Last weekend, Pastor Kong Hee preached a message of love, preparing the church for this weekend’s Global Pentecostal Summit.
“My prayer is that God will bring us all—members and leaders, scholars and visitors, The Harvest Network pastors—into the loving embrace of God; and the love will overflow out of us, like rivers of living water, to love others,” said Kong Hee, the senior pastor of City Harvest Church as he told the church about the Global Pentecostal Summit (GPS).
Speaking at the weekend service (28 and 29 Oct), Pastor Kong explained that in the body of Christ there are two important groups of people: the preachers and theological scholars. They live in parallel universes that rarely intersect. But in the same way Formula One races require both skilled racers at the wheel and mechanical engineers behind the scenes, the church needs both groups to bring the Word of God to His people.
A Christian symposium—as opposed to a conference—is a gathering of theologians and thought leaders to discuss biblical concepts and doctrinal matters. “This event is called a summit—the highest point—because the top thinkers of Pentecostalism will be here in Singapore to discuss key issues facing Christianity worldwide,” the pastor added.
From 3 to 6 Nov, CHC will play host to 23 Pentecostal luminaries, many of them scholars presenting their papers at the Global Pentecostal Summit, each of them a leader in their respective fields.
“Many have been in ministry for more than 50 years and have witnessed every move of God in every revival since the 1970s,” described Pastor Kong. “They will be sharing their insights, their revelations, their experiences, and discussing what the Holy Spirit is saying.”
He continued, “It is really a privilege that God has given us to host such an important event. The result of this summit will impact global Pentecostalism for decades and decades to come.”
LET LOVE BE THE HIGHEST GOAL
After giving a brief introduction to the 23 scholars attending the summit, Pastor Kong moved to the crux of his message. He noted that CHC members have an integral role to play in the success of the summit. “How? By your prayer, by your worship, and most importantly, by your love.”
Prayer is not a religious ritual but a time of connection with the Father in the name of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Kong urged the congregation to pray fervently at every session to build up the atmosphere of faith.
Pastor Kong also encouraged the church to fully engage with God in worship. “We stand up because we revere God. We clap and shout to celebrate His victory. We sing to express our faith. We lift our hands to surrender our hearts to the Lord,” he said.
The pastor shared that his aim for the summit is for people all around the world to be moved and touched by the spirit of love.
1 Corinthians 14:1 (NLT) reads, “Let love be your highest goal…” Pastor Kong tasked the church to be a gracious and loving host to all the scholars and visitors in the coming week, displaying the fruit of the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit can be divided into three categories: love, joy and peace, which are given by God and flow into each believer. Patience, kindness and goodness are qualities that overflow out of the believer. He urged the church to be patient and kind to the visitors, availing themselves to help where they can.
Finally, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are what God gives to His believers when He works in them. He urged those who signed up for the sessions to attend faithfully and to show others love by practising self-control.
1 John 4:8, 11 reads, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love… Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Pastor Kong pointed out to the church that if they have God in them, they will have love for others.
It is not possible for Christians to love God without loving people (1 Jn 4:20). The pastor warned the church that Christians risk rejecting God if they choose not to love others.
He pointed to the Ephesian church as an example. It started out as a church full of love for each other. A church of over 60,000 members in a city of 250,000, it was famous for being a loving church. Sadly, 35 years later in the book of Revelation, Jesus said that they had lost their first love.
Contrary to what many believe, the “first” love that Jesus referred to was not their passion and devotion to God but love for their fellow brethren. “Love was no longer their priority,” the pastor elaborated. Church members were no longer patient or kind with one another and they became easily irritable. Their relationships grew cold and mechanical.
Jesus told the Ephesian church in Revelation 2:5, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place.”
This meant that when there is no more love for one another in a believer’s heart, the measure of God in his life begins to shrink. “Because God is love,” the pastor explained. “If you choose not to love anymore, in a sense, you’re rejecting God and keeping Him from dwelling in your hearts continually.”
In closing, Pastor Kong told the church that everything would be pointless if it is not done in love. Love must overflow in a Christian’s life because he is so full of God’s love. As the service drew to a close, members took time to appreciate and express their love to each other.