THE GADDAFI SERMON
Beloved members of Press Clips Pentecostal Church, let me start this sermon by first thanking all the members of this church who have been praying fervently for your pastor since he travelled recently to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, a very distant place indeed. When you hear the name Far East, you better believe it is truly far; it is a very big world. But even in faraway Taiwan, the Lord is on the throne where He sits in majesty everywhere.
We thank God for journey mercies. I am so happy to be back to meet you, my brethren, in good health and in strong faith. By the power of the Most High, this church would wax stronger and stronger. The gates of hell will not prevail against it.
On the faces of the Chinese people of Taiwan, whom I met, I could see the goodness and the kindness of the Lord. The Lord is good. All the time. Somebody shout Hallelujah!
I know you are all expecting a Taiwan sermon, but today's sermon in not about Taiwan. It is about the vanity of man. It is about death. It is about the sureness and the certainty of man to die. It is about who is the true owner of the world. It is about the fear of God and the power of biblical prophecy.
It is about the seat and the throne of the exalted crumbled and humbled. It is about the price of pomp and pride. It is about the emptiness of being boastful, defiant and threatening to turn the world into hellfire. It is about humiliation of the exalted. It is about power and its ephemerality. It is about a junior army officer, who, at 27, overthrew Idris, the last king of Libya in a coup in 1969, after he travelled to London for medical treatment. And for over four decades, he set up a dynasty of his own, ruling his people with his sons, ruling with iron hands and threatening the peace of the world as a godfather of terrorism.
Today's sermon is a confirmation of the Scriptures, which says he who lives by the sword dies by the sword. (Matthew 26:52) It is about the worthlessness of gold and riches in the face of death and judgment. It is about the fact that man lives on hope and that if there is just one per cent chance of living, man would gamble with that one percent to save his life as Gaddafi did until he lost his life in his hometown of Sirte.
It is about a dictator in danger, begging with everything to preserve his life, to repurchase his life. It is about man trying to bribe his way to regain his life at point zero. It is about the price sit-tight rulers pay in the end when their kingdoms fall. It is about the word of the God, which says that when a bad ruler falls, his people rejoice.
It is about the stupidity and the folly of man. It is about the futility of gaining the whole world and losing your soul. It is about the fact that man does not learn from the Scriptures. It is about the fact that man does not learn from history. It is about the fact that man does not learn from anything at all.
Above everything else, today's message is about the power of the Bible-how accurate are God's words even in this age and times. It is about how the Bible predicted the death of the Libyan strong man Muammar Gaddafi. It is about the fall of man.
Beloved, ever since Gaddafi was flushed out of the sewage, where he was hiding, ever since he was mobbed, dragged along the street, jeered at, tortured and beaten to death like a thief caught on the streets of Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Enugu, Maiduguri or wherever, my readers have been bombarding me with requests to preach a sermon on Gaddafi.
Perhaps, mine is the only church in the world where my congregation would suggest to me what they want me to preach, what they want to hear from the pulpit of my newspaper column, my virtual church.
When things like this happen, I can see the hand of God, I can hear the voice of God. The voice of the people, they say, is the voice of God.
Now, for today's sermon on Gaddafi, there is nothing really there to sermonise again. What more can I say?
Brethren, the battle has already been lost and won. The war has ended and peace is back. He who lived by the sword had died by the sword. The dead has been buried in the secret vaults of the desert where the streets have no name. The man of history is now a footnote. The man who should have been a respectful figure in history is now gone to the dustbin, into the drainage where he sought to hide his shame.
The 'brave' man of yesterday has ended as a coward after all. Even the flowing hair on his head has been found to be a mere wig masquerading as hairs. Fake. Cover-up! Vanity upon vanity. Everything else is vanity.
The real man is now hollow, caught like a rat hiding in a hole. All the boasts about heroism and martyrdom have ended as charade. Mere emptiness from an empty drum that makes most sound. All the verbal fireworks-a mere Shakara, as Fela would sing.
On the day of reckoning, all his stolen wealth could not save him. They amounted to nothing in the eyes of those who wanted his blood, who wanted his life, who wanted instant karma.
And when he died, he left with nothing. Not even with his golden pistol, which is now being paraded as a trophy, as an evidence of the vanity and self-conceit of a man who after many years in power had lost touch with reality. In this reality show, all he was left with is his bloody nakedness, put on display, to be photographed, to be mocked, to be ridiculed and to be used as a parable. Parable of the Libyan king who gained the whole world, who terrorized the world, but in the end lost his soul as the Bible prophesied.
For our Bible reading, let's turn to the book of Ezekiel, where the word of the Lord says in Chapter 28: 6-9: 'Because you think you are wise, as wise as a god, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most ruthless of nations; they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom and pierce your shining splendor. They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die a violent death in the heart of the seas. Will you then say, 'I am a god,' in the presence of those who kill you? You will be but a man, not a god, in the hands of those who slay you. You will die the death of the uncircumcised…'
The more I read this Scripture, the more I fear God. The more I am convinced about the power of the word of God. As you read this column, I pray that you will not die a violent death in the presence of merciless killers. The Lord will be your shield from the sword of the enemy. You will not end like Gaddafi. Your children will not die with you like Gaddafi. Bombs will not rain down on you, on your house and on your country. No Gaddafi curse will afflict your nation. No sit-tight ruler would lord it over you. Your life won't be an anticlimax. You won't be slaughtered on the street like a ram.
The second and last Scripture today is taken from the Book of Psalm, which says in Chapter 36 verses 35 to 36: 'I have seen the wicked and the ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil, but he soon passed away and was no more.'
Beloved, the Lord of host has spoken. He whose words must come to pass has spoken. I don't need any further sermon.