Jurong Outreach

"whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."

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The Joy of Soul Winning

Soul-winning is the most important work in the world.  It alone was the sufficient cause for the Word to become flesh and dwell among men (John 1:14). And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.”

(Luke 19:10) “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

After Jesus provided the means through His atoning blood by which souls might be won and saved from sin, He sent His disciples out with the incomparable task of winning souls by preaching His Gospel.  But soul-winning is not merely a task or duty, although it is certainly both.  It is also a surpassing privilege that brings manifold joy each time a soul is won by the Gospel.

Soul-winning brings joy to Heaven.

(Luke 15:10) “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.”

Since the first sin, the whole interest of Heaven has been the redemption of the human race.  God spent several centuries bringing His plan of redemption to fruition.

(Galatians 4:4) “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law,”

Would it not be the wonder of all wonders if the Heavenly hosts were indifferent when men choose to obey the Gospel and be saved?  The populace of Heaven is no less thrilled when the redeemed go out seeking the souls of those yet lost.  How much joy have you hereby brought to the angels?

Soul-winning brings joy to the soul won. 

After his baptism, the Ethiopian “went on his way rejoicing”

(Acts 8:39) “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”

The joy of the discovery and obedience of the Truth, the release from the guilt of sin, the entering into a new life, and the hope of eternal life all combine to make the moment of conversion a source of incomparable rejoicing!

Soul-winning brings joy to the soul-winner.

(Psalms 126:6) “He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

There are many joys and thrills to be experienced in the Christian life, but only one outshines that of becoming a Christian: sowing the seed and reaping the harvest of a soul.

Soul-winning brings joy to all the saints.

When Paul and Barnabas reported the conversion of many gentiles from their preaching efforts, “they caused great joy unto all the brethren”

(Acts 15:3) “And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.”

There are some few who could not care less whether or not the Gospel is taken to the lost, but most saints rejoice greatly at the news of every soul won, regardless of who won it.  The genuine heart can never be jealous of nor indifferent to the success of others in winning souls.  No wonder Solomon wrote: (Pro 11:30) “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.”

Give me one soul today

Lead me to some souls today,
O teach me Lord, just what to say.
Friends of mine
Are lost in sin
And cannot find their way.
Few there are who seem to care
And few there are who pray.
Melt my heart and fill my life,
Give me one soul today.

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Examples of Righteousness and Unrighteousness

Balak, the king of Moab, wanted Balaam to come and curse Israel (Numbers 22:5-6). God told Balaam not to go (Numbers 22:12). Balak used gifts to try and get Balaam to go even though God still did not want him to go (Numbers 22:22). Balaam, instead of cursing Israel, blessed them (Numbers 23:1-11). In this passage Balaam said, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his” (Numbers 23:10). In the middle of this blessing we find an important lesson. For one to die the death of the righteous, he must first live the life of the righteous. This is something Balaam failed to do. If we want to die the death of the righteous, we cannot follow the example of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15).

Righteousness is truly a biblical subject. The word “righteousness” appears 302 times in the Bible, and the word “righteous” is found 238 times in 225 verses. The Bible defines “righteousness” as simply doing that which is right (1 John 3:7-10; Acts 10:35).

In order for man to be pleasing to God he must be righteous for God is righteous (Matthew 5:6, 48; 6:33; Romans 1:17; Psalm 35:24). To do that which is right (righteousness) one must know what is right. One can know what is right. It is the Word of God; the Bible (Psalm 119:123, 142; John 8:32; 17:17). However, it is not enough just to know what is right, one must do that which is right (Matthew 7:21-23; James 2:17-26; Romans 10:10).

The Bible records many examples of righteous people. Abel was called righteous by the Hebrew writer (Hebrews 11:4). Noah, Daniel, and Job were grouped together as those who were righteous (Ezekiel 14:14, 20). The apostle Peter called Noah a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). Abraham was called a righteous man by the apostle Paul (Galatians 3:6). Abraham’s nephew, Lot, was also called a righteous man in 2 Peter 2:7-8. The parents of John the Baptizer were also described as righteous before God (Luke 1:5-6). Even Pontius Pilate, who did not believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, recognized that He led a righteous life (Matthew 27:19, 24). And indeed He was Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1).

Examples of Unrighteousness
The Bible also gives many examples of those who were unrighteous. Whereas Abel was described as a righteous man, his brother, Cain, was described as a wicked one and a murderer (1 John 3:12). The Bible uses Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of ungodliness (2 Peter 2:6). To be ungodly is to be unrighteous. Many times the nation of Israel was unrighteous. In the wilderness they worshipped a golden calf (Exodus 32:1-6) and because of their hardened hearts, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years (Numbers 13:30 – 14:4; Hebrews 3:8-17). They wanted an earthly king (1 Samuel 8:7) thereby rejecting Jehovah God as their King and they followed the evil examples of the kings of other nations which led to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. Jesus condemned the wickedness of the Pharisees (Matthew 23:13-33). Wickedness is unrighteousness. The destiny of the unrighteous is eternal punishment (1 Corinthians 6:8-10; Revelation 21:8).

However, the unrighteousness of mankind can be turned to righteousness. In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul points out the unrighteousness of man (Romans 4:9-10, 23). In the first three chapters of the same book, Paul dealt with the sins of the Jews and Gentiles—all of mankind. This unrighteousness is not inherited (Ezekiel 18:4, 20-24; Matthew 18:3). Unrighteousness (sin) is something that one does (1 John 1:10; 3:4). Paul also shows what is involved in changing from unrighteousness to righteousness in Romans 6:16-18. In verse 17 it states that one must obey from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered (that is, one must hear the Gospel, repent of his sins, confess Christ as the Son of the living God, be baptised for the forgiveness of his sins, and live according to the Word of Truth). This means that one must turn and resist Satan and submit to God (1 Thessalonians 1:9; James 4:7).

It should be the goal of all to die the death of the righteous but we must remember; to die the death of the righteous one must live the life of the righteous (Psalm 166:15; Proverbs 14:23; Revelation 14:13).

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How to Study the Bible

The Bible is a very big book. Actually, it is a library of 66 different books. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. These books are all joined together because they have one common theme. This theme is God’s plan to save man from his sins through Jesus Christ. The first 39 books, the Old Testament, tell us that “Christ is coming.” The first four books of the New Testament tell us that “Christ has come.” The last 23 books of the New Testament tell us that “Christ is coming again.”

In order to understand the Bible properly, one needs to ask five questions as he reads:

  1. Who is speaking?
  2. Who is spoken to?
  3. When is he speaking?
  4. What type of language is the speaker using?
  5. What are the circumstances or conditions under which he is speaking?

If one can answer these five questions correctly, it will help him to understand the Word of God clearly.

Who is speaking?

Everything in the Bible was written by men who were inspired by God. However, these inspired writers sometimes recorded by inspiration the words of evil men. Even the words of Satan are found in the Bible (See Job 1:9-11; 2:4-5; Matthew 4:3, 6, 9). These words are accurately recorded, but they are not recommended for us to follow today. If one asks, “Who is speaking?” it will help him to know whether the words he is reading are words he should obey.

Who is spoken to?

In Genesis 6:14, we have the following commandment of God: “Make thee an ark of gopher wood.” Is it necessary for us today to build a ship out of gopher wood in order to please God? No, God does not want us to do this. This command was given to Noah. It was necessary for him to obey it in order to be saved from the great flood which God was going to send on all the world. But this command does not apply to us today. If we answer correctly, “Who is spoken to?” we will see this command was meant only for Noah.

When is the Bible writer speaking?

Is the writer speaking to people such as Abraham and Isaac who lived in the Patriarchal Age when God revealed His will directly to the fathers? Or, is he speaking to the people of Israel who lived under the Law God gave to Moses at Mt.Sinai? Or, is he speaking to people today who live under the Law of Christ, which is the New Testament?

In the days of the Law of Moses under which Israel lived, animal sacrifices, sabbath keeping, special feast days, instrumental music and choirs and a special priesthood were all a part of required worship (Exodus 20:8-11; Leviticus 23; 1 Chronicles 25; 2 Chronicles 29:25; Psalm 150). But Jesus fulfilled the Law, Psalms, and Prophets [the Old Testament] (Luke 24:44). He has taken it away (Colossians 2:14). Today, all men live under the Law of Christ, which is the New Testament (Hebrews 8:6-13). If we ask, “When is he speaking?” it will let us see that these Old Testament laws of worship are not for us. We must go to the New Testament to find how God wants us to worship Him today.

What type of language is the inspired writer using?

All human languages have two types of speech: literal and figurative. Literal language is the type which is found in the historical books of the Bible such as Genesis and Exodus, the book of Acts, etc. It is fact. Literal words must be understood to have their actual meaning. In literal language, if a sheep is mentioned, it means a four legged animal which has wool on its back.

Figurative language is different. Words are used to represent ideas or thoughts which are different from the actual meaning of the word. For example: a sheep or lamb may be spoken of, but an animal is not meant. It is being used to represent something else which has some of the qualities of a sheep or lamb. Jesus was a man. He is the Son of God. But in figurative language in the Bible, He is sometimes spoken of as a lamb. John the Baptist said of Jesus: “Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Lambs were used for sin offerings under the Law of Moses. John did not mean that Jesus was an actual lamb. But he meant that Jesus would be the offering for our sins.

What are the conditions or circumstances in which this writing is given?

If we know the circumstances surrounding the writer at the time he writes, it will help us to understand what he is saying. For example: many people have great difficulty understanding the book of Revelation. But if we know the circumstances under which the book was given, it will help us to understand its message. The writer of Revelation was John, the apostle. He had been imprisoned by the Roman government on a rocky island called Patmos. This was done because he was a Christian. The heathen Roman government was persecuting the church of Christ near the end of the first century (about A.D. 95 to 100). The things which were revealed to John were “things which must shortly come to pass” (Revelation 1:1). The book of Revelation was intended to encourage those Christians who were being persecuted in the first century (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). Any time that Christians are persecuted, they can gain great encouragement from studying the book of Revelation.

The Bible is God’s inspired Book. It is His revelation to mankind. But in order for us to understand the Bible, we must learn how to study it properly. We must “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). If we will ask these five simple questions as we study, we will find that we can indeed understand God’s Book!

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Three Crosses

Jesus of Nazareth was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem on Golgotha or the hill of Calvary (Matthew 27:33; Luke 23:33). Two other men were led to that place of execution along with Jesus (Luke 23:32). All three were crucified, one thief on each side of our Lord (Luke 23:33).

One of the thieves and his cross represents rebellion and arrogance, and depicts impenitent, lost humanity. He scoffed at Jesus: “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.” Remarkably, that thief’s scorn for Christ was greater than his physical pain or the fear of his impending, dreadful death. Jesus, though, had done nothing to arouse this malicious attitude.

This thief crossed the threshold of eternity unprepared and unconcerned about meeting God. Likewise, millions of souls have entered eternity with little or no concern for their souls. Lamentably, they made no preparation to spend eternity in heaven! Many are the souls who even live outside the lowly standards of righteousness established by men; they rebel against civil authority and are often openly without either penitence or remorse when caught and punished. Some sinners claim they have no desire to go to heaven and equally disdain companionship with godly people in this life.

This thief was an unbeliever. If he were to have salvation, he demanded it on his own terms. Further, he wanted to test Jesus; requiring of him miraculous signs. This thief has many cousins possessing a similar inclination living today.

The second thief and his cross represent penitence and depict the only attitude that will lead a soul to be saved. He acknowledged Jesus as the Christ (Luke 23:40-43) and God (Luke 23:40). Even this thief was aware of the public ministry of our Lord. He believed that Jesus was the Messiah or Saviour who was to establish the long prophesied about kingdom. This thief, therefore, attributed innocence to Christ (Luke 23:40). He entrusted his soul and eternity to the man on the middle cross.

The second thief not only was a believer, but he also repented. This thief acknowledged his sins versus the sinlessness of Jesus (Luke 23:40-41) and appealed for salvation to the sole Saviour this world has ever known (Luke 23:42). Christ forgave him according to the terms of the religious law under which they both lived; dependent on and in prospect of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. Likewise today, men and women can only be saved according to the terms of the religious law under which they live (now, the Gospel); dependent on and with retrospect to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Though forgiven, as often is the case, the penitent thief still had to endure the consequence of his sins (in this instance, death).

The penitent thief also rebuked his sinful cohort and defended Jesus. Followers of the Lord today oppose unrighteousness too (1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7). Further, we are to defend the Gospel (Philippians 1:17; Jude 3). His conduct demonstrates that it is imperative for penitent souls to turn from their former sins and evil associations.

The middle cross was viewed from contrasting perspectives. The impenitent thief saw a man, evil like himself and an impostor Saviour. However, the penitent thief saw on the middle cross the Son of God; the Saviour (Messiah).

That middle cross is immensely important because on it Jesus Christ suffered vicariously (in our place for us). The thieves died for themselves, but Jesus died for the sins of others (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-24: 3:18).

That centre cross was also the cross of fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 53:4-12). The precious, matchless blood shed thereon saves souls (1 Peter 1:18-20; Ephesians 1:7). (That blood is contacted when one is baptised into the death of Christ, Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12.) The redemption of souls was the mission for which Jesus left heaven and came to earth (Luke 19:10; Matthew 1:21-23).

Man’s part of salvation (Philippians 2:12) includes faith (John 8:24; Mark 16:16), repentance (Luke 13:3), confessing Christ to be Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and obedience (Hebrews 5:8-9; Luke 6:46), which requires immersion in water (1 Peter 3:21). Then Jesus adds one to his Church (Acts 2:47).

In summary, impenitent sinners are lost until they repent. Penitent sinners need to obey the Gospel plan of salvation; the redemptive terms under which we now live. The road to salvation begins with the statement “I have sinned” (Nehemiah 1:6). Jesus Christ’s blood is the propitiation for sins by which God saves men by grace (Romans 3:23-25).

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”

~ Louis Rushmore ~