“I am a billionaire and there is nothing anybody can do about it. . . I am a preacher. I am a motivational speaker. I am a TV personality. I am a life-coach”
Dear brethren, isn’t there a point at which we should pause and admit that something is terribly wrong? For how long do we imagine we can continue drinking the sweet but extremely poisonous concoction that is materialism without harm when in fact it starts killing you from the very first sip? The above statements which are attributed to Pastor Paul Adefarasin of House on The Rock (HOTR) are a telling commentary on the state of the Church in Nigeria. I read that the statements were made in a sermon (if we can call it that) in which he sought to respond to Forbes Magazine (online) drawing up a shortlist of the 5 richest pastor’s in Nigeria and excluding him. I am aware that this story is 2 years old but for some reason it was published again on 11/02/2014 and I read it and I think what I have to say is relevant regardless so here we are.
I have so many questions arising from this: How is it possible that such a highly respected pastor with such a large following does not realize the diametrical opposition of motivational speaking to the faith of God in Christ? In-fact to begin with why does a pastor feel the need to respond to an article on whether or not he is among the richest pastors, in the first place? Of course the answer is obvious: materialism or if you like worldliness or still yet “chasing the Joneses”. His pride/ego was bruised at not receiving this (utterly useless) human recognition so he set out to claim it. But I merely use Pastor Paul’s statement as a reference point – the problem is a pervasive one, cutting across all too many of us who go to church and profess to be followers of Christ. The Scripture says in 1 John 2: 15 – 16
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world”.
The question then arises: how do you dear Christian see yourself in this world? As part and parcel of the system, pursuing the same man centered goals and achievements and ascribing to the same superficial standards, desires and judgments as the world or a pilgrim journeyman making his/her way Home and merely interacting with the world and its systems to the extent that is necessary and seeking to affect it for God’s glory? As it is written:
“ and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away”.
Those last words are instructive: the form of this world is passing away! We cannot continue to focus on our lives here on Earth as if it were our final destination. Indeed you must suspect that the reason many are so hung up on the here and now is because they do not in truth have a Heavenly hope or aspiration. I urge you to pause and examine yourself: your values, standards and perceptions of your role and participation in this existence we call life, do they reflect and evidence your profession of faith in Christ or is that all you are, a mere professor of faith in Christ? How do you view yourself, beloved? As a “TV personality, life coach and motivational speaker” or as one called of God to tell the world of the Gospel of Jesus and feed the flock of God with the spiritual meat needed to sustain their souls on this eternal journey?
Beloved beware of the devil! He will distract you by any means necessary just to destroy you and one of his most potent weapons is turning your attention to worldliness and materialism because as long as you are caught up with chasing “the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life” you will steadily fall behind in the pursuit of your sanctification and the righteousness of God. I beseech you by His mercy to take heed unto yourself, your life and doctrine lest you drift into the worship of mammon and gratification of flesh and self to your spiritual ruin.
May God have mercy on us all.