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Scripture Memory: The Call of Christ.

VERSE: Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” 

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

 

8 October 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (The Journey Beyond Justice, Matt 5:38-42)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Jesus Our King-Priest Forever, Psalm 110)

 

15 October 2017

9am: 67th Church Anniversary Combined Baptismal Service

Rev Charles Seet (Love Without Limits, Matt 5:43-48)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Colin Wong (Take Heed to God’s Word, Psalm 119:9-16)

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THE CHURCH AND THE EVANGELISTIC COMMISSION

As we commemorate the 67th Anniversary of Life Church next Lord’s day, it is good for us to reflect on what the Lord wants us to be as a church. When our Lord Jesus returned to Heaven, He entrusted His disciples with the task of witnessing to the whole world: “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem an in all Judea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

A Humanly Impossible Task

Humanly speaking, it would seem almost impossible for such a small band of disciples to carry out their Master’s commission. How could they communicate the gospel message to so many people who come from many different cultural backgrounds and who speak many different languages? How could they hope to convince people who were already so steeped in their own idol-worshipping religions, to forsake their beliefs and risk severe persecution by turning to Christ?

And how could the gospel message that they proclaimed gain popularity in a world that is hostile to a religion that teaches that God’s greatest work was accomplished through the shameful death of His Son, that the bodies of the dead can resurrect to life again, and that man cannot be saved by doing good works? These main doctrines of Christianity made it quite unlikely that the world would listen to it, let alone be converted by it. As Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:23, the message of a crucified Christ is a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks. His mere mention of the resurrection of Christ at Athens evoked a strong response of ridicule and rejection (Acts 17:32).

History informs us that when Christianity came into China several centuries ago, government officials perceived that it was a threat and brought the matter up to the emperor. After studying the Scriptures he confidently assured them that Christianity will never succeed in making converts in China because it is ridiculous for anyone to trust in a Saviour who died the death of a criminal!

Responses to the Task

It is true that, humanly speaking, the odds against fulfilling the evangelistic commission of Jesus Christ are far too great. And there are also many today who give in to that kind of thinking and as a result they respond in either of two ways: Some respond by giving up trying to witness for Christ extensively, believing that it is really a futile effort. They find all kinds of excuses for themselves. They say, “The time is not right,” or “There are too many obstacles to deal with,” or they would even claim that the evangelistic commission was meant only for the apostles of Christ, and not for us.

On the other hand, there are others who respond by seeking to make the message more palatable and appealing to the human mind. They play down what they think are the negative aspects of the gospel, like sin, God’s wrath and judgment. They try to make it more appealing to unbelievers by reconciling the first chapter of Genesis with evolution, and by finding natural explanations for the supernatural events and miracles in the Bible.

There are some who believe that the evangelistic commission can be fulfilled by making the church more user-friendly to the world. Thinking that gospel-preaching alone is insufficient to bring in the crowds and fill the church, they add on more and more gimmicks to their worship service to make it more entertaining and sensational. They employ worldly marketing strategies to promote the church and the gospel. Their thinking is: Why not entice people to join the church by offering what people want, creating a friendly comfortable environment, and catering to the desires that constitute their strongest urges? Those who have done this claim to have seen tremendous results. They boast of a marked increase in attendance, interest and participation.

But when people come to a church not because of the teaching of the Word of God or the pure worship of the Lord in Spirit and in truth, but because of grand and impressive attractions, large crowds may fill the church every Sunday, but most of them are superficial disciples. When they get tired of these things, they will move on to another church that offers something more attractive.

The Danger Facing the Church

There is a danger today that Bible-believing churches may follow this trend. Churches that have been faithful in its ministry of the Word, teaching the whole counsel of God to build up the saints, and in promoting sanctity and reverence in worship, observe how fast these user-friendly churches are growing. They begin to think that they are not growing fast enough because they are too conservative. They are convinced that they must change and keep up with the times. We must be careful not to fall into this kind of thinking as it will cause the Church to lose its focus on the evangelistic commission.

The evangelistic commission is not a marketing manifesto. Christ did not tell His disciples, “Ye shall be my salesmen in Jerusalem and in Judea and in Samaria and to the uttermost part of the earth.” He did not require His disciples to be innovative in modifying or embellishing the message to suit the audience, but rather to be faithful in preserving the message and declaring it lovingly and accurately. And if we are to sharpen our focus with regard to the evangelistic commission, then this is what we must concentrate our efforts on.

But there still remains the nagging question mentioned earlier in this article: That, humanly speaking, it seems futile to do just that and nothing else. How can we who are only a small band of believers have a growing and far-reaching witness for Christ in a world that is hostile to such a witness? How can a small body of believers that cannot afford to have the infrastructure of regional business corporations, and that is wholly dependent on voluntary giving and voluntary service, ever succeed in carrying out Christ’s commission? How can one do so much when one has so little?

The Power to Be a Movement

The answer to this is found in the commission itself. Acts 1:8 tells us: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…” We must be endued with the presence of God and the power of God working in us and through us. This is the only way that the church can effectively witness in the world for Christ. What exactly is this power? According to this verse it is the power of the Holy Spirit. The rest of The Acts of the Apostles demonstrates how the Holy Spirit worked.

For this reason, some have suggested that a better title for the book of Acts is “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.” He is really the most prominent person in the whole book, being mentioned no less than 80 times in the book. He was the One working in the lives of the apostles and their associates, to accomplish amazing things that turned the then-known world upside down!

And likewise, His power is able to take hold of ordinary people like us and make us work together as a movement to accomplish things far greater than what we can ever accomplish on our own. The whole book of Acts is really an account of one sweeping and spreading movement. Every church that understands and takes the evangelistic commission seriously should become a movement empowered by the Holy Spirit.

But not all churches today can be described as movements. A church may grow so big that it assumes the character of a monument which impresses people by its name, its glorious history and its past achievements. A church may also become so highly organised that it assumes the character of an efficient but self-serving machine. Worse still, a church may become like a museum, when it is nothing more than an impressive building filled with old and dying members.

If we are to follow the evangelistic commission of our Lord faithfully, we must not let the church become a monument, machine or museum, but a growing dynamic spiritual movement that glorifies the Lord. Let us strive to maintain this focus in Life Church in the years to come. May the Lord enable us to become a movement of believers empowered by the Holy Spirit, and working together to witness faithfully for Christ in every place, and even to the uttermost parts of the earth.                                             – Pastor 

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The Jewish Feasts and Their Fulfillment in Christ

Do you know that the Jewish feasts have prophetic significance for us Christians? 

Join us at the Multi-Purpose Hall to hear Stephen Pacht (Director of Jews for Jesus, Switzerland) speak on the Spring and Fall feasts on 11th November 2017. The talk will be held from 10am to 3.30pm. All are welcome.

Please register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfY-TB00KY4Vq07Dnm9kd_fWT_hssScGcwvPeO_H1BIMTW-Gg/viewform 

 

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67th Church Anniversary Combined Baptismal Service

Lord’s Day, 15 October 2017, 9.00 am.

Fellowship Lunch after Service

(Offerings to defray the cost of the lunch are welcome. Please contact Dn Benny Goh)

 

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1) GSED Trainers Seminar on 18 Oct 2017.

If you have completed the Two-day Basic GSED Seminar in 2015, 2016 or 2017, you are invited to attend the above seminar which will be held on 18 Oct 2017 Wednesday (holiday). The seminar is  from 9 am to 5 pm. Upon completion, you will be awarded GSED TRAINER CERTIFICATE approved by ABWE (Associations of Baptists World Evangelism) USA. In addition, you will be able to gain access to vast amount of evangelism and related materials in ABWE website for free download.

Please register with your FULL NAME and title if any (As you would like your name appear in the Certificate) latest 10 October at the following URL: https://goo.gl/forms/foyxGoR2xQs6wWDJ3.

We look forward to your participation so that you can in turn conduct GSED Basic Seminar on your own or in groups.

2) Save the Date...LTF Camp 2017 from 11-15 Dec. More details to follow! Contact Betrand .

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