17 Jun 2018
Gospel Light Christian Church has been blessed with many newcomers since moving to Punggol in Dec 2016. Many have come because we are conveniently situated. Therefore, it is good for them to have a better idea of what type of church we really are, so they can decide to join as committed members or look for another church. Gospel Light is an Independent Bible Church. A Bible Church is one that believes that the Bible is God's Word and is therefore our supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and life. While other Churches may also claim to believe the Bible is God's Word, they often have other sources of authority (e. g. an "infallible" leader, traditions, experiences, dreams) that ultimately are their "authority. " While we are proud to be a Bible Church, we have to be careful that we do not focus so much on teaching the Bible that we forget that the purpose of all teaching is to produce Christ-like believers who glorify God is their lives and proclaim the Gospel Light!
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The topic today is “Gospel Light Christian Church is…”. Now, since we moved here about a year or so ago, a lot of newcomers have come in. So, a lot of you here, I would guess, maybe half of you, have been with us for less than a year – you are newcomers. And we just thank God for the privilege to minister to you all, to serve you in the name of the Lord. It's really our privilege. Right, but I think the best way to serve you is to tell you who we really are. Right? I think this is the best way to serve you. But before I do that, I just want to apologize for all the mess and you know, a lot of times we bungle; we're newbies here and we make a lot of mistakes. So, to all the newcomers, sometimes we didn't do it right – apologies from the church, alright? And we try to make it up today by telling you what this church really is. We are not a bunch of bunglers who are rude to you in the carpark or when serving food, or anything of that sort. We are a church and I want to tell you what we are today. Now, some of you have come here because we are near your place, right? We moved here, and we are near your place. That's not a bad reason; convenience is not a bad reason, but it cannot be the best reason. I mean, it's almost like a guy saying to a girl, “Hey, I think I will marry you.”. Then she's all smiling and happy and she asks, “Why?”, to which the guy replies, “Because you live nearby”. Whoa, I don't think any girl is going to get really excited about that, right? It's like, ‘whoa, okay, that's great’. So, if you just say you came to GLCC just because you're nearby, it's like, ‘okay, all right…’. I don't think that's a good way to start a relationship. That's not a way to commit. You don't commit to someone just because it's convenient. Convenience doesn't breed commitment. Alright? So today, I want you to know exactly who we are. And so, I want you to leave today and say, “Okay, I know this church.” and I want you to ask the Lord to guide you on whether this is a church that you want to stay in, commit in, grow in, and be part of it, or the Lord might lead you on to another church. We're not the only church in this part of Singapore. We're not the best church. We would not dare to claim that. We are just one of the churches here. We have tried to do our best to obey God's word and to serve God's people. That's all, alright? And we do make a lot of mess and a lot of bungle, but we are an imperfect church trying to do certain things and I want you to know what we're trying to do. Alright.
So first, let me ask you a very simple question. What is the vision of the church? Five words only. Can those who know quietly put up your hand in the Singapore way? Alright, about three people know the vision of the church. Five words, alright? Gospel Light is ‘An Acts Church for Today’. Wow, five words. As a preacher, we always remember three is the maximum; don't go more than three. Five words most people cannot remember.
What is the mission of the church? 10 words. How many of you know? That is right! At least one does. It is ‘Leading Generations into a Life-changing Relationship with Jesus Christ’. That is a mouthful – 10 words, and I don't expect a lot of people to remember 10 words, okay?
The third one – what is the method? It is three words, so you can probably pull it off. That’s it, okay. Three words is usually the max we can handle, right? When we teach preaching, we say three points, three points; don't go too many. Alright? But I always break that rule. Okay, this is the method – ‘Know Christ, Grow in Christ, and Go’.
A Bible Church
Alright, so you know the vision, the mission, the method. Does that help you to know what your Gospel Light should be? Acts church… what is an Acts church? The building shakes. Tongues of fire on the head. Everybody speaks 15 different languages. You know, when you said an ‘Acts church for today’, for many people, there is no real mmph. That's it. Leading generations the life changing relationship; mmph – that is what we are supposed to do. Hey, let's do this. We said, let's do ‘leading generations into a life-changing relationship’, and the rest will say, ‘what am I supposed to do?’. Right? Because it is kind of hard to picture it. Okay, so I hope today, we can picture exactly what this church should be, so we can be part of this church if the Lord leads us, and we can help to build this. If you don't have a clear goal in mind, you will never reach it. Okay, so today, let me try to explain what GLCC is. If someone asks you, “what is GLCC?” and you answer, “I just came from sermon today – GLCC is an Acts church for today”. The guy probably thinks you didn't hear the question. You know, because his question is not so much. His question is probably, “Are you Methodist? Are you Baptist? Are you charismatic?”. I mean, that's what he probably means when he says, “what type of church are you?”, right? He's probably thinking in that frame, and you say, ‘An Acts church for today’. It is like, woah, I think this guy is kind of strange. Right? So really, when someone asks you, “what kind of church are you?” or when you ask yourself, “what kind of church GLCC?”, let me tell you in three words. That's what we are – an independent Bible Church. I think then when people ask you, “Are you Methodist?”, we say, “No, we are an independent Bible Church.”. Again, that's not very useful because most people don't know what a Bible Church is, because there aren't that many Bible churches around. Alright, so you probably have to explain the word ‘Bible Church’ a little bit more. And so, you would probably go and say, a Bible Church is a church that believes a Bible is God's word. And since it's God's word, it's the authoritative guidebook for our faith, what we do here, and our lives every day. Alright, so when someone asks you a question, “what is a Bible Church?”, a Bible Church is a church that believes that the Bible is God's word. And therefore, it's authoritative, it's a supreme, and it is the final authority on anything related to faith and my life. Of course, the next question is, “Aren’t all churches like that? Aren’t all churches saying the bible is God’s word?”. Every church says that! You ask them, “Is the Bible God’s word?” (yes), “Is the Bible authoritative?” (yes). Of course, if it is God’s word it must be authoritative – over what? Your faith? Yes. Your life? Yes. But one problem for many people, the Bible is authoritative, but not the only authority. Let me explain that a little bit. For some churches, there is a supreme leader. He decides things, alright? He says, “no birth control, cannot take birth control.” Then we say, “where is that from the Bible?” You don't need to ask, he said it – it is law. He doesn't need to prove much because there is another authority – Him! The bible? Him. For some churches, it's tradition. They said the Bible is the authority, but these are their traditions. They go to Bible school, alright? I teach in some Bible schools and you find that they spend as much time learning their church history, their church tradition as they do the Bible. In fact, usually, the history of the church, the traditions of the church, the creeds of the church, they know better than the Bible. So, they say, “yeah, the Bible is God's word. But you know, our tradition is like that.” Oh, okay. Why do you do infant baptism? Where do you find that? “Um, you know, such and such 500 years ago, we broke away from this and that…” Okay. All right. Very interesting. You know, but tradition is another authority. Okay. For some churches, it is about feelings. In our church, we only sing hymns. Why? We feel that modern songs are not right. Okay? We don't feel comfortable with modern songs. Okay… Does the Bible say we cannot sing modern songs? No. But there is another authority – our preferences are on par with the Bible. Okay? In some churches, it is experience. Hey, why is your church’s music so loud? Walao you one hour bang bang bong bong and then you preach for 10 minutes. Why? Hey, you don't know ah? Now, I use music a lot of people come, you know. You see all the churches that are growing have a lot of music. Oh, so it is an experience; it is about results. It is not in the Bible – please make music la people will come. No, you can’t find that! Please use celebrities – no! But we do it because it works. Right? Some go: “yeah, I know the Bible is God's word, but we also have prophets”. And then every night the prophets hear voices – “God told me this.” Okay, got it. Okay. Sometimes small churches got 6 to 7 prophets inside, you know? Right. So yeah, the Bible is authoritative, but so is this voice? This guy, right? So, you know, you can say the Bible is an authoritative guidebook for faith and life for us. Let me tell you, it's the final, the supreme authority! It is not another authority among traditions, feelings, experiences, prophetic voices.
In this church, the Bible is our authority. If tomorrow I say, “God spoke to me”, my elders would say, “where is it in the Bible?”. Alright, I can say, “God led me”, and “I feel led to do this”, “I feel led”, but not “God spoke to me” because God speaks to me through the word that is authoritative. Everything else is secondary. Alright. So, that's what a Bible Church is. Some of you may like it, some of you say, “I don't like it. I think we should use experience. I think we should use other things. We should hear voices here and voices there.” – and it's fine, this is not the church for you. That's the truth. Because you won't have these things in this church, except the authority is the finished work of God in the Word of God.
Another word there, let's go back. ‘Independent’ – that scares people, you know? “Wow, you’re independent ah? You mean Pastor Jason can do anything he likes ah?” Alright? I mean, you know, check and balance is what we like. We like safety in numbers. We're part of a big denomination, right? So, it is not so likely to go haywire generally speaking. But we are independent. Does that mean that Pastor Jason can do whatever he likes? You see, well, he's got a guidebook. And yet, as a man, sometimes you can see things from your bias, from your perspective, and so in our church, we have a board of elders. Alright, elders. Presently, seven people. And everything that pastor Jason does (not the day-to-day – he runs it; he makes the decisions) but the spiritual direction we try to give. It is like a board of directors – that is why ‘directors’ and ‘direction’, right? We don't get involved in the daily things but we make sure that whatever we do is in accordance with the principles of the Word of God. Alright? So, we have elders – in a sense, independent, and in a sense, not totally. What do you mean by independent? It is not part of a denomination. Alright? The word ‘denomination’ is just a religious way of saying organization. Okay? And normally, whenever there's an organization, it's good! Things get organized. But because of our sinful human nature, whenever there's an organization, politics goes in, power struggles go in. People love to climb up the organizational ladder – and this even happens among pastors. And so, in an independent church, there is less of this. Hopefully, no politics; just ‘what does the word of God say?’, alright? At the same time, there are checks and balances because the elders are the ones who will keep the check and balance. Okay? When you see ‘independent church’, it means it's not part of a denomination where pastors get voted to different levels and then become the supreme leader of the organization (they have different titles for it). Okay? It's just Pastor Jason leading us. Do the elders lead the church? No, we don't. Pastor Jason is my pastor just like he's yours. God calls a man; God doesn't call a committee. Right? We see God calls Moses and calls David. He doesn't call the committee. Alright? And so, I believe God has called pastor Jason to lead us, but the board of elders to advice on spiritual matters. Okay. So, when you see the word ‘independent’, I hope you understand what it means. It means we are not part of a denomination. We are not a part of a whole group of churches with organizational structure reporting this way, alright? We report straight up to the Lord, Jesus Christ. Okay, so that is how this church is organized, so to speak.
Preach the Bible to People
Now, the word ‘Bible Church’ sounds good to a lot of you, right? Wow. Good. Bible Church. Let me tell you, there are pluses and minuses. Listen carefully. Bible churches can be quite horrible places. And this church, if you're not careful, there's no exception. What do you mean by that, Pastor? What do you mean? How can it be? This is a danger with Bible churches – that the focus is on the Bible, not people. Use me. Alright, in many Bible churches, the pastor spends his whole day researching the Bible, seeing the Greek, the Hebrew, the geography, the archaeology of this passage. Alright? The 15 different opinions of it. Then on Sunday, he comes, he puts his Bible on the pulpit, and he talks to his Bible. Every few seconds he looks up. And then you ask everybody, what is church like? Boring… They are too polite to say that. They don't say that. How can you say that about church? You, blasphemous people. They never say that. What do they say? Too cheem. That's a nice way to say, ‘I don't know what he's talking about. He was flying over my head, way over my head, like those jets flying over’. Alright, but I cannot make fun of it. I can say that I'm not smart enough and it's very deep. Another way in normal jargon is, ‘he was talking to himself’. He was so excited about what he discovered in the Bible. It was so beautiful to him. The Greek was so beautiful, but it was Greek to everybody else. Alright? So, there's a danger of this. It can happen here. Right? Thankfully not in the pulpit. It can happen in your CGs. It can happen in your whatever, where every time somebody wants to be very proud of his new Bible knowledge and he's talking and talking, and everybody's like, you know. But because we are Christians, we are very polite. We just let the guy go on and on and on, talking to his Bible. He forgot there are people who need to understand what are you talking about? Why are you telling me this – it is not applicable to my life? So okay, the geography – it is full of rocks there. Okay, okay. You know, but I just quarreled with my wife – how to help me? Okay, so it's like, you don't matter. It's the Bible, man. We're a Bible Church. Alright? And that can happen here. Alright? The day you find Pastor Jason cheem, tell him! Tell him because it is his job is to serve you is a minister. I'm a minister. Minister means servant – I must give food appropriate to you. Alright, so don't be too polite but say it nicely – “Pastor, can I say something to you? Too cheem la.”. Alright?
Preach the Bible to People to Obey
Now, sometimes we get a little better in a Bible Church. We preach the Bible to people. Very good teacher. Clear truths. Everybody takes notes. Everyone understands – shiok man, good man. Wow, I never saw this. Is that good? He's a good preacher. He knows his Bible. He knows his people. He feeds them. Is that good? That's terrible! Because they are all going to be Pharisees, if it ends there. They know more and more, and when you know more, you look down on people who don't know. That is life. When you're smart, you look down on people who are not so smart. One night, there was a prayer meeting here and a dear brother came up to me (he is new in the church). He said to me, “Pastor! Wow, your church is really good. I learned so much in your church in less than one year that I never learned in 20 years in my church.”. Wow good man, I thought, “Woah, I can walk around a bit”. Then the next sentence – this is called an underhand compliment, he said, “everybody knows so much but nobody serves”. He said, “in my church, we know nothing about the Bible but every time they ask for a volunteer, the whole church volunteers. Your church, everybody knows everything but when you ask for a volunteer, nobody.”. That's what happened. We produce Pharisees. They know a lot and the head is so big, they cannot move. Because they're busy taking notes, comparing, studying from this Bible study to this Bible study to this Bible study. They didn't realize there are people around with needs. And you know what? Very common, very common. Don’t think this is good, please! Christianity is not for information – it is not to make you smart. It is to make you Christ-like. Anybody who is going to stand on the pulpit better understand – we preach the Bible to people to obey! The purpose of knowledge is not to make you think you're smarter than others but to help you to obey, that you'll be more Christ-like and in your life, there is transformation. Alright? Knowing is your head. Head – a good teacher and a good student, you can fill it very fast. It is very exciting to know truths. We are curious, we like to learn new things. And as Christians, we like to learn new biblical things. But head is not enough! The heart must be involved. What do you mean by heart? Heart is obedience. That one, only God can help you. Your heart, I can't do anything about it. Your brain, I can teach you. I can give you notes. Your obedience – God has to do it. But that is not enough! Head, heart, and? Hands! How do I apply? Yes, God, I like this truth. I like what was preached today. I want to do it, but how to do it? The ‘how’ part is important. Let me give you an example. If you want to be the world's ping pong champion, I can make you in two lines. The world's ping pong champion forever and ever in two lines. Hit the ball over the net on the table. Just keep doing that. Whatever he does, you just hit over the net on the table. You will be the world champion. Nobody can touch you. True, the theory is correct. But how to hit the ball with a net when the guy smashes and does all that? What do you do? I know what to do. I want to obey. I hit the ball over the net. I know. I obey but how to do? I have to watch other players, right? I have to watch the defender. I have to watch the smasher. I have to watch people. The only way I can learn to do those things is to watch people. That's why Jesus said, ‘Follow me, I will make you fishers of men’. Discipleship that cannot be done here. Too many Bible churches depend on what's done here. And what is here is giving you information. It cannot even work in your heart. I'm sorry. And you will think the job is done because you sit here, faithfully taking notes. The job's done. I'm sorry. It's only in the head. God's got to work in your heart and then you got to learn how to make that practical in your life. See, that comes with other people. Life-on-life discipleship, CGs, watching older Christians, how they treat their wife, how they treat their maid, how they treat their kids, how they treat their dogs – you watch. Like that ah? Oh, that's what it means to love your neighbors as yourself, do unto others as you have others do unto you. Oh, these are simple verses. How do you operate? How do you teach your children? Nag, nag, nag? No, Jesus said, ‘follow me’ as an example. Ah, I watched that mother – that's what it is. Not nag and nag and nag – “I told you 20 times!”. No need la, two times is enough la, unless I'm stupid. No need. I want to see your life. Alright, so Bible churches can end up as horrible places! Because we think it's here. Wow, the preacher is like that you know – very good ah! Yeah, good at producing what? Pharisees, unless there are CGs and other things that help you make practical what you just learned from here. Alright. So just watch and make sure our church doesn't end up as just the Bible or the People. Obedience! Alright, we preach the Bible to people to obey! So that they will be more and more like Christ. That's the end goal. Okay, so don't think, ‘wow, bible church is very good’. No. It can happen right here, alright? Because it is much easier to have a talented preacher to preach a beautiful message than to disciple people which is like, labor-intensive and time-intensive. You know, preaching is very simple. I took hardly any time to prepare this message – it is nothing, alright? But to disciple one guy! If you have kids, you know what I'm talking about. 21 years – still don't get it. Alright? There are only 10 commandments in the Bible – it is nothing complicated. But to learn how to live out those 10 commandments takes a lifetime, alright? And you got to watch people, you got to learn from others. Which bring us to the next point.
The Church is a Family
Alright, we had three words here, right? Independent Bible Church. You know the word ‘independent’, you know the meaning of the Bible, right? The next word you must know also – ‘church’. Because when you ask people, “what is church?” and to draw a church, they will draw a building. Right? Generally, that's what most people will do. They will draw a building. But we know the word ‘church’ in the Bible is people. Of course, it is harder to draw people! But still, if we say, ‘draw church’, we must draw people, draw stick people also okay. Alright? The church is about people. Okay, so we say an ‘Independent Bible Church’ is about people but what kind of people? Just whoever comes? No. People who have a common father. In English, we call it a family. So, okay, independent Bible church – ‘family’. Okay. Alright, this church is not a classroom. Okay? You know, for many people, they come to church late. I have good intentions to say this. Not because you want to be late but because for you, church is the sermon, so the singing is not that important. “Actually, I'm not late, you know. I came on time.” They always tell you, “I came on time, Pastor.” What they mean is that they are on time for the lecture. Alright? That slogan – all old gospel-lighters will remember that. We stuck it above our church and we were the only church that had no verse. Our verse was ‘habitual lateness dishonors God’. Because we are a Bible Church, we know that people just come on time for the sermon. That's all. As long as they make it for the sermon, they are not late. So, I'm not saying you're late - you're on time for the wrong thing. We come to church not for the sermon, get it straight. You want to hear my sermon? Go home. It will be played by Wednesday. You can hear it over and over again for free. You can pause. You don't know what this fellow is saying? You can rewind and rewind; there is no problem. If you want to hear a sermon, stay home. In fact, don't listen to me when you want to hear a sermon – there are better preachers out there. Much better. So, if you're talking about sermon, this is the wrong place. The best place? Internet. Why do we come to church? Family! Why are we here today? Family reunion! You see I hope that many of you every Sunday or Saturday night you go to your father's house. Nothing satisfies your father and mother more than to see the kids there, all the kids talking and laughing. Sometimes the father does not say a word. He just sits there as they talk about cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. He does not know what they are talking about, but he is very happy because fathers love to see the kids together. So why are we here today? For sermon? Wrong place! Go to the internet. Why are you here? It is a family reunion. Because we have a father. And I tell you what pleases a father's heart. All fathers here know that – to see my kids living together, happy and loving one another. Simple! So, why are we here today? Family reunion. Okay, that is the word ‘Church’. Independent Bible Church - family. Okay.
When there's a family reunion, there are smiles, handshakes, ‘long time didn't see’ and hugs – these all depend on your family. My friends and family like to hug. Everybody hugs everybody. Alright? When you see family members, it is very different. It is a very different feeling. When you go to class, you don't do that. You don’t go “oh, wah, wah, wah, wah,” right? You go to class, you quickly go and sit down, take the best seat and sit down. For a family reunion, you go to meet people. So, I hope when you come to church you realize, ‘ah same father; we have the same father’. We may look different and have different jobs, but you know what? There is a bond – we say in family jargon that ‘blood is thick’ but the Holy Spirit in us is thicker. So, I hope that when you come on Sunday, you will realize that it is not to catch Pastor Jason in action; it is to meet your family members. Of course, a church is quite big and it is very hard to know everyone. Sometimes you greet the wrong guy and he just came to repair the air-conditioners or something like that. Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry. Because you know, there are too many! But thank God for CGs, right? CGs are so important. Right? To be part of a family! Now please don't turn your CGs into mini Bible studies. I beg you, alright? Care group means care, alright? You understand this? Why is it called ‘care group’? It is not called ‘Bible study fellowship’, it is not BSF. It is ‘care’! Be a good carer. Can I request many of you to volunteer to be care group leaders? Oh no, I cannot teach the Bible! Please, that is good because if you can teach, chances are that you will teach. Because it's a Bible Church, you feel so guilty if you didn't teach. You know in a bible church, we will be very guilty. If someone says, ‘can you give grace? can you give thanks?’ – woah, the guy prays a theological prayer. I'm hungry, you pray what? God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Please la. Give thanks for the food la. No need Bible study. But because we are a Bible Church, all these horrible things creep in all the time. We feel it is not right. Play soccer? Oh, let's gather together. Walao, Bible study first ah? Eh soccer la, World Cup la.
Alright, nothing wrong with the Bible, but there is a time and place for caring and sharing. Okay? Song leaders too, be careful in this kind of church. Alright? Sometimes, I look at the song leader and he is giving me a mini sermon that is as long as the preacher. Are you a song leader or a mini preacher? But you know, in a Bible Church, I don't blame you because you feel, ‘how can I just lead singing? It's not spiritual.’. So, you got to add. Last night, the song leader asked me, “what verse are we going to use for today?” and I said, “No verse”. Why? I am the preacher; leave it to me. Okay, so, Bible Church has that problem. We forget that a Bible is the starting point that directs us what to do, but the hard part is the ending part: how you apply those truths. Alright, one preacher can teach but a hundred CG leaders are needed to help people to make practical these truths. Alright, so another thing about family: you greet and everybody is a family member, right? Whether it's a different race or not; imagine your your cousin married a person from Zimbabwe or whatever, it is okay. It's okay. It's okay. Because the moment she married into the family, she's family. You don't say, ‘Who is this girl? Why is she sitting here?’. You don't! Because why? Family bonds. So, it's not whether you're rich or poor – during a family reunion, my cousin is very poor so I don't talk to him, or that brother of mine is not successful so I ignore him. No! All those things immaterial. We are family. Alright? So, greet everybody because we are family.
Another thing important in family reunion is food. Food, alright? Imagine you go home to your mother's house every Sunday, it is a family reunion and your mother says, “Aiya, no need to eat la”. Of course, there is food. You know, this was one of our key verses when we started GLCC. Alright, do you know the theme verse of GLCC? Next time I ask you, you guys straight away say “Luke 7:34”. Alright? Because family is always around food. Always, alright? That makes family! If you have a board meeting, a directors meeting, usually there will be coffee. Family? Food. Not agenda; food. Alright. So, it is very important in this church from the day we started, even when it was illegal to bring food into the rented premises. We cheated. Alright, we said, ‘sandwich is not food’. Alright? Because food was so critical. Today, there's food downstairs. Don't come late just in time for message but the moment PJ finishes preaching, you all run out. Don't do that. Alright? Food. Family is food. Alright? It is built around food. I really appreciate the ministries of our cooking people. I always tell them that the most important people in the church (listen carefully, all of you) is the parking attendant. Alright, because for first impressions, there are no second chances. The first time you go to GLCC, the parking attendant looks like he just had a bad day. That's the end of GLCC. First impression of GLCC is that we are not friendly. So, the parking attendant is more important than pastor Jason. Alright, number two, the food. Most newcomers who come here don't know what PJ is talking about because they are not born-again yet. But they know food, alright? So, in this church, we understand the importance of food. Jesus was accused as being a glutton – always eating, always drinking. Why? Did he deny it? No, no, I never do that, I preach all the time. No, because he understood! When we get to heaven, you know who are the blessed people? The ones who have been invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Wow, the table must be big! There will be millions of people. Because fellowship is always described as around food.
Now, let me say a few things about our food ministry. It is run by volunteers. Some come at 2 or 3am to do it. They take a grab and come. Please don't go down and say, “Wah, the food like that ah”. Alright, please don't complain. You don't go to a mother's house tonight for reunion and say, “Ma, why you cook like that? I think we better go out and eat.”. Alright, whatever your mother cooks, say thank you and eat alright? When we are given food lovingly prepared by volunteers, thank God. Alright? It's not for gourmet meal; it is for fellowship. So, thank God. Secondly, don't rush. I hope at your family reunion, you will say ‘Ah Gong first’ or ‘Ah Ma first’. Don't rush and then push Ah Gong and Ah Ma. Well, I better get a fast; it is crowded. Alright, please! It is a family reunion. Newcomers, go! Wah, $3 like that ah? And that fella did not pay so why should I pay? It is a family reunion so those who have money can pay for those who don’t have any money, right? “I pay, I pay, mom, I pay. No, no, don’t ask my brother, because he is out of a job now.” It's okay. That's normal. That's what we do in a family. Alright, so please understand that when we go for the food, it is for the fellowship. Alright? It's not a gourmet meal prepared by professional chefs; it is prepared by your brothers and sisters. Okay? And thank God for those who cut vegetables. It is the same with the cakes – it is prepared by our members lovingly. Don't go and compare the cakes with don't know what bakery or whatever. Alright, this is special. But you know what? It provides opportunities for us to sit around and enjoy fellowship. Okay?
Worship God in Spirit and in Truth
Next thing, many people come here and say, “Oh, what kind of church suits you? The worship doesn't suit me.”. I tell you this: if I suit these people here for worship, it would not suit the rest. Taste is very funny, right? You have three or four children at home, you will know. One like more oil, one like less oil. One like more salt, one like less. Alright, just three children and you have a headache about how to cook exactly what they like. Because taste is subjective! Music is also taste. We don't sing because I like the taste. I eat because my mother cooked it. I want to respect my mom and my dad. We come here and sing not because I like the song. You like the song you can go home, put it in a car and play your music as you like. I will not tell you what to like. You like what you like. But we come here is not for our liking; it is for our honoring of God. Alright, so the worship leader here, when he worships, when he leads you, his job is to tell you that we are here to worship God. You may not like the song but please, that is subjective. But you must like God; that is objective. That doesn't change. Right? The song helps you to worship; it helps you. But it mustn't be the limiting factor. A lot of people cannot worship here. Please, you know what is the principle of worship? Only two things: worship in spirit and in truth. So what does it mean by ‘spirit’? ‘Spirit’ means your spirit, your attitude, alright? Worship has two elements: your attitude and your actions. Alright? You can hallelujah out loud, but you actually hate this song. Hallelujah, alright? Is God more concerned about your action or your attitude? ‘Spirit’ is your attitude. I am here to worship God. I may not like the song, but I love my God. I will honor my God the best I can, alright. I mean, it's like the Trump and Kim thing. I didn't watch it, alright. I'm sure they played the national anthem; I think so, alright? I don't think Trump likes Korean music. You know, he probably thinks, ‘walao, what kind of music is this? You expect me to stand at attention? This music is terrible!’, alright? But because he respected the other country, he stands at attention. I hate music, but I respect that person there. Please don't come to this church and expect your taste. We came here to worship God. The song leader does his best to choose what helps us to focus on God. You may not like the song. Love your God and respect your God, alright? If you love the songs, it is easier. But if you don't love the songs, ask God for grace! God, I want to honor you because I want to worship you in spirit.
What about a second part? ‘Truth’ – what is truth? What do you mean by ‘worship in spirit and truth’? The song leader comes up here and leads you for 25 minutes. Then you go out. No more worshipping God – is that truth? You mean God is only in here? Outside no need to worship God. You see, God is everywhere! Truth is, God is everywhere, 24/7! And we must worship Him in truth. And the truth is that God is everywhere, so I must worship him everywhere! God is not in church, but for some religions that is true. There's the kitchen god and there's the whatever God, right. But here, our God is not limited to Punggol. When we walk out, are you going to worship? Truth – truth tells you what? It tells you that God is still outside. Right? Will you worship God? Yes. So, what is worship? Reverence, adoration, and ‘I want to honor you’. That's worship. So, what we have here is congregational worship to encourage us to sing together, because otherwise we all sing at different times, right? That's why you have the hand like that, okay? Then all start together, alright? Because we want to keep it aligned. That's congregational worship and it glorifies, you know. A newcomer comes in says, “Wow, all these people. They actually respect their God.”. You know, isn't that wonderful? Okay, so I hope, when you say, worship, you understand this is just to encourage you to worship together. But when you go out, worship in truth – God is still there. He still wants you to honor Him, reverence Him. Alright, and how do you do that? How do you honor your father? By behaving properly! If your father is a very well-known person, a respected man, then don't shame him. Same for God. God is a wonderful God, so don't shame God. So, worship is not what do you do here; worship is your life! Whether you eat or drink, whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. So how do you glorify God? In your home, in your office, in your school – everywhere, okay. Glorify God by your behavior, your smile, your friendliness, your helpfulness. That glorifies God! That guy is a Christian, amazing. Look at him, so different. Very different from other people. They're complaining all the time, griping all the time. Your home, your office, including your Facebook. Alright, a lot of Christians, you look at Facebook, I don't see a lot but sometimes my wife will show me and say, “Oh, my goodness”. Horrible. Glorify God! Your Worship is not 20 minutes here. It's your life. Okay, that's what we want in GLCC. A people, a family that happily comes together, encourages one another, so we are charged up for the rest of the week to glorify our God. We saw good behavior in church, we saw good behavior in our CG, we saw role models for us, we go out and it's easier to do right.
And lastly, the best way to glorify God is the gospel. Alright, I will just end with this. We are called ‘Gospel Light’. So, people say, ‘what is gospel light’? ‘Gospel Light’ is a church that wants to be a light for the gospel. May the gospel shine in my life; give me peace, give me joy, give me hope; changed my life and I want to tell you about the gospel. So, what is the gospel? Alright, this is found in 1 Corinthians 15 verse one to four. It says, ‘This is the gospel’. Then see the second paragraph, ‘the gospel is simple’. Literally, it is this second paragraph, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”. Alright, that's the gospel. That's the gospel we preach. Christ died for your sins. He took your sins and He died for them. He was buried, he rose again to prove that it is settled. That's all. And in this church, we keep it simple. Anything more than that is not the gospel. We can teach you how to receive it, we can teach you the blessings, but this is the Gospel. The Gospel is that a wonderful Savior came, died for our sins, and rose from the dead. The gospel is about Jesus Christ. That's it. It's not about what you do, it is not about our church; it is not about any of those things. It is about Christ and his amazing work on the cross. So, when you believe and when you have heard the gospel, you have a choice. It is a gift. Do you receive or reject? Do you believe or don't believe? That is all! It is simple because a gift is very simple. I give it to you – you take or don't take. Truth is very simple. I tell you – you believe or don't believe. That is all. Alright, so the gospel that we preach is very simple. If you believe in your heart (and I cannot see your heart and you also cannot see your heart, I'm telling you that), what happens is that you will have eternal life. That is the result of the Gospel. The Gospel is Christ, who died for your sins and rose from the dead. That's it. That is the result of the gospel. You have eternal life, everlasting life. You obviously cannot lose everlasting life. If you can lose everlasting life, it is not everlasting – it is short-lasting. It is worse than those cheap batteries you buy! Everlasting means I believe and what have I got? Everlasting life! I cannot lose. No brainer, right? That's why I like the King James Version – ‘everlasting’ is easier to understand; ‘eternal’ is a bit deep. Alright, so we preach this simple gospel. For many people, they say, ‘wah like that ah? Just receive then we get a passport to heaven with no expiry date. We can die any time, we can be a wicked man, we can be a joker, we can you can have 10 wives, and we still can go to heaven. Really? Really? Is God so foolish? No. When you receive Jesus what happens is you're born again. This again is the result and not the gospel. The gospel is that Christ died on the cross and rose from the day – that's the gospel. This is the result. One result is that I get a passport to heaven. The passport has no expiry date – it is eternal. Second, I get to be born again. What do you mean by that? I get new DNA. You know, the first time you were born, you got your parents DNA, right? After that you want to go for makeover, change your name, or make your hair blonde – you know what? The DNA cannot change; it is still there. Even if you disown your parents, it is still there. You know what I'm trying to say? Okay. When you're born again, Christ’s DNA comes into you. You didn't get a passport? No, no. Just a passport. You got the DNA! Whose DNA? Christ. Alright, and what's the result of that? These are all results – these are not the gospel. You are a new creation. It is very important to understand this. You know, I work with a tribe called the Batak tribe. Some Bataks are here today. I'm actually adopted as a beta. It's very interesting. Every Batak can sing and they can dance, and those are exactly two things I can’t do. I can’t sing, and I can/t dance. So, I'm a Batak; I'm adopted. Every time I go there, they have family events. It is very common. The moment they have family event music, the dancing starts. Hard as I try, I have the wrong DNA. When I sing, it's like, ‘oh man, I better shut up’ and when I dance, it looks like a robot. A robot just joined the party. You know why? Some of them were not even born in that place – they were born in Jakarta or they were born abroad. But you know what? That's their DNA. They seem to have it. It's like Mongolians. Mongolians can ride a horse. It is funny. I once worked with a Mongolian girl. I said, “Hey, you're born in China. Can you ride a horse?”, “Of course.”. I said, “Why?”, and she said, “I'm Mongolian.”. I say, “Have you ever ridden a horse?”, “No”, “Are you sure you can ride a horse?”, “Sure, I am Mongolian.”, and she proved it to me. It's her DNA, alright? Something in them! Indians? Numbers. Their mind – digital. Right? Chinese? Business. Everything is about doing business – find an opening here and an opening there. That’s natural. I'm talking about stereotyping, alright? Because we are all mixed up already and our blood is not that pure anyway. But when you're born again, you're a new creation. When I talk to you today, you know what? You will say the Bible is God's word. If you're not born again, you will say, ‘Why is he so firm about the Bible? It is a book written long ago for old people’. How do I know? I was like that before! Every time I opened the Bible – if you cannot sleep, open the Bible. It is cheaper than sleeping, and it is non-addictive. If you are not a believer, two things I guarantee will make you go to sleep: open the Bible and force yourself to read chapter one and chapter two. If you can reach chapter two, you're very good already. If that doesn't work, start praying for other people. Sure, fall asleep. Why? You're not a new creature. But the day you can start praying for others, love the Word of God, see your life change, then you know what? You're probably born again. Because we can deceive ourselves. We can fake a lot of things as these people did! They did dramatic things; they cast out demons, they did all kinds of work, they prophesied in Jesus name, and Jesus said something to them, “I never knew you”. It's not they got saved and then lost their salvation. Did Jesus say, ‘I once knew you. Now, I don’t know you’? No! “I never knew you! You were never a child of mine. You just a good fake.”. You know, fakes sometimes you can cheat people for years. The handbag of Rosmah, I don’t know if it is true or false. Maybe she wears the bags and wah so happy, so happy. But now when she is put under scrutiny, she says they are all fake. You know, you can fake. There are good fakes and our heart is deceitful above all things, and we fake ourselves a lot. We deceive ourselves. The heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. We can deceive ourselves. We are believers. What do I mean by that? We can deceive. Yeah, the Bible is good. But deep in our hearts are doubts. Right? If you're truly born again, you will be a new person. I don't mean your face will change. Your whole mindset will change. It's about others, not yourself. It's not about earthly riches. It's about heavenly riches. It is a shift, alright?
So anyway, I want to say this: in Gospel Light Christian Church, we preach a very simple gospel. Christ died on the cross, and he died for our sins, and he rose again from the dead for our sins, and you will have everlasting life. You will have a new DNA, and your life will be changed. You'll be a better husband, a better father, a better mom, a better kid, a better colleague, and your life will be changed. But let me say this: some people can fake this for a while. Alright? Just don't deceive yourselves. But I want to say that in Gospel Light, we believe salvation is through grace on the cross and it leads to everlasting life. Alright, so that's all I want to say about Gospel Light. I hope today when you go back, you can say that this is a church whose Bible is their guide book. We're not part of a big organization. We have just one rule book. I hope you can see that. Like I said, we are a family, and this is a family reunion. I hope you can worship. Worship just encourages us to go out 24/7 and glorify our God. And the best way to glorify God is showing them a changed life because of the gospel and sharing the gospel with them.
Alright, so may God bless you. If this the kind of Church you want to stay in, you're welcome. But be sure this is the type of church and not because we are nearby, and not because you know, you like a guy here or a person there, but because this is the right type of church. Because when you believe that, you commit, and when you commit, you will grow, and you help others to grow.
Alright, so let's pray and close this session. Father, thank you for this time together. Thank you for your Word and pray you will mold GLCC to be your church. Lord, guide us, we pray. Help us to do our part to leave understanding how to obey what we heard today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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