Bro. Bernard Chan is a Singaporean. For the first 20 years he was with the Navigators and the last 20 years he and his wife has been mentoring individuals, leaders and families. His present work is helping home-based church, families like building godly marriage, families and raising the next generation for Christ.
Bro. Chan is a graduate of Columbia Biblical Seminary & Graduate School of Mission, USA.
Bro. Bernard Chan started his sermon by giving a message for our church. He said, “Behold I will do a new thing”. He said he did not know what this sentence really meant to our church, but he felt God asking him to deliver this message to us.
Bro. Chan said he observed that many of our members are in the 50s so his message is “What we are to do for the next chapter of our lives?” He advised that this question can well apply to members who are younger. Assuming many of us live up till 85 years old, so between 50 to 85 years we can do a lot in 35 years.
Story of Abraham
When Abram ( his original name ) was 75 years God called him to leave his country. For 40 years he regretted because he did not have any children. God asked him to look at the sky and the sand and He said He will bless him with descendants like stars in the sky and sand on the ground. Abraham left Haran for Canaan. While in Haran Abraham and his family were happy. Like us today when we settled in our “Haran” we are in our comfort zone. But God wants to do a new thing in us.
When God blessed Abraham, He also will blessed all his descendants.
God’s Plan for Next Chapter of Our Life
In the Bible God already said He had a plan for us. Our lives are not accidents. In Psalm 33:11 says “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His hearts through all generations”. We also have to ask God for the specific plans for our lives. Different people are given different talents. If God leads you to be a mega church pastor that is fine, if He leads you to do a international ministry well and good. But it is not necessary that He will ask us to do big things, He also can ask us to do small things. God gives us meaning, but Satan wants to steal our blessings. Satan kills our spiritual lives and destroy our spiritual potentials.
At the end of your life it does not matter what you own materially, and whether you had power. All these things do not have any meaning in heaven. What really matters when you meet God is when He ask, “What did you do regarding what I told you to do?” Bro. Chan said it is frightening that in a passage in the Bible God said even if you called Him “Lord, Lord” saying we did this and that, didn’t you see?” He will said, “I do not know you!” According to Bro. Chan these people were Christians, so the implication is important.
Things that have eternal values are important. He said, “Everything that is eternal is eternally satisfying”. Our life in Christ is eternal, therefore only eternal things mattered and not temporal things.
When we meet Jesus at the end, He will say two things:
a) “Good and faithful servant”
b) “You fool”Luke 12:20-21, the man was rich towards himself but not God.
Why Does It Matter to Decide Our Next Chapter?
Matthew 25: 31-46
The story of God separating Christians like the shepherd separates between the sheep and the goats. The sheep were those who obeyed and carried out His commands, whereas the goats were those who disobeyed. We are saved for works and not saved by works.
2 kinds of Christians:
a) Sheep – you did for me (Jesus).
b) Goats – you did not do for me.
The evidence of our salvation is in our works after we are saved. We must have faith. We will be judged for our contributions to the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15
Bro. Chan quoted E.M Bounds: “Man look for better methods, God look for better man”. In this passage is about the work we do which must have Jesus as the foundation. The quality of man’s work will be tested by fire. If his works survive the fire, he will be rewarded, otherwise he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved as one escaping through the flames.
Bro. Chan said he observed in many churches only 20 percent of the members do the church’s work and 80 percent are not doing anything. Bro. Chan challenged our members to commit ourselves to do something for God in our next chapter of our lives. Like he said, everyone is given different talents, some are called to do greater work, some are called to do smaller work. Everyone can do something. He told a story of attending a Christian meeting in the US, and he was surprised that the leader of the organization was a person on wheelchair! We able bodies can certainly contribute to the kingdom of God.
1. 1. John 4:34-38 – Go and win souls for God
2. 2. Open our eyes to look around, the harvest is plentiful.
3. 3. Invest your talents e.g give money to the needy, help others in need of help.
4. 4. 2 Corinthians 5:21 – Be accountable to God. Ask Him what we can do for him.