I see you quietly pursuing money in ministry. I see how you preach so eloquently for fund raising and just casually dismiss the sinners with a wave of hands. You will stop sinners from going for genuine altar calls and counseling until you have collected their offerings. You kill the conviction of sin in their hearts in order to excite them to come and give “sumptuous offerings”…
Your excitement at the size of the crowd every day and at every meeting is actually the “droppings!” The success of a meeting in your own estimate is that it pays off the bills incurred … you are the modern Thomas of our day. All this is a loud echo of your heartbeats: “let us also go and die with him.” What else would I say about what killed Demas – who left a glorious inheritance for Thessalonica – because “he loved this present world?” What about Esau who would have inherited Isaac, and Abraham and the covenants? He sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Reuben exchanged his first-born position for a love affair with his father’s wife.
Judas Iscariot was one who had already obtained a part in this ministry. He was earmarked to sit along with the twelve apostles of the Lamb, on the twelve thrones of Israel, judging the nation of Israel in the millennial reign. He purchased a field with all these and fell headlong, his bowel scattered; he became a ridicule among men up till today.
The sons of Eli – Hophni and Phinehas – were being raised to replace their father and perpetuate a priesthood that their great grandfather secured by puncturing a sinner in Israel with a sharp javelin. They died in one day, and the ark of God’s covenant was taken away from their hands into the land of the Philistines; they led their father into a shocking death and left their wives widows without any notice. They left God’s ministry with a bad label “Ichabod” – no one came eagerly to the temple anymore. The offering of the LORD became contemptible. They used their flesh hooks to catch the best of the offerings, even before God’s portion was set aside, they recklessly, molested innocent ladies, wives of other men of Israel. They used their priestly anointing to exploit the brethren. You are well aware of these things that sent them to their early graves and you still walk on that terrain. You sit before the TV of this world and drink in all the junks! You hunt around like Esau, restless and untamable. Once “you spoil the ground” in a place, you move into a new location seeking ministry. You are the Thomas of our day; you have eloquently said to your friends and all who follow you … “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Look at your heart today! What is your action saying to the brethren? Are you concluding that since these men stumbled, no one else can bear life unto the end? Have you said “Let us also go, that we may die with him?” This is the day when the Lord firmly declares “I am going to wake him up.” Be careful lest you die off, while our friend Lazarus who had died rises again! Be careful of the way you are going. All those who went that way went into death. They are dead while yet they live! They make empty noise but only transmit death and contamination to those who hear them. He is determined to wake his Church from all these ‘death’ and rottenness. Do not go the way of death anymore, otherwise you will not be part of what God is about to do in His church.
This is for your own admonition. Their stories were written lest you fall into the ditches that swallowed them up.
Though Thomas said this, it was clear that he saw his foolishness and ignorance early. He almost fell into the pit of unbelief but God helped him. He did not die with Lazarus. He saw him raised from that death. He must have listened more attentively to the Master. He asked questions more personally when he did not understand what the Master said. He would not even believe the story of Christ’s resurrection until he had seen Him by and for himself. He reached out his fingers to touch the nail prints etc. His last recorded voice in the gospel and possibly in the New Testament is “my Lord and my God.”
What a good way to end! He was one of the Twelve. He will sit on the Twelve thrones of Israel someday. Do not end up a casualty. Thomas left the garment of unbelief. He left the trade of trailing dead men. He pursued Christ who himself is the Resurrection and the Life. He asked for the way. Thomas said to Him:
Lord, we do not know where you are going and how can we know the way?
It was to him that Jesus specifically granted that personal answer, which has become a great guidepost for all men who would follow the way of life today.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by Me.”
Do not just follow men, not knowing where they are going. Some are going to death, others are going to the dead to die with them, but you, follow the Way! Follow the truth, follow the Life! And when God point men to you, as disciplers, then obey the rule of scriptures:
“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you, even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly and whose glory is in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things.”
“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” 1Cor.11:1
Gbile Akanni leads a ministry, LIVING SEED, centred in Gboko, Nigeria, committed to turning believers into disciples. The ministry is trans-denominational and reaches into every strata of the nation. His Ministers’ Leadership Retreat which takes place in December annually is attended by 15,000 leaders from all walks of life, not just the Church.