CONCLUSION ON THE HEAVENLY GLORY SERIES: Will Mrs. Florence Olawunmi Fagboyegun Go to Heaven or Hel
We return this week to our final chapter on the Glory of heaven and the rare heavenly visitations granted to the children of God by our Lord Jesus Christ after our two-week time-out of tribute to a departed dearly-beloved aunt. Most expectedly, the reactions to the passing of Madam Florence Olawunmi Fagboyegun who I paid tribute to in this column penultimate week were mix but as they say in many African cultures, we do not speak ill of the dead. No human being, who is part of the sin-soak world that Adam and Eve handed down to us their children, is perfect. We all have our fallible, and so my tribute to her was personal, although some people could not stand her during her life time. Even some who were related to her as I am disparaged her and called her many nasty names. As I explained here earlier on, those haters had their reasons but I would not dignify them traducing her in this column. Yes, these people had legitimate issues with her based on their level of relationships when she with us, but now that she's gone, I'll not offer a platform to trash her at her back. Do they have legitimate issues with her? That was fine, just as some people will have the same disposition to each and every one of us, including this writer, when we are out of the scene. We shall all be accountable to only One Person: the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But that doesn't mean we must give a pass to those we didn't fancy during their lifetimes; yes, we should dredge out their shenanigans after they're gone so we can send a powerful message to those of us alive that, both in life and death, accountability matters. But we must do so with the utmost respect because, we too will be assessed-not judged-after we're physically out of here. On that premise, I welcome all the reactions people have displayed on the transition of a good and kind woman. That is why I will continue to publish people's reactions, both positive and negative, on Mrs. Fagboyegun's death.
But what an auspicious time in our series on the kingdom of heaven, the heavenly glory series we began four weeks ago and the death of my aunt, Mrs. Fagboyegun? We unveiled the heavenly curtain and see the glory on the other side, which at one time or the other is an inevitable truth we individually must confront as we face our individual mortality. Death, as we all know is the period of physical life but only a bend in the sure-footed highway we all must pass through into eternity. There are only two forks on this eternal highway: eternal life or eternal death; eternal glory or eternal damnation or simply put; heaven or hell. There is no middle ground, and where each and every one of us will eventually end up will be determined here on earth. That is why it is unbiblical and doesn't make sense for the living to pray for the dead. We all must die. The moment you close your eyes shut and say bye to the world, you open your spiritual eyes instantly to the Other Side of Life. People are in heaven right now and people are in hell too. So who are in heaven and in hell? Let's cut through the chase and ask plainly: will Mrs. Fagboyegun make it to heaven? Where is she now: hell or heaven? Can we know the eternal destination of any of our loved ones immediately he/she dies? Does anyone has the right to disclose to the living the eternal destination of the departed? Does the Bible reveal to us that the living can know the place where the dead would end up on the Other Side?
It is chic among human beings to mourn a departed soul and zing the period of their transition with those familiar end-notes: “our loved one has departed to be with the Lord.” Or we also amuse ourselves with expressions such as; “…he/she has gone to sleep,” “taken into the bosom of the Lord,” we thank God for a life well spent,” and such other feel-good au revoirs. First, how do we know a departed loved one here has gone to be with the Lord on the Other Side? Why do we assume or think somehow anyone who lives a long life must have definitely lived a life well spent? King Saul lived for 73 years (I Samuel 13: 1) which in today's age is regarded as long life but ended up in hell (I Samuel 15: 11). Lamech lived 777 years but went to hell (Genesis 4: 24). I know of many warlocks, witches, voodoo men and women who lived up to 100 years, thus longevity is no proof that a soul has lived a “life well spent” and will make heaven. Then the tribute of saying “he/she has gone to be with the Lord,” or as believers of one the world's religions and devotees so audaciously proclaim: “To you Oh Lord-actually the name Allah is used instead- we came and to you we shall all return.” There are differences between the Lord and Allah which we will save for another day in this column.
Where did we get this idea from that we all came from God and to Him we shall return? As the politically-correct talk-heads here in America will say with air of certainty: “We're all children of God.” Or as Madam Oprah will assure her fans; “We're all God's children, He loves us all and we'll all go to Him.” Are we really all children of God? Yes, we're all God's creation, but we're not all God's children. Our Lord Jesus Christ told the Pharisees in plain language in John 8: 44: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Satan has children on earth? Yes, he does. Jesus just disclosed that right there in that scriptural text. That means, there are two sets of human beings in the world; God's children and Satan's children although God created all, including Satan and his children but some human beings have disowned God and have taken Satan as their father. That debunks the notion that we are all God's children right there. No, Ms. Oprah, no, to the politically-correct commentariat and no, to the world's religious leaders; we all came from God Almighty as the Lone Creator but NOT all of us are returning to Him after we're done here. Some will go to Satan because they served him and his demons while they were here and they will eventually go to him when they die. Actually, Satan will come for them to claim their souls as soon as they die, whether they like it or not, because they belonged to Satan on earth.
But who are we as human beings to say to other fellow human beings they belong to God and those who belong to Satan in the world? Who made such distinctions and heavenly binaries? Is it Biblical there are two houses on earth? Thank God for God Almighty, Hallelujah! Isn't it wonderful and re-assuring that God doesn't do anything under the table or has kept some information secret on the weighty issue of eternal life? As Apostle Paul aptly disclosed: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1: 18-20). So what are the attributes of the children of the Devil? What are the signs of those who, either knowingly or ignorantly, have become children of Satan, even though God Almighty created them but on their own, have gone to adopt Satan as their father? Apostle Paul mentioned 38 characteristics possessed by Satan's children on earth as follows:-
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind; to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1: 21-32).
For a nation like Nigeria that is impunity-personified in its ranks and file, especially beginning from the top, it is not difficult to identify with those 38 satanic characteristics, because they are occurring at greater rapidity now more than ever before. Ditto here in the United States and across the globe as the Bible foretold. But per contra, what are the signs or characteristics of God's children? Amazingly, there is none. Really? Yes. Never in the scheme of things as the True Lord God Almighty designs His heavenly Glory for His children does He ask and demand certain characteristics from them. He asks and demands not characteristics but Action and here it is: “…then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is "'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved,” (Acts 4: 10-12).
This is the Divine Truth that unsettles most of the people of the world today. God says He's not interested in our making ourselves clean by self-effort since He created us and knows each and every one of us inside out. A pig is a pig any time, any day. This True Lord God Almighty says our self-right attitude to impress Him doesn't cut it. We are evil not because we want to but because we're born that way, beginning from our First Parents, Adam and Eve. I was born first and foremost, a black man, period! Another person has also been born as a white man, period! Both the black and white man/person has no say on whether he/she wants to be black or white before coming to the earth. So also are all human beings born from the time of Adam and Eve to date. No amount of bleaching my skin color can make me a black person become a white person and ditto a white person trying to become a black person. Black is my color, the color of my skin, I was born black, period. The whole human race, black or white, has one color: sin. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3: 10-12). Because of this wholesale missing off the mark, only God Almighty Himself can make us clean and be worthy of His Grace. The product succumbs to its maker; a plant doesn't come to life on its own, for every house there is a builder and every manufacturer controls his/her product. The clay is always and perpetually at the mercy of the potter and whatever the potter decides to make of the clay is what it becomes. We are the clay in the Divine Hands of the Great Maker-the Lord God Almighty. The only way any human being “can live a well spent life,” whether at 21 or 100 years of age; the only way “a soul can depart and go and be with the Lord,” the only requirement that any human being can die and has gone to rest in the bosom of the Lord,” and fulfill all those fanciful au revoirs obsequies to the dead is; did this soul, human being, aunt, sister, brother, neighbor, celebrity, billionaire, poor man or woman, president, governor, senator, king, prince, princess, father, mother, widow, widower, clergy man or woman, pastor, alhaji, cleric, journalist, professor, teacher, medical doctor, engineer, business man or woman, soldier, military general, naval officer, broadcaster, high court judge, minister, taxi driver, carpenter, lawyer, farmer, accountant, banker, musician, etc. know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, submit to Him, do His will and worship Him as Lord and Savior? A great multitude of people were waiting for Our Lord Jesus Christ after he had fed them. They were free loaders in Tiberius and wanted more free food and God-in-the-flesh knew their mission; they wanted free food and not salvation of their souls and the Lord told them to their face right away. Busted and looking for a way to reclaim the initiative and looked good before their Maker-Jesus Christ-they asked him what good thing must they do to be acceptable before the Great Potter? Imagine the clay asking what it needs to be acceptable to the potter! All the clay needs is to listen and obey whatever the potter tells it, period!
Jesus told the one who asked that question there is only one thing to do to make it to heaven and that is to take an action and do the work of the Lord and “Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6: 29). As simple as it is and it's because of this simplicity of salvation of Grace-Favor-that has caused billions of souls to end up and are ending up on the Other Side of the heavenly track. I remember a Muslim grad colleague of mine in Florida few years ago, who shouted at me; “You know Moshood why I don't want to be a Christian?” he told me. “It's because it's too simple; 'Just believe you said Jesus said and to me that is a very simple thing to do.” And I told him that was exactly the simple reason why I became a Christian in the first place; the message of eternal life is very simple and I asked him: “Salim, if the True Lord God Almighty has made it complicated, tell me who would make it? How many daily prayers do you think an individual must complete before he/she can make it to heaven? Can a human being who lived for 20 years make the mark compared with someone who died at the age of 70 or 90 years? A 15 –year old soul doesn't stand a chance.” He got the message. Back to Mrs. Fagboyegun, my aunt; did she make it to heaven? Yes, because she took Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior while she was here. Was she mean to some people while she was alive? You bet! Was she miserly to some relatives during her life time? Yes, you bet! But she knew the Lord and so knew where she was going. She would not be judged unto death or condemnation, although she may not have any reward in heaven because Jesus Christ said
"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Revelation 22: 12), but Mrs. Florence Olawunmi Fagboyegun settled the issue of where to spend eternity before she left and so also her husband, the late Reverend Johnson Olajide Fagboyegun.
How about you? The choice is yours.
This is huge! Something of global importance, an earth-shattering event and a cosmic occurrence is in the offing in the world. I don't know what it is but the Holy Bible has predicted it and we shall all see it with our very eyes soon. This event is part of end-time prophecy and it's about to take place very, very soon in the next 12 to 24 months. I don't know what it is; I repeat again, I wasn't shown what it is but again, it's HUGE. The whole world will be shocked; from the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun; from the East to the West; from the South to the North, the planet earth is about to witness a catastrophic event. The Divine Hand of God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the universe, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is about to intervene in the affairs of humanity. The world media, the commentariat, the scientists, the astrologers, the men and women of earthly wisdom and their ilk will be talking their heads out but will not be able to explain but those who know the True God will be unshaken and unperturbed. What is it? I wasn't shown but was only told (Luke 21:11 & 25).
ISSUES OF THE WEEK:
Politics, Politics and Politics but When Does Governance Occur?
Most of the stories coming out of Nigeria often make you throw up, considering the way the globe has become so flat via globalization, thanks to modern technology. All that is going on at the level of government in Nigeria is politics without governance. When do the politicians actually govern? When does the serious work of translating politics into political action begin? It befuddles the imagination that nearly 14 years after self-government began in Nigeria, nothing, I mean virtually nothing that Nigerians can point to as achievements. I noticed only two achievements when last I visited: cell phone explosion and media freedom. I was told that the former occurred during Mr. Obasanjo's two-term administration (1999-2007) and the latter by the Nigeria's vibrant media which fought and won their freedom on their own, and yours sincerely was one of the arrow-heads. My American wife, who accompanied me to Nigeria in 2011 couldn't stand the noise pollution in Lagos for the two days we visited the torrid city forcing us to return to Abuja. For few hours that the electricity in our hotel went off, I was afraid for her life, because of her need of 24-hour electricity to power her Zyppah sleeping “patch.” We had to relocate to another hotel with stable electricity in Abuja. Night life was in shambles and I nearly forgot we're not at home in Chicago when we woke up at 3am and wanted to order Pizza as we often do here. In spite of our security situation here in Chicago where we're contending with gangland activities, we still go out at night and enjoy ourselves. Abuja and Lagos seemed like ghost towns at night, even in the 1990s while in Nigeria, night life was not as sickening as we witnessed. We wanted to drive from Lagos to the hinterland, at least to my hometown of Owo and Akure but were warned to perish the thought.
Before I left Nigeria in 1999, the Lagos-Ibadan highway was already a death trap, now I was told it is a morgue. We prayed to be in one piece throughout the 90-minutes we traveled by road from Port-Harcourt to Bayelsa state on the so-called east-west highway. The road from Yenagoa to Otuoke, Mr. Jonathan's village is an eyesore and not a single public toilet in the president's home village. One can go on and on reeling out these infrastructural deficits making one to wonder, what do Nigerian leaders count as achievements? What do those Ijaw nationalists threatening fire, blood and brimstone see as Mr. Jonathan's achievement to warrant another four years as president? The whole of Yenagoa, a state capital was in total darkness the first night we arrived in the president's home state. Looking for a hotel with stable and uninterrupted electricity was a nightmare and of course, it didn't come cheaply. This shame of a nation and legionary harrowing stories of the Nigerian people under self-rule merit mention both for the history book and posterity, and we've chronicled them in our upcoming book; “Jonathan; the Squandering of Good Luck. Those of us who left here in 2010 for Nigeria to ensure Mr. Jonathan became president thought, as a PhD holder-the first time in Nigeria's history- he would make a difference in public service. How sad and disappointed! Mr. Jonathan was deputy governor, acting governor, governor of Bayelsa State, later vice-president, acting president and now president of Nigeria; I couldn't point to one single thing throughout our nearly two weeks visit to his village and home state as his achievement. Yes, he established a federal university in his village but not a single infrastructure on the ground to support a functioning university. How Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, the vice-chancellor copes in Otuoke Village is better imagined. A close friend of Mr. Jonathan and his classmate confessed that Ijaw people may be rejoicing that an Ijaw man is Nigeria's president; sooner or later they would be sorely disappointed because there won't be anything to show that one of their own ever ruled Nigeria. So why is the craze and threat to bring the sky down by Ijaw war-mongers in 2015, if Mr. Jonathan is not re-elected? Has Mr. Jonathan so transformed his village, home town and state in terms of infra-structural development in eight years he was a deputy governor, governor, vice-president, acting president and now substantive president (1999-2007) that Ijaw people would miss their darling and loving brother? If Mr. Jonathan could not fix the death trap called road from Yenagoa to his Otuoke Village in Bayelsa state, if the road called east-west highway from Port Harcourt to Mr. Jonathan's home state hasn't been fixed for ten years, if the electricity in his home state is not regular, if a president's primary and secondary schools which he attended are in such state of disrepairs that even an American visiting Nigeria for the first time was compelled to ask; “Is this the president's former school and why can't he renovate it?” and there is not a single public toilet in a president's home village, then you ask the curious question: what is the benefit of having a president of a nation from your own part of the country?
Yes, Mr. Jonathan is the president of the whole country, but they say charity begins at home. He's first and foremost an Otuoke man, an Ijaw man and finally, a Nigerian. If he can't fix the discombobulated electricity supply in his nation, at least do not let your village remain in perpetual darkness. Should Mr. Jonathan were to retire back to Otuoke Village in 2015 or 2019-if he's able to make it that far-will any of his grandchildren able to attend that crumbling St. Stephens Primary School at Otuoke? When the elders gather together for a meeting, what would they point to as an indication one of their village man was a president of Nigeria? Do the small things first before the big things, but Mr. Jonathan so far in his 14 years as a public servant has neither achieved those small things nor the big things. If he couldn't achieve either in 14 years, four years are shorter for him to record any historical achievements in public service and leave a meaningful legacy. Otuoke villagers and Ijaws as a whole may never, never have one of their own again as president. Mr. Jonathan would have been in public service for 16 years by 2015, more than the number of years Chief Obafemi Awolowo transformed Ikenne and the defunct western Nigeria, not a single cottage industry in Otuoke, not a single functionary industry in Yenagoa and nothing, absolutely nothing a visitor can pint to as a legacy of this man to his Ijaw people. Samuel Ogbemudia transformed Old Bendel State in eight years, Ambrose Alli did the same in 4 years and so was Lateef Kayode Jakande in Lagos. Like the GOP leaders are expostulating after Mr. George W. Bush eight years in office here in America; “Baby Bush has spoiled it for everyone!
Kleptocracy Initiative and Corruption in Emerging States:
The cliché; “Third World” to describe nations that are behind in all indices of global development is now outmoded. The so-called “Third World” nations, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa can now be labeled as emerging economies, going by their economic prospects and envisaged productive activities in many of those nations. As my co-author and I noted in our recent book on the Nigerian billionaire, Mr. Aliko Mohammad Dangote, the richest black person in the world, Coca-Cola sells more bottles of the beverage in Africa now than in the United States and more Africans drink Guinness Stout now than Irish in Ireland and Britons combined. There are more owners/users of cell phones (mobile phones) in Africa now than the number of users in America and Canada. As recently as 1999, the numbers of telephone subscribers in New York City alone were more than the whole of Nigeria; a city of more than 25 million and a nation of 190 million respectively. A decade later, the trend has changed; more Nigerians use cell phones now than New Yorkers. Other good news are confounding the western press not yet prepared to change their traditional negative impression of the Dark Continent but as Mr. Kent, CEO, Coca-Cola told Bloomberg Business Week in 2011;
“Africa is the untold story, and could be the big story, of the next decade, like India and China were this past decade. The presence and the significance of our business in Africa are far greater than India and China even today. The relevance is much bigger. You've got an incredibly young population, a dynamic population. Huge disposable incomes, I mean $1.6 trillion of GDP, which is bigger than Russia, bigger than India. It's a big economy, and so rich underground. And whether the next decade becomes the decade of Africa or not, in my opinion, will depend upon one single thing—and everything is right there to have it happen—and that is better governance. And it is improving, there's no question.”
It was this realization that Africa is changing that nudged Washington to become more proactive in capacity building toward good governance in Africa by enacting the Kleptocracy Initiative (KI) through the Justice Department. Essentially, it is broadly agreed that corruption is the cancer to good governance, not only in emerging economies but anywhere in the world. For example, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with Nigeria as a nation and Nigerians as a people but the stench of corruption that tars the nation and its people. For long, the West had looked the other way when corruption proceeds littered their choicest capitals, but now the West has come to realize that unless they shut the door in the faces of soiled politicians, the efforts to build strong institutions in emerging economies will be mere lip service. This is a new beginning and we hope the political vermin of Africa will get the message their loot will not find safe havens anymore in the United States. The Arabs and China should join the West in eradicating corruption in Africa. The time is now.
The much-awaited biography of Mr. Aliko Mohammad Dangote of Nigeria, which I co-authored with Dr. Margie Marie Neal, was released to the market by our Houston, Texas-based publisher last week. Please before you make any comment about the book; positive or negative, read the book first. It's rather long; 520 pages but it contains a lot of nuggets about Nigeria and Africa, which you may not find elsewhere. It isn't because I co-wrote it but because it is a good book. Don't take my words for it but check out our official website and read what others have said about the book (http://sbpra.com/MoshoodAdemolaFayemiwoandMargieMarieNeal/).
Because of space constrains this week-you're wondering why there should be any space problem in an Online publication, but be aware this is a syndicated column published by newspapers and magazines too and so we will publish more readers' reactions and letters on issue in this column next week.
My forthcoming book: “The Kingdom of Satan Exposed: Activities of Principalities and Demon Worship In Our World Today and Inside The World of Witchcraft, Voodoo, Warlocks and Spiritual Warfare” will be out in the summer. If you want a copy at a discount of 15 percent before official release, please send an email to [email protected] now for more information. For those that have reached out and are on the lists of our pre-paid customers, our Colorado-based publishers are working round the clock to release the title this summer. The volume is long –about 500-plus pages-so they're taking their time and I will break the news here as soon as it is released. See you guys next week.
*Dr. Fayemiwo, co-author of the newly-released “Aliko Mohammad Dangote; the Biography of the Richest Black Person in the World,” https://www.etsy.com/listing/152862664/aliko-mohammad-dangote-the-biography-of?ref=shop_home_active was a former publisher/editor in Africa and is currently, CEO, Alternative Lifestyle Communication, DBA Chicago, IL USA.