Be Prepared. Be Ready. Be Vigilant.

People often ask me, as a pastor, what’s the one thing that influences the decisions I make with regard to the church. I’ll tell you right now, it’s my theology that determines my decisions, especially my theology on the last days.

The Word of God is very clear on what’s coming in the last days and, because I know what’s going to happen, it influences and has a bearing on every decision I make. I believe we’ve to have a crystal clear vision of what the future is going to be.

The apostle Paul preached that the Kingdom of God is entered into by many tribulations. Yes, salvation is a free gift. Yes, I’m saved by grace through faith. But tribulation is part and parcel of the Gospel and any pastor who neglects to warn his flock is negligent and not preparing them for what’s coming.
 
The word for ‘tribulation’ in Greek simply means ‘made narrow by pressure’. That’s how the word translates. It comes from the Latin word ‘tribulem’ used in Jesus’ day to describe a threshing sledge with spikes underneath which ran over the corn to separate the corn from the chaff.

Tribulation is when you feel everything is going over you and ripping you to bits. But, if you ever feel like giving up, just remember that the last thing to grow on a fruit tree is the fruit. The only way the enemy can win is if we give up. If you’ll keep on fighting, you’ll eventually get the victory.
 
The sermon that Jesus preached in Matthew 24 on the Mount of Olives is basically an exposé of what’s coming in the last days. Jesus is speaking as the Prophet of God and to a very select group of believers – Peter, James, John and Andrew. So this message is only for believers – specifically – to His disciples.

The sermon was precipitated by a question, in fact three questions:
When will these things happen?
What is the sign of Your coming?
What is the sign of the end of the age?

First of all, we must understand that there’s an end to our present age. There’s a terminus, a conclusion, a finality to this age that Paul describes as the present evil age.

Many of us live as though this present age will never come to an end. But our Lord forewarned us of the great distress that will plague all mankind in the last days. He called it ‘The Great Tribulation’. There’ll be wars, pestilences, famines, earthquakes; our planet will go through birth pains and travail. It’ll be a very difficult time on the earth and the very existence of human life will be threatened. But there’s more.

Two things that our Lord told us are going to characterise our day – first, Jesus said that lawlessness will abound. There’s going to be a complete meltdown and a moral decay of society and everything that’s good, and there’s nothing we can do to stop this slide of corruption in humanity. Jesus Himself said it’d happen and it will. Crime and violence will be rampant and we must prepare for it.
 
I’ve been asked often what my worldview of the last days is. I’m pessimistic and optimistic at the same time. I believe it’ll get much worse before it gets much better. We’ve chronic problems governments can no longer solve and two World Wars have proven that fact to us. Every time I speak on the last days, I’m branded as a doomsday preacher. I’m not. I’m just declaring to you, with a clear conscience, what’s going to unfold in our day.

Paul says in 1 Thess 5:3-4, “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.” Don’t be like the world. They’ll keep on saying things like, “So when is this trouble coming?” But it is, and my job as a pastor is to warn my people. If you’re on the Titanic, you won’t want to spend all your money on redecorating the room.

Second, the Lord warned us that the love of many will grow cold. This is a direct result of this proliferation of lawlessness. Lawlessness always leads to compromise and the result of compromise is a loss of fire in our hearts. The word He uses for ‘love’ in this verse is the word ‘Agape’ and this is the kind of love found only in His children. The Lord is warning us that His love in many of His people will become cold. There’ll no longer be a deep white-hot love in our hearts for the Lord and for His people.
 
But the key verse is in verse 13: “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” The Lord reinforces the need for endurance, because it’s only those who persevere, those who will endure to the end, who will be saved. So this whole business of the last days is vital to our survival and it requires careful attention and preparation. If you do not prepare yourself now, if you’re not building up your spiritual stamina and reserves now, believe me, when the pressures of the last days bear upon you, you won’t make it to the end. So as we enter into 2020, be prepared. Be ready. Be vigilant.

And above all, have a fervent love for the Lord Jesus Christ.


Ps. Yang Tuck Yoong

Keep Your Lamps Burning Brightly

Attending Sunday School as a young girl, I often sang this song,
“Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray.
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
Keep me burning ’til the break of day.
Sing hosanna! Sing hosanna!
Sing hosanna to the King of kings!”

A chorus like this seldom leaves you when it’s etched in your memory. It’ll cling to you like truth, if you allow it to wrap you.

One day as Jesus went up on a mountain, a multitude of ordinary men, women, and children followed Him. When He was seated, He said to them, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor read more…

Ask Yourself This

I should be writing something about Christmas. I know a year is almost over and a brand new one is just around the corner, and maybe I should say something about the new year. But somehow, I feel compelled to say something else. Something completely unrelated to this week of celebration, parties, gifts, and friendship. Instead, I ask us a simple question – Is Christ in us?
 
Is that even an appropriate question to ask in a blog addressed to Christians? I’d like to say that I’m taking the lead from the Apostle Paul. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, this is the exact question he asked in his letter to the Corinthians – to the Church, to Christians, to those professing a belief in Jesus.
 
If Paul saw fit to raise such a question in read more…

From God, With Love

During my recent ministry trip to India, I shared with a group of leaders from John 14:15 where Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” 
I was talking about the key to keeping God’s commandments and overcoming temptations.

For many years, I had tried my best to keep God’s commandments as proof of my love for Him. That was how I always interpreted this verse. However, I soon realised that it was tough to maintain this walk.

There were times where I felt victorious over temptations, but there were also times where I felt utterly defeated and let God down. It was both frustrating and discouraging to live life like a ‘yoyo Christian’ – one moment you’re up and the next, you’re down. I was striving to keep God’s commandments with my own strength.

Then one day, the Holy read more…

Be You. Bring Your Heart!

Building an authentic Biblical community takes more than just weekly attendance – it requires an intentional opening up of our hearts to one another. Deep relationships don’t just happen because we spend a few hours together in the same room once a week, because it’s so easy for us to throw on a façade to cover up the reality of our lives.

In 1 John 4:20-21, the Bible says “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” Our love for God is manifest in our love for people, for the Christian life was never meant read more…

Now, Go!

What a power-packed weekend we had with our special guests – Robby Dawkins, Tyshone Roland, and Todd White. We’ve received many testimonies of healing and breakthroughs, especially from our young people at the FOPx ‘GO’ Conference. Many were blessed and inspired by the evangelists’ ministry to fulfil the Great Commission and go into all the world to preach the Gospel to all creation.

This December, we’ll be sending out 15 Couriers teams (short-term missions) comprising 133 members, into 10 nations. Here are a few simple truths that I’ve gleaned from John 17, generally known as the Farewell Prayer or the High Priestly Prayer, given that it’s an intercession of Jesus for His Church and the apostles (‘the sent ones’).

1. You’re Loved

Several times in these verses, Jesus mentioned that the Father loved Him. God’s love for us is read more…

Seize The Day!

I’m writing this from the Bible College of Wales where we’re witnessing the graduation of 33 students of Batch 9. In the past few years, we’ve seen hundreds of students graduate from 37 nations and it never tires.

These past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for my wife and I. We had the privilege of inaugurating our new church plant in Johor Bahru in West Malaysia two weekends ago. The week before, my wife was part of the team that dedicated our new church building in Kuching, Sarawak. And last weekend, we inaugurated our new church facility in Tullamore, Ireland.

All this is really very surreal. Not in my wildest imagination could I have foreseen this 29 years ago when I first stepped out by faith to quit my job and serve God full-time, I had no read more…

Get Engaged!

I’m penning this from The Bible College of Wales (BCW) in Swansea, UK, as we graduate the 9th batch of students from the 2019 Autumn Term. It’s been an amazing journey with these 33 students from seven nations, together with our awesome BCW staff members.


With ages ranging from 19 to 71 years, you couldn’t tell the difference when you witness their fervency and faithfulness towards the purposes of God. This thrills my heart because God sees beyond the years and ages, and the possibility of using anyone who avails himself or herself to Him.

Your age doesn’t have to label you as not having enough experience nor cause worry about what others think – that you’re incompetent to complete the work God has called you to do. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, ‘Don’t let anyone look down on read more…

Your Face, Lord, Will I Seek

I was reading Psalm 27:8 and soon found myself crying out to God, “When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’ ” Then I heard the Holy Spirit ask me, “Why?”

There was a moment of silence because I’ve never thought of the ‘why’ apart from seeking Him to know Him more. And so, gleaning from the prophet Ezekiel’s wise reply in Ezekiel 37:3, I replied, “O Sovereign Lord, You alone know the answer to that.” Then the Holy Spirit continued, “It’s so that you’ll not be deceived!”

Immediately, I understood what He was telling me because, just the other day, I was walking in the shopping mall when suddenly I felt a little hand grab mine. The toddler seemed oblivious to what just happened and was rather comfortable with read more…

Judge Not?

If there’s a Scripture that’s abused, misused, and yet at the same time unavoidable, it’d be Matt 7:1 – ‘Judge not, that you be not judged.’ Abused and misused because it’s so often used to silence valid correction and discipline that should be administered. Those who pursue their own sinful nature often use this Scripture to put others on the back foot so that they may not be confronted by their own sins.
 
At the same time, we find it impossible not to judge as our lives do indeed consist of making decisions and weighing what’s right and wrong, and what’s good and better. How can we go through life not judging? That seems impossible.
 
In truth, this is not meant to be understood as a stand-alone verse. Instead, it needs to be read read more…

Prisoners of Hope

I’ve often pondered on the significance of the verse in Ephesians 3:1 where the Apostle Paul said, “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles…”

What did Paul mean about being a prisoner of Christ for our sakes? In what way were his constraints benefitting us? And then, I thought of people like Heidi Baker, Brother Yun, and Canon White. These tremendous heroes of our faith have modelled lives of sacrificial surrender to bring the Good News to the poor and those imprisoned and persecuted for the Name of Jesus. 

During the Kingdom Trilogy meeting last week, Canon Andrew White, also known as the Vicar of Baghdad, shared many testimonies of miracles in his church and among the thousands of refugees who were displaced from their homes in Iraq by the vicious read more…

The Feast of Great Rejoicing

The Feast of Tabernacles, which is the 7th and concluding holy day in the Biblical calendar in Leviticus 23:33-44, ends this week. This is the 7th Feast in the seventh month, otherwise called Sukkot. The Feast started at sundown on 13 October and ends at nightfall on Sunday, 20 October.

This Feast is also called the Feast of Ingathering as it’s observed after all crops had been harvested and gathered. This is a time of great rejoicing and we’re to ‘rejoice before Yahweh, our God for seven days.’ (Lev 23:40)

This Feast points to the fullness of God’s plan for Israel, for her salvation, for God to dwell among His redeemed remnant, comprising both redeemed Jews and Gentiles. This is also the time of ultimate eternal rejoicing in the long-awaited Messianic Kingdom.

So how does this Feast apply to our read more…

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