MANY have given themselves thumbs up, declaring that God was in their work because of wonders happening during gatherings. Jesus warned us in Mark 13:22: “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” This isn’t something so distant away. Falsehoods, heresies and deception are so rampant and prevalent these days. 1 John 2:18, reveals: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” For purposes of clarity, I will repeat my disclaimer, as it were, like I said last week.
devotion column: Erasmus Makarimayi
From the outset, let me be clear that we shouldn’t be jealous of those divinely gifted in certain workings of miracles. However, we should never envy satanic displays of wonders
Sound doctrine has to take centre stage and be emphasised. Titus 2:1: stresses: “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” Many have departed from the Gospel of Christ or the grace of God to deliver sermons tailor-made by hearers and not dispensed by the Chief Shepherd Jesus Christ, who should guide and direct how He wants His flock to be fed. 2 Timothy 4:3, expressly tells us: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” A simple test for dear ministers is the imagery that if Jesus Himself was among the congregation and seated on the front row, would you say and do what you would be saying and doing? You know Jesus is there, don’t you?
A considerable number attend church meetings where their natural needs are met, but they leave with more confusion created in their knowledge of God. While wonders would be on display, greater and more needs were bestowed upon them. Some are misled into believing that God blessed them because they gave, sowed, did this or didn’t do this or that. We remain generous and indeed give for the cause of the Gospel and in thanksgiving for the grace of God. However, we know the truth as clearly stated in Romans 8:32: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” We, therefore, cannot induce God by money or material things.
Without being instilled with fear, we actually give more being grateful for God’s mercy, kindness and goodness.
The truth has to be taught. As born again believers, we’re already blessed. Ephesians 1:3, settles: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” This truth may initially lead some to withhold their free will offerings. However, as they grow in grace, they will open their hands to give cheerfully. Many preachers testify that revenue declined when they started to minister the grace of God, having started ministry by promising members “breakthroughs” based on sowing. Patience is needed because over time, generous giving resumes and even more than before.
We must contend for the supernatural, but ensure that it’s that which is of faith not works. Galatians 3:5, clarifies: “He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” The message is more vital than the signs, yet a message without signs is questionable. Jesus says in John 6:26-27, Amplified: “26 Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you have been searching for Me, not because you saw the miracles and signs but because you were fed with the loaves and were filled and satisfied. 27 Stop toiling and doing and producing for the food that perishes and decomposes [in the using], but strive and work and produce rather for the [lasting] food which endures [continually] unto life eternal; the Son of Man will give (furnish) you that, for God the Father has authorized and certified Him and put His seal of endorsement upon Him.” This was just after a major miracle. The miracles meet natural needs. The message builds you, thus meeting the more vital needs. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.
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