Rev Dr Timothy Tow
To the non-Christian Chinese, this is the celebration of celebrations, the festival of festivals. This is the time for yearly family reunions when the grown-up children come home to visit their aged parents. For a whole week before New Year, all buses, trains, planes between Singapore and Malaysia were fully booked. Private buses, cashing in, demanded a higher fee.
Chinese New Year is a time to indulge in feasting and attire. Despite the recession, the Chinese people can still afford to lavish good things on themselves and their children. Angpows (red packets of money) still exchange hands briskly, the seniors pampering the juniors, even as nephews and nieces call on one another’s uncles and aunties, etc. The philosophy of the Lunar New Year celebrants seems to be: “Why worry, once a year at least, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” (1 Cor 15:32; Isa 22:13). As for the angpow recipients they compare notes with one another to see if this year’s angpows yield more than last year’s. Then, like squirrels hiding away a windfall of nuts, the juniors will stash the sums earned from the angpows in the POSB with a chuckle.
Let me here give you, young people, a word of advice for your own good. “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth …” (Eccl 12:1). Learn to honour God from your young days with your substance. Be sure you give back to Him that sacred tenth, worshipfully. If you honour the Lord, the Lord will honour you. When you leave school to earn your own livelihood, you’ll soon find out if my words, based on God’s Word, are true. Life B-P Weekly, February 9, 1986.
PEACE ON EARTH, BUT WHEN?
When Jesus came the first time, the angels announced, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). But in Luke 12:51, Jesus said something quite different, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay, but rather division.” Is there a contradiction, a mistake in the Bible, in the words of God? If there is a mistake here, then who is right, the angels who delivered God’s message, or Jesus, the Message of God Himself? It goes without saying that we who believe in the perfection of the Holy Scriptures, the 100% inspiration and 100% preservation of the words of God, believe in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ and of His angels—both spoke the truth, and there are no mistakes in those words at all!
So, how do we explain those infallible words of the angels and of Jesus? The answer lies in God’s perfect Word itself. Jesus indeed came to bring peace into the world as the angels announced, but peace will only come when certain conditions are met. What are these conditions?
(1) Peace will only come when we make peace with God. People in the world today are looking for peace—peace in the world, peace at home, peace at work, peace in church, but they will find it in vain. The reason why there is no peace anywhere on earth is because of sin—we are a sinful people living in a sin-cursed world. That is why we need a Saviour, and that is why Jesus had to come. That is why our Saviour’s name is JESUS for He has come “to save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). So, in order to have peace, we need to be reconciled to God, and be born again (John 3:3). Yes, unless we are born again, we will not experience peace in our life, we will not have the peace which passes all understanding which only God can give (Phil 4:7).
The Lord Jesus Christ, the virgin born Son of God, who lived a sinless life was the perfect Sacrifice for our sins. He died for our sins on the cross, shed His precious blood as the Lamb of God, and then on the third day rose from the dead. The penalty of sin has been paid, and atonement has been made once and for all. If we will confess our sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved and have peace with God. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1).
Now having made peace with God, you will not have peace on earth for this sinful and satanic world hates God. That was why Jesus said He did not come to give peace on earth but division. James 4:4 says, “whosoever … will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Similarly, anyone who is a friend of God becomes the enemy of the world. The world will hate the faithful and obedient follower of Christ. Did not the Lord Jesus say, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. … Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (John 15:18–20)? The Apostle Paul said, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim 3:12).
Why is there no peace on earth? Two reasons: evil and error. How can there be peace when the evils of corruption, immorality and terrorism exist? How can there be peace when all kinds of false “ism”s prevail? But did not God promise peace on earth and good will toward men? So when will this peace come? This brings me to my second point:
(2) Peace will only come when the Prince of peace returns. The leaders of the world say they want peace but at the same time they are making weapons and firing missiles. As Jesus predicted, there will be wars and rumours of wars and we are more alert to the next World War and to His Second Coming.
Only the Lord Jesus Christ—the Prince of peace—can bring true and lasting peace to this world, and He will do that when He comes again. When Jesus returns in all His power and glory, He will judge the nations, and all the nations will kowtow before Him. Under His reign which will last for a thousand years, there will be no wars and no instruments of war. This is prophesied in Isaiah 2:4, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
Are you looking forward to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ? You will not be looking forward to the Lord’s return if your mind and heart are geared towards building up your treasures on earth. We should be building treasures in heaven and one way is to give and support and invest in missions and in the lives of people to extend Christ’s kingdom on earth until He returns. “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35).
May the Lord help us to be a loving and giving people as we await eagerly and patiently for His return. The signs of the times do tell us that His second coming is very soon. JK
Gospel Tract by Eio Eng Hua
Is Death the End of Life?
The Bible teaches,
“….it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27.
We are all sinners and sins separate us from God. “…all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” Acts 3:19.
Accept Jesus Christ as your personal saviour. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?” John 11:25–26.
Young People of True Life BPC on Eve of New Year 2023
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