By Deolu Akinyemi
Someone who doesn’t know will wonder what is going on with me. Sincere people will ask, why this blitz on idolatry, Churchianity and cultural Christianity? Is there nothing good about the men of God? Is there nothing worthy of praise and thanksgiving? Are things really as bad as I paint them to be? Let me share my heart with you.
The current day Church does not value Jesus Christ. We have largely been trained to live our lives without him, and to imagine our eternity without him. Heaven for us is not about Jesus, living on earth is also not about him. Before you quickly excuse yourself, don’t deceive yourself. Over and over I have been in meetings where I have asked people if they want to succeed, and what success looks like to them. The average person carefully writes down the names of the usual suspects – Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Aliko Dangote, Oprah Winfrey and the host of other usual suspects. The one that are a bit religious dole out names like Billy Graham, TD Jakes, Pastor E.A Adeboye, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and a host of others. These are the models of success, best and worst case. I find all of these most irritating and repulsive!
My eyes could not hold the tears, and my voice could not hold the tremble as I discussed with a group about how Jesus has been so minimized and bastardized by our current culture of Christianity. That we have reduced the prince of peace and the lord of lords into a leverage vehicle to get new cars, build new houses, close contracts and live a good life! How can we trade the Son of God for things with expiry dates? How on earth can our definition of success be mortals who did not die for us? How on earth can we say we believe the Bible and imagine that these men are what God’s word defines as successful?? I begged an audience to quote Joshua 1:8 for me, and tell me God’s requirements for success. The answer was and is meditating on God’s word day and night, I asked if that was true of the richest men in the world, I asked if they did that day and night who would they become? The answer was Jesus! How on earth have we lost value for the savior of our souls? How?
Billy Graham should weep, Pastor Adeboye should mourn! I also am not guiltless. Everyone of us who stand in the way of the people and steal the shine off Jesus need to go before God in agony and plead for mercy. We must never ever stand in any place that makes the world choose us before Christ. No!
This earth will catch fire, the heavens will also be burnt and new ones created. Nothing on this side of eternity will make it over save the souls of men. We are on a cruise, a timed cruise and we will return, to from where we came. What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? What will a man give in exchange for his soul? Our date with death and destruction was a firmed appointment, there was no escape in sight for us, until Jesus came, humbled himself and took our place. He took our place so that we can take His place. He died for us, so that we can live for him! There is nothing else meaningful to live for outside of Christ, my life was gone and done, and the new lease on life I have is an opportunity for Jesus to have expression. Whatever would distract me from this reality needs to be dealt with decisively!
Idolatry is a test of your love, loyalty and commitment to God! The way you respond to false prophets and teachers shows Jesus how much you love Him. The silence of a witness is injustice! If you witnessed a robbery or rape and have all the facts and refuse to share, you are unjust! My generation has grown cold in their love for Jesus! Jesus is not great in our eyes. They have sold us another brand of Jesus that is not the one in the Bible. He is not a means to an end! He is the alpha and the omega! He is the author of the race we are in, and the one that finished and still finishes the race we are in! He is the reason we are in right standing with God, He is our reason! Stop trying to combine him with things! Jesus is enough! Jesus without wealth is enough! Jesus without career, progress, family or anything else you may desire is enough! We are complete in Him! If you truly understand this – Jesus Christ is ALL!
Outreach is not about printing posters and packing stadia! Many of our camps and stadiums are packed with people on a multilane road driving fast in the direction of Hell Fire! Broad is the road that leads to destruction, many go that way! True outreach is not sharing fliers and inviting people to temples, no! Most of our temples, cathedrals and monuments are centers for glorifying greed, covetousness, self, personal agenda and worshiping celebrity pastors. Outreach is not going long distances to win a proselyte and converting him to twice the son of the devil as ourselves. No! True outreach is lifting Jesus up! For if the Son of Man be lifted up, he will draw all men to himself! Jesus did not print posters before people came to him, John the Baptist had no advertisements! True outreach is glorifying Jesus passionately and placing the value due him to him, and the world will be attracted to his way.
Listen to how Jesus did it – John 2:23-25 During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn’t entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through them.
Our task is to ensure scripture is fulfilled in ensuring that he does have a name higher than every other name. Our communication, our aspirations, our actions and all our motivation must be to lift Jesus High! As we lift him high, we bring low everyone who is larger than life in the eyes of the people!