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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A Second Chance

Thomas A. Edison was working on a unique new invention called a “light bulb.” It took Edison and a whole team of men 24 straight hours to put just one together. When Edison was finished with one light bulb, he gave it to a young boy helper, who nervously carried it up the stairs for him. Step by step, the young man cautiously watched his hands, obviously fearful of dropping such a priceless piece of work.

Then just as he was approaching the top of the stairs, it happened…..

The poor young fellow DROPPED THE BULB! He watched in horror as the prototype crashed helplessly to the floor into pieces. It took the entire team of men another twenty-four hours to make another bulb. Finally, it was completed! Exhausted and ready for a break, Edison was ready to have his bulb carried up the stairs. He turned and handed it to the SAME young boy who had dropped the first one!

Now, that is true forgiveness.

God also has a unique creation: mankind. He has given a precious commodity to His creation called “LIFE.” He created men and women to find ultimate fulfilment in their lives in doing the will of God. Yet, from the very first couple that He created – Adam and Eve – men and women have continued to “mishandle” that which God has entrusted to them. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Despite our BEST efforts in handling life carefully, we all “fumble”; we either transgress or fall short of the will of God in our lives.

But God wants to give US a second chance! The opportunity for a second chance came at a tremendous price. God sent His Son Jesus to live and to die as a man in order to “pay the price” for our redemption. When Jesus died on the cross, He took our sins upon Himself, that YOU and I might be forgiven, and have a second chance (1 Peter 2:24) “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Now, THAT is true forgiveness!

This forgiveness is available to all who will accept it on His terms: Forgiveness can be enjoyed by those who will place their faith in God (Hebrews 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”,

repent of their sins (Acts 17:30-31) “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead”,

confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

and be baptised (immersed) in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Apostle Paul described the appropriate response to the sacrificial death of Christ with these words: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so WE also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).

Newness of life! – Forgiveness! – A second chance!

THESE are the things that God wants to give US. And God will CONTINUE to forgive us as we CONTINUE to strive to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Now that is TRUE forgiveness! And, it is available to YOU. Will you accept?

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The Four Giants

You probably have heard of Goliath. Almost everyone has studied the account of Goliath challenging the army of Israel (1 Samuel 17). The Israelites were scared of him and no one would go out and fight him. Then David came upon the scene and killed Goliath. He killed him with a sling-shot and small Stone.

4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

There are other giants who are killed by Israelites. Four are mentioned in 2 Samuel 21. The Philistines come up against the Israelites to war against them. In verse 16 “And Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David“, we learn about Ishbibenob. His spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass. That is very heavy. He intended to kill David. But Abishai killed Ishbibenob instead.

In verse 18 “And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was of the sons of the giant“, we read about Saph. He also is a giant and he is killed in battle by Sibbechai.

In verse 19, we read about another Goliath. His spear staff was like a weaver’s beam. Needless to say that was big and heavy. He was killed in battle by Elhanan.

Then we read about another giant in verses 20 and 21. “And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant. And when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea the brother of David slew him.” He is not named but we are told something very interesting about him. This giant had six fingers on each hand. He also had six toes on each foot. He evidently was very large.

So large that he also must have challenged Israel like Goliath did when David was younger. But Jonathan killed this man.

In verse 22, we read that these four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants. We are told that all four of these giant men were sons of the same man. It makes me wonder why the father did not try to stop some of his sons from fighting Israel. After the first two were killed, one would think that the father would start to understand that God was with the Israelites. One would think that he would not want his other sons to be killed. But some people just do not want to learn. Some people just refuse to acknowledge God as the One True God.

Don’t be like this man and his sons. Don’t try to fight against God. Don’t try to defy Him or challenge Him. Instead, study the Bible. Learn all you can about His word. Then obey Him.

Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, WE can be saved from our sins when:
We place our trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6),
repent of our sin (2 Corinthians 7:9-10),
confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10),
and are baptised (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).

And He died for ALL, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Jesus will continue to cleanse those who continue to live for Him.


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His Most Precious Possession

The story is told of two soldiers who had recently been released from a prison camp in Siberia following World War II. “We did our best,” said an officer, “to repatriate the men as fast as possible, but many were still there when winter threatened to close up the port.” Only a limited number could board the last small boat…

Among those waiting to be transported were two who had been friends all through the war. One of them was selected, but the other seemed doomed to remain behind. An order was given that those who were leaving could take only one important item of luggage. The heart of the man who was chosen went out to his friend, so he emptied his duffle bag of its prized souvenirs and his personal belongings and told his companion to get into the canvas sack. Then carefully lifting the bag on his shoulders, he boarded the ship with his dear friend — his single, most precious possession!

Because of our sins, you and I are doomed!

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 3:23; 6:23).

However, Jesus Christ died on the cross on our behalf as payment for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Jesus did this willingly so that you and I might gain safe passage “home” to live together with our Heavenly Father for eternity. Our “ticket” home came at a great personal cost to Him, however His self-sacrifice was motivated by His great love for us. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends“. (John 15:13)

Through the death of Jesus, a “new and living way” has been opened up for us to enter that heavenly home. (Hebrews 10:22) “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Accessing this way to heaven requires Faith (Romans 5:1) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”,

Repentance (Acts 17:30-31) “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead“,

Confession (Romans 10:9-10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation“,

Baptism (immersion) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

AND Faithful obedience in walking the well-lit path of righteousness (1 John 1:7) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

The last ship is leaving… Can you hear the boarding call? (Mark 16:15-16) “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Jesus has given up everything so that He can take you with Him into that ship whose destination is the safe harbour of heaven.

Don’t be left behind — YOU are HIS most precious possession! 

Will YOU allow Him to carry you home?

 

Come unto me,
all ye that labour
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
~ Matthew 11:28


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Boring

Sometimes today people make statements like, “I just can’t enjoy reading the Bible.  I’ve read it so much, it’s a boring thing.”  Or, “Christianity is a boring religion.”  Or, “I get so bored with the worship services.  There is nothing interesting and fresh about them.”

Probably, in all honesty, these thoughts are not new.  Every generation surely must have had its own people who felt bored and for whom boredom closed the doors to spiritual growth.  The difference is that in the past when people had those thoughts they were ashamed of them, knowing that there was some fault within their own attitude and understanding or they would not have felt that way.  So they usually kept their thinking to themselves, their own guilty secret.

Today, though, the boredom is expressed as a charge, not against self, but against Christianity.  If people find the Bible to be boring, the implication is that the Bible is at fault.  Christianity is pronounced a boring religion because it fails to meet the needs of today’s society.  Worship is boring because it is formal and ritualistic.

How sad it is that we have grown subconsciously so secure in our confidence in our own thinking and intellect that we question and find fault with God’s work rather than with ourselves when it seems that something somewhere is not measuring up to the needed standard!  Is this not the epitome of egoism?

Is God’s word boring?  Not if we have cultivated (and cultivation is something we do ourselves, by choice) a hunger for it; not if it is His living word in our hearts instead of a dead letter; not if we love the daily guidance we receive from it. (Psalms 1:1,2) “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Is Christianity a boring religion?  Does it have no relevance in today’s world?  We need to understand that Christian does not draw from the world around it, and its relevancy does not depend on the culture in which it exists.  Christianity is a way of life designed by the God of heaven to fill all the needs of all men in all cultures for all time and to lift them above their human cultures.  Christianity is as relevant as its adherents will allow it to be in their individual lives.

Is worship boring and ritualistic?  Worship is adoration of God, not entertainment of humans.  It was planned by God according to His own wisdom so if there is any lacking, it is in us and not in the plan. God knew that there is strength in fellowship so he asked His family to gather regularly so that we should be continually aware of each other’s needs and would be moved by our love to help each other.

But worship is more than just gathering together.  And it is a much more involved and profound thing than just conforming to a ritual. (John 4:23,24) “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

First, Worship is adoration and exaltation of God.  The whole group is to be involved, but the act of worshipping is a very individual thing.  That is why those who participate fully go home spiritually invigorated by the experience while those who practice absentmindedly or were primarily spectators find worship “boring.”

Second, Worship is a teaching and strengthening process.  The hymns and the studies, the sharing of spiritual thought and growth, are all meant to edify the body.  Again, God showed His wisdom in His plan.  He knew that men would gain more from reaching out to others to help them grow than from concentration entirely on their needs.  So worship should, and must be, a time of giving and receiving, of “teaching and admonishing one another”, if it is to be effective. (Colossians 3:16)

Third, Worship is a weekly renewal of our commitment to the death of Christ and to the new life we have in Him.  How often Christians fail in their awareness of this part of worship!  If a sincere searching of the heart and soul is made each week, followed by a fresh avowal of giving of one’s entire self to God, how could such a time of consecration ever be labelled “boring”?

Everything about the Christian way of life is as new and vital as the “new” of a new day, because it is a living relationship between a living soul and his living God.  To allow it to sink to the level of boredom must surely be one of the deepest hurts we could inflict on our Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit.


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The Lord Stands With You

One of the saddest passages in the New Testament must be the last chapter of Paul’s second epistle to Timothy (2 Timothy 4).  Paul there prophesied that in later days some brethren would turn away from the Truth, seeking false teachers who would tell them fables of what they “wanted to hear,” rather than the Truth they actually needed to hear.  He encouraged Timothy not to be swayed by the demands of those weak brethren, but instead to be a faithful “Gospel” preacher, both “in season and out of season.”  Or, as brother Marshall Keeble used to say, “that means to preach the Word, both when they like it and when they don’t like it.”

Paul then predicted that he was not long for the world (2 Timothy 4:6), but confidently affirmed that this was not troubling for him, as he was spiritually ready to meet the Lord and receive his reward for faithful service.  However, there is a note of distress and loneliness in the last half of the chapter as he wrote of Demas, who forsook him, of Alexander the coppersmith, who did him much evil, and of the fact that, at his first hearing before the emperor, all men forsook him as he stood alone (2 Timothy 4:10, 14, 16).

But then, in what may well be one of the most obscure passages found in the Bible, which gives encouragement for faithful Christian living, Paul shared the secret strength which kept him going on, despite the discouragement of weak and unfaithful brethren, who often let him down.  He wrote, “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2 Timothy 4:17-18)

If ever a man had the right to be discouraged and want to quit the Christian life, Paul did.  Whenever you are feeling sorrow for yourself because of the sacrifices you’ve had to make to be a faithful Christian, just flip over to 2 Corinthians 11: 22-28 and read of the tribulation Paul suffered—195 lashes at the end of a whip, 3 times beaten with rods, stoned and left for dead, frequently imprisoned, shipwrecked, robbed, hungry, and some of this at the hands of his brethren.  The brethren did let him down!  But Paul didn’t let the unbelief, the spiritual weakness, and the unfaithfulness of his brethren cause him to be discouraged enough to quit.  He said, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)

Oh, brothers and sisters, how we need to learn this secret Paul discovered to keep him going on.  He was converted to Jesus, and not to the brethren.  He understood that his commitment was ultimately to Jesus, not to the brethren.  And when the brethren forsook him, as the brethren are sometimes prone to do, he knew that Jesus was still with him.  He knew that, as long as the Lord still had a work for him to do, the Lord would deliver him, stand by him, and preserve him, until the Lord was ready to call him home to glory.  That knowledge kept him going on, despite the discouragement of his brethren.

Brethren are going to let you down.  It ought not to be that way, but that is reality, because the brethren are human. Human beings, even Christian ones, are weak, make mistakes, and sometimes will be unfaithful and will let you down.  If your commitment to the Lord hinges on the faithfulness of your brethren, you are in for a lifetime of heartache and disappointment.  Jesus said, concerning the way of salvation that leads to eternal life, “few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14) “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”, and thus it has always been the case that only the faithful few will be found doing the Lord’s work.

You must not let that discourage you!  Your commitment is to Christ, Who will never let you down!  You will work for Him no matter what anyone else does, because your relationship to Him does not depend on what others do, or don’t do.  If your work for Him goes unnoticed or unappreciated by others, so what?  It matters not, for you’re working for His glory, and not your own.  If, sadly, everyone forsakes you, and you have to stand alone, you’ll know in your heart, soul, and mind that you are not really alone, for the LORD STANDS WITH YOU!

Therefore, my beloved
brethren, be ye stedfast,
unmoveable, always
abounding in the work of
the Lord,  forasmuch as ye
know that your labour is
not in vain in the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 15:58 )