We are told that we are at war. It certainly feels like it, with much of the economy being either shut down or mothballed, citizens having wartime restrictions placed upon them and the situation changing from day to day.
C S Lewis faced a similar although graver providence when in the autumn of 1939 the Second World War broke out, and he found himself preaching a sermon in the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford, to the students of the university. It is still a stunning sermon from which we have much to learn and to apply in our own situation.
He argues that we should have “an intimate knowledge of the past” – not because the past is ‘magical’ but because we cannot study the future and yet we need something with which to compare our current circumstances.
“A man who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village: the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age,” he writes.
One can only guess at what Lewis would have said about the 24/7 outpouring on social media and the internet! There is much we can learn from the past. The trouble is that our news is filled with predictions about the future – about which we cannot know (but fear) – rather than what we do know.
Lewis argues that the war does not create a new situation.
“It simply aggravates the present human condition so that we can no longer ignore it,” he argues.
We tend to think this situation is new. And in one sense it is – because we personally have not experienced this before. But our experience is not the determiner of reality. Lewis reminds us that human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice and that “human culture has always had to exist under the shadow of something infinitely more important than itself”.
In his sermon Lewis warns us of three dangers in terms of our attitudes when we are faced with this kind of war.
The first enemy is excitement: that feeling when we are so caught up in the moment of the current crisis that we can think of nothing else. When the bushfires here in Australia were at their height, every day I checked my bushfire app to see how many there were and what was happening. Now I have a coronavirus app – so I can check the spread of the virus all over the world. It is all too easy to get caught up in something so that nothing else gets into your heart and mind.
The second enemy is frustration. For Lewis, this is the feeling that we will not have time to finish anything so why bother? What’s the point of study, or getting married, or starting a new project when we live in a world in such a state of crisis? The Christian has an answer to that. We know that ‘under the sun’ everything is meaningless. But we know that there is more to life than that which is just ‘under the sun’. We look to the eternal and so we can appreciate the present and work for the future.
The third enemy is fear. I see it in the faces of the people keeping their distance from me on the train. I hear it in the panicked voices on radio call shows. I feel it in my own heart and mind. Lewis points out that war threatens us with death and pain, and that no Christian should be stoically indifferent to that. But then he points out the rationally obvious, but something that is emotionally distant for most of us:
“What does war do to death? It certainly does not make it more frequent; 100 per cent of us die, and the percentage cannot be increased. It puts several deaths earlier; but I hardly suppose that that is what we fear…..Yet war does do something to death. It forces us to remember it. The only reason why the cancer at sixty or the paralysis at seventy-five do not bother us is that we forget them. War makes death real to us; and that would have been regarded as one of its blessings by most of the great Christians of the past. They thought it good for us to be always aware of our mortality. I am inclined to think they were wise.”
We are at war. The Church is always in the midst of a war – against sin, suffering and Satan. This particular battle is both a test of our faith and an opportunity for us to live and proclaim it. O Church arise and put your armour on….
THE NEVER-BEFORE-TOLD STORY OF LECRAE’S LOSS OF FAITH AFTER THE EXPERIENCES OF HIS PAST THREATENED TO RUIN HIS CAREER AND LIFE.
Two-time GRAMMY winning hip-hop artist and bestselling author Lecrae had inspired millions with his redemptive and gut-honest art. But when his personal life spun into chaos, he was forced to face the buried impact of the unhealed wounds–sexual abuse, physical trauma, addiction, and depression–that threatened to tear it all apart. Along the way, he realized the wounds we all carry have the potential to be unlikely guides to healing and freedom for ourselves, and others.
With vulnerable honesty and transformational yet simple steps you can apply today, Lecrae shares the personal practices he uses in his daily life for mental, emotional, and spiritual health. With powerful prose, he gives an unflinching look at the personal and public spaces that sadly hurt us so often–culture, politics, family, church, personal failure–and reminds us that learning to let go and forgive is the birthplace for the life of creativity and freedom God has for us.
I Am Restored is an inspiring charge to embrace the lasting healing and restoration available now, and that we all desperately long for, because no matter what you’ve experienced, God is near, He hears, and He’s not done with you yet.
Fast rising Gospel music minister Yadah has topped the June edition of the Official Nigerian Gospel Music Top 10 Chart, compiled by The International Association of Christian Media Practitioners [IACMP], with her wavemaking recent single titled “Onye Inaputara.”
With +18K views on the music video released on the 12th of June and an overwhelming number of votes from 54 Nigerian Gospel music blogs all across the nation, add to the nods from IACMP Top 10 Chart Panelists, the Abuja based Gospel artiste has whisked the spot off Dunsin Oyekan’s “At All Cost,” which dropped 6 steps to the Number 7 spot, for the month of June.
“Obinasom,” by Mercy Chinwo, Ada Ehi’s “Fix My Eyes On You” featuring Sinach and GUC’s “All That Matters,” all made their way back to the chart in order of mention due to recent demands and the vacuole created by lack of stronger contenders for the month. “‘All That Matters” by GUC pushed “On God” by Eben a step down from the number 4 spot which the single held last month.
The IACMP Official Nigerian Gospel Music Top 10 Chart uses popular votes from about 54 Gospel music blogs & online radio stations all over Nigeria, online music statistics such as charts from Gospel music blogs all over Nigeria. Also views, downloads, streams, external Gospel music charts and the decision of 2 panels (a 4-man and a 6-man panel) as criteria to determine the song that makes the monthly chart. The chart is the most credible Gospel music chart in Nigeria.
Let Us Assume that: 1) The cause of this pandemic is the 5-G technology.
2) The only answer to the pandemic is a vaccine to be administered with a chip.
3) The chip will be the fulfilment of the biblical prophecy of 666, the mark of the beast.
4) Anyone whether he is a believer or not, who takes the vaccine (with the chip) which is mark of the beast will be automatically lost forever!
5) Any one who refuses to take the vaccine will die from the virus or from hunger but he will be saved whether he is a believer or not!
Such a person will not even be allowed to buy or sell because he doesn’t have the mark of the beast but he will be saved forever! .
So, the only way out of the pandemic is to take the vaccine. The vaccine is the only way to survive now!
What is the Implication of all these?
If the above 5 points are correct it means that:
Salvation now is purely based on receiving or refusing the mark (the vaccine).
Even if one is a believer but takes the mark he will be lost. So, salvation now is purely based on what we do with the mark! If you take the vaccine you shall be lost. If you reject the vaccine you shall be saved!
Salvation by faith in Christ Jesus is no longer valid. Christ died in vain. Jesus is no longer the message.
The vaccine is now the message!
Do you understand now?
Rev. Joshua Izugbara Nwokedi is The Senior of The Living Ambassadors Church Kubwa Abuja, Nigeria. He is an author of several books. Visit https://izugbara.org/for his books and Articles