At this year’s Emerge youth conference, City Harvest Church’s senior pastor, Kong Hee urged the young people of CHC to consecrate their lives to God.
“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”
That was the one statement that resonated in the hearts and minds of the youth who attended the Emerge weekend service of Jul 8 to 10, a tradition which has been held for the past 12 years at City Harvest Church.
Emerge Night started on Jul 8 with the auditorium full of excited youths dancing and praising God around an extended stage erected in front of the main stage. What better place to party on a Friday night than in the house of God?
The three-day meeting comprised four sessions, is a culmination of a series of youth camps and competitions held in May and June. The sessions were accompanied by electrifying praise and worship, competition finales, performances and life-changing testimonies. Youths were given the chance to perform on stage, featuring a drama production by youths from the zone led by pastor, Edmund Tay and song items by the finalists of Emerge Got Talent. The winner and first runner up of Battle of the Bands, AZ Band and ET Band, also took up the challenge of leading praise and worship on Friday night and Saturday morning respectively.
The highlight of the weekend was the Word shared by Kong Hee, senior pastor of CHC, urging the young people to consecrate their lives for God.
His sermon on Friday night started with scriptures in Exodus 3 and 4. Moses received the call of God upon his life. Like Moses, many young people struggle with self-doubt, sense of intimidation, inadequacy, incompetence and most importantly, a lack of spiritual intimacy with God. Kong affirmed the congregation, saying, “If you have never felt smart enough, or talented enough, or good enough, or brave enough, let me encourage you tonight. You are the perfect candidate that God is looking for.”
Kong proclaimed, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called,” a statement he would make repeatedly in the following sessions.
He then read from Mark 6:1-6, in which Jesus was rejected and despised at Nazareth. Being unable to perform many signs and wonders except healing a few sick people, Jesus marveled at their unbelief. Kong went on to challenge the youth, “Would Jesus marvel at your faith or your unbelief?”
On qualifying the called, Kong shared on Saturday that a response is required when God calls. Referring to Matthew 4:18-22, the story of the first disciples, the disciples immediately responded to Jesus by leaving their life behind to follow Him.
“Giving us a calling is God’s part of the deal, but consecration is our part,” said Kong. Like how Saul decided to live his life for God after his encounter on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:3-6, the calling of God should naturally lead His people to the decision of consecrating their lives.
“We cannot respond to God and still remain the same–His goodness should lead us to repentance,” he said. “God is not looking for golden vessels. God is not looking for silver vessels. All He is looking for are yielded vessels.”
In the final session, Kong called to the stage representatives of seven generations of CHC members–from the pioneers who started the church to the children of the staff and pastors. He went on to share about the “Second Generation Syndrome”. In the Bible, the first generation touched by God is zealous and constantly growing in their walk with God, the second generation is often religious, less zealous and more formal. The third generation would become godless, slipping in morality and growth. This “degeneration of generations” is seen in Judges 2:7-10, where the generation after Joshua’s did not know the Lord.
Referring to the book of Hebrews, he mentioned three things about second generation Christians that God is against:
Hebrews 2:1 says, “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”
- Drawing back
Hebrews 10:38 says, “Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”
- Carried away
Hebrews 13:9 says, “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.”
“You are God’s answer to your generation,” Kong said, “We have served the purpose of God in our generation and you must now serve yours.”
The senior pastor urged the youth not to lose their zeal and fire in wanting to go all out for Jesus. As Romans 8:19 states, the world is waiting for the reality of a powerful, risen God. Therefore, the preaching of the word must be filled with power, accompanied by signs and wonders.
Kong then encouraged the congregation to not only be spiritual consumers, but also producers, lest everything that has been built up by the previous generation dries up. The one question he had for youth is: Can you produce the atmosphere of faith for the anointing to flow?
He then gave an analogy of a thermometer and thermostat. Thermometers go with the flow–burning with fire when the atmosphere is hot, standing cold when the atmosphere cools. He urged the congregation to be like a thermostat instead–create the change in the spiritual environment.
To be a carrier of revival, Kong emphasized, consecration is of utmost importance. He preached that God gives power to the consecrated and for God to move in a generation, total surrender of everything unholy is required. The youth were reminded not to go by what they see, but by what God speaks in revelations.
In line with the message on consecration, Wu Yuzhuang, Emerge pastor-in-charge, shared in his sermon on Saturday morning about unleashing the power in youths. He gave the youths three steps to unleash that power:
- Renew your mind through the word of God (Romans 12:12)
- Step out in faith (Mark 4:36-41)
- Stay connected to God
“You can only have power publicly when you are connected privately,” he said, encouraging the young people to seek God for their own.