“Life is wonderful and we ought to treasure this only chance we have in living … We need to remember too the promise of our Lord who gave us life: that in Christ we have received life everlasting.”
I WAS AT THE WAKE SERVICE of a young person recently. While I was leading in prayer for the bereaved family, I was overcome with grief and had to pause for a moment. The Lord’s Word comforted me and I was able to continue a moment later. The brief incident got me thinking about when is the best time to make our exit from this earth.
Characters in the Bible had varying life-spans. Some died in the prime of life, for example, Saul, Jesus, James and Christ’s 12 disciples. Some lived to a ripe old age before returning to their fathers, such as David and Moses. The Bible tells us that the Lord sees the deaths of His people, regardless of age, to be precious.
In my conversations with the elderly or members who are in ill health, I have often been requested to pray for their early return to our home in heaven. Such prayer requests are diﬃcult to accede to in their presence. We pray with those who wish to give thanks for life, to celebrate the endurance of a diﬃcult journey, and even with those who are in the depths of suﬀering. However, if I were asked to pray with someone who longs for death, I am not sure how I will do it for it is a solemn request which must be dealt with prudently.
A respected elderly pastor once said that as we advance in age and when we find ourselves getting increasingly irrational and committing many mistakes, then it is time for us to pray for our Lord to take us home. is is much preferred to the dishonour that we may bring upon our family, our church and ourselves due to the infirmities of our old age.
The elderly pastor may have a point. As some have commented, the Rev John Sung died at a time when his work was at its peak and this could be one of the reasons why he is still remembered and held in such high regard by many today. People are even willing to overlook the faults and blemishes in his intense evangelistic ministry for the Lord during his short life.
Undoubtedly, it is the wish of all to have a long and fruitful life which is inspiring to others. is takes eﬀort.
What I wish to advocate, however, is our opportunity to live. Life is wonderful and we ought to treasure this only chance we have in living. We can use our life to influence other lives, and we can also love and be loved. We need to remember too the promise of our Lord who gave us life: that in Christ we have received life everlasting. When our sojourn on earth is over, we enter the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and we will be with the saints in heaven.
When we feel that life no longer has abundance and joy, when we are in despair and all that we can look forward to is death, may 2 Peter 1:3-11 be our hope and encouragement: “Our Lord, according to His divine power, has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness … ”
The Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung is the President of the Chinese Annual Conference.
WORD FROM THE EDITOR
Criminalise all kinds of cyber attackers
SINGAPORE IS SETTING UP a national centre for cyber security to detect threats to government websites and vital information systems. at is a giant step taken by the Singapore Government to check possible cyber attacks and safeguard our national security.
While this is largely a government initiative, it is imperative that businesses and the public work hand in hand with all government agencies to help arrest this global menace in today’s world of the cyberspace. Given that we, and all peace-loving nations of the world, are facing the “unknown, silent enemy”, it is all the more critical that every citizen stays vigilant and plays his part to help ensure that our nation is safe – from cyber as well as physical attacks. e horrific 9/11 attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001 is a grim reminder to the entire world of the grave dangers humanity faces should there be even a minor lapse in security. As we have been reminded time and again, we must never let our guard down.
More than staying vigilant, the laws should come down hard on cyber crooks. Even those who “inject” viruses into our personal computers and smart phones should be criminalised. ese are the people who cause inconvenience and frustration, leading to loss in work-hours and productivity. If parking a vehicle on a road that has a white line is considered an oﬀence, and if a person caught puﬃng in a non-smoking area is an oﬀence – both seemingly minor skirmishes with the law – then surely deliberately corrupting one’s personal computer should be treated as a criminal act, and a more serious one at that, and therefore the oﬀender deserves a more serious punishment commensurate with the seriousness of his action.
Worse than just causing inconvenience, cyber attackers can sabotage an organisation’s entire operations and bring it to its knees. Or hold a nation to ransom. Imagine the consequences if someone were to tinker with the computer system in the operations room of the Changi Airport control tower.
There is only one way to tackle this problem: Punish the perpetrators severely.