The Essential Pillars for Christian Living

Today I would like to share with you all on the topic of “The Essential Pillars for Christian Living”
By Kelvin

pillars

What are pillars?  Pillars are tall vertical structures of stone, wood, or metal, used as a support for a building. In a building, there are actually 2 types of pillars, one would be pillars like I just mentioned that play a critical role in providing support to a structure, the other would be ornamental pillars. The pillars are actually embellishments built to satisfy the eye.  Today the sad news is many churches have constructed a few decorative pillars of their own, especially in the lives of their people. Churches are of late stressing on style rather than content. Content is out, style is in. What results is the existence of phony, decorative pillars in the lives of people which will ultimately delude them into a false sense of their salvation and spiritual maturity.

So what are the core pillars that should exist in a Christian character? I will be touching on just 4 points this morning

  • Faith
  • Obedience
  • Humbleness
  • Love

I’ll be sharing on these few points this morning. We will be looking at a few passages on what the bible says about this together with a few bible characters who exemplify these traits and how we can use these things that we have learnt and make it relevant today.

Let’s move on to our first point. FAITH!

Unknowingly perhaps to every one of us, faith or trust underlies how everyone lives. We drink water for various reasons and trust that it has been safely processed. We trust that food we purchase at the supermarket or that we eat at a restaurant is uncontaminated. You buy a mobile phone and you hope that the phone will outlast your warranty….. Every day we exercise an innate faith in someone or something.

Example 1: Aunty and Minyak angin

Example 2: Doctor and diabetic patient ( A person that hasn’t lost faith)

What is then Spiritual Faith?

When you have spiritual faith, you willingly accept basic ideas and act on many things you don’t understand. By faith a Christian believes everything to be true that is made known in the Word in which God speaks.

A good example here on faith would be Habakkuk. Judah at that time of Habakkuk was in bad shape. The people did evil in God’s sight. Just a brief history on Habakkuk to help us understand better, Habakkuk was a prophet who ministered in the late seventh century during the last days of Assyria’s power and the beginning days of Babylon’s rule. At that time justice and faithfulness was something that is short of in Judah and there was much wickedness and violence throughout the land.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.

Habakkuk 1:2-4

In the next passage God gives Habakkuk an answer he least expects it.

Habakkuk 1:5-11New International Version (NIV)

The Lord’s Answer

“Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.
I am raising up the Babylonians,[a]
that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
to seize dwellings not their own.
They are a feared and dreaded people;
they are a law to themselves
and promote their own honor.
Their horses are swifter than leopards,
fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
    they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes[b] advance like a desert wind
and gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings
and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”

God’s answer only intensified Habakkuk’s bewilderment, because it was not what Habakkuk had expected or wanted to hear. How can God use the Chaldeans, a pagan people who were essentially sinners to judge and punish the people. Who are the Chaldeans? Mr Ung dealt with the study on Habakkuk sometime back but let me refresh you. The Chaldeans were basically a sinful,self-centered and ruthless people. So how could God use them?

Habakkuk’s puzzling dilemma definitely could not be solved with Human wisdom. Because he did not understand God’s plan, the prophet looked at theology “Art Thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy one.

At the height of his confusion, he realized he could not answer his questions alone. Habakkuk reached out to what he knew to be true about God. First he recognized that God is eternal, Past, present, future, God is there. Habakkuk knew that God is in charge. Brothers and sisters our God is omnipotent and nothing ever gets beyond his control. Habakkuk also knows that God’s is holy. With that He does not make mistakes and He perfectly carries out His program. Habakkuk needed to find a secure spiritual footing in his understanding of who God is and what he does.Habakkuk realizes that God would remain faithful and not destroy Judah since He had to fulfill the promised covenant made with Abraham, which guaranteed a kingdom, a future and salavation.Habakkuk can say at the end “ I see and accept what’s going on”

In Galatians 2:20, the apostle Paul gives this testimony to the life of faith:

 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Paul is simply saying that he and all other genuine believers in Christ live their lives constantly trusting in the Saviour. It’s clear, then that the first great Christian attitude, faith, begins at salvation and will characterize your entire Christian life. It is the foundational pillar on which to build your life if you claim to love Jesus Christ.

Church, this is what is happening in the world. The thing that has threatened the faith of many has been the problem of history. Why does God allow things to happen the way they do? Why does he permit such terrible events to occur in human history? I recently saw the results of a survey of the questions that non-Christian students were asking on campuses around our country. Number one on the list was: “How can a just or loving God allow men to suffer? Why would God create us and then allow disease and starvation and all those other terrible things?”

Now there are many who ask that question today and many whose faith is actually faltering because of this. They are saying, “How can this be? What kind of a universe do we live in?” Of course, others are quick to supply an answer. They say, “Well, the answer is that there is no God and it is no use thinking there is one. We are living in a machine-like universe, with ponderously clanking gears, and nobody really knows what makes it operate. Chance put it all together. You only fool yourself when you imagine a father image out of the desire of your heart, and you call it God.”

The reason they say this is because of the apparent inactivity of God. That is one of the mysterious things about God, isn’t it? The poet, William Cowper, said, “God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform.” And the ways of God are full of mystery to us. We have to recognize that there are times when we just cannot understand how God is moving. It does not seem to make sense, and the instruments he chooses are sometimes so out of the ordinary. God is so unorthodox. He is always doing things the wrong way, and picking up the wrong people and operating in the most surprising fashion. One of the things that you learn about God after you live with him for a while is that he is always doing the unexpected. It is not because he delights to puzzle us, but because the varieties of his workings are so infinite that our feeble human minds cannot grasp them.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8

Brothers and sisters as Christians when we faced challenges in life, have faith. Stand firm on your faith. But the first thing we always do is Lord please help me solve my problems, please give me the ability to do this do that. That is not faith that is asking God to do what you want. Our perspective on things needs to change. The right attitude would be just let go and let God take control knowing that he can see you through.

Question:Would you rather worship a God whom you can fully understand or your minds can fully comprehend or would you worship a God that is infinite and beyond your comprehension.

It’s clear then, that the first great Christian attitude, faith begins at salvation and will characterize your entire Christian Life. Faith is the foundational pillar on which to build your life.

Obedience

The next pillar that I would like to touch on is obedience. Why? Simply because faith and obedience is inseparable. Let’s re-visit the Great Commission,

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Verse 19 is about reaching out to others but verse 20 builds on the new converts’ salvation experience. That’s when discipleship comes into the picture. The new believers will teach new Christians to obey God’s commands in His word and to submit to Him. Obedience is so foundational in a Christian. One cannot profess that he believes in God and just completely disregard the instructions found in the Word of God. Let’s see what John the apostle has to say about this. Please turn your bibles to

John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

John 15:10New International Version (NIV)

10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

1 John 2:3-4New International Version (NIV)

Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

Obedience is an integral part of one’s salvation. In fact,the apostle Peter describes salvation as an act of obedience. The truth, is the Gospel, which in essence is a command to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15) In the New Testament, the gospel message was always preached as a command (e.g Matt 3:2;4:17 and Mark 6:12) Because it is a command, it calls for obedience .

Brothers and sisters remember the time when we prayed the sinners’ prayer.  We acknowledge that God is our Savior, and we also say that we acknowledge you as Lord of our lives. We want to be saved! But we fail to accept his Lordship over our lives.

Turn your bibles with me to 1 Peter 1:2

1 Peter 1:2New International Version (NIV)

who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

Woah…… What does this mean?

I’m going to take you back to the Old Testament now. To the time of Moses. To the book of Exodus.

We all know the story, Moses, about Moses receiving God’s law ( The 10 Commandments)

In Exodus 24, Moses has just recently received God’s law On Mt Sinai. Before this, God revealed His will and ways to His people in different ways. From that moment on it was written down clearly. Moses told the people about the law and the people said “We will obey all that we’ve heard” From that moment, a covenant was formed. A covenant, between God and the people. Here comes the interesting part, the next morning Moses built an altar at the foot of Mt Sinai to publicly symbolize the sealing of the covenant made the previous day between God and the people. The altar consisted of 12 stones symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. A burnt offering was made in the form of young bulls. Pay attention to what Moses did next, The blood from the young bulls, half of the blood remained in large basins and the other half Moses splattered on the altar which represented God. The splattering of the blood was the next symbolic step Moses took to ratify (make official) the covenant.

Because the covenant was so important, Moses actually repeated what he said the night before to the people. The people then responded again “All the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient. The final step that Moses did was by sealing the covenant made between God and the people by taking the blood from the basins and splattering it on the people. Blood was the physical demonstration that a commitment has been made between the parties. The blood on the altar symbolized God’s agreement to reveal His law; the blood on the people symbolized their agreement to obey that law.

With that we now can see the symbolism of Exodus 24:3-8 and the statement that Peter made about salvation in 1 Peter 1:2. When Peter says “ and be sprinkled with His blood,” the apostle simply means that when a believer trusts Christ, he accepts His part of the new covenant. So church, salvation was and is a covenant of obedience. God offered His word, His means of grace, His blessings and care and we responded by promising to obey. It’s as if the blood that was splattered on Christ the perfect sacrifice was then splattered on us because of our acceptance of His new covenant.

Now that we are in the covenant.. How do we put obedience into practice..

Matthew 7:21-27 is a stern warning that is given. It is not enough for believers simply to hear or read the Word. The essential question is, Are they obeying it?

The apostle James addresses the importance of obedience when he declares. Prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves (1:22)

James 1:22New International Version (NIV)

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

A genuine believer can also be deceived about the spiritual improvement he needs to make. He hears teaching about a certain area of the Christian life in which he falls sinfully short. But instead of applying scripture to the deficient area, he lives as he did before and is deceived about the true status of his spiritual life.

James gave us a good example of an obedient Christian. To sum things up, what James was saying is that we have to abide by what the word of God says. Be an “effectual doer” rather than a “forgetful hearer”.

So brothers and sisters, when we experienced salvation, we also made a simple but far reaching covenant of obedience with the Lord. Therefore it is very important that the attitude of obedience must accompany the attitude of faith in our Christian lives.

Humbleness

Faith and obedience is always accompanied with an attitude of humility. The attitude of humility has to be at the very center of our loves. The sad thing is that today, churches around the world today now focuses on individual pride and self-esteem. There so many churches around the world that have taken out the hard facts of Christianity and replaced them with what the congregation likes to here. During the time of Jesus, we had the Pharisees who did the same thing.

5“But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6“They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. 8“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9“Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10“Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11“But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12“Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

The opposite of pride is humbleness.  Let’s look at Matthew 5:3-6

Matthew 5:3-6New International Version (NIV)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

We do not have enough time to go through the Beatitudes in detailed but I do remember our brother Dr Lai covering this and it was already a message by itself. Each Beatitude is descriptive facet of humility.

Briefly let’s just go through these 4. The first is “Blessed are the poor in Spirit” The word poor here in Greek is ptochos, which means one who is so poor he has to beg. It describes people who were financially bankrupt and without any means of support. The kingdom of God here belongs to the spiritually destitute. To be poor in spirit means we realize that we know that we are spiritually bankrupt and knowing that we could not enter based on any worth of their own.

The clear lesson is that if any are going to enter the kingdom of heaven they must become poor in spirit. This is the message of the kingdom; it is the call of repentance. They must humble themselves before God and acknowledge that they bring nothing of their own power, possessions or merit to gain entrance. Those who truly humble themselves and express their need of the Lord, they have the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. The word mourn here is not the mourning that you would associate with loss or when we go through certain circumstances in life.

The word mourn here is rather acknowledging our transgressions. It takes humility to actually admit that we have done wrong against God and knowing that God is the only one that can forgive our iniquities. Faithful and mature believers will have a constant lifelong attitude of mourning or brokenness over sin which allow them to see more and more of God’s love and mercy and less and less of their own pride.

Gentleness

Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

The Old Testament Background. This beatitude is very much like the promise in Psalm 37:11, “The meek shall possess the land.”

The Meaning. In the Bible the meek are those who have a spirit of gentleness and self-control; they are free from malice and a condescending spirit. The meek may like the poor have no resources of their own; but then they may, for Moses was described as being meek and humble (Num. 12:3). But the meek do not exploit and oppress others; they are not given to vengeance and vendettas, they are not violent, and they do not try to seize power for their own ends. In short, they have emulated the nature of Jesus in their lives and learned from him. This does not mean that they are weak or ineffective in life. They may be gentle and humble, but they can and do champion the needs of the weak and the oppressed.

The Application. How does one become meek? What if one’s nature is not meek? The answer to this comes from other passages of the Bible that describe how the spiritual life works. Meekness and gentleness and goodness are part of the fruit of the Spirit–they are produced in the Christian by the Holy Spirit. So the direction people should follow to cultivate a spirit of meekness would be to walk by the Spirit, or be controlled by the Spirit of God so that the qualities of Christ can be produced in and through them.

4. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled”.

When someone dies to himself, mourns over his sinfulness, and turns over his power to God’s control, he will receive a strong desire for righteousness and an intense longing for more of what God has.

How this desire is developed. Most Christians are for righteousness–but how does the desire become so intense? It also has to come from the development of the spiritual life. Brothers and sisters, we need to commit to God’s will.  Commitment does require an attitude of humility. Then, as the spiritual walk is guided by the Holy Spirit, He leads the believer into righteousness.

There is no doubt that God wants believers to have humility. But because of our remaining sinfulness, God does whatever that is necessary to humble us.

So what are the marks of a humble Christian. The first basic mark of a humble person is that he sees his own sin as worse than others. Paul was a good example that exemplified this point.  1 Timothy 1:15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. When it’s our sins that most grieve and offend us and are the ones we most want to avoid, then we demonstrate real measure of humility.

The second mark of a humble person is that he or she is not self-centered (Phil 2:4). Selfless people are more concerned with the lives of others. Their own interests, privileges and reputations become secondary when compared to the needs of others. Christ our Lord is the perfect example of this. A verse that we all know:

Philippians 2:5-8New International Version (NIV)

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Christ was willing to set aside His divine privileges and be separated from the Father to endure the terrible agony so that we might be saved. That is the greatest form of humility ever shown.

Jesus used a little child to illustrate humility. A child is one that is totally dependent. That’s the attitude that we must have when we seek entrance into God’s kingdom.

If you have forgotten everything that was shared, remember this. We must enter with childlike faith and obedience, and we must live everyday of our Christian life with an attitude of childlike humility.

Living in Christ

Colossians 3:1-17
By Sey Yen

Living in Christ

  • New life 1-4
  • Overcoming transgressions 5-11
  • Guide to victorious living 12-17

Written by Paul in prison. Also known as the prison epistle.

New life 1-4
New life; seek those things above
Seek then set (a progression).
To constantly have the mind of Christ.
We all face temptations in life but if we seek God above, we are able to resist sin.
Setting our mind: consistently have the mind of Christ to overcome our sinful nature.

Also affects our decisions. E.g. If called to serve in church but decline because of work, your focus is your work & not God
In church involved are you doing God’s ministry or merely doing a job?
The day will come when we appear with Christ in glory.

Church is boring? A believer is excited to spend time with God & His people. Looking forward even more so to eternity with Christ.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Christ died not only saving us from our sins but also the wrath of God & death.

We may receive disappointment & have fears but for believers we have Christ.

Overcoming transgressions 5-11

Put to death: responsibility to put to death anything that is not right by God.
Take every effort to put to death our earthly nature.
Put to death: very strong words.

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:29-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Impurity leads to immorality
Immorality: pornia (Greek) where pornography is derived from; sex outside marriage.
Lust: great desire or longing which is sinful.
Craving for someone who is not our spouse in sexual way.
Greed mentioned as it’s a desire to have what another one possesses – a dissatisfaction.

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Godʼs holy people.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Maintain purity in our hearts & minds.
Even when difficult like example of Joseph & Potiphar’s wife.
Run & flee from temptation recognising we are no match; Putting away things which can stumble us.

Slander: hurtful distorted speech about another.

Though outwardly we may be wasting away, inwardly God is renewing us.
What are we doing to enable the process of renewal in our hearts? Have we been lukewarm, fallen away or unconfessed sin in our hearts?

Guide to victorious living 12-17

We are set apart from people & set aside for God.
Cloth ourselves with garments of new life.

Compassion: tender mercy; To not be cold towards one another.
When there is no compassion, everything will be viewed with distrust.
When there is compassion, everything is filled with love & mercy.
Submit self before others.

Sin is often defined as as physical sins such as drinking, gambling & anger.
Sins of the heart often not thought about which is serious & can cause division in a church!

Gentleness: meekness looked at negatively in the world; being meek is actually strength.
Trait looked as a weakness but we love according to the virtues of God where He takes control in our lives.
Sometimes we may feel hurt by others even in church.
We need to be willing by showing tolerance and forgiveness.
Forgiveness is surrendering my right to hurt you for hurting me.
In His presence, there is peace.
We are to have peace of God in our hearts.

Instruct, teach & admonish one another – especially in the local church. Instruct what we should do. Warn what should not do.
We need to be careful how we carry the name of Christ.

We are given new life as the children of God. Seeking to know the thoughts of Christ & putting to death our old self. A complete guide to Christian living. Knowing that we will be with Christ far outweighs all.

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.” – Billy Graham

Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread
By Chen

penang_food

We love talking about food!
Different stories & cultural differences about food
Car parks & other rooms negotiable EXCEPT kitchen which is an essential!

Double whammy: cooking oil increase; petrol increase

““This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:9-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

From young we are thought to say please & may I. But here it says “Give us!”
Too demanding?

God come & build your kingdom
Our will takes 2nd place, God’s will comes 1st
God is holy, almighty & sovereign

Asking God to forgive our debts… our past
Asking for God’s future guidance & leading
When we pray like this, we affirm God is our source: the source of everything

Bread: everything necessary for the preservation of our life
We in Penang may find it difficult to relate as our rice container is always full & our larders are full too
But when we pray then we realise that our prayer has already been answered

God has provided for you

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Will you trust & depend on God?

We already know that all our needs has been provided long ago
A good father provides for his children
A God who takes care of all my needs & I don’t have to worry

Give us today; us referring to as a church & community
Give so we can share with those in need

“All the believers were together and had everything in common.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭2:44‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Faith if not accompanied by action is dead

There was a recent need for school going children who could not go to school
Church members stepped in to help

Markets around the world crashed recently when Trump was elected president & then recovered rapidly
People get worried over things that may not happen at all
Rest assured we have a God who takes care of our needs

“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:25‬ ‭NIV‬‬

All your needs will be met & taken care of
Enjoy directly from God our provider
When we go to God we find our place is already written with our name & we don’t have to worry about our food
We just have to thank God

Our daily bread is not necessarily provision but can come in challenges for our good & His good

I can do all things through Christ because he gives me strength
We need to learn to be content

“… give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭30:8-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Galatians 5

Galatians 5
By Johnny

peace

Where is the joy in ill gotten gains?
Will he have peace in his heart?
Only inner peace with Christ

Is peace the absence of problem? No, that’s impossible in life. There’s actually good stress (re: book of Job)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

There are people who commit suicide
Recently man who “fell” from bridge
Suicide is not what someone wakes up one morning & decides but crumbles under problem faced

Peter had inner peace even though was in chains
How? Known fundamental fruit of God allows him to be filled with serenity

3 basic truths
1. To know that God is there. He sees what we are facing. (Phil 4:6-7). Faith move mountains & opens doors.
Providence = providential (Latin)
Foresight: God has already seen ahead what is going to happen

Do not worry about anything, pray about everything

2. Know that God is aware (Psalms 139)
Peter knew God was aware of his execution
For us to be able to sleep like a baby in all situations
God not only knows, God cares

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In then eye of the hurricane, we can be the “I” in the hurricane – calm even though difficulties

3. God cares. He is the source of all serenity.

““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””
‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Basic Biblical Eschatology – Part 2

Basic Biblical Eschatology – Part 2
By P.B. Teo

eschatology

Eschas=last things
Ology=study

Millennium Rev 20
Angel down from heaven
1000 years – 6x
Rev 20:2-7
V3 Satan bound – deceive not

Basis for premillennial pretribulation view
Church distinct from Israel (does NOT replace)

“Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:32‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

“I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel:”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭11:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Promises & curses applies to Israel & NOT the church

Great tribulation – Matt 24, Daniel 70 weeks

““Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.”
‭‭Daniel‬ ‭9:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

(7 + 62) 69 X 7 = 483 years from rebuilding temple to Christ’ death for us
Unfulfilled promises to Israel will be fulfilled in the millennium on earth

Rapture
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Hope; Lord personally; In the air; Comfort

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:51-53‬ ‭NIV‬‬

New incorruptible bodies

Not for wrath
No more judgment for believers
Instead hope & comfort
Trials are for training

Problems w Other Viewpoints
Post millennial: Christ comes after the millennium as so many people become Christians during the church age. Christians suffer tribulation whenever gospel opposed. Rapture, Jesus coming & end of world at same time.

Amillennial: Symbolic, spiritual millennium right now. Satan is bound. Martyrs live & reign w Christ. But how is Satan in the abyss now? Deceives now but unable to wage war? Christians suffer tribulation in the world. No future earthly future for Israel. Rapture, Jesus coming & end of world at same time.
Israel replaced by church thus unfulfilled promises fulfilled in the church spiritually. Great tribulation is for Christians/church. Rev 6-19 judgments are for the church.
Difficulty explaining two witnesses (Rev 11)
Difficulty explaining 144,000 from 12 tribes sealed (Rev 7)

Conclusion
The basis for premillennial pretribulation view
Rev 20 = 20 Literal 1000 years reign on earth
Church does not replace Israel

Q&A
Q: Millennium 1000 years: Will we be part of earth’s population or a separate group of people with our new bodies?
A: 2 groups of people. We will be like Jesus & able to interact with others. But our new body is like Christ. We will reign, not marry, etc.

Q: Rev 7 how do you determine the tribes as records destroyed, intermarriage, etc
A: Do not know how. But somehow after nation ceased to exist, Jews are back in Israel now. Believe the truth in God’s Word that will happen.

References
Heraldofhope.org.au
GotQuestions.org
Berita-Bethel-Ung.com

Christ in the Old Testament: Part 5

Christ in the Old Testament: Part 5
By Dr Lai

messianic-psalms

Luke on the road to Emmaus

Ecclesiastes: you will find life is meaningless, chase after the wind

3 things people chase in today’s world: money, power & pleasure
Live without Christ in meaningless
Only in Christ can you find true life

Song of Songs is a picture of Christ & love of His bride

“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.”
‭‭Song of Songs‬ ‭4:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Messianic Psalms

“The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.””
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭2:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭8:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Christ suffering as our saviour

“But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.

Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.

They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭22:6, 16, 18‬ ‭NIV‬

Christ the shepherd

Psalm 23
In the Middle East shepherds will lead his sheep by voice & he knows them by name
Do we know our Lords voice?
Does He know us?

Christ the King

“Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭24:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;”
‭‭Job‬ ‭19:25-26 ‭‭NIV‬‬

Esther
The devil’s attempt to prevent the coming of Christ by annihilating the Jewish people

“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
‭‭John‬ ‭5:39-40‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Let us study scripture to know God & know life.

God’s Timing: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

God’s Timing: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 by Stephen

God's-timing

The Man of Lawlessness
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Introduction
Paul was writing to the believers in Thessalonica to clear up confusion about the 2nd coming of Christ. Some believers had stopped working as they believed the Christ would come at any moment. Today we are much closer to Christ’s return but are to be at work & not idle – To share the gospel, help those in need & build Christ’s body, His church.

Pray that we will learn the following:-
1. Christ will come in His timing that only He knows
2. The evil & wicked will be judged

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come.

The day of the Lord can mean the end times & also the final judgment day.
Prophecy: referring to teaching or letter falsely claiming that Christ is coming. Today we still hear of claims that Christ will come on so & so day.

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
Throughout history there has been many types of antichrists who continues their evil work. Just before Christ’s 2nd coming will come the man of lawlessness who is the antichrist who is a completely evil tool of Satan & equipped with Satan’s power. However, we should not try to label anybody as antichrist & try to predict Christ’s return.
He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

The name antichrist itself includes the Greek prefix anti which means against & instead of. Satan wants to be worshipped & obeyed instead of Christ.

Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.

Paul does not specifically identify who is retraining & holding back the lawless one. Many Christians believe it is the Holy Spirit who working through the church to accomplish God’s purpose today.

For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.

Today’s world is filled with much evil, criminal acts, corruption, etc. However we have yet to see the horror of total lawlessness. Why does God allow this to happen? So men can see their own sinfulness & the bitter experience of life without the lordship of Christ where men are no better than vicious animals.
When the church is raptured, the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the world as well. The Holy Spiritwill be at work during the day of the Lord but will not be restraining the forces of evil today.

Principle 1: Believers to be wary while evil deceives secretly then openly
Believers are to not be deceived of false assertions of Christ’s coming as He has told us so, while the lawless one is at work secretly today & will openly oppose God in the future.

How do you stay truthful away from falsehoods, lies?

How will you live as a believer when opposition of God is openly & publicly happening?

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

No one on earth will be able to overcome the antichrist who is powered by Satan.

“Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? (Rev 13:4)

Satan’s false Messiah will use counterfeit miracles, signs & wonders to deceive & gain followers. Not all miracles are necessarily from God. Christ’s miracles were significant not only for their power but their purpose – to help, heal, show his divinity & point us to God.

Man of lawlessness power will be from Satan to destroy & lead people away from God. If any religious personality draws attention to only himself, his work is not from God.

For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Does God allow people to be deceived? We first need to examine God’s nature.
God is good & created a good world that fell because of men’s sin. God will one day recreate the world & it will be good again. God is stronger than evil, allows evil & thus has control over it. God offers a way out through Christ for all who wish to overcome evil. God uses everything both good & evil for his good purposes.

Indeed our God hates evil & will one day destroy evil completely forever. God does not entice anyone to become evil but those who commit evil may be used by God in order to hasten judgment.

Principle 2: Christ to return and evil condemned to perish

Christ will return overthrowing the lawless deceitful one & condemn all who follow the lawless one’s wickedness

What are you looking forward to in Christ’s return?

What do you do knowing that there are family & friends around you who are in danger of being condemned?

Conclusion
Christ will come in His timing to judge the evil & wicked. We must be careful of rumours of Christ coming. We must be wary of false teachers & false signs. We as His body have a responsibility to live & build for His Kingdom until He returns.

Security of Believers

Security of Believers: Ready for the day of the Lord
1 Thessalonians Chapter 5
By Wong

security-in-christ

Review
Thessalonians were spiritually well
Working in faith, laboring in love & steadfast in hope

Intro
Ch 5: the return of Christ to judge

The day of the Lord

“for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Outline of future events

The signs of the coming of our Lord

Conclusion
Be assured of our safety