Why this persecution? – Part 2
It must be emphasised that the merciful God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live (Ezek. 33:11).
Similarly, Jesus is not interested in destroying men’s lives. In Luke 9:56, when two of His disciples, James and John, sought His permission to call fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritans, who prevented Jesus from passing through their town, Jesus rebuked them and said, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
Therefore, those who destroy men’s lives and burn down churches are not serving God’s purpose, but the purpose of Satan, whose mission on earth is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10a). Such people are persecuting Jesus and frustrating the progress of His mission on earth.
Christians the world over are not violent or troublesome people. They are gentle and peace-loving.
The word of God enjoins them to love all, including their enemies and to pray for those who persecute them. They are urged to submit to the governing authorities and to pray for them. (Rom. 13:1ff; 1Tim. 2:1-2). It is, therefore, unchristian to curse or rebel against the rulers or those in power, be it in the family, Church, State or Nation. It is equally unchristian for men of God to preach hatred, violence or retaliation against Christ’s enemies. Vengeance is the prerogative of the Lord, it must be noted.
Let Christians unite to resist the devil by praying for divine intervention, trusting the word of Christ that the gate of hell shall not prevail against His Church. Let them preach the undiluted gospel, as handed down by the early Apostles and the church fathers, believing that God will in His wisdom clamp down on the persecutors of the church and His people.
Let them pray individually and collectively and say, “My times are in your hands. Deliver me from my enemies and from those who persecute me” (Psalms 31:15); that peace and prosperity shall reign in Nigeria (Jer. 29:7).
Let them pray for peaceful transition; for divine wisdom for our leaders; for cordial working relationship among the three Arms of Government – Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary. When they obey this word of God, not only Christians, but also the entire citizenry will enjoy peace, security and prosperity.
It is only God that can make war and insurgency cease in Nigeria and to the ends of the world. May the Almighty God make this persecution cease through Jesus Christ our Lord. Shalom!
N/B: The 2019 Synod of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Uyo, which started last Thursday, will end today at Etoi Central Circuit.
The Archbishop/Bishop of Uyo, His Grace, The Most Rev. Chimezuo O. N. Nwankpa, will preside over the Ministerial and Representative Sessions while the Diocesan Lay President, Elder Mrs. Alice Eyamba (OOW) will preside the Lay Session. All delegates are invited to attend and support the Synod. God bless you.
The Most Rev. Chimezuo Nwankpa, Archbishop of Uyo, Methodist Church Nigeria.