Pastor Erasmus Makarimayi: Handle with care


A certain gentleman told me that he would only go to church when media reports of unbecoming conduct by Christians cease.

He wants the Church as a blameless and perfect bride of Christ with no pastor raping congregants and no one in the women’s fellowship going out with a married man.

Let me say that Christians have a label that says: “Work in progress, handle with care.”

The final product is only found in heaven where there is ultimate perfection. Jeremiah 18 likens it to the work done in a potter’s house which is not yet ready for dispatch.

Should you miss heaven because of someone else and, conversely, should we block heaven for others?

Should we only find “good and upright” people in the Church? Let me look first at what types of people are found in a church.

From the outset, let me state that God does not approve wrongdoing from anyone and I do not condone transgression of God’s statutes by anyone, be it in the church or outside.

Some are saved and others go to church for community relevance and social acceptance.

They may be looking for a social group to bury them when they pass on. They are not interested with the message of salvation that is preached.

To be a Christian you have to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

When that is done, you then need to stop doing all bad things or leave the sinful life.

Apostle Paul would advise you in Philippians 2:12 to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. You begin to improve your life with Jesus as your model and benchmark.

From this angle, the Church is thus made up of people at various stages of deliverance. Some are still struggling with lust, stealing, lying, cheating, gossip, etc.

The Church accepts and preaches the Gospel of Christ to anyone that comes through its doors — homosexuals, thieves, murderers, witches, adulterers and others.

So if you go to church and expect to see people without blemish, you may get hurt and may end up wrongfully hating church.

For you fellow Christians, God expects you to be His visible image through which He manifests Himself to the rest of the world.

You should fear God and not fake His label, Christian, in vain.

Do not be the reason why someone should not accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

When people see you and your conduct, let them take no time in accepting your faith. Represent Christ well, you are His letter to the rest of the world. 2 Corinthians 3:3 stresses the point: “Foras much as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”

To those out there who want to enter heaven by arguing with God that they are better than Christians; that is not the way it is.

When you hear the word, do not harden your heart. Heaven is entered by grace, not works.

God does not work on proportional representation and judge on the basis of your being better than your neighbour.

You should not miss it because someone you looked up to stumbled along the way. Do what is right and pray for those that you think are lost.

Let me close with Luke 18:9-14, King James Version: “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself: ‘God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying: ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

If you want to judge, Jesus would say in Matthew 7:5: “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Wisdom says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” We will enter heaven by grace, not works. Let us all play our part and allow God to work on our neighbour.

All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.