13 March 2014
Consecrate a Fast, Call a Solemn Assembly
NECF is calling all our member churches to consecrate a fast and host Solemn Assemblies, in our respective churches on 12th April, 2014.
God commanded Joel, "Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber." (Joel 2:15,16 ESV).
The prophet Joel first made the call to the post-exilic community, set in the aftermath of a disaster that plagued the land. Today, we live in similar desperate times. Disasters seem be at our doorsteps1. Both Church and society seem to have imbibed negativity and hopelessness amidst the backdrop of cries for justice and freedom from the shackles of corruption and injustices.
Much of the Church is entrapped in worldliness, and there is very little evidence she is not guilty of the sin of the Ephesus Church, in leaving her first love2. The prayerlessness of the Church is a sad result of our pseudo love for Him; we stand guilty of worshipping the created, instead of the Creator. The words of our Lord to Sardis Church also ring piercingly "I have not found your works perfect before God."3
"Return to Me, and I will return to you"4. It is time the Church return to being salt and light. It is time we assemble to fast and pray, for the Malaysian Church and for the nation.
The Solemn Assembly was a prominent feature in the revivals of the Old Testament. Also, throughout the history of the Church, gatherings of solemnity have been an integral and vital part of revival.
The nature of the solemn assembly is described in precisely those two words. Solemn: this gathering is unique in that a spirit of solemnity prevails as opposed to the flippancy with which many gather routinely for worship. Assembly: this was a time when all the people of the Book were to gather with the purpose of seeking the face of God.
We therefore call on the local churches to suspend routine activities, and bring their church programs to a halt for a day with the express purpose of coming clean and pure before a Holy God, and return to Him with wholehearted repentance. Until corporate sin is repented of, all other religious activity can become repulsive to the God we claim to serve.
NECF is calling all its member churches to a Solemn Assembly on 12th April 2014, to pray and seek the Lord for the following:
- Individual and corporate repentance for the both the Church and nation;
- The Church to return to our first love and this includes a love for the Word and a passion to worship Him in the fear of the Lord;
- The Church to be obedient in making His House a House of prayer;
- To be effective witnesses, and hence be vessels He can use in city and nation transformation;
- The Church would be a model of godliness and holy living in a society that is experiencing erosion of moral values.
- For our King, Sultans, Prime Minister, Cabinet members, Parliament, and State Assemblies to be filled with wisdom and a strong sense of justice, to rule the nation without fear or favor, always keeping the welfare of her people as top priority;
- For the opposition parties in their task of constructively holding the government to account.
- For the nation to experience holistic healing in accordance to 2 Chron 7:13,14.
Pastors, Elders, and Leaders, as shepherds of His flock, we urge you to call the believers in your care to consecrate themselves, to put off whatever distracts, tempts, or otherwise disables them from attending this solemn assembly; that they will make the greatest effort to be found with His people to seek Him, so that we may through repentance make way for the Lord to intervene in His House and in this nation.
Unto the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
Rev Dr Eu Hong Seng
1 At the time of writing, MH370 has been missing for 72 hours.
Translation of this document in Bahasa Malaysia | Chinese | Tamil.