Pastoral Letter 18 Feb 2024

My dear readers,

If You Are Not a Fool, Please Listen!

Proverbs 12:15: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”

Pride stands in the way of eternal life as a huge, unmoveable mountain in every unbeliever’s heart. How many have read or been given the gospel of Jesus Christ and remain hardened in heart to God's great sacrificial love? Man wants salvation to be contributed by him, in one way or the other, regardless of how small that contribution might be. He wants to do something to save himself so that he can feel good about his salvation. How many have died in their sins because of this pride?

The sin of pride is not eradicated from the believer’s life after salvation, though God has given His child the conviction of heart to overcome his pride. Every believer has been endowed with the mind of Christ (cf. Phil 2:1-11) to help him in his humility. Was not pride the last recorded sin of King David before he died? If the sin of pride haunted King David, the man after God’s own heart, so too will it haunt every believer since all believers are supposed to be men and women after God’s own heart!

Thus, the warning from Proverbs 12:15 is most timely and needful in these last days. Are you teachable?

What makes a person so set in his ways? Wet concrete takes time to set and harden. A child's character takes time to set and harden in its way.

A young child, before the age of accountability, does not think that his way is right in his own eyes because he is not consciously aware of his way. His parents must guide and help him decide right and wrong based on what is permitted and admonished. As he grows older, he becomes his wilful self. He walks and makes his way in life. The more he treads in his own direction, the more fixated he becomes in his way, that it is the right way to think and live. Correcting him, after he has established his way, is harder than turning the direction of a mighty flowing river. He keeps heading in the direction of his own way till his life ends.

This is the way of many today. With education lauded as the golden-calf god that brings almost certain wealth and security, many children are pushed and driven by their parents toward this direction since their nursery days. The dogma that “without education” life will be a hardship and a lifetime of struggle that might find relief only upon death! Such foolish notions are not expressed and are often denied by parents, but the materialistic-driven life of the millennium generation is evidenced by their great folly, even by some professing believers.

The word “way” is a well-trodden path that requires time and constant travelling for it to become a reality. Years of travelling the pathway of life with a mindset of carnality “that only riches can solve all of life’s problems” was the mandate of millions who have perished into the dark depths of fiery hell. They died in their many sins against their Creator God. This they believed is the right way because many walk on it. Their luxurious multi-billion lifestyle of opulence paraded and lauded by the world makes them the envy of the world. These wealthy billionaires have trodden a path that the world has promoted as the definition of a very successful and rewarding life. It is a life measured by the abundance of what one possesses. Who dares to tell them their life is the life of a fool? Will they listen if they are told? They will probably retort that anyone who decries their life as foolishness is sour grapes on their part.

Not only the rich, but the poor and all who see their way as right in their own eyes are called fools by God. The wealthy enjoy their wealth and guard it with paranoia and fear of losing it. The poor are no better. They believe that pursuing wealth gives them a purpose and drive to wake up every morning, slog through years of hard labour, and many sleepless nights of worrying and fearing that they might not have enough when calamity strikes. The constant fear of “not enough” has bound their hearts so tightly for decades that the fear of letting go might result in a great failure of life. They are just as stubbornly set in the way that is right in their own eyes as their wealthy counterparts.

Both are fools in the eyes of God, not because of their lives per se but because they do not want to change when God presents them with a far better life!

No man has absolute knowledge and none can make every decision without mistakes. All human beings make mistakes and are bound by a finite amount of knowledge. Everyone needs help most of the time. When man make mistakes, they need correction. Corrections, when accepted, will result in a changed mindset and a new direction of life. Through His holy Word, God is the best person to correct every believer and unbeliever. But will they listen and obey?

God says that the person who listens to and obeys counsel, i.e. the wisdom from God’s Word, is wise, for example, if he is told that regardless of his wealth or absence of it he will die in his sin because of his many sins committed against God, especially the sin of idolatry! He needs to know that God loves him. God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die for his sins. God accepted Jesus’ suffering and death for all sinners by raising Him from the dead on the third day after He died. All he needs to do is to believe and accept Jesus Christ, who died in his place before God, as his substitute by repenting of all his sins before God in Christ. God will forgive him, for Christ’s sake.

Is it not a very wise thing to choose to be saved from sin, and be delivered from the bondage of sin, and have the penalty of sin, that is, death and hell, removed from his life? Is he not a fool if he rejects God’s love and foolishly continues to live in carnality, strangled by sin daily, and then to die in his sin and be cast into hell when he was so close to heaven, having been given the gospel of Jesus Christ? To be brought to the doorway of heaven but then to turn around and walk away because he thinks his way is right in his own eyes is indeed foolishness.

What a tragedy for a soul who has been graciously invited by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to join Him in heaven to reject the invitation and choose to run headlong toward death, destruction and hell!

What a fool indeed!

Dear reader, if you hear God’s voice today, harden not your heart. Be wise, for your soul’s sake. Amen.

Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,
Rev Dr Quek Suan Yew
Advisory Pastor

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