Sunday, 7 June 2020

Platforms For The Equipped Saints

"Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his ministry and build up the church, the body of Christ." (Eph 4:11-12).

It is all of God's people that is supposed to do the work of the ministry. They will do the work of the ministry wherever they find themselves. Jesus called us the Ecclesia (ecclesia is the word translated as church in the KJV). And an ecclesia is a government, it is ancient Athens governmental system, and Jesus wants to have that kind of governmental system installed in his kingdom, hence he calls us his ecclesia. This means we are not the subject of his kingdom but the government. We are the government of the Kingdom of God and we are to execute the reign of God wherever we finds ourselves. 

"Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church [Ecclesia], and the gates of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven." (Matt 16:18-19).

The above is the first time the word "Ecclesia" appeared in the New Testament. And here is Jesus explained what the Ecclesia is meant to do. The Ecclesia is meant to contend with the gate of hell and wield the key to the Kingdom of heaven. Wherever the Ecclesia (the believers) find themselves, they are supposed to contend with every gate of hell in that place and execute the government of God their. This is our work as believers, it is not just about winning souls. Winning souls is only one aspect of contending with the gates of hell. There are many ways we are to contend with the gates of hell. 

So when we are well equipped by the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, then we would be mature enough to carry out these functions. So as believers we all live in our own locality, hence there is supposed to be ecclesia in every locality where believers are. Each ecclesia would be responsible for the government of God in their locality. By locality I mean compounds, streets, bus-stops, areas, villages, local government, towns, state, country and continent. This ecclesia consists of believers who fellowship together and exercise governmental power corporately in their locality (I mean the governmental power of God's kingdom). 

Now, apart from the homes, another place the believers find themselves is the secular world. Many of us have secular jobs, apart from home we spend more time in our workplace. In fact, some people spend more time in the workplace than at home. And in these workplace there are gates of hell, and there is also the need to experience the government of God there. True evangelism is about making the people come in contact with the government of God (the kingdom of heaven). This is why the evangelists are usually blessed with the power gifts so that they will be able to give people a taste of heaven. 

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Rev 21:4).

When the sick are healed and tears are wiped away, they have tasted the government of God, which is the Kingdom of heaven. When the death are raised, the possessed and oppressed are set free, they have tasted of the government of God. It is this taste that would make them realize how sweet the Kingdom is, as such they end up making a decision to give their lives to Christ. 

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." (Psa 34:8).

When you taste and see that the Lord is good, you will want to give your life and take refuge in his kingdom. So winning souls is not just about trying to convince people to give their life to Christ. It is rather about giving people a taste of God's government. So in our workplace we are to shut down the gates of hell and exercise God’s government. This alone will bring many harvest to the Kingdom, and even if it doesn't bring harvest to the Kingdom it is our duty, it is what we are called to do. 

So it is the work of the apostle to set up platforms where the equipped saints can carry out this special calling. The apostle will set up the local ecclesia using God's blueprint, and he will also organize the secular people to be a unique kind of ecclesia. That is, all the believers working in a particular workplace would be organized together to contend with the gates of hell in that organization and exercise God's kingdom in it. Spiritual people know that each organization, company or institution have there own demonic prince that rules it. And now God is sending apostles to specific aspects of the secular world to organize the believers there as an ecclesia to contend with the contend with the gates of hell in that sphere. 

In Nigeria political system we see the reign of corrupt, yet there are Christians in that system. The work of the believers there is not just to do politics. They are meant to be intentional and strategic, they are supposed to be organized together to shut down those gates of hell present in that institution. Many Christians have gone into politics and are consumed by it. We can't fight it individually. We need apostles to organize us together as a community to strategically and supernaturally combat these gates of hell. Jesus has given us a promise, "the gates of hell will not prevail" (Matt 16:18). This mean we will surely we this battle if we fight according to Christ. 

The truth is that everywhere believers find ourselves we are supposed to fellowship with each other. And if we are always meeting each other at work then we should form a kind of ecclesia there. The problem we have in today's Christianity is that we are so divided. In each workplace you will find many Christians but each one of them belongs to a separate denomination, as such they can't fellowship with each other. Even those that try to fellowship with each other are not taught that they are the Ecclesia of God and they are supposed to contend with the gates of hell in that workplace and exercise the government of God there. 

Many Christians don't even know what Ecclesia is. We have replaced ecclesia with church and we think what God has called us to do is to go to one building every Sunday to worship God. Worship is not what you do in a building, it is what you do with your life. Worship is what the priest does, and everywhere we find ourselves we are meant to be priests, prophets and kings, manifesting the government of God. 

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