The following article was published in the Church Weekly (15/07/2007) under the pastoral chat and has been edited for presentation purposes. Please note that the recordings are now available to be downloaded off this page for your own review.
My dear Bethelites,
This has been a truly blessed week with the Church Family Camp at the Grampians. Thank God for the time He provided for us to gather together to study the Scriptures together and to be led by Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo. The series of messages on the theme of ‘Christian Living in the Last Days’ was timely and apt for our times.
There was an introductory message provided by Pastor Khoo who encouraged us to live out the truth found in Hebrews 10:19-25. We were encouraged to understand that Christianity is the ‘new and living way’ and we ought to draw near to God and to focus on others to provoke one another to love and good works.
Introduction Message – Pastor Khoo
Our introductory message was delivered by our Pastor. It centered around the passage of Hebrews 10:19-25 – which reminds us about the work of Jesus Christ as the only way to God.
Message 1 – “Make Sure Your Salvation”Message 1 was titled “Make Sure Your Salvation” (1 Peter 1:1-9). The message was centered around the nature of true faith:
- knowing the Gospel,
- agreeing with the underlying message of the Gospel (man is unable to save himself), and
- believing or submitting to the Gospel truth. If any one of the elements is missing, true faith is not in existence.
Message 2 – “Are You Growing In Your Spiritual Life?”
Message 2 was titled “Are You Growing In Your Spiritual Life?” (1 Peter 2:1-12). This was focused on ensuring we understand that we need to grow in our spiritual life. A sign of a true believer is the appetite for God’s Word, as the illustration in v2 provides that as newborn babes would demand milk, new believers should similarly be demanding to have God’s Word to grow and mature.
Message 3 – “Using The Right Bible”
Message 3 was titled “Using the Right Bible” (1 Peter 1:13-2:3). The message was focused on emphasising the need for us to recognise that Satan’s usual pattern of attack is to aim at God’s Word. We should all be aware of this and make sure we know the basis for why we need to preciously guard and stand firm on God’s Truth. Critically, we need to appreciate 2 Timothy 3:16 and understand that God’s inspired Word is both verbal and plenary.
Message 4 – “Submission To Authorities”
Message 4 was titled “Submission to Authorities” (1 Peter 2:9-25). and is aimed at highlighting submission to human authorities as a sign of the Holy Spirit in us, as this is not entirely possible without the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Rebellion and imperfect submission is the trademark of the world we live in. By submitting and yielding to those in authority (where it does not contravene the God’s Word): our employers, those in government, and law enforcers; we are able to create opportunities for those around us to see that we are different, separated, and witness to them more effectively on our faith.
Message 5 – “Be Prepared To Suffer”
Message 5 was titled “Be Prepared To Suffer” (1 Peter 3:8-18) and focuses on how we ought to reflect Our Christian nature within by not repaying evil for evil by with good. This high standard of Christian living is challenging and is not possible without the Holy Spirit within us.
An example illustrating this was from Daniel 3:16-18 where we read of a measured and controlled response to adversity faced by 3 saints: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Daniel’s 3 friends. They refused to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s new idol as this would violate God’s laws. Despite the King’s harsh sentence to burn them in the furnace, the 3 saints respectfully entreated the King to explain their faith and accepted the King’s sentence.
Message 6 – “Be Indoctrinated With God’s Word”
Message 6 was entitled “Be Indoctrinated with God’s Word” (1 Peter 5:1-4) and it stressed the importance for us to be truly grounded on God’s Word. Our Christian walk can be easily compromised where we don’t know and understand enough Scriptures.
There are also examples from Church History where Athanasius stood up to Arius in the controversy surrounding the nature of Christ: whether He was 100% God or some lesser percentage. Thank God for Athanasius’ knowledge of Scripture and resulted in a convincing vote of the Bishops in attendance of the Council of Nicene.
Message 7 – “Know Your Enemy”
Message 7 was entitled “Know Your Enemy” (1 Peter 5:1-11). This sobering message was to alert us to the nature of Satan and how he works to prowl on those who are weak or young in the faith, just as roaring lions would prey on the weaker (young and sick animals) prey when hunting. The main mode of attack is to tempt us to succumb to the sin of pride. The only effective antidote for such attacks is to constantly check our hearts, to be clothed in humility and to quickly build our faith by having a good understanding of Scriptures. Satan himself is the expert in pride, as this was his undoing, thinking that he could usurp God.
The messages have been recorded and everyone is encouraged to get a copy to listen to and to search the Scriptures earnestly whilst listening to them. Elder Charles Choong will be willing to make copies available.
During testimony time, it was clear that everyone was touched by the week’s messages and interaction. There were moving testimonials and some challenging personal commitments were shared with the other campers. Indeed, it was a blessed week for all who attended.
Next year’s camp is booked at Grampians again. It is a beautiful site and prayerfully, everyone in the congregation can make it. The confirmed booking dates are from Tuesday, March 25 2008 to Friday, March 28 2008, immediately following the Easter long weekend. Please plan to make yourselves available and don’t miss out on such a blessed week of studying God’s Word and fellowship with fellow believers.
In Christ, Dn James Nah