I taught on King Jesus’s revelation and return and even tried the “king of fruits” during a recent ministry trip to Southeast Asia. I traveled with my oldest son across the world to Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (near Kuala Lumpur) to speak at the Creation to Consummation biblical theology conference hosted by the Gospel Growth Fellowship. During this full and fruitful time, I preached on two Sundays at a local reformed church, taught extended morning workshops on interpreting the book of Revelation, and offered evening lectures on (1) Wisdom and Hope in Difficult Days: Reading Revelation Today, (2) The True God Who Is Worthy of Worship, (3) The True People of God Who Follow the Lamb, (4) and The True Words of God. We also enjoyed rich fellowship and conversation with local pastors, university students, and apprentices preparing for ministry, while we feasted on a range of local dishes including roast duck, fish head curry, nasi lemak, dim sum, and durian—the “king of fruits,” which is famous for its large size, strong smell, and thorn-covered rind.
We concluded the Creation to Consummation conference with a Building Healthy Churches session focused on twelve encouragements from the book of Revelation for cultivating faithful and fruitful churches (twelve is a key number in the book that symbolizes God’s people):
- Hear and obey Christ’s words to receive lasting blessing (Rev 1:3).
- Worship the true God, who alone is true, good, and worthy of our praise (Rev 19:10; 22:9).
- Believe the true gospel of salvation and freedom through Christ alone (Rev 1:5).
- Endure suffering with a sure hope (Rev 2:10; 13:10).
- Test prophecies and teachings and listen to what is true and good (Rev 2:2, 7, 20).
- Continue to pray, because God hears and responds to his people (Rev 5:8, 8:4).
- Bear witness to Christ, our savior and faithful witness (Rev 1:5; 12:11).
- Love Christ and his people, as we have been loved by Christ (Rev 1:5; 2:4, 19).
- Resist sin and pursue righteous living (Rev 3:4; 18:4; 19:8).
- Follow the Lamb wherever he goes (Rev 14:1–4).
- Be wise in this world (Rev 17:9).
- Remember your true home—Christians live in Babylon but belong to the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:2).
Here are three takeaways from our journey across the world to teach God’s world and spend time with the saints in Malaysia.
First, we were deeply encouraged by the church’s hunger for God’s word. Hundreds of Malaysian Christians, including large numbers of university students, were eager for hours of extended teaching from the Scriptures. They didn’t just want a gospel snack but solid food to grow up into maturity (Heb 5:12–14).
Second, we received thoughtful, generous, sacrificial hospitality from pastors, students, and church members throughout our stay in Malaysia. 1 Peter 4 says, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Our hosts modeled these New Testament commands and were a true blessing to us.
Third, we shared in “the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ” that our school aims to advance. It was edifying to gather for worship with God’s people and hear testimonies of God’s grace from Christians from various regions of Malaysia and many ethnic backgrounds (including Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Filipino, and Iranian) who have been freed by the blood of Christ and are passionate followers of the King of kings. Jonathan Edwards once wrote, “So far therefore as we sing this song on earth, so much shall we have the prelibations of heaven. In this way we shall have something of heaven in our closets and in our families. And this will make our public assemblies some image of heaven.” These gatherings for teaching, worship, and fellowship in Malaysia were indeed foretastes of heaven and reminders of our calling to make disciples of all nations until our Lord returns to gather his multiethnic people and consummate his kingdom.
Brian Tabb, Ph.D.
Academic Dean & Professor of Biblical Studies
- Pray for the believers in Malaysia to continue growing in their faith, serving each other, and bringing others to faith.
- Pray for our incoming and returning students as they prepare to move to Minneapolis.
- Pray for our faculty and staff as they make final preparations for the coming school year.
- Pray that the Lord would bring many to learn and grow at Godward Life this fall.