Nigeria remains a strong Christian nation, says Muoka
The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries recently celebrated its 16th anniversary. Pastor Lazarus Muoka, the church’s founder and General Overseer spoke with journalists on the anniversary and end of the year programme, which held last week. Kehinde Olatunji was there.
How has the journey been?
We are celebrating 16 years anniversary of this ministry. God has helped us to achieve this feat, and we are using the opportunity to give all the glory to Him. Whatever has taken place in this church is through the grace of God; no man can take the glory. He made the choice for this ministry and He brought us where we are today. Having chosen us, He has used us to establish the ministry in many nations and as a result, many souls have been saved. We have spread the good news of salvation and heaven consciousness all over the world. Before the emergence of this church, many cathedrals were asleep, and it appeared everything about Christianity was no longer interesting. Many had given up, and there was no real revival. It was a situation where pastors were not emphasising holiness and righteousness. People were unwise. The Christianity they practised was about the things of this world. It was funfair and a moneymaking enterprise.
But since the emergence of this church, things have changed. We have pushed the awesome truth. We have made people understand that worldliness and unrighteousness is sin. We made the people understand what it means to live a Christian life and abide in the will of God. We are ensuring that righteousness is preached and practised, both inwardly and outwardly. When we started, the first vision was grass roots revival, which really impacted many people’s lives.
From the beginning, we emphasised that people must live a life of holiness, and we have not deviated from that truth. The second vision, which is a revival, focused on apostolic ministers in the body of Christ. We admonished the ministers of the Word of God on the importance of being baptised in the Holy Ghost and manifest the fruit of the spirit. We encouraged the Jesus Ministry, which is to go everywhere and preach the gospel to all creatures. To God’s Glory, this has also impacted on every church.
In Nigeria, there is a revival. No matter what the country may be facing currently, Nigeria remains a standing Christian nation. There is no other country where you have real Christians like we have here. Heaven should be the priority of everyone identified as a Christian. We have and will continue to preach the importance of fellowshipping with God in heaven. The Bible says ‘what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?’ If that is the case, heaven should be every human being’s priority.
You once said you have a mandate to win billion of souls. In 16 years, what have you achieved in this regard?
Our ministry has preached the word of God in every nook and cranny of the world. So, we cannot ascertain how many souls have been won, but I know we have affected millions of people all over the world. We will fulfil this mandate when the trumpet sounds. It is the day the trumpet sounds that we know the mission is fulfilled.
What are the challenges you have encountered, and how have you been able to manage them?
The foremost challenge in ministry is finance. Similarly, the kingdom of darkness is against the furtherance of the kingdom of God. Hence, he raises people to try to obstruct the church, but the Bible says, “I will build my church and the gate of hell shall not prevail against it.” This means the darkness is always trying to oppose the preaching of the gospel and winning of souls. But our confidence is that the agents of darkness shall not prevail. For instance, there are some missions we tried to undertake, but later discovered they were threats. But God has been seeing us through.
What has kept you going in the midst of the storm?
It is the grace of God. If we wait on Him, He will help and sustain us. There is nothing we can do without God in the ministry. Everybody wants to record our kind of achievement, but you cannot pray and answer your own prayers. If you pray and fast and God does not answer, there is nothing you can do about it. You need God to answer your prayers, and that is why there is the need to develop a good relationship with Him. God is the power behind the growth and expansion of this ministry.
Anyone wanting to be successful has to rely on Him and maintain a good relationship with Him. As we do this, He will be with us and grant our hearts’ desires.
What are the programmes lined up for the anniversary?
We expect people to come and see God’s power at work in their lives. There will be ministrations of all sorts. We might not cook rice for them, but they will have divine encounter that will turn their lives around. There is also another programme tagged: “Only God can do this.” At this event, God will manifest Himself in people’s lives.
We shall be holding a programme on January 3rd to 6th tagged, “What God has determined.” My belief is that God has packaged great things for everyone in the year, and they shall be done. This is why we need to come to Him and seek His face, so that He will plan the year for us and achieve it. We are holding this programme in a place called Mudi, which means ‘war’ in Igbo. It is not a coincidence that we are having the programme. God’s ways are beyond man’s understanding, as He knows the end from the beginning.
What is your advice to those just establishing a ministry?
All those that are new in the ministry should not depart from God. They should seek His face at all times, and He will guide and ensure their success. For anyone to achieve success in ministry, such a person must rely on God and maintain the right relationship with Him.
What is your advice to President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians on the forthcoming elections?
We should know that everyone that has attained the age of voting should exercise that right. People must go and vote to the glory of God, so that He will use that as a means to choose a leader for the country. I advise all church members to vote and exercise their civil rights.
My advice to President Buhari is that he should let everything be done according to God’s will. And when this is done, I believe the nation will be blessed. There should be no violence of any kind before, during and after the polls, let peace reign. Nothing should jeopardise the peace of the nation and the life of the people should be preserved.
As Christians, we must pray ceaselessly for our nation, because the Bible says we should pray for the peace of the nation. It’s when there is peace in the nation that the citizens can have peace. Also, when we have peace, the gospel will prosper. We should pray for God’s perfect will in the nation. If God’s will is done, we shall have a peaceful and prosperous election.
What’s your Christmas message for Nigerians?
I advise Christians not to celebrate Christmas without Christ. If you want to celebrate Christmas, you must be sure that you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and you shall be blessed. Mgbidi crusade is seen as the mother of all the church’s crusades. It’s now a four-day affair, instead of three in previous occasions. God is a progressive worker. He continues to multiply the days because of what He has in mind to do. Seeing that God wants to do so much, He added one more day.
How do you cope with negative stories?
If what you are encountering is the same as what our Master encountered, it will not bother you. Handle it the way He did. Commit yourself to God and pray for the people that don’t have understanding. You don’t respond to them, because if you do, it will look as if you have something to hide. So, you just have to keep quiet and keep on praying to God.
Do you think Christians should go into politics?
That is an individual thing. It is not a collective idea of Christians. If you want to go into politics, it is your business.
What is the update on the Chosen Crown University project?
What is worth doing at all is worth doing well. If you rush into whatever you want to do, you are bound to make mistakes. You take your time, get registration done and do things properly. That institution is not something you are going to have for just one year. The ministry is 16 years, so that institution is not going to be the foremost priority, though we are working to ensure that the university is established. We are going through a proper process, so that when people come in, they will say yes this is Chosen University.