15 Dec 2019
We all are given roles and responsibilities in life, whether it is the role of being a husband or a wife, employer or an employee, student or a teacher. Do you know that as believers of Christ, we are all given the role of ambassador of Christ? This week sermon helps you to what exactly that entails, here are the 3 things we can learn: 1. The Mission of an Ambassador: We are all on a mission as believer of Christ to bring the message of the gospel to those who doesn’t belong to God’s Kingdom: the message of hope and reconciliation between sinner men to a Holy God. 2. The Manner of an Ambassador: We also learn that it is not just about giving the gospel, but living the gospel- on how we are all representative of Christ, where we stay, work and play and how we ought to show Christ in all that we do and say. 3. The Motivation of an Ambassador: What excite us to live and give the gospel? First and foremost, it is the Gospel itself that motivates us: that God first reconciled us to Himself, that is why we can go out and help others being reconciled to God
1. The Mission of an Ambassador:
We are all on a mission as believer of Christ to bring the message of the gospel to those who doesn’t belong to God’s Kingdom: the message of hope and reconciliation between sinner men to a Holy God.
2. The Manner of an Ambassador:
We also learn that it is not just about giving the gospel, but living the gospel- on how we are all representative of Christ, where we stay, work and play and how we ought to show Christ in all that we do and say.
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I want to share something about myself. This is my third time wearing a suit. It feels awkward for me wearing a suit but Pastor Jason said, “No choice, you have to wear it.”. And my first two times wearing a suit was actually when I was called to be the groomsmen for both of my good friends. The first one was Wei Wen. He is our missionary in Indonesia. The second one was actually Luzerne and they just got married about two weeks ago. So, the first time wearing the suit right, I thought that being a groomsman, my role was just to stand there, smile and greet people. That was my impression because that is exactly what I did when I went to Wei Wen’s wedding. But lo and behold, when I went to Luzerne’s wedding, Luzerne told me that, “eh, you know what? Being a groomsman, there are a lot of roles, a lot of responsibilities. Yu Fei, you are in charge of cleaning up all the confetti along the aisles during the wedding (and there was a lot; it took so much time just cleaning up). Yu Fei, not just that. You have to make sure that you are the king of ushers; you are the main usher. So you must make sure that everyone is seated properly – the groom and the bride and the groomsmen and everyone is seated properly; the guests are seated properly. You have to make sure all the food is being served. You must make sure all the decoration is in place and on point. Yu Fei, not just that, you have to drive. (but thank God, I did not have to drive because I have never driven after I have passed my theory test. Thank God I didn't have to.) Yu Fei, you have to be at the gate crash and eat all the things that you do not like to eat, like wasabi on a lemon.”. And I had to do that. At the start, I thought that being a groomsman was just to stand there and smile and look nice, you know? But I was wrong. I realized that there was more to being a groomsman. There are roles and responsibility that I have to take as a groomsman for Luzerne.
In the same way, do you know that we are all given a role in our lives? God has called us to be an ambassador for Christ, of Christ. God has saved us so that we can be his ambassador. God has given us roles and responsibilities in our lives, for His glory, for his kingdom. Maybe some of you are new with us, and as a young Christian, maybe you feel that, “oh, I am saved by God now and that's all”. Not really! God called us that we will want to know Him in terms of salvation, then we want to grow in Him in sanctification, then we want to go for Him in service. And today’s portion, or today’s sermon is on the “going” part.
What does it mean to be an ambassador of Christ? An Ambassador means one who acts as a representative; one who represents a country, a nation, a kingdom or a company. One of the youths that I used to disciple used to be an ambassador for Under Armour. So, he told me that Under Armour gave him a contract and he has to represent Under Armour. He cannot wear Nike, he cannot wear Adidas, he cannot wear Puma. All he could wear when he posted online was Under Armour. And when he posts online on social media, on Facebook (or for the younger ones, Instagram, but for the old people it would be Facebook), he said that every time when he posts something, it must be about Under Armour to promote Under Armour because he represents Under Armour. In the same way, God called us that we are His ambassador. We represent God. We represent the kingdom of God. So, what is an ambassador? Why are we called to be an ambassador? How do we be an ambassador? I think the answer can be taken in the text in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21. Let me read this for all of us here. “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you (we beg you) on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. And that is what we are going to explore today – some simple five verses. I know that Pastor Jason loves to ask you guys, “can you can you tell me what are the three ‘M’s’ in this passage?” I'm not going to do that, okay.
1. The Mission
The first M is ‘Mission’. What is the mission of an ambassador? Okay, what is the mission of Ambassador? Yes, we are called to be an ambassador, right? But what is the mission? What do we need to do? What is this calling about? The Bible says that this is the mission that God has given to us; a ministry of reconciliation. God wants us to bring this message of reconciliation to the people around us. God called us to help people to be reconciled to God. That is the mission – bringing people to God. Maybe some of you ask, “What is reconciliation? What is the Greek word? What is the meaning behind reconciliation?” There are three understandings of reconciliation. The first one is in terms of money, monetary; a money exchange term. The second one is actually used in a court of dispute where they make peace with the two parties going to court to make peace. The third explanation, which most of the time in the New Testament is referring to, means exchange. In the New Testament, most of the time it was translated as when you are you being at enmity with God and now you're at peace with God. So, what is reconciliation? What is the meaning? It means people that were being at enmity are now people that are being at peace. People that were once enemies, now are becoming friends. People who were once strangers now become close buddies. That is what reconciliation means. You know, I asked Pastor Jason for permission to share my testimony. In a short while, I want to share with you what is reconciliation – from stranger to becoming close? Most of you, if you have been to church camp, you would have heard my story. I don't come from a good family background. I don't come from a Christian background. I come from a complicated background. My dad died when I was two to three years old. My mom passed away when I was about 13 years old. Then I had a stepfather. But because my stepfather and I are not blood-related, my stepfather kicked me out of the house and asked me to leave the house to stay on my own when I was about Secondary 4 (16 years old). So, at the age of 16 years old, I had no contact with anyone except I got saved when I was 15. So, Pastor Ian took me in and took care of me during them. But I had no relationship with my sisters or my mom's family. I had no relationship with my stepfather's family. All the relationships were gone. I have never seen them for 15 years. For 15 years of my life, for my mom's side of the family, I managed to only contact one of them – my auntie (my second auntie). She will call and ask me how I am doing. But I have no idea about my story. I have no idea who my relatives are and who my nephews are. After my mom died, I have no idea who the bunch of people are and to me, they are strangers. But what happened about one and a half years ago during e-camp in the Philippines, God convicted me to do something. God convicted me to go back and reconcile with those people (my mom's side of the family) to reconcile with them, to find out who they are, to love them, to be to be part of the family again. And guess what? Early this year in February or January period, during the Chinese New period, I took the courage to book a plane ticket and fly all the way back to find out who they are. In my heart, there were a lot of ‘what-ifs’. What if I go there and they don't recognize me? What if I go there and they say “this bu xiao de” which means unfilial. In my mind, there were a lot of things going on in my mind. What if I found out that my mom is this and what if I found out that my dad was actually this and this and that. There were a lot of ‘what-ifs’ in my heart. But one thing that I do know is this, that God has called me to go back and be reconciled with them. And this is the picture of my family. I was so happy but that was only in the picture. I realized that there were so many people who I did not know and that was so awkward for me. This is a picture of reconciliation. Of course, this cannot be compared to God's kind of reconciliation, which is so much more and far better. This is a reconciliation from human to human – broken relationships or friendships that come together. Some of you may have marriages where you are quarreling; reconciling means that someone who was at odds is becoming someone that is at peace. That is what reconciliation means. But God's kind of reconciliation is not from human to human, but from God, the Almighty, to us, sinful men. From an enemy of God to becoming a friend of God. From people that are sons of disobedience; from people they are facing the wrath of God, the enemy of God, now we become friends of God. That is the kind of reconciliation this verse is talking about. Do you remember the time when you first got saved? How God saved us from being at enmity with God to now becoming at peace with God? I remember I got saved 15 years ago. Can you recall how you got saved? How’s that feeling? Do you still have that joy of the salvation that God gave to you? God gave us this ministry. Ministry, in the original Greek, means servants and slaves. The King of Kings has given us this decree (this command), to be His servant, to bring people to be reconciled with Him; sinful men to a holy God. And can I tell you something? It is a privilege, just like if the President of Singapore or someone with high authority in your company asks you to represent them in a country or a company. It is a privilege because you are representing someone great, someone powerful. To us, we represent God. God the Almighty sent us to be His ambassador to help people to know Him. And can I tell you something as well? We belong to another kingdom now. We no longer belong to ourselves. When the Bible says that you are called to be an ambassador for the mission of God, now you represent another country, you represent the kingdom of God and no longer the kingdom of the world. It is a privilege. What is this message? Maybe you say, “Okay, Yu Fei. We understand your reconciliation – it is helping people to know God. Enemy becoming a friend – helping others to do that.” What do we say? What do we say? What is this message? The message is reconciliation! What is this message? The Bible says, “who through Christ reconciled us to himself”. The message is, “God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses”, forgetting about their sin, forgiving their sins against them. Being reconciled to God – that is the mission, that is the message. Helping people and telling people that God has reconciled us to Himself. God has forgiven us from all of our sins, if you were to turn to him. You know, this is the gospel right? Pastor Jason will be so happy if you can recite what is his definition of the gospel. The gospel is actually this. But in terms of Pastor Jason, he has a definition, right? Can anybody in this place tell me, what is Pastor Jason’s definition of the gospel? Can we try? Can we try? Please entertain me a bit. The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ (thank you, youth) dying and rising to save us from our sins in order to reconcile sinful man to Holy God. Thank you, youth. Can we give them a round of applause? This means that they pay attention during Pastor Jason’s sermons. Pastor Jason, if you are watching this now, I think you must be very proud that the youth and the church can quote your definition. And that is the definition, right? That is the message of the gospel, that Christ died and rose again on the third day. If he did not rise again on the third day, we will be doomed. But because he rose, we know that he has defeated sin, death and hell. For what purpose? To save us from our sins – all of our sins. For what purpose? So that there is reconciliation between sinful man to a holy God. That is the message that we called by God to send to the people around us. When was the last time that we shared the gospel to someone? When was the last time that we brought this mission of God seriously, and took it to the hearts of different people? Can I tell you something? We were once reconciled to God – sinful man to a holy God. We were once reconciled. These are just some of the examples from the testimonies of baptism. There are so many but I just want to highlight a few. One of them shared that because of the gospel that changed her, she can say this, “I no longer lament my parents in my heart. I just want to do my part to win them over to the Lord.”, “I wasted so much time on worldly things. I desire to acknowledge Christ in all areas of my life.”, “Since really accepting Christ, my life has turned 180 degrees. I yearn to know more about Christ, to lead a life worthy of being called a child of God.”, “I realized that I am dead in my trespasses and sins. I did not choose God, but instead God chose me. It was always His choice.”, “God sees my sins and I know that I will continue to struggle with them, but I am immensely grateful for His grace that frees me from the bondage of sin.”. These are the people that recalled how God has saved them. And that's why they can share what they shared. Do you remember the time that God saved you? I remember 15 years ago. Do you remember the time that God, from your heart, convicted you of your sin and turned you to Himself. That is amazing grace, right? We didn't choose Him, but He chose us. That is grace. This is what the Bible says, “God making his appeal.”. This mission of God is God making His appeal through us. “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”. Recently (just one week ago), one of the youths, Jake, he is in Secondary one and he is the son of Auntie Daisy and Uncle Gordon. And Jake was coming to me and he was very excited to talk to me during CG time. “Yu Fei, do you know what was one blessing that God has given to you this week? Oh, Yu Fei, this week, I managed to share the gospel and tell people, tell my friends about the gospel and about Jesus Christ. I did not know how but I tried, I tried my best.” and he went back to tell his parents and the parents gave him a book. It was ‘salt and light’ for him to read, and to equip him with the right knowledge to share with the friend. And Jake came back and shared with me all these things. And he told me this statement, “Yu Fei, I want to share the gospel but I wish that there is one person, only one person, that is equipped with all the knowledge and go around the world to preach the gospel to everybody in this world so that everyone can be saved.”. I said, “Wow, Sec one. Thinking about the things of God?” I was thinking about when I was Sec 1 what I was doing, you know? I was like playing computer games, always on my phone, or whatever. But this Sec one boy encouraged me that he is about the gospel. But I told him that it is not just one person. God does not just want to send one person to go around the world to share the gospel to everyone. God wants to use you, as an individual. And this is what it means that God is making his appeal through us, individual Christians, that have been reconciled to God. Individual Christians. Of course, of course, God is the one that convicts man of their sin. Of course, God is the one that saves men. We are just the ambassador. We are just the spokesman, people that represent Him and share with the people around us. Of course, God can send down lightning, or make a message on the wall saying “God loves you. Turn to me.”. Of course, God can do that. God can send lightning in a voice saying, “I am God. Please come.”. God can do all these. I wouldn't do that; it is a bit embarrasing. But God can do all these things. God can use whatever means to save His people, the people that doesn't know Him. But primarily, God wants to use you, the individual. God wants to use you to win the lost. God wants to use you to bring this message of the gospel, a message of reconciliation, to the people around us. “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” (Romans 10:14-15). God wants to use us. How can they hear without someone preaching? We are called by God to take this mission of God seriously and bring it to the people who do not know Jesus. So first, the mission. That is the mission of the gospel – to give the gospel. But besides giving the gospel, God wants us to live out the gospel. Not just mission.
2. The Manner
The second M is ‘Manner’. What is the manner of an ambassador? What does he need to do? What is his behavior? What is his duty and responsibility besides just telling? Some of you may know this story recently, about one month ago. It was the story of this young man. It is a big dispute on the online platforms and there are many keyboard warriors just typing and scolding this guy and degrading him and so on and so forth, never confronting him. But keyboard warriors, we are Singaporeans, we like to do that right? Complaining and complaining. And there were a lot of complaints about this guy that he was abusing his authority. This guy says that, “oh, I pay $1.5 million just to have this property. Who are you to tell me this and this and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…”. I will spare the details. And it was this big hoo-ha. What happened was that after the incident, people found out that he was actually working in one of the top investing companies. It was actually JP Morgan. Many people on online platforms said, “You are a disgrace to your company.”, “JP Morgan, you should seriously remove him from your management team. Your company deserves a better man in your team.”, “JP Morgan, you decide if such a man is worth to be part of your great organization.”. What happened is that even though he is living his own life, somehow because he is working for JP Morgan, he somehow represents the company even though he is living his private life. Do you know something? You may be living your private life, but you represent God. You represent the kingdom of God. Whether you like it or not, when you become a believer, when you're saved, God gives you this position. God calls you sons and daughters of God; God gives you a royal priesthood, the holy nation. God gave you another role called an ambassador for Him. And that is what it means. God gave us this role of ambassador. We are a representative of God and His kingdom. We represent Christ. The Bible continues to say in the context of the verse in verse 18. In the same chapter, “All this is from God”. What are all these things? You are called to be an ambassador. You have been given this mission and this is how you are supposed to live your life. In the previous verses, this is what the Bible says, “and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised…”. An ambassador is one that is dying to self every day because he is living for a higher calling, a higher kingdom. He is no longer living for his own personal gain and personal self. When you become a Christian, when God saved you, you are now supposed to live for His glory, for his kingdom. It means this – where you stay, where you work, where you play, we are called to be His ambassador. Where you stay; where you work; where you play. How are you treating your wife and your husband? It shows because we represent Christ. How you treat your daughters and your sons in a loving way, in the way of the Lord shows that you are representing Christ. When you are scolding or punishing or disciplining, you are representing Christ. Marriage is a portrayal of Christ and the church, right? We represent God. We represent God's kingdom where we work: how you do your business deal, how you interact with your colleagues, how you have disagreements in a project. In your school and in your workplace, we are representatives of God. When we play (and I know that some of us, especially for myself, we are very competitive, and Pastor Jason is more competitive than me), we are representatives of God. It is not about winning. It is about how we represent God properly. I want to share with you another story. You know, I am a basketballer. I am tall, dark, not that handsome but I am tall and dark. Too bad, never mind, whatever. But I love to play basketball. I love to use basketball, this talent that God has given to me, to share the gospel to the people around me. So before the church moved here, I moved here about six months before the church moved here so that I can go to the community and go and figure out where the basketball courts are and who are the people that I can reach out to. I figured out that there are actually eight basketball courts in Punggol. I will go and conquer one by one – okay, not really conquer. I go and befriend friends or the people in the basketball court. After a while, I realized that I cannot stretch myself. I will focus on two to three basketball courts in this region. And I want to be an ambassador. I'm here because I want to bring the bring the gospel to the people around us. That is my mission, leading generations into a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. And I am trying to build relationships. Some of my basketball friends are here and they have not come to know God but they are here just to support me. Hopefully, they will come to know God one day, as well. And I have a lot of basketball friends in this community. And I thought that I am very nice, really. I'm like someone that they can look to. By the way, I am sharing all these truths, not just for you. It is for myself because God convicted me of this as well, about how I live my life. And two weeks or two months ago, one of my basketball friends (from one of my basketball teams that we have started in Punggol) came to tell me, “Yu Fei, do you know something? I know you think that you are very likable.” I thought so also. “But there is a group of basketballers at a basketball court. They don't like you.”. I was like, who are these people? I'm sure they are wrong. You guys must be lying, you know that kind of thing. You know, Christians try to justify ourselves, thinking that we are good, but we are not. Then I began to find out more. I figured out that it was actually my words that I used that have degraded them. The words that I used, “Aiya, you cannot shoot properly. Aiya, this simple thing also cannot do. Aiya, you are so lousy.”. And I realized that oh no, my words do not represent God. My words do not represent Christ. And I was I was disturbed for a few days. And every week when I meet them, they will say, “Yu Fei, I thought you are a child of God? Why are they angry with you?”. I’m serious, this is what they said. Right, Reuben? They said, “I thought you are a youth pastor, a youth leader? How can you do this? How can people be angry with you? I thought you represent God?”. And inside my heart, I know that I had to do something. I need to go and apologize and befriend and love them and ask them for forgiveness. And I went and did that. And my relationship with them was reconciled. What is my point? My point is that how we live our life matters to God and to the people around us. People may not read the Bible and people may not see Christ. People may not know what Christianity is about but people see you. You represent God. You are a representative of God. How you work, how you live, where you stay, how you talk, what you think, what you do – people are watching. And I pray that we will be mindful that we are ambassadors for God. And for the basketball incident, one or a few of them were unhappy with me. But thank God, we are now friends and we are going to have a buffet again, in a few weeks’ time to celebrate Christmas. It's not just how we play or how we dress. We are representatives of God. How do we make business deals in our workplace? How aunties and uncles talk at the coffee shop, how we gossip, gossip, and this and that, complain here and complain there. Be careful, we are representatives of God. How we drive – we are a representative of God. Don't just put a sticker at the back saying, “Jesus loves you” but you honk and scold everybody around you. Just be careful because we represent God in everything that we do. Someone said this, “We are always on a mission; we are always ambassadors of Christ.”. There is no such thing as God giving you this position as an ambassador and then you can park it one side and then come out and then come to church and then put it back again. There is no such thing. We are ambassadors at every moment – 24/7 of our lives. “We should voluntarily restrict our freedom so that nothing in our clothing, our business, or anything in our conduct is ever “unbecoming” to the gospel of Jesus Christ. For we are ambassadors for Christ.”. Philippians 2:14-16, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as light in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.”. That is our calling. That is our mission. That is our manner of being an ambassador. Jeremy Lin, one of the famous Christian basketballers, said this (and he knows that as he plays, he represents God), “From the sense of being an ambassador for Jesus Christ, hopefully, through my story and through all the improbables and the miracles that happened in my life, people are inspired or at least a little bit warmer to the idea of exploring who Jesus is.”. People are watching us – how we live and act shows who Christ is in our life. During the first service, yesterday’s service, one person came up to me and said, “Yu Fei, this is a very heavy message.”. Yes, I know. But that is the calling that God has given to us. Every day, we have to die to self and to live for the glory of God. We no longer live for ourselves but for him. First, we see the mission of being an ambassador. Secondly, we see the manner of how an ambassador should be like.
3. The Motivation
Thirdly, we see the motivation of being an ambassador. What is the point? Why do we want to go around sharing the gospel and living in the Gospel? Do you know something? It is actually very tiring because every day you die to self, you die to self, you die to self. It is not me but Christ. Less of me and more of Christ. Less of me and more about the people around us. That is why the Bible says to put other people before yourself, and to help other people to see Jesus before meeting your own personal gain or need. It is tiring but it is rewarding. What is the motivation for people in the past to go around the world sharing the gospel? What is the motivation of the people that died for the cause of the gospel? What is their motivation? I want to share with you two simple motivations that are in the text (2 Corinthians 5:11) itself.
The first motivation is the fear of the Lord. Because of the fear of God, because we are reverent, we honor him, we fear him, that is why we want to bring other people to Jesus. We persuade other people to come to Jesus. One day, when God comes back again, there is no more second chance. I will always remember what Pastor Mike said, “In heaven, there are two things that you cannot do.”. Of course, there are more but just think along with me in this line.” There are two things you can do in heaven. One, you can’t sin.” Wow, so we sin now? No, of course not. “Secondly, we cannot evangelize because it is too late.” and I know in my life, there are people around me that have not come to know Jesus. I want to be the ambassador. And I know that you would want to be an ambassador because God reconciled you and now you want to bring this message to the people around us. Because of the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.
But secondly, it is because of the love of God that controls us, that is why we do what we do. That is why God has called us to do whatever he calls us to do. Because of the love of Christ. Christ died for our sins. It was firstly God, Christ Himself, reconciling us to Himself. It was first that God who initiated the start to reconcile us, sinful man to a holy God. And because of that, then I can help other people to reconcile with God. It is because of God's amazing grace and amazing love in our life that we can show grace and mercy and love to the people around us. That is the motivation of the gospel. All this is from God. What are all these things? The fear of the Lord and the love of Christ. If you read the previous verses, the Bible says that we are now a new creation. All things have passed away and behold, all things are new. We are now new. When you become a Christian, you are a new creation. God has given you a new desire for His glory.
I will end with this last verse. The Bible says (and this is a good memory verse for all of us to memorize), “For our sake he (God) made him (Christ) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we may become the righteousness of God.”. Let me pause and let us think this through. For our sake, he made him to be sin. God lived a perfect life who knew no sin. Christ lived a perfect life who knew no sin. But yet he is willing to die for the sins of the entire mankind. Just think about that. Imagine there is about 1,000 people here in this room and there are many billions, trillions, of people who have ever lived on this earth before, and every one of us have at least sinned one time. Some sinned more, a lot a lot more. And God says that He takes all these sins: the pride, the lust, the jealousy, the gossiping, and hatred and anger. God brought all these sins and poured the wrath of God unto His one and only Son. Why? Why? Shouldn't we be deserving of our sins? Shouldn't we be doomed? We should! But because of love, the love of Christ. Because of love, he went to the cross willingly to die for the sins of the whole world. He took on sin who knew no sin. Just ponder for a bit more. Just think about it. God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, for everlasting, for eternity, they have never been separated. But for our sake, for our sin, God the Father, turned His face away from God the Son. For what purpose? For our sake. Yesterday, Glen sang the song ‘we are the reason that he came to die’. Yes, we are the reason for his glory. Just think about that. That should be our motivation to want to go on the mission. That is our motivation to want to live a life that is worthy of His calling. That is the motivation. The gospel and the love of Christ is our motivation.
I will end with this story and then one quote and one more picture. This is a story of a bus driver. Of course, it is a fake story. People have shared this story before, but I want to share it with you again. It a story of a bus driver driving a bus, happily waiting to see his son in the school. He wanted to go and fetch the son in the primary school. So, the bus driver was driving and driving and driving, and nearer to the school, he saw that there is a huge gate at the front of the school. Behind the main gate, there was a lot of children, hundreds of children were playing, enjoying themselves, and laughing. The parents were just waiting there for them to enjoy themselves before bringing them home. So, there was a lot of commotion and there was a lot of happiness and joy. So, the bus driver was driving in the school, nearer to the school. But a school happened to be in a downslope where the bus driver had to drive on a higher slope, and drive from a higher place down the slope, all the way to the school. It was a steep slope and he has to brake in time just to pick up the child. But what happened was that the brake malfunctioned. The brake was spoilt. The brake was damaged. And no matter how much he pressed, nothing happened, and nothing worked. He tried his way and there was nothing that he could do. He prayed, and nothing happened. And he had one choice in that moment – he had no choice but to go straight and to crush everyone there. However, there was a side gate. To enter the side gate, he had to make a swift turn on the right. But at that small little gate, there was his son waiting out there for his father. The dad had to make a choice. What should I do? Should I crush my son so that all these little children can be safe from the collision, or should I just crash through the gate and crush everybody to save my only son? He has to make a choice. The choice that he made was that he crushed his son so that the rest of the children can be safe. Of course, it is a fake story. But what is my point? My point is that the Father has to make a choice to crush the Son so that others can be saved. In the same way, of course in a different light, God the Father has to crush his Son so that he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that others can come to a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ, with Hs son. Isn't that amazing? When I read this story, I was like, wow, that is the degree of how much God loves us. He sent His Son to die for our sins, so that others can come to know him.
My prayer for us as a church (we are called Gospel Light Christian Church for a reason) is that we are here to bring the gospel to the people around us. My prayer is that we will pray this prayer from Charles Spurgeon, “Wherever you have placed us, Lord, give us the courage to proclaim to people who are lost in sin, “You can be new in Jesus’ name.””. I pray that we will pray this prayer. I pray we will sincerely pray this prayer; that it is not just how we give the gospel, but how we live the gospel.
I will close with this one last picture. I love to do reflective questions in the youth. I always want the youth to reflect; not just know about the truth but to apply the truth into their life. We know that the Bible is not just for information, but also for transformation. And I want to ask you guys this question. Where are you in this picture? It is a picture from Keith Green, a famous guy in the past. He has this picture that that I have seen online – one of my dear friends shared it to me for this sermon. Where are you in this picture? The bench represents safety. When you belong to Christ, the Bible says that there is no more condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, our Lord. You are safe, and you are secured. But besides being secured, besides knowing, besides growing, what are you doing with your service to God? Maybe some of you out there trying your best, in the midst of crazy periods or in dangerous grounds, maybe some of you are called to go to the frontline of the mission field, to the area where the gospel has not been preached. Maybe God has called you to do that. You may die and you may face danger, but you know that God has called you to do that. Some of you may be this guy over there – he is out in the mission view and he sees the danger, he sees that people are lost in sin. And he's calling people, “Come and join us! Come and join us to be part of this mission that God has given to all of us.”. Maybe some of you are this guy who can only save one by one. One life vest; one by one and to save one by one, which may be the best that you know how and to the people around you. One by one. But maybe for some of us, there is nothing wrong with going to the gym, nothing wrong with playing the guitar and doing all the things that life calls us to do. There is wrong with that. But the main mission for all of us who are safe in the harbor should be one that always has the mind of the lost. Don't be so caught up with the world that we lose sight of what is more important. Don’t store up treasures on this earth that you lose sight of the treasure that is above. Don't lose sight of what God has given to you (salvation) and lose sight of the people that are lost in sin.
My prayer, like Charles Spurgeon’s, is that we will go wherever God has placed us. Let us proclaim, let us help people to see that they can be new in Jesus’ name. My prayer for our church is that we will be about the gospel, the gospel business. We will join the community engagement, reach out to our friends and reach out to our colleagues. It is not just about ministry in church, but ministry in your life that God has placed you in – where you work, play, and live.
Let us bow with a word of prayer. I have spoken a lot. But I want you guys to reflect. We are first called to be an ambassador, to represent his kingdom. What are we doing with the life that God has given to us? What are we doing with this message that has first saved us? Are we giving out? Or are we just enjoying for ourselves? Maybe some of you, you know that you're called to a higher purpose, a higher calling for His glory. Maybe for some of you guys, God has called you to drop certain things so that you can serve Him in a greater way. Maybe some of you here are not saved yet – that you do not know what it means that Christ died for your sins. I want to tell you something if you're not a believer in this room – that God loves you very much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for your sins. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”. You can be new in Jesus’ name. You can turn away from your sins and you can turn to Jesus. If you want to know how to do that, I encourage you to speak to someone, speak to a friend that brought you in this room. Speak to the new comers in the new comer’s corner. Speak to your friends who are Christians. I know that they will gladly and willingly tell you about this truth. But for the Christians in this room, I pray that we will be challenged. This is the Christmas season for celebration. It is about gift exchange, but more than a gift exchange, I pray that God will help us to remember the giver of all these lives; giver of all the good gifts that God has given to us; that we will be giving, we will be loving, and we will be sharing the gospel to the people around us. We commit this precious time unto your hands. Work in our hearts, God. We do not want just another sermon to fill us with information but transform us from the inside out that we will, by faith, go into the area that you have called us to, to live the gospel and to give the gospel to those who are lost in sin. But thank you God for saving us. Thank you, God, that you saved us to bring us to this safe harbor. Help us not just to be comfortable but stretch us, by faith, that we will go and reach that which was lost. You came down to save that which was lost. You saved me, so help us to help others to see who You are. You say in Your word that as You are high and lifted up, You will draw all man to Yourself. God, our desire is to love you, to honor You, to obey You, because of grace and love. And help us to point people to Your truth and to Your grace. Help us remember that we are first Your Ambassador, Your children, and that we are loved by You. We thank you. We love you. And we commit the rest of this time unto your hands. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
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