Monday, May 30, 2011

Rick Warren: Salvation and Eternal Life

Rick Warren, author of Purpose Driven Life, and Senior Pastor of a mega church. Many theologians were uncomfortable with his Biblical doctrine and in a recent interview with Reformed Theologian John Piper he reaffirmed his belief in the Bible.

He agreed that Jesus is the only way to salvation. He said "Jesus said no one comes to the Father but by me. I (Jesus) am the way; not a good way, not the best way, not one of the ways, not a nice way. I am the way, the truth and the life."

Among other subjects, Warren also believes heaven is a real place. He said "I don't believe it (heaven) is a state of being. I believe it is a real place."

There are people saying Warren is a universalist, but he denied it. He said "I believe in a literal hell. Jesus believed in a literal hell," he stated. And once you're in, you can't get out, he affirmed".

Warren was passionate about winning souls for Jesus and he turned emotional acknowledging that millions a year will go into erternity with Christ and without hope.

To read the full story click on the title of this post.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Is Christ Suffiicent?

Pastor Samuel Surendran( picture ) is from Excel Point Community Church in Penang. Excel Point was started by him some 14 years ago and now it is a church of about a thousand members.

Pastor Sam preached on the above subject referring to Matthew 16:13-20. He said this is the question all of us must answer. Specially when we face troubles, "Is Jesus sufficient for me?", we may ask. In most cases we will be anxious to fix the problems ourselves, but he urged us to stay focus on Jesus.

The place where Jesus brought his disciples to, Caesarea Philippi was significant because it was a wealthy region,and answering this question can be difficult for many people.

Pastor Sam's own testimony was powerful. He started his church with only 4 people and without any money. He had to work as a lecturer until the church could stand on his own. Looking back, he saw how God has guided him and provided for him and his church.

His advice is no matter what happened, we must stay focus on Jesus and on one else or anything else.

Many in our church were encouraged by his message and also his passion for the lost. May our Lord bless him, his family and his congregation.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Francis Chan: Erasing Hell

Influential former Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley, California has written a new book, "Erasing Hell:What God Said About Eternity and The Things We Made Up" to counter Rob Bell's controversial book Love Wins. Bell's book promotes universalism which says all human will reconcile with God eventually and hell is not a physical place. This is not what the Bible taught us and people are trying to gain acceptance of the public to say what they want to hear. If all human can be reconciled to God eventually, they don't even have to accept Jesus as their Savior. But in John 14:6 Jesus said no one can come to God except through Him. This seem clear to me.

Francis said his book helps people to check the evidences and they have to decide themselves. He said we cannot afford to be wrong about heaven and hell.

To read the full article click on the title of this post.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jesus the Only Way to God

The Pew Forum's US Religion survey found that 57 percent of Evangelical Christians agreed to this statement “Many religions can lead to eternal life.” This result is disturbing coming from so called Christians. I believe many Christians outside USA also subscribed to this view. But Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Christians are suppose to be followers of Jesus, and if we do not subscribe or accept His statements, than we cannot call ourselves Christians.

Charles Colson (picture),founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries commented on this issue and said he was disturbed by this survey result. He said "If nearly six out of ten Evangelicals don’t believe the most basic tenets of the faith, it’s no wonder the Church is losing its influence over the culture. Because what we believe affects how we live."

Jesus is the only way to God is non negotiable for a Christian, and Colson said this is the basic tenet of Christianity. A true Christian must subscribe to this tenet.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Heaven Not "Sky Stuff"

Anglican Archbishop Dr.John Sentamu of Yorkshire was asked what he thought of Stephen Hawking's comment that “there is no heaven or afterlife” and that it is all “a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” The Archbishop said heaven is not the "sky stuff" that Hawking made it to be, he got the message wrong. He said “Heaven is not just some kind of place for retired Christians where they’re going to be enjoying their retirement,”Heaven is where God’s will is being done. In fact, the Lord’s Prayer talks about ‘your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." So God is very much on earth as He is in heaven".

The Christianity faith is not just about heaven. Christians are to follow Jesus' footsteps and be Christ-like in our daily living.

To read the full article please click on the title of this post.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stephen Hawking : No Heaven

Professor Stephen Hawking is a famous British Physicist. At age 21 he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. He is on wheel chair, and could not speak.

In a recent interview he said "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."

There are many people like him who do not believe in God. However,research has shown that believing in God is part of being human ( Read the previous post ). Christians believe in God because God created us in His image, and He is the one who has given us this natural tendency to look towards Him. We are created to seek after Him, and to worship and praise Him.

Hawking said the brain is like a computer is too simplistic because we know that our brain is far greater than any computer. It has power beyond any computer too, and all these abilities are God given.

There are also many cases of people who returned from the dead and testify to witnessing heaven and afterlife. Most of these testimonies have similar scenarios and these people do not know each other before they died. Therefore, these must be true.

It is insulting to hear that those who believe in heaven and the afterlife are afraid of the dark! Hawking is dead wrong!

Christians believe in afterlife, in fact eternal life if we are followers of Jesus.

John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life". RSV

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Belief in God Part of Human Nature

A recent Oxford University study found that it is human to belief in God. It is part of being human. Some say we are hardwired to believe in God. This is a scientific study and it is not just someone's opinion. In fact, many years ago I read in Time Magazine which had a similar conclusion.

If you observe many societies around the world, you will find that most of the people had some kind of belief in a great Being. Of course,there are people who do not believe that there is a God. Many of these people just feel that they can stand on their own and they do not need any "God" in any situation. Yet many studies found that believing in a God is good for us physically and mentally.

Certainly we Christians believe in our Almighty God, the One and Only God of this Universe.

To read the full article click on the title of this post.

Monday, May 16, 2011

YouVersion Bible 20 Million Downloads

Recently there were reports of Christian Face Book pages like "The Bible" and "Jesus Daily" beating popular stars on the number of transactions on FB, and now there is an on-line Bible that is breaking new grounds. YouVersion developer did not expect this tremendous response. It is the work of the Lord that made this possible. This is good news for Christianity because more and more people are reading the Bible and hopefully engage in a relationship with God.

In traditional societies, Christians are worried about not having physical Bibles, and as they begin to have access to the internet, on-line Bibles in multiple languages are available.

Recently in Malaysia, the Christian communities especially those using the Malay Bibles were upset with the government's restrictions on its importation and usage. The availability of Bible on-line will certainly be helpful in overcoming such problem.

To read the full article on YouVersion Bible click on the title of this post.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Face Book : Jesus Daily Page

"Jesus Daily" is similar to "The Bible" page on Face Book. Once again, this Christian Face Book page has beaten popular stars' FB pages.

"With over 5,108,270 fans and 2,127,067 interactions, “Jesus Daily” maintains the number one spot for a second week in a row, with “The Bible” close behind at second, moving up rapidly on the list, recording over 7,015,719 fans and 1,119,413 interactions".

This is good news for Christianity. According to the founder Dr.Aoron Tabor about 1,434 people came to know Christ in 10 days prior to 11th May 2011. Apparently this social network tool is effective in bringing non believers to know Christ. At least this medium is complimenting the traditional methods of evangelism.

Dr.Aoron said: “We hope that Jesus Daily is the Light on social media to fulfill the Great Commission by sharing the Good News globally".

To read the full text click on the title of this post.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Egypt::Grave Future For Christians

Recently two churches were burnt and 15 Christians died. As predicted by many experts which I blogged about some months ago, the Christians are experiencing very trying times in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic organizations are trying to get rid of Christians to create an Islamic State.

A Human right activist said "The Brotherhood plays politics and the Salafis are causing chaos so they can empty Egypt of Christians and make it an Islamic state,” he said. “Lots of Egyptian people, including moderate Muslims, are worried. If Egypt becomes an Islamic state, it may mean civil war."

The Islamists are taking advantage of this interim period before election in September to cause harm to the Christians in Egypt.

Let Christians all over pray for strength for our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt in this trying times.

To read the full article click on the title of this post.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

He Can Turn His Head 180 Degrees

Something light and amazing! God gives this man an amazing ability to turn his head 180 degrees! Don't try it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mass For Osama Bin Laden

When I stumbled on this article I was curious. How can this be, he was a notorious terrorist responsible for about 3,000 deaths in the twin tower bombing. Actually it was a mistake of a church near Dublin which mistakenly sent out this message in its parish bulletin. Just wondering how such mistake can happen in a church.

This mistake reminded me of a US T.V presenter who got carried away, that in announcing the death of Osama mistakenly announced the death of Obama! That caused an uproar in the US.

To read the full article about the church's mistake click on the title of this post.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fellowship of Evangelical Students (FES)

On Sunday, the General Secretary of FES, Dr.Loh Kim Cheng came to share with our Church the work of this organization. Last year, the Local Coordinator Peter Paris also shared with us in our Church. They are evangelizing to the students at the various colleges in Malaysia. The Sarawak chapter started some 7 years ago. Their works are enormous because they have a few staffs whereas there are so many colleges in our country. Dr. Loh said there are 800 higher education institutions in Malaysia, and they are in only 80 of them. It is an up hill battle, nevertheless, they are striving and encourage people to help in any where they can.

Dr.Loh's life is also an inspiration to many. She was trained as a dental doctor, but gave up this job to go full time only after 8 years work as a dentist. She actually prefers people to address her as Kim Cheng and not Dr.Loh.

Recently we are facing a lot of religious and racial issues as reported in the press, and these are alarming. Her advice is that we must try our best to be friends with our majority neighbors because when we are friends it is easier to talk if there is any issue to address. She said in FES, they encouraged all the students to befriend as least two students not of their own race. This is indeed a very good advise even matured adults can practice.

Kim Cheng encouraged members of our Church to pray for them and if possible support them financially.

Our elders Bro. Tung Hui and Sis. May Sum are committee members of the Sarawak Chapter, and they have been helping FES for a while. As a Church we appreciate their efforts and sacrifices.

To read FES website click on the title of this post.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers. God bless all mothers too!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Redeemed From Hell

Last evening at our Church's Alpha course we were studying the subject "How to Resist Evil", and certainly this is to avoid ending in hell. Here is the inspiring story of Matthew Botsford who was shot and died, he went to hell and came back to tell his story. Indeed we have a loving God, even though at that time he wasn't a Christian, and yet God redeemed him from hell. His description of his time in hell was vivid and scary too. It is an encouragement to all of us to avoid this place at all cost.

Matthew said "I want people to know that hell is real and it's a place that definitely has to be avoided; it's a place of eternal torments."

As Christians we have this opportunity, because we have God on our side.

To read the fully story and watch a video click on the title of this post.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Church In The Pocket?

Soon to be launched Church in your pocket via Face Book live. The church can be in your pocket because nowadays you can access Face Book on internet via smart phones that you keep in your pocket.

An on-line Church St.Pixels,(how apt, pixels made up pictures on computers) U.K will be launching this on-line Church on Face Book on May 10th 2011. It says Face Book has 600 million "neighbors", therefore this is a way to get these members log on to a Church on-line. You can attend "Church" by listening to Bible reading, sermons and even sing along to hymns. You can even say "Amen", by keying "ZZZZZZ" on real-time feedback.

Perhaps this is a good way to get people who do not attend Church anyway. Here is an opportunity to evangelize to these un-church people. Probably this Face Book Church may be more acceptable in the West. In Asia especially in traditional societies, people would attend Churches with four walls.

To read the full article click on the title of this post.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Francis Chan: Church Today Not What God Intended

Francis Chan is a popular author of Crazy Love and an influential former Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley, California. He left his successful mega church about one year ago because he was getting too famous in worldly terms. He said he was disturbed that people would travel miles to hear him speak.

Francis said church 2,000 years ago was meeting of people where the Holy Spirit was presence in these meetings. But now church is predictable, you come to church, get a bulletin, sing some songs, hear a message and off you go. It appears that many of churches in Malaysia are no different from those in US described by Francis.

Francis said: "I heard one person say the church nowadays is neither super nor natural,",Everything is predictable and everything is expected."

"When Jesus said this power (of the Holy Spirit) would come upon you, it really did come upon them and they were powerful beings (Jesus' disciples)," Chan points out. "Why is it that in the church so many people are weak or defeated or we get so insecure because we look at ourselves rather than God? It doesn't make sense."

To read the full article click on the title of this post

Monday, May 2, 2011

Alpha Weekend Away

Our Church had our weekend away from 30th April to 1 st May 2011. There were a total of 23 guests attending. The majority of these guests were Batu Lintang Training College (BLTC)trainees, and among them were a numbers of non believers. Other guests were working people some were Christians and some were non.

Our course leader was Bro.Tzin Kit assisted by Bro.Gary,Bro.Nick,Bro Kelvin,Bro Han Wei, Sis Doreen,Sis Ah Moi, Bro Philip, Bro Jesrum,Bro Jong, sis Agnes and hosts and helpers from our church.

Our elders like Bro Tung Hui, Bro Nee Wen,Bro Ho,Bro Song, Sis Georgina, Bro Arthur, Sis Ah Moi, Bro Chin Luk, Sis Stella were there to assist and support this event. Including our church members there were about 50 people at this weekend away.

We had a great time worshiping the Lord and inviting the Holy Spirit to touch our guests. Indeed some were touched and tears just came to them. Many came forward to be prayed for and repented of their sins. We praise God for this outing and that many have been touched by Him.