Pastoral Letter 17 Jan 2021
My dear readers,
Throw out the Trash!
Proverbs 16:6: “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
We get rid of trash every day. Trash is unhygienic, and it smells. The farther we dispose of trash the better it is for our well-being and that of our loved ones. However, when trash is not disposed of, as seen in some cities, fresh air is replaced by a stench. This is the least of the problem. More will get sick. Infants’ mortality and diseases will increase. Water is poisoned. Vermin of all sorts will cover the city. Humans will literally live side by side with bugs, ants, all sorts of creepy crawlies, and diseased rats. Thank God for a proper and daily disposal of trash in Singapore. The city is clean and the air is fresh. We seem to have taken this for granted. May we all be appreciative and thankful.
How about getting rid of our spiritual, moral, and ethical trash? This stinks up our spiritual life and well-being. It ruins the image of Jesus Christ. His name is sullied. The stench can be unbearable. How many have rejected and despised Christ when His blessed Name is mixed with sin? Look at the western world that was given first taste of the glorious gospel when the Apostle Paul went west during his second missionary journey in the first century A.D. Today, Europe, Britain, and the United States of America that were once bastions of fundamental Christianity have declined into a cesspool of wickedness, gangsterism and the greatest fount of immorality and the debaucherous way of life. The face of Christianity is maligned and covered in lies but fragrantly presented as truth by seminaries and Bible Colleges that were once citadels of theological learning and spiritual growth. They have replaced the holy Christ of Scriptures (who came down from heaven) with a carnal Christ. From the books of men they sculptured a carnal Christ out of the dust of the earth.
Western civilisation used to have laws that were based upon the Ten Commandments to govern it. It does not mean that all of them were believers but the environment of governance was at least God-fearing. There was unity because the laws of God united them. They were strong morally. They brought Christianity to the rest of the world in their conquests. However, they have jettisoned the laws of God from the heart of their governance as evidenced by their rejecting capital punishment. Western civilization is now a spiritually dead zone with a few remnants of God’s people, according to His mercy of leaving a remnant behind no matter how spiritually dead man has become.
Christianity in Singapore today is traversing the same slippery immoral slope of spiritual decline. This has been prophesied by the LORD in 2 Thessalonians 2. Before the LORD’s soon return, there will be a falling away (i.e. Christianity will turn apostate). 2 Thessalonians 2:3: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” Thus, the last days are upon us. However, just as the Lord sent Isaiah and Jeremiah to preach repentance and the fear of the LORD to save as many of His people as possible in Israel and Judah before their destruction, the Lord has called us to do the same. He has saved and sent us into a world that loves to sin and has received the false Christ propagated by the father of lies through a deceptive and carnal Christianity of the harlot church. Let us throw out the smelly trash in our own lives.
The trash of iniquity thrown out – Purging out iniquity from our lives begins with the heart. We need to remember the mercies of God in our lives to throw out the trash. Iniquities begin as something pleasurable and fragrant to the flesh. Once we fall into them, it stinks up our mind, heart and soul. The rot will be seen through our words and lives. Soon the awful smell of our rotting soul will drive people away. They will hold their noses and avoid us. Christ is shamed. The devil rejoices every time we allow iniquities to stick to us. Let the remembrance of the mercies and truth of God, which caused Jesus Christ to live a life of shame and pain, convict and chastise us to repentance and to get rid of every bit of trash from our soul and innermost being. Truth will renew our minds to think righteously. Mercies will awaken our hearts to love and be ever thankful and grateful to the LORD for all that He has done for us so that we will not let iniquity remain in our lives and break the heart of our Lord.
May the mercies and truth of God spur us on to take the trash out of our lives daily!
The fear of the LORD keeps the trash out – We depart from evil with the fear of the LORD in our hearts. First, we fear the LORD as a creature ought to fear his Creator. He created us. It is our duty to fear Him. He brought us into existence and has a sovereign right over our conduct and behaviour. Second, we fear Him as a child who should fear his loving heavenly Father. This is a righteous fear and propels us to do right and not to do evil. We are part of God's heavenly family, and doing right characterizes all of God’s children. Third, we fear Him from a servant-Master relationship. We know that as our benevolent Master He has given us the best life of service. We must serve Him in holiness and faithfulness. We know that He deals with all His servants justly always. Fourth, we fear Him from a soldier-Captain’s perspective. We are in God’s army fighting the good fight of faith. We will be weak soldiers of Christ when we do evil and allow iniquity to remain in our lives. The devil will have the upper hand. In holiness and godliness we will have theupper hand and he will flee from us. Fifth, we fear Him as examples for the flock who need to be provoked unto love and good works. We fail to do that and stumble them when we do not get rid of the evil trash. Sinners will die in sin if we do not fear the LORD and point them to the Saviour.
Food for Thought – Is the trash can in your soul emptied by the fear of the LORD?
Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,
Rev Dr Quek Suan Yew