Counterfeit Christianity Part 1

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This is the concluding part of this message, which we started last week. We went into it because many people are working behind their schedules and some have spent unprofitable time in incubation instead of doing what God wants them to do. In the last week’s edition, we said that the Lord wants us to become disciples and also, we began to look at the characteristics of a disciple, namely:

 

  1. Hatred to self
  2. Hatred to worldliness
  3. Carrying your cross
  4. Forsaking all for Christ
  5. Continuity

As I said last week, there are lots of receivers but few givers. There are lots of people who sing praise worship without the love of God in their hearts. A lot of pastors pastor only their bellies. A lot of ushers are ushering only themselves. There are lots of choristers who sing only for themselves while a lot of Sunday school teachers teach only themselves. The Lord does not want this situation to continue. We must always remember to ask ourselves the relevant question: “Art thou also one of this man’s disciples?” We now continue with the characteristics of a disciple:

6. Brokenness: This has to do with a lot of spiritual warfare. The three major elements of warfare are:

1. Dealing with the devil and his cohorts.

2. Taking control of your mind. Your mind is the greatest battlefield. You must establish a solid immigration control on the door of your mind, because if you lose the battle of the mind then you lose every battle.

3. Crucifying the flesh. The big truth is that satanic attacks cannot prosper against our lives if our flesh refuses to co-operate with them, as it is written in Colossians 3:5. If we daily mortify our flesh, the devil will have no landing place in our lives. If you are living a life that is dead to sin as the Scripture commands, you will not surrender to satanic suggestion; you will not respond to the temptations of the flesh because dead men do not respond to temptations. Dead men do not commit fornication. Dead men do not abuse people. Dead men are incapable of doing what people who are alive are doing. This is where the power of broken lives lies. When you live a life of brokenness, you will not be threatened by temptations rather the power behind the temptations will avoid you. But in a situation where you are threatened by temptations all the time, it means that you are not broken. A man may jump and shout at the devil all day but if he allows one area of his life to go unchecked or unguarded, he would be courting trouble. Big sins will not get many Christians to hell fire because many of them will not get involved in those ones; but the little ones such as little stealing, little lies, little malice, little prayer time, abusive words, critical spirit, etc. will push people to hell fire. If there is an area of sin in your life that you have not dealt with, the enemy will use it as a door to attack you and all the prayers against him will be to no avail. In such a case, the devil is not the real enemy but your carnal mind and flesh, which are not submitted to the Holy Spirit. Herein lies the trouble. This is where God is having problems. God will not force you to live the kind of life you want to live. It is a matter of choice. That is why Joshua stood before the Israelites and said, “I set before you this day, blessings and curses, death and life. Now chose the one you want.” It is a matter of choice.

THE BROKEN LIFE

A broken life can never be a raw material for the devil. A broken life knows the secret of the law. It is immune to satanic arrows. It will trample permanently on serpents and scorpions. It is a terror to demonic forces. When a broken life goes into a particular situation, demons walk out. A broken life will move under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It will offer the devil no cooperation at all. It is dead to worldly opinions. If you are broken you would not be bothered about the comments of somebody in darkness on your dressing. Somebody in darkness should not dictate to the person in light how he should live his life. A broken life offers no protection to the enemies.

Unbrokenness will do your spiritual life a lot of harm. If you joke with brokenness it means that you are not a disciple. The Lord only uses broken things. Peter was a broken man. Anytime he made a mistake he agreed. The Bible says that when he denied the Lord, he went out and wept bitterly. When the Bible says that somebody wept bitterly, it must be a serious matter. Peter was carrying the power of God about because he was a broken man. “Art thou also that man’s disciple?” If you are truly His disciple, you would be broken. That thing inside you that makes you very annoyed wants to make you a child of the devil. It has to go. That thing that makes you to tell lies is turning you into a child of the devil who started lying from the beginning. There is no truth in him at all. “Art thou also that man’s disciple?” If you are, you are a correct representative of the body of Christ. If you are not, you are one of those whom the Lord is complaining about that they are moving behind schedule. You are also one of those blocking the prayers of the saints. You must move forward and become a disciple.

If you can still be annoyed easily and you can fight, you do not belong to God yet. You belong to the devil. God cannot manage you. God cannot manage a person who gives in to fornication, adultery, alcoholism or who has an unforgiving spirit. He says that if you want to be hot, you should be hot, if you want to be cold, you should be cold. You cannot sit on the fence. Those who sit on the spiritual fence are fired from the two ends. God will fire them and the devil will fire them.

7. True discipleship: This is found in John 13:34-35 which says, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” Recently, the Lord showed me a vision which bothered me; Different groups of people were preparing to go to heaven. The first group was praying seriously. The second group was reading their Bibles with full concentration. The third group was just singing praises and waving their hands unto the Lord and was in the attitude of worship. The fourth group was making hot Bible confessions. All of them were heading towards a beautiful mansion. But when it remained a little for them to get there, there was a diversion and the signboard said “hell fire.” I thought they would continue on the way to the beautiful mansion but they did not. Instead they took the diversion. I said, “O Lord, what is wrong? What is happening?” Then He said, “I traded with them and I lost. They were practicing these things but they were bankrupt in love.” When the vision cleared, I was worried because I saw these people praying, reading the Bible, praising God, confessing the word of the Lord and were heading towards a beautiful mansion and then diverted into hell.

When I was a young Christian, we had one evangelist who subjected his counselees to seven days dry fast and they would be struggling to pray, but he would go home and feed himself well before coming for the prayers. He was bankrupt in love. The Corinthians in the Bible had a wrong view of true Christianity. They thought it was just prophetic knowledge, the ability to speak in tongues, or miraculous power. But they ignored the key point of discipleship which is love.

If you do not enjoy good relationship with anybody, you need prayers. If you have no friend, you are a loner and you lock yourself up, there is problem. Some people are like that and when you tell them to change, they would say no that they do not want trouble. The question I normally ask them is “If we all lock ourselves up like that, would there be fellowship?”

The Bible tells us that God is love. His own love is unconditional, impartial, ever-lasting, infinite and perfect. Love is never wasted. The love that expects positive reactions or results is not true love. Love that expects something in return is not the true love that the Lord wants His disciple to have. Love never makes any demand. Love only gives, it does not stop giving because others do not reciprocate. The perfect lover would devote himself to others. Jesus did that. He gave Himself to us but what did He get from us? We crucified Him. The most outstanding thing that our Lord Jesus did was to love the unlovable but many of us are quick to write off anyone who offends us even if he really does not know what he does. We retaliate at the slightest offence.

If you are going to fight, fight for the relationship and not against it. Fight to improve not to destroy. Fight for reconciliation and not for separation. Fight to preserve the relationship and not to destroy it. Fight to win your wife and not to lose her. Fight to win your husband and not to lose him. Fight to save your marriage and not to break it. Fight to solve the problem and not to salvage your self- pride. So, if you are going to fight, fight to win. Do not fight to lose.

A loving person would control all his unloving attitudes with his will power. You can be saved without spiritual gifts. You can make heaven without receiving the gift of words of knowledge or words of prophecy but you cannot be saved without love. All the tools and talents that are not motivated by love are a waste of time. That is why the whole of the Bible is bound up by one word - Love. Love your God and love your neighbour. Love sums up the whole Christianity and it is the distinguishing mark of a true Christian. Without love, spiritual gifts are useless. Take away love from the earth and what you have is a graveyard. The problem we have in the house of God today is that there are a lot of Christians who do not love one another. There is a lot of malice and unforgiving spirit towards one another. Those who have such attitudes are not the disciples of Christ. They may be coming to the church but they are not true disciples. They may be doing all sorts of activities but they are not true disciples. So, examine yourself now. Is there anybody you do not greet? Is there anybody that you do not feel happy hearing his voice? Then you are not a disciple. You need to sit down and readjust. It is amazing to know that sometimes some husbands and wives come to church but they do not talk to one another. They come to the church and do not sit together. Something is wrong with such couples. They are bankrupt in love and that is a serious situation. I know many people who can speak in tongues and can call fire prayer points but they do not have one atom of love. There are wicked husbands who beat up their wives even though they come to church. The Bible says, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples when you love one another.”

When love is presented before you, you can chose what to do. You can decide to love yourself. You can love your God and your neighbour. The Bible tells us that the man who loves his brother dwells in light but if he hates his brother, he is in darkness. So, there are only two kinds of love. Either you love yourself or you love others and your God. When you concentrate all your attention on yourself, then you are a selfish person and do not have the kind of love we are talking about. Selfish love can be described as poison that a person absorbs everyday. It would demote a person from being a true disciple.

Are you the kind of person that is still fighting with people? How long will you stay in that kind of school? While others are collecting power and are moving forward, you are still busy wasting time with unforgiving spirit and unloving attitudes. Examine your heart now. It is important that you sort out this before the Lord.

LOVE OF SELF

Love of self is a love that drinks water while his neighbour is dying of thirst. Love of self is the love that has 200 shirts, 200 skirts and blouses and somebody else is wearing one shirt or skirt everyday and the former is not ready to give. Love of self is the love that keeps the best to himself when there are things to be shared. He keeps the best place for himself. Those who use papers, Bibles, etc to reserve seats in the church for people who are still having their bath at home, while some people are standing outside, lack love in their hearts. Love of self satisfies himself alone. Love of self makes a person to boast about himself and is dead to the words of others. Love of self makes a person to make a choice and force it on others. Love of self leads to self-pity. Those who do so intentionally do not want others to ask them for help. Love of self advertises his own ideas and despises those of others. Love of self simply put, is selfish. In fact, the greatest of human suffering is caused by love of self. The Bible says, “Love God and love thy neighbours as thyself, then you fulfill the whole of the commandments, then you are recognized as a disciple indeed.”

Love of self has destroyed so many things in the house of God. A lot of people want to push themselves forward, forgetting the admonition of Jesus that when we come to a place we should stay at the back and then we can be invited to the front.

If you want to be a true disciple of Jesus His love must be in your heart, that love that is in your heart will flow out to others.

When you see a person who has knowledge of all mysteries, has the faith to move mountains, and has memorized the whole Bible, you could say he is a great man. But according to the Bible, he is nothing if he has no love. A man could be distributing money to beggars every week. But the Bible says it profits such a person nothing if he lacks love. We find all these in 1 Corinthians 13.

The first character of true love is patience. Love suffers long. The original word from which the word “suffers” is derived means to hold off one’s anger. That is, when somebody irritates you, love makes you to hold on your anger and seek a peaceful resolution without bitterness. In moment of animosity when people fight with you, love will show affection. The one who loves would patiently wait for the improvement of others. He does not complain always.

This is one area where the enemies are cheating believers. We do a lot of good praying and other things but there is no love. A lot of people are losing their blessings as a result of this deficiency. When you look at the way some Christians act you wonder if they had ever read the Bible. It is because there is no love. Love copes with suffering. Love endures pains, sorrows and anger. Love endures the selfish and critical nature of others. Love that is patient is not judgmental. It does not rush to criticize people on assumptions or expectations. Love that is patient does not retaliate. Love that is patient does not promptly punish. It exhibits self-restraint in the face of provocations.

PATIENCE

Patience does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial. So, to be patient is to be long- tempered and not short-tempered. Patience is putting up with bad treatment. You calmly handle or receive injury from others without losing your temper. You are not upset or angry or revengeful. When you are inconvenienced or when they take advantage of you, the love in you would enable you to endure.

Patience is to refuse to pay evil with evil. It is to turn the right cheek when you are struck on the left. There are some men who can keep malice for three weeks and there are some women who can keep malice for one month. They will not talk to you and do not expect you to talk to them. True love is long suffering and does not retaliate.

In my former place of work, I knew a man who often got angry with people. He used to boil anytime he was angry. His body would be shaking. He did not care whether you were a man or woman. One day, out of anger, he hit a married woman so much that she broke down and cried. But the man noticed that I was always calm and always tried to calm him down. One day, he called me and said, “How come that when I am angry with everyone you are always very calm?” I explained to him that he had a problem, that the problem was that the love of Christ was not in his heart and that if he continued that way, he would eventually kill himself.

True love is patient and endures long. It is never tired of waiting and waits without murmuring. It never gives up and it is able to suffer. Beating your wife does not show love. Saying, “I am tired of your nagging so I am leaving and I will not eat your food” is not love. And the wife that says, “Well, I too will refuse to cook” does not have love. So, patience is the most outstanding quality of love. Love that is able to turn to hatred overnight is not love at all. True love would go through fire, sorrow and trouble. It endures suffering. Impatience is evidence that there is no love. True love would learn to wait. There are many people who are difficult to live with but when you are patient, you are able to live with them. True love does not owe money and refuse or hesitate to pay. It does not steal other people’s money. It shows concern for others.

I want you to examine the quality of love in your heart. Ask yourself: “Am I truly a disciple? Can I call myself a disciple of Christ? Is His love in my heart? Do I really love others as I love myself? If Jesus comes now and begins to examine my heart what would He find? Will He find any hatred against anybody in my heart? If He is able to find it, then I am not a true disciple. Talk to the Lord and ask Him to forgive you for areas you have exhibited unbroken spirit. And the Lord will help you as you do so, in Jesus' name.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Oh Lord, break every idol present in my heart, in Jesus’ name.
  2. I refuse to cooperate with the spirit of death and hell, in the name of Jesus.
  3. Every rebellion in my heart, die, in the name of Jesus.
  4. My head will not be prayer proof, in Jesus’ name.
  5. Every viper in the tabernacle of my life, die, in the name of Jesus.
  6. Every viper surrounding my destiny, die, in Jesus’ name.
  7. Every enemy spreading evil mats for my sake, die with the mats, in Jesus’ name.
  8. Any evil image representing me in the dark world, fall down and scatter, in the name of Jesus.
  9. O God, arise and reign in every department of my life, in the name of Jesus.
Last modified on Thursday, 07 July 2011 16:02

7 comments

  • Comment Link okpala E.Gloria
    okpala E.Gloria Friday, 05 April 2013 12:05
    I receive Grace to love, Grace to have patience, to tolerate, Grace to live a calm and peaceful life. Help me Lord. Thank u Pastor for this wonderful message. May the Lord strengthens u.
  • Comment Link Olalekan Oludunmade
    Olalekan Oludunmade Friday, 01 February 2013 18:19
    This is a timely message for the present day church. A must for all true believers who are mindful of heaven. Genuine love of God and mankind will break lots of yoke and bring peace into our hearts and society
  • Comment Link Jemima
    Jemima Sunday, 13 January 2013 08:49
    The thank you so much Dr. Olukoya for haring this heart felt message of love and patience. With this mesage, I pray that God will grant me grace to be patience and put other people first
  • Comment Link John Macaulay
    John Macaulay Tuesday, 04 December 2012 15:42
    Doctor Please pray for GOD to fill me with LOVE.
    I thank God for his message through you.
    I'm lacking in area of Love
  • Comment Link Bro michael ogidi
    Bro michael ogidi Thursday, 05 July 2012 17:02
    Pls sir, Ȋ̝̊̅ need your I̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ ministry Α̲̅πϑ м̣̣̥̇̊øΐ life
  • Comment Link Bro michael ogidi
    Bro michael ogidi Thursday, 05 July 2012 16:52
    enter your message here...
  • Comment Link Doris Nolan
    Doris Nolan Monday, 24 October 2011 19:12
    This message is very enlightening. It convicts you to the core of your heart which brings about transformation. Continue to let God use you. I share this with several people and they felt exceedingly blessed along with me. Thanks so much and God Bless.

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