Text: Hebrews 13:8

The Hebrew Christians in Paul’s day were undergoing much persecution. As a result, many were discouraged and some were tempted to go back to the old ways of Judaism. To encourage the down-hearted saints, Paul here writes, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Heb. 13:8)

The truth about the immutability of our Christ is most beautifully expressed in the answer to Question 4 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. “God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” Christ is the always the same in His character and attributes. Man may change (and often will change), but Christ never changes!

As we examine the context closely, we see how this truth applies not only to Christ, the living Word, but also to the Bible, which is the Written Word. We see this in the preceding verse – “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” (Heb. 13:7) The reason why the Hebrew Christians should honour the faithful ministers whom God has set over them is because they are the ones whom God is using to feed them the Word of God. And God is ever faithful to His Word which is kept pure through all ages. All the precepts, testimonies, statutes and promises in God’s Word will stand forever. Therefore, the Hebrew Christians have every assurance to keep clinging on to God’s Word, for the unchanging Saviour is ever true to His unchanging Word. Just as how the saints of old (see Hebrews 11) have walked in faith in their immutable God, so too must the saints of today lay hold on God’s unchanging Word.

The recent COVID-19 outbreak has caused much economic distress in economies worldwide. Some may soon find themselves retrenched or suffering drastic pay cuts. In such times, it is so tempting to question God. “Is it true if I seek first the Kingdom of God, that God will provide me with all things needed to do His will (Matt. 6:33)? How is it then that I am struggling to make ends meet?” In such cases, it is most reassuring to remember, “Yes, He can, for He is always the Lord God Almighty, and the All-Provident One. Yes, He will for He is always faithful to His Promises. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

I have found Hebrews 13:8 to be most encouraging to saints who are on the sick bed. We must also not forget the cares of those who look after the afflicted. How wonderful it is to know that Christ is ever the Great Physician, and His care for His saints never ceases!

May the Unchangeable Saviour and Unchangeable Word be your constant comfort and guide through all the days of your life.

Thought: Man may change. Circumstances may change. But God abideth faithful forever.

Prayer: Thou art the God who changest never. All praise and glory be unto Thee.


Christian Patriotism (1984)

Last Sunday night, I saw on the screen the celebrating of SAF Day with a parade and display of the 3 armed forces. My heart was stirred by the singing of the National Day Anthem and “Singapore Our Homeland.”

25 years ago (from 1984), there was no SAF. Today, we have an army, navy and airforce that is training in the arts of modern warfare, and increasing in firepower each day. Because security of our country is backed by the armed forces, our Island Nation is enabled to provide a good climate for foreign investments. This has brought us jobs and,
with honest hard work, prosperity.

In case there is misguided, pacificist thinking in our midst that Christian cannot carry arms, as the Jehovah Witnesses have argued, let me show you that Israel, the people of God in the Old Testament, were called to arms. Especially for righteous self-defence. Let us therefore pray for our nation, our armed forces, our president and prime minister and all who rule over us. Young Christians should set an example in patriotism by cheerfully going to National Service, while parents should do all they can to encourage their sons. Salute the SAF!

While Christians have to serve their nation, let them also remember to serve their God. A Christian has dual citizenship, to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, to God the things that are God’s (Matt. 22:21).

Editor’s Note: We have a number of young men who are serving National Service. And more to come soon. Let us pray that they will be good soldiers for Christ in the Singapore Armed Forces. As for the rest of us, read Romans 13:1-7. What can you learn?

Music, says Martin Luther, Is Next to Theology (1984)

Therefore, blessed is the church that will pay attention to the hymns that are sung week after week. (Our choir and children’s choir are automatically appreciated).

The selection of inspiring (not perspiring) hymns rests on the pastor, or the chairman in his absence. Every pastor should have some rudimentary knowledge of music. Every pastor should know how to carry a tune. Every pastor should have a good collection of
hymn books and sacred songs.

To elevate the congregation the highest pitch of devotion in our Lord’s Day Service, let every leader begin with a song of praise. Or a hymn calling the worshippers to His feet. A second hymn should follow up with more devotion. A third hymn of consecration. The final hymn, one that ties in with the topic of the message.

Editor’s Note: The music ministry of the church must be carefully cultivated and guarded. We also have the choir who do their best in singing unto the Lord. Will those who have the gift of singing join in their labours?

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew