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 (Manna 24: There is One Body)
Standing Firm
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Adapted From Youth Communion

Dear May,

THANK YOU for your letter. It is good to hear from you, although I am sorry to read that you are feeling down. Please do cheer up. I know you are concerned about the spiritual welfare of your friends and have tried to preach to them. It isn’t easy when you hear some of them criticising our church.

May, do you still remember what Simeon said as he carried the baby Lord Jesus? “This child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel” (Lk 2:34). In the same way, the true church will be a stumbling block to the unbelieving. But to those who are humble, God will be their light to lead them out of this dark world. They will turn to Him who created the universe. Just as the Bible says, God’s word is hidden from those who are considered wise in this world, and is revealed to the “babes” instead (Mt 11:25). Therefore, do not be dismayed. Continue to preach. God will bring His lost sheep back to the fold.

In our work, obstacles are inevitable. The Lord Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor is a servant above his master ... If they have called the master of the house Beel’zebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!” (Mt 10:24-25). When Paul was in Rome, the ruling Jewish authorities said to him, “... with regard to this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against” (Acts 28:22). Today as His followers, we too shall face difficulties, and be called unpleasant names. Just consider these as trials, as a form of spiritual training that will strengthen our own faith (Jas 1:2-4), and develop our fortitude.

When you feel discouraged, remember the advice of the author of Hebrews to fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2-3) who never gave up. He persevered until He accomplished the task assigned to Him. He endured opposition from sinners and the sufferings on the cross. In so doing, He has set an example for His followers.

Jesus never had an easy audience during His ministry. As you may recall, the Jews of His time despised Him. They saw Him as a thorn in their flesh, said He was possessed; claimed He misled the multitudes. Some even called Him a madman (Jn 7:12, 20; 10:20).

When we preach the gospel of salvation, we too shall meet with different responses, just like the seeds that fall on different types of soil. We cannot determine whether they will receive the message. This rests with God. As Paul says, we only sow. It is God who makes the seed grow (1 Cor 3:7). The important point is that we must not stop. Like a farmer who has to face winds and storms in order to finish his sowing, we must accomplish the commission entrusted to us.

If our audience rejects the message, they lose their eternal life. These are people whose ears have grown dull. Their eyes are closed. They refuse to believe that Jesus is the Son of the living God, the One who is in the bosom of God (Jn 1:18). Therefore, Jesus said, “You will die in your sins unless you believe that I am He” (Jn8:24).

However, if a person is willing to be like the people at Berea who “received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11), he will receive the message of salvation. He will understand that the True Jesus Church is indeed the holy city, the new Jerusalem and the tabernacle with the presence of God (Rev 21:1-4), the true tabernacle erected by the Lord Jesus Himself (Heb 8:2). This is the church with the commission to contend for the Truth and to correct the wrong teachings of modern day churches.

A great religious darkness is overshadowing humankind today. Many religions have emerged and man is at a loss about which to choose. The true church that preaches the complete gospel according to the Bible, has the presence of the Holy Spirit and performs signs, miracles and wonders is the ark of the last days. It is built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. It is imperative that we preach the complete gospel to all nations of the world.

May, those who lack understanding will simply follow the crowd, so we can just ignore those who criticise us. Keep to the faith you hold. Be very careful with your words and conduct. The Bible teaches us to “maintain good conduct among the gentiles, so that in case they speak against you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Pet 2:12). Also, “show yourself in all respects a model of good deeds; and in your teaching show integrity, gravity and sound speech that cannot be censured, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us” (Tit 2:7-8). In fact, the Lord Jesus teaches, “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Mt 5:11-12). So when we suffer for the Lord and His Word, we should be patient. Speak and exhort with love. If others refuse to listen, do not quarrel with them. As Peter advises, “Always be prepared to make a defence to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do so with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet 3:15).

Finally, take care of yourself. Stand firm in your convictions. I pray that the Lord will continue to guide and direct you in your service for Him.


Yours In Christ,


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