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Opinions of Friday, 18 March 2016

Columnist: Ampong, Charles H

Wake up, Ghana Christians!

The Bible gives many examples of signs that should warn us of the coming end of the age. Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 that we would not know the exact time of the end but gives a list of precursors regarding the end. God obviously wants us to know when the time is getting near and the reason for preparation of living right for God.

God does not want us to disregard the signs but to embrace them as we surrender our whole life to Him. All the signs such as disasters, vendettas, political wars, false prophets, sexual perversions, corruption just to mention a few are a wake up call and we need to get close to God as individuals and also as a nation. Unfortunately, church has become more of a “sleeping giant “due to insensitivity to the Holy Spirit Who carries the mind of God. The Church has become more sensitive to the voice of man than to the voice of God to the extent that salvation of people is trivial. Miracles is the plumb-line for God’s presence in Churches in Ghana instead of the true word of God.

The Church is supposed to move from “spiritual sleeping” to “spiritual alertness”. The bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7 that the day of the Lord will come as thief comes in the night so we should not be spiritually asleep but be watchful and sober. An example of someone in the bible who was “spiritually asleep” is Samson. Samson’s spiritual strength and power was taken away not because of physical sleep but spiritual sleep. He heard the voice of man and so woke up from physical sleep but couldn’t hear the voice of God that sleeping in the lap of Delilah would spell his doom.

As Christians in Ghana continue to sleep spiritually being more concerned about material things than the things of God we should expect the devil to create more chaos and spiritual deception in the country. As they continue to be more concerned about pleasure instead of continuous prayer, the devil will continue to have a field day in Ghana. In Matthew 24:3 Jesus was asked, Tell us when these things will be, and what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of age? Jesus told his disciples to look for the certain signs such as rise of false prophets and teachers prior to His second coming and the end of the age. Jesus said in Matthew 24 verse 5 and 11 many will come in name, saying, I am the Christ and will mislead many. And many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Also in Mark 13, Jesus predicted that many believers would be misled before His return by teachers / false prophets claiming to have revelations from God and performing miracles through the name of Jesus. The question we should be asking is that: Is it possible for me and you to be deceived? The answer is Yes (Jeremiah 5:30-31). So convincing would be the revelations, arguments, proofs, miracles from these prophets and teachers in these end times that it will be difficult not to fall away from Christ or become a victim. But the good news is Jesus will keep us from falling into deception as we stay focused on Him alone.

Finally, to penetrate the disguises of false teachers and prophets we can ask the following seven questions:

One: Have their predictions or prophecies come true, or do they have to revise them to fit what’s already happened?

Two: Do their teachings utilize a small section of the Bible to the neglect of the whole?
Three: Do their teachings go against what is said in the Bible about God?
Four: Are the practices of the prophets or teachers meant to glorify the teacher or Christ?

Five: Are the practices of the prophets or teachers meant to build followers for themselves or followers for Jesus?

Six: Do the teachings of the prophets or teachers promote hostilities towards true Christians?

Seven: Does the personality and proclamation of the prophets or teachers match?

My fellow Ghanaian, just ponder over these questions and let them be a guide to staying away from false teachers and prophets. God bless you for taking time to read this short article. Keep up the faith in Jesus as we wait for His coming. Jesus is alive!

Brother Charles H. Ampong