Pastor Jeffrey Khoo
We praise and thank God for raising up FEBC as a school of prophets for such a time as this, for the Lord’s return is nearer than we think. Revelation 12:12 says, “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” The devil is very angry “because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” to do his evil work. And he is moving and motiving His agents like never before to do his murderous work with full of anger and hatred. Jesus Himself warned that in the last days, “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matt 24:11–12). We need more true prophets who will preach, teach and defend God’s Word truthfully and faithfully with full of love and compassion.
48th Graduation Service
At FEBC’s 48th Graduation Service held on 7 May 2023 at Calvary Pandan BPC, we saw 36 graduating with their respective certificates and degrees. 17 with the Certificate of Religious Knowledge (CertRK), six with the advanced Certificate of Biblical Studies (CertBS), two with the Diploma in Theology (DipTh), two with the Bachelor of Theology (BTh), two the Master of Religious Education (MRE), five Master of Divinity (MDiv), one Master of Theology (ThM), and one Doctor of Religious Education (DRE). Our CertRK/BS graduates are all lay people with full-time jobs and duties and yet they make the effort to pursue after that which is most excellent—the knowledge that comes from God’s forever infallible and inerrant Word. That is most commendable and we are encouraged.
We especially commend our students from overseas who take the courses online. One of them is Dr Einstine Opiso, Professor of Engineering at the Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Bukidnon, the Philippines, who earned the CertRK and came for the graduation with his wife Josephine (and her sister Joy) and seven-year old son Daniel. Dr Opiso is the advisor of the Christian Students Fellowship at CMU.
We congratulate our graduates who had spent the last three to six years studying to prepare themselves for full-time ministry. May they put to good use the knowledge and wisdom they had gained from God’s Word. As they had studied and trained hard and seen God’s good hand upon them, may they remember the wise words of our late founding Principal—the Rev Dr Timothy Tow—who often reminded his students, “Self-help with God’s help is the best help.” The Apostle Paul likewise said, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Tim 4:16).
Praise the Lord for calling whole families to serve Him. Special mention goes to the Rev Dr Park Seung Kyu whose wife Dr Ra Chaewon graduated with the ThM (she also has an MDiv earned three years ago), and their two daughters Angela Jonghwi and Joyce Jongeun who also graduated at the same time with their MDiv and BTh respectively. The Rev Dr Park is Principal of the Bible College of East Africa in Tanzania.
There is also the Rev Dr Jose Lagapa whose two daughters Theya and Thessa graduated with the MDiv and MRE respectively. His wife Celeste and son Biboy are both students at the College and fully supportive of his ministry. The Rev Dr Lagapa ministers to the Filipino brethren at True Life BPC and spearheads the missions work in the Philippines.
The Rev Nguyen Gia Hien, pastor of the Brisbane BPC and Vietnamese BPC in Brisbane, Australia, was conferred the DRE. Besides his pastoral ministry in those two BPCs, he is also a regular contributor to the daily devotional—Read, Pray and Grow—and writes Christian articles for two Vietnamese newspapers, and is in the midst of translating the Greek New Testament (Textus Receptus) into Vietnamese. His son—Timothy—has just completed one semester at FEBC, and is moved to give his life to serve the Lord full-time.
May the Lord call more families and young men and women to serve Him in such a way.
The Rev Dr Jose Lagapa was the graduation speaker and he spoke on the topic, “Prophets for Such a Time as This” from Ezekiel 2. From the text, we are reminded that for preachers to be used of God in these perilous times, they must (1) be called by God, (2) be full of the Holy Spirit, (3) be humble in heart, (4) be obedient to the Holy Scriptures, and (5) preach without fear of man.
The harvest is plenteous, but the labourers are still few (Matt 9:37). Pray for more men and women to be called to full-time ministry and to be trained at FEBC.
Annual Mersing Retreat
It is a custom of FEBC since 2000 to go to the Resort Lautan Biru in Mersing, Malaysia for a time of spiritual rest and recreation right after the graduation service. A total of 57 comprising faculty, students and alumni headed to our campsite by the sea, about three hours away from Singapore.
At Mersing, time was primarily spent in Bible meditation and Christian fellowship. There were six devotional sessions with messages from the following: The Principal spoke from 2 Timothy 2:2 on the need to pass on the torch of God to the next generation of younger faithful men who will continue on in the good biblical-theological tradition of the school. The Rev Koa Keng Woo, our most elderly lecturer at 94 years old, spoke from Luke 9:57–62 on the need to press on in the service of the Lord without giving up despite all the hardships of ministry. The Rev Prabhudas Koshy spoke from John 21:1–25 on how our life is fruitful only because our God is faithful. By way of application, he said that the Church must be full of gospellers, not gossippers. The Rev Jose Lagapa preached from Proverbs 21:2 and exhorted the hearers to be full of discernment, not only to do what is right but also what is righteous, and how we must not use our own human reasoning but God’s wisdom to do God’s will and work. The Rev Dr Nguyen Gia Hien spoke from Jeremiah 1:4–10 on how servants of God are to be set apart and sanctified for God’s use. As such, we must strive to be holy and humble as we serve the Lord. The final message was given by the Rev Clement Chew who spoke from 1 Samuel 12:20–25 on how we need to serve the Lord truthfully and faithfully.
At the retreat, some of the graduates were given a chance to present their respective theses. The Rev Dr Nguyen Gia Hien presented his thesis on “Sovereign Grace and Righteousness” from the Book of Jeremiah; Crayson Wong presented hers on “A Biblical Perspective on the Regathering of Modern Israel”; Park Jongeun on “A Biblical Study on Succession in the Missions Field: Parents to Children”; Riangwati Gulo on “Infant Baptism: Is It Biblical?”; Hadassah Chew on “A Biblical Perspective of Music in the Worship of God”; and Thessa Lagapa on “A Theology of Modest Dressing”.
We are so glad for a most blessed time of learning from God’s Word and for the precious fellowship we had with one another. We enjoyed both indoor and outdoor games, and also good and tasty Malaysian food. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Ps 133:1). “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Heb 10:24–25).
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