A toxic spiritual climate looms over Nigeria today, and it is time for all men of goodwill to join hands in earnest prayers for God’s mercy over the nation.
For some time now, the Lord has been sending several messengers calling the Church in Nigeria back to repentance. But are we listening? Are we truly living like THE SALT OF NIGERIA as Jesus described His followers in Matthew 5:13? In addition to other functions, salt sweetens. And salt aids the preservation process. By our disposition and conduct, are we sweetening the Nigerian society? And if God chooses to visit the nation today, will our righteousness preserve the nation and stave off the horror of God’s judgment in our land?
The danger that the Church in Nigeria faces today comes from the sombre warning that Jesus gave in that same verse 13, in relation to believers that do not function like salt. “…but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be THROWN OUT AND TRAMPLED UNDER PEOPLE’S FEET”.
This is the danger we face today as God’s people in the nation. The danger of being trampled under people’s feet – IF we do not urgently repent and return to the heart of the Gospel.
It is not difficult to fathom how we got to this sorry state. In the last three decades or so, a massive tide of lukewarmness has been injected into the Christian body by the cash-and-carry ‘Gospel’ of sweet-talking , charismatic preachers. As these men rose in personal wealth, fame, and power; the Gospel of Jesus Christ took a nosedive in the nation.
As these men drew massive crowds to themselves, the Kingdom of God shrunk further and further in the country. With the truth of the Gospel of Christ turned upside down, false doctrines mushroomed and blossomed bountifully in the land. Today, the superstructure of what we can describe as the Church in Nigeria, is built on falsehood and exploitation of the gullible, generally speaking.
And, slowly but steadily, the chickens are now trooping home to roost. This is the harvest of the falsehood that has been allowed to fester in the nation for decades and decades. The fruits are blooming in terrifying dimensions. As you look across the landscape of the Church in Nigeria, what is clearly evident is A LOT of religious wisdom, BUT SPIRITUAL FOOLISHNESS.
To put it succinctly, SPIRITUAL FOOLISHNESS abounds in tons and tons in the Church in Nigeria. And it is fast becoming the manifest order of the day. From the confines of our deceived pews, the fruits of falsehood are now flowing into the larger society. A dangerous army is rising in the nation. An army that is religiously wise, but SPIRITUALLY FOOLISH.
It is easy to see the vast difference between Jesus Christ and the army that is being raised in His name in Nigeria. Jesus predicated His mission and message on LOVE. He even dared to teach His listeners to LOVE THEIR ENEMIES, AND TO PRAY FOR THEM (Matthew 5:43-48). Jesus paid for that message with His life. While going through the shame and painful throes of death, He prayed for forgiveness for those that snuffed out His life unjustly. It is this example of LOVE YOUR ENEMIES that Jesus gave His followers, and told them to follow. “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; WHEN HE SUFFERED, HE THREATENED NOT; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously…. (1 Peter 2:23).
But in recent times, we have had a huge chunk of believers in Nigeria ‘hating’ the political leader of the country because he is from another religion, and is believed to be persecuting Christians; and/or supporting those who are so engaged. It is so bad that many wish he’ll fail in the task of leading the nation, many believers wish him DEAD, and some are even OPENLY praying for His death on the pages of social media! If President Buhari dies today, many churches in Nigeria will erupt in spontaneous thanksgiving. Is this the love of Jesus Christ?
As the spate of persecution intensifies in the country, many believers are openly canvassing for carrying guns and machete in self-defence. A couple of prominent church leaders have openly called on believers to spill the blood of infidels that dare to attack them. Recently, a pastor made a suggestion that a percentage of the church’s income should be devoted to buying weapons for Christians to fend off attackers. Please imagine a church’s store that is fully loaded with guns, machete, and knives!
Matthew 5:39 will be interpreted differently by believers. But in whatever way we choose to interpret the verse, we ought to be guided by the Spirit of its meaning: “But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (ESV). Please link this to a passage like Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and HARMLESS AS DOVES”. These, as well as tens of other scriptures, paint a vivid picture of the type of followers that the New Testament is raising unto God – MEN AND WOMEN THAT CONFRONT HATE WITH THE AWESOME POWER OF LOVE. Men and women that CHOOSE to be weak, so that the awesome power of God can be revealed to men. This is the meaning of the cross of Christ. This is what it means to be a GENUINE follower of Jesus Christ.
Sadly, this is NOT what most Christian leaders teach today. Like BABES, a lot of them are teaching a return to the carnal weapons of violence and physical might to fight the spiritual battles of life and nationhood. Sadly, babes CANNOT raise men! Babes CANNOT raise giants! And this accounts for why men and spiritual giants are in short supply in the church in Nigeria today. Most of our leaders do NOT know the Christ they are leading us to follow!!! The message of Christ has been sidelined, while we bask in the blessings associated with His name. God cannot be mocked. And, soon, He will rise up in visitation for our hypocrisy. Our ‘unsaltiness’ will attract its due recompense – UNLESS we repent. And repent fast!
MANY WILL NOT HEED THIS CALL. More importantly, many will not EXAMINE THEMSELVES thoroughly, and DETOXIFY themselves from the falsehood that has contaminated most of us that got born again in the last few decades. Friend, please do not shrug off this message, go directly to God and enquire for the truth. Please separate yourself from the religious movement that honours the Lord with their lips while they distance themselves from Him in their hearts. This is not a time to be spiritually docile or indolent in Nigeria. For judgment looms! This is a time to cry earnestly for mercy. A time to repent. And to renew our commitment to seeking the Kingdom of God with all our hearts.
WHERE ARE GOD’S INTERCESSORS FOR NIGERIA? Please arise and pray earnestly. Pray for mercy. For repentance. And for justice to flow in our land. Yes, the chickens are INDEED coming home to roost. The picture is very scary. But if we turn to the Lord with all our hearts in repentance and contrition, who knows….?
This week, please reflect deeply on all these. In the place of prayer, please re-dedicate yourself to truly seeking the genuine Gospel of Christ. For our generation of believers do NOT truly know the lordship of Jesus Christ. Please team up with friends to pray for the church, and for Nigeria. To pray for the leadership. And to pray that the will of God be done in Nigeria as it is done in heaven. This is the cry of the hour. Please get involved.
May God’s abundant blessings rest upon Nigeria, and upon God’s ambassadors in the country (2 Corinthians 5:20). Amen.
Thanks for reading, God bless you.
(PLEASE NOTE: As a follow-up to this article, please look out for the following articles later this week, God willing: (1) ON HIS RETURN, THIS IS WHY JESUS WILL BARELY FIND BELIEVERS ON EARTH, and (2) A CALL TO JESUS CHRIST IS A CALL TO SUFFERING. Pls pray along.)