Tag Archives: life

CHALLENGES FOR EVANGELISM

6 Jul

The Summary of Sermon by Ps. Djohan Handojo at Bethany International Sevice on Sunday, 2 July 2017.

CHALLENGES FOR EVANGELISM

Pastor Djohan recently attended a conference at Wittenburg in Germany where the Reformation started by Martin Luther. 

The conference discussed how to bring the Gospel for every person and challenges in sharing it. The gospel brings freedom and transforms life. 

In sharing the gospel today, we faced several challenges :-

 1. Ideology 

People do not believe in God. 40% of the people in the Western world become atheist. They do not find God important in their lives.
2. Secularism  

People look into the world and there is less emphasis of God in the society. In South East Asia, many people still have strong faith in God. We still find Christian schools, many Church services in the malls and hotels.

3. Moral 

Today sexual disorder is considered normal and acceptable especially in the western world. The government in America and other western countries legalized the same-sex marriage. Even the schools are teaching it and educate the right to develop love and feelings beyond the gender which is gender disorientation.

(
James 1: 2-3) The world is constantly under temptation by the devil. Only the kingdom of God is unshakeable. 

We are dealing with self centeredness. People have the tendency to become self centered. Some of us struggle with sin but Jesus is waiting for us to come back when we have gone astray in the world. 
(2 Corinthians 5: 17-18) We are the new creation in Christ. It is important for us to walk in Christ every day. God will see us in a different way, God will see Christ who has redeemed us and see us as a new man or new woman in Christ.

When we are still living in the old self, the devil can attack us. When we live as a new man in Christ, the
devil cannot attack us. However, we can live a victorious life because God is in us.

(1 Corinthians 6 : 2 – 3)  For us as believers, one day, we will reign and rule with Jesus. We will judge the world and the fallen angels. 

Now, the Holy Spirit is in the world but one day the Holy Spirit will be taken away from the world. The world will turn into chaos.
(John 6:54- 55) Whoever eat of my flesh and drink of my blood remains in me, have the salvation and eternal life.

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WAITING UPON THE LORD

30 May

Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Mark Patterson, USA, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 28 May 2017.

WAITING UPON THE LORD

Pastor Mark travelled to the city of Banji, when he was a child accompanying his parents who were missionaries. In 1991, Dr Neal Patterson (Pastor Mark’s father) was a principal of Tung Lin Bible School in Singapore. While he was studying in Singapore, he decided to do a study on Kazakhstan as part of his thesis. In 1993, he and his family moved to Kazakhstan. They met a man from Sweden and they served God together in Kazakhstan for 11 years. Pastor Mark also helped to setup a Christian television channel in Taiwan to spread the Gospel in Taiwan.

We may never be rich in man’s eyes but we can be rich in culture. What we do is what makes us what we are. Everything we do is part of the preparation to do God’s work.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

The kiwi is a flightless bird although it has wings. The kiwi doesn’t need to fly as there are no natural predators until man brought in the predators. The kiwi’s wing muscles are not developed as it does not need to use it. As Christians when we don’t go through circumstances or challenges, our spiritual muscles would not grow. Growing through challenges in life helps our spiritual muscles grow, as we learn to trust and grow with God spiritually.

We live in an instant world. We want it now. We don’t want to save but we want something that is in trend now. We can Google it up for anything that we need to find out. Everything is within our reach. We don’t have time to contemplate. We need to avoid instant gratification. Many of us as believers want instant answers from God. God can respond in three ways:-
a. yes
b. no
c. wait

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Pastor Mark Patterson loves collecting stamps. He found something online recently for some mounts. As it fits to his plans of stamp collection, he purchased it. However, he needed to wait for two days. After two days, he went to check at his mailbox but there was nothing. After several days, he checked with his wife if she had received any parcel. His wife reminded him to check the front door and upon checking it was there! In fact the parcel had arrived but he failed to check near the front door as it was used mainly for guests. We are sometimes like that when we pray – we only expect God to response in a certain way and we fail to realise that God may respond in another way. God says yes, but we don’t claim it. We just leave it outside the front door. Our prayers go unfulfilled because we don’t ask.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelations 3:20)

God says yes but sometimes we need to wait. Sometimes our prayer is like online shopping. In Genesis 5 we read about Esau and Jacob. Esau had a nickname called Edom which means “red”. Jacob prepared lentils stew and as Esau saw it. Esau wanted it so badly that he was even willing to trade-in his blessings as the eldest son. Esau wanted quick gratification. What we want now seems more important than what we would get later. We should not live for the moment, but ask God what to do with the blessings that He has given us.

Waiting on the Lord is important so that we will mature as we do the will of God. Sometimes God will not give us what we want just yet as we may not be matured enough to handle it. Waiting for God’s timing is a process that builds our character to trust God.

Those who were with Jesus didn’t understand the purpose of Jesus. They want things to be answered now. The blessings are in our possession but we need to wait for it. We need to wait upon the promises of God. God has given us peace and joy and we need to act. Just like the parcel that had arrived, yet we failed to check it.

We need to be constantly reminded of our answered prayers. Have a prayer dairy so that you can check how God has answered your prayers. Don’t forget about what God has spoken to you about your prayers and let us learn to wait upon the Lord.

isaiah-40-311

 

HOLY SPIRIT

28 May

Summary of the Sermon by Senior Pastor Djohan Handojo, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 21 May 2017.

HOLY SPIRIT

We are entering into the week of Pentecost. When Jesus was on earth He was led by the Holy Spirit. Today we will learn about the ministry of Jesus in the various historical places in Israel, and its significance relating to the Holy Spirit.

1. Jordan River – Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
The Jordan River is a very fertile river. Naaman, a captain in the army of king of Aram was cured at the Jordan River. Many people, including Jesus, were baptised at that river. Jordan River talks about being filled with the Holy Spirit. In Romans 6:23, the Bible tells us that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus obeyed God the Father and was baptised at the Jordan River. When He was baptised, the Heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)

We become the legal sons and daughters of God as we are sealed with Jesus.

There are many symbols of the Holy Spirit. For example –
a. water – symbolizes cleansing and is needed by every living thing
b. fire – symbolizes light which is needed for life, purification
c. oil – symbolizes healing and anointing
d. wind – symbolizes God is omnipresent

2. Judean Desert – Led by the Holy Spirit
The world is a place of temptation. In today’s modern world, we are tempted in many ways, including entertainment, games and self-indulgences that turn us away from God. Don’t let the devil tempt us. We are sealed by Jesus and let us draw near to God and resist the devil. We need to control our minds so that we don’t live like the world. Jesus was tempted by the devil three times, but each time Jesus replied with the Word of God. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we go through our daily lives.

3. Nazareth – Empowered by the Holy Spirit
Jesus grew up in Nazareth and He was trained there. We need to raise our spiritual Nazarites (our children or spiritual children) and train them in the ways of God. Everyone who serves the Lord needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We need to learn to be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit and not depend on our own strength. We need to build an altar at our home to worship the Lord.

4. Capernaum – The Power of the Holy Spirit and Sharing the Good News
Capernaum was Jesus’ town and the centre of His activities in Galilee. It was the place where the Gospel was spread to many. Although many of the people were fishermen and farmers, yet the Gospel was received openly. The Holy Spirit will empower us to share the good news with people, even if we have difficulty sharing the Gospel. Trust and lean on the Holy Spirit as we share the good news to others.

5. Sea of Galilee – The Power of the Holy Spirit Brings Healing & Miracles
And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

We need to have radical obedience to the Holy Spirit in order to be equipped and anointed to do the will of God. When we obey the Holy Spirit, God can use us to bring healing and miracles to those who need it. The apostles of Jesus brought healing and miracles wherever they went as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Just like a fan which needs electricity to operate, healing and miracles need power from the Holy Spirit.

6. Upper Room Jerusalem – Wait Upon the Holy Spirit to Receive Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Some of us may not be baptised by the Holy Spirit and we need to be obedient to follow the Lord. The early disciples of Jesus obeyed Jesus to wait for the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.

The Holy Spirit is a Person. Let us learn how to trust and lean upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives that we may shine for God and bring an impact to our families, communities, cities and the nation.

Christian dove

WHO WANTS LIFE?

12 Jan

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor Betty Handojo, ministering at Bethany International Service on Sunday, 27 December 2015.

WHO WANTS LIFE?

Life is not only about having food and drinks, a good career, family and education, etc.  Human life may seem like a repetitive cycle – birth, growing up, getting married, earning money, having and raising children, having grandchildren and the whole cycle repeats itself.  Jesus came to give us life and life in abundance. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

Who wants life?  The life that God has given to us is mentioned in Romans 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” God wants us to live in this world with long life for a reason and for a purpose.  We are living in the end times, and living in the last days; God is calling us to be watchful and to be on guard!  Life on this Earth is not forever; our eternal dwelling place is the heavenly home of Jesus.  The last call is being announced, this is the final hour.

When Pastor Betty was 15 years old, God brought her to see the situation in the end times.  She was fully awake and not dreaming when suddenly her spirit left her body and God showed her a great persecution and the situation of the churches in the last days.

These days, children from different countries are receiving the similar visions and dreams that point out that Jesus is coming soon (Joel 2:28). We are experiencing the last call; as these things happen Matthew 24:1-14 is being fulfilled. On 12 April 2012, Pastor Betty was given a dream about rapture, a chaotic situation where people were screaming end times, end times, end times!  Pastor Betty heard a voice saying, “I am coming soon!” She was taken to a very bright place, a place of rest, peace and joy.  What happens if we hear the last call of God?  When you hear the last call for your flight, you will run towards the boarding gate as fast as possible so as not to miss your flight.  Remember that grace did not save Noah, but Noah’s obedience saved him and his family. God is not going to execute His judgments without informing His beloved. Genesis 6:5-12 – the Earth was filled with violence and corrupted.  Beware of developing bad habits and any forms of addictions or we will miss the opportunities that God has for us.  Choose life; obey God’s statutes and precepts.  God is going to judge this world again. God wants us to be watchful and not to allow our worldly life to overtake our spiritual life.  Don’t give God the remaining of our time and our offerings.  Don’t mock the call of God in these last days.  Get ready and be on guard.  Think about pursuing Jesus.  God wants us to live a full life in Christ, having Jesus and His Holy Spirit in our life.  Don’t compromise with this world.  Hear God’s voice and don’t give any opportunity to the devil.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil (Ephesians 4:25-26).

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land (Psalms 37:8).

Anger can lead us to wickedness.  Sin will make us deaf and blind.  Settle with our life issues; forgive others as we have been forgiven.

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice (Ephesians 4:28-30).

When we live without the help of the Holy Spirit we will die in our sins.  God reminds us that we are living in the last days.  We may not hear His last call clearly, but we should see the signs of the second coming of Christ.  Be watchful and don’t live in sin which will give a foothold to the devil. Check if there is any unsettled anger in our heart, this will lead to the death of our spirit.  When we grieve the Holy Spirit, there is no place for the spirit of the Lord to be present. Be serious with God because wickedness abound these days as the Devil is working hard to steal our abundant life Christ.

When Holy Spirit breathes on us, these things will happen –

  1. We experience holiness – changed to become new creation
  2. It sets me free – free from all bondages
  3. Desire for God – made us close to God
  4. Experience God’s love
  5. Desire to save souls
  6. Power (Mark 16:17-18)

How can we live for Jesus?

Come to Jesus. Open our hearts, confess our sins, walk with the Holy Spirit our Helper.

The breath that we have is the breath of the Holy Spirit, the giver of life. Live in Holiness, to be a new creation in Christ. Repent everyday because sin will kill us. Ponder upon our own life. When the Holy Spirit is in us, we break free from all bondages.  The Holy Spirit will give us the hunger and thirst to desire Jesus.  Draw closer to the Lord through obedience.

As a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit, we will return to our first love – Jesus Christ, having burdens for lost souls, and we will have power over sins and Satan. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover (Mark 16:17).

Choose life and live for Jesus to have a meaningful and purposeful life.

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