CHC is reminded during its Candlelight Service that Jesus Christ is the true reason for the season.
By Joelle Pang
“Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)
At the Candlelight Service held on the weekend of Dec. 15 and 16, Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church, opened his sermon with this verse, reminding the church that Jesus, like the Dayspring or the first light of the day, will come in the darkest moments of a believer’s life to bring salvation, healing, and deliverance. He reminded all that Jesus came as the Light of the world.
As a tradition, CHC holds its candlelight services one week before Christmas. Last weekend, the church hall was packed to full capacity before the service started with lively singing of Christmas carols. The Millennial Orchestra and choir added to the festive mood with a breathtaking performance of “The First Noel”. On Saturday, 12-year-old singer Miguel Antonio wowed the crowd with “We Are The Reason” and “What Is Christmas To You”.
Members who diligently completed the church-wide Bible reading program of Psalms, Hebrews and John also received their gift of Irrevocable, a book of God’s promises to CHC.
Having established that Jesus came to give light to those who are in darkness, Kong shared that there are five distinct ministries of Jesus Christ and elaborated on three of them.
1. Jesus Is the High Priest
Kong proclaimed that Jesus died as a sacrificial Lamb and rose from the dead as the Great High Priest. This means that He was able to represent man to God and offer sacrifices to Him. The sacrifice He offered, however, was and is far more powerful than that of an animal brought by the temple priests: he offered His own blood, which cleanses a believer of his sins completely.
2. He Is The Advocate
Kong explained that an advocate is “a lawyer who speaks in our defense against all accusations and condemnation”. Using the beliefs of Hyper-Calvinism and Ultra-Arminianism to illustrate, Kong taught the members that while salvation is a choice given to humanity, one does not lose his salvation the moment he sins. Jesus, who is the captain of their salvation, fulfills the role of advocate today, speaking on behalf of the believers even when satan, the accuser, shoots arrows of condemnation every time a believer sins. A believer can be confident of his salvation.
3. He Is The Intercessor
The Bible reveals, in Hebrews 7:25, that Jesus “is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercessions (or petitions) for them.”
The word “save”, or sozo in Greek, means to be made completely whole in spirit, soul and body. When Jesus saves, He saves completely!
In closing, Kong proclaimed that in the midst of darkness, Jesus Christ has come to light up the lives of the believers. On this note, the lights in the hall dimmed and as the congregation sang “O Holy Night”, a flame was passed from the pulpit to light all the candles in the room. The hall soon glowed prettily with candlelight.
The atmosphere of hope and love lingered even as the candles went out and the lights came on, and congregants gave each other warm hugs. Before the service ended, altar calls were given for those who wanted to receive salvation and for those who needed healing.