Friday, 2nd June 2023

Our hope in Christ

By Pastor Lazarus Muoka
16 October 2022   |   2:45 am
1 Corinthians 15:19-22: “If in this life only, we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20: But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

Worshippers at the recent Asaba crusade<br />

1 Corinthians 15:19-22: “If in this life only, we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20: But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

21: For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Anybody who joins a group, be it a sect, workers’ union or social club or political party, must have some cogent reasons for doing so.

The person must put in the necessary effort to actualise his/her purpose of joining the group. If the purpose is not achieved, the whole exercise becomes wasted, meaning such a person has failed in his/her mission in that group. For Christians, there is the hope of being with Jesus Christ forever hereafter and whoever fails to understand this will shipwreck his/her faith.

Our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to reconcile man with God, following the mistakes made in the Garden of Eden that led to the ejection of Adam and Eve from the Garden and by implication from the presence of God.

Our Lord Jesus Christ in the course of His ministry established the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. He made some disciples and told them to continue to evangelise until He returns to take them, saying He has gone to heaven to prepare a place for them as stated in John 14:1-3: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2: In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

The actualisation of this divine promise is the reason we are in Christ. He is in heaven right now to prepare a place where the Church will be with Him hereafter. At that time, there will be no more death, as Jesus Christ will give all the saints everlasting life. This message is expanded by Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

However, this aspect of Christ’s return has to be distinguished from His coming to establish His Kingdom as stated in Revelation 19:11-16. Our being in Christ must guarantee the grace for us to be part of His Kingdom and be with Him forever. In the lead scripture, we are made to understand that we died in Adam, but in Christ, we live.

Adam is a contrasting type of Christ (1Corinthians 15:45-47). The first Adam was made a living soul (Genesis 2:7), he derived his life from God; the last Adam is a life-giving spirit. Far above giving life, He is, Himself, the fountain of life hence He gives life to others (John1: 4).

In the beginning, the first man was of the earth and the earthly; the second man is the Lord Jesus Christ and He is from heaven. Each of these two groups heads a creation and is in contrast to the other. In Adam, all died while in Christ shall all be made alive. The Adamic creation is flesh, while the new creation in Christ is spirit (John 3:6).

The benefits of being in Jesus Christ must be made manifest in our lives after the earthly life. Christ came for the benefits of life after death and for everlasting life in heaven, as such earthly benefits do not take us anywhere.

This was why John the Baptist became confused seeing Jesus Christ performing miracles, which prompted the question in Matthew 11:2-3: “Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3: And said unto him, art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”

John the Baptist had expected our Lord Jesus Christ to perform spiritual works and not the working of miracles. As the forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ, John’s introduction of Him was purely spiritual, as stated in Luke 3:16-17: “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptise you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: 17: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner, but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.”

John the Baptist was in expectation of Holy Ghost baptism and fire, the immediate separation of the righteous from the sinners and sending the sinners into hell fire described as unquenchable fire. John saw hell fire but did not see the separation between the coming of Jesus Christ and the time for the White Throne Judgment when sinners will be thrown into hell fire.

John the Baptist lived a near monastery life, staying in the wilderness preaching the message of salvation, eating only locust and honey. He must have been expecting the man he introduced to be more separated from the public and probably not eating anything from this earth, but Jesus Christ came eating, drinking and socialising with people. The humility of our Lord Jesus Christ was to draw the lost to Himself with a view to recovering them for the Kingdom of Heaven.

The manifestation of the Holy Ghost baptism and fire came to fulfilment on the day of Pentecost, the Disciples of Christ were empowered by the spirit and they saw tongues of fire on the foreheads of one another. They came out boldly and preached to the people, converting over 3000 that day. This marked the birth of the church.

As Christians, we are to do exploits and strive to be with Him forever in heaven. He came for that purpose as He testified in His encounter with Zacchaeus, the tax collector, in Luke 19:5-10 saying: “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.

6: And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 7: And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, that he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

8: And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9: And Jesus said unto him, this day is salvation come to this house, for so much as he also is a son of Abraham.10: For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Christ came to seek and save the lost, hence he dined with sinners in order to convert them into God’s Kingdom. Zacchaeus in trying to prove his righteousness narrated, how he will restore anything taken from any man by force.

Restoration in fourfold of anything taken forcefully from anybody is the Jewish strict standard for restitution. Every effort we make on this earth must be tailored towards the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and being with Him in His kingdom forever. If your hope in Christ is physical, it is better you retrace your steps and change your focus.

The beautiful things of this earth should not derail any Christian from the love of Christ or from following Him to ensure he/she makes heaven. Our Lord Jesus Christ is coming to rapture the saints who will be with Him forever in God’s Kingdom. Whatever will hinder anyone from fulfilling this project must be purged.

The grace is still available for repentance, do not allow the Devil to take a toll on your life or draw you away from Jesus Christ. It is important you are focused, serve God with all your heart, and live a holy and righteous life and at the end of this life here you will be with our Lord Jesus Christ forever.

Testimony Of The Lord’s Doing: It’s Incredible, But It’s The Truth
I AM Brother Monday Ebite. I am from Edo State and I joined the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries in 2009. I am grateful to God for being a member of this ministry.

Testifiers at the event<br />

Last year, in my family’s haste, to attend the Edo State Crusade, one of my children who was boiling water on a gas cooker forgot to turn off the gas cylinder or even put down the pot. We went without doing the needful and spent two days at the crusade ground and the gas cylinder did not explode or our house set ablaze even though the gas was still burning when we returned. God of Chosen is wonderful indeed. May His name be glorified forever in Jesus’ name.

Secondly, on June 3, 2022, I went to my farm and as bent to begin work, I felt sharp pain in my stomach and I began to vomit. I called out for my wife, who came immediately. I vomited for more than two hours before she took me to the General Hospital, Agbor, where it was confirmed through scan results that I had kidney stone. I was given some drugs and asked to return in three days’ time. I went home and returned to the hospital in three days.

Getting to the hospital this time around, I was referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, for operations. Me I cancelled the operation, but took the scan result to Lagos for “… And The Enemies Submitted Crusade.” To God be the glory, before the start of the crusade all the complications disappeared and I got my healing. The God of Chosen cancelled the operation for me. Praise the Lord!

Lastly, on June 15, 2022, while my wife was taking our farm produce to the market, she encountered kidnappers on her way. They were shooting from both the front and backsides of the vehicle she boarded. She, however, managed to escape into the bush where she met many Fulani herdsmen.

At this point, she declared: “I am a Chosen three times,” and then asked the God of our pastor to deliver her, immediately the kidnappers and herdsmen ran away. That was how God delivered her. Praise the Lord.

I appreciate the Lord for all He has done for me, may His name be glorified forever in Jesus’ name, Amen!

In this article