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Blessings of Sorrow (Living in Abundance Jn. 10:10b, May 2011)

I heard in the news recently that some fellows had forecasted / predicted, for certainty, that the beginning of the end of the world would start with the rapture which, according to them, was to take place by 6pm local time on May 21, 2011. Some people, believed the predictions so much that they had even gone ahead to tell members of  their families not to make any more endeavors in life; all because of mysterious erroneous calculations and deductions of one radio ‘town crier’.

In another case the whole substance of a film titled 2012, is almost completely premised on the assumption that the world would rather possibly come to an end some time in 2012. Which date are we to believe? May 21, 2011 or another date sometime in 2012? The fact is that, searching the scriptures, we can only come to a conclusion that these predictions are wrong; they are fictitious products of riotous mental amnesia of those overzealous / mischievous individuals that have bluntly refused to diligently study the Bible. I had no doubt in my mind that rapture wouldn’t have occurred on May 21, 2011. I am convinced also that rapture may not take place in 2012. How do I know? The scripture makes it abundantly clear that regarding the date and time of the rapture no man knows except almighty God. Nobody will ever have an idea ahead of time; No forecaster will have any clues as to guess. The time will be known to God alone (Matt. 24:36). We are also told that Jesus Christ will come back when the gospel would have been preached to all the corners of the world (Matt. 24:11-14). As at today there are still many parts of the world that are yet to hear the gospel of peace. Believers have to work even harder if we want rapture to have any chance of taking place soon. Therefore any time any mortal man begins to go into the confusion of trying to predict the occurrence of rapture; any time we begin, out of frustration, to go into the metaphysical to try to ‘force’ the messiah to come we would only be engaging in some exercise in total futility. What bothers me is that each time such predictions obviously miss their mark, new propaganda weapons are handed to the enemies of the gospel. The gospel enemies and atheists alike begin to think that we are a bunch of unserious Jokes. I therefore encourage all Christians to continue with evangelism, go out and preach the gospel; let’s win more souls for Jesus. That is the great commission. Let’s pay less attention to the doomsday distractions.

Haven said that, I have always told people that the existence of the fake is obviously a pointer to the fact that there is an original somewhere. In other words you can have an original without a fake but it is impossible to have a fake without an original. This is simply because the fake owes the entire component of whatever seeming legitimacy it has on the very existence of the original. Consequently doomsday predictions / panics, even as horrible and as baseless as they seem, remind us of a day to come in the future; a day only known to almighty God when rapture will take place after the resurrection. As a believer can you ask yourself a simple question? If rapture is to happen today, where would be? With Jesus Christ and the saints or left behind to suffer in the hands of the anti Christ and the princes of this world. This is why we must totally surrender to God, trust in him alone and accept only blessings that come from throne of grace. We shouldn’t trust in any other gods.

Some have lived as if rapture will never happen. They believe that resurrection will never take place. They have even embraced other gods for riches, power, comfort, grace and favor. The Bible tells us that the blessings of God maketh rich and God addeth no sorrow with it (Prov. 10:22). This means that the blessings of the devil will make rich and add a whole bunch of sorrow. Accordingly when you trust in any other source for provision, protection, power, joy, health etc you are simply looking for trouble. Big time!

In the scripture we see classical examples of two bible characters that had wonderful opportunities of becoming great. In fact they were in positions that most people in their times and even now would have envied and possibly sacrificed everything to have. Instead these characters squandered such opportunities all on the altar of greed. They did not trust in God. Judas Iscariot was one of the chosen 12. Can you imagine for a moment what it meant to be one of the 12 apostles? There were thousands if not millions of people on Earth as at the time of Judas Iscariot. How do I know? in Acts 2:41. We read the account of how Peter preached a sermon and more than 3000 souls gave their lives to Christ. We also read about the miracles where Jesus fed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes (Mk. 6:38-44). That clearly demonstrates that there were so many people around. It was from that great pool of people that Judas Iscariot was chosen to be one of the twelve apostles. He was made the treasurer of the ministry of Christ but out of greed he decided to take the accursed thing by resorting to his own ways and means and collecting 30 pieces of silver, from the enemy, to betray his master. I am sure that he would have thought in his heart that the money would naturally help him to solve some immediate mundane problems. I am sure that somehow, he had expected that the money would buy him some pleasure and satisfaction. But little did he know that he had brought absolute grief and death unto himself. Judas had a bright future like most other apostles. If only he knew that the world would celebrate every faithful apostle till the end of time.  Greed and impatience and the desire for materialism made him to sell his soul to the devil. Please note that a time came when Judas became remorseful and approached the chief priests and elders; he had come to his senses and had told them that he had wanted to return the money back to them; He wanted his peace back; He wanted his life back; He wanted to see if he could set back the hands of the clock and correct his mistakes. But it was already too late. The enemy refused to listen to him. What they had in possession was already far more precious in worth than 30 pieces of silver or any gold; they had the soul of Judas (Matt. 27: 3-5).

Similar things still happen till this day. When one succumbs to the lure of receiving power wealth, fame and material things from other gods other than the righteousness of almighty God one tends to mortgage one’s soul and the enemy is happier for it. A time naturally comes when the victim would realize his or her folly and want to pull out of ungodly agreements, covenants and pacts and then it would have already become a bit late. In the case of Judas he discovered he couldn’t use the money and he felt there was nothing else to do than to harm himself. Don’t be deceived if a blessing is not of God, it is simply fake and in the end it will only bring pain and sadness. It is a blessing of sorrow. Period!

In 2 Kings 15:5 we read the story of Gehazi. Imagine the pain. Maybe you have not put in perspective what Gehazi lost; Elisha was the servant of Elijah. Everybody knows that when Elijah was going, by the grace of God, through faith, righteousness and determination he passed on a double portion of his anointing to Elisha. Then Gehazi became the servant of Elisha. It was naturally expected that by simple mathematical, sequential, logical progression, Gehazi would have received, minimum, a double portion of Elisha’s anointing which would have translated to four times the anointing of Elijah. But Gehazi blew it. He sensed that Elisha had become old fashioned. He reasoned that Elisha was destined to die poor and that was why he had rejected the good gifts that came from Naaman. But I somehow believe that may be Gehazi didn’t really know who his master was. If Gehazi had known that Elisha who was so rich in cattle had to give all that up  because of his understanding of his calling and the power of God in his life, it would have been slightly easier for him to appreciate that Elisha was not stupid after all (1Kgs19:20-21). Gehazi rather chose the short cut; the enemy got him, and he lost the chance of becoming one of the most anointed of men before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He preferred the few gifts of a leper. The blessing that temporarily made him rich, that he lied and deceived to get, eventually brought him absolute grief. Instead of a double portion of the anointing of Elisha, Gehazi got a re-fortified, in today’s scientific language; a mutated, re-modified, resistant version, of Naaman’s specie of leprosy.

Many are in the temptation to move away from the almighty God. Many have waited for a long time and it looks as if the promises of God will not come to pass. There is one fellow reading this article now, and is saying in his heart ‘well that’s the same old message and I have heard enough of that’. When we assimilate such level of discomfort, frustration and loss / lack of hope we make ourselves inadvertent targets of powers that are not of God. Such powers present the victim(s) with short cuts that are booby traps; they come with messages of ‘hope’; they provide routes to power, wealth, affluence and comfort, satisfaction and joy that are not from the throne of grace. Often times what they will present to their victim(s) are the very initial glittery parts of the snare. Just like they did to Judas, they didn’t let him see what agony, what pain the 30 pieces of silver will bring to him later. They only showed him the short-term gratification. By the time it was already too late, even when Judas had decided that he wanted out, they said no to him and it was all over. Any blessing that is not of God will end in sorrow. It will end in disappointment and shame. No matter what the promises from the other side are, no matter what testimonies they have; what apparent successes your colleagues seem to be having, do not waiver; oh child of God. Don’t be persuaded by the successes of the wicked. We should stay put with the almighty. His blessings will make us rich and add no sorrow. That is the part to righteousness and eternal salvation in our Lord and savior Jesus Christ even unto rapture.  

God bless you. 

Pastor Fidelis Nwachukwu

RCCG Throne of Grace Parish

32 E. Washington St

Hagerstown MD 21740, USA

Email: rccgthroneofgraceparish@ymail.com

Website: http://www.rccgthroneofgraceusa.org

Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 03:12pm