Sherra Ng (Baptism)
I come from a superstitious, Buddhist family. My mother believes in “feng shui” (geomancy), whereas my father believes that there is a Creator but rejects that He is perfectly good (as he had been bullied in school before by some so-called Christians for coming from a poor family). My eldest brother is more superstitious than my mother, while my second brother does not have any strong opinion for or against Christ.
My interest in Christianity began when a teacher in NAFA (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts) first told me about the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. She asked me to read a chapter a day because Proverbs is a book full of wisdom. I did as told, and found it a very interesting collection, so I started reading from the Book of Genesis after reading Proverbs. I realised the Bible answers a lot of our moral questions; there are even things that my parents taught me, which the Bible tells us are wrong. Curious, I had a few discussions with my senior, a Christian, who eventually brought me to join the NAFA-Lasalle Bible Study of Gethsemane B-P Church.
After some time, the Gospel was shared to me. I made my decision to surrender myself to Christ because God teaches us to be godly people, and that’s only possible through Christ, the Saviour, who died to deliver us sinners (which all of us are though many of us are “good people” by the world’s standard). I then attended a church with a friend of mine for a while, where they did not sing hymns, but more of contemporary Christian songs, though not like pop concerts with electric guitars, drum sets and flashing lights. Then on one weekend, I was invited to the Gethsemane Youth Fellowship, where Pastor Koshy was preaching from the Book of Proverbs. Then I enquired about the Sunday service, and I attended a few of the worship services, before switching to live-streaming of the worship when “Circuit Breaker” kicked in.
Of course, my family was not happy with this news at first, especially my parents. My mother hung several religious objects in my room and all over the house, complete with a purple crystal ball placed on my desk. I took down those in my room and left the rest out of respect for her. Thank God, my parents are now fine with me regularly going to church, and are even willing to send me to Youth Fellowship meetings sometimes on the way to their workplace. My father even started reading the Old Testament after finding a Bible at home printed in Chinese. Praise God!
Celine Lim (Baptism)
I grew up in a Methodist church and attended services with my mother and sister from a young age. I was also in a Methodist school, being exposed to regular morning devotions as well as weekly chapels. I accepted the Lord and Saviour into my heart at the age of 14, through hearing a sermon being preached during one of my school chapel services – “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Romans 3:10-11). I came to understand the sinful nature within me, and that I was only able to be born again if I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I realised all I had in this world would fade away, and nothing else could bring me joy except the Lord Jesus Christ. I started attending services more regularly and took more active participation in fellowship meetings.
However, soon I felt alone and discouraged in my walk with the Lord, as many around me slowly started leaving the church and the faith. Throughout my secondary school and JC days, I would visit other churches from time to time, but still returned to my first church to worship. I decided to follow my mum to the adult service, where I learnt a lot about the Lord. However, I continued to feel lonely in my Christian life, as there was a lack of friends (who were of my age) in church. In addition, I felt there were few avenues of service for me in the adult service.
When I later, in university, shared this struggle of mine with a CCA friend, telling her how difficult it was to be a Christian without like-minded friends and active service, she then invited me to her church. The people there were very warm and friendly, so different from my church, where most people were cold and hardly knew one another. However, behind this façade, there were major differences about this church - worship was a lot louder and more emotional, sermons seemed to be surrounding the same few messages each time I went and the Christians around had “gifts” that I had never seen. Some would break out in “tongues”, some would begin prophesying over a brother or sister claiming that they had a given message from the Lord, and some would shout ‘Hallelujiah’ in the middle of a sermon or worship. I was shocked on my first visit, and I thought to myself: “How could Christianity differ so much among churches?” I questioned their practices, but they always seemed to answer readily and fervently. As I engaged in more conversations with them, I started to believe that I was the one who had to adapt and change my stance as a Christian. They spoke fervently about Christ, and it was hard to miss their passion and love.
Little did I know that I had fallen into the hands of the Charismatics! There were many times that I could not comprehend the answers they gave to my countless questions. Yet, in the name of Christian love, I brushed the matter aside again and again, and told myself not to over-think or over-complicate situations. At least, I seemed to be doing the work of the Lord in this new place, with actively and zealous members. But my conscience felt pricked from time to time.
In my third year of university, a classmate started questioning me about my Christian beliefs, to which I gave standard answers that I had always heard from others. He then invited me to Gethsemane B-P Church in January 2020. I came with the intention to learn truths about Christianity, being still deeply rooted in many teachings of my previous church. When I first came to GBPC, Pastor Koshy had started on the Book of Jude where he talked about the apostates of our time. It became apparent to me that Charismatics were one such group that were following the wrong doctrine. I began to wondered whether I had missed something essential which true Christians could see but I had not been able to.
As I continued coming and grew in understanding of the Word, I was also confronted with the Truth. It was difficult to accept that the many things I thought were done out of faith, love and passion in the past, were but lies and deception. A few months on, I knew that I could no longer stay in my previous church. I would be blatantly going against the Lord and living in sin and defiance. By the grace of God, I left the church a few months later. I then had to ask the Lord where He would lead me to next. With more free time on my hands, I watched the services of various churches online, due to the “circuit breaker” measures. As I questioned: “what made a good church?”, I realise it is one that stands for the truth. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:13-18).
I thank God for how He led me to Gethsemane BPC, to show me the Truth, as the Truth had set me free. I now understand that to live the life of a Christian requires good instruction and teaching, not unbridled passion and fervency. “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold” (Proverbs 3:13-14). As the hymn writer wrote:
“A pilgrim was I, and a wandering,
In the cold night of sin I did roam,
When Jesus the kind Shepherd found me,
And now I am on my way home.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days, all the days of my life;
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days, all the days of my life.”
Thank God for His grace and mercy.
Ng Hui Fang (Baptism)
I first heard about the Gospel from my elder sister during my secondary school years. Though I cannot remember her exact sharing, I remembered her sharing of why man has been alienated from God, and the only way to reconcile with Him, through a colourful tract. Nevertheless, it was not until during my tertiary education that I came to receive Christ as my personal Saviour. As both of us were from a non-Christian family background, her testimony in recounting the wondrous workings of God in her life somehow moved my heart. Without second thoughts, I received Christ into my life that day.
However, what followed soon after was a series of fiery responses from my parents (my mum especially), when they found out about my faith. Torn Bible, torn bible-study notes strewn on my table were common scenes that I had to face in those days. My relationship with my mum became strained, as we did not speak to each other closely for 2 years. During those first 2 years, my weak conviction of faith, along with my lack of patience and weak endurance of the persecution faced, had not kept me far on my spiritual journey. My faith failed the test. Slowly, I withdrew from God and was swept away by the lures of the world. The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life effortlessly pulled me away from God for years. Indulgence in sin was of no grave matter to me and my life was fully filled with carnality, resulting in the downward spiral of my spiritual well-being. By the grace of God, this godless life of mine was brought to a stop when a dramatic turn of events brought me down to the lowest point and I found myself seeking God once again…
In need of spiritual healing, I began to attend church again with a colleague of mine. During the same time, I was being invited by my elder sister multiple times to join her in Gethsemane BPC. Though I liked to continue accompanying my colleague, that church’s charismatic manner of worship service was increasingly not agreeable to me. I finally joined my sister in Gethsemane BPC in 2018. It is deeply enriching to hear Pastor’s expounding on the words of God and his life testimony as a strong witness for Christ. His faithful preaching has led me to understand what it takes for one to be a true follower of Christ. “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Knowing that tribulations are expected in our Christian life and faith has to be tried, we should not expect an easy battle.
Nevertheless, it is comforting to know that this is not a battle fought alone as we are told in Hebrews 4:15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” It is then most assuring to know that Jesus Christ, as God of all grace, is sufficient for me – “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). May I continue to walk under the leading and guidance of the Lord Jesus Christ, as a “stranger” and “pilgrim” on the earth, with strengthened faith and steadfastness.
Benjamin Chong (Transfer)
Thank God for His grace that has kept me close to Him throughout my growing years, and for revealing my depraved and sinful nature. Despite many times that I have slipped, and ignored the wise advice of family and friends, God in His perfect goodness chastised me and brought me back to Him.
I have been immensely encouraged by Pastor Koshy’s messages and constant reprimands to wrestle against worldliness. It is a huge problem that I have seen in many of my Christian friends’ lives, which no doubt is a stumbling block to all who have witnessed the double standards practiced in modern Christianity. My prayer for all Gethsemaneans is: that we will keep our eyes on the heavenly prize, and strive to live a sanctified life here on earth which will bring light for souls lost in darkness.