I have not come for the righteous but sinners
Evildoers are avoided in the society. Armed robbers, ritual killers, assassins, prostitutes, among others, hide to carry out their evil act. They do not tell people the work they do for a living: rather, they present another trade while their main occupations remain hidden.
Anybody who discovers his neighbour, friend or associate is an armed robber, assassin or ritual killer and tries to hide him or her is culpable of the act. These acts and many others, including fornication, adultery and murder are classified as sin. God hates them. The society abhors them, while government outlaws them.
Many people avoid the police, despite the belief that they are our friends. People avoid the police because of the way they go about their duties. They take bribe and extort people. Their modus operandi in Nigeria is likened to the tax collectors in the Jewish system; as such people regard police officers as sinners that must never be associated with. Our Lord Jesus Christ came for sinners that are hated by the society. This is the reason Matthew 9:9-13 records: “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.10: And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.11: And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? 12: But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, they that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.13: But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
All the tax collectors in the days of our Lord Jesus Christ were regarded as sinners because of the violent way they collected taxes from the people. Israel then was under the rulership of Roman Empire. In the Roman taxation system, which was practiced in Israel then, the government will assess a city for taxation and quote the amount it intends to realise from it. A businessman will pay that money to the government treasury and then get the license to collect taxes from taxable adults and institutions in the city. The tax collector applies all available measures to ensure he realises the money he paid to the government and also make some profit. The people hated the way taxes were collected, so, all tax collectors were labeled sinners. It is these people and other sinful men and women that our Lord Jesus Christ came to seek and save.
In the lead scripture, our Lord Jesus Christ makes it clear that He came to seek and save the people that were lost. The righteous has no need of repentance, but the lost represented by what the Jews call the Gentiles — all nations that are not Jews. Even among the Jews and Gentiles, there were smokers, drunkard, fornicators, adulterers, idolaters, prostitutes and murderers. Others were the givers and takers of bribes. People that stole with their biros and displayed corruption in both public and the private sector and all others too numerous to mention. There were also those who refused to obey God’s word. These were the people Jesus Christ were searching for to touch their lives.
Prior to His coming, the gentiles were regarded as people who do not know God and by implication sinners. By the grace of God, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ opened the door for all nations to come to Him for the salvation of their souls. In John 10:9-11, the Bible says: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.10: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11: I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
The sinners have been yoked into the bondage of the Devil, but He has come to give the sinful life. As a good Shepherd, He lays His life for the sheep. Then in verse 16, He says: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Our Lord Jesus Christ is talking about the other sheep not yet of the fold. He must bring them under one shepherd. This other fold refers to the Gentiles. Prior to the coming of Jesus Christ, the knowledge of God was limited to the Jews. In their first missionary journey, Apostle Paul and Barnabas were challenged for allowing the Gentiles sit under their ministration.
Apostle Peter was questioned for going to preach to Cornelius, a Gentile. It was in the first Christian Council in Jerusalem the issue of admitting the Gentiles into the Christian body was finally settled. Christ came for the sinners. In Romans 3:23-26, the Bible stresses what Christ will do thus: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
The Bible is making a declaration that all have sinned, but Christ has come to save all. Sin simply means:
• Transgression: an overstepping of the law, a divine boundary between good and evil.
• Iniquity: an act inherently wrong whether expressly forbidden or not.
• An Error: a departure from the right.
• Missing The Mark: a failure to meet the divine standard.
• Trespass: the intrusion of self-will into the sphere of divine authority.
• Lawlessness Or Spiritual Anarchy,
• Unbelief Or An Insult To The Divine Veracity.
Sin originated with Satan, the Devil, but entered into earth through Adam. Sin could be further summarised into three folds — an act, the violation of or lack of obedience to the revealed will of God; a state, absence of righteousness; and a nature, enmity towards God.
Since all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, our redemption comes only through our Lord Jesus Christ Who has come to save us. Redemption in its simplest term is to deliver by paying a price. The work of Jesus Christ fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies of redemption is set forth in three principal Greek words:
• Agorazo, meaning to buy in the market. Man is viewed as a slave sold into sin hence under death sentence (Romans 7:14, Ezekiel 18:4), but subject to redemption by the purchase price of the blood of the redeemer.
• Exagorazo, which means to buy out of the market, that is to purchase and remove from further sale (Galatians 3:13, 4:5). This is speaking of the finality of the work of redemption.
• Lutroo, meaning to loose or set free. Redemption is by sacrifice and power. Jesus Christ has paid the price while the Holy Spirit makes the deliverance effective. Christ also is our propitiator; propitiating is the restoration of favour or good will, which man lost in the Garden of Eden when he committed sin and fell from the glory of God. Christ right now is at the seat of mercy for intercession and forgiveness of any sinner that comes back to God.
Man is inexcusable if he goes to hell fire. Our Lord Jesus Christ left the comfort of heaven to this world for the salvation of sinners. He came for both the Jews and Gentiles. It is the will of God to save all mankind, not even one to perish. So, whatever sin you have committed, open your mind and come to Jesus. He came for that purpose and He will forgive you.
Testimony Of The Lord’s Doing
Saved From The Hands Of Ritual Killers
I am Sister Sylvia Ugwu. I reside in Kaduna State, but joined this ministry in 2007. At the end of one of the Mgbidi Crusades titled: “Whom The King Delights To Honour,” G.O. prayed for journey mercies for all the participants returning to their bases. Returning to Kaduna, I boarded a bus at a garage in Enugu State. As the bus was to commence the journey, I began to pray and while doing this, I heard a loud voice that said: “Open your eyes!” I took the order as a distraction and continued, but the voice repeated itself, this time louder. So, I stopped and looked toward the direction the voice was coming from. I, then, saw a man opening a white nylon bag and bringing out a substance. The voice said again: “You must be out of this bus.” So, when we got to a military checkpoint the man that had the nylon bag zoomed off from the bus.
But when we got to a certain location and the voice came into me and I shouted an order to the driver, asking him to stop, which he did almost immediately. I told him, I want to ease myself. I was allowed, so, I walked into the bush, where I saw a giant. I explained to him what had happened and, he instructed me to go and meet the driver and tell him to give me my bag and refund my fare. He said I should not argue with the driver. I did as instructed and the driver gave me my bag and money, he even demanded to know who the giant was and I told him he is my brother.
The giant took me to the military checkpoint and instructed the soldiers to keep me in a safe place and by the next day put me in a bus going to Kaduna. I went into the office to keep my bag and by the time I came out, I did not see the giant again. I asked after him, but the soldiers said they did not see him either. There and then, I realised that the giant was an angel and I regained myself. Next day, I took off to my destination safe and sound.
I appreciate God for delivering me from ritual killers. May His name be praised forever in Jesus’ name. Praise the Lord!