“There is a time to lower our banners, and to raise one banner – the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ,” declared Bishop Rennis Ponniah at the Celebration of Hope (COH) Pastors and Leaders Gathering on July 24.
At the meeting to update church and ministry leaders about the 2019 evangelistic event, the Bishop of the Anglican Church in Singapore opened with an appeal to prayer: “I greet you as messengers who need the power of God. We can’t do this without the power of God. Only God can open the heart for people to see the glory of God, and what He has done through Jesus Christ.
“We need to cry out to God for His grace, mercy and power.”
Are we hungry enough for revival?
Speaking to a few hundred pastors and church leaders, he then read from the Parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8). Exhorting the congregation of the need to persevere in prayer, Bishop Rennis underlined the truth that God can be relied on to speedily answer the prayer, and God will rule in favour of this people.
“Because of the widow’s persistence, she gained the judgment in her favour. How much more will God?” he asked. This was the crux of his message: Are we hungry enough for revival?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUNGRY?
1. We should be hungry to see God’s glory in our land
“This goes beyond the church,” Bishop Rennis said. “We are hungry that His glory should be in our land. We see abortion, the breaking of the marriage covenant, child abuse.
“We, like every nation, are liable to God’s judgment,” he said solemnly.
“But how does God see our nation? We know that righteousness exalts a nation in the eyes of the Lord. I know the first step is repentance – identificational repentance. Because we are part of a nation – and our nation is on a slippery road.”
2. We should be hungry for the salvation of souls
The Bishop noted that from 2010 to now, there has been a 1.5% increase in those who identify as having no religion.
“The situation is dire,” said the previous President of the National Council of Churches of Singapore.
In comparison, over the same timeframe, the number of Christians in Singapore has grown from 18.3% of the population to 18.8%.
“In our society you’re just as likely to meet someone who’s agnostic or atheistic as you are to meet a Christian,” he said.
In our society you’re just as likely to meet someone who’s agnostic or atheistic as you are to meet a Christian.
He encouraged the Church to look beyond the statistics to realise that lives are at stake. Bishop Rennis recalled the friends in his life that matter to him, from fellow leaders all the way to his laundry man.
“Can I be in eternity without them?” he asked. “There are people in your world you meaningfully relate to – will they be in eternity with you?
“Urgent love. When you catch it, you’ll pass it on to the people you meet.”
3. We should be hungry for revival
In closing, Bishop Rennis then brought to mind the 12 football boys who were trapped in Tham Luang. He spoke about how the people rallied to save them – that our faith has a real need for this same spirit of unity and sacrifice.
The church must show the same hunger to save, he said.
“Are we hungry for God’s kingdom advance?”
The Gospel will be shared at the National Stadium, 17 to 19 May 2019, at the Celebration of Hope, a united initiative by the National Council of Churches of Singapore, Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore and LoveSingapore. Visit celebrationofhope.sg for updates.