Thursday, 14 April 2016

Some Thoughts About True Conversion by Pastor Peter Mountain dated 10.4.16

He started his teaching using Exodus 19:1-6.  These verses were about the Israelites being delivered from Egypt and what God wants them to do.  There are lessons for us today as follows:
-          These are written for our instructions, so that we can understand the plan and purpose of God. The story of the Exodus was a pattern of what God wants to do with us.
-          The Lord had delivered the people from Egypt.  It was by grace alone not by power of works.
-          God led them to Mt. Sinai.  Here He would make a Covenant with them.
-          Notice how the Lord makes an offer to them: if you will obey and keep my Covenant..
-          Then you will be a special treasure to me above all people
-          You shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
These offers still remain  : 1 Peter 2:9 and Revelation 1:5-6
-          Notice God’s purpose has to do with a Kingdom: Matthew 9:35
-          The blessings of the kingdom of God are for those who submit to the King.
-          There is a false Gospel (or at least a half-Gospel) that is popular today. That is “Gospel-lite” rather than “Full-Gospel”.
-          “Gospel-lite” emphasis forgiveness of sins and God love’s but leave out discipleship.
-          God makes a new Covenant with us, a better one, because He give a new heart and give us , the Holy Spirit, but there is still calls to make Jesus Lord and King.
-          There is still, “If you obey and keep the Covenant Then…
-          This offer was made with powerful demonstration of God’s power and presence of God.
-          In order to receive this promise, Israel had to enter into a covenant and obey what He told them to do. ( keeping the law was not a way to earn salvation, they had been delivered from Egypt)
-          The law is the wisdom of God how to live and how to be successful in life.
-          Keeping the law is how they express their love for God and other people.
-          Matthew 22:37-40
-          It was a particle out working of faith ( Jas 2:18 )
Acts 9:3-6 Jesus spoke to blind Saul.
-          Saul was opposing the Lord. Every one of us has been in similar place, even if not so extreme.
-          Sin is rebellion, disobedience, self-will, putting ourselves above God.
-          To be delivered we must turn around.
-          Repentance and faith are really the same, we turn from sin to the Lord.
-          Saul surrendered totally, “Lord what do you want me to do? “
-          At Sinai God called the nation of Israelite to come out from the kingdom of darkness to into His kingdom.
-          It was full surrender like Paul.
-          True conversion is a full surrender to Jesus as Lord.
-          True conversion is when we ask “Lord, what will you have me to do? “
The question is: “Where do we stand this morning?”

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Fulfilling the Great Commission by Pastor Tony Wong dated 3.4.16

Pastor Wong started with a testimony of his life.  He came from a traditional Chinese family who practised ancestor worship and worshipping idols.  As a boy he was a bad character who stole from his neighbours.  He said he had stolen all types of fruits except the durian.  While in class a missionary taught about Jesus and in particular John 3:16, the Holy Spirit touched him and tears came to his eyes.  Eventually he became a Christian.  Later he had the chance to study in the US, he graduated as a computer engineer.  He migrated to the US.  Some years ago he and his family made with a serious accident and his one year old daughter died.  He was seriously injured and doctors said he had only 10 percent chance of survival.  His body has many metal parts keeping his inside together.  By God’s grace he lives. Some years later he gave up his job and entered seminary.  He is now a missionary serving in Taiwan.
The Great Commission
Pastor Wong’s message is based on Matthew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
God wants us to live for Him through the Great Commission.  Jesus gave us the Great Commission.  To obey Jesus is the highest authority.  Verse 18.  We got it wrong if we think Jesus gave us His suggestion.  It is not a suggestion but the Great Commission.
Obeying the Lord, Jesus Authority, fear of God and not man
If we do not obey Jesus, we are fooling ourselves.  Because we fear man and not God.  Unless we fear God, we are not obeying Him.  He gave an example of preaching to some farmers in China and asked them to share with others.  The next time they met, not even one had share the Gospel.  When the farmers were asked why, they said they were afraid to offend people.  This is an example of fearing man.
How to make Jesus disciples?
“Making disciple” is the key in verse 19.
         a)  “Go” in verse 19, is a command to go and not bring people to the Church.  Bring the Church to the people.  Go and share the Gospel with people and after that maybe we can bring them to Church.  The Church building it cannot move but the Church can move.  He said that non-believers will not accept us wanting to bring them to Church, since we ourselves will not worship in their temples. 
        b)  Baptize : denying ourselves in order to live for Christ.  To be baptized means to be raise from the dead.  Our old self died and we became new in Christ.  We must also forgive. If we do not forgive we are fooling ourselves.  Pastor Wong shared of the story of a woman in Macau whom he ministered to.  She had many illnesses and even after she “accepted” Jesus she was still suffering.  Later Pastor found that she was not born-again as well as she did not forgive her parents who gave her away as a baby and her ex-husband.  Pastor Wong led her to real repentance and she was healed of all her illnesses.
        c)  Teach them to obey everything: Teaching and Coaching.  Pastor Wong shared that 95% obedient is still disobedient.  We need to obey everything and not just the majority of things commanded by Jesus.  Total obedience and not partial.
       d)  Trusting in God’s presence “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” ( Vs 20).  Trust His presence, His power, and obey God.  We will experience power in Him.
Action: Do not live a good life, live the best life because the good is the enemy of the best.