This sermon was first spoken on 11 September 2021 by Pr Silas Kong. Below is its sermon transcript.
Why seek Jesus?
Why do people seek Jesus?
Some people think that Christianity is a western religion because there are people who received western education. They think that people who received western education were exposed to Christianity and will naturally come and seek Jesus. Others think that some people want to make more friends and since they happen to have Christian friends, they naturally joined Christianity. However, there are also people who sought Jesus because of the difficulties and challenges they encountered in their lives. As a result of their predicament, they received the Message from a friend or a relative. Often, they received the gospel and sought to find a solution when they were unable to resolve the troubles themselves. As a result, they found Jesus in the process.
Different people are motivated in different ways to come to Jesus, but often it is only after they have personally experienced Jesus, after they experienced for themselves who Jesus really is, that they change their old thinking of Jesus. For after all, they may have encountered Christianity only by listening to others. Although they might have some partial knowledge, they do not have complete knowledge of Christianity. Let’s read of an example in the Bible.
The woman who had a flow of blood
Mark 5:25–34 (NKJV)
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
Verse 25 onwards talk about a certain woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years. Verse 26 tells us that she has suffered many things from many physicians. Even worse, she had already spent all that she had and was no better, but her condition grew worse. Verse 27 tells us that when she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched Jesus’ garment. Verse 28 tells us what she was thinking, saying to herself that she will be well if only she touches His clothes. Very miraculously, through this encounter, her illness was healed indeed. More importantly, not only was she healed of her affliction for in verse 34, Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”
If we know that someone has been ill for a long period of time of 12 years, it is indeed no short time. The Bible tells us that she had this flow of blood. From the medical understanding today, it might be a condition that she is bleeding from her womb. Since blood is like life to humans, you can imagine the life she suffered for her to be in this condition for 12 years. Moreover, not only was she physically ill, but she had also already expended her money. Since no one could cure her, her life was ultimately one of despair: She has lost her health, she has lost her wealth, and it could also be said that she has lost hope in life. If our lives were in this state, where else can we find joy?
When she came to find Jesus, all she did in that encounter was just touching the garment of Jesus and all her sorrows of the past were removed, this was truly marvelous grace that she received. In fact, even when she did all these things, no one had known at that time what she was up to for this was just a passing thought in her heart. Because she had heard testimonies about Jesus about how He has been able to heal many people. So, she came to seek Jesus with this kind of hope. Her illness was healed in this way.
Do these things still happen like this today? Because the account we have read earlier was something that happened 2000 years ago, some of us may say that this Jesus you preached was just someone that existing 2000 years, are these kinds of stories still relevant? The Bible tells us that Jesus is actually God Himself who came in the form of a man in the flesh. If those who seek Him today are able to be like this woman who believed in Jesus, they could also similarly receive the grace of Jesus. Today, I would like to share a testimony which happened in this modern era.
A picture of a man and a woman standing before a pulpit was displayed on screen.
The woman is one of our church sisters and the picture was taken in our church in Bangkok, Thailand. In fact, she was a Thai. Subsequently, she was married to someone in Malacca, Malaysia. She was a daughter-in-law of our church member. We know that Thais grown up worshipping Buddha. Being a Thai, Jesus is someone very foreign to her. She happened to be married to someone from our church. Her mother-in-law often testified to her as to how Jesus can bestow grace and can heal people. But Christianity was something foreign to her and she was uninterested. Later, she was pregnant.
Although it should be something joyful, being pregnant was a life-threatening matter for her. On the day of her labour after she was already admitted to the hospital, the doctors realized that she had a disease – thalassemia – which is a disease of the blood. Patients with thalassemia would have low blood pressure. Thus, were she to go into labour with this disease, her life would be in grave danger. Coincidentally, her blood pressure was very low on the day of her labour. We know that there are only two choices: either you sacrifice the child or preserve the life of the mother. Although, there is no guarantee that either one will work for with a low blood pressure, it is possible that both lives would be lost. We know that most Thais are Buddhists, and they will have a pendant with an image(s) of their god(s). Very often when people meet with danger, they will turn to their respective god(s) for help. Despite her effort of calling out to the god(s), her blood pressure remained low.
At her wits’ end, she recalled what her mother-in-law told her about seeking Jesus and receiving healing from Jesus. She herself was also a filial person. So there and then, she decided to pray to Jesus, saying, “If you are God, Jesus, you must save me. I can’t die, I still have old parents back in Thailand with no one to look after, and of course, I’m not willing to die as of yet.” Miraculously, after she prayed to Jesus in this manner, the doctors came in to measure her blood pressure again as the situation was quite critical. Then, they discovered that her blood pressure has returned to normal, and they informed that she was able to enter into the delivery ward for labour. For someone to receive such timely a help, it was indeed very joyful. She gave birth to a healthy baby.
After this incident and her recuperating from labour, naturally, she came to church for worship. She was still quite unwilling at first, for to her, Jesus was too foreign. However, she was unable to deny the experience of the help she received during the prayer. She knew that the doctors were truly helpless at that time. Later, her mother-in-law brought her to church, and she sat on the last row of pews, not wanting to come to the front. Therefore, she was unable to clearly hear the contents of the sermon. On that day, there was a prayer for Holy Spirit service. So, the believers in the church taught her how to pray. She also joined in the prayer, thinking in her heart. They told her that when you pray, you begin in the name of Jesus, and encouraged her to pray for His Holy Spirit. They also told her that God will reveal His existence to those who seek Jesus. Since she was humble, she knelt where she was sitting at the back of the hall and began to pray.
Miraculously, as she was praying, she felt that her tongue was suddenly vibrating in the prayer and so were her hands. She started to speak words which were incomprehensible to her. She herself was alarmed and was wondering what this was in her heart. She told me that she was clear and conscious in her mind as she was going through this experience. Next, her kneels suddenly began to move on its own. She moved from the back of the chapel to the front. Our preacher was in front of the hall and was helping members pray by laying hands on them. Both the preacher and her were perplexed as to what was happening at that time. As she came forward, the preacher laid hands on her, and he verified that she received the Holy Spirit. At that time, she was not able to understand what the Holy Spirit is and why she had to speak words incomprehensible to her. But this experience allowed her to further know Jesus one step at a time. So, the church in Malacca arranged Bible study classes for her.
I remember that year I brought my mother to join the spiritual meeting and dedication of the church in Malacca. It was at that time that I got to know her. Some of the delegation from Singapore knew I know how to speak Thai and that they knew that there was a local Thai truth-seeker. So, they asked me to approach her and talk about the bible with her. She asked me many questions about the Bible, and I explained to her as much as I could. Thank God, she later accepted the water baptism of the Church. Because we kept in touch and spoke with each other on the phone (her Mandarin is now quite fluent as compared to then when I first met her for that she just got married that time). One day, she called me saying, “I’d really want to preach the gospel to my family members in Thailand and to tell them that they need to seek Jesus. But I do not know what to say to them over the phone, and I am unable to go back to Thailand.” So, I told her that you could teach them how to pray. She told me they might not believe. So, I told her to tell them that if they were to pray to Jesus and that Jesus will listen to them.
Not long after that, she called me again and said, “Thank Lord Jesus, my father contracted cancer.” “What is there to be thankful about contracting cancer,” I said. She said that because my father is now praying to Jesus, since no doctors can help him from where he was staying. He recalled that I told him to pray to Jesus, as Jesus is the true God who listens to our prayer. Miraculously, her father encountered Jesus just like the woman who had a discharge of blood for 12 years. This was also like his daughter’s encounter with Jesus when she faced some complexities during her labour. So later after his cancer was cured, even the doctors found it strange that the cancer cells disappeared. Her father is still alive until today.
A picture of a man and a woman sitting on rattan sticks with joyful smiles on their faces was displayed on screen.
These are her parents who are staying in the villages of Western Thailand. Because later her mother also had some experiences with miracles. So, she was first baptized.
A picture of a man in white coat with hands clasp who was standing in a river, and another man in white coat with his right hand on the head of a woman in blue who was kneeling in the river was displayed on screen.
Her mother was baptized in Bangkok, somewhere near the church. Why did her father not get baptized at that time? Because everyone living in their village was practicing a local religion and they disallowed him to accept Christianity. Thank Lord Jesus that because he knew to seek Lord Jesus, her father was also baptized later on.
A picture of a group of approximately 28 people kneeling with hands clasp in a chapel was shown.
At that time, the three of them were attending a church service in Bangkok. Her mother also received the Holy Spirit. These were brand new experiences to them. They sought Jesus and came to know Him in this manner. Her father attended the spiritual meeting in Bangkok, and I happened to be there assisting in the spiritual convocation. So, I only shared with him some teachings from the Bible for we were conducting a spiritual meeting there. I told him that if you pray in the name of Jesus, Jesus will give you the Holy Spirit. Then he asked, “Why must I receive the Holy Spirit from Jesus?” “Because this is the best present that Jesus promised to give to mankind,” I said. I told him that although your sickness has been cured, but you will still grow old and die one day. By receiving the Holy Spirit, He allows us to know that Jesus is the true God. Moreover, the down-pouring of the Holy Spirit is a testament that Jesus wants to give us eternal life.
Now why does man need eternal life? Because they will die. Why will man die? For the Bible tells us that man has sin. Of course, we might not think that we have sinned. Last night Preacher Chong shared that as humans, we would do things that might not be totally good/right. However, since God is perfect, mankind is separated from God because of the presence of sin. I believe everyone has heard the story of Adam and Eve – since man have sinned, we face the threat of death. Yet God loves all of us, and He came into the world in the form of a man – Jesus Christ – who came to preach the good news, the gospel to us, so that mankind may once again receive eternal life.
Acts 17:27–29 (NKJV)
27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.
There was a man named Paul, who went to Athens to preach the gospel of Jesus to the people there. In verse 26, he begins to say that God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and boundaries of their dwellings. Why are the times and boundaries of mankind pre-appointed? Because man have sin, and as a result, no one can live forever. Therefore, Jesus came to preach that God loves the world and to allow man to return to God.
After explaining to the father of this sister, he started to have basic understanding. Thus, I said to them that you need to pray for the Holy Spirit. Then, you will know that the promises in the Bible are truth. Because only when you yourself encounter God, you will be able to believe that He is the true God. After hearing this, the father said, “Yes indeed, I have had experiences. Although my disease was cured, how do I know that he still exists? Could it possibly be a coincidence? Since there are many people who were cured from diseases, and not necessarily through seeking Jesus.” He said these for he was from rural villages and had a simple mindset. (Being innocent, he even carried a bag of rice from his village when he went to Bangkok to attend the spiritual meeting, thinking that it was the most important thing.) At the prayer for Holy Spirit session during the spiritual meeting after I told him how to pray, he joined the prayer. I went in front of him to lay hands on him, and heard him speaking in tongues. (Now he also had another son who came that time.) So, I thought that since he has already received the Holy Spirit, I need not lay hands on him and will walk over to his son to lay hands on his son. But before I walked to his son, he also began to speak in tongues. So, I was thinking that Lord Jesus was so great because I don’t need to lay hands today, though we need to lay hands for we need to listen to the prayer. Amazingly, both the father and son received the Holy Spirit. Subsequently, the entire family was baptized.
A picture of a group of approximately 40 people in cheerful faces was displayed on screen.
This is a photo taken during a spiritual meeting in our church in Bangkok. Later, this sister also went to Cambodia for she wanted to have a look at our churches there. She told me joyfully that there are many people who are in Cambodia who were seeking Jesus and that they also received the grace of Jesus and His Holy Spirit.
Come seek for Jesus! We will witness the works of God and see the greatest grace that God wants to give us. As humans, people say that regardless of how difficult your life is, everything is over when you die. We also hear other people say that even if you are very wealthy, everything is gone when you die. Poverty and wealth are not blessings because the conclusion is the same. However, what Jesus wants to give us is eternal life. How do we know that there’s eternal life? Because He has given us His Holy Spirit. 2000 years ago, He died, resurrected, and appeared to His disciples. 2000 years later, this true and living God still wants to give us the Holy Spirit of promise through these words in the Bible. Let us come seek Jesus and receive such a blessing.
Jesus has already promised that He will bestow the Holy Spirit of promise to whoever who seeks Him.
Luke 11:9–15 (NKJV)
9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
14 And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. So it was, when the demon had gone out, that the mute spoke; and the multitudes marveled.
15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
Verses 11-13 emphasizes our relationship with God as one of a father and son. Although mankind sinned and will have to face the righteous judgement of God, Jesus has first died for us and wants to give us the most precious gift – the Holy Spirit – to us. As long as we pray to Him and seek Him, we can receive this gift that is precious and beyond comparison.
When I attended that spiritual meeting in Malacca, my mother has yet known Jesus. During that spiritual meeting, the resident preacher told me that he heard my mother speaking in tongues during the prayer. Later, my mother was also baptized. These testimonies are to tell us that Jesus really wants to give us the best gift. As long as we pray in the name of Jesus, we can praise Him with “Hallelujah,” which means praise the LORD. We can tell God everything in our heart, and even ask Him to allow us to experience His presence. When we received the Holy Spirit, we will speak in an unintelligible language during our prayer. Do not be alarm as this is recorded in the Bible regarding the promise that is to be given to man. Many in our church have already received this precious Holy Spirit. We welcome you to seek the Holy Spirit.