THE REASON FOR HIS DELAY
2 Peter 3:8-10
Series: Endgame – Becoming Future Ready

Jesus will return, of this we are certain. But why does He seem to be taking so long? What is the reason for His apparent delay? What happens when the delay comes to an end?

Discussion Guide

1) The Lord delays in His mercy (8-9)

In these verses, Peter reminds the church that only those who live a life of repentance will be saved. Repentance is the complete change of mind with regard to sin and righteousness. True repentance results in sorrow over sin and transformation of lifestyle. How is this different from merely saying sorry for doing something wrong? Is repentance an once-off event or a continuous commitment? Why do you say so? When was the last time you sincerely repented? What went through your mind? Read the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-12. The prodigal son’s repentance is expressed in his recognition of his wrongdoing, and a decision to stop living a life of rebellion against his father. The son’s decision to repent is then followed by his reconciliation to his father. How would this story encourage those who struggle with sin and are feeling guilt-ridden and hopeless? Why is repentance essential in our relationship with the Father?How does God’s kindness and mercy motivate believers to repent? What happens if we take His mercy for granted?

2) The Lord will come suddenly in His justice (10)

Jesus’ return will be sudden, and we as a church needs to be prepared to give an account of our lives. How does the suddenness of His coming make you feel? When Jesus returns, there will be no more opportunity for repentance because the time for judgment has come. Only those who have already put their faith in Christ and turned to God will be vindicated. How do you feel knowing this truth? What does it mean for those who think they have all the time in the world to turn away from a life of sin and towards a life with God? How are they mistaken? Are there believers you know who think this way? How would you encourage them to return to God before it’s too late? Sin can harden our hearts if we repeatedly refuse to respond to the Spirit’s prompting to repent (Heb 3:12-13). We never know when is the last time we can respond to God’s rebuke or correction. What usually hinders believers from repenting? How can the LG encourage one another to cultivate a lifestyle of repentance?

Reflection Questions

1) The Lord delays in His mercy (8-9)

Why is repentance essential in our relationship with the Father? How does God’s kindness and mercy motivate believers to repent? What happens if we take His mercy for granted?
 

2) The Lord will come suddenly in His justice (10)

When Jesus returns, there will be no more opportunity for repentance because the time for judgment has come. Only those who have already put their faith in Christ and turned to God will be vindicated. How do you feel knowing this truth? How can the LG encourage one another to cultivate a lifestyle of repentance?

THE CERTAINTY OF HIS COMING
2 Peter 3:1-7
Series: Endgame – Becoming Future Ready

“Future ready” is usually defined as the ability to plan with foresight, keep up with the times and be resilient in the face of uncertainty. But what does the Bible say about being future ready? What is the right view of the future we should have?

Discussion Guide

1) The wrong view: Christ will not judge the world (3-4)

The term “judgment day” is often used to describe moments in life where we come to face something truly important, usually with a tinge of fear or dread. For example, the announcing of restructuring in your company, the day of a job interview, or the release of national exam results. What thoughts come to mind when someone mentions “judgement day”? What feelings get stirred? As Christians, what is our understanding of judgment? Discuss in your Life Group.

In 2 Peter 3:3-4, the Apostle Peter warned believers of the presence and teachings of “scoffers”. What was wrong about their message on judgment and the coming of Jesus? What was their reason for thinking that Jesus will not come? How did their belief guide the way they lived their lives? Would you say they answered to themselves or to God? Why? What happens when people live as if they are accountable to no one else but themselves?

“The greatest tragedy in this lifetime is knowing Christ, yet carrying on living as if we do not.” Reflect on how knowing Christ has affected the way we live our lives, e.g. choosing to prioritise people because they matter to God. Share 1-2 areas to your Life Group and give thanks together for what God has done. Are there areas in our lives that are yet to be influenced by Christ and His gospel? Identify what might be stopping you from yielding these areas to God, and resolve to speak to your mentors or leaders about it.

2) The right view: Christ will return to judge the world (5-7)

Living in a busy city like Singapore means that much of our focus and attention is naturally drawn to the daily demands of life. It is easy to get caught up living for the here and now, with immediate rewards like work promotions and long holidays providing encouragement for our next chase. Do the people around you live in such a way, for the here and now? Share how they exhibit this in the type of decisions they make for themselves.

In contrast with the false teachers who denied Christ’s coming and thought that they did not need to account to Him, Christians know from Scripture that God will carry out His promise to judge the world in the future. How does Christ’s coming alter our view of the future? Realising that we have to answer to Him, what truly matters in this life on earth?

Think about some people you know who role-model and set good examples for how one should live. How do they exhibit their beliefs in the decisions they make? Consider how we have been orientating our lives and what we have been striving towards daily. What occupies our time? What drives our work and use of resources? Are there some decisions we need to make for ourselves regarding the way we live our lives today? Commit to respond to God today.

Come together as a Life Group to pray, that every member will grow to make every earthly decision in light of Christ’s coming and our eternity with Him.

Reflection Questions

1) The wrong view: Christ will not judge the world (3-4)

In 2 Peter 3:3-4, the Apostle Peter warned believers of the presence and teachings of “scoffers”. What was wrong about their message on judgment and the coming of Jesus? What was their reason for thinking that Jesus would not come? Would you say they answered to themselves or to God? What happens when people live as if they are accountable to no one else but themselves?

2) The right view: Christ will return to judge the world (5-7)

In contrast with the false teachers who denied Christ’s coming and thought that they did not need to account to Him, Christians know from Scripture that God will carry out His promise to judge the world in the future. How does Christ’s coming alter our view of the future? Realising that we have to answer to Him, what truly matters in this life on earth? What occupies our time? What drives our work and use of resources?

READY TO LET THE WORLD SEE
Series: ‘Let The World See’ Hope Conference 2019

Discussion Guide

How do we prepare ourselves to let the world see?

Being salt and light is no easy feat. How can we go against the tide to stand firm on our beliefs and values? How can we overcome the odds to influence the world for Christ?

The Church must be ready to fulfil its mission to be in the world but not of the world. We must be discipled to exercise our influence as salt and light. We must learn to depend on God and keep in step with the Holy Spirit to retain our distinctiveness. We must be prepared to Let the World See Christ in Us.

Reflection Questions

Why is it important to maintain our “saltiness”? In what ways can we be contaminated and lose the distinctiveness of our identity as the people of God? How can we encourage one another to keep our “saltiness”?

HOW TO LET THE WORLD SEE?
Series: ‘Let The World See’ Hope Conference 2019

Discussion Guide

As we go about our lives, we can participate in many good causes. But what should our focus as the Church be? Should we aim to become a bridge that connects people to Christ? Should we cross boundaries and smash barriers to bring about reconciliation? Should we actively engage people no matter where we go, but for what purpose?

The Church should never be confined by the four walls of the church building. It is our calling to go out there and Let the World See.

Reflection Question

What defines Christian love? As a Christian, what should motivate us to love others selflessly? What makes you say so? What should we stop and start doing in order to love like Christ loves?

WHY LET THE WORLD SEE?
Series: ‘Let The World See’ Hope Conference 2019

Discussion Guide

Is God an attention-seeking God? Is He a narcissist with a desire for admiration? Why does God want the world to see Him?

It is not out of ego that God desires for the Gospel to be preached. It is to fulfil His purposes of redemption that He calls upon His Church to witness, to Let the World See and hear the Gospel proclaimed. Out of love and kindness towards man, He seeks to lead us out of darkness and into His light. His heart is to bring salvation to all who may believe.

Reflection Questions

1) As God’s church, we are sent to the world. Why is it important that we make Christ relevant to people who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with Christian jargon and activities? What are the obstacles we may face? Who are such people in our lives today? How can we think creatively to reach them with compassion?

2) As we preach the Gospel, how are we preaching it with both our words and with our lives? What challenges do we face in it? What can we do as a community to preach in this way?

LET THE WORLD SEE JESUS
2 Corinthians 4:7-12
Series: ‘Let The World See’ Hope Conference 2019

Discussion Guide

What do we let the world see?

People may show off their strengths, their wealth, their intelligence, their power. Others may feel they are weak and have no qualities worth highlighting. Yet, as believers, who we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord (2 Corinthians 4:5).

In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul elaborates how, we “have treasures in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us”. The contrast is clear. We are likened to simple, inexpensive, easily broken jars of clay which bear treasure; the powerful glorious light of the Gospel. As “jars of clay”, we are vessels that carry the treasure. The focus is on the treasure and not the vessel. When we let the world see, it is not our own strengths that we display. We Let the World See Christ in Us.

Though some of us may go through difficult times, through suffering, through weakness like Paul did in his ministry, we have the assurance that the power of God sustains us. It is in our weakness that we depend on God’s power and not our own. We do this so that the life of Christ might be revealed in us, that Christ may be glorified. In this way, the treasure is shared and the Gospel is preached because we Let the World See Christ in Us.

Reflection Questions

1) What do you think is your main weakness(es)? How has it hindered you from serving Christ? How does knowing that God can use you to serve and witness through your weakness change your view of your weakness(es)?

2) Make a list with one column of the cost you have to bear so far as a disciple of Christ, and another column of what Jesus has done for you. How does Jesus’ sacrifice for you contrast with what you have gone through for Him?

SERVING ON THE MISSIONS FIELD
Acts 10:23b-48
Series: Light of The World

God has commissioned every Christian to be a messenger of the Gospel and to make disciples of all nations. How can we obey His call to serve on the missions field?

 

Discussion Guide

1) Prioritise God’s commands above man’s demands (23b-33)

What are some situations where we commonly experience a conflict between what God requires of us and what man wants from us? What drives our decisions during such times? For some of us, prioritising God’s commands requires us to first know what they are. To do so, we need to grow in our understanding of God. What are some understanding or view of God that you need to work on? How can mentors and the LG help us to grow in our understanding of God? Or we may already know God’s commands, but we struggle with the will to carry them out. What are some usual hindrances we face? What would help us to overcome these hindrances?

Obeying God doesn’t mean that we completely disregard cultural traditions or customs. Some are aligned with godly values, some are not. When human traditions or rules contradict God’s commands, it is time to take a stand. What are some traditions or practices in your family, community or workplace that may seem ‘normal’ or harmless but may not be God-honouring? How can we support Christians struggling to choose between God’s commands and man’s demands? Recall a time when you had to make such a decision. What did you do, and what did you learn from that experience? If you could turn back time, what would you have done differently or continued to do?

2) Proclaim the Gospel boldly (34-43)

Our church does outreach via BFMP (Bless, Fellowship, Minister, Proclaim). BFM gives the context and impetus for Proclaim. Do you struggle to proclaim? List down the top concerns you have or the common obstacles you encounter. To proclaim does not mean we have to close the deal i.e. ensure that our hearer converts. Only God can convict and convert hearts. Our role is to obey God by witnessing for Christ and leaving the outcome to Him. How does knowing that we do not need to have all the answers or take charge of the outcome encourage a believer to share the Gospel boldly?

As we share the Gospel, we should let the Spirit work through us to bring people to a state where eventually, they may acknowledge their sins and their need for forgiveness. This process usually takes time and requires courage on our part. Do you struggle to share this aspect of the Gospel to your friends or loved ones? What are your concerns or fears? What do you think will happen to people if they do not realise the severity of their sins? Do you think they can truly appreciate the Cross? Why? Look through Scripture for how Jesus or the apostles approached the topic of sin. What was their attitude or motivation? What were the reactions of their hearers? What can you learn from their examples?

3) Keep up with the Holy Spirit (44-48)

From verses 44-46, we see that God moved in the hearts of Peter’s hearers and gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit. We can be assured that the Spirit is with us and He is doing the work in people’s hearts when we are serving on the missions field, be it is overseas or local. How does this assurance of His presence motivate believers to take bold, faithful steps to make disciples of all nations?

Often, the Spirit works in ways we do not expect. He may disrupt us or surprise us with unpredictable outcomes. Our role is to flow with His leadership. How do you think you can prepare yourself to keep up with the Spirit? What would affect your sensitivity to Him? What are some simple practices the LG can establish to build one another’s awareness of the Spirit? What are some attitudes or understandings you would need to change or reinforce so that you can be more obedient to the Spirit?

How can you be a Peter to a Cornelius today? Who may the Spirit be leading you to so that he/she may have the opportunity to find out more about Jesus?

 

Reflection Questions

1) Prioritise God’s commands above man’s demands (23b-33)

What are some traditions or practices in your family, community or workplace that may seem ‘normal’ or harmless but may not be God-honouring? How can we support Christians struggling to choose between God’s commands and man’s demands?

2) Proclaim the Gospel boldly (34-43)

Only God can convict and convert hearts. How does knowing that we do not need to have all the answers or take charge of the outcome encourage a believer to share the Gospel boldly?

3) Keep up with the Holy Spirit (44-48)

How can you be a Peter to a Cornelius today? Who may the Spirit be leading you to so that he/she may have the opportunity to find out more about Jesus?

PREPARATION FOR MISSIONS
Text: Acts 10:1-23a
Series: Light of the World

As Christ followers, we are called to fulfil the Great Commission.  How is God preparing you to participate in missions today

Discussion Guide

1) God chooses to involve us in missions (1-8)
John Piper once said, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” What do you think he means? Do you agree with this quote? Why? How does this quote illustrate the significance of missions? God graciously involves us in His mission to redeem the world. Missions is not the church’s idea – it is God’s. How does knowing that God is the initiator of missions change or reinforce our perspective of why we do missions? What is one way you or your Life Group can be involved in missions? How do you plan to carry it out? What could hinder you? Pen down some concrete steps you can take today.

2) God challenges us to let go of our prejudices (9-16)
How can prejudices affect the way we relate to those who are ethnically, socially or culturally different from us? How do you think prejudices arise? How does holding onto prejudices hinder missions or unity within the Church? As a Life Group, how can you help one another by correcting or guarding against prejudices?

3) God challenges us to be cross-cultural believers (17-23a)
For most people, it is more comfortable to stay within their own cultures than to step out and get to know people who are from different cultures. Why is it important to be willing to step out of this comfort zone? How would our willingness to embrace discomfort affect our involvement in missions? What are some activities you can do together as a Life Group to expand your heart for people of other ethnic or social backgrounds?

Reflection Questions

1) God chooses to involve us in missions (1-8)
Missions is not the church’s idea – it is God’s. How does knowing that God is the initiator of missions change or reinforce our perspective of why we do missions?

2) God challenges us to let go of our prejudices (9-16)
How does holding onto prejudices hinder missions or unity within the Church?

3) God challenges us to be cross-cultural believers (17-23a)
What are some activities you can do together as a Life Group to expand your heart for people of other ethnic or social backgrounds?

Jocelyn Chng was her family’s chief breadwinner at 21 and a widow with three sons at 37. Today, she is the driving force behind JR Group, and ‘Chef-In-Box VendCafe’, Singapore’s first unmanned vending-machine cafe. Hear how she journeyed through years of personal pain and tough business hurdles to emerge as the successful entrepreneur and mother she is today.

Community-cation: An interdisciplinary study on the impact of social network and environment on one’s life.

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