The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, December 6, 2020, the forty-ninth Lord's Day of this year.
- This morning it was announced that Rev. C.Spronk declined the call to Hudsonville PRC.
- Last Sunday (Nov.29) Kalamazoo PRC voted to call Rev. D.Holstege (PRC missionary to the Philippines). We pray for him as he begins to weigh this call.
- Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) is considering the call to Wingham PRC (received Nov.25). We pray for the Lord's clear guidance as he considers this call.
- Rev. A.Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is considering the call to Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN). He plans to answer by Dec.20. We pray that the Lord will show him plainly what His will is.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. J.Slopsema in Cornerstone PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. R. Van Overloop in Hudsonville PRC; Prof.R. Dykstra and Rev.C. Spronk in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. D. Kuiper and Rev. J.Holstege in Providence PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation to help one another in this need. And may we also remember to pray for the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot have pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions).
- For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.
- Did you know that:
- Starting this Sunday our Hull PRC switches to a 2 PM worship time for her second service for the next three months (Dec. to Feb.)? Only one of our other congregations still has a time change like this. Do you know which one that is? (Hint: check the church listings page).
- The young people groups (Covenant Keepers) in our sister church in Singapore have an innovative way to have their camp this year? Here's the information as found in the bulletin today: The CK Committee has a very creative idea for the CKCKS, 16 –19 Dec 2020 Camp this year. CK and CKS members will be meeting in three homes where they will have their camp activities which include listening to the online messages by Professor Dykstra, message discussions and outings. They will stay over on 17th and 18th night in these three homes. The theme for this year’s ‘Camp’ is “Let No Man Despise Thy Youth”. The theme verse is 1 Tim 4:12. Do remember them in your prayers and support them in whatever ways you can when approached.
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
- From the PRC Contact Committee:
Our sister church in Singapore, the CERC, recently contacted our Contact Committee for pulpit supply and pastoral help in light of their lengthy vacancy. In response to this request, the Theological School Committee has approved releasing Prof. Dykstra from his seminary duties next semester so that he can supply our sister church with pastoral help in their time of need. The Singapore officials have approved the Employment Pass needed by Prof. Dykstra to labor in the CERC during the pandemic. Plans are for the Dykstra’s to leave as soon as the seminary’s first semester ends in early December. Once in Singapore, they will be quarantined for two weeks before they can worship with the congregation and begin working. Prof. Dykstra’s seminary classes will be covered by the other professors. The Dykstra's plans are to return to the States sometime in May. May the Lord use Prof. Dykstra’s labors for the encouraging, strengthening, and preservation of our sister church in Singapore.
Special PRC Seminary Notices:
- Seminary has now completed fourteen weeks of its first semester. That means only one week of classes remain before exam week. Continue to remember the seminary in prayer as we enter the 'final stretch' of the semester.
- Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol will be leaving for Singapore the week of Dec.14 for an extended stay to serve our sister church there (into May 2021). The other professors will pick up his classes to assist him while he is gone.
- Notice of Licensure: The faculty has licensed student Marcus Wee to speak a word of edification in our churches. Brother Wee is a member of our sister church, Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore. We rejoice at this milestone in the brother’s preparation for the ministry of the gospel. Any scheduling of him to lead worship services will be through the seminary faculty. This also provides us with an opportunity to impress upon our churches and sister churches the great need that we have for students for the ministry. Let us pray the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers in His vineyard, Matthew 9:37-38. For the faculty, Prof. Ron Cammenga, Rector.
- The Fall issue of the PRTS Journal is being planned and prepared. In the meantime the Spring issue may be found at the link provided, with plenty of good reading material in it.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore:
- From last week's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin: As we look forward to the coming of the Prof Dykstra and Mrs Dykstra, again we are thankful that dependent pass of Mrs Dykstra has been approved. We can now proceed to make arrangements such as entry requirements into Singapore due the travel restriction presently and their needs while serving the “Stay Home Notice” at a Government designated facility upon arrival. Let us commit them to God as the Dykstras prepare to leave Grand Rapids in the middle of December.
- The October 2020 issue of "Reformed News Asia" was recently published (#62). Read that issue here.
- A new issue of Salt Shakers magazine (for young people) is also out - read the October 2020 at this link.
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints in Ballymena, but now once again via live-streaming. The CPRC bulletin recently contained this special note: The civil government is bringing in a 2-week lockdown to limit the spread of Covid-19.... During this time, our worship services will be live-streamed, and our Bible studies and catechism classes will be cancelled. May the Lord give us patience and peace in these trying circumstances.
- Missionary-pastor M. McGeown continues to bring the gospel to the saints in Limerick. After a two-week lockdown, he reports on a happy development in itoday's bulletin: The Irish government has relaxed some of the COVID-19 restrictions so that for the next five Sundays we are permitted to gather for public worship with a review in January. We are thankful to our heavenly Father for this development and pray for our brethren still under restrictions.
- Rev. Stewart has produced a new newsletter on life and labors in CPRC. You may find that November issue here.
- Be sure to read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - October 2020!
- PRC in the Philippines:
- Good news from Provident PRC today! "With thanksgiving to God, we begin our public worship services again today! May God richly bless us through the preaching of His word and the sacraments. Rev. Holstege will preach both times." How we rejoice with them in God's goodness!
Upcoming: Rev. Holstege and his family plan to leave for their furlough on December 16 and to return on July 1, D.V.
- Berean PRC is also able to hold in-person services. Rev. D. Kleyn is leading her services today. This from her bulletin again today: For your information, our corporate public worship resumed already since last Sunday. Under the MGCQ guidelines by the IATF, churches can gather at least 50% of its total capacity. Also, 15 years old and below and sixty-five (65) years old and up, are not yet allowed to participate under IATF rules. Please see attached guidelines for more info.
- PRCP "Classis met last Monday in the building of the PRC in Bulacan and finished their agenda. We thank God for the brotherly cooperation and love shown by the delegates."
- PRCP Seminary News: Let us continue to pray for our seminary instructors and students. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). [Provident PRC bulletin]
- Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) is delivering the messages on the program at present (Oct.2020 - Jan 2021). During December he will deliver some Advent messages as well as an end-of-the-year message. Today he speaks on "Malachi's Prophecy Fulfilled" - based on Luke 1:16,17.
- Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Music, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program. Have you listened lately?
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM:
Looking for some good Christmas devotional reading this month? Or a gift to bless someone else? Check out this title at the RFPA website, as well as others!
- For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.
- Be sure to check out the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI and online!
- Want to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
This Week's Thought for Contemplation:
What did God do when He sent His Son into the flesh? He condemned my sin, the sin of all those who belong to Jesus Christ by the electing love of God. There is no other cleansing agent in all the world that can clean your conscience. Oh, how contaminated is our conscience. I am so dirty. I live with such horrible memories. I am inclined to believe that there is no hope. But here alone the gospel brings hope: the blood of Christ cleanses us from all our sins. There is no agent of cleansing apart from Christ. There is no escape, there is no self-improvement, there is nothing that is found in a bottle or a pill, there is no shield to protect you from the white wrath of God. There is no other argument that you can bring in the court of heaven. Only this: My sin was condemned upon Jesus Christ. In the words of a hymn: “I need no other argument; I need no other plea. It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.”
His Son had no sin. God condemned sin in His flesh. The sin of all who were given to Him, all who belonged to Him by a true and living faith, every sin, fully, finally, decisively, irrevocably punished. Upon Jesus Christ. So that I cannot be punished for them again. No double jeopardy applies. God would be unjust. God would bring disrespect upon His Son’s blood if He ever did punish upon me my sin.
Are you in Christ? Not because you chose Him, but because, by sovereign, mighty grace; not by works, lest any man should boast, but according to the pure grace of God. The gospel is: Christ bore your sins. And He absorbed all the punishment. That is what God did when He sent His Son.
How did God do this? He did this by sending His own Son—His pre-existing, eternal, natural, only-begotten, divine Son, the One who lived in blessed love in the Trinity of God, who was God’s delight—the object of His love. Galatians 4:4, 5, “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
There was no other way. If God did not send His own Son, our sin would be condemned on ourselves, eternally, justly, in the torments of hellfire. If Jesus, God’s Son, had not been sent, our destiny would have been hell.
From Rev. C. Haak's Dec.14, 2008 radio sermon on Romans 8:3, What God Did in Sending His Son