Volume. XVIII, No. 43
Sunday, 25 April 2004

From the pastors heart: Evangelism-the mission of the church

In 1928, the International Missionary Council was held in Jerusalem and debated the “why” of missions and attempted to form a world religion by synthesizing Christianity with other world religions. Then in the 1960s, the World Council of Churches [WCC] viewed that “the church is not an ark of the saved delivered from a flood of judgment. Rather, it is the company of those who know that the whole world is saved, and can declare the world’s salvation” (Edmund P. Clowney, The Church, 155-156). From the mid-1960s, the liberation theology swept over many continents, and the mission of the church became supportive of revolutionary movements. Thus, theology was not a set of fixed truths any more, but a reflection of the socialized struggle of the church. The teachings of Karl Marx redefined the missions of the church as the liberation of the oppressed. From the WCC assembly in Canberra in 1991, the missions of the church began to be diverted into new agendas such as feminism, environmental issues, or pluralism. Prevailing world economies and ecological ravaging were identified as systematic evil (“Report of the Report Committee,” Ecumenical Review 43:2, April 1991, II:41). This same report says, the “spirituality of the land” that is found among indigenous peoples is said to offer new insights for a deeper understanding of a “Spirit-centred theology of creation.” The new theology urges Christian churches to move even into animism. Liberal scholars say that the Holy Spirit is working in all peoples and faiths and throughout the universe (Ibid, IV:92). Biblical fundamentalists are explained as intolerant and ideological imperialists. Therefore, they are the same kind of people as Muslim terrorists. It seems that there is no more work for Bible-believing and loving people to do for the church of Christ if the descriptions in the above reflect the missions of the church correctly. What can we say to them about the mission of Hope Church?

Our answer must come from the Word of God, which is the objective truth. The foremost emphasized truth within the messages of the apostles of Jesus Christ is a simple fact that all men are sinners. The first message that Peter preached to his fellows Jews was that they were sinners. They crucified the Son of God in Acts 2:36. Their response is clear in verse 37, “They were pricked in their heart.” They asked a question to Peter, “What shall we do?” Peter answered to them in verse 38, “Repent.” As we can see, the fundamental issue of man before God is of sin. Paul’s messages to the Gentiles were the same as Peter’s. He exposed the sins of men, so that they might repent of their sins. Another crucial point of these apostles’ messages was that they spoke about the Lord Jesus. He is portrayed as the Son of God, who is fully divine and human. He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings. He came into this world in flesh. He lived on earth and walked and ate like all of us. He was falsely accused and crucified on the cross. However, His death was not the end of the story. He was risen again from the dead. His body was not in a grave and did not see its corruption. But, He rose again. He was seen by many witnesses and ascended into heaven. Through His death and resurrection, He proved once again that He was the Christ (Acts 17:3). He was the fulfillment of many prophecies in the Bible. Therefore, the name of Christ was in the centre of apostolic messages. When a Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” the answer was “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Therefore, the focus of apostolic messages was that man was a sinner and needed to believe on the name of Jesus Christ for his salvation.

We ought to remember that the first message of Jesus was the message of repentance. It is because man is a sinner and needs to be saved. Only Christ Jesus can offer a gift of salvation. To proclaim this message, Jesus sent His disciples everywhere, even unto the uttermost part of the earth. The reason of Christ’s death was to forgive our sins and to save us. Romans 3:10 says, “there is none righteous, no, not one.” If we truly believe it, then we cannot but be burdened with the souls of the unsaved. If we leave them without knowing Christ Jesus, we are not doing well. We cannot be kind if we do not tell them about the Lord Jesus and the need of their salvation. If our beloved ones will not be the citizens of heaven because we have missed our all opportunities to tell them about the Lord and their salvation, we are cruel people. Jesus came to this world to save us. He has sent us to the world as He was sent by the Father. There are many concerns we may have in this life. There are many things we ought to do as a church of God. However, the most important thing to do is to save sinners. It is my prayer that you and I have more burdens in our hearts for the lost souls. When we have to say last good-byes to our beloved ones, if they do not know the Lord, we shall be despaired. Before we lose them, let us pray for their salvation and use opportunities to tell them about the Lord Jesus. Before we’ll shed our tears before their cold bodies, let us shed our tears now for their salvation. Before they leave us and return to the dust, let us show them our love by telling them about the Lord Jesus. If we bring others to Christ, but our beloved ones are missed out, what grief we’ll have in their funerals? The desire to save sinners must be in our hearts. This year, we want to give ourselves to evangelize the lost. It is the mission of our church this year and onward. Let us pray for the lost that they may come to the Lord for salvation.

Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question No. 46: What is required in the first commandment? The first commandment requireth us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and our God; and to worship and glorify him accordingly

Please continue to pray for Sis. Myung Ki, Rev. Peter Clements, Bro. Surish Dharmalingam, Sis Susan Varadi, Sis. Aranka Rejtoe, Sis. Irene Turner and Life Bible School (Kompong-som). “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” Jeremiah 33:3.

Thank God for granting journey mercies to Dn. Edwin D’Mello (Queensland), Dn. Tony and Bro. Lincoln Law (Warnambool and Adelaide), Bro. Eu-Jzin Tan (Adelaide), Sisters Serene Wong (Adelaide), Wendy Wong (Sydney), Ayji Chong (Canberra), Peng Ha Yeo (Malaysia) and Jasmin Chua (Melbourne).

Please pray for journey mercies for Dn. Edwin D’Mello, Sisters Jasmin Chua, Wendy Wong and Emmelin Teng, and Bro. Jason Teng (Adelaide).

Praise and Thank God for all those who helped in the Working Bee yesterday. May the Lord bless you richly in your service for Him.

Cambodia Missions - Missions to Cambodia in May 2004 has been cancelled. Anyone planning to go to Cambodia, 10 -31 Jan 2005, please see Ps Ki or Dn Michael D Lee ASAP.

Please Note: There will be no “How to Study the Bible” Class today.

Looking Ahead: Hope B-P Anniversary Service on Sunday, 6 June 2004. Guest Speaker: Rev. Peter Chua.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041