Jurong Outreach

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


Leave a comment

Remember the Duck

In his book, “Will Daylight Come?” Robert Heffler pens this moving illustration.

There was a little boy visiting his grandparent on their farm.  He was given a slingshot to play with, out in the woods.  He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target.  Getting discouraged, he headed back to dinner.  As he was walking back, he saw Grandma’s pet duck.  Just out of impulse, he let fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it.  He was shocked and grieved.  In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to see his sister watching.  Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch that day…  Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.”  But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today,  didn’t you Johnny?”  And then she whispered to him,  “Remember the duck!”  So Johnny did the dishes.  Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing, and Grandma said, “I’m sorry,  but I  need Sally to help me make supper.”  But Sally smiled and said, “Well, that’s all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help.”  And she whispered again, “Remember the duck!”  Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed!

After several days… of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he finally couldn’t stand it any longer.  He came to Grandma and confessed that he killed the duck.  She knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, “Sweetheart, I know.  You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing.  But because I love you, I forgave you.  I was just wondering HOW LONG you would let Sally make a SLAVE of you.

Like Johnny, YOU and I are guilty of committing sin: “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God(Romans 3:23).

We CANNOT –DENY IT– or –HIDE IT–.

The GOOD NEWS (the Gospel) is that forgiveness is AVAILABLE!  Jesus died on the cross so that we can be forgiven of our sin. (Romans 5:8). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us

God has promised that: –IF WE WILL

place our trust in Him: (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  our  sins  (2  Corinthians 7:9-10),  “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance:for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might  receive  damage by us  in nothing.  For  godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

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.

be baptized (immersed) into Christ (Acts 2:38)  “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized 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.”  (Galatians  3:27)  “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.. and live in faithful obedience to Him” (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.”

THEN HE WILL– wash away our sins.

You would think…  that once we receive forgiveness from God, Satan would leave us alone, but he doesn’t!  He CONTINUES to accuse us and tries to make us feel guilty.  That’s what he does best – HE’S AN ACCUSER.  (Revelation 12:10).  “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,  Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which  accused them before our God day and night.”  Sometimes we make the mistake of listening to him – REMAIN a slave!

Forgiveness offers freedom – freedom from “GUILT” as well as freedom from “SIN”.

How long will  YOU allow Satan to make a SLAVE of you? Accept the Lord’s forgiveness by TRUSTING and OBEYING Him today!!!

Advertisements


Leave a comment

The Carpenter

A story is told of two brothers, who lived on adjoining farms, but fell into conflict.  It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labour and goods as needed without a conflict.  Then the long collaboration fell apart.  It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days’ work” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?

“Yes,” said the older brother.  “I do have a job for you.  Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbour; in fact, it’s my younger brother.  Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us.  Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better.”

“See that pile of lumber by the barn?  I want you to build me a fence – an 8-foot fence – so I won’t need to see his PLACE or his FACE anymore!”

The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation.  Show me the nails… and the post – hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”  The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.  The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.  About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.

The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.  There was no fence there at all.

It was a BRIDGE – a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other!  A fine piece of work, hand rails and all – and the neighbour, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched. “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.”

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other’s hand.  They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder. “No, wait!  Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.

“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have MANY more bridges to build.”

In like manner, OUR sin has created an enormous chasm which has separated YOU and ME from our Heavenly Father (Isaiah 59:1-2).

But, because of His GREAT love for us, God sent His Son – a carpenter – to “build the bridge” whereby we may “return to God” – to receive forgiveness for our sins and be reconciled to Him (Mark 6:3; John 3:16; Roman 5:8-10).

Mark 6:3  “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James,  and  Joses,  and  of  Juda,  and  Simon?  and  are  not  his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.”

John  3:16  “For  God so  loved the world,  that  he gave his  only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Roman 5:8-10  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall besaved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Building the bridge of forgiveness to close this tremendous gap cost the life of Jesus as He paid the price for our sins on the cross.

1 Peter 1:18-19  “We may “cross the bridge” through our obedient faith – believing in Jesus and trusting Him (Acts 16:31), repenting of our sins (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), being baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38), and faithfully following Him for the rest of our lives (1 John 1:7).

Jesus said, “I am the Way (theBridge“), the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes (“crosses over“) to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6)

Have YOU crossed the Bridge of forgiveness and reconciliation to God?


Leave a comment

One of Us

Joseph Damien was a nineteenth – century missionary who ministered to people with leprosy on the island of Molokai, Hawaii.  Those suffering grew to love him and revered the sacrificial life he lived out before them.  One morning before Damien was to lead daily worship, he was pouring some hot water into a cup when the water swirled out and fell onto his bare foot.  It took him amoment to realize that he had not felt any sensation.  Gripped by the sudden fear of what this could mean, he poured more hot water on the same spot.  Again, there was no feeling whatsoever.

Damien immediately knew what had happened.  As he walked tearfully to deliver his sermon, no one at first noticed the difference in his opening line.  He normally began every  sermon  with,  “My  fellow  believers.”  But this morning he began with… “My fellow lepers.”

Now Damien could FULLY RELATE to the lepers because he BECAME a leper.  He knew personally the struggles that they faced.  He could actually feel their pain!

Damien’s experience portrays the wonder of the Incarnation – how JESUS, “being in the form of God, … made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” to live among us (Philippians 2:6-7).

The Hebrew writer informs us of the importance of the incarnation: “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.  For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18).

Because Jesus was “made like His brethren” (human), He understands us.  He “knows all about our struggles” as He has shared the human experience with us AND – He knows how to help!

He ALSO knows our deepest need: salvation from sin and a relationship withour Heavenly Father.  In order to provide for our deepest need, Jesus lived among us, and then died for us, “to make propitiation [to pay the price of redemption] for [our] sins.” “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, EVEN… the death of the CROSS” (Philippians 2:8).

The ONLY one who could take our place and pay the price for our sins has to be one who is  like us, yet  without  sin.  Jesus  was  that  One  (Hebrews  4:15-16).  He became “ONE of US” to save us!

There IS a response on our part: Jesus saves those who: believe in Him and trust Him (Acts  16:31),  repent of  their  sins  (Acts  17:30-31),  confess Him before  men (Romans 10:9-10), are  baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38),-AND- who commit their lives to faithful obedience (1 John 1:7).

He became “LIKE YOU” in order to “SAVE YOU”.  Won’t you accept His offer?

Salvation Is Free

Salvation is free… if you want to take hold of it today

The choice is yours… will you choose to obey?

Salvation is waiting… but only you can save your soul

God wants you to be saved… but you are in control!

God has the ability… but you must heed His call

To obey… be baptized… take heed unless ye fall!

Salvation truly is the most precious gift for man

So seek out your salvation… by following God’splan!

Salvation is wonderful… salvation is free

It’s yours for the taking… what will your answer be?

Philippians 2:12 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as In my presence only, but now much more in my absence, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”


Leave a comment

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).


Leave a comment

Should We Follow the Ten Commandments Today?

Most people believe we should still keep the Ten Commandments. Is this true? What does the Bible say?

The Ten Commandments were given to the nation of Israel at Mt. Sinai after they left Egyptian slavery (Deuteronomy 4:13; 9:9, 10). Moses said: “The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive” (Deuteronomy 5:2, 3). This was a new law God had given. It had not been given to their ancestors. It was given only to the children of Israel!

The command to keep the Sabbath (the seventh day of the week, which is Saturday) was not required of man before Mount Sinai (Read Nehemiah 9:13,14). It was not required for any people except Israel for it was not given to anyone else! The Law given at Sinai to Israel, which included the Ten Commandments, was made only with the nation of Israel and no one else! Gentiles (non-Jews) were not required to keep the Law unless they became converts to the Jewish faith. Even if the Old Covenant had not been taken away in Christ, it would not be required of non-Jews. It never was intended for them.

Jeremiah, who lived under the Law given at Sinai, said that this Law was temporary and that God was going to make a New Law with His people: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt” (Jeremiah 31:31,32). The New Law would be different from the Old. Jeremiah spoke these words 900 years after the Law was given at Mt. Sinai and 600 years before Christ gave the New Law. The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament quotes this passage from Jeremiah and applies it to Jesus Christ who is “also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second” (Hebrews 8:6-13).

Jeremiah 31:31-34 also states some other differences between the Old Law and the New. The Old Law was written on tables of stone, but the New would be written on a believer’s heart. The Old Law did not provide for final forgiveness of sins, but the New did. The Ten Commandments were part of that Old Law. They have not been required of people to keep since Jesus died on the cross 2000 years ago (Colossians 2:14). Christ at that time gave a “better covenant, which was established on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6).

What happened to the Old Testament (the Old Law, or Old Covenant)? The New Testament tells us, “In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (Hebrews 8:13). “For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect…” (Hebrews 7:18,19). “Then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, 0 God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second” (Hebrews 10:9). “For the priesthood being changed, of necessity, there is also a change of the law” (Hebrews 7:12). The apostle Paul wrote: “Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements (the Law of Moses) that was against us, which was contrary to us, And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). Paul also wrote concerning this Old Law which contained the Ten Commandments: “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Galatians 3:24, 25).

When was the Old Law taken away and the New Law given? It happened when Jesus shed His blood on the cross: “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives” (Hebrews 9:15-17).

What was the purpose of the Old Law which was given to Israel at Mount Sinai? Paul answers: “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hands of a mediator” (Galatians 3:19). The Seed is Christ (Galatians 3:16). The Old Law, which contained the Ten Commandments, was given to keep Israel under control until Christ came. Since Christ has come and has fulfilled this Law, He has taken it out of the way. He has given us a New Law (covenant or testament). We must go to this New Law to learn how God wants us to serve Him today!


Leave a comment

The Second Coming of Christ

People are interested in the second coming of Christ! Every few years someone sets the date for the Lord’s return. In fact, one of the most popular religious subjects in the past twenty-five years has been the teaching that Jesus is coming back to the earth to set up His kingdom and rule on earth for one thousand years. This doctrine is called “premillennialism.” A large number of preachers teach this doctrine. Can it be proven from the Bible, or, is it the doctrine of men?

What is premillennialism?
This doctrine says that when Jesus came to the earth the first time, He intended to set up His kingdom. Since the Jews rejected Him, Jesus set up a temporary institution, the church, instead. The New Testament refutes this claim of premillennialism. The church is not a temporary institution, but is a part of the eternal purpose of God (Ephesians 3:10, 11). Premillennialism claims that the church and the kingdom are not the same. Jesus promised to build His church, which is His kingdom (Matthew 16:18,19). He fulfilled His promise in the first century (Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:9). Premillennialism also teaches that Jesus is coming soon! It teaches that there will be many signs before Christ’s coming. It implies that God failed in His first attempt to establish the kingdom as prophesied in the Old Testament. Premillennialism is a false doctrine! It is not supported by the Word of God. Let us examine the Bible to see what it says about the second coming of Christ.

Is Christ coming again?
Yes, He is! Note the following passages from the Bible: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:27,28).

When will Christ come again?
No one on earth knows the answer to this question! No signs will be given to tell us when the second coming will be. Jesus said: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).

What will Christ do when He returns?
First, He will raise the dead. “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (John 5:28,29).

Second, Christ will judge the whole world when He comes again (Matthew 25:31-46). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Third, when Jesus comes again, it will not be to establish a kingdom, but He will return the kingdom, which is His church, to the Father: “But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterwards those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:23,24).

Fourth, when Jesus comes again, eternity will begin when the dead are raised to life, never to die again. Premillennialists teach that there will be two or more resurrections of the dead, but the Bible teaches that there will only be one when Jesus comes again. Please note that the resurrection is singular, not plural in the following passage: “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15). Please read John 5:28,29 again also.

Fifth, when Christ comes again the earth will be destroyed! Therefore, there will not be a place for the rule of Christ on the earth which the premillennialists teach. This earth and everything in it will be destroyed by God! Please read 2 Peter 3:7,10,12.

Christ came to this earth almost 2,000 years ago. He is going to come again. Because Christ is coming again, faithful Christians are busy preaching the Gospel to the lost and dying world. What about you? Are you ready for the Lord to come again? Are you prepared to meet Him in Judgment? If not, begin your preparation now by obeying His Gospel (Mark 16:16).