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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

Abominable Worship

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For some years, my heart has been greatly disturbed by the casual, worldly appearance and attitude of worshippers in the churches. A great majority has the attitude that their religious performances, such as attending the worship service, giving tithes and singing hymns guarantee their acceptance by God. They are deluded. They are dreadfully mistaken. The reason why I say this is because among these apparently fervent worshippers, there exists a supercilious attitude towards a holy life.

My dear reader, a few hours of religious activity will not delight the Lord, even though your religious performances are exactly as prescribed by Him. The Lord sent His prophet Isaiah to tell Israel that He was displeased with their sacrifices of animals, and keeping of the feasts. Read what the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah,

“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil” (Isaiah 1:11-16).

Later, the Lord pronounced that Israel’s sacrifices of animals were as despicable as a murder or an abominable act of sacrificing an unclean animal, all of which were forbidden.

“He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations” (Isaiah 66:3).

The book of Proverbs repeatedly records God’s displeasure towards the worship of unrepentant men and women,

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 15:8).

“The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?” (Proverbs 21:27).

“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Proverbs 28:9).

“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8).

Such audacious hypocrisy which Jesus condemns is rampant even today. Worldly men and women gather in churches and stretch forth their unclean hands towards heaven as if they exalt Him. They sing hymns of praise with their unclean lips. They read the Scriptures and hear the preaching, but would not repent of their sins and yield to live a holy life in accordance to His Word.

The Apostle Paul also warned us about unworthy partaking of the Lord’s table,

“Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord... For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” (1 Corinthians 11:27, 29, 30).

Dear fellow worshippers, we should not turn a deaf ear to these warnings in the Scriptures against abominable worship. Oh how I pray that we will not be rejected by our God as a wicked congregation. Let us draw near unto our God as He instructs us,

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8).

Nothing pleases God as much as a humble heart that repents of its sin and seek to live in holiness.

Testimonies from Seniors’ outing to Johor, Malaysia

The Johor Bahru trip (from 7.30am to 9.30pm) was
organized by Pr Jeremiah Sim and Bro Stephen Yap of
Gethsemane B-P Church.

The bus took us from Eunos MRT carpark to Johor Bahru. It started raining when the bus moved towards Johor Bahru, about 500m away. At this time, Elder Mah Chin Kwang prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ for good weather and a safe journey and we prayed too. The Lord Jesus Christ answered our prayer. The rain stopped before we reached Singapore immigration checkpoint.

We stopped at the JB checkpoint for passport clearance. Then we proceeded a bit further into JB for our breakfast. After breakfast, we went shopping in JB central and had our lunch at about 2.00pm. We enjoyed the delicious lunch. After lunch, we took a ferry. The boatman brought us to see an interesting fish farm and then sent us back after 30 minutes.

We came back from the fish farm and went for dinner at a JB restaurant at about 8.00pm. After dinner, the bus sent us from JB back to Singapore. We arrived at Eunos MRT carpark at about 9.30pm.

It was a wonderful trip. We enjoyed ourselves very much and would like to thank our organizers for putting in a lot of effort to make this JB trip a success.

Wong Ah Yee

When I first learnt that our Seniors’ Ministry was organizing a day trip to JB Natural Agri-Fruit & Fish Farm, I was very excited as it was the first outing for the seniors to Malaysia.

Thank God for the organizing committee who had put in much effort in the planning. Every detail was taken care of. Even for the safety of the elderly folks, the committee had invited a few strong men from The Care Ministry to assist the elders in getting up and down the coach and going through the immigration counters at the Causeway.

As a full-time homemaker, I was confident of going on this trip. Little did I know that one week before the outing, I had a task to undertake for two to three days which would coincide with the trip. At that moment, I felt that my confidence of going on the trip dropped from a scale of a hundred to zero. I was rather disturbed because I wanted very much to go on the trip and I had invited two friends to go along. Thanks be to God, He reminded me of Phil 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God.”

I prayed and He answered my request. All glory be to Him for my task ended in the evening which was one day before the trip. Hence, I could go on the trip with much cheer instead of being worried.

That morning before we set off, there was a sudden heavy downpour. Doubts passed through my mind. We had been praying for the weather long before the actual day. Surely, God can stop the rain. We prayed to Him. As we entered into Johor Bahru, there was a complete change of weather. The sky was clear. Moreover, there was no rain and it was not too hot throughout the whole day. Praise the Lord! This incident strangely warmed my heart especially with His assurance in Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thought than your thoughts.”

Once again, I thank God for a blessed time of fellowship with our brethren and friends, a time to admire His creations as well as to enjoy the delicious meals and above all, for the spiritual lessons taught by Pastor Koshy.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2).

Jessie Ng

Pastoral Exhortation