It will feature programmes in English and Mandarin
WESLEY Methodist Church has been confirmed as the venue for the next Aldersgate Convention, May 19 to 24, 2008, and it will feature two speakers who will talk on the theme, “The Road to Glory: The Future in Wesleyan Perspective”.
Topics will be presented in both English and Mandarin. The Rev Dr Ben Witherington III and the Rev Dr Ezra Kok will focus on biblical teachings about the end times.
All the events will be held at Wesley Methodist Church.
The Chinese speaker, the Rev Dr Kok, Principal of Seminari Theoloji Malaysia and lecturer in New Testament studies, will give two evening talks in Mandarin on May 19 and 20. The topic for the first night is “Christ: Offering Hope in the Midst of Darkness”, based on Revelation 1, and that for the second night, based on Revelation 2-3, is “The Church: Holiness in the Midst of Imperfections.”
The Rev Dr Kok is an ordained Elder of the Chinese Annual Conference of The Methodist Church in Malaysia. He has served churches in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, as well as on a number of General and Annual Conference boards and agencies.
He received his Ph.D from Durham University, with earlier degrees from Alliance Bible Seminary and China Graduate School of Theology, both in Hong Kong.
Currently involved in the publications of several Bible resources, he is doing research on the New Testament books of Mark, Romans and Ephesians. His particular interests include Biblical hermeneutics, homiletics, worship, pastoral spirituality, leadership and Methodism.
The Rev Dr Witherington, a New Testament scholar from Asbury Theological Seminary, will deliver the English evening talks on May 21, 21 and 23. The topic for the first evening, Wednesday May 21, is “Rapture or Parousia – Will there be one or two Second Comings?” The second topic is “Other-World or After-Life? What does the New Testament say?” The third topic is “The Future of the Church, Israel and the Kingdom”.
The Rev Dr Witherington will preach the sermon for the Aldersgate Service on Saturday, May 24. Using Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 4, his sermon is entitled “A Vision of Worship”.
In addition there will be two morning seminars to be led by the Rev Dr Witherington. A seminar, “Eschatology and Ministry”, targeting at pastors, church workers and seminarians, will be held on May 22 from 9 am to noon. It will examine and compare in some detail what Jesus and Paul say about Heaven, Hell, the Parousia, the Kingdom, Israel, the new heaven and the new earth.
There will also be a Saturday seminar from 9 am to noon for church members and friends. The topic is entitled “What have they done with Jesus?”, which is based on the Rev Dr Witherington’s recently published book of the same title.
Man must use carefully what God has given
OSLO (Norway) – Former US Vice-President Albert Gore, Jr has won the Nobel Peace Prize.
This prestigious honour was given to Mr Gore for his work in promoting awareness of global warming.
In a statement responding to the Nobel Prize, Mr Gore said: “We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity.”
Without a doubt, man has the ability to cause great damage to portions of the earth.
Great damage has been caused by wars, as well as by environmental disasters. Man can make areas of the earth beautiful or he can greatly mar those same regions.
But is man capable of destroying this planet?
Peter teaches that God is the one who will bring down the curtain on this globe.
He wrote: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10, NKJV).
Man’s actions may leave craters and barren fields, but God’s word tells us that man is not the one who will bring an end to life on earth.
Christians, however, must keep in mind another principle that is also taught in God’s word: We are to be good stewards of what God has given us.
Peter also wrote these words: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10). While the passage primarily applies to the spiritual gifts we have received, it is also a broad principle that teaches us in other areas.
One gift God’s grace has given us is a planet which can be very hospitable to our needs. Neglect or abuse of it can result in unfavourable consequences.
We may not agree with environmentalists in all of their claims about man’s impact on earth, but man does have a responsibility to use carefully what God has given. Unless the Lord comes first, there will be others after us who also need the resources we have enjoyed. – KneEmail (Contributed by Tim Hall).
‘One gift God’s grace has given us is a planet which can be very hospitable to our needs. Neglect or abuse of it can result in unfavourable consequences.’