At CHC’s rededication service on the weekend of 12 and 13 August, senior pastor Kong Hee taught the church three things they need to go from glory to glory.
“You are awesome in this place, mighty God. You are awesome in this place, Abba Father.”
As City Harvest Church worshipped with these lyrics at its rededication service last weekend, there was hardly a dry eye in the hall.
12 and 13 Aug marked the weekend CHC returned to its main hall in full capacity. Since the church reopened its door after the Covid lockdown, it had been using Halls 603 to 606 on Suntec Convention Level 6. Starting last weekend, CHC now occupies all the halls on Level 6, and its new layout features a new hangout area, a volunteers’ lounge, the return of the parents’ corner for parents with young babies, and an extended HarvestKidz space with rooms for the 2 to 3-year-old children.
Within the main hall, new LED screens form the backdrop of the stage with sharper and clearer visuals than the church had ever seen. Accompanying this upgrade are new cameras that improve the quality of the live streaming of the church’s weekend services on YouTube.
Churchgoers last weekend would also have noticed that the hall is much brighter than usual. New eco-friendly lights have been installed to reduce the glare from the old spotlights shining from the stage. Over the next 12 months, the audio system will also be upgraded.
From the start of the service, the atmosphere was filled with a sense of nostalgia and gratitude. As the song leaders led the church in the familiar praise song “My Church, My Life”, an image of the stage at Hollywood Theatre, the church’s old premise, flashed onto the gleaming new LED screen, transporting long-time members back to the ’90s.
As the song continued, the images segued to the stage at CHC’s Jurong West building. Videos of events that took place on the two stages brought back memories of how God has been with the church in every season.
GOING FROM GLORY TO GLORY
The theme for the rededication service was “From Glory To Glory”. Beyond the rededication of the church hall, CHC’s senior pastor Kong Hee explained that, “this service is really about rededicating all our lives to the Lord.”
He opened his sermon with 1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Faith, hope and love are the three things one needs to go from glory to glory.
1. We must grow in faith
In Mark 5, there was a woman with a blood disorder. Despite spending all her money seeking treatment, she could not be healed. Aside from her medical condition and financial loss, the woman also suffered emotional hurts because she was shunned by her community as her prolonged bleeding made her unclean in society.
Yet even in the face of these adversities, the woman held on to her faith in God. She had heard about how Jesus could heal the sick and she believed. She was convinced that if she could touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would be healed (Mk 5:28).
A more literal translation writes that “she has been saying to herself”. “Now this is the spirit of faith: believing in your heart and speaking out with your mouth,” stated Pastor Kong.
He imagined that it could not have been easy for her to reach Jesus, given her condition and the crowd. Yet she pressed on because she stayed in faith. When she touched Jesus, He could feel that healing power had been drawn from Him. “I believe that this will be your story,” the pastor proclaimed. “You may come needing a miracle but if you can stay in faith, you’re going to see the glory of God.”
The word “heal” in Greek is the word sozo which means “complete restoration”. Pastor Kong noted that when the woman touched Jesus, she was restored entirely in her body, her soul, her mind and in her spirit. “A deeper transformation always happens when you come in contact with the Saviour,” he continued.
The key to the woman’s breakthrough was her faith. “There’s nothing more powerful than your own faith,” the pastor said. “When you believe in God’s word, when you expect things to change, when you keep saying to yourself, ‘my healing is coming, my provision is on its way, I know that my breakthrough is just around the corner.’”
Pastor Kong then shared the testimony of Amy Tan, a graphic designer on staff at CHC. Her doctor found a large cancerous tumour in her right breast but was hesitant to remove it because Amy has an unusually low blood count, and she could suffer a heart attack during the operation.
Amy kept her faith strong and rallied her church friends to pray for her. After the operation, the doctor was surprised to find that the toxicology report showed that the cancer cells were dead, even though Amy had not undergone any radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Since that surgery seven years ago, Amy has been completely healed.
Pastor Kong encouraged the church to fight against negative voices and fix their eyes on Jesus. “Tonight, your faith is the catalyst for God to do amazing things in your life,” he said.
Three weeks ago, Pastor Kong was in Bandung preaching. He asked God to bless him with the experience of seeing a notable miracle. Sure enough, a man with severe arthritis who needed the use of a cane to walk came up to him during the altar call. The pastor prayed for the man and the man felt the power of God surged through his leg. He could walk without support and even jump—he was completely healed at the service.
2. We must grow in hope
Life without hope is meaningless. However, it is easy to become disillusioned and cynical about life after encountering too many problems.
Reading Hebrews 6:19, Pastor Kong encouraged the church to put their hope not in their career or assets but in God. He defined hope as “the confident expectation that something good will happen in the end”. “If things are not good, you haven’t come to the end,” he said.
In Mark 10, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar cried out to Jesus who was walking by him. There were people trying to keep him quiet, but he was persistent. “He refused to get discouraged by the negative voices of others,” Pastor Kong preached. “He knew if he trusted Jesus, he could expect a good ending, no matter what the ending looked like.”
In silence and solitude, when one consciously shuts out the noise of the world, God’s voice becomes clear. His voice assures His children of their dreams and gives them promises of what they can do. “God’s dream for your life is always much bigger than your own,” the pastor said.
Reading Romans 12:12, he went on to teach that hope gives one the energy to pray. Going back to the story of Bartimaeus, Pastor Kong noted that he threw off his cloak when those around tried to quieten him down (Mk 10:15).
This cloak was Bartimaeus’ licence to beg—and to feel sorry for himself. By throwing the cloak off, he was giving up his right to be a beggar and surrendering to Jesus. When Jesus called out to him, he started walking towards Jesus despite not being able to see.
“You may not have experienced any healing yet, but don’t go by what you see, but go by what you have heard,” the pastor preached. He encouraged the church to keep on expecting and putting their hope in the Word of God
3. We must grow in love
“Love is the most powerful thing because God is love and faith can only work through love!” Pastor Kong declared as he read Galatians 5:6 and Romans 5:5.
Because the world is full of pain and sorrow, Christians need the love of God. God promises to be there through all their sufferings. He uses all the hardships to draw them closer to Him and transform them into the image of His Son.
“If God gives you everything you ask of Him every time, you will treat Him like a vending machine,” the pastor pointed out. “If every time you do something good, you are automatically guaranteed a good outcome, then you will become a performer. There’s no need for faith, no need for trust, no need for hope in God.”
Reading 1 Peter 1:8, he compared a non-mature Christian to a mature one. A non-mature Christian gets discouraged when he does not receive his blessing. A mature Christian, however, loves God regardless of the outcome of his prayer. God’s love alone is enough to satisfy him.
In conclusion, Pastor Kong encouraged the church to rededicate their lives to God and grow from glory to glory.