You are privileged if you have Christian parents. But that does not automatically make you a Christian or a disciple of Christ.
To become a Christian, you will have to enter into a personal relationship with God by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Your parents cannot do it on your behalf; it has to be a personal, conscious decision only you can take for yourself.
2. Being a member of a local church
Christians go to Church, but truly speaking, not everyone who goes to Church are Christians or disciples of Christ.
Being a registered member of a local Church is good, but it is not the ultimate. Many people are members of the physical church, but they are not members of the spiritual one. Such people are not disciples of Christ.
The Church is the spiritual body of all believers in Christ on Earth irrespective of where he or she lives.
Despite being a member of a local church, you are not a disciple of Christ if you do not belong to the spiritual church, which salvation in Christ offers automatic membership to.
3. Giving a part of your income to God.
Some people feel that because they regularly give the tithe, donations or other forms of giving to the church they have earned their rights to be Christians or children of God. Far from it!
Irrespective of your level of financial support to a local church, you still have to get to the point of having to have personally committed your life to Christ in faith before Heavens can recognise you as a bonafide child of God.
Unfortunately, so many people there are that give money in church every Sunday who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. And as such, they are not disciples of Christ.
4. Fasting and praying.
You can engage regularly in prayer and fasting but that doesn’t make you a disciple of Christ. A good Christian should fast and pray as the needs arise, but fasting and prayer doesn’t make you a good Christian.
For your prayer and fasting to be meaningful, you have to have a personal relationship with the Lord to whom the prayers are directed.
Without complete trust in the finished work of the Cross, prayer and fasting profits little or nothing.
5. Doing good
Anyone can do good to people; even atheists do some form of good deeds.
You do not have to be a disciple of Christ to do some form of good to other people. But you cannot earn being a child of God or a follower of Jesus Christ by doing good. It is however expected that the disciples of Christ should do good.
In summary, having Christian parents, belonging to a local church, praying and fasting, doing good deeds are good in themselves but they are not what make you a Christian or a disciple of Christ.
To be a christian truly, you will have to have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. In other words, you must accept Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour.
Unless you can let go of what you think you know, and fully submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit – abandoning religious legalism wherever necessary – you would definitely be unable to realize your full Christ[ian] potential in this life regardless of your best efforts. –Rev. Wildfire
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As much as possible, you should endeavour to maintain a good communication flow with your spouse. That means you have to promptly take care of anything trying to impede appropriate communications with your spouse. Failure to do so may later lead to sad moments or other unpleasant consequences which you would not like.
In a thorny situation, your spouse is not the thorn.
If your spouse wears an unusual outlook, you as the other half should show persistent care (by asking) to find out what the problem is.
If your spouse slows down in communicating with you, that’s not the time for you to withdraw from him or her.
Be strong for your spouse by whispering to him or her that you are there for him or her.
There are “three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship.” To know someone deeply, you have to regularly talk to, or spend time with, him or her.
Knowing God deeply is not different from that. Except you are willing to regularly fellowship with God, talk to Him as a friend and let Him talk to you too, you may never get to know Him at the deepest level possible.
Except you are married to the devil personified, I am free to say that your spouse is not the problem in your marriage. So resist the temptation to see him or her as one.
A vital key to amicably resolving the challenges between you and your spouse is to learn to focus on tackling the issue at hand rather than putting the blame on a person – your partner.
You may have been hurt by what your spouse said or did at some point, but the problem is still not your spouse. A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.
I can’t force anyone to believe in God. But I can at least let them know some things that may help them make up their mind in the affirmative. After all, acknowledging Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and personal Saviour remains a decision everyone has to take by him/herself. So if you are an atheist, here are some sobering truths I wish you to know:
Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.
You are not the first person to doubt the existence of God.
The Bible has a word for anyone who doesn’t believe there is God…FOOL.
There have been people who turned from atheism to God and so can you.
Your lifetime is your only opportunity for you to know God.
Whatever misgivings you have about God can be handled.
God has numerous children and He has room for you too.
In His birth, divinity became humanity. It was the beginning of the unfolding of the grandest heavenly agenda in bringing salvation to mankind. Here are some of the things that proved Jesus was not an ordinary person:
Jesus’ miraculous conception by a virgin.
His conception by a virgin and birth were undeniable fulfillment of Prophecies.
Jesus got His name several centuries before He was born.
He wasn’t born to earthly royalty, but angels heralded His birth.
The birth of Jesus is the proof of God’s love for the world.
Jesus was born to die.
Jesus is the only man in history with the complete tripartite cycle of birth, death and resurrection.
He is the only one giving eternal life to anyone who believes in Him.
Part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedbacks through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc. If you have ever wondered why people are not following your blog, then you have to check out the post.
Based on my own experience, the post was used to highlight 8 possible reasons, just like some other people, I have not been following your blog:
I don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place.
You are not following my blog.
I got to your blog, but your posts care less about my core values.
The first three posts I read on your blog did not make much sense to me.
Your picture is not on your profile.
You did not join any blogging community.
Your blog language is totally different from mine.
No one has recommended your blog to me yet.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free leave A comment and share the post.
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It couldn’t be, because we know better: God exists. But do you know what, it doesn’t really matter; whether people believe that God exists or not, it does not invalidate who He is.
Be an atheist if you want. Remain one if you have been. But know that it is in your better interest to believe in God than to believe that He doesn’t even exist.
For the records. God is God all by Himself, and He will continue to be God all by Himself till eternity.
Neither you who do not believe in God nor I who does believe in Him have anything to add to who God is. He is the all-sufficient One.
I believe in God at my own risk. You disbelief in Him at your own risk as well. So what’s all this argument about whether God exists or not?
I am convinced that God exists and I try to live my life to please Him. So it is understandable if I am filled with God-consciousness every time. In fact that is what is expected from me.
How about you? It should be a different thing all together, but it isn’t.
You are convinced God doesn’t exist. Right? Why then don’t you get on with your life and forget about all this diatribe on the notion of God’s existence? Can you do you that? May be, you can’t after all!
Honestly, I don’t even understand you! Why do you get yourself so worked-up trying to prove that the non-existent God does not exist? It doesn’t sound logical… Are you even sure of what you claim?
I say that God exists, you get displeased. Why? Should you be annoyed about Someone who is non-existent?
You have said with your own mouth that God doesn’t exist yet all your discussions and writings are not complete except there is a reference to God. Why should you be bothered so much to talk about God if you truly believe He doesn’t exist?
Somehow, I believe that even though you call yourself an atheist, you know in your innermost heart that God exists, but you just don’t want to acknowledge it. As usual, you will deny that you know… But I am hardly surprised.
May be we should settle it this way: I believe in God through Jesus Christ, leave me to enjoy the benefits of it here on earth and in the world to come. You deny that God exists, feel free to savour the ‘benefits’ of that here on earth and in the world to come.
One day, both of us, individually, will stand before the God whom you deny…
Are you all right with that? So continue to be an atheist if you want. Don’t give it up!
Did I just say that you can remain in your atheism? Oh please pardon me! What I really mean is for you to come out from atheism to God and out of foolishness into truth.
Foolishness, because atheism is foolishness. According to the Bible, only a fool can say that God doesn’t exist. (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). It is deception to think that it is wisdom to deny the existence of God.
Truth,because God exists and it is something you will get to acknowledge one day – either willingly on your own while you are still alive on earth or by default (force) after the breath of life is gone from you. By then, it would have been too late.
For those who arrogantly declare that God does not exist and rail against any mention of His Name, the Scriptures declare all people everywhere will one day confess that indeed there is a God… Until then, we must understand that all men—atheist, agnostic, secularist, humanist, moral and immoral, educated and uneducated—are under God’s judgment apart from saving faith in Christ…Billy Graham
Perhaps I should say this as a parting shot:
The God that you say doesn’t exist loves you unconditionally. All He wants from you is a relationship with Him by faith through His Son Jesus Christ.
Every year at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Some people say we are not sure of His date of birth. “Definitely not 25 December” they say.
It is true we can’t be sure about the date. But there is something we can be sure about: A Saviour was born at a point in time in history.
This is no fiction. No fabrication. No figment of man’s imagination as some people suggest. It was a recorded historical event orchestrated by the finger of God.
Jesus was born. And He was born with a purpose. His purpose was announced before He was born. An angel of God had announced to Joseph,
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
That is it! The purpose of Christ’s birth was to save us from our sins. That’s the reason we celebrate His Birth. That is the reason for Christmas!
That tells me that if your sins have not been forgiven – or better still, if you have not received the forgiveness of your sins – by giving your life to Jesus Christ, the purpose of Christmas has not been fulfilled in your life.
As the saying goes, “If the purpose of something is not known, abuse is inevitable.” That seems to be the case with Christmas; many people are celebrating without knowing the essence of it. As a result, they end up abusing it.
I used to be like that. For many years, I looked forward to Christmas for some other reasons other than the birth of a Saviour. But once I got born again, I began to understand the real essence of Christmas.
The real essence of Christmas is not the beautiful carol we hear or sing, not the ambience, the special shoppings, the fanfare, the feasting, and all other kinds of activities we enjoy during the season. The real essence of Christmas is found in the original purpose: Jesus was born to save the world.
Christmas is a celebration of love. The love of God to the world in sending a Saviour to die for us. That popular Bible verse says,
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
So as you celebrate, do not forget the real purpose of Christmas.
Recently, I commented on a post appearing on the blog The Closet Atheist. Following that comment, I found myself also responding to other comments clearly directed at me by some readers of that blog whom I perceived to be atheists.
Amongst other issues raised, the author while relating his experience in a so-called secular university in defence of the purported claims of an unnamed professor from an unidentified Christian college, ostensibly suggested that Christians think that atheists must be savages – brutal and vicious, lacking in morality – because they have rejected the notion of God…
My initial response to that post and part of the conversations that later ensued between other readers and I form the bulk of the texts presented in this post:
My initial response…
The point of being a Christian is not on the basis of simple morality… It is about having a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. One is not a Christian if that understanding is not there, including the so-called Christians cited in your statistics.
Even if someone rejects the notion that God exists, that doesn’t automatically make such one a ruthless savage, contrary to the picture painted in the post. That much is clear to me and to most other true believers in God.
Besides, there are already enough laws in the civilised world to hold people accountable for their behaviours.
What should bother one is the eternal consequence of a disposition that rejects God. And it would be laughable to suggest that the Creator will have no way of holding His creatures accountable.
Let me add that the whole notion of God is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented: Misunderstood by those who don’t believe in His existence and sometimes misrepresented by those who do.
For the records, God loves everyone -whether they believe in Him or not. And contrary to the picture you painted, He loves gay people too – although the gay lifestyle is what He doesn’t approve of – according to Biblical guidelines which clearly show that heterogeneous relationship is God’s perfect plan for mankind.
God gave us a special gift called freewill. Unfortunately some of us are using it against Him. But we can never outsmart Him. In any case, we make our choices and our choices make us.
God’s love and hellfire?
One of the readers took the reference to God’s love out of context by bringing in the issue of hellfire, saying:
“So, he (God) loves us so much he invented Hell to reinforce that fact? Sheol wasn’t good enough, so he had to up the ante? Misunderstanding is not the sole province of unbelievers. Believers seem to believe what they want to believe and disregard the rest.”
Well, I was obliged to respond to that as well:
God loves us so much He has made a way for us to have an eternal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Hell wasn’t originally meant for human beings. It was meant for the devil and his demons. Unfortunately, anyone who rejects God has sided with the devil. As a result, such people will end up where the devil himself will end up.
Believers in God don’t believe what they want to believe as you suggested. What they believe about God is what God’s book, the Bible, says about Him. It is another thing if one doesn’t accept the authority of the Bible.
Talking about Freewill
The reference to freewill in my initial comment appeared to have been misunderstood by some of the readers of that blog who commented.
One of them questioned, “…People rape, murder, abuse, rob and torture because YHWH has given them free will? So, his sovereignty allows their heinous crimes to happen?…”
“…Yes God is responsible for giving humans the freewill,” I replied, “but He is not responsible for what we do with it…
We would be mere robots if God took away our freewill. That’s why it is important He left it with us. He gave us the CHOICE…”
Along the same line, another reader scoffed the idea that we have freewill saying, “Some guy is raping a woman and he says, “But officer, free will!”. Would that fly in court? lol.”
To that I responded:
That was never implied in my comment. But I did say that everyone would be held accountable for whatever he or she did with their freewill.
Of course, freewill as an excuse to commit rape (or any other crime at that) will not fly in court. The rapist will be judged according to the law.
In the same way, God will eventually judge everyone who rejects Him based on their freewill.
The moral compass inside every man
Speaking further, another reader opined, “The moral argument for God’s existence just shows an ignorance of the field of ethics in general. There are many accounts of morality without God, but apologists won’t even address them. Most of the time they pretend that they don’t exist.”
To that claim, I simply pointed out that:
God is the original Source of morality. Inside every man is a moral compass called the conscience. And whether we agree or not, it was God who put it there.
Feel free to lend your voice to the discourse.
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There were many wonderful memories I had growing up in that predominantly agrarian village where a sizeable portion of the population, with a few exceptions, professed to be Christians.
One of such memories is that of various celebrations which took place in the community on an annual basis. Apart from the universal Easter, Christmas and New Year celebrations, there were other big festivals that were equally engaged in.
The New Yam Festival,Iwaji, is celebrated in the third quarter of the year to mark the beginning of farm harvests and then followed closely with a festival of dance and music, known as Ogbanigbe. Both festivals which attracted visitors from far and near, were ‘traditional’ in nature and were celebrated by almost everyone in that serene community.
However, many ‘serious’ Christians in the land, especially those from amongst the Pentecostal circle, did not join in the Ogbanigbe celebration for fear of being ‘contaminated’. Their sentiment for not participating in the festivals was that such ceremonies were rooted in idolatory and ancestral worship, giving glory to demons and not to the true God.
And they were right – because of some reasons outside the scope of this post.
In those early days, my siblings and I saw ourselves as Christians, having been following our mum to church. But our personal convinctions were not very deep. So we were passive participants in the festivals until we became fully detached from their celebrations.
Personally, I can still recall previously having some pleasures in the festivals during my pre-teen years, especially as far as the family feasting aspect of the celebrations was concerned. This was due mainly to the influence of my father in the home, making provisions for special meals to be prepared during those festivals.
Unlike my mother, my father – although a very morally upright man – wasn’t a christian and so he had a longstanding belief in those festivals. But he never forced any member of the family to participate in them.
By virtue of his status as as an ‘elder’ in the village at the time, he was given special recognition which required that the festival’s dance-parties visited our house to pay the traditional ceremonial homage to him during their main street ogbanigbe carnivals.
The beginning of Change
As time went on, I gave up whatever pleasures I might have had in those festivals. This happened after I became born again in my early teens and began to be taught the living word of God which empowered me spiritually and also enabled me to make decisions that were in line with my new found love and passion for the only true God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
While it is true that becoming born again helped in realigning my values and focus with respect to the annual festivities of those years, it was not an over-night change. I gradually refrained from having anything whatsoever to do with the ceremonies. The rest is history!
Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. 2 Corrinthians 6:17.
Cerebration by all
Christmas, though popularly known as a Christian festival, was celebrated by everyone around me, irrespective of religious background. But in those days the real essence of it was lost to me and, I believe, to majority of the celebrants as well.
Growing up then, it didn’t matter if one was a Christian or not, Christmas was a feast for all to celebrate; everyone one around, whether they went to church or not, or were involved in the so-called traditional worship, all of us participated in Christmas celebrations.
The only exception I can remember was a girl two years my senior in secondary school, a member of the Jehovah Witnesses. Including Christmas, she never joined in the celebration of ‘anything’ at all. She even refused to join in reciting the national anthem and other songs we sang on the assembly ground every morning.
Before the essense of Christmas hit me
Christmas is the commemoration of the birth of Jesus. But while we all celebrated it, most often than not, not all of us remembered or even cared about the real purpose of it.
We all focused on the fanfare rather than on why Jesus was born in the first place. Sadly that mistake is still observable in many places around the world today.
In my pre-teen years, Christmas time for me meant that we were approaching the time for the longest school holiday in the academic year. That meant I would have more time to play street football with my friends from school and around the neighbourhoods.
Christmas also meant that I was going to get a new set of clothes, a new pair of shoes, a wrist watch and a pair of sunglasses to match. It was particularly fun wearing those pair of eye-classes; once you had them on, the grounds appeared to be shifting and un-levelled. Still we managed to move around in them and then returned home to mama, safely.
At Christmas, relations who lived in cities would return home for family reunions, a once in a year ritual. We also visited relations and family friends around town, especially on the boxing day. We would be lavishly served with rice and chicken and in some cases soft drinks.
And once we stood up to go back home, we would be given some money which the giver would often say, “This is for all of you.” That announcement was necessary to avoid a situation were the direct recipient would think the money was meant for only him or her.
Reports were rampant then of children or teenagers fighting over such money… But fortunately for me, my ‘visitation’ groups were always cooperative, so at the end of day, we always amicably shared all the accumulated moneys from such visits.
You can say Christmas was another way of getting money from people you knew, as it appeared everyone was more generous during that time.
Rice and stew very plenty
Back at home from Christmas day service in church, there would be plenty of food to eat. Some people would prefer specially made local delicacies on this day. But the children (including yours truly) would relish the specially made Christmas rice and stew.
Our parents made sure they ‘killed’ chicken to serve it along. If anybody’s mum failed to prepare rice and chicken in special stew, especially on the boxing day, he or she would have the feeling that the Christmas for that year was not fantastic.
So basically, our Christmas then like in many other places was full of eating and drinking (mostly soft drinks, no alcohol) visiting families in new outfits and other forms of celebrations. Not many people remembered or even knew the real essence of Christmas.
Understanding the real essense of Christmas
After I got born again, I began to understand the true meaning of Christmas. A Saviour was born to save the world. The slogan Christ is the reason for the season became a living reality.
I still wore new clothes at Christmas. I still ate specially prepared meals. But those were no longer my main focus: Christ was and still is.
We became challenged to share the love of God in more active ways – reaching out to people with the true meaning of Christmas.
Yes, we went out for evangelism, sharing the love of Christ in any way we deemed fit. What better way to celebrate Christmas than to tell people the Saviour was born to save them from their sins?
As we celebrate ‘Christmas’, let us remember the ‘Christ’ in it!
Atheists know there is a God even though they wouldn’t admit it. And it seems to me that the more their hearts condemn them, the harder they try to put up the front that denies the existence of God.
If atheists truly believe that God does not exist, why does it bother them so much when we say He does? I believe their conscience is working them up!
There is no excuse good enough to justify a disbelief in the existence of God.
The Scriptures tell us that the things in us and outside us bear evidence that God exists. So one must have suppressed this knowledge of God over time to reach the point where one can willfully and deliberately assert that there is no God.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Romans 1:20-22.
Professing to be wise, they became foolish
That statement aptly describes the situation of atheists. Their so-called wisdom in denying the existence of God is at the same time their foolishness.
Just like every human being born into this world, they were not born without an inkling of the knowledge of God. Rather, out of their own sheer volition, they gradually stifled the voices in their hearts which tell them that there is a God.
And in “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” I could say I have observed that firsthand more than a few times…
During our discussions, I could see that many of them tend to assume an air of superiority in knowledge. They seem to want to show that they have read so many books, and have known much about the universe, life and existence to know that God does not exist. And nothing could be farther from the truth!
We know who the foolish one is
Granted, some of the atheists I have encountered are quite knowledgeable! To that extent, they appear to think that we believers must be foolish to believe that God exists. But any form of knowledge that denies the existence of God is not a correct knowledge.
Atheists may be wise in their own eyes, calling us, believers, uninformed. But between they and us, the Bible is very clear about who the foolish one is:
The fool says in his heart that there is no God… Psalm 14:1
Those words were spoken over two thousand years ago and they still hold as true today as they have always done. According to the Bible, it is the person that says God doesn’t exist that qualifies to be called a fool, not the one that believes in His existence.
Another thing I observed from my conversations with atheists is that they are not absolutely sure that God doesn’t exist as they would want to claim. In their unguarded moments they do make claims or raise objections that presuppose that there must be a God. Yet they are reluctant to admit it.
In other words, I could surmise that many atheists are living in self-denial when they say that God doesn’t exist, because deep in their hearts they know that they are wrong.
A wicked, loveless non-existent God, Really?
On one occasion, a self-professed atheist got carried away during our conversations and he kept saying, God is wicked, God doesn’t love humans, God enjoys to see people suffer, etc. Really?
I couldn’t hold back asking him, “How can the God you say doesn’t exist be wicked and loveless? How can He even enjoy the suffering in the world except He exists in the first place?”
You see, that atheist knows there is God. May be what he doesn’t understand is the nature or character of God.
It is one thing to doubt the goodness; of God and another to claim His non-existence. I think that so-called atheist got it completely mixed up…
No matter how hard they try, atheists would never be able to prove that there is no God. (We know He does exist!). The more they try to do so, the more of their folly they put on display.
God exists, and anyone who seeks Him with all his or her heart will find Him.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart Jeremiah 29:13.
When a Princeton educated atheist cried out to God
It is a hard truth, but it still has to be said again: Deep in their hearts, atheists know there is a God, but they just don’t want to admit it.
In his book, The War Is Over, Andrew Wommack expressed it better when he wrote that:
(Atheists) know that there is a God. It is just a lie (when they say there is no God). You don’t have to try and convince people of their need for God. Everybody in their heart already knows it. Every body!
For emphasis sake, let’s echoe it again: everybody, including atheists, already know in their hearts that there is a God… They may deny it or suppress the knowledge, but they still know!
To further illustrate his point, Wommack tells of an experience with an educated atheist who cried out to God to save him when he faced enemy-attacks during the Vietnamese-American war:
While I was an American soldier in Vietnam, many told me they were atheists. I remember one guy, a Princeton educated atheist, made me look like an absolute fool because he was a better talker than I was. But when the bombs started dropping and the bullets began to fly, this guy cried out to the God he said he didn’t believe in… saying “Oh God save me!” It’s all just a mind game let them get into a life-and-death situation and they will say, Oh God help me!”
The question is, if the atheist Andrew refered to truly believed there was no God, why did he cry out to Him for help when his life was in danger?
…Paul’s speeches were not at the highest levels as he wasn’t outstandingly eloquent as some other speakers in his time might have been. But in no way did the gospel suffer as a result of this perceived lack of oratorial skills. Rather it made it more obvious that the power of Christ was at work in Him
While commenting on the post, one of my readers took the post further by overtly questioning Apostle Paul’s frequent claim of being called to reach the Gentiles. His argument was that even before Paul came on the block, other Apostles such as Peter have had ministry to people other than the Jews.
At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. Acts 15:7, NLT
While that position is correct, as the scripture above shows, it is not enough to discredit Apostle Paul’s claim of being specially called to be a minister to the Gentiles; the argument became overextended when the reader tried to deny that Paul was the Apostle to the gentiles.
In this post, I present to you that reader’s comment and my response to it then.
..I doubt his [Paul’s] claims towards call for the gentiles as other Apostles too spent their life time spreading the gospels to gentiles all the way to India, much farther than Greece or Syria reached by Paul. Paul’s claim of him being a minister for the gentiles and Peter for Jews again is a complete mess as Paul goes out of context.
Jesus had said to Peter and other 10 apostles to go and preach to whole creations, nations… Peter has preached to the gentile Cornelius and baptised him with the Holy Spirit even before Paul ever preached gospel to gentiles…and Yes Peter and other apostles had a possible church for gentile in Antioch even before Paul was somehow converted. I feel sorry for Paul’s misunderstanding and his claims…
Hello, your comment on the post is appreciated…
…That Paul was an Apostle to gentiles is a very known fact. So you would not have sufficient basis to disprove that!
Even from the beginning of his calling, the Lord himself defined who Paul (previously known as Saul) was being called to reach. Perhaps you will need to read Acts 4:9 again, which clearly says:
But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.
No one can doubt that Paul was sent to the gentiles after reading that passage, except of course the person doesn’t esteem the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
Time will fail me to begin to comment on each of the other issues you brought in. Suffice to say that Paul was a great Apostle any how you look at it. Thank you.
You can join in the conversation.
Still ahead:Reasons That Confirms Apostle Paul Was Called to Reach The Gentiles.
Recently, I heard something on an international news channel that I consider worth talking about here. An aged author and ostensibly an intellectual man who was being interviewed about a book he wrote (amongst other things) was asked:
“You are an atheist and a Christian. How is that possible?”
“I’m a cultural Christian: I’m a Christian by my culture, but not one by my belief,” he replied.
Really? An atheist and Christian in the same breadth?
Can someone be a Christian who does not believe in God?
The answer is obvious!
Unfortunately, this man in question is not the only one making this type of “cultural” mistake. There are people around the world who think that they are Christians simply because of the home or geographical location they were born into.
Those things as factors may exert some influences on who you become but they are not what will make you a Christian. And of course, being a Christian goes beyond being born into, or living in, any of the so-called christian nations.
I would like to further explore this topic in subsequent posts, but here it suffices to say that being a Christian is not about the culture you were born into or the one you live in. It is about you having a personal relationship with God through faith in His son Jesus Christ.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12
Unlike the man mentioned above, it is not enough to to see yourself as a cultural Christian; you should be a Christian by heart as well.
In the first place, being a Christian presupposes that you believe in God. And in fact, a Christian does not only believe in God, he or she also believes in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
It is therefore a mistaken identity to be called a Christian if you don’t believe in God and in His Son Jesus Christ.
Healing is for you as the Lord has promised. God is not only interested in your spiritual well-being, He also cares about your body being in sound health.
Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]. 3 John 2.
This is a post highlighting some of God’s assurances of physical health for you as a follower of His. Through the written word of God, you have been given concrete proofs that good health, either in form of divine health or healing are God’s will for us.
Through His word, the healing power is delivered to you. “He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave” Psalm 107:20.
I present to you the following 12 scriptures on healing to encourage and inspire faith in you:
1. He sent out His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Psalm 107:20
2. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2
3. The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You restore him to health. Psalm 41:3
4. The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt. Deuteronomy 7:15
5. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
6. For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord. Jeremiah 30:17
7. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Luke 5:17
8. “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:52
9. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. James 5:14-15.
10. “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you. Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:52
11. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Rom. 8:11
12. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. Matt. 8:16-17.
If any one should ask if you love your spouse or not, I’m very sure your answer would be “yes.” Well, I would agree with you because I’m not in a good position to question that assertion.
However, saying that you love your spouse is much deeper that just saying so with your mouth. You should know that if you truly love your spouse, it will definitely show in what you do or don’t do towards him or her.
In this post, we will attempt to (re)examine whether or not you love your spouse in meaningful ways as much as you would claim. Our purpose is not to criticise you but rather to help you take an objective assessment of your position right now with a view to helping you love your spouse more in ways that truly matter – and most importantly, in ways that meet heavenly requirements.
Before we delve into unfolding the Biblical foundation for this post, I will like to refresh your memory a little with something I read in a book at the peak of my undergraduate days, several years ago; it is about the love languages.
Chapman’s 5 Love Languages
In the book, The 5 Languages of Love, Dr Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor with reported experience spanning over three decades, believes that “unhappiness in marriage often has a simple root-cause: we speak different love languages” from our spouse’s.
In other words, it is not enough to say that you are doing your best at loving your spouse. You must actively show that you love him or her in a way that he or she understands or appreciates. That is, in a way that is most meaningful to him or her.
One pertinent question therefore is, are you speaking your spouse’s primary love language? It is important you begin to do so if you have not started.
As identified by Dr Chapman, there are five love languages you should know:
1) Words of Affirmation
2) Quality Time
3) Receiving Gifts
4) Acts of Service, and
5) Physical Touch.
The idea behind the 5 love languages is that spouses appreciate or understand love in one or a combination of two of the 5 areas as stated on the list.
It is therefore your responsibility to find out which one of these languages your spouse understands more so you can relate more with him or her on that plane. If you don’t do that, your spouse may not understand the love you are communicating to him or her, no matter how hard you think you may be trying.
Love shows in attitude
Love is the operating word here. And again, I want to assume you love your spouse. Don’t you? If yes, then we can go on…
Having said that, let us push the bar a bit higher.
How can you ‘prove’ that you love your spouse?
When we talk about love, many people understand it in many different ways. But in the context of this post, the beautiful picture of love as painted in the book of First Corinthians shall be our standard measure.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
1 Corrinthians 13:4-8
From this passage, you can see that there are things love can do and there are ones it cannot do. Therefore, if you love your spouse, there are things you should do and there are things you should not do towards him or her.
It is these things you do or fail to do towards your spouse that prove whether or not you love your spouse. As earlier said, if you love your spouse, it will show in your attitude towards him or her.
The Bible passage quoted above is hugely about the operations of love in general, but we can be a bit more specific by applying it to spousal love. Let us therefore consider the specific components of the love-list and extend it to how you love your spouse:
Love is patient and kind. If you love your spouse, you should be patient with, and kind towards him or her.
Love does not envy or boast. If you love your spouse, you should not be discontented towards him or her, neither will you “talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about your achievements, possessions, or abilities.”
Love is not arrogant or rude. If you love your spouse, you should relate with him or her in humility and never take pleasure in being rude to him or her, either in your words or in your actions.
Love does not insist on its’ own way. If you love your spouse, it’s not every time you would insist on having your way with him or her. You should sometimes also allow them to have their ways too.
Love is not irritable or resentful. So you love your spouse?Then do not be easily annoyed with him or her; neither should you ever become bitter towards him or her – irrespective of how you are treated.
Love does not rejoice in wrong doing, but rejoices in truth. There may be some spouses that lie to their partners and take pleasure in cheating on them. But that should not be you, because you love your spouse.
Love bears all things, hopes all things, bears all and endures all things. If you love your spouse, then bear with his or her inadequacies, endure difficult times with each other, hope and believe for the best between you both.
Love never ends. So you love your spouse? Don’t give up on him or her!
Feel free to like, share or leave a comment on this article.
How would you describe your personal blogging experience? Has it been somewhat frustrating or you are enjoying the ride all the way?
How about doing some little things that will improve the blogging experience for both you and your readers? In this post, I will like to explore 5 questions you should resolve if you want a better personal blogging experience.
1. Is your blog mobile device friendly?
I’m writing this post with my smartphone. And chances are that you might be reading it on a portable device as well.
That confirms the report that a rising percentage of internet users access blogs via their mobile devices as against the traditional desktop computers. The implication of that is that the readers of your blog will have a frustrating experience navigating your blog if it is not well optimised for mobile devices, such as phones and tablets.
One way to optimise your WordPress blog for mobile devices is to use a theme that is mobile device friendly. Another is to use a suitable plugin that serves that purpose. Any of the two options is capable of improving the site loading time and navigation.
2. Are you reaching out to other bloggers?
Blogging is not a solo business, neither is it a one-way express. Just like you, many other people are involved in it. You shouldn’t stay in one corner of WordPress unnoticed when there are millions of bloggers out there you could reach out to and interact with on a regular basis.
Except your blog is a private one, you will have to reach out to other bloggers if you want other bloggers to reach out to you.
You can reach out to other people’s blog by following the ones you like, reading and commenting on their posts, hitting the like buttons, sharing and reblogging their posts and even sending them direct emails. There is a great chance that when you reach out to these people, they too will also reach out to you, and the cycle will continue.
3. Do you follow your own blog?
People follow your blog through their WordPress accounts or through email subscriptions. That way, anytime you hit the publish button, they get notified in their email boxes or through their WordPress Readers, giving them easier access to exploring your new posts.
How does your post notification look like in an email message? You can find out about it by simply subscribing to your own blog with your email address.
This way, you will receive notifications for all your posts, just like any of your followers. It is a simple step but one capable of improving your personal blogging experience.
4. Do you promote your posts on social media?
Do you want many people to read your posts? If your answer is yes, then you will have to do some forms of promotions so that as many people as possible can find your posts to read them.
I am not talking about very aggressive marketing campaign here. You can go for that if that appeals to you. But as a personal blogger, I am actually talking about using your personal social media such as your Facebook or Twitter handles to promote the posts you publish on your blog. This costs you nothing more than a little of your time and effort.
If your blog is indexed as ‘public’ and is search-engine optimised well enough, people can find the blog through Google searches without much inducement from you. But beyond that mechanism, there has to be some deliberate efforts on your part towards getting people to read your blog.
For instance, my blog analytics show that I receive the largest traffic to my site through Google referrals, which is good for me. But I do also receive traffic via my social media handles, especially through Facebook.
As you are on WordPress, you may as well be active on social media. (Facebook and Twitter are my favourites. You can stay with the one that works best for you). This will give you more channels to promote your blog – at no direct financial cost.
You can link your posts through the sharing apparatus on your blog settings such that each time you publish a post on WordPress, it will automatically appear on your social media handles. This will make it easy for all your readers to see, click on and be directed to your blog to read the full article.
5. Do you use good pictures in your posts?
Your post should not be a block of texts that only a serious researcher can commit to read through. Make the reading experience feel better for your followers by adding appropriate pictures in appropriate places in the posts.
I have learnt to use at least one picture (the feature image) in every of my posts. And as the text counts increase, I increase the picture counts as well – one picture per every 400-500 words on a page.
Besides improving the general appearance of the post, embedding pictures in a post also helps search engines to discover your blog. But you will have to ensure that the pictures are properly labelled as you saved them in your gallery before inserting them in your posts.
What did you do to improve your personal blogging experience? Feel free to leave a comment.
Disclaimer: This article is not a political opinion. It is just an observation I wanted to let off my chest.
First and foremost, I am not an American, neither do I live in that fantastic country. However, it is my dream to be there some day, hopefully in the nearest future.
Just like many other people around the world, most of what I know about America and her president come from all sorts of media. To that extent, I would admit that not everything I have heard or read about America and her people would be perfectly correct.
At the same time, you will not need to look too far to see that all is not well with the way some Americans see and address their current president.
From the people in mainstream broadcast and print media to the ones on the blogosphere, there seems to be an unprecedented attack on the office of the president of the United States, or better put, on the person of the present occupant of that exalted office, Donald Trump.
I feel that some, if not many, Americans are yet to come to terms with the realities of who this newest occupant of the White House is.
Why did I say that? Just turn on your news channels and you will easily see so much disrespect as it were in the way some Americans talk about president Trump.
Most recently, there was an outburst in many quarters over the president’s comment on some NFL players not standing to sing the national anthem. You saw the way some people reacted or responded to Trump on that, didn’t you?
I do not need to cite multiple examples here to drive home my point. Everyone around the world knows that the office of the POTUS is a respectable one. So why are this generation of Americans proving otherwise by the way they talk about Mr. Trump?
Besides, I am not trying to hold brief for anyone with this post. But as a distant observer on this other side of the Atlantic, it is observable that some of the remarks coming from some Americans about president Trump are either too uncomplimentary or out-rightly disrespectful.
Some people reportedly went as far as calling Trump the new Hitler. Really? Is he? May be I should consult my history books again!
Right now, many Americans I see on international media seem to always take an exception to anything their President says or does, and responding publicly to him in most critical terms.
For God’s sake, it is the POTUS we are talking here! So why all these unsavoury name-calling and dirty jokes about president Trump by Americans?
Like him or not, he still remains the president. Besides, he is a father and a husband. So needless to say, he deserves more respect than some Americans are presently showing to him.
It would have been understandable to some extent if all these perceived disrespectful attitudes and denigrating remarks towards president Trump had emanated from people other than from American themselves. To think that some Americans seem to take immense delight in openly deriding their president is shocking to say the least.
I am not saying a president may not be criticised. But it calls for concern when it becomes a virulent personal attack.
In his time, I can recall that President Obama was also criticised by the American public on several fronts. But it seems the criticisms have gotten worse with President Trump, especially as far as the media is concerned.
Some of the unpalatable things we now hear some Americans say of their president are a huge departure from what we know (or think we know) of how average citizens of America hitherto saw their number one citizen.
But is President Trump bothered in any away? Let’s leave that question for another day!
Anyone who is a detached follower of the American mainstream media may agree that there are many Americans who do not speak well of, or who are out-rightly disrespectful to president Trump by the way and manner they talk about him. But the question remains, “When will some Americans stop disrespecting their president?”
Do you agree that some Americans are disrespecting President Trump by the way they talk about him in the media? Feel free to air your views in the comment section.
It is far better to be plain in speech, yet walking openly and consistently with the gospel, than to be admired by thousands, and be lifted up in pride… (Matthew Henry)
But how can we be so sure that the great Apostle Paul was not a man imbued with so much eloquence? The scriptures bear record of it as we shall see shortly.
In this post, we will consider three reasons confirming that Paul was not as gifted in oratory as he was in knowledge.
1) Apostle Paul humbly admitted he wasn’t a polished speaker
Even though Paul never exalted his credentials above the grace of God upon his life, he always listed his shining qualifications whenever an opportunity presented itself. So he wouldn’t have failed to list the power of oratory as one of his skills he if he had it.
Not only that, in 2 Corinthians 11:6, Paul categorically admitted in his own words that he was not a skilled speaker.
I may be unskilled as a speaker, but I’m not lacking in knowledge. We have made this clear to you in every possible way.
You might say that Paul was being humble by openly admitting that he was not a polished speaker. Agreed. But I think that the humility comes more from him pointing out a perceived weakness in him and not trying to cover it up with his strengths than from merely owning up to a skill he didn’t possess.
2) Eloquence was not part of Apostle Paul’s ministry strategy
Paul had a good understanding of what God sent him to do and what He didn’t send him to do. And in accomplishing what he was sent to do, his strategy was to depend on the power of God so that His name alone is gloried as the value of the Cross is made known.
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with eloquent words of wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 1Cor1:17
Unlike Apollos whom we were clearly told was very eloquent in speeches while ministering (Acts 18:24), Paul stated that it was not part of his ministry strategy to display eloquence in speeches as he delivered the gospel messages he was sent to preach. Doing so, according to him, would have undermined the power in the Cross of Christ which he was commissioned to proclaim.
3) The people spoke about Apostle Paul’s speeches not being at the highest levels
Apart from the fact that Apostle admitted that he was not so eloquent in speeches, the people who heard him speak at various times and places also observed it and spoke about it to his hearing. Their observation bothered particularly on his body-frame and speech power.
For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but his physical presence is unimpressive, and his speaking is of no account.” 1Cor 10:10
Paul must have been so diminutive a man some people in Corinth refered to him as a man with “unimpressive physical appearance.” Besides having a seemingly weak appearance, the people also observed that Paul’s “manner of speaking is of no account.” And Paul was fully aware of this uncomplementary notion the people had about him.
However, it has to be mentioned that the people recognised that Paul wrote powerful letters even though his speeches appeared less impressive. It seemed to me that what he lacked in speaking skills was fully compensated by his writing prowess.
Base on the foregoing, you might say Paul’s speeches were not at the highest levels as he wasn’t outstandingly eloquent as some other speakers in his time might have been. But in no way did the gospel suffer as a result of this perceived lack of oratorial skills. Rather it made it more obvious that the power of Christ was at work in Him.
Disclaimer: This post is not an endorsement of rape. It is a humble reflection on the realisation that God can bring out utmost good from a bad situation (such as pregnancy from rape) if we let Him.
God has a purpose for everyone, including a child who is a product of rape. I hope that is not contrary to what you may have been told before now? If it is, feel free to leave me a comment at the end of the post.
However, the fact that God does have a purpose for children born out of rapes does not mean that it is the will of God for such rapes to happen. Rapes happen as a consequence of the depravity of the human nature, not by divine orchestration.
I did not say it was God’s plan to have me raped. That’s insane! Human beings make their own decisions, good and evil, and we all live with the consequences of those every day. I don’t believe the “rape pregnancy” was a gift. I believe my son was — not BECAUSE he was conceived in rape, but in spite of it. Jennifer Christie, A rape survivor, in My son was conceived in rape, but his life has dignity and a purpose.
It is God’s will that even when rapes happen (and pregnancies result), we can trust Him to bring out some good out of the horrendous experience. He is the only One that has the absolute capacity to bring good out of such evil.
One good outcome from such ‘evil’ cases I heard about, forms the basis for writing this post.
Over one weekend recently, I had a swell time listening to some soul-lifting messages on SoundCloud. In one of the messages, the late popular International Speaker, from the Bahamas, Dr. Myles Monroe, said something that I found very interesting and worthy of further exploration.
“It doesn’t matter whether you were born within or outside wedlock,” said Dr Monroe, “God still has a purpose for you. One of the greatest men in the world today is James Robison and he was a product of rape. He is doing many great things for humanity…”
Pastor James Robison, a product of rape? I wasn’t sure about that claim but it got me really curious. So I had to check it out…
Prior to the point where Robison was mentioned in that message as a child born out of rape, Dr Monroe was explaining the fact that God has a purpose for every one of us, irrespective of the circumstances of our birth. And that purpose was pre-determined long before we were conceived.
As he put it, “Your purpose in life precedes your conception.” In other words, God had determined your purpose even before you were formed in your mother’s womb.
I agree with the assertion because it is in line with what God said to Jeremiah, for instance, when he was being called to ministry:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5.
God knew Jeremiah even before He was formed in his mother’s womb. And He had a purpose for him before he was born.
Isn’t it wonderful that God has had a purpose for you too even before you were born?
Our finite mind may not be able to fully comprehend the import of that in all its ramifications. But God cannot lie. As He said He knew Jeremiah before he was conceived, and had a purpose for him that preceded his birth, then that’s the truth we can hold on to!
Consider the case of our Lord Jesus as well. Even before He was born, God, through an Angel had announced both His name and purpose to His ‘father’ Joseph:
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matt. 1:20-21 (Emphasis mine).
Back to the question of God having a purpose for a product of rape. Yes, even a child born out of rape has a purpose from God. Let’s take a closer look at the case in point.
The James Robison’s case
I didn’t know very much about Robison before now, so I had to do some findings to cross-check the claim that he was born out of a sexual encounter that his mum was forced into. And it didn’t take me much time to find that information available in the public space corroborated the story.
[I am] a product of rape. My mother was a practical nurse and was raped by the alcoholic son of the elderly man she cared for. It was a forced – I don’t think we would call it violent – but he forced his affections on her, and at age 40 she conceived me.
Today, this so-called product of rape is now a notable pastor, televangelist, theologian, author and a founder of an international humanitarian agency which embarks on many relief efforts, bringing smiles to many needy people across the world.
So indeed God can use anyone, even a product of rape, to do great things. But we will miss out on them except we give them a chance for life. Pastor James Robison is a living example!
When pregnancy results from a rape, many people will take it as a good enough ground to abort the baby. But there can be an exception to that kind of natural response if one understands that God has a purpose for everyone including those that are products of rapes.
Do you have a comment? If yes, talk to me in the comment section.
How much do you know about Apostle Paul of the New Testament?
Many people will agree that he was a man of high intellect, he was knowledgeable, passionate about the course of the gospel, and full of divine revelation.
He knew his way through any kind of argument. As a man highly schooled in Judaism, Paul had a good grasp of law and history as well.
Coupled with the uncommon revelations he received directly from the Lord Jesus Himself, no one could parallel him in the most accurate communication of the gospel of Christ.
It is obvious therefore that there are many fantastic things we can say about Apostle Paul. But was he a polished speaker?
You might think so, but what he said about himself concerning that question may shock you.
You could easily be excused if you pass Apostle Paul as a very eloquent person – a man who is very “fluent or persuasive in speaking or writing.”
That he was very persuasive in his writings is pretty obvious in the way he marshalled his points in the various Epistles penned by him and the many arguments and counter-arguments he had to be engaged in for the advancement of the gospel.
Despite all these, Paul admitted in one of his Epistles that he was not a skilled speaker. Or as he put it, “…I am unskilled in speech…”
But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things (2 Corinthians 11:6).
Although he acknowledged that he is vast and skilled in knowledge, Paul told the Corinthian church that he was “unskilled in speech.”
In other words, you could say Paul meant he was not a polished speaker, a trained orator or a captivating public speaker. Was he just being humble or telling a fact?