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Opinions of Saturday, 18 August 2018

Columnist: James Quansah

Are these Pastors not stabbing Christ in the back?

An awesome man was born into the world with love to die a painful death to save the world. He was not born a sinner, but holy. His name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Before He died and was raised from the dead, He had gone about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil with infirmities. And before Christ ascended to heaven, He had called, prepared and sent into the world ministers to continue the works He was doing.

Thus genuine Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Bishops, and Teachers who Jesus Christ appoints in His stead are charged to work as servants and ministers of the mysteries of God. They are servants of the Church for the sake of its Owner, the One who died was raised from the dead and lives forevermore. True men of God have no authority and power of their own, but only what they receive from the Lord.

The ministers’ key responsibilities given to them are to preach “the Word of truth, the gospel of salvation” (Ephesians 1: 13) or what 2 Corinthians 5: 19 calls “the Word of reconciliation”, win souls, baptise them, tend and feed them with the Word of God so they can grow to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ thereby conforming to His image (Ephesians 4: 11- 15).

But these days, many of the ministers who claimed were called of the Lord have rebelled against their Master. They do not only distort, dilute or adulterate His commandments, statutes and precepts, but also deny Him as they peddle and huckster the Word of God. Some say they do not even believe in the existence of heaven, a place where Christ Jesus often spoke about.

Sadly, many others have engaged in abominable deeds: selling all sorts of concoctions in the form of oils and water, charging consultation fees, prophesying money out of people’s pockets and purses, healing the sick at monetary charges and unrepentantly sleeping with both married and unmarried women. O, these are things you will never find genuine men of God habitually practicing!

A genuine man of God can be tempted to sin, but he will not utterly fall and swim in sin as we see and hear these days. It is disheartening that the majority of ministers have also shirked their responsibilities of feeding, rescuing, strengthening and growing up spiritually the souls won for the Lord, and are behaving like the shepherds of Israel, who were sharply rebuked by God for their irresponsibility in the days of the Prophet Ezekiel.

“…Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them”, (Ezekiel 34: 1- 4)

Many men of God, today, are but mere religious humanists engaged in motivational speaking. They have fallen into a spiritual stupor, strayed from the right way of the Lord, and appear to be stabbing Christ in the back. Their darkened spiritual state is the cause of their doubt about the existence of heaven, a view atheists hold. Indirectly, they are saying Christ will not return as promised. To such ministers, the apostle Peter wrote:

“… Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? Forever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

“… but do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…” (2 Peter 3: 3- 10).

However, the day of reckoning will surely come; it will not disappoint. On that day, no minister shall escape. There shall be show of power between the One who died and was raised and His stubborn appointees. When that day suddenly comes, many will try to convince the Judge of judges with plausible arguments, but they will be rejected and severely punished. Thus it is written:

“Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord; will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? And then will I declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7: 21- 23).

Many have been made to believe a lie that all people who call themselves Christians will enter the kingdom of heaven no matter how they live or what they do. But Jesus says not everyone will enter it. The Lord has spoken, and who is powerful enough to challenge Him! Yes, apostate unrepentant men of God will never enter the kingdom of heaven.