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 Better Church Begins With Whom?

If one wants a better home, then he must be a better family member. If one wants a better government, then he must be a better citizen. Anything is only as good as the total of its parts. If all the parts that make up the whole are good and reliable then the whole itself is good and reliable. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Therefore, if one wants a better church then he must be a better church member.

Paul wrote this concerning a strong church: from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love (Ephesians 4:16). The working in due measure of this verse must be according to the ability of all the parts together, each one contributing their best, since the members do not all have the same talents. When each part of this process is observed, it will result in the increase or the growth of the body. And, the church will be built up in love for her Head and for one another as members (Romans 12:17-21).

If every Christian would consider God and one another before himself in all things, only then will there be a better church. Our Lord died for the church and He only wants the best, therefore each member must be the best he can be so that the church can be the best she can be.

If the congregation where you attend is going to be a better congregation then each one of the members must realize his importance. They must realize that each one is important no matter what they can do! Read the “Parable of the Talents” in Matthew 25. The servants who were given five and two talents used what they were given to the glory of their Lord. But the one talent servant did not use what he was given. To the five and two talent servants their Lord said, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matthew 25:21, 23). But read what He said of the one talent servant: Thou wicked and slothful servant…Take ye away therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath the ten talents…And cast ye out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:26-30). The Lord is depending on each member to do his or her part. The Lord is depending on each one to help their congregation grow and function.

If one wants the congregation where he attends to be a better congregation then he must do something for the congregation! He must be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, and ready to help others (Ephesians 4:31-32; Galatians 6:1-2). He must help the congregation by building her up instead of tearing her down and criticizing what she is trying to do. But one of the best ways one can help the congregation is by guarding his daily life against doing or saying anything that would bring shame and reproach upon the church for which our Lord and Savior died (Ephesians 5:15).

If one wants the congregation where he attends to be a better congregation then he must invite others to share in her hope of glory. The Christian life is the best and most rewarding life that one could live. You know, God created man in His image, He created man good. Doing good should come as natural as breathing. God created man to breathe and God created man good: both are natural to man. If one lives as a Christian, he lives the good life as opposed to the so-called “good life” of the world. A Christian is blessed materially and spiritually. A Christian is blessed in unlimited ways.

When one brings others to Bible class and worship he is helping that friend or family member to understand that God has provided many blessings for those in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). The congregation that grows is the congregation that is truly concerned with the spiritual welfare of others. It is the congregation that will show her love for others by showing them the many and wonderful blessings that are in Jesus Christ.

If one wants the congregation where he attends to be a better congregation, it must begin with himself.

The time to begin building a better church is now! Brethren, become one and be joined together in the same mind, the same judgment, and the same purpose (1 Corinthians 1:10). Hand in hand, let each of us together march to the glory land!

And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you the inheritance among all them that are sanctified (Acts 20:32).

(source: tftw.org)

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If You Love Me, Keep My Commandments

The above passage is a statement from our Lord found in John 14:15. Given the context of this verse, one understands the Lord to be saying to his disciples, “Don’t show your love to me by sorrow, mourning, and being troubled for my departure; but show it by your obedience to what I have commanded you.” This same conditional statement applies to the Lord’s modern day disciples as well.

One’s love for the Lord, and one another, must not simply be encased in compliment and flattery, but must discover itself in a strict observance of all the commandments of Jehovah God. This is the only proper evidence and confirmation of our love to Jesus. Simply saying we love Jesus is not proof of our love. But, that love for Him which leads one to do all of His will, to love one another, to deny oneself, to take up his cross, and to follow him completely through the bitter and the sweet, that is love.

How does one know when a child truly loves his parents? It is evident when that child is willing, without hesitation, without contradiction, or without murmuring, to do all that the parents require him to do. So disciples of Christ are required to show they are attached to Him supremely, above all others, by yielding to all of His requirements and by patiently doing His will in the face of opposition and ridicule (1 John 2:3).

The continuation of God’s work (in Christ) is based upon His disciples’ love for Him. Love for Him is to be the motive in a disciple’s life. Obedience to Him is to be the standard for all of one’s activities (1 Corinthians 13:1-3; 16:14; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Galatians 5:6). The test for genuine love is the keeping of His commandments. Those who do not keep the commandments of the Lord shall suffer destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). The Lord presses obedience to His commandments as a means, and indeed the only means, by which one can declare his love to Him. One’s obedience is the fruit of his true love for Christ.

Now, can one truly love the Lord and not obey His commandments? Suppose He commands to admonish one another (Romans 15:14)? Suppose He commands to reprove and rebuke our brethren who are in sin (2 Timothy 4:2)? Suppose our Lord commands to discipline the unruly members of the body of Christ and finally withdraw fellowship from all of those who continue to walk disorderly and will not repent (Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6)? Would obedience to these commands be unloving? Or would obeying these be the fruit of one’s true love for our God and His Christ?

God will provide goodness and spiritual prosperity for those who abide in His will (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12). However, He will also provide severity and destruction for those who do not abide in His will (Romans 11:22). Who would dare to call Jehovah God unloving?

When one obeys the commandments of Christ, he is showing his love for Him and for one another! When one lets the sins of his brethren go unnoticed, when he overlooks, covers up, or even takes up for their sins, he does not show his love for Him but he shows his contempt, his disdain, and his haughtiness for the love of God and His word (1 Corinthians 5:2, 6-7; 2 John 9).

The Lord knew that obedience to the Father would not always be pleasant for His disciples (Matthew 10:16-24). And even though He personally would have had it otherwise, He gave His life in obedience to the Father (Luke 22:42; Hebrews 5:8-9). Jesus always obeyed the will of His Father (John 6:38). And at His death He lost His friends, He lost His family, all because of His love for the Father. But He knew that the resurrection was sure and that heaven would be worth it all. When one fully realizes that heaven will be worth it all, then, and only then, will he display his love for Christ, and for others, and obey all of His commandments, even the unpleasant ones (1 John 5:1-3).

Do you really love Jesus? If so, keep His commandments.

(source:tftw.org)


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Works of the Flesh

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21, KJV)

Paul tells us Jesus did not give us freedom from sin just to go out and commit more sin (Galatians 5:13, 16-17, 24-25; Romans 6:1-2). In our text, Paul says, The works of the flesh are manifest. This means “open to sight, visible.” It is the opposite of hidden. Paul’s conclusion in this passage: those who continue in the works of the flesh will not go to Heaven!

Sins of Impurity

  1. Adultery and Fornication. These two terms cover all unlawful sexual relations. Jesus tells us this is the only Scriptural reason for divorce and remarriage (Matthew 19:9).
  2. Uncleanness. Other definitions are: “immoral, lustful, impure, indecent” (Ephesians 4:19; Romans 1:24; 2 Corinthians 12:21).
  3. Lasciviousness. This sins includes the lack of self-control, sexual excess, no shame. This is something we stop doing when we become Christians (Romans 13:13; 1 Peter 4:3-4).

Sins Against True Worship

  1. Idolatry. Idolatry is placing anyone or anything before our devotion to God. It is also the worship of any image that represents false gods (Matthew 4:10; Revelation 19:10; Colossians 3:5).
  2. Witchcraft. The Bible condemns this practice (Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Exodus 22:18; Acts 8:9-24; Acts 19:19).

Sins Against Love

  1. Hatred. This includes private hatred, family feuds, and deep-seated ill-will. Hatred is a poison that will destroy the hater.
  2. Variance (contentions). This is hate at work (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
  3. Emulations (jealousies). It is a work of the flesh to feel resentful toward another for something they have.
  4. Wrath. Cain was angry and killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:5-8). Moses was angry and struck the rock (Numbers 20:10-11). The Christian life does not include this attitude (Colossians 3:8; Ephesians 4:31; James 1:19-20).
  5. Strife (selfish ambition). This causes division among brethren (Philippians 2:3; Galatians 5:15; James 3:16).
  6. Seditions and heresies. Strife and seditions war against unity (John 17:20-22; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Ephesians 4:3).
  7. Envyings and Murders. Love envieth not (1 Corinthians 13:4). Cain’s envy led to murder. Joseph’s brother’s envy caused them to sell him into slavery (Genesis 37:4-5, 20-27). The envy of the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day caused them to crucify Him.

Sins Against Self-Control

  1. Drunkenness. The Bible condemns any use of alcoholic beverages (Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:29-35).
  2. Revellings. This includes drinking parties, orgies, and dancing which causes lust (1 Peter 4:3-4).
  3. And such like. Anything Paul misses in his list is covered in this phrase. [T]hey which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Conclusion

God wants us to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). We can resist temptations through God’s Word (Matthew 4:1-11). Let’s determine to put aside the works of the flesh and produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

(source:tftw.org)


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Homosexuality

There are those who want people to believe homosexuality is normal. Jesus tells us what is normal. And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh? So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matthew 19:4-6).

Many religious leaders are defending this practice. The United Methodist Church recommended their members accept homosexuals as “persons of sacred worth” and welcome them into fellowship of that Church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Netherlands made a report saying that homosexuality should not be something to keep a person from becoming a pastor in their Church. The United Church of Christ has ordained homosexuals into their ministry. There is even a homosexual denomination in the United States called the Metropolitan Community Church.

There is much confusion in our society, just as there was in the days of Isaiah. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20). Just because some people say that homosexuality is right, that does not make it so!

Some say we should not be talking about this issue, because it is a political issue. However, it was a moral issue long before it was a political issue. The Bible teaches us homosexuality is sin. If a person does not repent and stop the practice, they will be lost eternally.

The Bible Condemns This Practice

The first example of homosexuality is found in the city of Sodom. The wickedness of the city is described in Genesis 19:4-7. Men, both young and old, wanted to have sexual relations with Lot’s male visitors. The New Testament confirms this is a true account (cf. Matthew 11:23,24; Jude 7; 2Peter 2:6-8).

Sodom and Gomorrah serve as the standard by which other sins are compared (Isaiah 3:9; 13:19; Jeremiah 23:14; Matthew 11:23-24).

The Law of Moses Condemned Homosexuality

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination…Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out from before you (Leviticus 18:22, 24)

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (Leviticus 20:13, KJV).

There shall be no prostitute of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a sodomite of the sons of Israel. Thou shalt not bring the hire of a harlot, or the wages of a dog, into the house of Jehovah thy God for any vow: for even both these are an abomination unto Jehovah thy God (Deuteronomy 23:17-18). The word dog here is a synonym for a homosexual. “Dogs” will not be in heaven (Revelation 22:14-15).

Israel’s faithfulness was partly determined by the king’s attitude toward the perverted persons (homosexuals) in the land (1King 14:22-24; 22:46; 2King 23:7).

Three Significant New Testament Passages

God, through Paul, makes it clear those who practice homosexuality will not go to heaven. Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God. (1Corinthian 6:9-11). The phrase “abusers of themselves with men” comes from the Greek word which means “men having sexual relations.”

For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due. (Romans 1:26-27). Note the words Paul uses in this passage: “vile,” “against nature,” “unseemliness,” “error.” These are not words of approval. In the context, Paul is discussing the unrighteousness of the Gentiles (Romans 1:18).

But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully, as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for abusers of themselves with men, for menstealers, for liars, for false swearers, and if there be any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine (1Timothy 1:8-10). In verse 10, Paul mentions the “abusers of themselves with men.” This is the same Greek word that is used in 1Corinthian 6:9.

Conclusion

There is great pressure placed upon the Christian to ignore sin in our society. It is not popular to take a stand against sin today. Neither was it easy for the Old Testament prophets to take a stand against sin. It was not easy for Christians in the first century to preach the gospel to the heathen world. It will not be easy today, but we must obey God (Acts 5:29).

It may not be easy for the person who practices homosexuality to give up this sinful practice. But, if we want to go to heaven, we have to live our lives according to His will (Matthew 7:21-23). The most important thing in the world is to go to heaven!

(source:tftw.org)