batam.

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