Last Sunday i was involved in one of the neighbourhood outreach organised by Bethany Emmanuel Mission Church and my company. Right before the event starts, as i was warming my seat at the first row because was managing the powerpoint slides, Rev. Oh Beng Kee walked past infront of me and seated 2 chairs away at my right.
I didn't know the church had invited him.
Once the hymns were sang and the introduction had been given by the church's pastor, Rev. Oh went up to the stage, holding his mic and started to preach.
He started talking about the significance of Christmas. He told us the story of a grandpa whose birthday party has been celebrated and attended by everyone else except himself. He paralleled this story with the current Christmas celebration with many people all over the world celebrating the birthday of Christ without his presence. He further made his point that not only Christ wasn't invited to his own birthday party but people marred this festive season with sinful reasons.
Then he went on talking about the sinfulness of humans. He told a story of how a durian seller feels triumphant for cheating money from a couple of tourists. His own experiences weren't denied being shared with the congregation. Some time ago a person rebuked him after one of his evangelistic rally. The person asked him to stop accusing people that they are sinful and in need of Jesus Christ. How could one be sinful when one didn't "sar ren fang hou" (Mandarin-commit any murder or burn any houses)? Rev. Oh responded calmly by first calming the emotional man down. He then responded by asking him "Have you hated anyone before? When you hate someone, didn't you wish to have him killed? The difference between you and a murderer is that the murderer has enough gut to carry out the murder."
Rev. Oh then told a story of a lady who found out about her husband's unfaithfulness to her. Since then she hadn't stop cursing for her own husband to die. And when her husband died, she consulted a Taoist spiritual medium of her husband's whereabout. The medium told her that due to her husband's bad deeds, he has been reincarnated into a cockroach. And thence onwards, she kills cockcroaches that she sees.
This is the real state of 'hatred'. The Bible plainly states that hating someone is the same as commiting murder. The only difference is that in this world, most people are gutless to carry out what they most wanted to do because of the legal punishment.
Then Rev. Oh tripped on expounding biblical truth by relating sexual offences with lust, untamed tongues with burning flames, and theft and robbery with coveteouness.
Then comes the limelight.
He told a story of two identical twin brothers. The only unindentifiable feature between the two is their behaviour. One is a disdain crook while the other is an ideal gentlemen. The crook brother is of no good to anyone. Every imaginable bad things have been done by him. Then came a day when a loanshark approached the crook brother for payment while he was playing mahjong. As a taboo, the crook brother hates to be sought payment during mahjong matches because it brings bad luck. Add to the fact that he was already losing money, in that frenetic mood, the crook grabbed the steal chair beneath him and slammed it at the face of the loanshark. As the chair smacked, plashed his blood onto the crook's garment. Everyone around shouting for the cops. The crook realized that he had just commited a crime and everybody is witnessing agaisnt him. At the moment when the world seems to be crumbling down on him, he suddenly remembered that there is a brother that he could still seek for help. And with such hope he ran out from the mahjong centre to his brother's place. As he ran, the witnesses accompanied the just-arrived cops chase after him from the back.
When he reached his brother's house, he knocked on the door as hard as he could. His brother was awaken by the noise and went to open the door. When he saw the blood stain on his crook brother's shirt, without a second guess, he knew probably what had just took place. Promptly, he asked the crook to take off his shirt while he, himself, taking off his own. Then he passed his clean shirt to his brother, asking him to put it on, while he was tugging on the blood-stained one.
When the cops arrived with all the witnesses, the one who is wearing the blood-stained shirt walked out from the house and surrendered himself. He was being led away handcuffed. At the court of justice the eye-witnesses were testifying agaisnt him, accusing him for the crime that he hadn't done. Eventually the court and all the world pointing their fingers at him saying that he is guilty. But in the midst of all these people, there is one person who knows that he is not. That is the crook brother.
A simplistic and beautiful narrative that brings out the gist of the doctrine of the atonement.
From there, Rev. Oh continued to explain the pardon from the highest authority over crime, and in our case, sin. Then the altar call.
That day, several heartlanders came to received Jesus as their Saviour. Soli Deo Gloria