David Yonggi Cho shared a simple and powerful message on remembering Jesus’ work on the Cross.
|CN PHOTO: Gary Sim|
On Friday morning—the third day of the conference and a public holiday in Singapore—a long queue had formed outside Singapore Expo Hall 8 by 7 a.m. There were many people eager to hear Dr. David Yonggi Cho speak in his second session at the CGI-Asia Conference 2010.
The session kicked off with an inspiring time of praise and worship, led by the City Harvest Church worship team who created a Spirit-filled atmosphere in preparation of the message that was to come. Attendees watched a video of CityCare’s disaster relief efforts in Haiti following the January 12 earthquake this year. Directors of CityCare, Koh Chye Soon and Victor Lim Fei, appeared on stage to tell the congregation about the organization and its work in Carrefour, Port-au-Prince, the nerve center of the devastation.
CHC senior pastor, Dr. Kong Hee also invited on stage Terry Nelson of Light Ministries, Orlando, a missionary who has been in Haiti for 28 years, during which he has set up a ministry and even adopted three Haitian children. CityCare worked closely with Nelson to bring medical help, medicine and aid items into Haiti, helping some 20,000 Haitians.
Nelson told of how, after the earthquake, more than 2,000 Haitians were added to the church in three months. He described how the people had witnessed the goodness of the Lord through CityCare’s aid and how they noticed that the Christians’ homes were the ones left standing in a sea of rubble. Haiti being a country steeped in voodoo, Nelson also described how demonized people would manifest in buses, and the bus drivers would open the windows as they drove past the church in order for the Christians to pray for them. He concluded, “This move of God transformed them from religion to relationship.”
Kong then invited Dr. Casey Treat to lead the congregation in prayer for Haiti and Nelson.
The congregation rose to its feet as Kong affectionately introduced the next guest as being one of three women in his life who could rebuke him. The first two are his mother and his wife, the final one is Dr. Kim Sung-Hae, Cho’s wife.
Kim, a trained concert pianist, looked regal in her cream suit as she prepared to play. Kim introduced the Franz Liszt piece by citing John 4:13-14, before she launched into a light and lyrical performance that segued into “Amazing Grace”, drawing applause from the audience, who sang along softly.
To introduce Cho, Dr. Paul Kim, executive director of CGI, took to the stage to introduce the Korean pastors and disciples of Cho, calling them his spiritual children. He introduced the board members from CGI who were present, among them Phil Pringle, Prince Guneratnam, Richard Bernal and Ken Eldred. Kim also announced that Alex Abraham from Indonesia had been invited to join them as the newest board member.
A video on the far-reaching works of Yoido Full Gospel Church was screened; the congregation was privy to such sights as the Choi Ja-Shil Prayer Mountain, Elim Welfare Town, and Hansei University.
The high-spirited Kim then got the congregation to lift up their right hand, and shout “Hallelujah” to greet Cho as he came to the pulpit. Cho began simply, sharing how he had always struggled to preach the gospel of hope, as he saw many who were sick. He would pray for words of encouragement in order to bring hope, strength, courage and power to others, and has been doing so for the last 50 years.
The message focused on the five-fold gospel of Christ—simple, yet carrying a power-packed punch as it was delivered by a man who had lived it out.
The five-fold gospel consists of the gospel of: salvation, the fullness of the Holy Spirit, divine healing, blessing, and of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Drawing the crowd’s attention to 2 Corinthians 4:10, Cho exhorted them to always remember Jesus’ death and resurrection, and to carry the memory of His death alive in their hearts. By so doing, they will also remember that His death brought them righteousness, which will be manifested through their body as well.
Likening himself to the Apostle Paul, Cho shared that there was a period of time in his life, when although he looked strong on the outside, he was so weak on the inside that he could not even bear to let his wife know his pain. Looking at all the healings and miracles that God did through his hand, he asked the Father not to forget about him and his own pain. God replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” This caused laughter in the audience, and also understanding nods.
As Cho introduced the second gospel of divine healing, he told the congregation how he was once scheduled to speak, but he was so sick he was not able to stand or move his body. However, as he confessed continually, “By His stripes, I am healed,” Cho gradually got well enough to preach. As the power of God touched him, he forgot he was weak and ministered to the people powerfully.
The third gospel of blessing: Cho taught that believers are a source of blessing, just like Abraham. He encouraged those present to proclaim, not beg for the blessings of God. He said, “After 50 years of ministry, I have realized, when I had the most money, I did the most work.”
Cho then taught the final gospel of blessing, that a believer’s life is controlled by his or her self-vision. Again, Cho stressed the importance of carrying the memory of Jesus’ redemptive work on the Cross. He declared that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: the God of millionaires and billionaires. He encouraged the congregation never to feel inferior as they are more than conquerors, saying, “You will struggle, but you should move on.”
Impressed by the people attending and serving at the conference, Cho declared, “When I look at you, you will have far better than I had.” Unexpectedly, the legendary pastor spoke directly to Kong, “Kong Hee, I encourage you. You belong to the younger generation. God loves you. Be very bold.”
Cho then drew the message to a close by sharing his motto with the crowd, citing 3 John 2, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
He also gave thanks to America, for it was from that nation that the gospel flowed to Asia initially. He said that Asia has now grown up and is starting to reach out with the gospel and a helping hand—a word that drew loud cheers from the congregation as the session ended.