Volume. XXVI, No. 15
Sunday, 09 October 2011


What is your life? (James 4:14) - Part 2


Gospel Rally message by Dn Edwin D’Mello on The Lord’s Day, 7 August 2011)

The futility of living for this world and of earthly possessions (continued)

Most of you must have heard of king Nebuchadnezzar. He was one of the greatest Babylonian Kings and also the cruelest. Yet God used him to humble God\'s chosen people the Jews who had gone astray. Sometime in the 6th Century BC, King Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed it completely. He pulled down the walls of Jerusalem, burnt down the city completely including the Temple of God and carried away all the Jews as captives to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar established a mighty empire with Babylon as it’s capital.

A record of the grandeur of Babylon which Nebuchadnezzar built is given in many historical books. In the Bible in the Book of Daniel Chapter 4:29-33  it is recorded that one day  “he (King Nebuchadnezzar) walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. 30The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.”

This great king Nebuchadnezzar became mad and lived like an animal for 7 years, and then finally his understanding came back to him.

Also it is recorded in the book of Daniel, that Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson Belshazzar amassed great wealth, and one day he held a great banquet in his palace with  1000 high officials. But during the course of the banquet, there appeared a writing on the wall, which was interpreted by Daniel, that  God had numbered his kingdom, and finished it. He was weighed in the balances, and was found wanting. His kingdom was divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

That very night Darius the Median invaded Babylon, killed Belshazzar and reigned over the empire. So this great city of Babylon with its hanging gardens and all its magnificent wonders was destroyed by the Persians. All this was exactly as foretold by some of God\'s Prophets and has been recorded in the Bible.

All throughout history we find this happening, kings rise up and fall. Empires are established and destroyed. Magnificent buildings are built only to be pulled down again. We find people driving around in expensive cars only to crash them some day.

You all know about the Titanic.

The Titanic was a marvel of maritime Engineering. It was thought to be unsinkable. On its maiden voyage across the Atlantic, from South-Hampton to New-York, carrying more than 1500 passengers, it crashed into a iceberg, 400 miles off NewFoundland in Canada and started sinking. It went to the bottom of the ocean along with hundreds of passengers.

Well we all know that things of this earth are not made to last. There is only a limited amount of warranty on earthly things. Material things get worn out, rusted, decayed and finally become useless and unprofitable. Even this earth will be gone one day.  The Bible says that   “heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10)

My dear friends, there is no lasting value for the things of this earth. You may be a multi-multi billionaire, have vast amount of property and wealth, but it is not going to help you in times of real disastrous events. like earthquakes, Tsunamis, floods, tornados etc.

Even now we hear of the global financial crisis and see how the world\'s economy is shaking. Millions of dollars in the sharemarket get wiped off in a single day. Money takes wings and flies away.

What will happen after you die?

So now since everything perishes and even our own life is short and one day we shall all die, the big question is - what will happen to me after I die?

Now many people have various ideas about what will happen after they die, depending upon what their religious beliefs are.

The Hindus believe in reincarnation. They say that depending on how you have lived your life on earth, you will be re-incarnated into a particular life form whether human or non-human. If you have been a very bad person you may be re-incarnated as a beast. If you have lived a good life you will be re-incarnated as a very wealthy person. They believe that the human soul goes through endless cycles of re-incarnation, until the soul merges with some cosmic being or God, even though they do not have a well defined concept of God. Because for the Hindus there are thousands of gods and everything is a part of god. Anyway, according to them, there will be just re-birth after death.

Moslems believe that after a person dies he will be judged by Allah depending upon his deeds. Thet have no guarantee of where they will go after they die. But they believe that if you have died as a martyr for the sake of Allah, even if it meant taking the lives of people who do not believe in Allah, then you will have a special place in Paradise and be entertained by beautiful virgins.

People who do not believe in the existence of a God who created everything and believe only in matter believe that after you die it is the end of your life. They believe only in the existence of the body which they believe to have evolved from non-living matter and after the body dies, it again becomes non-living matter. They do not believe that human beings also have a soul which lives for ever.

Since people with different religious beliefs have different ideas about what happens after we die, then the question is - what is the right answer? In order to know what will happen after we die, we first need to know how we came into being.  We need to turn to the Bible in order to know how we came into being, the purpose of our existence and what will happen after we die.

As I have said before, the Bible was written by Holy men of God. When they wrote the words in the Bible they wrote what God wanted them to write. Many people dispute that the Bible contains the truth of everything that pertains to life and they don\'t accept all Bible writings as facts. However there are are many more people who have verified the authenticity of the Bible. The Bible has proven itself to be right in the areas of natural things as well as in spiritual things. In areas of natural things, it has proved itself right in science, geography and history.

The Bible says in a matter of fact way that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. It doesn\'t say that billions of years ago there was a big bang which gave rise to millions of stars and stars collided with stars to form planets, then over billions of years later favourable conditions occurred on planet earth and then microbes started appearing which turned into trees and birds and fish and animals and then man. No the Bible does not talk of this nonsensical way that man originated, which is falsely called as scientific, when it is just a belief like a religious belief.

The Bible just says that God created man in His own image, both male and female - Adam and Eve. They were made blameless and without any fault and were perfect human beings having a full understanding of God\'s laws. They were given a free will and had the ability to make right decisions. But very sadly they made the wrong choice. Instead of listening to what God had commanded them, they chose to disobey God.

When God created them, He told them that they were free to eat the fruit from any of the trees of the Garden in which they were placed. But they were forbidden to eat the fruit of one particular tree which is called the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God told them that if they ate the fruit of that particular tree then they would die.

When God created Adam and Eve, His purpose for them was to have constant relationship with Him and enjoy the life that He had given them and to glorify Him and to live forever with Him. They and their children to be born would live for ever enjoying a type of life which we can never imagine. It would have been such a marvellous and wonderful life for Adam and Eve and all their descendants to be living forever with God, never experiencing, sickness, injuries, natural calamities, wars and death.

But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they sinned against God and so death came into their being. The dying process in his physical body started, and also he became spiritually dead, because he lost his beautiful relationship with God and so lost the spiritual life from God. When Adam sinned, basically all of human race sinned, because we were all inside Adam as we all descended from him and he represented the entire human race. 

So all of Adam’s descendants were destined to die physically and spiritually. Every person who is born into this world is spiritually dead as he does not have any relationship with God. Also the moment a person is born, the dying process also starts. He starts aging, his body cells  keep dying as he grows older and finally his body dies.

So then what happens after he dies?

The Bible says that every person who is born is by nature a sinner who does not have a relationship with God and so is spiritually dead. And because he is a sinner he will sin throughout his life and continue to disobey God. Finally after he dies he will be judged for all the sins that he committed and will be punished in hell. Hell is a place of torment. It is a place of continual anguish and the sinner will suffer in this place forever. There is going to be no re-incarnation. Neither shall there be an anhilation of body and soul. But both body and soul will be cast into the fire of hell to be tormented for ever.

In the Bible in the book of Hebrews 9:27, it says -  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:”

....to be continued next week

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements


*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Sis Suzane Lim. Next Lord’s Day: Sis Grace Gan.

*Hope Bookstore (open 12.30-1.45pm) every Sunday

*Preparations for the Christmas Concert will begin.  Please help to make this an occasion to bring the Gospel Message to the public.

*All pledges & contributions to Africa Fund to be given to Dns Purdee Yeo.

Looking Ahead

*Christmas Concert, Sat, 3 Dec.

*Christmas Worship Service, 25 Dec.

 Praise and Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Rev George van Buuren; Bro Aaron & Sis Monica Tan & Annabelle; Bro Charles & Sis Peng Ha Yeo; AFG Retreaters; Bro Simon Yeo (Adl); Bro Joseph & Sis Chrisanthi Selvanayagam & family (S Africa); Bro Peter & Sis Mary Ting & family (Syd/Fiji); Bro Pirun Pech (S Korea); Sisters Sheila Chalil, Smrithi George & Shilsa Ninian (Grampians); and others who have arrived at their destinations. 

2. Church activities - over the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. AFG Retreat last weekend– excellent teaching, God’s blessings & warm fellowship.

4. Sunday School Dinner yesterday evening

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser;  Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Myung Ki (Lond), Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Tony Wong (Bro John’s father); Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction. 

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry (Phnom Penh & Kandal Province)

3. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry; Next year’s missions trip: 4 - 7 Jan 2012.

4. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr H S Lim (Melb).

5. IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman, Board & Missionaries around the world.

6. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.

7. Ministry in New Life BPC, London - Ps & Sis Ki;

8. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries.

9. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

10. House of Hope, Cebu, Philippines.

11. Journey mercies: Bro Jonathan Liao (Melb); Sisters Sheila Chalil, Smrithi George & Shilsa Ninian (Adl), Lydia & Lena Fan (Melb); and all those travelling.

12. Job - Those looking for a job.

13. Studying in Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo

14. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.

15. God’s comfort - For those in grief.

16. Street-Evangelism - Protection of participants & Salvation of those who received Gospel tracts.

17. Mission work in the Philippines - Bro Richard & Sis Myra Horenung (Mindanao).

18. Sis Edna Obed (Vanuatu) - good health with twin pregnancy, & safe labour.

19. Christmas Concert - God’s help and guidance in preparation. Speaker: Rev Ed Paauwe.

20. Sis Clara Sim - guidance & direction in job interviews in S’pore, & her future plans.

 

 

 

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063