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It’s rather unfortunate and pathetic some Christians boast all the time with their chest up as followers of Jesus Christ but have apparently refused to accept the fact that suffering and challenges are part of human life. There is no easy way to heaven as they have perceived and it is imperative for ministers of the gospel to imbibe in their church members to be fully aware of the fact that even Jesus Christ the man they are following had to suffer the pain on the cross of Calvary in fulfillment of his salvation mission.
In normal life situation before one will be promoted he/ she will have to go through some test and pass well so it is not different in our Christian life as followers of Christ. God created us and he holds the key to our lives and has never forced us to follow him but we choose to follow him and why are we running away from trials that he himself went through before his mission on earth was fulfilled. The likes of Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Moses and many others who were elevated had to face their challenges and as Christians we should not expect our lives to taste good like milk and honey but rather we should be ready to accept that in life it will get worse before it gets better.
As Christians we should not lose sight of the fact that Jesus Christ told his disciples in John 16:20 – 21 that “I tell you the truth; you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices, you will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come, but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world”. As true believers we are fond of saying weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning and we are not ready to suffer a little in life.
God in his own wisdom asked the Levites to stay in the house of God, care for his children and minister the gospel to them as well and not engaging themselves in other businesses which he has not asked them to do that will drag their hard-earn reputation in the mud as we are witnessing currently with some prominent preachers. Where is the love and care God entreats them to show to their followers when some of them only preach about giving where they themselves are not ready to give to the needy and poor people in their churches?
The greatest commission God wants his servants to do is just preaching the word of salvation and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything he has commanded them. If I may ask them, are these prosperity and riches what God has ordered them to preach?
It is sad that majority of our ministers of the gospel have adopted their own means of propagating the gospel of Christ. I strongly believe if we are to conduct a research on the purpose of God’s call upon these ministers of the gospel we might not get a single person who will come out to say the motive behind his call was to preach prosperity.
Peter, one of the apostles of Christ won many souls for God each time he preached the gospel of truth and he did not take delight in preaching about riches, acquiring visas and prosperity as majority of our ministers of God are fond of doing trying to make it look like bread is the only thing mankind needs to survive. Our destiny is unknown to us, will it end as we desire only God knows and this world is full of darkness, troubles and temptations and it is imperative to wait patiently for God to make all things beautiful for us in his own time.
The scripture says in Philippians 2:5-11 that is “ your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; who being in very nature “ God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even on the cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
If Jesus Christ had to go through the torture to enable him fulfill his salvation mission then we his followers must be prepared to face our own challenges too.
I find it difficult to understand why some ministers of the gospel have failed to revealed to their followers that suffering, trials and challenges are part of Christian life which every individual will have to face before he/ she will be elevated by God. It is about time these ministers of the gospel put an end to when you come to Jesus you will prosper and everything will be ok. Job was rich and when he decided to follow Christ he did not lose hope but kept his faith and faced the pain, agony and suffering that came his way. What is paramount in Christianity is salvation that will propel Christians into seeking first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all other things shall be added unto them and not the riches, visas and prosperity they are eagerly looking for with their body that will die one day and cannot guarantee them a place in God’s Kingdom.
It’s disheartening to see some pastors waste their precious time arguing on which day is appropriate or suitable for Christians to worship their creator.Worst of it all is that some of them are fond of disagreeing on baptism as some claim if you are not deeply immersed in a stream, spring, river your baptism will not be complete. Some say it is wrong in baptizing infants and I wonder why Jesus Christ will tell his disciples to allow these children to come to him since theirs is the kingdom of God. The thief who was nailed on the cross alongside Jesus Christ was not baptized but he accepted Christ as his personal saviour and was assured a place in paradise.
As gold dust passes through a lot of processes before miners get a pure gold so shall our Christian life go through a lot of challenges and suffering before we can grab the crown we deserve to guarantee us a place in the kingdom of God.Let’s reflect our mind a bit on what Jesus Christ told a man who willingly wanted to follow him but asked Lord let me go back and say good bye to my family in Luke 9:61-62. Jesus replied “No- one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. Christ tells us all as Christians willing to follow him to deny ourselves and take up our own cross which contains troubles, temptations, suffering and many others.
Have we forgotten we are strangers here on earth and one day all the wealth we are eagerly acquiring will amount to nothing and cannot save us? The scripture tells us in Mathew 6: 19 -21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal and for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. In 1 Timothy 6:6-8 the scripture says that “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it, but if we have food and clothing we should be content with that”.
If Jesus Christ had to go through trials, pain, agony and suffering before he was able to grab the crown, does it not behove on us as Christians to be ready to face the challenges that will come our ways which lead to salvation the aim of every Christian.God richly bless us all as we work towards our salvation. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his life? As followers of Christ have we taking it upon ourselves to critically examine why Jesus Christ will tell his disciples it will be hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. Shalom
By Michael Kessey – ( Akissiway)