15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:15,16 ESV)
Before we realise it, half the year of 2013 is already history. During those six months, as a church, we praise God for the many happy occasions where we were able to celebrate and rejoice, as for example: Marriages of a few couples, both in our English and Chinese Assemblies; Salvation of a husband (after a faithful wife’s prayer for more than twenty years); New addition to the family; Mission Trips to Kalimantan, Myanmar (on-going), Africa (on-going), etc. During the period, there were also issues that led us to sit up and consider as to how fragile life is – a few of our members hospitalised for various reasons; at point of writing, one is still hospitalised (since 18th June), another one recuperating at home and one went home to glory.
What does six months of 2013 having so quickly passed us by mean to us? For one, it has proven that the prophecy of 21st December 2012 to be the end of the world is wrong. Life goes on. But should life ‘just go on’? How can we live a life in such a way that when the inevitable does take place, that we will not be found wanting? In the words of our Morning Worship Speaker last Sunday, ‘What kind of behaviour and lifestyle will be pleasing to God?’
When Dr. Clive Chin taught through the lectures on eschatology (the end-times) in April, it wasn’t just theory. We can debate and wrestle through the volumes of literature, whether we are pre-millenialists; amillenialists or post-millenialists; we can ask if we prefer to be pre-tribulationists; mid-tribulationists or post-tribulationalists. But from a biblical stand-point, Christ will come again (whatever our theological stand may be). Whether or not it is going to happen in the next six months, it is not for us to know (He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” – Acts 1:7).
What we can be certain is that Christ will come again (1Peter. 2:9); what we can be certain is that all of us will have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ (Heb. 9:27). What we need therefore is to constantly check ourselves, asking if what we do is valued as gold, silver and precious stone, or is it wood, hay and straw? (1Cor. 3:12)
Depending on how we respond to what triggers our passion and the issues at hand, some will queue up to buy face-masks; others will queue up buy a stuff-doll and still more will queue up to buy the latest mobile phone on offer, etc. What we do not wish to be embroiled into debates if such queues are acceptable, it may be appropriate for us to ask ourselves, as to how passionate we are when it comes to taking care of our spiritual health. With the remaining six months of 2013, may we use it to live purposefully on earth, part of which is ‘to know Him and to make Him known.’
Elder Richard Lai