8 July 2018

Dear church family

World Cup soccer fever has gripped the world in the past 3 weeks. The whole nation of Argentina mourned when Lionel Messi and his countrymen crashed out in defeat. The victorious England team brought great joy to their country when they (finally) won their penalty shootout against Colombia. In some countries, football is like a religion which draws millions of faithful “worshippers” of their beloved team. Some citizens have been reported to die of a heart attack while watching the game due to the pressure, anxiety and perhaps huge gambling losses. The late Bill Shankly, a successful manager of Liverpool Football Club in the 1960s & 70s, once said wittily: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”

In the first century, someone also spoke about a very important matter concerning life and death. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  What matter on earth could be more important than being rescued from eternal death?  What matter could be more urgent than to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who have never heard? Much as we like to hear about the love and mercy of God, we must also remember the holiness and judgment of God. Only in Jesus Christ will there be forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life.

At the One Choice Encounter camp in Vietnam last week, I encouraged the Vietnamese youths and young adults of both Anglican churches to share the gospel with their families, friends, colleagues, neighbours, etc. The apostle Paul told the Ephesian church elders in Acts 20:24 – “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”  Only one life to live, let us make that one significant choice to live our life purposefully for the glory of God.



Pastor John