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Archaeologists uncover ruins of Sodom, the lost ancient biblical city destroyed by God

A team of archaeologists led by Prof. Steve Collins has reportedly unearthed the ruins of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which according to the Bible suffered a catastrophic destruction caused by God.

Collins and his team from the Trinity Southwest University in New Mexico announced that after 10 years of excavation and study as part of the Tall el-Hammam excavation project, they have discovered what seems to be the site of the biblical city of Sodom, according to the digital magazine Popular Archeology.

“The archaeological team unearthed a goldmine of ancient monumental structures and artifacts that are revealing a massive Bronze Age city-state that dominated the region of Jordan’s southern Jordan Valley, even during a time when many other great cities of the ‘Holy Land’ region were either abandoned or in serious decline,” Collins said.

“Very, very little was known about the Bronze Age in the Middle Ghor (southern Jordan Valley) before we began our excavations in 2005,” he said.

“Even most of the archaeological maps of the area were blank, or mostly so. What we’ve got on our hands is a major city-state that was, for all practical purposes, unknown to scholars before we started our project.”

Collins said when comparing the newly discovered ruins with the remains of other nearby ancient cities, along with its prime location and dates of occupation, “it emerges as the best candidate for the lost city of Sodom—the infamous city that, based on the Biblical account, was destroyed by God in a fiery cataclysm because of its iniquity.” “Tall el-Hammam seemed to match every Sodom criterion demanded by the text,” he said. According to Wikipedia, Sodom and Gomorrah were cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis and throughout the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and in the deutorocanonical Book of Wisdom, as well as in the Qur’an and hadith.In the book of Torah, it was mentioned that the kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah and three other cities were known as the “Cities of Plain” as these were situated on the Jordan River plain in the southern region of the land of Canaan.

The plain was then compared to the Garden of Eden as being “a land well-watered and green, suitable for grazing livestock.”When “divine judgment” by God was reportedly passed upon Sodom and Gomorrah and two neighbouring cities, “they were completely consumed by fire and brimstone.” The cities then have become synonymous with sin, according to Wikipedia.

The Five(5) finger prayer model for Children

How do you teach a child to pray? Prayer is simply talking to God, but explaining that to a young growing mind may seem difficult. They may struggle to understand how how they can talk to someone they cannot see? The Five Finger Prayer is a simple, visual, and fun way to teach kids what to pray for, as well as a reminder that prayer is simply a conversation with God just like a conversation with a friend.

Each finger on a hand represents a person(s) to pray for. Our hands and fingers are always right there with us, and the Five Finger Prayer is a great way to teach children to remember to pray all the time. Whenever they look down at their hands, they can remember to pray for these five different kinds of people in their life. 

Prayer can really be about anything that is going on in a person’s life, but the Five Finger Prayer teaches children to focus on others and pray for them first. They should know it is not what we say when we pray that matters; it is what is happening in our hearts that matters most. Prayer is something good to practice at least once per day to develop the habit.  But after prayer has become a habit it can just become a natural part of each day, like talking with friends of family. 

Jesus tells us in the book of Mark 11:24, “…whatever, you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” It is essential that we pray and have faith that God is in control and will take care of us and the people that we pray for. 

The Five Finger Prayer is not the only way to pray, but it is a way to pray. Children should know that they can pray with their eyes open or closed, whether their hands are folded or open, and whether their heads are up or down. These are all things we do out of respect for God and those around us, but we can most certainly pray whenever, wherever, and however works best for us. 

Each finger is listed below with additional detail describing what prayer reminder that finger represents, as well as how you explain it to a child.  There is also a Scripture referencing prayer included for each of the 5 prayers. 

THUMB

Pray for those closest to you, closest to your heart, your loved ones.

COLOSSIANS 4:2 

When the hands are folded to pray, the thumb is the closest finger to us and our hearts. “Those closest to you” can be your parents, siblings, grandparents, classmates/friends, or the first person who comes to your mind. Pray for them first; they are the easiest ones to remember! Encourage kids to begin their prayer by thanking God for this person. As Paul instructs in the book of Colossians, chapter 4, to the people of Colossae, “Devote yourselves to prayer….”, and he further instructs us to be watchful and thankful. The person who comes to our mind first, when we begin to think of who we should be praying for, will usually be the person we are being “watchful” or “thankful” for. 

POINTER FINGER

Pray for those who instruct/teach you, the people who point the way. 

1 THESSALONIANS 5:25

Just like our teachers and instructors use their pointer finger to show us things, so we should use that same finger to remember to pray for them! Teaching is a big job, and the Bible tells us that they are judged more strictly as they are given more responsibility in this world. It is no easy job to teach people, so our teachers and instructors need all the prayer they can get. Remind kids to use this time pray for pastors, teachers, and anyone who helps to educate, train, or teach them. Paul, as a teacher, writes to the people of Thessalonica, asking them to pray for him at the end of chapter 5 in 1 Thessalonians. Whoever is teaching you things in and throughout your life, pray for them during the Five Finger Prayer. 

TALLEST FINGER

Pray for those who stand tall for us and lead us. 

1 TIMOTHY 2:1-2

The tallest finger reminds us to pray for those who stand tall for us. This could be our presidents or our leaders in life, such as the police, military, or government leaders too. You can remind kids that when they grow up and get jobs, this could also refer to their supervisor or boss at the job they work at. In the book of 1 Timothy, Paul is writing to Timothy and giving him instruction on how to do the important work that he is doing. Chapter 2, which is an entire chapter for instruction on worship, Paul writes to pray for “kings and all those in authority…”.  

RING FINGER

Pray for those who are weak or in pain.

JAMES 5:15

The ring finger is known to be the weakest finger. Try to open a drawer handle with it, and it will be noticeably weaker than all the other fingers. This finger should remind kids to pray for those they know who are sick, hurt, in trouble. As James, the brother of Jesus writes in his book in the Bible, James, chapter 5, that “prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well….” Having the faith that if our prayers are offered in faith can make a sick person well, is truly life-changing. It is important that children understand that their prayers are important and that they mean something to God. He wants us to believe that He can heal and change all of us, no matter what situation we are in. 

LITTLE FINGER

Pray for ourselves. 

PHILIPPIANS 4:6 

The last and smallest finger of the Five Finger Prayer should remind us that we need to pray for ourselves too. We should be placing ourselves last before God and His greatness and others and their needs. After praying for everyone else before yourself, kids should take a moment to recognize the good things they have that others may not, and give thanks for those things. Paul writes a great and very well-known verse to the people of Philippi in the book in the Bible called Philippians. In Philippians 4:6, he says that we should pray instead of being anxious about “anything.” We should pray about what is worrying us and what is on our hearts and give it to God, for He is in complete control.  

Branded for Christ – Leonard Ravenhill

In a certain sense, all men are strangers to one another. Even friends do not really know each other. To know a man, one must know all the influences of heredity and environment, as well as his countless moral choices that have fashioned him into what he is.

Though we do not really know one another, tracing the course of a man’s life sometimes offers rich reward, particularly when we see the great driving forces which have motivated him.

For instance, how greatly your life and mine would be benefited if we could experience the same surge of Christ-life that moved Saul of Tarsus (later called Paul) and plumb even a little the hidden depths of the meaning in his words, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Gal. 6:17).

One thing is sure about these words: they were an acknowledgment of Christ’s ownership. Paul belonged to the Lord Jesus — spirit, soul, and body. He was branded for Christ.

When Paul claimed to bear in his body the wounds of the Lord, he was claiming no “stigmata,” as did Saint Francis of Assisi in 1224 A.D. It is not a bodily identification by outward crucifixion. He had been “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20).

Branded by Devotion to a Task
The marks of Paul’s inward crucifixion were plainly evident. First of all, Paul was branded by devotion to a task.

If, as tradition says, Paul was only four feet six inches in height, then he was the greatest dwarf that ever lived. He out-paced, out-prayed, and out-passioned all his contemporaries. On his escutcheon was blazed: “One thing I do.” He was blind to all that other men gloried in.

Pascal was bitterly criticized because apart from the immortal soul of man, he could see no scenery anywhere worth looking at.

By the same token, the Apostle Paul might be castigated for saying not a word about Grecian art or the splendor of the Pantheon. His was a separation to spirituality.

After the Athenian clash on Mars’ Hill, Paul poured contempt on the wisdom of this world, dying daily to the temptation to outwit and out-think the wise. His task was not that of getting over a viewpoint, but of overcoming the legions of hell!

Somewhere, most likely in Arabia, Paul’s personality had been transfigured. Never after that was he listed as a backslider. He was too occupied with going on. It would have vexed his righteous soul to hear a congregation sing, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it!”

Unsponsored, unwelcomed, unloved — these made little difference to Paul. On he went, blind to every jewel of earthly honor, deaf to every siren-voice of ease, and insensitive to the mesmerism of worldly success.

Branded by Humility
Paul was also branded by humility. Moths could not corrupt this God-given robe. He never fished for praise with humility’s bait, but in the long line of sinners, put himself first (where we would put him last).

The old Welsh divine said that if you know Hebrew, Greek, and Latin , do not put them where Pilate did at the head of Christ, but put them at his feet. “What things were gain to me,” says Paul, “these things I count as loss for Christ.”

What a heart’s ease is the virtue of humility — the great joy of having nothing to lose! Having no opinion of himself, Paul feared no fall. He might have swaggered in the richly embroidered robes of the chancellor of a Hebrew school. But in the adornment of a meek and quiet spirit, he shines with more luster.

Branded by Suffering
Next, Paul was branded by suffering. Consider the thing he mentions in Romans 8: famine, peril, nakedness, and sword (these belonging to acute discomfort in the body), and tribulation (perhaps of the mind), distress, persecution (of the spirit). Of all these sufferings the “little” minister partook.

This wandering Jew “made war on all that made war on God and on the children of men.” This prince of preachers and his foe, the prince of hell, spared each other no beatings. It was a free-for-all and no holds barred!

Look closely at Paul — at that cadaverous countenance, that scarred body, that stooped figure of a man chastened by hunger, kept down by fasting, and ploughed with the lictor’s lash; that little body, brutally stoned at Lystra and starved in many places; that skin, pickled for thirty-six hours in the Mediterranean Sea!

Add to this list danger upon danger; then multiply it with loneliness; finally, count in the 199 stripes, 3 shipwrecks, 3 beatings with rods, a stoning, a prison record, and deaths so many that count is lost.

And yet if one could add it up, all must be written off as nothing, because Paul himself thus consigned it. Listen to him: “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment…” That’s contempt of suffering, if you like!

Branded by Passion
Furthermore, Paul was branded by passion. A man must be in the dead center of God’s will and walking the tightrope of obedience to call upon the Holy Ghost to bear witness to his witness. Yet Paul does this in Romans 9:1.

Oh, that from this wondrous flame every living preacher might capture just a little light! Beatings could not cast the flame out of Paul; fastings and hunger could not kill it; misunderstanding and misrepresentation could not quench its fire; waters could not drown it; prisons could not break it; perils could not arrest its growth. On and on it burned, until life ebbed from his body.

The living Christ who was within Paul (Gal. 2:20), as manifested by his soul-passion, was at once the despair of hell, the capital for enlarging the Church, and cheer to the heart of the Saviour, who was seeing the travail of His soul and was being satisfied.

Branded by Love
Paul was branded by love. When Paul experienced becoming a “man in Christ,” he developed the capacity for love. Only maturity knows love. How Paul loved!

First and supremely, Paul loved his Lord. Then he loved men, his enemies, hardship, and soul-pain. And he must have loved this latter particularly, else he would have shirked prayer. Paul’s love carried him to the lost, the last, the least. What scope of love! Mars’ Hill with its intellectuals, the synagogues with their religious traditionalists, the market places with their prodigals — all these he yearned over and sought for his Lord. Like a mighty dynamo, love pushed him on to attempt great things for God.

Not many have prayed as this man prayed. Maybe McCheyne, John Fletcher, mighty Brainerd, and a few others have known something of the soul-and-body mastering work of intercession motivated by love.

I remember standing by the Marechale once as we sang her great hymn:
“There is a love constraining me
To go and seek the lost;
I yield, O Lord, my all to Thee
To save at any cost!”

That was not just a lovely sentiment. It cost her prison, privation, pain, and poverty.

Charles Wesley seemed to reach on tiptoe when he said, “nothing on earth do I desire but Thy pure love within my breast!” More recently Amy Carmichael uttered the heartfelt prayer; “Give me a love that leads the way, a faith which nothing can dismay!” These men and women were certainly on the trail of the apostolic secret of soul-winning.

Great soul-winners have always been great lovers of men’s souls. All lesser loves were conquered only by the greater Love. Great love to the Lover of their souls drove them to tears, to travail, and to triumph. In this evil hour, dare we love less?

Let me love Thee, love is mighty
Swaying realms of deed and thought;
By it I can walk uprightly,
I can serve Thee as I ought.
Love will soften every trial
Love will lighten every care;
Love unquestioning will follow,
Love will triumph, love will dare!

Without any of their choosing, millions will be branded for the Antichrist one day. Shall we shrink to bear in our spirits, our souls, and our bodies our Owner’s marks — the marks of Jesus? Branded means pain. Do we want that? Branded means carrying the slur of the servant. Will we choose to be branded — for Christ?

Pride will kill you; Learn 10 ways to kill it first

Pride says to God, “I’m more important than you.” Pride would have its own way, rather than the Lord’s. God alone is worthy to receive honor, glory, and praise. But pride tries to hijack it for ourselves.

1 Peter 5:5 says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Which do you want from God: his opposition or his grace? If grace is what you want, it is vital that you lay aside pride.

Pride is the root of every sin. It has the audacity to disobey the loving, wise God who has purchased you. Pride wreaks havoc on your spiritual life.

We must declare war on pride lest we fall into sin and put enmity in between us and God.

What is Pride?

It’s essential to know our opponent in this war. We need to know what pride is and what it looks like. We must be able to identify pride from a mile away. Let’s take a look inside the camp of our enemy.

Pride is that desire in you to receive more praise. It is the desire to be exalted rather than to glorify God. The proud person is confident in their own ability, and they do not rely on God’s grace.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of indicators to be watchful of:

  • Frequently putting all of the attention on yourself
  • Struggling to empathize with the sorrows of others
  • Feeling self-pity when you’re not praised
  • Constantly considering what others think of you
  • Avoiding people who are better than you at something
  • Easily finding flaws in others

Now that you can identify pride, you’ve got to know how to fight it. Here are 10 practical ways to be killing pride:

1. Identify Lies You’re Believing

If the truth was known and believed, pride would not exist. Your pride comes from lies that you are believing. Our adversary is a liar, and the father of lies.

His first strategy is to get you believing something that is not true. Once you identify lies, you can replace them with the truth.

Here are some lies that can lead to pride:

  • “God isn’t concerned with what I do.”
  • “I know what’s best for me better than God does.”
  • “Fruit in my life is from my own labor.”
  • “My sin is not that serious.”
  • “My comfort is more important than others.”
  • “I’m more deserving of grace than someone else.”
  • “I’m humble enough.”

God’s truth gives a sharp contrast to these lies. For answers to these lies, keep reading.

2. Understand God

God is holy. His wisdom is infinite. His glory is never-ending. His goodness is unsearchable. He works all things according to the counsel of his will.

There is no being in all of creation that compares to the Creator—especially not humans. We are the only beings in existence that are prideful enough to disobey God.

I am the Lord. That is my name, and I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols,” (Isaiah 42:8). He commands all worship, praise, adoration, honor, and glory. And, he will receive it.

It is impossible to have a view of God that is too great. He is more majestic than our minds will ever be able to comprehend. Yet, he is intricately concerned with every aspect of our lives.

Pride often comes from a view of God that is too low. We must fight to revere him if we want to be humble. This is what John says, “He must increase, but I must decrease,” (John 3:30).

3. Understand Yourself

Your position after Christ is all of grace. What you deserve is infinitely worse than what you’ve been given.

Listen to what Ephesians 2 says about what we were before Christ:

You were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously lived, according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath,” (v. 1-3).

We were helpless and hopeless. Living according to the world, following Satan, and living to satisfy our own desires. But, our hearts were changed. God made us alive so that he could display the riches of his grace in us. This leaves no room for pride.

That passage also teaches us that even our good works were prepared ahead of time by God for us to do (v. 10). You never surprise God when you do good. He planned it. He gets the glory.

What do you have to be prideful about? Pride often comes from either thinking yourself to be higher than you are or thinking God to be lower than he is.

To claim that anything you’ve done is of yourself is to scorn the grace of God.

4. Consider Others More Important

This is the command that Paul gave in Philippians 2, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.

No one is more valuable than anyone else. You don’t deserve more grace than someone else. That is contradictory to the nature of grace; it is a gift that is given to those who don’t deserve it.

How often do you go out of your way to serve your brothers and sisters? Do you carry one another’s burdens?

5. Receive Compliments Well

It’s difficult to figure out how to give and receive compliments. You want to encourage people in the gifts God has given them, but you want to also want to not cause them to stumble into pride. How do you give and receive compliments?

Ted Hegre, a founder of Bethany Global University, used to say, “Receive compliments, but don’t swallow them.” His point was that it is good to recognize your abilities and use them for God’s glory. Allow people to edify you, but don’t allow them to convince you that you could’ve done it alone.

You shouldn’t be constantly thinking about how people think of you. Don’t dwell unceasingly on the compliments you’ve received.

What God says about you is what really matters. He delights in you, and he is pleased with you. “For am I now trying to persuade people, or God? Or am I still trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ,” (Galatians 1:10).

The proper response to a compliment is to ask, “How can I best glorify God using the gifts that people testify that I have?” It is also proper to recognize that your ability is from God.

God is more willing to use a humble man than a prideful man who has every ability in the world.

6. Remind Yourself of Christ’s Example Often

Christ set the ultimate example of humility. And scripture commands us to follow his example.

Paul says this in Philippians 2:5-8,

Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death – even to death on a cross.

Jesus is equal with God, but he took on our likeness. He humbled himself by being obedient even unto death. Do we have that same level of obedience? Can you cry out “not my will, but yours be done,” as Christ did?

If you can remind yourself just how much your Lord humbled himself, you can be encouraged to pursue it for yourself.

7. Ask God to Humble You

God’s will is for you be holy just as He is holy. His desire is your sanctification. And he is sovereign to bring that holiness to fruition.

We are dependent on the Holy Spirit if we are going to live in humility. This grace must come from him.

Jesus said this in Luke 11:13, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” All you have to do is ask.

Your prayers reflect the desires of your heart. If you truly want to kill pride, you’ll ask God to kill it in you. And, God will have his way.

8. Flee False Humility

“You can have no greater sign of confirmed pride than when you think you are humble enough.” – William Law

False humility is destructive. It allows you to live in pride without acknowledging that there is a problem. You’re living in sin without recognizing it. But, what is false humility?

False humility is when you convey a life of humility while having a pride issue internally. It is a disparity between external appearances and internal sin. Here is a list of possible indicators of false humility:

  • Feeling the need to announce your achievements to others
  • Being unwilling to consider or accept godly rebuke
  • Correcting people in order to assert dominance rather than to edify them
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Recognizing sin without turning from it

We must flee from this false humility. It is the epitome of hypocrisy, refusing to admit imperfection in your life.

For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself,” (Galatians 6:3). If you have false humility, repent. There are forgiveness and freedom.

9. Avoid Positions That Cause Pride

If taking on a certain responsibility or position will cause you to be living in pride, it is best to avoid that position.

Paul says that even the office of an overseer cannot be held by a new convert “or he might become conceited and incur the same condemnation as the devil,” (1 Timothy 3:6). Obviously, avoiding conceit is a valid reason to not accept a position.

Everyone deals with pride in some way. Therefore, it is not reasonable to say that if there is pride in your heart at all, you shouldn’t be a pastor, manager, or leader. But, you cannot be living in this sin and holding one of those offices.

In his book The Soul Winner, Charles Spurgeon pointed out that “Humility is one of the chief qualifications for usefulness.” This is an incontrovertible truth of ministry.

10. Meditate on God’s Word

This is the last step mentioned, but it is the most important. Meditating on the Bible is the most necessary part of becoming humble because it is the foundation upon which all of these other steps must be accomplished.

Do you need to understand the truth about God? He tells you all that you need to know in the Bible.

Do you need to know the truth about yourself? Scripture is the accurate mirror that will show you who you truly are.

Do you need to see Christ’s example? It is recorded sufficiently in the scriptures.

The Bible is not dead or inactive. When you read it and believe, you are being sanctified.

God gave us the Bible so that we could be made into righteous, complete people. “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

One day, we will battle no more.

Being prideful should not be pleasant to the believer. We hate it. And we seek freedom.

The good news is that God is able to free us. The best news is that he promised he will. There will be a day when Christ brings history to its consummation and believers will be standing blameless before God. We will be given a body in the likeness of Christ’s glorified body. And we will dwell with him forever.

We battle against pride knowing that Christ has won the war. His grace is enough. His righteousness is counted as our own.

The reason that we are able to be in this battle is that the Holy Spirit is working in you and completing the work he began. Look to Christ with gratitude, adoration, and praise as you struggle against sin.

The Joy of Suffering for Christ – Ephesians 3:1-6

1 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 

As we transition from chapter 2 to chapter 3, Paul is moved to prayer because he’s in awe of God’s work in Christ in creating the global church. But as he began praying, he realized he said something that could sound discouraging to his readers. He didn’t want that. So he cut himself off to clarify. Notice the dash at the end of verse 1? With that dash, he began, basically, a mini-sermon on the joy of suffering for the cause of Christ.  

Why does he do this? Because God has called the Church to be an outpost of the Kingdom in this world. And in this world of sin and rebellion, it should not surprise us that God’s Church and God’s people encounter suffering. For Paul, that isn’t a discouragement. It’s validation that God is at work in the world because the gospel isn’t a add-on option to life. It’s a life-changing, world-shaking, history-defining truth for life. The gospel is a revolution, and no revolution is easy. For Paul, hardship was something to rejoice in because Jesus is in it. This is the pastoral Paul, proving that joy and suffering go together in the Christian life. 

Joy and suffering don’t normally fit. But the Bible shows that in the Christian life, suffering and joy can be friends because Jesus, the Suffering Servant, made them so. When God gets involved, his revealed purpose colors all our suffering, changing the tint from darkness to light. That doesn’t mean our hardships are less painful or difficult. But God gives us the grace to endure, revealing along the way the larger purpose behind his work. In our suffering, we see more of Jesus and his purposes than we can on the clearest of days. The Lord is near to the broken-hearted. 

Here in Ephesians 3, Paul wants to be very clear: he was not surprised by his suffering; he was surprised by his joy in his suffering. Suffering for Christ isn’t easy, but it’s worth every hardship because Jesus has swept us into the only cause that will last for eternity. 

So, today, I want to consider suffering for the cause of Christ in three parts. 

First, God gets involved in the hardships of life. 

Second, God has a purpose for life’s hardships. 

And third, God’s purpose is greater than life’s hardships. 

God gets involved in the hardships of life. 

The Bible is honest about life. When we live for Christ, we will suffer because we live in a sin-stained world in rebellion against God. But the Bible does more than say, “Life is hard. Suck it up.” It reasons with us on how to respond.  

In John 16:33, Jesus said life wouldn’t be easy. “In the world, you will have tribulation.” All who live for Christ discover that truth. But that’s not all Jesus said. He said, Yes, you will have trouble, “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” As we journey with Christ, we should expect two things simultaneously. We should expect trouble. And we should expect Christ’s sustaining victory. 

That was Paul’s mindset. Look at verse 1. “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—”  

Paul wrote from prison—he had trouble. He began his prayer with this truth. But he cut himself off to engage his readers about it, showing that, “Yes, my life includes hardships, but there’s no reason for discouragement. Jesus is here. He’s the defining truth in my life.” 

The book of Acts says Paul was imprisoned in Rome under Caesar. But that isn’t how Paul explains his imprisonment, is it? Look what he says. “I, Paul, a prisoner of”– of who? of “Christ Jesus.” Paul does not consider himself a prisoner of Caesar nor Rome. He considers himself a prisoner of Christ Jesus! He saw things for what they really were. Yes, men had locked him up, but Jesus directed their steps. Jesus was in control of his life. Trough those eyes, Paul’s imprisonment stopped being a hardship and became a ministry. That’s what a Redeemer does: he turns hardships into ministry. “In the world, you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world!”  

When we face suffering for the sake of Christ, it’s hard to see with those eyes, isn’t it? Suffering takes the heart out of us—it’s disheartening. In suffering, we need more than a pep talk. When suffering comes because of faithfulness to Jesus, here’s what you need to know: Jesus will put your heart back. He will sustain you. But more than that—he can give you joy in the suffering because he has overcome the world. You know how this story ultimately ends, and it’s not a tragedy. 

If you are his, even if you’re imprisoned by this world, your deepest reality is that you’re a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and in his prison, you’re the freest person in the world. Our present circumstances are not indications of God’s faithfulness or unfaithfulness. God’s faithfulness is present in all our circumstances.  

God is not aloof to your suffering. How could he be? He knows what it’s like. He’s the one person who knows how hard life really is. He never sinned. He never gave in to temptation. He never called it quits. He obeyed to the point of death, even death on a cross. He did it for you because you needed a victory you could not win. He did it for the Church he saved before the foundation of the world. “For the joy set before him, he endured the cross.”  

And because he won, when you suffer, you have with you the greatest and most victorious Sufferer the world has ever seen. His suffering was not purposeless. So your suffering can’t be purposeless either, which is our second point. 

God has a purpose for life’s hardships. 

Why is Paul in prison? Because God has a purpose for Paul’s life. Look at the end of verse 1: Paul is in prison “On behalf of you Gentiles.” 

Think of a mother who just endured a hard labor. She holds the baby in her arms. She’s out of breath, bleeding, emotional. She’s exhausted, hungry, thirsty. Nearly every earthly need is before her, and now another person needs all she has. You look at her face, and she’s smiling through the pain. It’s all been worth it. The pain is already forgotten. She’s endured all this on behalf of the child. There is nothing but gladness in her heart. That’s Paul’s tone. He’s a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of the Gentiles. Like a mother after labor, he’s beaming. Could life get any better? Discouraged, dear reader?! No way! Not with this life! 

How did Paul get here? When Jesus called him, he said, “he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” Saul the Jew abandoned his life of Judaism for the life of a Gentile missionary and took his Greek name, Paul. He was bound to a people not his own so Jesus would make them his own through the gospel. Paul laid aside all the privilege the Jewish world could offer and became like the unprivileged that he might save some. That’s what dying to self and following Christ looks like—a willingness to sacrifice privilege for the sake of others. And he didn’t regret it for a second. 

Paul showed by example what he preached in chapter 2. Unity in the church comes when suffering on behalf of one another becomes not just a risk we’re willing to take, but the life-giving privilege that only Jesus can offer.  

It all centered around a mystery that Jesus revealed to Paul. Look at verses 2-5. “2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.” 

God revealed a mystery to Paul. When we hear the word mystery, we think of something we must find out for ourselves. But the New Testament means something once hidden that has now been revealed. It’s an open secret. Paul explains the mystery in verse 6. “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” God was joining the Gentiles with the Jews to create one family. 

We’ve looked at this unity of the body already, so Paul isn’t really breaking new ground. Instead, he’s reminding his readers it’s his job from Jesus to proclaim this mystery—to share the open secret—and that’s why he’s in prison. The Jewish world did not like that message. Paul sympathized with them. He was once one of the unbelievers. But Jesus showed him the truth—the mystery—and sent him to proclaim it and implore  others to enter God’s kingdom through the preaching of the gospel. The Jewish response was to have Paul arrested on trumped up charges and locked away.  

Notice Paul says it’s a new revelation. When Paul says in verse 5 that the mystery has been revealed now as it wasn’t previously, he doesn’t mean the Old Testament didn’t have a category for worldwide redemption. He means the way in which that redemption would come was not expected. The gospel says salvation comes apart from our works by the grace of Christ. God forgave us by the blood of Christ’s cross and raised us to new life in his resurrection. We are saved by grace through faith, as we saw in Ephesians 2:8-10. Everyone thought the way the Gentiles would come in would be by essentially becoming Jews. What they could never have imagined was God making a way into his covenant where there was previously no way. But that’s exactly what God did in Jesus Christ. He broke down the dividing wall and brought the Gentiles and Jews together in himself. His righteousness is imputed to believers by faith and they are proclaimed clean, as if they always obeyed the law. There is now one trans-ethnic, trans-national people called the Church that will go on forever, and all people inside the Church will worship the one true God together for eternity. 

Through the gospel, Jesus joins us so thoroughly to one another that Paul uses three terms to describe this mystery in verse 6. “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” The Greek text points to unity better than our English translations can. Paul uses the term “fellow” three times. So literally, he says the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the same body, and fellow partakers of the promise. There is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. It is not that the Gentiles are attached loosely to God’s people now. They are attached as joints are to a body. They are the same in their worship and experience of the One True God.  

Paul gave his life to that truth, and he suffered for it. But that’s okay with Paul because God had a purpose, and that purpose was greater than the hardships, which is our third point. 

God’s purpose is greater than life’s hardships. 

God did something so massive and unexpected, and even offensive, in the world that the world’s only solution was to lock Paul up. Paul said, “Fine, world. Beat me, flog me, stone me, chain me up, but no matter how firmly you bind me, ‘The word of God is not bound!’” (2 Timothy 2:9

True grace gives us the backbone to stand up for God’s purpose in the world. We become willing to suffer for the cause of Christ because Christ is the purpose of all human history. He’s the only thing ultimately worth living for. Spreading his gospel of freedom is worth all the bondage of this world. 

Paul suffered for the Gentiles. But he wasn’t sad about it. He tells the Corinthians, “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls” (2 Corinthians 12:15). He was God’s gift to them. You too are a gift to someone to show there is a God above who loves and saves and sustains and heals and brings his children home to a world without sin and pain. God is calling us to suffer on behalf of them.  

What’s our motivation? It’s that, like Paul, God has revealed the mystery of the gospel to us. Paul’s ongoing motivation wasn’t that face to face encounter he had with Jesus. It was the ongoing relationship he had with him through the Spirit. It was understanding the implications of the mystery of Christ. Well, God has given us that same revelation. We know the secret to the universe. We have Jesus. Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:1-6 are our biography now. We are prisoners of Christ Jesus on behalf of others! And this mystery is ours to share. 

We live in an age of God-minimization. Christianity is too often explained as what sociologist Christian Smith calls “moralistic therapeutic deism,” where God is basically a cosmic therapist or divine butler, ready to help when needed. But we know he’s far greater than that. He’s the lover of our souls. He doesn’t just help us through life with tips and life-hacks, he heals all that’s wrong with us deep inside. He’s there in the big and small things, calling us to himself for himself and his purposes. We are made in his image, and we have no right to create him in ours. The gospel is not merely a call to morality; it’s a call to a person, to Jesus Christ our Lord. He came to serve but he is not a butler. He’s the Lord God Almighty who is in the heavens and does whatever he pleases. And his pleasure is to get involved with the real you for his real purposes of glory. 

God is greater and more glorious than who many of our neighbors and co-workers believe. I’m not saying we’re better than anyone. We’re not! Paul didn’t believe he was. He says in verse 8 he’s the very least of the saints. Our attitude is not that we are better, but that Jesus is better than every other possible alternative. Life with Christ is the very best life possible. Who do you know who needs to hear that? Who needs to experience the life-giving wonder of the gospel in the church?  

God is calling us to lay down our lives for them: to lay aside every preference, every prejudice, every comfort, every vain pursuit, every selfish ambition. He’s asking us to gladly and boldly do all we can to make room for more and more people in his kingdom. He may ask us to move. He may ask us to rearrange our schedule. He may ask us to give more than we think we’re able. He may call some of us out into the world, and some of us home with our children. But if the gospel is true, if anyone can be saved by God in Christ, why would we ever hold that message back? Why would we put up any walls to keep anyone out? 

All we must do right now to get involved in God’s plan for the world is just say yes to him because “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” He’s not asking us to figure this out. He’s telling us to follow. There is not one man or woman in the history of the world who said yes to Christ and lived to regret it. When we say yes to Christ, we are saying yes to joy no matter what happens. By grace, you and I are swept up in God’s eternal plan for the world! 

Before we leave this passage, we need to see what will keep us going when it feels like we can’t. It’s summed up in those final six words of verse 6. “In Christ Jesus through the gospel.” 

When Paul says, “in Christ” he’s talking about what theologians call “union with Christ.” Union with Christ is the major theme in all Paul’s writing. Union with Christ means that who Christ is we are. It means we are one with him like our body is one with our head, like you are one with your spouse, like the vine is one with the branch. It means we are surrounded by him, drawn up into him, supported by him, placed deep inside him, shielded by his strength, upheld by his grace, rescued by his mercy, included by his love, protected by his sovereignty, ensphered by his holiness, bound up in his life, cleansed by his blood, forgiven by his death, saved by his cross, raised by his Spirit, made right by his righteousness, kept by his intercession, rescued by his mighty hand, preserved until the end. There’s not one second he forgets us, not one minute we’re alone, not one hour he leaves us, not one day he doesn’t come home, not one week he doesn’t carry us, not one month he doesn’t provide for us, not one year he doesn’t shepherd us, not one decade he doesn’t bring us closer. Our union with Christ means we are irrevocably, unendingly, unceasingly, to the uttermost his, and he is ours. And when we follow him and suffer for him, he is suffering with us, and we know the glory his suffering produces. 

“In Christ Jesus through the gospel.” What is the gospel? It’s the good news that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” The gospel is that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” It’s that “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It’s that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” It’s the vision John saw in Revelation of the one who is worthy: “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” It’s the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew and the Greek.  

Paul says in Romans 10, “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” The gospel is the news the world needs to hear, and we’re the heralds God called and commissioned. So let’s go. The world is waiting, and Jesus is ready to make himself more real to you than ever before. It’ll include hardships. Okay. But it’ll also include Jesus. 

The greatest fear of suffering is that we would ultimately lose what we value most, and we would lose all hope and joy. But because of our union with Christ, God has given the one thing we need most and can never lose. Suffering cannot rip is from God because on the cross Christ bound us to him. The greatest joy we can experience is out ahead of us, no matter what we face now.  

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Giving intensifies joy. And in a brilliant twist—in a mysterious revelation—God says, “that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” In Jesus, suffering and joy have become friends because Joy himself joined us in suffering. And now Joy has called us to a great purpose beyond ourselves, giving that we might be blessed.  

“For this reason,” says Paul. You have a reason too because of Christ. Walk in it and be gladly spent for others’ souls. 

The persecution of Christians is on the rise worldwide

In recent years, Christian persecution has been sharply on the rise, and its terrible impacts have only begun to be felt. In fact, according to Pope Francis, conditions for Christians are worse now than they were in the days of the early Church.

The merciless targeting of Christians—driven by hatred of Christians and the faith itself—emerges as a common denominator in hundreds of testimonies of persecution received by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) from countries around the world. As a Catholic charity providing emergency aid and pastoral support to the persecuted and suffering Church in 140 countries, ACN is committed to chronicling and assessing the evolving phenomenon of the persecution of Christians around the world today.

Christian Persecution Today

Today, according to ACN research, almost 340 million Christians around the world—or 1 out of every 8—live in a country where they suffer some form of persecution, such as arbitrary arrest, violence, a full range of human rights violations and even murder. ACN is documenting this violation of religious freedom in two biennial reports, “Religious Freedom in the World” and “Persecuted & Forgotten?. The research examines conditions in 196 countries. Open Doors puts the number of Christians murdered for their faith in 2018 at more than 4,000 and reports that at least 11 Christians are killed every single day in the 50 worst-offending countries.

The most recent edition of “Persecuted & Forgotten?” covers the period 2017-2019 and finds a sharp rise in Christian persecution in South and East Asia.

It must be noted that some groups monitoring Christian persecution around the world put the number of Christians suffering various forms of persecution as high as 600 million; the Pew Research Center has reported that the number of countries where Christians are subject to a degree of government-enforced restrictions and communal hostility has grown from 108 in 2014 to 128 in 2015 and to 143 in 2017.ACN’s most recent research shows that between June 2016 and June 2018 particularly grave violations of religious freedom took place in 38 countries, in 17 of which minority faiths—and Christianity figuring most prominently among them—suffered instances of severe discrimination; in 21 nations ACN found evidence of outright persecution, even to the point of death.Radical, extremist Islam is responsible for the persecution of Christians in 22 of the worst-offending countries.

Thomas Heine-Geldern, executive president of ACN, said that “Pope Francis, as well as his immediate predecessors, have all stressed that religious freedom is a fundamental human right rooted in the dignity of man. It is the purpose of [these reports] to draw worldwide attention to this intrinsic link between religious freedom and human dignity.”

The precise number of Christians who are killed because of their faith remains unclear; reports showing a fall in the number of deaths during the period June 2015 to June 2017 to below 100,000 still show that the level of violence aimed at Christians remains severe.  The most recent mass killing of Christians happened in Sri Lanka, when, on Easter morning 2019,  some 150 Christians died in strikes by suicide bombers at three churches.

ACN research is showing that Christian persecution is most sharply on the rise in South and East Asia, in countries like Myanmar, India, Pakistan, China and North Korea. That region is now the hot spot for persecution, taking over that dubious honor from the Middle East. Across Africa, jihadist violence against Christians remains at critical levels. For example,  ISIS affiliate Boko Haram has perpetrated genocidal attacks targeting Christians in northern Nigeria. In the last few years, the group has suffered significant military defeats and the loss of territory it held, but remains a danger to Christians. The focus is now on the attacks by Muslim Fulani herdsmen on Christian farmers in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, with many observers pointing at the herdsmen’s sophisticated weaponry as a sign the attackers have financial backing. Some speak of an effort to Islamicize the country. In Nigeria nearly 3500 Christians were killed because of their faith in 2020.

Increastingly, the whole of sub-Saharan Africa has been targeted by Islamist extremists–some groups financed by Gulf States–with Christians most often singled out for wanton killings. The Central Sahel has suffered the greatest increase in militant Islamist group activity of any region in Africa. Extremist attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger increased from 180 incidents in 2017 to approximately 800 violent events in the first 10 months of 2019.

2020 saw the rise of significant trends in Christian persecution and religious persecution overall:

  • The Chinese government’s actions have been persecuting Christians and other religious groups within China’s borders. The regime has also increased curbs on religious freedom conditions internationally. Chinese diplomats continued to subvert the international human rights system by opposing United Nations resolutions condemning human rights violations and by arguing that economic progress should precede respect for individual rights. China has exerted pressure on governments— particularly in Central and South Asia—to target activists criticizing the Chinese government’s religious persecution and to repatriate refugees fleeing such persecution. China also exported surveillance technology and systems training to more than 100 countries. Some have used it to identify and track Churchgoers.
  • At least 84 countries have laws against blasphemy of Islam that often target Christians and other religious minorities Additionally, authorities in some countries utilize broad laws that prohibit other forms of speech— instead of specific blasphemy laws—in order to target speech deemed blasphemous. Many of these laws allow courts to impose lengthy prison sentences on individuals found guilty. Countries with newly introduced legislation include Bangladesh, Brunei, and Singapore.
  • A government’s repression of a religious group or its followers for political or social advocacy has implications for religious freedom. In some countries, authorities have cracked down on entire religious communities because faithful have criticized—or were perceived to have criticized— government policies. Government engaged in collective retaliation include India, Iran, Nicaragua, Cameroon, and the Philippines.
  • In addition to the ongoing ethnoreligious nationalism in countries like Myanmar and Russia, there has been a marked rise in ethnoreligious nationalism, particularly in South Asia. Hardliners and political opportunists in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand attempted to redefine the national identity on strict ethnoreligious grounds, excluding religious minority communities. In India, hardline Hindu nationalists want to make the country a Hindu state, in which Christians and Muslims have few if any rights. In the first half of 2020 alone, there were almost 300 incidents of anti-Christian persecution.

Christians held in captivity because of their faith

According to research by Aid to the Church in Need unjust detention of Christians—most often under deplorable and cruel conditions—is emerging as one of the most prevalent, enduring, and serious forms of Christian persecution.

Research shows that every month, in the 50 countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian—countries like Pakistan and China—an average of 309 Christians are unjustly imprisoned. From Asia and the Middle East to Africa and parts of South America, thousands of Christians are unjustly detained for their faith.  Many suffer in complete silence, while women suffer the additional violence of rape and other sexual abuse in captivity. In 2019, there were 1,052 known cases of Christians being abducted, be it by governments or non-state actors, like Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Patterns of Christian persecution in worst-offending countries

In almost all the worst-offending countries, the situation for Christians has declined since 2015 as a result of violence and oppression. The one exception is Saudi Arabia, where the situation was already so bad it could hardly get any worse.

Why God is not quick to bless and prosper the work of our hands

I have seen a man whom the Lord has blessed. He became wealthy and loved not the wife of his youth. He impregnated many ladies even in his Church, and though the ladies received suspension, he was untouchable for his riches. He had blinded the Church leaders with his wealth, and men who once swore to defend God couldn’t put him away; this saddened my God.

One question I would ask myself is; What if he remained as he was or just slightly blessed, would he have forgotten God? What if all his prayers to become rich and prosperous were ignored by God, would he have despised God with his wealth?


There are Church people who have not understood that God will only bless those who have something doing, I write not unto them.

For it is written, “The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands (Deuteronomy 28:12)”. So, God expects us to have something doing and then he will bless and prosper it. Amen!

Is there any man among you who asks himself these questions?

1. Why are many in the Church impoverished? Why does it seems like the Lord God is too slow to bless his people?

2. We pay tithes and offerings from our incomes, why are the windows of heaven not open, and flood of blessing are yet come to us; as it was promised in Malachi 3:10

3. Why do we give so much seeds, offerings and contribution to Church growth campaigns and other projects, but our seeds are not yielding the crop of blessings we desire?

4. There are many of us who can pray and tarry on God. Why does the blessings not come after our praying? Why does it seem like those who pray less are more blessed than those who pray more?

5. Oh! I love it when pastors and Church leaders bless the congregation and say “Your pocket shall not run dry“, “You shall never lack”; and the Church will echo, “Amen!”

I have only wished that this is what it takes to pull down the blessings of God. But then, I see many people remain the way they are in spite of these religious exercises.

How many prophetic declarations have we received? Do we never run dry? Are we ever as prosperous as the blessings declared on the pulpit every Sunday?

Many of us buy yearly stickers from men of God and place it on our door post. The sticker could read “My difficulties is over“, but difficulties don’t stop because of stickers; you know it, I know it.

6. When you go to a Church where they care less about holiness and heaven, it is very easy to find many wealthy men and women, but go to a spiritual Church full of heavenly minded people, and it will seem as if God delights in our poverty. Why is it so?

Yes! We know that in a Church where holiness, separation and consecration to God are not the watch words, people can engage in anything wicked just to make wealth. For this we shall not use them as a case to study our misfortunes as to why God may not be blessing us.

Why are we not being blessed? Is it God’s will for his people to be poor and retched? No I don’t believe that.

I believe that it is the will of God for his people to be able to live a life of fulfilment even if they are not rich or wealthy. I also believe that there are men among us whom God will make rich by giving them the power and wisdom to make wealth. And I believe that by virtue of God’s wisdom and omniscience, not all Church people will be rich. Riches itself has snared many people and led them to destruction; this is the truth.

The first thing we must know as Christians is that God is more interested in saving us than he is, in giving us a life of merriment on earth. God is much more interested in helping us to reach heaven than He is, in giving us a fulfilling life on earth.

And because God is more concerned in giving us eternal life, he does not mind allowing hard times befall on us, to teach us humility. He does not mind allowing troubles and battles to come on our way, to keep us awake and running, lest we become relaxed and fall away in coldness. But these hard times will not last if we are quick to learn, confirm and develop into what we ought to be.

A friend of mine once said “Thank God for hard times that make us remember God“. Surly, wisdom has taught him that men are prone to forgetting God when the road becomes rosy and the paths smooth.

This message is for a Christian man who is not lazy or idle. A man who has business or job and is waiting for God to bless him through his daily hustle.

In my exposure to God, I have come to realize that praying and fasting for blessing is good, but it is not the way for us to be blessed by God.

I went to God for blessings and I got no reply; but as soon as I got up and left, He spoke to me and said, “This is not the prayer you should be making“. It was then I understood that my prayer for blessings is not what God was looking for.

Let me shock some of my readers. Although seed sowing and bountiful giving attracts God’s favor, it is not truly how to be blessed by God. It is just a tiny part of the whole mystery of God’s blessings.

A prophecy went out that God was going to bless a particular Church. One Sunday the preacher recounted her ordeal as she prepared her sermon. She said the Lord had told her to preach, asking the Church if they were ready for the blessings he was going to pour upon them.

It was never about sowing seeds, it was never about the prophetic declarations they had received some weeks back, it wasn’t even their seeds. Yes I knew they had been praying for blessings and working for God, but when God answered their cry and decided to bless them, the blessings lied on their preparedness to be blessed.

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So, man of God tell us what God is expecting from us.

People of my God, it is quite true that the time will come, even now; that people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear(2 Timothy 4:3-5). But let that man whom God has granted wisdom and understanding learn from these scriptures:

1. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land. –Isaiah 1:19

2. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. -Psalm 84:11

3Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. -1 Peter 5:6

4. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. –James 4:10

5. For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. -Matthew 6:33

6. Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodlyNor stands in the path of sinnersNor sits in the seat of the scornfulBut his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not witherAnd whatever he does shall prosper. -Psalms 1–3

7. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall mediate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. -Joshua 1:8

8. Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hearIsaiah 59:1-2

Form the scriptures above, we can all agree to one thing: to God’s blessings, there is more than prayer, fasting, benevolent giving, seeding, prophetic declarations, tithing and blessings from men of God.

For if a man is a tither, but is also a wicked man and God blesses him, he shall behave more wickedly than the man who did evil of which I told his story in the second paragraph of this article. And the riches of God shall become a snare to his own soul. Howbeit, this is a God who is after saving our souls more than giving us riches.

If God blesses a man who has not been sanctified against foolish pride and haughtiness, a man who has not known his word and the way to Spirit living, his riches shall deceive him and he shall become a problem to God, a problem to the Church, and a problem to himself, and of which he is likely to perish.

If God prospers our honest efforts while we waste in lack knowledge of whom God is, we shall be like a Child exposed to a gun with which he can harm himself.

If we don’t well-up to God’s demands from a Christian man, and we have all the blessings, we shall be like a child given a shoe too big for him. The shoe becomes a hindrance to the activities of the Child, and could cause him to stumble many times.

Therefore brethren, the foundation of God is true, and the standard of God is plainly inscribed unto us saying; “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you“.

God desires that we well-up to a standard for His blessings to come to us. He desires that we grow into his abundant providence through sanctification and maturity of heart.

A man who knows the word of God, who is full of God’s spirit and guidance, who has also known the laws of the Spirit, is in a better position to handle bigger riches than a Christian still unachieved of God’s word and taming.

A man who has understood the place of God in a man’s life, and himself has made God his number one, is more likely not to pan left or right when he sees riches and open doors. Even also, a godly man full of contentment can manage bigger resource.

These are the primary things God looks at before he chooses to bless a Christian man with clean blessing and good success. Not the blessing wherein many have soiled their hands with deceitful scales and lies, and would claim that God has blessed them.

When God sees that we are not wanting in his knowledge, His Spirit, in humility, in full obedience, in fear of God, in an active Christian life, in firm relationship with Him, in sanctification, secondary things like prayer, tithing, prophecy, giving, seeding, declarations and the rest, will be effective on us.

But many Church people do not want to serve God with all their hearts. They don’t want to humble themselves and learn from God. They don’t care about the word of God, they don’t care about observing to do it. All they care is that they are part of the Church and therefore they need God’s blessings.

And so they pray through the year and the blessings does not come. They fast until they become sicky, and yet they are empty of blessings. The prophetic declarations don’t work on them. They sow seeds until they become dry of what to give. They give tithes until they find it hard to tithe. They remain at a particular level void of blessings. And when they get frustrated, they eventually soil their hands in order to make riches. Whereby God has been waiting for them to well-up to Him and His blessings.

Brethren, this is why God is not quick to bless and prosper the work of our hands.

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We are saved to live a holy and sanctified life

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:14

15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

1 Peter 1:15-17

Brethren what can we say about this? How shall I speak about this evil in the house of my God? Should I lament like my God did to me in the year 2018 or should I be silent as the grave? For the people of my God has been deceived and cheated from the truth.

I Ogba Victor, a bond servant of Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit unto the Churches.

Brethren, do not listen to those who tell you that there is peace. For there is no peace.

Don’t listen to alter men who teach you soft lies or watered truths in order to make their message acceptable and make themselves look good to you. For they dilute the word of God and grope for honor from men and not from God; they are not men of God, they are men of themselves.

Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:

Jeremiah 26:2

Brethren, do not listen to false teachers who preach grace as licence to sin and be forgiven. For grace is not a licence to sin.

Read: Understanding the true meaning of the word – ‘Grace’

Don’t listen to those who teach faith without works. For the Bible has recorded that without work, faith is dead. James and Peter spoke about this false teaching.

Not long ago I had a brief chat with a theologian whom I also believe is a Pentecostal Pastor (I do not know for sure). He had commented on a post I made about producing the works of salvation and he replied that men who don’t produce those works will be saved by faith. To make his point clearer he quoted this passage:

But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Galatians 3:11

Note: I agree to justification by faith; but then I presented him this passage from James:

You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

James 2:24

Brethren, the same person who had no problem with interpreting the book of Galatians literally replied: “This is passage is confusing and hard to interpret…”; and then I asked him why. Why would a clear statement in James be hard to interpret but the one in Galatians is not. After some scriptural insight and exposition on this issue, he agreed that one most follow the other and I agreed. Faith must follow works but without works faith is dead.

Christians must know that the bible does not teach faith without works; but rather, faith in Jesus must come before our sacrifice will be acceptable. False teachers influenced by the spirits of hell teach that falsehood which has caused many not to live a holy life.

The bible does not teach that one will go to heaven by only placing his/her faith in Jesus. He or she must be born again, transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and should produce fruits/works of the Spirit and live a holy life. Take a look at this scriptures:

And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your [a]stay here in fear;

1 Peter 1:17

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

Therefore brethren, beware of those false teachers of faith without works and do not listen to them.

Brethren, don’t listen to those who tell you that once you are saved, you are free to continue living in sin and that God’s grace will cover you. There was grace but yet Ananias was killed by God for lying in Church.

Don’t listen to them. For they teach unfounded, unbiblical and dubious message sponsored by the powers of hell.

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God is not happy

We must be born again said the Lord. We must live a holy and a sanctified life full of the Holy Spirit says the Holy Book. We must produce the works of the saved and we must live above sin and darkness. There is power to do these things, it was for it that grace was given. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us this power.

During the years of monopolized Christianity by the Roman Catholic, it was said that the Holy Spirit’s baptism and power manifestations was just for 3 generations from the disciples.

In truth, it was not that the Holy Spirit was gone from the church, it was because the church lacked holy and refined men who could be filled; for the Holy Spirit is always looking for men to fill with power.

Because their hearts were wicked against God, no one was baptized by the Holy Spirit. For they killed many who stood out and burnt souls like William Tyndale who asked questions and did godly works. How could they have received the Holy Spirit?

As the reformation years started, from Luther down to Calvin and the minor reformations, faith as principle for salvation was preached and believed. Grace was also know by the churches; but the Holy Ghost baptism did not comeback all through those reformation years.

It wasn’t until John Wesley’s reformation which paved way for the holiness movement did the Holy Spirit manifestations and power come back.

Holiness people believed in grace; yes! They believed in justification by faith; yes!; but they also believed in sanctification and holiness. This doctrine is what the Bible teaches and it rebirth what Christendom believed was for only 3 generations. Power!!

As the 20th century began, the true power of the Holy Spirit was already manifesting among the Evangelicals who were an offshoot of the Holiness movement. But the baptism of fire they knew not, having not known the truth about it. But in those days, there were people who received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and power as history tells.

After the Azusa Street revival, Pentecostalism was fully reborn just as it was in the book of Acts. For the Holy Ghost who lives in holy men came back to grace us. The manifestation of the Holy Spirit after the Holiness movement shows that God is interested in holiness, God is interested in holy men, and God is interested in a holy Church.

Holiness was what the Spirit was waiting for. The Holy Spirit was waiting for the Church to go back to truth without compromise. He waited for obedience without selection of which to do before he will begin manifestations of power and glory.

Brethren, God is still looking for washed men. God is still looking for Christians who don’t dine with sin in the pretense of being saved by grace or have known the falsehoods of free grace. Grace is free, but it is to help us live holy lives, not to keep us under sin.

We must make haste and repent from our mistakes that times of refreshing may come from God.

God is still recruiting his Elects. God is still accepting men who will say “take me, wash me and make me holy”. For we were saved to live a holy life. Amen!

Power for Evangelism & The need for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost

Baptism of the Holy Ghost is an experience a Christian man and the Christian church cannot do without.

In this article which is part of the series concerning the need for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, we will discuss ‘Power for evangelism’.

Simply put, evangelism is the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witnessing.

Witnessing Christ and the gospel was a direct commandment from the Lord Jesus to all Christians. It is written in Mark’s gospel:

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. – Mark 16:15-16

The commission to evangelize the world and reach out to the unsaved is the sole reason the Church is in the world.

Missions is the heartbeat of God; evangelism is the way of the saved; we were saved to save others.

Many Christians and Churches do not acknowledge the importance of the Holy Ghost and His baptism in evangelism and missions.

It is mostly because there is no awareness of the spirituality of evangelism. Also, it is because they have not known the power of the Holy Spirit in soul wining.

However, the Bible is plain, and agrees that we need the Holy Spirit and His Baptism for effective witnessing.

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8

Jesus messaged his followers to wait in Jerusalem for the baptism to come from God. And in the passage above Jesus said: “…after that this power is come upon you, you shall be my witness”.

Another bible passage that supports that above scripture is John 15:26.

26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. –John 15:26

Here is the sequence: Jesus came to witness the Father. The Holy Spirit came to testify and reveal Christ to us.

We are to witness Christ, but having not truly known Him or the expanse of grace available to us through Him, the Holy Ghost has revealed Him to us. And what the Holy Ghost reveals is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what we preach.

For instance, Jesus came in the name of the father, worshiped on Sabbath and obeyed the laws of God. For he was sinless to the law and none of His message was about grace. It was all about righteousness, holiness, the kingdom of His father, His Father’s personality.

Meanwhile the apostolic message and the epistles were all about Jesus. Even things that Jesus did not discuss when he was with them, they knew and spoke of.

Paul the Apostle of Grace was not with Jesus but He knew so much about Him and the expanse of grace we have received from God through His Son. He knew because the Holy Spirit had witnessed Christ to Him; and what the Holy Ghost revealed was what He preached.

And now, if the Holy Spirit is the first and true witness of Christ, we cannot do evangelism or witnessing without Him.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit involves an overflowing presence of the Holy Spirit in a man’s life in a level that such man begins to manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit of which the initial evidence is speaking in tongues.

A man with an IQ of 200 will perform better than a man with IQ of 100. Such is the distinction between an ordinary born again Christian and a Christian living a life of fire.

Also, we must understand that Jesus said the power comes after the baptism and not before it. Salvation comes with being born again but the fire and power comes with the baptism.

Evan Roberts of the Welsh Revival

Evan Roberts of the great Welsh Revival preached and said: “Your strength will fail you if you are not baptized by the Holy Ghost and His Power”. He was speaking to believers who knew not that they need the Baptism of fire and power.

Boldness for witnessing

Perhaps one of the greatest gift of the Holy Spirit is the power to witness the gospel of Christ. And in this power lies boldness to witness.

After Jesus was resurrected and was no more readily with the disciples, although there were still sporadic visits from him, the disciples went back to fishing.

They had been there from the start to finish. They saw everything, they saw Elijah and Moses on the transfiguration mountain. They witnessed His greatness and power; and at a time heard directly from God when He said: “this is my beloved son in whom I am pleased, hear him”.

They knew the teachings, the prayers, the move of God and resurrection story, such that we can say that they were fully loaded.

However, when Jesus was no more readily with them, they abandoned everything.

One would expect them at least to try and raise themselves huge followers and tell them about Jesus, but they could not do anything.

They were fearful, timid, uninspired, passionless, had zero zeal for the God and zero burden salvation for the world. They were pretty much useless without Jesus.

This reminds me of the statement of Jesus: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”- John 15:5

Hence they could do nothing because Jesus remained not but was gone. It remained same until they prayed in the upper room and the Holy Ghost came like a mighty wave.

On that day, in Holy Ghost revival, they became exactly what they should be and the Christian Church was born.

Suddenly the fear was gone and the boldness was born.

Apostle Peter preaching boldly after Holy Ghost Baptism

Peter denied his Lord three(3) times for fear of being arrested. After the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, he did not wait to be asked a fourth time about his faith and Master. He had only seen men ridicule them and he “lifted up his voice” in power and made the first Christian evangelism. An about 5-mins witnessing that converted 3000 souls.

The bible has said it clearly:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Boldness to preach Christ is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and it comes upon men of the Spirit.

The more filled we are, the bolder we get. For surely a gas fire is stronger than kerosene fire even though they are both petrochemicals.

There are Christians who are not bold to represent Christ among sinners who hate God and the ways of the Just. They fear hate, slander and persecution. These so called Christians are only bold in a Christened environment or in their homes or in the Church.

Peter was there, the disciples were once there. It is absolutely normal to fear death, persecution and trials. But it is also a sign that we are not where God wants us to be. For after the Holy Ghost was come upon the disciples, they received boldness and power. Therefore we need the baptism for witnessing without fear.

We are indeed lucky that Christianity is a global force accepted in many societies. And also, with the freedom of religion in many countries, we are most lucky. Else, many of us would have been exposed for how weak and fearful we are to live for Christ. We would have known how powerless we are to preach and witness out faith.

Only the Holy Spirits baptism can give men the boldness to witness Christ.

Burden for menPure Passion for Evangelism

Burden for God’s work is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Burden for men is a gift that comes with the presence of the Holy Ghost and with Pentecostal experience, it is pure fire passion.

There are men who evangelize for fun. There are people evangelizing to fulfill all righteousness and in so doing please God. There are people evangelizing because they were called to do it. There are also men who evangelize as a form of spiritual exercise. All these are valid reasons why men evangelize but men like Paul had the passion and burden.

Paul was told that chains and persecution awaits him in Jerusalem and He replied: “I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” – Acts 21:13.

And when he recounted his sufferings for the gospel He said: ” I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I face death everyday. ” –1 Corinthians 15:31.

Brethren, there is a burden for witnessing and it is not equal in every true Christian. A born again without fire baptism could show some level of it, but with fire baptism, rivers of fire-passion will flow through his/her heart.

There are men whose burden outweighs the others as the Spirit has given them the strength. Such men are full of tears and passion for the lost and perishing sinners. It is not a gift you can give yourself, it is the pure work of the Holy Spirit.

The disciples were battered left and right, they were harassed and flogged in the public but they never stopped preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When persecutions broke out against the early Church, Christians were scattered about the world and wherever they went they couldn’t help themselves but continued to recruit men into life. For they were men of fire.

The early church birth and forged in Pentecostal fire carried a spiritual ark full of passion for witnessing. Men and women with pure passion to evangelize and all that mattered was the commission of the Lord.

Meanwhile a preaching of 2 hours is not enough to convince the Church of today to witness Christ. And it is worst that Christians who claim to have been filled with this power don’t come to evangelism outreach.

Show me a baptized Christian who does not care about the mind of He whom he claims fills his heart and I’ll show you a Christian man who does not truly know the baptism of fire.

How can God who is full of passion for the lost and perishing world live in a man and even welling up to baptism, and yet such a man cannot feel this passion even if it is a little?

Is there fire without smoke? Is there a burning bush without flames? Can fire burn at a spot on a ground full of fire consumable items? Can a single tree burn without affecting the grasses at the base? This is why I tell you my brethren for whom my God has great zeal for, that there is a question for any man baptized by this Fire and Power and yet has no passion and burden to evangelize.

Even more, as long as many trees cannot burn without affecting grasses on the ground and consume many other plants and even animals, so a Church forged in the fires and power of the Holy Ghost cannot be silent for evangelism and missions.

Burden for evangelism, passion for the lost is a gift of the Holy Spirit. We must ask for it if we don’t have it and we must endeavor to be men of the Spirit’s fire.

Grace for soul wining

A man who has the Boldness, and the Burden only needs one more thing – Grace.

Grace is the ultimate; it is everything we need. We can achieve nothing without grace; the struggle is endless and never yielding desired result without it. Grace complements human efforts. What others struggle to achieve, with lesser effort, we will achieve it.

In evangelism and soul wining, grace is very much important. An evangelist with grace to convert millions will definitely convert millions while one with grace to preach to a thousand will only preach to a thousand.

From red-hot revival and baptism of fire, Peter rose up and converted 3000 souls in less than 5-mins I believe. Meanwhile we preach for an hour and only few are saved and that is if there be any who is truly saved.

I mean, these days we mostly have people crying for the sin they have done prior to the preaching and not to be saved from sin entirely. That is the reason we go back and the same sin continues to defeat us.

The reason why we are achieving little is that we have little grace for our evangelistic outreach, preaching and sermons. There is grace in the Holy Ghost, and when a Christian man is burning for God in overflowing glory, the grace is much on Him.

A Church full of the presence and fire of the Holy Ghost is stronger for evangelism and soul wining than a weak Church without the fire presence of the Holy Ghost. And as long as the overflowing and overwhelming presence of God remains unseen in the life of most Christians, we will have a hard time obtaining an overwhelming grace for evangelism.

That grace that can convert 3000 persons with just 5-mins witnessing is what we need in these last days and it will come with revival if we ask in prayers.

We must not underestimate a Church on fire. For one will chase a thousand, two will chase tens of thousands; but a Church on fire has grace in abundance.

Finally brethren, I Ogba victor a messenger of Jesus Christ remind believers that we cannot do without the Holy Spirit and His baptism. Our strength is too small for His work and it will fail us in this journey, but the strength of the Lord is sufficient. Amen!

The Gospel of love and Why the Churches cannot convert her youths for God

They call it the gospel of love, I call it gospel of hate. They say it is from God, I say it is from the pulpits of hell. They think it is God’s message, I think it is why the modern Church and American Churches cannot convert her youths.

I met an American transgender in a Christian online group who was transforming into a man. She had claimed to have heard a voice as she was drunk-driving and filled with many thoughts as to why Christians did not accept her way of life.

After that voice she decided to become a baptized transgender Church goer. I am unapologetic as to why I have not used ‘a transgender Christian’.

For a Christian is a person like Christ. Christ is not a transgender, a gay or a homosexual.

I did not believe her story one bit. I have seen people tell lies that God said one thing or the other to them, but it was all lies. I have seen one who claimed to have died and saw God and hell but had later confessed that it was all lies. Such is the state of men’s heart.

The true reason for which I did not believe her story was because she had no repentance and salvation.

I know my bible and I know the power of Salvation. I absolutely was, and am sure, that Jesus can save her from that grave sin and wickedness against God.

On that very post was another testimony by a former Homosexual. He testified that on the day that he genuinely cried out to God and surrendered, that power had come into him to overcome the lust for men. Now that is what salvation is about; that is what Jesus does when He comes into a man’s life.

Any Church goer who remains the same after coming to Jesus still needs to undergo sanctification and experience what salvation is.

I have seen Jesus give me power to overcome sins that I could not break on my own after I prayed and cried unto him. When repentance is seen in us and a genuine plea for mercy and help is heard by God, power comes to help us overcome sin.

But this beautiful lady had no repentance, penitence or salvation. And so I was convinced that she was seeking acceptance in sin.

I was concerned. I said to myself, that even if she was telling lies, I was going to help her come to the truth. And If she was telling the truth which I doubt, I was still going to guide her rightly to turn away form that sin. Perhaps God had brought her forth that I may teach her what Jesus can do for her if she genuinely cries out for mercy and repents from her evil ways.

There are many voices that men hear that are not from God. Sometimes the devil could mask as an angel of light to deceive us. We may also hear human voices who are presently in the spirit realm (children of darkness).

Whichever it was, I was in that conversation to reprove her. I was there to lend her the helping hands of Jesus Christ my saviour.

It was during that processes that I had discovered that she had no plans of changing her ways but would rather go full trans. Then I opened her eyes to the scripture in Titus 2:11.

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13  “Titus 2:11.

One of the intriguing part of that post and comment thread and what struck me the most was that the ‘Christian’ moderators warned against any rebuke concerning her none-transformed life.

The moderators did not want anyone to tell her that we are not saved in sin but from sin. They did not want anyone to tell her that she was derailing from the truth of the bible. They shunned hurting her with the truth. Truth as it is provable from the scriptures that God will judge all Homosexuals and those who engage in unnatural sexuality.

The moderators wanted us to love instead. They wanted us to love her to her death and condemnation.

But that which they called love was wickedness in disguise. For the love of God turns a man from sin unto righteousness.

One of my American Facebook friends made a post and said: “why not we preach just love“. In other words, our message should be only about love.

Brethren, I present to you what I call ‘the gospel of love’.

It is that gospel that loves a man too much that the man loses sight that judgement is at hand. It is that gospel that puts aside the whole counsel of God and His truths but only portrays the love of God.

The gospel of love is void of the call for repentance and penitence for sin. It’s result is without the plea and cry for mercy and grace. The gospel of love does not tell a man of the power to help him live above sin that is in Christ; but rather, it teaches that as sinners we are loved by God and that even if we continue to sin, the love remains.

God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. –Psalm 7:11

I do not say that there is no love for sinners. But the love of God to a sinner is to lead them towards repentance and salvation. God’s love is not for us to remain in our sins because love will not be considered on the day that the Lord will judge all men starting from those in the Church. For it is written:

“I will forsake my house, abandon my inheritance; I will give the one I love into the hands of her enemies. My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest. She roars at me; therefore I hate her.Jeremiah 12:7-8

So you see, God loves us truly but His love does not cancel His judgments. On that day our deeds and holiness will count.

Who truly does love?

A Christian meets a man who is derailing and condemns his sin and tells him that God is willing and ready to help him change like I did to the transgender. The sinner could be an outsider or could be a Church goer because we have sinners in the church. This sinner who has been reproved and told of judgement hates this Christian man and says there is no love in him.

A modern Christian and a preacher of love meets this sinner and embraces him without revealing his sin and condemning it. This modern preacher even welcomes this sinner into the Church but does not reprimand him and tell him the truth of the bible.

When this sinner dies and comes to judgement without plea and help, having not been told that God’s love will not pardon sin and that Church goers who sin will be faced with a stiffer judgment.

If he is condemned for sin and evil as it is written: “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book“; what would be her thoughts about the Christian man and Preacher of love?

Let us judge for ourselves who truly loves this sinner. He who preaches love or He who preaches the whole counsel of God.Download ‘Victory in the Storm’ Mp3

There is no love Gospel greater than John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave us His son”, is love. “That whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”, is a warning for judgement and a call for salvation.

If this is what Jesus preached, what does the modern Church goers mean when they’d say: “do what Jesus would do”, “just love”?

For in truth, if we will preached like Jesus and do exactly as he did, we would have been able to turn our countries and nations upside down like Jesus did and He became a sign. Christianity would have been a sign.

Did not Jesus call for repentance when He told the harlot caught in adultery and was about to be stoned: “Go and sin no more“?

Did not Jesus tell the Pharisees: “You will die in your sin if you don’t believe and is converted”?

Did not Jesus preach and said: “repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”?

If these were the preaching and teachings of Jesus Christ, why should we not tell sinners to repent of their sins? Why should we preach ‘just love’?

John the Baptist preached: “Flee ye from the judgement that is coming.” He was hated by religious scholars just like holiness preachers will be hated by the preachers of the gospel of love. But he shook the nation of Israel and baptized many. The military trembled when they heard him roar: “flee now, for judgment is coming”!

Unfortunately for us and the kind of Gospel we preach today, our neighbors who are deep into sin, witchcraft, idolatry and wickedness are so happy to see us. They take us for a joke because we have made the counsel of God a complete joke.

And I ask again, what do modern Christians mean when they say: “Do what Jesus would do, just love, don’t condemn, just accept them the way they are”?

Oh! I know why they preach the gospel of love. It is because when they preach love no one will say they are hard on them. When they preach only love no one will call them judgmental and hateful people. Because when they preach love they will not be hated but will be accepted. Did not Jesus say we will be hated by the world? Any Christian man who does not want to be hated must drop from this boat of life. For the Church was called out to be a sign that will be spoken against.

They don’t preach the whole counsel of God because they want to grow mega churches and become bishop of big churches. They don’t want to lose that member who pay mega tithe. Men and women who don’t care about God’s will or His word; they only care about themselves and how the world honor them, but the true honor which comes from God they ignore. Such men will not escape judgement unless they repent.

My brethren, the gospel that Jesus preached, the gospel that Paul, Peter and the Apostles preached, the gospel that the prophets of old preached, the gospel that brought glory days to America and the nations, it was a hard take. It was a sign which was spoken against, a sword that pierced through our souls revealing our deepest secrets. We cried and cried because the heat was much but we found God as a result. It was not effective in causing men to like them but it was effective enough to birth revival.

The gospel of love is not effective against men who hate God.

There are so many haters of God in America, there are so many haters of the truths of God all over the world. They indeed have heard about God and His love, but they have willfully chosen to hate God.

An example of a pure God hater who is all out to destroy Jesus and Christianity.

Even in the Church are men who hate holiness and righteousness. They cling unto God’s love and live in gross sin and immorality. I see them online everyday; they bear a form of godliness but are totally sold to the flesh.

They don’t want to ever see a Holy Christian man or woman. They deride virgins and righteous people. Yes! One said to me: “I hate you” during an argument. What did I do? I reproved her of evil.

These are the kind of people we have in the society, and what they need is not just to be told about God’s love because they don’t care about God, His love or His word.

What they need is for us to put tears in their eyes exactly the same way that we were caused to weep for our sins and we experienced salvation.

A sister just gave her life to Christ some weeks ago, for she said to herself: “I can’t afford to suffer in the world and suffer in eternity”.

What changed her was not the gospel of love for she knew that God loved her. What changed her was the knowledge of the righteous judgments of God.

The American society needs fire men who will ring judgment to their ears all day long, all week long and all years long. The American society and the present world needs men who will preach repentance, salvation and the consequences of not yielding to God’s word. We need men who will teach us the power of salvation because Jesus saves from sin.

Not that we should rule out God’s love from our message, but we must also teach the consequences of not accepting it. And to those who have accepted we must teach that: “he who mentions the name of the Lord must depart from sin”. – 2 Timothy 2:19

The gospel of love, watered gospel, diluted gospel, week gospel; it is why the Church as a unit has become powerless to shake our nations for God. And it is also why we don’t have revival.

Hear this word of God as a final warning you who is guilty of causing the Church of God to lose it’s power by teaching the gospel of ‘just love’:

18WHEN I SAY UNTO THE WICKED, THOU SHALT SURELY DIE; AND THOU GIVEST HIM NOT WARNING, NOR SPEAKEST TO WARN THE WICKED FROM HIS WICKED WAY, TO SAVE HIS LIFE; THE SAME WICKED MAN SHALL DIE IN HIS INIQUITY; BUT HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND. Ezekiel 3:18