20 Nov 2022
Gospel Light’s vision is to be an ‘Acts Church For Today’, a church that proclaims the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and keeps multiplying. We also want to fulfil our mission of leading others into a life-changing relationship with Jesus through discipling new believers. THE GREAT COMMISSION given by Jesus in Mat. 28:18-20 should really be called the GREAT COMMANDMENT. This therefore requires GLCC to be a MISSIONAL CHURCH not merely a MISSIONARY-SENDING CHURCH. A missional church is a church where everyone is on a mission to make disciples. A missionary-sending church is a church that is merely sending out missionaries. TRADITIONAL Missions emphasize the following: 1. TRAIN a believer to be a missionary by teaching missionary METHODS. 2. SEND the missionary to PLANT a CHURCH/MINISTRY. 3. SUPPORT the missionary (or other missionaries/ministries) financially. 4. SUPERVISE the missionary/church/ministry. 5. Send “MISSION TEAMS” to VISIT the missionary. This traditional model of Missions after 2000 years has resulted in possibly less than 1% of the world knowing the Gospel. But as we come to the end of time, God has made the way for us to proclaim the gospel to the whole world. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. ” -Mat. 24:14. End-time Missions can be Scalable, Transferable, Global through the global coverage of Internet & widespread use of the smart-phone. We are so privileged to be possibly the LAST-LAP runners in the 2000-year “relay” to bring the Gospel to the whole world. Let us be the true Gospel Light Church and bring the GOSPEL LIGHT to everyone! This life and death mission must be our Mission. This is the only mission worth living and dying for.
GLCC Vision: An Acts Church for Today
Now, today let's very quickly run through what GLCC is all about. Quick review. All right, GLCC is an Acts Church for today. What's [an] Acts Church for today? [An] Acts Church is a church that is [in] the book of Acts and [the] church in the book of Acts is declaring Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead. It's about Jesus Christ who came as Savior to the world. [This] wonderful news spread from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria to the uttermost parts of the world at a rapid speed. The church multiplied. That's what this church should be! All right? Not a typical church for today [but] an Acts Church for today. Now, how do we do that? How do we become this church that is excited about Jesus Christ - what He did for us?
GLCC Mission: Leading Generations into a Life-Changing Relationship with Jesus
We have to lead generations into a life-changing relationship [with Jesus Christ]. How do we do that? We do that by sharing the amazing Gospel: The Good News that Jesus came. He had one mission: To die for our sins. He paid the penalty. He said, “It is finished!”. He rose from the dead to prove it. And you know what? Whoever believes in Him will not perish but have ever-lasting life.
This world is full of problems. Endless problems. But we have an endless eternal future in a new heaven and a new earth that will make all these things “a light affliction”, “for a moment”. If you don't have that eternal hope, life is tough. If you don't have the eternal hope, life is hopeless. All right? So, we thank God that we can give this Good News that will change lives. When people really receive Jesus as [their] Savior, something will happen in their life!
Profound life-change happens through the power of the Gospel
It happened to me 42 years ago, and it has continued to work a transformation in my life. It's life-changing! It's not a religion [that] we practice outside. It is something that happens that changes our lives. How do we go about to achieve this [life-changing relationship with Jesus]?
Tell people about Jesus. [Whom] he is. What He did on the cross for us. All right? What He achieved for us. We should know that - that Good News. There is no good news in this world, honestly. Every good news is for a moment, for a term, for a period, and then it's bad news after that. But there is [the] Good News.
GLCC Method: Know – Grow - Go
Then after they know Jesus, help them to grow by discipling them by your life, by encouragement, by the Word of God. And then afterwards, let them go and tell this life-changing message to the world. So that's what Gospel Light [Christian Church] is all about.
The Great Commandment: And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 ESV
De-mystifying the word “commission” – it means “commandment”
Now, every one of most of us would know Matthew 28, verse 18 to 20. It's often called the Great Commission. You know? That's a horrible word! It just confuses. It blurs what it really is. For us, what's the word “commission”? Am I a military officer and I am commissioned? You know? I'm not a military officer. You know? For most of us, [the word] “commission” is not for me! A Commission of Inquiry. That's for the big guys up there. [The word] “commission” means nothing to you and me.
The reality is this word [means] the great “commandment”. Why is it called “great”? Because it's [meant] for everybody - everyone who's a Christian. Everyone who has tasted what Jesus did in [his] life as I did 42 years ago [should obey it]. We have a commandment, and that is to go and make disciples. We go and tell people. Let them know about Jesus, then grow, and let them go. That's all there is. That's one commandment. There are many different commandments for different people. There's one “Great Commandment” for every believer. That is to make disciples. Are you obeying the commandment? Are you doing this? It's a command from God! It's a command from the One who saved us. [The] Great Commission - whatever that is. Great Commandment! Then you have to obey, all right? That's what it really is.
GLCC must be a MISSIONAL church, not a MISSIONARY- SENDING church
Now, GLCC must be a missional church, not a missionary-sending church. What's the difference? “Missionary-sending” means some churches have this “guy”, you know, a “serious guy” - then we train him in a missions-school and then off, we send him to some country to serve in missions. I don't have to go. He goes on our behalf! You know, every church has a couple of missionaries that “carry the load” for them and “take the conscience” from them, so to speak! They do the job for them. That's a missionary-sending church. That's not bad. This is better than some churches [that] do nothing, not even [sending] one or two!
Every Gospel Lighter must live his life intentionally on a mission
But God doesn't want us to be a missionary-sending church. God wants us to be a missional church. What is a “missional” church? That everybody is on a mission! This life is not [meant for us] to eat, sleep, and then die. Pigs do that! But at least they [are] useful. They become bacon [after] that! You and I? We eat, sleep, die [and] become rotten meat. Is that our life? For many Christians, [for] many people, that's their life! No mission. Just a lousy pig! But God wants every one of us to make this life count! Life has to have meaning. Life has to have significance. Not eat and sleep and die. Right? So, God has given us a mission to do something significant that changes lives for people, for eternity. What job is like that? I don't know.
I used to be a doctor - you cure somebody, [and after] that you see his funeral! What do you call that? Obituary. Wha-, you work so hard to see this guy, and then [he] becomes rotten meat! For what? But [what] if I just share the Gospel? I know this guy – “whosoever believes in Jesus shall not perish but have everlasting life (new heaven, new earth, for eternity)” - I'm going to see that guy I led to the Lord. I'm going to be his buddy and he's going to say, “Thanks, P.C., for sharing the Good News with me.” Wow. Simple mission. Impactful mission. Eternal mission. Are you on a mission? That's what we understand this church to be: Everybody to be missional, wherever God puts you. Share the Good News.
The world has nothing but lousy news. Every day you open – whatever, I don't know- elections last night, Malaysian elections. Everybody asked me, “Do you read that?” For what? Who cares? All right? Sorry to Malaysians here! That's your problem. All right? But there is some Good News in the midst of [all] this. (Anwar, Mahathir... I don't know who these fellas are.) I can't even pronounce their names. And I don't care! But there is Jesus. Why are we talking about Anwar? Are you talking about Anwar?
So, let's be a missional church. Everybody on a mission. Make life significant. Make life meaningful. Every time we do something, [ask], “For what? For how long?” All right? Ask yourself [these questions]. And we have a mission. And the mission is not only a mission, it's a commandment! Let's do it! Okay? Now, you [see] two underlined words: “missional”. Church, that's what we want to be [and] this is Pastor Jason's job. He's supposed to make you guys missional. The second job is my job. I send missionaries out. I’ve got the easy job. Pastor Jason has a thousand over people to work on. I only [have] got 149.
149 GLCC Missionaries serving in: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Middle-East country, Myanmar, Philippines
Because my job is to send missionaries out. Okay? And that's what we have in the church at the latest count, 149 missionaries - sent out from this church, trained by [this] church, and serving in the various countries. Now, what is “traditional” missions? When I say “missions”, everybody has a different concept. But most people have this [following] concept of missions:
Typically, a mission methodology or strategy is [that] you look for a zealous believer. Say to the guy, “So, you want to serve God? I [will] train you how to serve God.” So, I train a believer by teaching missionary methods. Either I do it, or we send [the guy] to some missionary school or Bible school. And then afterwards, when the guy graduates, we say [to the guy], “Hmmm, you're pretty good with Cambodians. Good with kids. So, we send you to Cambodia.” You know? Or, “You're pretty good with this.” So, we send him here. All right? [Or], “You look like an Arab, so we send you here.” Okay? So, we then decide where's the best place to send this fellow. Hopefully, he doesn't become a victim there!
Then after that, you support the guy. Make sure he's got enough to eat, doesn't get into problems, got visa to come back, and all that kind of stuff. You know? You continue to support.
Some churches skip [points] one and two, they jump to [point] three. They don't train, they don't send. They just support missionaries that they hear [who are in] the field. You know? Maybe every now and then [the] missionary passes by, and they say [to him], “Come! Come speak in my church.” And then he comes and speaks. Then they [may] feel his support is not enough, so pump in another 200 bucks a month. Then, they say, “That's my missionary”. A lot of churches do that. That's not bad. At least to support somebody [is] better than [doing] nothing. All right? So, they jump to stage/[point] three.
Then you supervise the missionaries. That's my job. Tell him what to do. Pretend that we know! Actually, we don't know what's happening in the field. The truth is: How do I know what's happening in Kyrgyzstan or Afghanistan? I don't know. But at least I know some principles. We try to do our job. And then once a year, typically, we gather a few people [and say], “Eh, you want to go to Afghanistan?” “Yeah, go! My mother allows me to go.” Then we all go. We're all excited… with a video/[camera]… take pictures..and then [we] come back and tell people what we did on our “mission trip”!
Let me tell you, most [of the] times you are a problem to the local field. They worry about your safety. They worry [about what] hotel you [stay], got hot water [or] no hot water, WiFi [or] no WiFi. Then you go there [to the mission field], you “jump-jump” a bit, give a few presents and [that’s your] “mission trip”. Typically, that's missions! All right? And we will do all that for years. Everybody does it. Do it! Okay?
Now, I'll want you to wear your seatbelts. We're going to run really fast on this trip. 40 years of GLCC missions in 40 minutes. All right? So, we're going to run through.
Akha Home - Thailand
One of the first things we did was [to] find a very exotic tribe called Akha. Some of you will remember, all you old fellows! Wow, these people dress very funny. They grow opium. You know? So, you feel sentimental. When we went there, we did work with the mission with Akha. We found [out] a lot of kids couldn't go to school. We started a home - the home still there, [it] is still [being] run by our Thai partners. So that's quite typical of what people considered “mission”. Actually, this is more [of a] mercy-ministry than missions. Nothing wrong with mercy, Christians must have mercy. But it's not exactly missions, because the same 30 kids will be there every year you go back. They just get taller every year. You're not really like spreading the gospel to the whole world. No, it's just a mercy mission. Don't confuse it. Mercy is good. But today we're talking about missions, all right?
So, we have a Myanmar home. We do that, we have a home in Cambodia, and so on and so on. We still have them, their ministries we [still] do. And I think it's good. Some of us need to exercise the ministry of mercy. Now after that, I move on from Thailand and all these places.
Gospel Light Churches, Philippines
Then we did [the] Philippines. We do a lot of work in the Philippines. I've been there for many years. For over 40 years! And Philippines [is] a wonderful country. Everybody speaks English to some extent. It's a Christian country. You can preach the gospel openly, because there's no resistance of any kind. I always say, “A Filipino is only half a step away from heaven”. Half a step! They know everything. They know the Bible is God's word. They know Jesus died on the cross. They know just about everything, except they [don’t] know that Jesus said, “It is finished!”. When He died for their sins, He paid for all their debt; that part they don’t know. They thought Jesus did something for them, but then the [Roman Catholic] Church has to do the rest for them or they have to do the rest. So, [to many Filipinos] Jesus said, “It is almost finished. You do the rest. The Catholic Church will do the rest.” Right? But that's not it. So, the average Filipino is almost there. So, we did a lot of work in the Philippines, very open work. For example - this is quite classic:
Pastor Mike Preaching – SMCI (Philippines)
A lot of you have been there. Before Covid, every year we gather young Gospel Lighters. “Let's go for a ‘E’ campaign!” [An] ‘E’ campaign is not election, it is [an] evangelistic campaign. Then we go there, gather a whole school - Filipinos [are] just wonderful people, hospitable - the whole school in the field and you just preach your heart out. Then our young people would then go out into the classrooms and focus on those who have made a decision [for Christ].
So, that was going on for years and years. That's part of Student [Movement] for Christ International. That's run by Pastor Mike, one of our evangelists. So, Philippines? Wonderful place. So that's what we were doing for years pre-Covid.
Pastor Paul Preaching (Indonesia)
Indonesia. I've got six Indonesian pastors here. Can you all stand up please, brothers? This [are] my six Indonesian pastors. They're here for training. Thank you, please be seated. In fact, this [slide shows] one of their churches. So, I would go every Friday for almost 10 years. Every Friday – [I fly] SilkAir from Singapore to Medan. Every Friday night, I say goodbye to my wife, and every Monday or Tuesday I go home. Every week, I'll go to a different church. The churches are large there. You know? A lot of people. I get a chance to preach the gospel.
These are pastors here. Now, they come from a tribe called the Batak tribe. The Batak tribe is the largest tribe in in Indonesia that is Christian. But over the years - 150 years - since the Gospel [had been introduced in] Indonesia, many of them had become [merely] Christians [in] name. Just like some of you who are Christians [in] name, because your grandfather was a Christian, or [your] grandmother was a Christian, [then] I'm a Christian, right? But many of them have never personally received Jesus as their Saviour.
Like many of you, like many of you. Like me before! I was born in a Christian family. [We] had many, many church leaders in my family. Everywhere I walk around – “What are you?” “Christian.”. As if [anyone] needed to ask me what am I! Christian? Well, what kind of Christian? Methodist, all right? Big church. The richest church in Singapore, you know? And anybody [dared] question my salvation? One [punch], all right? I believed I was a Christian all my life until I was 33 years old. And then - not [because] an evangelist shared with me - one day, I opened the Bible out of pure boredom. And I turned to John because it sounds familiar. [I was a] Sunday-school boy, right? And John 3:16 sounds even more familiar. I looked at John 3:16. I read, “For God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” 42 years ago. Right there, the Bible put in front of me.
I said [to myself then], “God gave. Whosoever believes. Have you [P.C.] ever believed? You went to church. You went to Sunday school. You did all the stuff. Have you ever personally received Jesus as your Saviour?” When someone gives, you must receive, right? For God so loved the world He gave. That [is] His job. What’s our job when someone gives you a Christmas present? Someone gives you a Christmas present - what must you do? Receive lah! What’s so hard to answer, right? If someone gives you a vaccine, what must you do? Give your arm lah. [If] someone gives you food later, what must you do? Receive lah! [If] you don't receive, the food is no use to you! The vaccine is no use! The Singapore government can ‘tolong’ [plead with] you. [If] you don’t want the vaccine, what can they do? Right?
When God gave a Gift - did I receive? My answer that day, April 1980, was I [had] never received! I thought I was a born a Christian. That day in April 1980, I received Jesus as my Savior. My life changed completely. [A] life-changing relationship. Too [many] details to go in[to]. But some of you [have] heard my testimony before, right? So, when I go to [Batak/nominally Christian] churches like this, I just preach the Gospel. That's all right, because you know, what's our job? What's the name of our church? Gospel Light. What's “light”? Clear! Many people know the Gospel. But it's not clear. In fact, if I do a survey today, and I say, “Tell me the Gospel.” Most people [will hem and haw] here. Here! In Gospel Light church! What about [a] not so “Gospel Light” church? Most people cannot tell you the Gospel in one line.
- The Gospel in a nutshell (20:26)
First Corinthians 15, [verses] three and four, this is the Gospel: For Christ died for you according to the Scriptures, and Christ was buried and rose again for you according to the Scriptures. John 3:16 says: Whosoever believes [in Him] will not perish but have ever-lasting life. It's not about whether you went to church. [Or] what's on your IC or ID? In Indonesia, we say “katepe [identity card]”. Or, whatever. Right? [The key question is:] Have you received Jesus? Have you believed [that] you're a rotten sinner doomed for hell? Because God has seen everything. Don't fake me. Don't fake God. God knows everything in this heart, this head, this tongue. And all I can say is, “God! I'm a sinner. You know, everything. But thank You for Jesus Christ, who paid for my sins.” Jesus came on a mission, one mission: To go on that cross and pay the penalty for us and declare, “It is finished!”. Then prove it three days later by rising from the dead. That's the Gospel.
So, [proclaiming the Gospel is] what I [did] in Indonesia for 10 years. Our organization there is called Gospel Light for Indonesia. Churches are big, much bigger than us. Last week, a church came here for training. Their membership is 6 over million members. I told [the pastor], “You're twice the size of Singapore, you know?” Singapore - population of Singaporeans - only about 3 million. But how many know the Gospel? How many of you [here] know the Gospel? I don't know [but] I hope it's better than [a] non-Gospel Light [church]. So, after I had preached [in Indonesia] for a while I got a bit tired. I only have one mouth. I can only go to one church at a time. I train up other evangelists who do the job.
Ordination of Evangelists - Gospel Light for Indonesia
One of them is going to share a testimony with you today. So now, that was what we [did]. Then later, we move [on] to more exciting countries, which we are in now. But I can only show you pictures of one [such country] because he will never go back to that country. He can't. Right?
We had two missionaries for a while in Afghanistan. And I can show you because there's absolutely no way he's going to go back. He was in Afghanistan until the fall to the Taliban, and then through much hassle we managed to get him out. Now he's back home, in his home country.
So, we have worked now in these types of countries, which I think are amazing! Because refugees are amazing. You may not know it, but one of our biggest work right now - I can’t tell you where it is - is with refugees in a part of the world [where] most refugees are. [The] number of internally displaced people - in other words for “refugees” - is about 50 to 80 million. And growing by the day, all right? People sitting in the camp, doing nothing, homes destroyed, waiting. For what? Future? Zero. [But] we’ve got Good News. So, our role now is to look for countries like this, where in darkness the light shines the brightest. Okay, so for obvious reasons, we won't mention them.
Goducate Training Centre (Philippines)
Then we have a training centre in the Philippines, central part. Three of them [are here]. Can the people from GTC please stand up? Three of them. They're here for [a] digital conference. These are people we have trained here. This [Goducate] is the place [or] facility [where] we train people. Basically, young lives who want to serve God, they go to this place. We train them up to do missions, either home missions, domestic missions, or abroad. We train hundreds of people through [this] centre, right. And then [our] next centre:
Asia-Pacific Institute of International Studies (Indonesia) - APIIS
These are just the traditional stuff we do. The exciting stuff comes in [a later part of the sermon]. All right? The next one is a centre we're going to open in Indonesia which is going to be run by a lady. In a moment I'm going to call her up [on stage]. Not yet. This (APIIS) will be starting in January the ninth. We will open this and we'll be training Indonesian pastors to be more effective in preaching the Gospel clearly. Don't forget. 90% of Indonesia [are] not Christians, 10% [are]. And 90% need to hear the Good News. Indonesia is an amazing country - far more open to [the] sharing [of] the gospel than almost any [other] country I know of. Contrary to what you people think!
Training in Gospel Light Christian Church (GLCC – Singapore)
There is another training centre. We’ve got the Philippines. We’ve got Indonesia. Where is this [particular] training centre? No prizes! 25:30 You don't know? Give it a go. It’s right here! Absolutely! All right? This church (GLCC) is a training centre, all right? The six people that stood up just now came here for training. They'll be here for 10 days. They come from a large denomination. Maybe 1 million members? Oh, 400,000 members! Okay. So, they're here for training for 10 days with us. And then another group came yesterday. This [group comes from] a Bible school for ladies training lady-workers for the churches. Large Bible School in Indonesia. They came for training. And another group came also for training. All [took place] in [the] last week. All right? This group is the largest denomination in Asia with 6 million members. The bishop is the guy in the centre, and so on, and so on. These are their key leaders.
So, they come here. Basically, we have nothing to offer them! They're bigger than us. They're more established - 150 years old. But we are Gospel Light. All right? We focus on telling people how to share the gospel as clearly [and] as effectively as possible. So that's our goal. Training centres are critical, but [this] costs a lot of money. It’s a lot of work having people coming. They fly in [at] their own cost, but still, we have to entertain them, feed them, etc.
Asia-Pacific Institute of International Studies (Indonesia) - APIIS
Now, this centre (APIIS- Indonesia) is going to open in January, I'm going to ask the lady whom I've trained for 10 years, who is going to run the centre, [to] come up and share a little bit about how the Lord led her. Her name is Cristine Diaz, and she's here in Singapore just for a few days to help me do the training for the Indonesians.
27:10 Cristine Vargas Diaz’s Testimony
Thank you, P.C. Good morning, my brothers and sisters in Christ. You look so sad! My name is Cristine and I am a Filipino missionary in Indonesia for almost 10 years. I am happily, joyfully serving there. I am the Director of Pastors International Club, Indonesia, and also soon to be the Director of Asia-Pacific Institute of International Studies in Indonesia chapter where we will train thousands of pastors and candidate pastors to empower them for Kingdom growth in the 21st century. I sincerely believe that we, as God's children, believe and [are] always excited in three things: Our salvation, our sanctification, and the Great Commission.
I was born in a very small village, an island in the Philippines, in an underprivileged family or poor family. We literally lived from hand to mouth. And I was unthankful [and] unhappy; I hated my life! I despised poverty. And I thought, well, I'm going to die and repeat the history just like my parents, you know? [I’m] going to die in a small village, feeling useless. But one day, the amazing, radical change in my life happened the time when someone shared to me that there is an eternal hope that only can be found in one Person: in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. That very day, my life, my mind, and my heart were changed. Being born in a poor family, you know, you only have one goal and priority. And what is that? To feed your stomach. Your goal is to survive from day to day. You don't think that you will to thrive the next day. It's not on our minds. It was not on my mind. When I met Jesus, my priority was changed. Before [salvation], I existed to survive, to feed my stomach. But that day, when I received Jesus in my heart as my personal Lord and Saviour, and put my perfect faith in Him, my priority was to make God happy. To make my life count for Christ. And that [means] to obey, and to share the Gospel. The Gospel that changed my life. And I truly believe that will change other people's lives. The Gospel that gave me hope, will be the same Gospel [that] makes other people hopeful. After I put my faith in Jesus in 2013, God sent me to Indonesia. Amazing. I was a very young believer, during that time. Struggling, you know? Learning the Bible by myself. But I answered God's call, because I wanted to show my love to God, to just go and share the Gospel. Because at the end of my life, I know that I'm going to stand before God and be accountable of my life: What did I do with my life? So, I went to Indonesia. The longer I stay in Indonesia, the more I fall in love with Indonesians, particularly you, Batak people. There's so much love and compassion in my heart, that all I want to do, when I see these people is to share the love of Christ; that “It is finished!”; Christ died for you, your past, present and future sins. And when you put your faith in Him, you will have eternal life. That's all what I want to do. 32:06 And I thank God for that. And I want you the six of you to remember 32:13 that this is our mission in Indonesia. I live by this. I live with one dream right now: To give my life to God by serving these Batak people, the pastors and intern pastors. And one day, these Batak people, with more or less 8 million in population in Indonesia, will bring the Gospel to the 17,000 islands, reaching out [to] 250 million Indonesians. We can do that. You Batak people can do that. This mission is long. I know that. Pastor Paul knows that. And amazingly, God this year has led me to apply for a permanent resident visa. Thankfully, after six months, God has approved it. It did not finish there. After seeking God's leading in my life. God told me again,
“Cristine, I want you to live and die with the Batak people.”
Whoa, Lord, I don't know what to do. But I asked you to only empower me by Your Spirit. And so, God told me,
“You revoke your Filipino citizenship and become an Indonesian. Because this mission is long. This mission cannot be won by short term missions, or transient missionaries. You should be planted and die in this land in the midst of this people.”
I prayed for months. Thankfully, my parents [consented], although they are not believers. I'm the first Christian in my family. Even up to this time. God touched the heart of my parents and my parents gave their consent. And Pastor Paul also gave his consent. Although many Christians told me,
“Cristine, you are crazy. Very crazy!” I said,
“I don't care. My life is not as precious as the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on [the] cross, and so I am willing to live with you [Batak people], and die. Let's work together for Jesus Christ.”
So church, this is our mission. And I urge you, to pray for me, as we go forth, and reach this heavenly cause for the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you. And God bless you.
Pastor Paul resumes his sermon
All remember Cristine in prayer. She will be running this centre. We take in our first batch in January. [The] pastors coming in, they will stay with us for, I think, like two months. We train them up and then the next batch will come in, and the next batch will come in.
We hope that [this enrollment will become] a movement of evangelists; not just pastors who are happy [within] the four walls of the church, not [just church] members like this who are happy [within] the four walls of the church, but [who] realize the four walls of the church are [merely] where we are encouraged, where we grow, so [that] we can go. All right? It's not about us just staying here. All right! So, having said all that, now, let me tell you all [those previous points in the sermon] were [about] traditional missions. We did that in the early part. And that's good missions.
But there's something even more exciting.
Now, if you study mission statistics, people will tell you 30% of the world are Christians today. They [will] tell you that. That's a lie. That's a horrible lie. Every mission statistic will tell you at least 30% of the world are Christians. What they mean is 30% of all our world are Christianized. All right? Like in America, you know? Everybody says “John”, “Mark”, “Matthew”; their names are all biblical names, all right? But [if] you ask them, “What's the Gospel?” No idea! Most of Europe? No idea! All right? Not to mention most of [the] churches in the world, even in Asia, [have] no idea. Yes, 30% of the world are Christianized. But actually, [the percentage of] people who truly believe Jesus as their Savior? Actually, personally trust Jesus as their Saviour? My guess is less than 1%. This is after 2000 years of [missionary] effort. [Only] 1% of the world can clearly tell you the Gospel.
Whether they trust or don't trust [Christ as personal Saviour], I don't know. That's between them and God. But to just tell you the Gospel? Only 1%. What happened to the 99%? After 2000 years, we can't tell them a simple message [that] is just one line long? “You're a sinner. Christ died for your sins. He rose from the dead. And if you believe on Him, you will everlasting life.” Can you remember that? Yet only 1% of the world can say that. After 2000 years? It's very depressing for me.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. – Matthew 24:14 ESV
Then I read this verse. I've read it hundreds of times. But during Covid, this verse spoke to me, just like John 3:16 spoke to me after 33 years. [I] heard it, heard it, heard it, but it didn't pop up.
And this Gospel [or] Good News of God's kingdom - the kingdom we're going to go to, this new heaven [and] new earth which we are going to walk [upon], better than Florida (now there’s going to be a new Florida), we're going to be there - this kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a witness [and] testimony to all nations. And then the end shall come.
Wow. You mean [over] 2000 years [have past and] 1% only have heard this clearly? Only 1% after 2000 years? And near the end, all will have heard this testimony. All nations. Wow. Now for you and me - I don't know about you – [but] for me, we're pretty near the end! Nobody can predict the exact date. I don't pretend I know the exact date. But the Bible does tell us about things near the end.
Whether you look at climate change, whether you look at earthquakes, whether you look at famines, whether you look at pestilences, whether you look at family breakdown, whether you look at all the problems of the world, it is definitely accelerating. And the last days are an acceleration of these things. To me, we’re pretty much [in] the last days. So, if we're not at 11:59 on the world clock, we're pretty much 11 o'clock plus. You mean that in this last time, the 99% who never really heard the Gospel are going to have the Gospel proclaimed to them? They are going to hear it. How's that going to be so? How is that going to be? How can it be [that] for 2000 years they couldn't do it and now in this maybe a couple of years, or decades, or even months – I don’t know – we’re going to do the job [of declaring the Gospel to 99% of the world]? How come? Then I realized a few things.
I realized God made things scalable in this generation. Let me tell you a little story, all right? A bundle of Indonesians. They were in Indonesia. None of you, right? We had about 15 Filipino missionaries in Indonesia. Covid came. They had to go back. So, when they went back, of course, they [didn’t] know what to do. They wanted to serve Indonesia, [but were] kicked back to the Philippines. So, what did they do? They used to teach Sunday-school to the Indonesian kids in the churches. So, I said, “Why don’t you just video your stuff and do a little program, since you can't be there? You can video yourself and then send the video.” So, they did it.
Now after a few weeks, they say, “P.C. not bad, you know? We’ve got 5000 views.” Oh, not bad. But 5000 [views on the] internet is peanuts, right? So slowly, [the number of views] went up, went up. Last week, I said [to the Filipino missionary cum video-producers], “Before I talk to you guys (the Sunday congregation)”. I asked, “Hey, what's the numbers now?” Anybody want to guess? How many people have viewed this Sunday-school program by a few missionaries? 20 million. Not bad! Amateurs. Little studio. Doing [a] Sunday-school video, It [had] 20 million views. That's not bad. I said, “That's 20 million views. How many views per week?” They say nearly 1 million every week watching. That's not bad! For a bunch of amateurs. That's scalable. All right? So, I said, “You guys. 10 of you in a little studio can reach so many people. This is amazing.” Matthew 24:14!
Next word that I said to them, “What language is it in?” English. “Oh, help me! Many people don't speak English. Why do you just dub it into a different language? It's so easy to do it now with technology.” And so now, they put it in other languages. I think it's like [in] six or seven languages now. The Arabs have now asked for it. Other countries have asked for it. I said, “No problem! Give us a few weeks, we can make the same Sunday-school material about Christ and all that. All the Arabs could watch it.”
And everybody can watch it. It's scalable. It's transferable. Thank God for technology. Thank God for Covid. Right? Because people now get used to these [technological tools], right? And then when it's scalable [and] transferable, it is global.
You can, [even] in a little organization, impact the world. All right? So that's where we are focusing now. Our energies [from the] earlier part was [on] traditional missions. They [are] expensive. They take a lot of effort: Renting places, running programs, bringing people here for training [and] going here to do this, [there] do that. Now it's scalable and transferable. So, what do we do? Our job now is to start centres.
Mission Digital Hubs (Call-centre)
Near Manila, south of Manila, we have a centre where we call it a call-centre. Actually, we do Zoom. Training people, teaching people, sharing all the time. It's basically a full-time, non-stop centre reaching out missions to the world all through this little thing, all right? Another part of the Philippines [there is another centre. This [is] where these guys come from. It’s another centre that we’ve just started.
Asia-Pacific Institute of International Studies (Singapore) @ 360 Dunearn Road
In “360” - some of you know our original church building in Dunearn Road - it's also a centre. And Suh Jhiuan is running that. We call it “Digital Missions”. Okay, so we realized now that all this work can be scaled up! All right? A little place can reach the world! All of you can be missionaries anywhere. If you want to [you can] just spend a little time on your little laptop, and teach English to one of the refugees in the many camps we're in. And as you teach them English, openings will open up for you to share the Good News with people who have never heard any good news for a long time. You know, they'll be so open to it.
Master of Ministry
Then we also started something during Covid. I decided, instead of flying here flying there every week, trying to train, [it’s] exhausting, all right? [We] just start [a type of] training for pastors who want, or leaders who want to learn 21st century ministry [methods] i.e. basically scalable, transferable global ministry. And [therefore] we started this Master of Ministry programme two years ago, or a year and a half ago.
It has turned out well. We've got a lot of students. Next year, we hope to get another 2000 students from most countries in Asia. All right? Very simple. I record all my training. Pastor Jason records his training. Pastor Mike records his training. And then we go in [to the Zoom lectures]. We have Zoom breakout rooms and so on. We all do from our bedrooms literally, all right? [Through the Master of Ministry] we can train people to do 21st century ministry.
Hybrid Ministry Model
Now I want to share this in closing. I’ve talked about traditional on-site ministry. I’ve talked about online ministry. I’m going to close with a hybrid model, all right? And this model, I think, is going to consume a lot of my time and energy because it will be the Acts Church for today. Now, our goal is [to be] an Acts Church for today. [Is this goal] just for GLCC? No. Let me explain it now. Take back, sit back, relax. I'm going to go a little bit more slowly on this one.
Now, there are a lot of poor kids who don't have enough to eat, in countries, right? Food prices are going up. Diesel prices go up. Climate change, etc. No need to ask any more questions. Food is going to get more expensive. So, right now we feed about a thousand kids daily. Right now.
Feeding Centres /Community Churches (Philippines)
Every day, we have little feeding centres like this. Okay? We go out and feed the kids. Some of you have been there, watched the thing. So, every day, we give them one good meal, which may be [their] only meal for that day. These are stunted kids. They're malnourished. They don't have enough. [We give] just food for the day. And so, we go there. We've been doing this for a while, especially [since] Covid came. People lost jobs, etc. And so, we fed these kids.
Then we realized: All right, I have 50 kids in this centre, something like this, [a] simple little shed. You know? And the kids come to eat. Wow, they're so happy to eat. Mama is so happy. The Dad or the mother (usually mother), [or] siblings will come because, wow, it's a nice [place]. Nicer place. It's better than [their] homes. Many don't go to school because [they] need transport to go. They don't have [the] money. And so, the whole day is boring. [But] they come to the feeding centre. And it's quite a break for them, I'll put it that way! So, the thing is, after you feed them, you can do a Bible study. I trained some of the mothers. I trained some of my younger workers to share a Bible study with them. So, they share a Bible study with them. But after a while you run dry, you don't know what to say anymore, right? I mean, it's not easy to train a lot of workers to do [Bible study alone].
Then we decided, “Oh, why don't we do a hybrid model?” Feeding centre. [The] kids come in. The moms come in. The siblings come in. We’ve got them [all] together. Now all we need to do is not just leave it [at] that. But why don't we just get one little TV with solar power? My solar boys are there. Joma (sic), stand up. Joma (sic), is my solar boy, right? He's going to solar power everything! [So we have] a little TV and a solar power. And we have programmes which we have developed for [the] Afghans, for Indonesians, [and so on]. We can put [these] programmes on the TV.
Now, for them, wow, a nice TV, nice programme, decent place, nice people. Not only do they get fed, we can have programmes for the kids. Educational programmes. We have something called Goducate Academy which Jofi (sic), you are a part of. Jofi (sic), can you please stand up? Yeah, she's part of Goducate Academy. We do a curriculum for kids who can't go to school. So, she trains them. And [even if] we have the kids who can't go to school, don't worry, you’ve got school. Here! Then for moms, we have programmes for mothers on nutrition, on hygiene, on [how to] bring up your kids, and so on, and so on! And so now, we don't just have a feeding centre. The feeding centre is the gathering for the kids. Then after that, it is the “community centre”. Because the programmes [are] good. This is useful, right? And then slowly, we hope that the community centre becomes a “community church”. Can you give another name for “community church”? An Acts Church for today!
What’s in the church of Acts? [Excitement] about the Gospel. Sharing with one another. Praying together. Sharing the Gospel with others. That's an Acts Church for today. It's not a fancy building. It's not a fancy program. It's about people who [have] heard the Good News, whose lives are transformed, who want to share that [Good News] with others. So, we can have thousands of Acts Churches for today. Not only in Punggol, 39 Punggol Field Walk. We can have [an Acts Church] in every poor village. If there’s no pastor, don’t worry. There's an internet pastor. You don't have to worry about that. There are hundreds of Singaporeans, Gospel Lighters, who don't come to church and say, “Don't worry. Pastor Jason is my internet pastor.” Okay, now, can this be done? Definitely. So, is it hybrid? Is it traditional? Finally, we’ve come one big circle. [An] Acts Church for today. Let's pray that God will help us!
Now I just want to say it's great to be the last lap runner of a relay race. There's a good sprinter here [in the Sunday congregation], I don't want to mention his name. But you know, in running, you want to be the last lap runner. I never was a last lap runner. I'm a lousy runner! But it's always the glamour lap. You want to run and hit the tape, especially if your team is going to win. If your team [is a] lousy team, don't be the last lap runner. Very embarrassing! But we are [in] the winning team. We want to be the last lap runner! Now this relay race has been going on for 2000 years. Remember! From Jesus to Peter, the apostle Paul, to all the fathers of the faith, going down, and down for 2000 years, the relay baton has been passed to us as we share the Gospel. And I think we [are] near the end. We [are] near the finishing line.
It is amazing to be born at a time when the Gospel can be scalable, transferable, global, and I can be a last lap runner of the greatest relay race in the world. I want to be like that guy there. And Jesus says, “ Well done, P.C. You ran the real race of life.” What a privilege to be born at this time - in the midst of all the complaints about corruption and everything else - thank God for this!
I am going to end by saying this. There are many good things to do in life. Many, 52:11 which we should do. But they're just nice things, good things, mercy ministries, helping people, all those are good. But there's one that's life and death. It's giving the Gospel. You give the Gospel. That person who receives [the] Gospel is going to have eternal life. You will see him. I will see him for eternity in a new heaven and new earth. And you know, I would love to be there on that day and say, “Wow, I didn't do a lot of stuff, and wasted all away.”
Everything you earn in this world. You have to leave behind. Naked I came into this world. Naked will I return. But every one [whom] you led to the Lord, everyone [whom] you had discipled who let somebody to the Lord, will be there for eternity with you, to thank you. And not to only mention that, God will then reward each of us, according to the race, we ran. The Life and Death Race. Will you be part of this race? The real race of life [is] not the rat race of life. You know the rat race. Run, run, run and get nowhere. Only get older and weaker. And more pains. The harder you run, the more pains you get. That's the rat race. We are not rats nor pigs. We’re men given a mission. May God give us this goal, to run this race, [the] Life and Death Race with an eternal reward. You will never grasp [all this] in your brain at the moment. I am looking forward. I want to run this race. I am commanded to run this race. And I will obey and know that it's not only a command, it's a privilege!
May God bless you. Let's ask God to just close us and guide us in this simple message.
Lord, thank you for giving us the privilege to have received the Good News. Amazing. It changed our lives, many of us, But Lord, we don't want it to end with us. You give us the responsibility to pass it on. And so, God guide us. Make each of us missional, each of us looking to pass on this Good News to someone and Lord, to finish this race. This one short life we have on this earth to look forward to an eternity so amazing. So, God help us. Help Gospel Light to indeed be Gospel Light Christian Church, an Antioch for Asia, a light for Asia. Hear our prayer, Lord! In Jesus name, amen
More Episodes from Pastor Paul Choo:
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26 Nov 2023
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12 Mar 2023
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24 Dec 2021
16 Jun 2021
20 Sep 2020
Episodes from other sermons:
03 Dec 2023
26 Nov 2023
23 Jul 2023
18 Jun 2023
28 May 2023
07 Apr 2023
12 Mar 2023
25 Dec 2022