“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” – 1 Corinthians 1: 10
Apostle Paul is one of the greatest First-century leaders of the Church that every genuine minister of the gospel in this 21st century needs to learn from. He was a unifier and bridge builder among brethren of the Church during his ministry. There was a time when there were divisions among members of the early Church. Some said they were for Apollos, while some said they were for Paul, some others said they were for Cephas and the rest said they were for Christ. When Paul a great man of wisdom heard about this, he quickly distances himself from it. He told the brethren that he was not the Christ that was crucified for them neither was the body of Christ divided.
“For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.” – 1 Corinthians 1: 11-17
Paul tried not to associate with those that were sowing seeds of disunity among the Churches neither was it ever recorded that he castigated other men of God. Paul was a man of vision whose focus was the spreading of the gospel around the nations of the earth. As great ministers of the gospel, our mission in the pulpit or Bible classes is to preach about Christ and the salvation he brought to mankind not preaching and naming other ministers of the gospel we think are false thereby, causing division in the household of God and thus, exposing the Church to publicly ridicule by unbelievers. It is time for all of us to change our ways.
Let us forget the pain of the past. The accusations, name calling and suspicion in the body of Christ benefit no one. Every minister of the gospel both home and abroad needs to come together and put the devil to shame. The kingdom of darkness does not want to see us together. I tell you the day our different Church head denominations would come together and pray with one voice in agreement, However huge the mountain maybe whether from the North, South, East and West or from the Sea, the Air, the Land and in any dark realm shall be made low.
Just imagine if great men of God like our daddy Enoch Adeboye, T.B. Joshua, Christ Oyakhilome, David Oyedepo, William Kumuyi, Lazarus Muoka, D.K. Olukoya and many other come together and pray to God in one voice. Boko Haram in Nigeria will be a thing of the past. The earth will become uncomfortable to the kingdom of darkness. All the principalities and dark powers holding the progress of the nation will be broken. The devil and his agent know all this that is why they don’t want to see us all together. Satan wants us to remain fragmented.
When Peter was arrested by King Herod the Bible said that the Church come together and prayed constantly to God for his freedom. The united prayers by the Church make God to personally send an Angel to free the Apostle in the prison cell. That’s the power of a united prayer; it provokes God to act quickly.
“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant[a] prayer was offered to God for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.” – Acts 12:5-10
Whether we like it or not we need each other strength to move the Church forward irrespective of how great we think we are in our calling. “We need to understand that everyone has an ability that no one else has and is indispensable in the world”. Each human being is a solution to a certain problem that needs to be solved, that’s why we should be very careful not to look down or speak ill of others.
Every pastor has a unique grace that the other pastor needs. There is a unique grace in Enoch Adeboye that T.B. Joshua needs to tap from likewise, there is something unique in T.B. Joshua that Enoch Adeboye needs to tap from. There is a unique grace in Christ Oyakhilome that David Oyedepo needs to tap from likewise, there is a unique grace in David Oyedepo’s ministry that Christ Oyakhilome needs to tap from. This same applies to Ayo Oritsejafor, William Kumuyi, and other great men of God. We all have something that the other need; one is so good with healings, the other in deliverances, the other in messages, in counseling, in managing people, the other in leadership, in giving, in the word of knowledge, in Prophecy and so on. Let’s do away with suspicion, strife, and competition; every one of us is important in our different fields.
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:11-13kjv
I know every one of us is so great and we all know that greatness comes with some ego. Let’s do away with our ego and listen to the voice of God. Forgive the pain of the past and make the first move for reconciliation. Let us come with one heart and purpose to build the Church of Christ together with our different unique gifts.
I heard recently that there was a security report that uncovers a plot by another religious group back by some foreign powers to wipe-out Christianity out of Nigeria. They cited past and recent attacks on Christian related facilities in different part of the country including, the SCOAN guess house attack and the house on the Rock fire incident in their Abuja branch. However true the report maybe, the fact remains that if the different Church denominations stop speaking against each other, come together to speak with one voice and the pain of one is the pain of all. A million of such plans will not see the light of the day.
I am calling on past and present leadership of the Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN) and other Christian groups. Let’s all come together and help set a course for the unity of the Church. It may not be of me to say, but I have that belief, that a day will come when Enoch Adeboye, Ayo Oritsejafor, Christ Oyakhilome, and other great men of God with T.B. Joshua in their midst. They all will be together planning out ways to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to not Just in the nation of Nigeria, but across the continent of the world. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!