Church Weekly
30 Jun 2024



Dear Members in Christ,

Preparing for the Inevitable – Death

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” James 4:14

In the first half of 2024, several elderly members of the Church had been called home to be with the Lord. There are always mixed emotions when the believers depart from this world. It will be a joy when we know that the departed are now with the Lord (“… absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” 2 Corinthians 5:8). And, at the same time there will be sadness and sorrow as the living will definitely miss the living presence of the deceased. However, as Christians we also know that, the living will also be united with the departed, as both will meet again in heaven. This is the blessed hope of the believers to be with the Lord and to be united with the earlier departed.

Indeed, as man starts to age, the physical body weakens. The Bible says “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Psalm 90:10. Man will not live forever on this earth. Those strong healthy bodies will gradually become weak and frail (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:1-6). Many will also succumb to diseases and medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension. There may also be pain, sorrow and a host of other mental challenges. The living and the healthy can only assist to care for the elderly and pray for God’s mercy and grace to watch and lengthen the days of the elderly according to God’s will. Prayers are also made to God to bless the elderly with comfort, strength and peace of mind.

The inevitable day will come when man dies. Man’s physical body is mortal and corruptible. Man cannot live forever in his earthly body. Due to old age, sickness or other reasons, when man dies, his spirit will leave the physical body and return to God who gave it (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:7). The question is, will the spirit be in heaven or hell? The answer can only be made before death becomes a reality. So, do not wait for the last breath as death could come in a twinkling of an eye (“For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” James 4:14) and there may not be an opportunity for man to make the decision to receive salvation from the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Romans 10:9-10).

To a Christian, death is not something to shy away from or to be avoided in preparation for the inevitable day when the Lord calls him home. For death can be untimely to the living. It can happen anytime! There are always frantic moments when an individual passes away. Questions like 1) is the person saved? This question would not arise if the person is a member of the Church or had made known his salvation to the Church if he is a regular visitor 2) did the deceased make known his Christian faith to his family members as there may be dispute in the type of funeral/vigil service 3) did the deceased make known to his family members his desire to be buried rather than cremated? 4) did the deceased have a prepaid burial plot? Thus, prayerfully, a Christian, especially the elderly, should make known the above to his family members and the Church when he is still living.

The Church has the duty and responsibility to ensure that the body of the departed brethren be given proper Christian vigil service and burial. The Church will not conduct a Christian burial for the unbeliever or when the salvation of the departed is in doubt.

In the recent past, the Church had conducted Christian vigil service and burial for members who had been absent in worship for a long period of time. The reason may be due to ill health or preference to worship in other churches. CJBPF, when requested by the family of the deceased, would be glad to conduct such service. The family would be immensely grateful and thank the Church for her love and care. However, it is sad to note that the living who are believers continue to stay away from the fellowship and worship in CJBPF. We just have to pray that they continue to worship and serve God in a god-fearing Church wherever they are.

“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting” (Ecclesiastes 7:2a) Lately, it has been observed that more members of CJBPF have been attending the vigil service of the departed brethren. We thank God. Indeed, the presence of Church members encourages the family members of the deceased who are not believers. They felt the love, care and warmth of the Church. The presence of the Church members is even more felt, when members of the Church attend the funeral of the departure of loved one of a fellow brother, whose loved one was not a believer. To this brother, especially a new convert, he would be much encouraged to witness and stand up for the Lord. This brother may be a lone believer in the midst of his family members who may be strong idol worshippers. Will you be part of this ministry to support the bereaved brethren at the time of need?

In Christ,
Eld. Choe Tong Seng