BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE
The Rt. Rev’d Ephraim Ikeakor, Bishop of Amichi Anglican Diocese has termed it, “silly” to create a spiritual standard that is different from the one that Jesus Christ has set for Christians to follow.
According to him, “This is silly, because the judgement of God will not be based on man’s standards, but on the standard of God.”
Bishop Ikeakor made this known as he delivered a sermon on the topic, “Don’t be silly” at a Sunday service.
The Bishop who charged Christians not to be foolish or silly with their Christianity, explained that taking the holy things of God for granted is to be silly. He defined as silly, a person who behaved in a manner that he or she ought not to or a person who abandons what he or she ought to do and is busy doing something else.
He decried the fact that a lot of those who call themselves Christians are becoming foolish, in terms of their preparedness towards the judgement and the second coming of Jesus Christ. He said many have “ridiculously” reduced the standard of Christianity and have begun to interpret it to suit their own emotional desires. This, he added, is the reason for this wake up call and clarion call to Christians.
The Bishop of Amichi observed that the present day Christianity is one of convenience, whereby anything that inconveniences one’s lifestyle and mannerism becomes unacceptable. He noted that just like the five foolish virgins in the Bible that used their own ideology to make assumptions about the bridegroom, some Christians have programmed that Jesus Christ would return at a certain time. Hence, according to him, as the time continues to stretch longer, they are unprepared for the waiting period and thus, they begin to lose the standard of Christ and relax their guard unnecessarily.
In his words, “Many are running this race as if they are holding God’s timetable; and some preachers are not helping matters.”
He quoted the scripture, which states that no one knows the time or the hour when Jesus would return, except the Father; stressing that Christians need to always be prepared for the second coming of Christ. He pointed out that being born again is the registration point towards making heaven, not the end of the journey; because the believer is required to run the race faithfully and be ready at the point of the master’s return.
Bishop Ikeakor warned believers against getting carried away with the noisy worship, without requisite holiness, in some Churches today. He asserted that a lot of things in the world have been formulated to derail children of God from the kingdom of God.
He emphasized that these times require extra grace to stand and run the Christian race. Therefore, he charged Christians to stick to God’s standard at all times, and not that of any individual. He called for constant self-examination and a rekindled personal altar.