GREAT AND PUZZLING QUESTIONS BOTHERING BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS SERIES (2)
Last week, we examined the Biblical validity of save assurance of a Christian and the Holy Spirit answered the nagging question of paradise. We averred on the assured Words of the Lord Jesus Christ that entering heaven is not a somnambulist discovery and the Christians' journey to our permanent eternal abode is not a serendipitous voyage. Every human being who has lived, living now or will ever live on planet earth since AD 33 when Our Lord Jesus died on the Cross, went into the heart of the earth and resurrected three days later must know where he/she will spend eternity. There are only two forks on the Road to Eternity: Heaven or Hell. There is no middle ground. Those of us going to heaven aren't arrogant or proud, because the Bible says, anyone who boasts let him/her boasts that he/she knows the Lord. If you have taken the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and have the Holy Spirit, hence a “born-again Christian,” the Lord God Almighty will give you a down payment right now and here on earth as guarantee of your eternal destination. Here is how Ephesians 1: 9-14 put it: “And he (the Lord God Almighty) made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, and you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of his glory.” Read those verses again! A seal is a legal term authenticating the genuineness of any contractual agreement. A deposit is good faith evidence that one will pay what one has promised to pay to someone. Apostle Paul, moved by the Holy Spirit, was telling us Christians in that Ephesian verses that our faith in Christ redemptive work is not a mirage or an ideational feel good belief, but a demonstrative and an experiential life tested and provable through the Holy Spirit. We are surefooted of paradise not only because our Lord Jesus Christ said so; but because of both His promise and the indwelling Holy Spirit who enables us to live a heavenly life that we are living right now here on earth. The proof that we as born-again Christians are heaven-bound is the Holy Spirit. That was why our Lord Jesus Christ told the Jews in Luke 17: 20 & 21: “Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." There are no spiritual conflicts in heaven, because the rebels: Satan and his fallen angels have been flushed out of heaven. It is here on planet earth that there are intense cosmic conflicts between the Forces of Good and Evil as represented by the followers of Jesus Christ and those worshipping Satan, willfully or unknowingly respectively. In this spiritual warfare, there is no middle ground. When you are indwell with the Holy Spirit that means “the kingdom of God is within you,” and you will inevitably butt heads with Satan and his fallen angels (demons) including their human minions. Whose sides are you on? How many spiritual conflicts have you encountered? Are you gathering with the Lord Jesus Christ or scattering against Him by working for Satan, knowingly or unknowingly? This is the litmus test to apply to your life. If you are heaven-bound through the Holy Spirit in your life, you will know through the barrage of satanic attacks and conflicts in your life. On the other hand, if you are hell-bound, you will know through the debased, immoral, unaccountable and conflict-free life you live. This is what our Lord Jesus Christ meant in Mathew 7: 13 & 14: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” Do not deceive yourself: if you are on the wide and broad gate, you know it; similarly, if you are in the small and narrow road, you'll equally know it. It is as simple as that. This leads us to the second question that often agitates the minds of Christians and non-Christians alike this week: Aren't all religions about the Lord God Almighty and are we not all going to the same heaven and paradise?
Aren't All Religions About the Lord God Almighty and All of Us Are Going to the Same Heaven and Paradise?
Since the fall of Adam and Eve, human beings have invented ways and means to understand the Lord God Almighty. As Genesis 4:26b disclosed: “…At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.” Human beings began to pray and invent ways to reach to the Creator, because the Lord God Himself has put that void in each and every one of us that nudges us to reach out to Him. Even the Atheist, at the moment of loss, confusion and bewilderment suddenly finds himself or herself shouting the Name of God he/she initially denies. All human beings are created this way and that is one of the things that distinguish us from animals. This is why every human being is religious by creation. There is something or someone we all worship: power, fame, money, sex, wealth, sports, wisdom, knowledge, religion, politics, life itself and fellow human beings, even self. Whatever commands our adoration, faith and belief is our god. As the Holy Spirit taught us last week, religion is attempt by human beings to understand the Sovereign Lord God Almighty and that is why there are many religions in the world. Religion captures the many trajectories and attributes of the Lord God Almighty who we want to understand by our finite limited human wisdom and knowledge. That is why there are certain elements of God Almighty in virtually all religions of the world. But think about it; how can we human beings, sin-soaked and finite creatures of yore understand the Creator? Even the angels who are far superior to us in knowledge, wisdom and understanding cannot “figure out” their Maker, not to talk of human beings. As Elihu aptly disclosed in Job 36: 26: “How great is God (who) is beyond our understanding.” Indeed, the Sovereign Lord God Almighty is unfathomable and is beyond our understanding. Since we human beings have limited knowledge, wisdom and understanding and the Lord God Almighty is far, far wiser than us; His wisdom, power, knowledge and understanding are far, far above us; because He is our Creator, we are finite and He is infinite, does it make sense for us to start to unravel and investigate Him, shouldn't we rather allow Him to make Himself known to us? This is what our Lord Jesus Christ meant in John 14: 9 when He said: “Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father?” Our Lord Jesus Christ said He and the Lord God Almighty in heaven, on earth and everywhere are One! Jesus Christ said in John 10: 30: “I and the Father are One.” Because the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are One, the Father too supported what His Son in human flesh on earth said when He said in Mathew 3: 16 & 17: “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said; “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” But in addition to the unity of affirmation, the Father commanded us in Mark 9: 7: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" In other words, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Lord God Almighty of the universe and everything in it said He was with us in His Son, Jesus Christ and we should listen to Him. But why is it impossible for human beings to believe that the Lord God Almighty in heavens is the same Lord God Almighty that was being baptized in the Jordan River and the Holy Spirit that alighted in Jesus Christ like a dove (not a dove but like a dove) is the Spirit of Jesus and the Lord God Almighty and the Three are One? If human beings cannot fathom this, then no one should say the Lord God Almighty is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent. But if we believe that the Lord God Almighty is Omnipresent (in all places at the same time and present everywhere at the same time); is Omniscient (all-knowing and knowing everything) and is Omnipotent (all-powerful, unlimited power and can do anything), then it should not be too hard to believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is God Almighty in the flesh. But if the Lord God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ are One, why did Jesus Christ call Him Father? If they are One, how can Jesus Christ then be called His Son? Who was the Lord Jesus Christ referring to on the cross when He cried in John 19: 28: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” The language of God Almighty is seldom understood by human beings, unless the Holy Spirit explains to us. From the Name; Immanuel given to our Lord Jesus Christ in Mathew 1: 23: “which means, God with us,” that should have sent a signal to the human race that our Creator was coming to take temporary shelter with us for 33 years to fix and break the back of Satan over us. Secondly, the moment the Lord God Almighty left His Abode in the heavens for the earth, because of His love for you and me in order to free us from Satan, the Great Kidnapper; He forfeited His imperial power temporarily and thus became henceforth a Son as Apostle Paul explained in Philippians 2:5-“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 death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name…” I went to see a prominent attorney in downtown Chicago few years ago. When I arrived at the visitor's room, I saw a man who was attending to other visitors. I filled out a form and waited. But few hours later, the man disappeared and a lady took over from him. When I was eventually ushered into the attorney's chambers, I was surprised to see the man who I earlier gave my visitor's form to and I asked to be shown the head of the chamber's office. “I am he,” he smiled and motioned me to a chair. Aware of my being taken aback, he said; “I went to the visitor's room to stand in temporarily for my receptionist who I sent to another attorney's office in the building.” As the New Life Bible Translation of Philippians 2: 6 says: “Jesus has always been as God is. But He did not hold to His rights as God.” Just as that attorney left his office temporarily as the head of the famous law firm in downtown Chicago that I visited and assumed the position of the receptionist, he forfeited the rights and privileges of the head chambers during the few hours he attended to visitors as a receptionist so that the law firm could operate. Just as I was surprised when I was ushered into the office of the head of the law chambers so also were other visitors, unless of course those who have known him. The attorney loved his job and wanted the activities in his chambers to continue without disruption. He wasn't the receptionist but he became one, albeit temporarily. The same analogy could be used to explain why our Lord Jesus Christ left His Glory in heaven temporarily and came to the earth. It is His love for us, you and me; all His creation, as simple as that. The sin committed by Adam and Eve must be paid for, otherwise Satan had the legal right to hold the whole human race captive forever. Satan and his rebellious angels sinned in heaven and were driven out of God's Presence. Adam and Eve also sinned and were also driven out of God's Presence (Genesis 3: 23). Adam and Eve couldn't have been treated differently by the Lord God of justice. At any rate, He –the Lord God Almighty Himself made the law that “… without the shedding of blood, there won't be forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). Our Lord Jesus Christ came to the earth to shed His blood for the sin of Adam and Eve, and by extension your sin and mine, because we all came from Adam and Eve and the sin they committed entered into the DNA of the entire human race, without exception. Since “…through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…” (Romans 5: 12); it would also take the obedience of one man (the Lord Jesus Christ) for death to be taken away from men and the human race restored back to God in good relationship. That was why our Lord Jesus Christ said emphatically and audaciously in John 14: 6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” No other founder of any religion on earth has ever uttered those words, because none of them holds the Truth. It is either this Jesus Christ is the Real Deal or an Imposter. He cannot be both. What will you do with Jesus Christ? The choice is yours.
WORLD PROPHECY: 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). I have been repeating the above prophetic words almost a year since this column debuted and as events unfold around the world, I will not comment on the unfolding drama in Syria. Also in the news is the current rapprochement between Washington DC and Tehran. The other day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Obama on the new tune being sung by the Ayatollahs of Iran on the sanctions crippling their nation. We will not comment on the recent U.S. Government shut-down too. Again, let's keep our fingers crossed as events play out in the most volatile areas of the world, but one thing is certain, biblical prophecies are being fulfilled right before our eyes.
FROM MY MAIL BAG THIS WEEK
Hello Dr Fayemiwo, (fayee!!)
Calvary greetings to you and yours over there and how are you, your family and the work of God? I know you may not recognize this name, but if only we see face to face you will recognize the face except my protruding tummy may show a different image (laughs). Anyway, why I am writing this mail is just to acknowledge your write ups and to thank God Almighty for the way He is using you in the body of Christ. My calling you Fayee is not to deride but just to let you know how you are addressed then at UNILAG, in those days of virile and vibrant student unionism, but thank God for great transformation and I pray that the anointing of the Most High God through our savior Jesus Christ will not run dry in your life in Jesus name. I have read some of your articles on Nigeria world website. Dear Brother, keep up the good work of God and I know that He will continue to uphold, strengthen, and perfect everything that concern you and yours in Jesus Christ name. Remain blessed. Yours in Christ----Brother Olalekan Bolarinwa, formerly University of Lagos, Ikirun Osun State Nigeria.
Yes, I should recognize you. Thank you very much for the word of encouragement and may the Lord God Almighty continue to strengthen and preserve you too till the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Remain Blessed in His Holy Name, Amen.
Dear Man of God. To be honest with you this is the best teaching that I have ever received on being Born Again Christian. You know the air is filled with this definition that, "To be a Christian, means Christ-Like." Of course this is true, but practically, this remains a mystery, so what you have done here with every Biblical passage given without manipulating the Word of God is the only sincere way one can secure the ETERNAL SECURITY (1John 3)..I have always had it in my mind that there are still some good Bible teachers out there who have not sold their hearts to materialism and intellectualism, and you are one of them. Please keep it up as we wait for the January 2014 anniversary of your column and the goodies you have promised. Yours sincerely---.
Brother Vincent I. Aja Author: Basic Principles. Missionary, Speaker. URIAH MISSIONS: A worldwide Outreach Ministries. 16 Androsweg Willemstad Curacao (Netherlands Antilles).
Thanks to the Holy Spirit who is ministering to all of us as His students. May He humble us so we can continue to hear and obey Him in Jesus Name, Amen. Yes, me too I am looking forward to our 1st Year Anniversary. Our lives shall be preserved till our Lord and Master Savior Jesus Christ appears.
Dear Sir, Thank you for adding me to your mailing list and also the article you sent me. I am blessed. I pray that God will continue to strengthen you, the anointing over you will not run dry and we will not miss heaven in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen. ---Brother Aboaba Olaseni, London UK
We thank God. Glory be to the Lord of lords and King of kings, Hallelujah!
*Dr. Fayemiwo, CEO, Alternative Lifestyle Communication, DBA Chicago and co-author of “The Kingdom of Satan Exposed,” is head of Global Missions and professor of Biblical Exegesis at Kingdom Bible College and Seminary, Tucson, Arizona, USA. He can be reached at [email protected] Visit his website: http://allternativecommunication.net/