Since I became born again in 1998, I have been accosted severally by different opposing and divergent religious groups under the guise of Christianity. I do not know if there is any religion in the world as represented by its handlers as confused, complex and contradictory and proliferated in various version, as the Christian faith today. There have been a tremendous shift and modification done to the gospel. The church has tried as much as she could to re-package the gospel in other to accommodate the interest of the world. You hear of so many bizarre, unprintable, unspeakable and idiosyncratic demeanor, messages, practice, beliefs and positions, in terms of philosophy held by Christian practitioner’s world over.
Human tradition and ordinances seems to have taken over from the principles, doctrines as handed over to us by Christ through the apostolic ministry. Christianity, is an ancient religion and a fulfillment of covenant promise as handed over to Abraham. God spoke to Abraham that through his ‘seed’ shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Note quickly that Abraham had many ‘seeds.’ But God said, his ‘seed,’ indicative of Christ who was many hundred years ahead to be born at that material time. Those who are not called God’s people shall later be called and known of the Lord as prophesied by Prophet Isaiah.
It therefore behooves on us to appreciate the fact that Christianity is a continuation and manifestation of the contingent plan as laid down by God. The promise ab initio was made to Abraham and his children-the Jews. But by function of faith and justification by faith in Jesus Christ according to Romans 5, 11:11-25 Galatians 3:29, the gentiles which are people or nations other than the Jewish nation were grafted in into the tree of eternal life and salvation plan of God. Invariably, by function of being in Christ, the gentiles becomes partaker or heir of the promise made to Abraham and his Children-the Jews.
So many people think that church and Christianity is all about clapping, dancing and praying loud prayers. No! It is far beyond that. Christianity is a revelation, and a vision handed down by God to Christ the author and finisher of our faith.
Beloved, I have found the truth and that is what I am willing to share with you.
It is the lack of revelation knowledge and gross ignorance of the vision that makes believers to grope in gross darkness, thereby fumbling and stumbling thereby. They tenaciously, like Saul of Tarsus( Before he got born again) , hold firmly to religion, carnality and denominational bias and segregation; thereby off-setting the revelation-Jesus, for upon whom is the sole basis of our belief in the first place. There are several underlying factors that makes people to fail God. God is not a figment of our imagination. He is not a fairy tale or a fairy god-mother who just does nothing but our bid. These 34 factors or reason are dealt with in full details to serve as a guard and compass to re-directing and re-focusing believers in this contemporary times to the objective of our faith as laid down by Christ and the early apostles.
God has ways to be followed by all adherents of Christ. God is not emotion. He is not worship or music. God is not prayer or dancing. God is not a temple or a magnificent place of worship. God is not oratory or rhetoric, intelligence and modernism. He is the ancient of the days. He is Holy and righteous and has chosen to redeem men back to himself through the auspices of Christianity of whom Jesus Christ is the chief custodian. So many miss the mark of following Christ by appreciating mundane things which are not determinants or pointer to real salvation and acceptance of God.
This study and message is wholly based on the leading of the Holy Spirit, in-depth study and Sixteen years of experience as a born again believer and as an understudy under several ministers and ministries. It is based on real life experience and observations in light of the scriptures.
It is never a speculation, assumption, fiction or an unverified claims.
Christianity from Men’s view
Christianity has taken so many divergent meaning among Christian circles and the observing majority. Subsequent to the death of the first and early apostles of Jesus Christ, Christianity has undergone so many modifications and amendments, brokered by those who were threatened by its glory and felt that its teachings are unattainable or a restrain of their fleshly cravings.
Christianity has been misconstrued by some as a means to an end. It is quite disheartening that people see Christianity as a medium or interface to earn favor from God without an inkling to what He expects of them. The intention to serve God (JEHOVAH) is totally absent neither do they receive the gift of salvation through the auspices of Jesus Christ.
Some denomination (church, or religious movement), in extremity, had had the guts to change or add their own version, thoughts or human creed to the very sacred writings of the Holy Bible, a container of the truth. Their bible, though compromised, had become a vehicle to convey their corrupt human will on unsuspected souls and adherents.
Most of the early post-apostles Christians were denied access to the bible by the early denominationalists. They were instead given booklets containing denominational dogma or creeds. Relationship with Christ was sacrificed for romance with religion and strengthening of the walls of denominationalism averse with the ways and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. All these and more has been the cause of confusion, indifference and taking into liberties, posterity, subsequent to the early apostles in history, face in regards to the true definition of Christianity. They succeeded in making people to see God through the lens of denominationalism, creed, human doctrine, sacraments and ceremonial rituals.
Consequent upon that, men’s approach to Christ’s death and sacrifice in bringing REDEMPTION and SALVATION from SIN for all mankind, with its prerequisite of repentance and regeneration, is now more of a ceremonial ritual practice and not a personal internalized experience. They chose to embrace ideologies such as atheism or humanism, religion and its attendant rituals, thereby off-setting the very essence of salvation. That’s what false religion at its climax can give one.
Derek Prince in his book ‘They shall expel demons’ said: “Satan will do all the damage he can to humanity through ideologies such as atheism or humanism, but false religion is an infinitely more powerful tool in his hands.”
False religion is modification of Christian religion other than for the purpose of Faith, salvation, righteousness and reconnection to God. False Religion could not have done any better. False Religion magnifies and projects the works and effort of man in an attempt to qualify and grant him access and acceptance before an imaginary God. That’s self-defeating. Christ Jesus has paid it all! Not by works! Find out how? Truly how? Take a vacation off denominationalism and find out personally who God really is! Don’t worry we’ll show you how. We are all in this together.
Christianity is about a personal relationship with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Christ did not come to bring a religion to add to the endless lists of religion already in existence. No! He brought an access via the auspices of relationship so as to reconcile men back to God their maker and not to religion or fundamental wisdom of the world. If religion could do the work of redemption, God would not have sent his son Jesus Christ.
Several groups of people, movement had also established their own version of religion as a form of Christianity inter-woven with some portion of the bible, Classical humanism, philosophy, science, psychology, Kryptonic, occult and psychic powers.
Some define Christianity by function of their denominational or dogmatic disposition. For some others, once you are born in a Christian home or married to a ‘Christian,’ you are automatically conferred with the status. For some, once you attend church, baptized into your church’s doctrine, become a communicant (receiving Holy Communion), you are now a Christian.
In recent times, many professing Christians, churches and ministers who have a claim of call from God do not even understand the subject matter they are called to represent and profess, let alone having an experience and relationship with God via Jesus Christ.
May I submit to you, for further evidence, without prejudice, that all these as explained above are parallel to the biblical definition of a Christian. Back to our question ‘Who is a Christian?’
Who is a Christian?
According to Harnack Adolf (1899/1900) “…Christian religion is something simple and sublime; it means one thing and one thing only: Eternal life in the midst of time, by the strength and under the eyes of God.”
Easton Bible dictionary puts the meaning of Christian this way:
“The name given by the Greeks or Romans, probably in reproach, to the followers of Jesus. It was first used at Antioch. The names by which the disciples were known among themselves were
“Brethren,” “the faithful,” “elect,” “saints,” “believers.”
But as distinguishing them from the multitude without, the name
“Christian” came into use, and was universally accepted.
This name occurs but three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26;
26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16).”
The word ‘Christ’/ ‘ian’ is a two syllable word coined from two different words: Christ and ‘ianos.’ The Greek suffix, ‘ianos’ according to Holman illustrated Bible dictionary, is applied mainly to bond slaves. It implies being an adherent of an individual or group. In a more simplified meaning, a Christian is an adherent and a slave of Christ.
A Christian is any one COMMITTED to follow Christ all the way through. If a ‘Christian’ is a follower of Jesus Christ, He must follow him in the right way as proffered by the Holy Scriptures via the Holy Spirit. Note carefully, religion was not mentioned in the definition of Christianity. It did not say being an adherent of religion. If that’s true, it would have been ‘RELIGIONIAN’ and not ‘CHRISTIAN.’
Joyce Meyer in her book ‘How to hear from God’ made a striking remark in this regard:
“Jesus did not die so we could have religion; He died so we could be one with God through Him, so we could have a deep personal relationship with the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
It is important to note that Christianity is a product of Christ’s death and sacrifice on Calvary. The New Testament believers were first labelled “Christians’ in Antioch (Acts 11:26) as a way of mockery, meaning ‘followers of Christ.’ Those who labelled the early believers ‘Christians were not Christians, neither did they believe in Jesus. But they recognized, the spirit, example, character and lifestyle of Christ whom they crucified, in the life of these believers! That’s enough food for thought for all of us!
Are you a ‘Christian’ or merely ‘religious’ or ‘Churchious?’ Christianity is not a function of conferment. It’s not function of titles, prefixes or suffices. It’s all about one’s relationship with Christ. You must be born into it spiritually by being born again, repentance, forsaking all sinful old ways and carry the cross. An adherent of Christ is more of an ambassador. He must be able to represent Christ very well. He must be in the habit of sharing the gospel to all and sundry.
The prerequisite or necessary steps taken in order to become a true Christian includes, though not limited to the following: (Scripture reference: Rom 10:17,John 3;15&16, 1Tim 1:15, 2 Corinth 7:10, Romans 10:9&10, Rev, 3:5, Mark 1:4, Rom 6;4, Eph 4:5, Colossians 2:12, 1 Peter 3:21, Ephesians 1:13, 4:13, Rom 8:10, :14,:16, Acts 2:4, 19:6, Heb. 4:12, 2 Timothy 2:5, 1 Peter 2:21, Titus 2:14, 3:5,Rom. 12:2)
- 1. Hearing of the gospel of righteousness and salvation
- Belief in the gospel (The preaching of the gospel is all about bringing conviction to the heart of souls)
- 3. Acceptance of the gospel righteousness and salvation by faith
- Godly sorrow (Regret and grief over past sins and lifestyle).
There are so many people in church today who are not sorrowful over their past and current sinful condition. They rather boast in immorality, sorcery, murder, wickedness and alcoholism. Too bad. They have become a mighty and powerful tool in the hands of the devil.
- 5. Acceptance of Jesus genuinely into your heart
- Repentance and Confession of Christ and sins. If done genuinely, a spiritual transaction occurs spontaneously. A regeneration or rebirth takes place in one’s spirit. One becomes a new creature and now born the second time (born again) by the Holy Spirit. Hence, on becomes the seed of God with God’s DNA and characteristics which include Holiness, love, faith, humility, peace, goodness, patience, gentleness. One thus, hungers insatiably for righteousness and on how to pleas the Lord always.
- Forsaking sin, Satan and the world (Including one’s unbelieving friends and company, old and sinful lifestyle, language and corrupt knowledge).
- One’s name is written in the book of the lamb.
- Proper baptism by immersion or being submerged into the water wholly. It is indicative of our death with Christ and to sin, resurrection with Christ into the newness of life. It is a compulsory Christian initiation or ritual that implies an answer of good conscience to the call of God unto repentance and salvation. Repentance, must precede baptism. Baptism is for repented adult or adolescent who is conscious and aware of his or her state of sin and rebellion unto God; having made full commitment to God in true repentance, now opts for water baptism. Baptism is not a church formality or sacrament for members. You must be born again or else it is invalid. Nowhere in the bible were infants baptized. Sprinkling is no baptism. Another name for baptism is immersion or submergence. Another name for sprinkling is scattering.
- Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is compulsory for all believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues. The tongue must not be taught by anybody or manufactured by combining consonants and vowels. It should come from the Holy Spirit. As many that are led by the spirit of the Lord are the children of God. By implication, if you don’t have the Holy Spirit, your religion is not valid and is no different than that of Saul of Tarsus before he Repented. Carnality is a function of absence of the Holy Spirit. These are the fruit of carnality and carnal Christians: envy, gossip, jealousy, strive, bitterness, malice, self, pride, fighting and quarrelling. If you are a Christian filled with the Holy Spirit, the first fruit the Holy Spirit produces in you is love for God and your fellow man. Others include: faith, humility, patience, long suffering, goodness, meekness, peace.
- Ferocious hunger for the fullness of God’s word. The use of the word ‘ferocious’ was intentional to describe the behavior of a hungry wild animal in contact with other animals. For example, a lion and an antelope. You will discover to your amazement that the Lion first of all disarms its victim, lays it on the ground bare and begins to tear it into pieces, exposing every part of its victim and consumes its victim with full force in other to have its fill as fast as possible with large amount of delicacy. The lion does not try to attempt the meat or flesh of its victim by taking the eyes or limb only to come back few days or weeks after. No! So many believers do same by attempting the word of God. They read only the portion that suits them and leave the rest for the pastor and his or her enemies. That’s wrong! The word of god must be taken in full dose and raw just like the Lion did not try to cook the meat of its victim. It eats it RAW! Brother, sister, study to show yourself approved! Sit down and study.
- Living a sanctified life
- 13. Zeal to serve and propagate the gospel
- 14. Willingness to suffer for the gospel and your belief
- Living an exemplary life of holiness, pure conscience, peace, love and good character before God and man.
- Living a life of goodness and walking in love.
Having understood the circumstance that had defined a Christianity from past historical distortion, we are now able to come up with a valid definition based on the scriptures.
Now let’s examine the 34 reasons why most Christians fail God:
1. Lack of knowledge
Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”
Knowledge is the secret key and power to unravel mysteries. Without a good knowledge of how things work in life, one might be endangering one’s life. Imagine what life would look like, if one is not able to separate the difference between a table water and an acid. Do they look the same? Yes! But they are different in chemical composition.
Anything you do not know, especially, if it is within your jurisdiction to know, may slow you down, incapacitate or even kill you! Knowledge influences the way you behave. The way you behave reflects the measure of knowledge of the word of God you have.
People are usually given over to destruction for their lack of knowledge not because of unavailability of information (the scriptures) that brings knowledge, but because of their unwillingness to seek for knowledge or to apply them.
You cannot serve a God you do not know, let alone obeying his commandments or representing him effectively.
Roger L. Omanson puts it more clearly: “The Christian’s knowledge of Jesus is the perception of Jesus as the revelation of God that leads to obedience to his word of love. So the Christian is caught up into God’s mission of love to the world in order that the world may come to know and believe in Jesus as the revelation of the father’s love for the world.”
Most people serve a ‘mental’ God. They express their thought and emotion in form of praise, prayer to an imaginary god that resides in their mind. They embraced religion and its intricacies but missed out on the real substance ‘God.’
Nature, circumstances, life and people tells us about God only in a vague sense. It is only through thorough search, study and meditation of the scriptures with view to finding God, can we come to the knowledge of the truth about God.
Most people do not know what it means to walk by faith or walk in love. They want proofs and evidence before they take positive steps towards advancement in life. Little wonder, they patronize charismatic sorcerers (supposedly ministers) who tell them about their future, thus giving them Satan’s destiny for their lives altogether. Each time you expose yourself to satanic minsters or occult powers, you receive, incorporated in their message of prophecy or solution, satanic destiny or will for your life. Satanic destiny equals to satanic control over one’s life. You can be healed of sickness today and your child dies, maybe, seven or ten years later as a payment of what you thought you received for free. Who do you blame? God or yourself?
Satanic destiny is having Satan deciding the pace, quality of life, life span, events and circumstance of any individual who exposes his or herself to him directly or indirectly or through the agency of fake ‘prophetic, healing homes and miraculous feats.’
We walk by faith and not by sight! Without faith, you cannot access God’s provision for your life. Knowledge is it!
Captivity, confusion and deception abounds for anyone who lacks or refuses to grow in knowledge. Isaiah: 5:13: “Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge…”
God is not known by instincts or by assumptions. He is known by his word. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Invariably, if you do not have a proper grip and database of God’s word, you do not know God!
God is not a function of our emotions or feelings. God is not worship. God is not music. God is not prayer. God is not Praises. God is not dancing. God is not Packaging. God is not smiles. God is not warfare. God is not prosperity. Although all these things are okay, but God is his word! Go for the word. Everything you need is in the word of God! Go for knowledge!
But wait! It is one thing to know the word of God and it is another thing to apply and handle the truth in righteousness. 2 Corinthians 4:2: “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, NOR HANDLING THE WORD OF GOD DECEITFULLY; BUT BY MANIFESTATION OF THE TRUTH commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
The word of God should not be handled deceitfully. Many who have a claim to know the word of God use it as a tool to exploit those who are deficient in its knowledge. The value of the truth you have received is evident in the quality of godly life you live and also the way you perceive and treat the next person around you.
2 Peter:1:3,5,6&8: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Everything you need to be a successful Christian is embed in the word of God. And only through adequate dose of God’s word can you receive the blessing and full knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Most of us worship a ‘God’ we do not know. In that sense, no ‘God’ actually receives our worship. We are actually on our own when we lack the true revelation knowledge of God. God is not a figment of our imagination. Most people serve a mental and imaginary God that appeals to their senses and not JEHOVAH. Let the knowledge of God’s word dwell in us richly.
Colossians: 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…”
We need not to be passive about the revelation knowledge that comes from God’s word. Let the knowledge of God’s dwell richly or in abundance in us. Only then can we make our Christian journey, here and hereafter fruitful. Our goal should not be receiving a befitting Christian burial with great number of ministers in attendance, yet receive an eternal destruction. The goal of Christianity is to love God and communicate such to our neighbor through our character and be raptured or be with Christ at the end of time.