Dear Brethren,

I would like to share some spiritual insights with you concerning the latest release of the Singapore Census of Population 2010. The table below is extracted from the report of the Resident Population Aged 15 Years and Over by Religion.

Religion 2000 2010
Christianity 14.6% 18.3%
Buddhism 42.5% 33.3%
Taoism 8.5% 10.9%
Islam 14.9% 14.7%
Hinduism 4.0% 5.1%
Other Religions 0.6% 0.7%
No Religion 14.8% 17.0%

The data shows a fairly significant increase in Christianity from 14.6% to 18.3% over the past 10 years. Before we start to rejoice over this apparent increase of having more Christians in Singapore now, it is good that we take a measured approach to it. Let us realize the Christianity figure also includes the Roman Catholics.

The question we have to ask ourselves is how many in this 18.3% group in 2010 who claim to be Christians are truly born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be some in this group who profess to be Christians but believe in a salvation by good works or believe in a health and wealth gospel. There may be others who indicate Christianity as their religion simply because they are born in a Christian family.  A true believer is one who has personally come to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation by faith and knowing he is saved only by the grace of God (Eph 2:8).

We must take heed to the warning that Jesus gave in Matthew 7:21-23 as there will be many who profess to be Christians but end up in eternal condemnation.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

As the Bible reminds us in 2 Corinthians 13:5, let us constantly “examine ourselves whether we be in the faith.”

I would like to show you another table from the Population Census report which shows the highest qualification attained by religion for the year 2010.

Again, we may be too quick to rejoice that Christianity has the highest number in the graduate group of highest qualification attainment. When I saw this data, I was troubled as I wonder why is it that our Christian faith has not been able to reach to the people of lower qualification level. Has Christianity become an elite religion only for those who are well educated? Have we failed in our Gospel outreach to those who may be poorer and less regarded by society?

The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is for all men whether they are rich or poor, healthy or weak, educated or uneducated. The Gospel is the “power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Rom 1:16b).

Even as we read all these data, may our hearts be stirred that there are many still in Singapore who need the Gospel of Jesus Christ and particularly an even larger group among those less educated. Pray to the Lord to have a burden for souls and go forth to the highways of life to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all these lost souls (Matt 22:9).

Elder John Leong

Ten Commandments for Successful Students

1. Purpose in your heart to glorify God in your studies.

He promises : ….. them that honour me I will honour (1 Samuel 2:30).

2. Pray always : before, during, and after study.

….. in every thing by prayer and supplication ….. (Philippians 4:6).

Remember wisdom comes from God.

3. Be concise and precise. Summarise your summary.

Writing makes an exact man. Knowledge not summarised is not fully grasped.

4. Utilize the pre-dawn hour for maximum profit.

The mind is freshest after a good sleep. Trying to study when the body and brain are fatigued is a waste of effort.

5. Knowledge shared is knowledge assured. Never be selfish.

There are no secrets in learning. The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him (Psalm 25:14).

6. Study always with an objective and attain it.

To study without an objective is a waste of time.

7. Know something of everything, and everything of some things.

This is the key to excellence. No one can know everything of everything, not even the professor!

8. Redeem the time : make every minute count.

Buy back precious minutes : cut out unprofitable activities.

9. Exercise daily to keep fit.

“Mens sana in corpore sano” — A sound mind in a sound body. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

10. Keep God’s day holy. Honour the Lord.

He did His work in six days, and so should we. Be God-like : He rested on the seventh day. You too!

(Adapted from Footprints in the Sands of Time by Dr. Tow Siang Hwa, 2009, p113 – 114)