BY ELE ADEJOH.
In my initial post I called our attention to what amongst other reasons the pandemic (Covid-19) and the lock down or compulsory holidays, has revealed about the church in our contemporary times. That summary was captured in the quote below; “the Lord allowed this season to come upon us so that, what we have built as the church, and majored on in the past years can be tested and revealed on one hand. And on the other hand, to afford us the opportunity to correct errors, build better and more accurately according to His revealed scriptural pattern”. What the second post tended to achieve was to reveal and expose what we majored on and built over the years called the Church. Statements in summary below also captured such thoughts perfectly: “When we are building a mega church and not the people, the focus is on gathering the crowd, the offering, invitation, gathering, retention, and maintenance. But if the people is what we are building, the aim would be to win, integrate, train, and release men into the harvest filed”. “The church must become deliberate and apostolic in her approach, and I believe that the Covid-19 pandemic and the lock downs has afforded us the privilege to re-strategize and reposition the church for global impact.
Folks, it is time for forceful kingdom advancement, by the emerging end time army of the Lord Jesus Christ”!
The final part tends to show the biblical blueprint and pattern for building the church. Which in makes our work deliberate and apostolic that is necessary for the repositioning of the Church for long awaited revival and global invasion and impact.
In Genesis 1:26-28, we see God’s blueprint for man and the earth; and verse 28 in particular reveals how God’s man should be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it and have dominion. However, what man became after the fall was a sinner; therefore, he multiplied and filled the earth as a sinner. In fact the earth was dominated by sin, and the world system evolved to regulate this fallen man (Rom. 5:12, 19). Jesus on the other hand began His ministry by making disciples and spending one year and a half disciplining them (Matt. 4:19). The quality of the men He was raising was more important and critical to Him, than the quantity. That was why on several occasions He would rather met the needs of the crowd but separate Himself unto His disciples; and even when the crowd gathered He spoke to them in parables (Matt. 5:1; 13:1-3, 10-14; 8:1). Because these men were going to invade the then world, and turn it upside down, they had to be a thorough breed without greed or anything of the world (Acts 5:28; 17:6).
In Genesis 1:26-28, we see God’s blueprint for man and the earth; and verse 28 in particular reveals how God’s man should be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it and have dominion. However, what man became after the fall was a sinner; therefore, he multiplied and filled the earth as a sinner. In fact the earth was dominated by sin, and the world system evolved to regulate this fallen man (Rom. 5:12, 19). Jesus on the other hand began His ministry by making disciples and spending one year and a half discipling them (Matt. 4:19). The quality of the men He was raising was more important and critical to Him, than the quantity. That was why on several occasions He would rather met the needs of the crowd but separate Himself unto His disciples; and even when the crowd gathered He spoke to them in parables (Matt. 5:1; 13:1-3, 10-14; 8:1). Because these men were going to invade the then world, and turn it upside down, they had to be a thorough breed without greed or anything of the world (Acts 5:28; 17:6).
When Jesus was leaving the earth after His resurrection however, He gave the Church only one command; “Go, and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19-20). The early church obeyed this instruction carefully and their results were evidently documented in the Acts of the Apostles. A careful study of Jesus’ and their pattern clearly reveals that there is a deviation from this blueprint in contemporary history and times. It is clear that, disciple-making was what Jesus did, and the only thing He asked us to do. The great commission is, “Go and make disciples”, no more no less”! He didn’t say, “Go and get big buildings, have the best choir and equipments, have fantastic programs, and be the most captivating, charismatic and motivational speaker; even though none of these things may be wrong in themselves. But if they become the goal and motivation, it then becomes idolatry; we are now building our own empires, no longer the church. Our primary or main focus and role is to make disciples for Jesus Christ; not to entertain, maintain, and retain just for the purpose of filling our auditoriums to massage our egos. If we are not making disciples, if the goal is not discipleship, then you are really not the church. Disciple-making is the litmus test of the church; the quality of the disciples made, not the preaching, praise, prosperity or property of the church is what determines what you are building.
Jesus never, ever said, “Make a Christian”, we are the ones who make our converts Christians before we make them disciples! They early church made believers disciples after their conversion, not Christians; hence, they teaching them to be like Christ was the goal (Acts 2:42; 11:19-26; 19:8-10). Notice that, it was after one full year of intense teaching in Antioch, that the DISCIPLES were called Christians first (Acts 11:26); for the Ephesian church, it took Paul two years to teach and train them as disciples in the school of Tyrannus. But our pattern is totally different and alien to this biblical standard; we confer on them (the title Christian) what they had not yet become at conversion. By so doing it becomes hard and difficult to train them into what you had already called them. We therefore, only make permanent hypocrites and actors out of our converts or members, and it becomes difficult to make them real disciples. Because they have been made hypocritical Christians without being discipled into the life of Christ; what you get is an outward conformation to what has not yet been formed in the inside, even though they may have the inner potentials or seed of the Christ life (1 Per. 1:23; 2:2). This is the very big problem facing modern Christianity today!
One of the reasons many people in the church are not making disciples of all nations today, is because they aren’t disciples in the first place. Remember, you cannot give what you don’t have. The early Christians were not coerced or cajoled into disciple-making; it flowed naturally from them. Discipleship was an out flow of them being disciples; proclaiming the love of Christ, is the resultant effect or the overflow from sharing the Christ life!
The main issue here hails from what we gave to our converts as the gospel. Nowhere in the Bible does it suggests we pray to accept Jesus into our heart, or to invite Christ into our life. This kind of prayer is superstitious and alien to the New Testament economy; which suggest you were the one doing the Lord Jesus a favour. It is like building the foundation on sinking sand, and give room for the convert to insinuate all kinds of doctrines, and paint a picture of a God that men like Peter, Paul, John, and the early Church never knew nor preached. It only gives false hope, and it is dangerous and risky. It sends millions of souls into delusion; and makes them think they are Christians, when they haven’t responded to the gospel biblically. If care is not taken we would take out the sharped edges of the gospel, and replace it what taste sweet and cool to our audience (2 Tim. 4:3-4). With such a mindset, we are not thinking of going out to make disciples, but rather for people to just pray the, “SINNERS PRAYER”.
NO, NO, NO! Let us give them the true and full picture of the gospel; by showing them the following:
1. That God is love, and a loving Father, who is ever willing to save us from our sins (John 3:16; 1 Jn. 4:16).
2. But He is at the same time a righteous, a God of righteousness God, and who judges sin no matter who is involved, and despite His love (Rom. 1: 17-18; 6:23).
3. In our sins, we rightly deserve to die, be damned and go into eternal perdition (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 3:23; 6:23).
4. Because of His love for us, He paid the price we couldn’t ever pay, to satisfy the claims of His divine justice (righteousness) – (Rom. 3:24-26).
5. By the victory and salvation He procured and secured for mankind, He deserves our worship and praises; He is the Sovereign, and calls all that will accept him to repent and trust Him (Luke 24: 47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 20:21; 26:19-20; 2 Cor. 7:8-10; Jn. 1:12-13; Rom. 10:9-10).
6. He regenerates the convert’s spirit with His own Spirit; there giving Him His own uncreated eternal life in exchange of his old, former life (Eph. 2:1; 1 Pet. 2 Cor. 5:17; ).
7. The convert is brought into fellowship with the brethren and the Father, and begin to grow in that faith as he submits to the process of discipleship (1Jn. 1:3; 1 Pet. 2:2; 1 Cor. 11:1).
8. At this point the disciple is not cajoled to missions, but compelled into it by necessity; because the fruit has the same DNA with the seed (2 Cor. 9:16; Matt. 28:19-20).
If we are being taught and trained to be like Christ in our day to day life and living, we will eventually and naturally do what Christ did. If He made disciples, and we have His DNA, we will also make disciples. If disciples are being produced by us, they shall multiply themselves, fill (replenish) the earth, subdue it, have dominion!
As the Church is being repositioned deliberately and intentionally in this season to truly become apostolic and prophetic; I see explosion in the camp of the enemy, that will cause the crown (Covid-19) of the wicked to fall. And there shall be a mighty breakthrough for the church over fear and compromise, who will rise in faith to overcome and takeover. This will be manifested by an unprecedented supersonic speed in the spread of the gospel, and the lifting of God’s people in all the mountains of society!
Ele Adejoh is the Senior Pastor of End Time Universal Mission Inc. – CTI Abuja. Located in Bwari, F. C. T. Abuja, Nigeria .