The third day of the Divine Commonwealth Conference continued at the National Christian Center, Abuja with bible study this time on the topic ` Master do you not care that we perish’. The Rt. Rev. Stephen Akobe of Kabba Diocese reiterated that suffering for Christians does not mean the absence or inability of Christ to save. Sometimes, suffering might be a medium of training of Christians to bring them to a great future.
Speaking on Paul’s mission in Colossae, Bishop Akobe stated that Paul referred to himself as a servant of the gospel and therefore, he had to suffer a few times for the sake of the gospel and to reach the lost. According to him, many times people talk about suffering for Christ but rarely talk about suffering for the Church as Paul did for the Colossian Church.
The Bishop emphasized that in every trial, temptation or challenge, God always provides solution and grace for His people. He however pointed out that all sufferings are not allowed by God because some are as a result of sin, ignorance, inaction or inability of the believer to take the right steps or actions.
The Bishop went further to say that it is true that Jesus saved us from sin, the world and Satan but pleaded that one should accept Him as our Lord and personal Savior, reminding that salvation remains a free will offering. Jesus never imposes but he gently calls us to himself.
He said that some ministers would claim that they are the missioner forgetting that God is the missioner while the minister is the pipe where the power of God flows. He said all manner of people, called and uncalled now came into the ministry, explaining that people responded differently, some due to unemployment, financial and positional seeker.
The Rt. Revd. Rufus Adepoju, Bishop of Ekiti West on the other hand said during intercessory prayer for the church that the church remains the backbone of evangelism and missionary work. People may contribute money but prayer goes a long way in converting sinners. The Church in Coloose had prayer warriors and laborers in God’s vineyard. Evangelism remains the best thing Christians can do as we have been commissioned in Matt. 28:19 to do.
The Bishop asked for a personal suffering for the Lord as Paul on his own suffered with a thorn in his flesh.
On how to fulfill our ministry, Bishop Akin Atere of Awori Diocese in his own submission said that Paul in his own time was committed to the work of the ministry and urged Christians to be faithful, hardworking, seriously carrying out the work of God where ever they found themselves.
In submission, Colossians 1:12 was the last hope of everyone pressing towards the kingdom of God. One must submit to the very will of God and allow God to take charge of their lives.
Colossians 2:9, Christ is the head, He has cancelled every handwritten of the enemies against us and taking authority over the enemy called Satan.
Participants agreed that Christians who are true believers must take authority over Satan by commanding him with the authority in the power of the word.
The Primate of all Nigeria, Anglican Communion, The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, said that most Christians have been taken captive by ‘Health and Wealth’ teachings because they are materialistic and greedily look out for their selfish gains. He said that this does not apply to only members but mostly the priests who want to live large, therefore go about adopting the styles of teachings done by Pentecostal churches. They make false prophesies and declarations in order to attract wealth to themselves. The head of Nigerian Anglican communion reminded all that the missionaries who brought Christianity to Nigeria did not teach people to look out for just themselves but also for others.