For revival to come we must become one: Pastor Vincent Lun on the crucible of community
“This gathering is about drawing the Body of Christ to intimacy with God, and unity within the Body,” declared Pastor Vincent Lun at One Thing Gathering 2018.
Speaking about unity and reconciliation, Pastor Lun said he prepared for his message with two questions on his mind: What is important to God, and what is on His heart?
“Unity within the Body of Christ is something that’s really close to God’s heart,” concluded Pastor Lun, who pastors Kingdom Community Church. “Part of the preparation for the Body of Christ to welcome the Lord Jesus to come back is to build unity, for us to become one.
“He wants the saints to dwell in unity together.”
Speaking about the Passover, Pastor Lun pointed the attendees to John 17:20-23. “This was very much on His heart: That his sheep, flock and followers would love each other and become one.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us …” (John 17:20)
“Just as He and His Heavenly Father are one, when we talk about being one in community and family, we’re not talking about just social relationships, it’s not about just having a good time together. It’s a kind of unity and oneness that reflect the unity within the Godhead. Jesus prayed that we might be one.”
If we want revival in our church, nation or generation, we need to learn to become one.
With great conviction, Pastor Lun said that churches are great at coming up with strategies and programs to win the world for Christ, but questioned what these programs are undergirded or fuelled by.
“Here lies the strategy for world evangelism,” declared Pastor Lun. “When we are one, then the world will believe that the Lord is the Messiah.
“If you want revival in your church, nation or generation – one of the most important things we need to learn to do is to become one.”
Community precedes revival, said Pastor Lun. “One of the passages often quoted when talking about revival meetings is Acts 1. In Acts 1:4-6, the Lord told them to wait for the promise of the Father.
The disciples had already received the Great Commission from Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20), but He had also said to first go to Jerusalem and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit before they went out to disciple others.
“Why did they have to wait 10 days? I’m sure they were confused,” Pastor Lun posited. “But they came together. And 10 days later – they were “all together” (Acts 2:1). Only when they were all together were they ready on the day of Pentecost.
“Their hearts were one, ready for God to pour out His Holy Spirit.”
There’s a difference between ‘coming together’, and ‘we’re all together’. We can come together for an event, for service, for cell group – but it doesn’t mean we’re all together.
Pastor Lun then touched on the Billy Graham Crusade of 1978: “I really believe what provided the energy and momentum, was that the Church was one.
“From what I know, 230 out of 260 churches in Singapore participated in the Crusade in some way or another. That’s almost 90%. Have we done something like that since then? Nowadays if we can even get one third involved we’re very happy already.”
According to Pastor Lun, that unity was what really pleased the heart of God. He believed that God poured out His spirit on the nation because we were one. “And for the last 40 years, we’ve reaped the fruits. What will the next 40 be like? Can the Church really be one again?” he asked.
Community builds character, continued Pastor Lun as he began the latter half of his message.
“After being in ministry for over 40 years, I’m convinced that the crucible for Christlikeness is learning to love one another. It’s dying to self that builds character and Christlikeness more than anything else. It reveals what’s in our heart.
“I can attend a gathering like this, worshipping and raising my hands and all that. And that’s good, God loves that.”
He paused. “But if in my heart I cannot forgive someone who’s offended me, maybe someone in our church or cell, then that’s missing the point.”
Still on the topic of humility, Pastor Lun brought up an old story. “I was helping Jason (Chua) with the Burning Hearts Conference when he surprised me by asking me if I could pray before the session started.
“I agreed, but 5 minutes before I was due to pray, someone came up to me and told me something about someone who had offended me years before.”
Something bad had happened to that someone, and Pastor Lun said his immediate response was carnal and vindictive,: “Very good, there is a God.” Immediately, however, he felt the Holy Spirit convicting him by bringing Psalm 24 to mind.
“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.” (Psalm 24:3-4)
Pastor Lun said there and then he faced a choice: To be able to ascend the hill of the Lord, or to remain unclean by bearing a grudge? He chose the former, as he confessed his sin and repented, even sharing this struggle with a brother in Christ.
Pastor Lun began to narrow in on the topic of reconciliation: “Every time I talk to someone who’s left the church, 8 out of 10 times they leave because they’ve been offended.”
He explained the mindset behind such movements: “If it’s a big church I can go to another cell. I can go to another service.” Then he quipped, “If it still doesn’t work, I can even go to the Chinese service. I would have done it except I’m the pastor!”
According to Pastor Lun, oneness and humility go hand in hand. “It takes humility to say sorry. I was upset with this brother. I really felt he was in the wrong. I was waiting for him to apologise.
Humble reconciliation breaks down certain things – it’s purifying.
“But the Holy Spirit said this to me: Let the one who’s more spiritual be the first to apologise.
“I said God, he is more spiritual!”
Pastor Lun shared that he struggled with it for many months before taking the initiative to reconcile with this brother – but it was worth it. “It’s hard to explain what happens in the heart. Humble reconciliation breaks down certain things. It’s purifying.
“When you actually go through it by the grace of God, you come out feeling like you’re a little more purified.”
“Humility is increasingly forgetting ourselves,” Pastor Lun said in closing. “It becomes less about what you and I want – it’s about what God wants.
“But it’s a muscle you have to train. Each time you do it, it gets a little bit easier. It may take weeks or months. But you’ll feel a sense of freedom you’ve never felt before when when you begin to let God shape your heart.”
He shared a final story with the congregation about a father who had very successful children. But he wasn’t happy, Pastor Lun said, because they were not getting along with each other.
“More than successful individuals,” he said. “A father’s delight is to see his children getting along. With this revelation, I’ve learnt to put more emphasis on my relationships than just getting things done well.”
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!”
Happening from July 19-21, 2018, for the first time in Asia, the One Thing Gathering calls for young people who have purposed in their hearts to live with abandonment and devotion to Jesus, to do His work, be His voice and see His transformation in the nations.
To register your attendance, visit their page. Night sessions are free!