by Evangelist Victor Aina – 28 January 2018
The Scriptures are clear on our responsibilities, as children of God, to our environment, geographical location and our country as a whole. Matthew 5:13-16 says that, we are the light of the world.
The number of believers and local assemblies in Nigeria does not reflect in our structure of governance, this shows that what is popular in Nigeria is a religious expression of Christianity and not the true church. The believers the church in Nigeria produces is a far cry from what is shown in the word of God. How do you explain that millions of people flock our religious gathering yet greed corruption, nepotism, in justice, impunity are on the rise. Unfortunately most of the leaders in government attend our meetings; some are elders and even pastors.
I want to say that God is still concerned about this people. He wants men to do what is right and turn from their evil ways. He still sends His servants to speak the truth to those in authority. In Jonah 1:1-2 God warned the people of Nineveh. Jonah 3:5-10 NKJV
Church leaders as well as believers have the responsibility to speak about the ills in our society making reference to the word of God. As long as they keep quiet the political leaders will think they are doing the right thing. Silence also communicates support for the wrong things they are doing. Luke 12:47-48 speaks of the servant who did not do what his master asked. Jer 1:17-18 – note the need to speak.
This is the time every believer needs to be strong and fight for what is right (do the right thing). This land needs healing. A lot of atrocities are going on in Nigeria – bloodshed, injustice, corruption.
The shepherds have their own portion of the blame, and the believers as well. In Ezekiel 34:1-11 God castigated the shepherds for not being willing to do what is right by their unwillingness to die and take the pain associated with Christ (Isaiah 56:7-12, 1 Peter 5:2) which is actually what makes us to be conformed to His image (Phil 2:5, Hebrews 5:8).
Will the Lord find me worthy to stand in the gap? (Isaiah 59:16 MSG)
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14 NJKV)
3 things here to motivate us
1. The Call of God
2. Conditions for our assembling
3. God’s warning to His people – judgment (Deut 8:19-20)
Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. “As the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God – Deut. 8:19-20
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place–unless you repent – Revelation 2:5.
Revelation 2:5 is a word to the church.
A call to repentance
This call is for selected people – note the words “My people.”
God’s reforms supersede economic reforms, it involves a special purpose (2 Chronicles 6:33).
then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name – 2 Chronicles 6:33.
The procedure is to be humble (James 4:6). We need repentance, prayer, patriotism (Psalm 34:17-19). One of our wicked ways that we need to repent of is wilful disobedience.
Steps to a new beginning for our land
i. My people – Isaiah 63:14-19
ii. Called by my name – (2 Chronicles 33:12, 13, 16-19; 2 Chronicles 6:37-39)
iii. Humble themselves, confess their iniquity and that of their fathers (Leviticus 26:40-41; James 4:4-10, v3)
iv. Pray (Jer 33:3, Paul Acts 9:11)
v. Seek My face – to inquire, beg, ask, make inquisition, make request, beseech (Deut 4:29-30, Isaiah 55:6-7; lam 3:40-41)
vi. Turn from their wicked ways – (Prov 28:13; isa 55:7; isa 59:20; Ezek 18:27-30)
vii. Will hear (2 Chron 6:27, 30, 33, 39 NASB)
viii. I will heal their land (Jer 51:9, NLT,KJV Jer 33:6)
Consequences of Obedience
i. God will hear our prayer (Isa 59:1-2, Psa 66:18)
ii. God will forgive our sins
iii. God will heal our land
Consequences of Disobedience
So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. “Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord GOD. – Ezek 22:30-31.
(See also Ezekiel 5:5-13).
This is the time to be strong in the Lord and fight for what is right. A. W. Tozer said, “if we yearned after God as much as a cow yearns for her calf, we would be worshipping and effective believers God wants us to be, if we longed for God as a bride looked forward to the return of her husband we would be a far greater force to God than we are now.”
With what most of our churches are doing today, can we say that we have not failed God?
Does Nigeria need economic reforms or repentance? We need repentance.
The most brilliant man that ruled in Israel (1 Kings 10:23-24) built a temple church for God, impressed God so much with his humility and love for people (1 Chron 10:12; 2 Chron 6:28; 1 Chron 7:6-14), yet he failed God (Eccl 2:1-22, 15 MSG).
God put us here to enforce His will. Watch what you say (Matt 12:34-37 NET, Isa 8:11-13 NASB). Let only God be your fear.
The Lord rules in the affairs of men and He positions leaders. Do we have the right to expect more of our political leaders? Should legislators, executives and judges be held to a higher standard than mere pragmatism? Almost every office holder in the land embarks upon his service by swearing to serve the people, “so help me God.” If they are going to use God’s name we should hold them to it.
God’s requirement of leaders
Govern as unto the Lord (2 Chron 19:4-7)
Walk with the Lord
Fear the Lord, He watches over the affairs of nation (Psa 33:10-12)
Be careful in all they do
Then he set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, “Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. “Now therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.”2 Chron 19:5-7
You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. “You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. “You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you – Deut 16:18-20, righteous judgment.
Romans 13:1-4 MSG reads that rulers do not bear the sword in vain, they should be a terror to evil. Is this the case in Nigeria? We need genuine repentance and a change of our ways
CASE STUDY of King Manasseh
God is angry at sin and disobedience, and this has led to the fall of individuals and even great empires. Sometimes humans don’t reflect on past events in history. Hezekiah, king of Judah, reigned in turbulent times in Judah just like our time, but he loved God and was a very humble leader. 2 kings 18, 19, 20 spoke of his good works, and that God added to his years. But his son Manasseh did evil in the sight of the Lord. He erected the altar of Baal, built high places his father demolished, walked in disobedience to God
2 Chronicles 33:1-19 shows that warning precedes destruction. There will always be warnings and pleading from the LORD before He vents His anger. The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people but they paid no attention. So the Lord brought against them the army commander of Assyria who took Manasseh prisoner – bound him and took him to Babylon. But God is so merciful, when Manasseh cried out to God for help and humbled himself the Lord had compassion on him.
People don’t want to listen to God’s word just like in the days of Manasseh, nobody is listening – lies, cheating, perverted sex, corruption, idolatry.
The church of God called to reach out to the world is silent – no strong prayer meetings to stem the tide of the enemy, no strong Bible studies and discipleship, no strong Bible based evangelism, no Sunday school. Sin has crushed the church and denied the church the anointing to subdue the land.
God is a God of second chance and He is merciful. Genuine repentance is always followed with new life. When God forgives He restores all things, and when genuine repentance takes place, transformation of life takes place. God forgave Manasseh and gave him a second chance. Manasseh acted on the opportunity immediately. He restored back what he tore down. He got rid of foreign gods and removed the images from the temple, as well as altars to idols that he built. He threw them out of the city and he commanded Judah to serve the LORD.
God will forgive and restore if our leaders repent but if they refuse it could be fatal, for God’s anger will descend.
A cry for help
“Consecrate a fast, Proclaim a solemn assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land To the house of the LORD your God, And cry out to the LORD.” Joel 1:14 NASB