I praise God that my wife and I had the privilege to attend this year’s Far Eastern Bible College Retreat at the Resort Lautan Biru in Mersing. These annual retreats are times for lecturers and students to wind down after a year of labour. They refresh themselves over hymns of praise, humorous skits and sumptuous meals. There was of course the indispensable preaching of God’s Word and the sharing of testimonies by some graduating students. It was most encouraging to hear how the Lord has taught and blessed these students richly during their time in FEBC. It was a time of great joy and spiritual refreshing in the Lord. The only pity was that the Retreat had to end earlier than usual due to the Malaysian Elections!

The Resort Lautan Biru was conceptualised by the Rev. Timothy Tow in 1996 to be a resort for youth camps along the East Coast of Malaysia. From 2001, the FEBC began using the premises to hold her annual retreats. It is a home away from home for the College. Many churches from Singapore and Malaysia have also been organising their camps at the resort since its completion. We pray that the Lord will continue to preserve the resort for the blessing of God’s people.

The Resort Lautan Biru is most wonderfully designed to promote fellowship among the brethren. The rooms face a rectangular court-yard where occupants from the rooms will gather for their activities and interactions. There is also a dining hall for meals, and a hall to hold the meetings. As the Resort faces the South China Sea, there is a constant sea breeze that wafts through the premises. The nearby beach also provides a relaxing place for campers to walk or organise games. There is no Wi-Fi, and thus, no distractions – only a singular focus on fellowship around the Word of God!

I am hence thankful that the Lord has made the way possible for the Ebenezer and Shomerim to hold a combined retreat at the Resort from 20-23 June. Of course, adults are also most welcome to join the retreat. The speaker for the camp will be Preacher Joshua Yong on the theme “What Doth God Require of Thee?” The campers will most certainly be blessed if they come with hearts prepared to seek the Lord.

My wife and I will also be away with the Far Eastern Bible College on the 3rd Bible Lands Pilgrimage to Turkey and Greece from 13 May–23 May 2018. We will be departing from Terminal 2 tonight at 2255 on flight LH791.

The pilgrims will be visiting sites related to the Seven Churches of Asia in Revelation 1-3. As such, I will be writing a series of expositions on the Letters to the Seven Churches in upcoming editions of the church weekly.

The Letters to the Seven Churches contain the assessments of each church by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As Christ is the Head of the Church, every local church is accountable to Him for her works. Since Christ is the perfect God, His assessments are true and just. No church will be able to escape His judgement.

Each church in Revelation 1-3 represent a possible spiritual condition that may be found in churches today. The spiritual conditions of the churches can be categorised as such:

1. The Church in Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-7): The Loveless Church
2. The Church in Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11): The Persevering Church
3. The Church in Pergamos (Rev. 2:12-17): The Compromising Church
4. The Church in Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29): The Permissive Church
5. The Church in Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6): The Self-Deceived Church
6. The Church in Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13): The Steadfast Church
7. The Church in Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22): The Worthless Church

What will be the Lord’s assessment of Tabernacle BPC?

Mothers of Unfeigned Faith
The world commemorates Mother’s Day today. While we do not follow in the ways of the world in commemorating this day, it is a convenient time for us to be reminded of the vital role of mothers in bringing up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

We see the good influence of godly mothers in 2 Timothy 1:5. Paul was rejoicing when he called to remembrance the “unfeigned faith” in Timothy’s mother and grandmother. Their sincere and unpretentious faith was instrumental in the nurturing of Timothy to also become a man of unfeigned faith. Timothy was then raised by God to be the pastor of Ephesus to lead others unto like faith. This is the goodly fruit of mothers who are wholly devoted to their roles which God has committed unto them.

The Scriptures teach that the chief duty of the woman is in the home and not the office – “That they (i.e. the aged women) may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Titus 1:4-5). The three-fold duty of the woman stated in the passage is as follows: (1) to love their husbands (not the husbands of others!); (2) to love their children and bring them up in the faith; (3) to be keepers at home (literally, house managers). Sadly, many women today neglect their duties at home, not only to the detriment of their husbands and children, but also of the testimony of God’s Word. When a woman neglects her duties, she is defying the natural order that has been set by God.

As for our children, we must be aware that the primary duty in nurturing the child in spiritual things belong to the mother (and of course, the father, who should take the spiritual leadership). “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deut. 6:6-7) Take note of the second personal pronoun in this passage. It is “thou” (singular) and not “you” (plural). It is thus each mother’s (and father’s) responsibility to teach their children the Word of God. Do not delegate it to others, nor to the Sunday School. The Sunday School serves to assist and not supplant you in your godly task.

The woman who embraces her God-given role with relish shall be richly blessed in her deed. “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her… Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Prov. 31:28, 30)

Yours affectionately,
Rev. Clement Chew