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Exhortation-English

A Man of Faith Patiently Endures

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 19 March 2017

The patriarch Abraham’s life was a life of great faith; hence he was regarded as a hero of faith. His faith has been the subject of scrutiny of believers of all ages, and even today he continues to be a pattern for all of us who are in this journey of faith. I would like to consider an elucidation of Abraham’s faith, which the Spirit of God recorded in Hebrews 6:15 – “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” It is a concise commentary on Abraham’s long wait for the fulfilment of God’s promise, “Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee” (Hebrews 6:14).

Have you noticed that Abraham’s remarkable faith is succinctly explained with a short phrase of just two words “patiently endured”? This phrase is the translation of one Greek word, makrothumeo, which is made up of two words – makros (meaning “long” or “far”) and thumeo (meaning “agitated”, “be angry”, etc.) So, the word means “bearing up under provocation”, “have long patience”, “bear long”, “suffer long”, “be longsuffering”, “patiently endure”, etc. The word depicts a man persevering patiently and bravely in the midst of difficulties and troubles...


DEALING WITH FEAR

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 12 March 2017

Introduction

Fear can grip our hearts anytime. It can develop within us due to tragic circumstances, such as failures, sickness, urgent financial needs, the death of a dear one, etc. It can also emerge due to overwhelming responsibilities, anxiety over the future, etc. Whatever be the cause of fear, if we do not appropriately deal with our feelings of fear, it can cause considerable damage to our lives. Fear is a tyrant – who subdues our senses, emotions and even numbs our mind and body. Worst of all, it can cause us to act dishonourably and defiantly before the Lord. So, Scripture urges us to act decisively to expel fear from within us.

Our modern world, with all its immense research and medical advancement, has not been able to cure people of their phobias. There is a very long list of phobias that people suffer from. Modern society is a world of phobia and panic attacks. People are looking for cures, but to little avail...


The Lord Delights in His Saints

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 05 March 2017

(A lesson based on the life of Job)

Introduction

To know that someone loves us is a joyous matter. It is a tremendous pleasure to know that someone is really happy about us. When parents, relatives, teachers, bosses or friends commend our efforts, we know our labours have not been in vain.

However, very often people forget or neglect our real efforts. Worse still, some people repay our efforts with false allegations, slander and even persecution. Very often, the labours of God’s people have gone unnoticed and unrewarded...


Beware of Entertaining Ourselves by Breaking God’s Law!

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 26 February 2017

Today, Christians at large “entertain” themselves by watching others break all of the Ten Commandments. It seems that for many, God’s eternal standards do not apply to their modern artistic and media entertainment. This problem is especially acute for Christian youths who find that their friends (Christian and non- Christian) attend nearly all of the innumerable movies targeted at their generation.

While it is true that it is very difficult to produce a list of dos and don'ts, it is totally wrong to assume that as long as an activity pleases one’s heart, it should be alright to engage in it. The natural thoughts, imaginations and desires of human hearts are always evil. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). But through the law of God, we can know and fulfil God’s righteousness and truth...


Christians’ Conduct Among Non-Christians

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 19 February 2017

Colossians 4:5 exhorts us that we “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” Christians are instructed here concerning their conduct “toward them that are without” the church.

Relating to people outside the household of faith poses peculiar challenges to the Christians. Unbelieving family members, colleagues at work, fellow students, neighbours and other associates – all have principles or philosophies of life and conduct that are contrary to the biblical counsels that God has given for believers to live by. Many things that are lawful in this world are unlawful according to God’s Word. For example, while there exist legalised gambling and prostitution in our societies, Scripture prohibits them completely. While many think that participating in different religious worship ceremonies / activities is good, such conduct is condemned in the Bible as abomination. Christians cannot join those who practise things that are prohibited in the Bible....


Preparing to Seek God

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 12 February 2017

Examples and Consequences of Unpreparedness

If one has a petition to make before a king, one will be mindful to prepare oneself before an audience with the king. One would think through very carefully what to say, what clothes to adorn for the occasion, and the proper conduct to behave before royalties. It would be audacious to rush into the king’s palace without proper preparation. Similarly, it is inappropriate for Christians to demand God’s attention without proper preparation.

The Most High God has graciously provided ways to interact with Him. He has not saved us to leave us alone, but wants us to involve Him in all aspects of our life. We can sing praises to Him in hymns, psalms and spiritual songs, pray to Him and intercede on others’ behalf, and go before Him in worship and devotion...


Serving God

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 05 February 2017

Ye cannot serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:19) – that was exactly what Joshua asserted to the Israelites who had said, “therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God” (v. 18). It must have been a crushing statement to a people who expressed their zeal to serve the LORD. But why such a staggering admonition? Why would Joshua tell them that they cannot serve the LORD?

John Calvin commented that such a harsh mode of rebuke was necessary “in order to rouse a sluggish people, rendered more lethargic by security… Joshua does not deter them from serving God, but only explains how refractory and disobedient they are, in order that they may learn to change their temper...


Family Worship

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 29 January 2017

That most sublime historical document of biblical doctrine, namely the Westminster Confession of Faith – which is also our church’s doctrinal creed – states in chapter 21 (on “Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day”), section 6:

“… God is to be worshipped everywhere, in spirit and truth, as, in private families daily, and in secret, each one by himself; so, more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by His Word or providence, calls thereunto.”


Missionary Conference 2017

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 22 January 2017

God willing, the 5th Missionary Conference of Gethsemane B-P Church will be held in Kuching (Sarawak, East Malaysia) from 5th to 9th of June this year. We thank God that about 170 people have already registered to attend this conference. (If you have not yet registered for the conference, I would encourage you to immediately register and book your flights to avoid disappointment of missing this blessed occasion that the Lord has helped us to organise).

The Purpose

Missionary conferences are held for a twofold purpose. Firstly, that Gethsemane B-P Church, Singapore, as a whole may renew itself concerning her God-given vision of global Gospel advancement – “… ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Secondly, that the church may bring together her missionaries, mission-partners and preachers, as well as like-minded preachers of other churches...


What Sort of Church Should We Be?

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 15 January 2017

There are all sorts of opinions about what should characterise a church. Many ideas are being offered to church leaders by the so-called church growth experts and business strategists who claim to have developed powerful ideas, having studied many opinion surveys of the people. Their ideas and activities are enthusiastically considered as vital to becoming an effective church.

It appears that churches which implemented the opinions of the ‘experts’ have grown in huge numbers. They recommend more entertainment in the church services – entertaining music, dance and light-hearted preaching, etc....


Personal Devotion

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 08 January 2017

Personal worship or devotion is a time when each individual devotes himself to meditation of God’s Word and prayer, as a special means of communion with God. During this special time of individual worship, singing of psalms and hymns can enhance one’s adoration and worship of God. Such a special time with God can be observed early in the morning or in the evening. Some devout Christians, like Daniel of old, would even have their personal time of worship with God three times a day (Daniel 6:10, 13; Psalm 55:17)!

Private worship is most necessary to one’s faithful, triumphant and fruitful Christian life. It is also the root of family and public worship. A man who neglects personal worship would fail to render genuine and fervent family and public worship. Just as he who labours must have his three meals, a fervent Christian must also have his spiritual feeding and communion with God daily...


Praying With One Accord

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 01 January 2017

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication…” (Acts 1:14).

This a report on the patient and prayerful waiting of 120 followers of Christ, including the apostles (except Judas Iscariot), after His ascension. They were facing a hostile and uncertain future after the Lord has been captured and killed by the dwellers of Jerusalem. Yet they had a mandate from their Master to fulfil in that city, even to preach Christ to those who crucified Him, before they move on to other parts of Judea and then to the ends of the earth. Their situation was indeed very dire. What would they do? Call for a planning meeting? Or hire famous consultants? Or quit being followers of Christ and go back to their old professions like fishing and tax collection?

They resorted to an upper room in Jerusalem so that they might pray together. There, with one accord, they besought the LORD for guidance and help. It was the only solution that the infant church had in their dreadful circumstance, but the best...


When Christ’s Birth was first promised

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Written by Dennis Kabingue Sunday, 25 December 2016

Genesis 3:15

When God first revealed to our first parents His plan to send Christ into this world, it was a most momentous time. When the first Gospel announcement was made, our first parents had been found guilty of rebellion and were responsible for the fall of God’s creation, particularly Adam. By eating the forbidden fruit, they had forged an unholy alliance with Satan and transgressed God’s commandment in Genesis 2:16-17 – “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Imagine the commotion, fear and guilt troubling their hearts and minds as they found themselves dead in trespasses and sins. They were still alive, yet spiritually dead, being alienated from God. This consequence, God had emphatically warned Adam earlier. Everything changed in a twinkling of an eye as their spiritual death cut them off from God’s presence...


Daily Vacation Bible School 2016

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 18 December 2016

Gethsemane Children’s Ministry (GCM) praise the Lord for seeing us through this year’s Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS). This year’s theme – “Shine for Jesus” – was conceived from a phrase in Philippians 2:15, “among whom ye shine as lights in the world”.

The participants were taught four lessons: “Jesus is the Light of the World”; “In Jesus, We Become Light”; “Walk in Jesus’ Light”; and “Shine for Jesus”. The objectives of the lessons were twofold. Firstly, to preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the non-believing children. Secondly, to exhort children..


Fallacies Parents Must Avoid – Part II

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 11 December 2016

In the last article that I wrote, I have mentioned that there are wrong ideas being promoted as infallible guides for successful parenting. I would like to mention briefly one or two more of them in today’s article.

We think we know what is best for our children

There are parents who think that their desires and ambitions for their children are truly what God wants for their children. Could such a notion be true? Did not the Bible record clear evidence of determination made by parents which led their children to the best of situations in their adult life...


Fallacies Parents Must Avoid – Part I

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 04 December 2016

In my 23 years of parenting, very often I have to pray earnestly for God’s help to evaluate my own thoughts about parenting to see whether I am getting it right. Though we have an infallible guide, the Scriptures, many a time we do wrongly apply the Scriptural guidelines. Christian parents must examine themselves to see whether they have been tempted to adhere to ideas or methods which are not necessarily biblical.

No Guaranteed Method

Today, I would like to address one of the dangerous concepts that some parents have adopted. Parents, who impose on their children a certain idea or conduct or method or path (not stipulated in the Scriptures) as though it is the only way for them to go forward, are prone to make serious mistakes. There is no singular method or path that guarantees your children’s salvation or good behaviour or success in life....


Seek the LORD

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 27 November 2016

Many things distract Christians from being wholly focused in their spiritual pursuit. They tend to count it a small matter that they have lost their commitment to the Lord. However, the prophet Amos repeatedly reminds us of the importance of seeking the Lord continually and diligently. Let us learn from the prophet the meaning and significance of seeking the LORD.

“Seek the LORD, and ye shall live”.(Amos 5:6a).

The prophet Amos had just ended a lamentation over the impending death of the people of the “house of Israel” (5:1-5). A “lament” is a poem of grief sung at a funeral. Prophets used this poetic form to mourn the death of a city, people or nation (cf. Jeremiah 9:10-11, 17-22; Lamentations 1-5; Ezekiel 19; 26:17-18). Though Israel had been enjoying material prosperity under Jeroboam II...


Declare War Against Lust of the Flesh!

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 20 November 2016

War is being waged against our souls! Young and old alike in the church are embattled. The enemy is the ever-present “lust of the flesh”! The onslaught of lust is on the rise! Pornography, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, etc. are affecting more and more Christians, both young and old. It leaves men and women writhing in shame and sorrow. It is very destructive – individual and family lives are torn asunder. The church is also losing its moral edge. When men are caught in these sins, how can they rise to leadership of the church? The church suffers much weakness because of the moral impurity of her members and leaders.

Beloved, you must declare war against your lust. The threat of lust is very grave. We can neither ignore nor enter into a truce with this enemy of our soul. Please carefully and prayerfully read and appropriate the following biblical admonitions...


Biblical End-Time Prophecy about Jerusalem & the US President-Elect Donald Trump

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 13 November 2016

The result of the recent US presidential election has left millions of people in the US and around the world rather disappointed and upset. Singapore, too, has a large number of people who felt very disappointed that the Democratic candidate did not win the election.

Without going into the nature, conduct, policies, etc. of the candidates, I would like to point all my brethren in Gethsemane to the biblical truth that all governments are so ordained by the Lord (whether we like / agree with them or not). Daniel 2:21 says, “And he (God) changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings …” We are also commanded to show due respect to their office and authority by being respectful...


Beware of Despising Preaching

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Written by Pr Andrew Koh Sunday, 06 November 2016

“Despise not prophesyings” (1 Thessalonians 5:20).

The Greek word for “despise” is translated as the following words in the King James Bible: “despise” (6x), “set at nought” (3x), “least esteemed” (1x), “contemptible” (1x). It means to make of no account and to look down upon utterly. “Prophesyings”, in the context of 1 Thessalonians 5:20, refer to the proclaiming or revealing of God’s will or purpose, i.e. preaching. Despising preaching is to regard preaching as useless, worthless, insignificant and beneath one’s consideration.

Ignorance of the purpose of preaching will yield a condescending attitude towards it. This can be seen from the context of 1 Corinthians 14. The Christians in Corinth had undervalued preaching because they rather wanted to have the gifts of speaking in tongues or the working of miracles. They coveted after the spectacular ability to speak in tongues and perform miracles...


Reformers: Faithful unto Death!

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 30 October 2016

Today being Reformation Sunday, let us with thanksgiving to God cherish the memory of the Reformers who were ready to sacrifice their lives for Christ and His Word! They feared neither persecution nor death. They counted it an honour to be martyrs for their Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ! The stories of their valiant preaching for the defence and propagation of God’s Word are enthralling to every genuine believer.

In his trial (in 1555), the English Bishop of London, Nicholas Ridley, was confronted and asked to reject the Protestant faith. He would not yield to the pressure, but emboldened himself and replied, “As for the doctrine which I have taught, my conscience assureth me that it is sound, and according to God’s Word … in confirmation thereof I seal the same with my blood...


Labouring with Gethsemane Children’s Ministry

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 23 October 2016

Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14).

Gethsemane Children’s Ministry (GCM) was established with the dual purpose of meeting the spiritual needs of children within our church (cf. Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”), and evangelising children outside the church (cf. Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen”)...


Soteriology and Prayer

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 16 October 2016

Since July, 35 students of theology have been meeting on Wednesday nights to study “Soteriology” as part of the Gethsemane Bible Institute Online classes. (By the way, this is the 3rd in the series of GBI’s Systematic Theology classes). I am happy to report that all the students come with tremendous enthusiasm and give themselves to learning.

Soteriology is the study of the Scriptural doctrine of salvation. This division of theology deals with a keen study of God’s provision of salvation for sinners through Jesus Christ and all salvific blessings He offers to those who trust in Christ. Topics, such as Election, Atonement, Substitution, Propitiation, Expiation...


Christians’ Mutual Communication

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 09 October 2016

God’s people are not expected to live an isolated life. They are expected to live in mutual fellowship. The Word of God encourages them not to shun one another, but to readily and regularly communicate with one another. Being stirred in the heart by the Holy Spirit, they crave for mutual society. Furthermore, they don’t hanker after the company of ungodly people with whom they have little in common.

In Psalm 66:16, a child of God says to his fellow saints, “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.” The audience that a child of God would seek are those who fear God. What would be the subject of conversation when God’s people meet? The social talk of His people should always focus on the goodness, mercies, righteousness and truth of God that they have come to know and experience. It is the solemn duty of God’s people to communicate to one another the blessings which God has conferred upon them...


Empowering Youths for Christ

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 02 October 2016

No matter where Christian youths live, they face immense challenges to their faith and holiness. No one can concisely describe those odds stacked against them. The challenges they encounter are no more just matters arising from their own fleshly lusts and enticements of friends, but also from the internet social media that (directly or indirectly, openly or subtly) seek to undermine their faith and Christian values.

Another dreadful influence on Christian youths come from certain youths who profess to be saved but live a worldly life. There is enormous pressure on Christian youths – even from within the church – to act like the world. Be it in the area of their beliefs, speech, conduct, entertainment, activities or dressing, Christian youths are pressurized to follow the worldly trends...



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