DAY 3 EVENING SESSION (NIGHT GOOD NEWS AND WONDERS)
The first sermon for the third night was taken by the Deputy General Overseer of this great mission in person of Pastor (PROF.) S.O. Ewuola. He preached on the topic “Enter through the narrow gate”. The man of God said Jesus is the way and no other way (no matter how right the other way may look), Jesus is the access to which we can get you to heaven. Though there are many trends on the wide way. But we should have it at the back of our minds that the wide way (which is glamorous) can lead to eternal destruction. There is also a narrow way which cannot accommodate a person not to mention a person with luggage. A person with baggage of sin cannot walk the narrow way. The narrow road only accepts one who will leave all behind and follow through without temptation. When you enter through the gate, then you are free from sin and its suffering. Entering into the gate can be determined by your relationship with God. Walking through the narrow way also determines your possession, blessings and eternal life. He went further to quote a word of Jesus which says, “enter ye through the safe gate”. This safe gate is Jesus. To make it through to heaven, you must have Jesus. Jesus is the narrow way and only Saviour.
If you must enter through the gate, you must stop sinning because the way cannot accommodate you with sin (I john 2: 3, 4). It is a solitary road because you will not find your friends and family. The narrow way is the way to eternal life. Unless you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, your eternal life is not guaranteed.
DAY 3 HOUR OF DISCOVERY
The session was taken by Pastor C.O. Abe and the topic says: ‘Our God is Able”. The texts were taken from Daniel 3: 7, Luke 3: 18, Romans 4: 21, Ephesians 3: 20, 21. He started by asking who this able God is. The works the able God is capable of doing which include:
1. The able God in mighty works
2. The able God in soul wining
3. The able God in surprise lifting of Joseph
He went further to say this able God is the creator of the universe and the greatest one in existence. He also said, imagination cannot phantom His work. The parting of the red sea in the book Exodus 14: 21. The sun standing still for 24hours at Joshua’s word. Hezekiah’s proclamation of death and it’s reversal for additional 15years.
He pointed to the fact that He is able in conversion and soul wining (James 4: 21). So also in surprise lifting of Joseph (Deuteronomy 28: 1, Genesis 37: 5-28). The devil tried to kill his dream, he was thrown into the pit, he was sold out to slavery, the devil imprisoned him, the king’s cup bearer forgot about him but despite all the challenges he faced, he was lifted and appointed the chief prime minister of the country.
Highlight of Day three from the teaching of the General Overseer.
Topic Astonishing in Parables and wisdom
The lord Jesus, on several occasions, spoke in parable to His disciples because He desired that His audience should be a good. Speaking in parables in the yester years had been a strong instrument that was used for effective acquisition of knowledge. Christ uses parables to speak with His audience so as to affirm His massage to His audience. The use of parables and stories is good in communication in the sense that, if the audience forgets the real massage, they are quick to remember the parables of the story that goes along with the massage. Parable according to definition is an earthly story that illustrates the heavenly truth. ‘Parable is usually short fictions story that illustrate a moral attitude or a religious principle’. The reason of using parable to disseminate the kingdom massage is because different people with different agenda as they came to Jesus will also come to us to listen to us, more so, because of fault-finders and so, parable may be needed to communication to such people.
Why should we embrace the use of parable? That the disciples may know more about the mysteries of the kingdom of God. To create eagerness to interested hearers to know more. That those who are disinterested in the truth and kick against it to become more ignorant. That Isaiah’s prophecy might be fulfilled, which says: “Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed. Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them” (verses 14, 15). That to interested hearers, parables are blessings (verses 16,17). I advise you to be one of the interested hearers who are eager to learn and know more from the Lord. May we know more of the mysteries of the kingdom? Some of the Parables of Jesus Enumerated include The Parable of the House on The Rock (Matt. 7:24-29). Two builders are mentioned here: the wise and the foolish builders. The wise is he who hears the word of God and does it .The wise builder who built on a solid foundation, the floods came and could not destroy the house because it was built on the rock (verses 24, 25). Second, the foolish builder is he who builds on the sand. That is, he hears the word but he does not do it. When the floods came and the winds blew on it the house fell. And great was the fall (verses 26, 27). The floods could be trials, temptations, persecutions and so on. Bottom-line: “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).
Secondly, parable of the sower (Matt. 13:1-9). The same seeds fell on four different soils: Some of the seeds fell by the wayside. Birds came and devoured them (verse 4). Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth but immediately sprang up and later got scorched by the sun and got withered (verses 5, 6). Some others fell among thorns. The thorns choked them (verse 7). But others fell on the good ground and yielded a crop. Some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (verse 8).
Thirdly, the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matt. 13:24-30). “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; “but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. “But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. “So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ “He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ “But he said,
‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. ‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn”. Here also is a lesson for us, the multitude who heard the parable went away without asking any question about the parable and most of them (if not all) did not understand the parable, but the disciples who listened very well and wanted to know more, quietly and sincerely asked their Master to explain it to them. This is what a good learner who wants to become like his/her master should do. Then the Lord explained to them the interpretation of the parable thus:
? Jesus Himself, the Son of Man is He who sows the good seed (verse 37).
? The field where the seed is sown is the world (verse 38), the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom (verse 38). Note that both of them are in the world, even probably in the Church. You better examine yourself to identify whose seed you are, because by their fruit you will know them (Matt. 7:20).
? The enemy who sowed the tares is the devil (verse 39), the harvest ti[me is the end of the age (not now) (Verse 39). So that they will not mistake the wheat for the tares!
? since the tares are meant for fire so shall it be at the end of this age, the Lord Jesus will send His angels to gather all those who offend and those who practice lawlessness in His kingdom and cast them into the furnace of fire (verses 40-42). Notice that those referred to here are human beings who are described as tares. They are meant for destruction in the lake of fire- there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth forever – no way out. Watch out.
Then, the righteous who are described as the wheat will shine forth in the kingdom of their (our) Father. He who wants to believe this let him believe! The ball is in your court (verse 43).
Don’t be surprised that even in the Church, the tares are there. Those who choose to belong to the devil though they come to the Church but they are just tares, they belong to the devil their father, as Jesus told the unbelieving Jews (John 8:44). Wheat and tares are present in the church today and this is why u must examine self if you are wheat or tares because they both exist in the church to day.
Fourthly, The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matt. 13:31,32). “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, “which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches”.
A Mustard seed is very small. This parable illustrates the kingdom of heaven. It also describes its phenomenal growth that birds of the air nest in its branches, which means evil and demons find their way into it. Today you find different kinds of demonic powers operating in the name of the Christian religion. May God deliver His Church from pollution and falsehood?
The parable of the wise and foolish virgins- (Matt. 25:1-13). The lesson here for us is that we should always be ready for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. To live as if His coming back were today (Matt. 25:13; I John 3:1-3). That is wisdom. We should be filled with the Holy Spirit and be led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14). In short, it is wisdom to remember that our Lord can come at any time and be also ready for Him at any time He comes.
The parable of the talent- (Matt. 25:14-30). The lessons for us here are that every one of us has been given one gift or more (Eph. 4:7). We must use the gift in our Church and outside the Church to bring more people to our Church and the kingdom of God. As we use our gifts we will have more (verse 29), but anyone who fails to use his/her gifts will lose the one he/she has, and would be labelled unprofitable servant who will be thrown to the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (verse 30). Therefore, use your gift. To before warn is to be forearmed. I pray that each of us will be a profitable servant for the Lord so that we will be rewarded on the last day. Amen. Other Parables in Other Gospel Books includes, the Parable of the Great Supper: “Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, “and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ “But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ “And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ “Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ “So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ “And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ “Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. ‘For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper” (Luke 14:15-24).
This parable also relates to the present age when sinners make flimsy excuses for not accepting the gospel as they seem not to have time for God. The excuses here are not tenable: For example, (verse 18) how can someone buy a property which he has never seen, even in this jet age of technology when people buy products and pay without both the seller and the buyer seeing each other physically, but the buyer will see the picture of the product on the internet. Another parable (verse 19); there is no wisdom in first buying old oxen which you knew could not be good for plowing and then go and test them after the purchase. This does not make sense. The third one (in verse 20) says: he has just married, therefore he could not come. What does this excuse have to do here? A new wife does not disturb anyone from attending a banquet just for few hours. His host did not ask him to divorce his wife in order to attend the supper. All the three excuses are worthless. Verse 21: when the owner of the supper heard all these irrelevant excuses from his servants whom he sent to the guests, he became very angry. He had the right to be angry because those whom he invited here disappointed him at the zero hour when the banquet was ready. In short, this parable applies to the nation of Israel who had firsthand offer of the gospel to them as a nation but rejected it (see Matt. 21:33-46 and in Paul’s and Barnabas’ encounter with the Jews in Antioch in Pisidia who rejected the gospel).
The wisdom of the astonishing Christ. At The Age Of Twelve: The Boy Jesus surprised the Jewish Scholars (Luke 2:41-50): Jesus did not go home with His mother after the feast in Jerusalem but stayed in the temple “sitting in the midst of the teachers”, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers (verses 46, 47). This is why I call Him, the Astonishing Christ. Which School did Jesus attend? Hear what his listeners once said about Him in John 7:15: And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” I am yet to see the name of that School in my Bible. How about you? Here, Jesus was seen questioning and answering the religious teachers and Rabbis in the temple. Verse 52 says: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men”. Likewise, let’s endeavour to increase also in wisdom and in favour with God (see II Pet. 3:18). The Sadducees: About the Resurrection (Mark 12:18-27). The Sadducees were a religious sect among the Jews who did not believe in the resurrection.
They came to Jesus in a subtle way to tempt Him and put Him to open ridicule on the subject of resurrection which Jesus taught and preached. They brought a fake story of a family of seven sons who married the same woman one after another because the woman did not have children for the first man. The seven brothers married the same woman and the woman gave no child, at last the woman died. “Therefore, in the resurrection whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife” (verse 23). They thought that they had roped Jesus in a corner. It was true that Moses gave them the law about a brother who died without a child; his brother should marry his late brother’s wife – the first son which she bears will succeed the name of the dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out in Israel see (Deut. 25:5,6). But the story which the Sadducees brought was a lie. In verses 24-27: Jesus put them to shame because they did not know the power of God and the word of God. No marriage in heaven after resurrection. Verses 26, 27 state that God is not the God of the dead but the God of the living. The Astonishing Christ brought them low by saying “…You are therefore greatly mistaken” (verse 27). They left there with shame. Praise the Lord!
Conclusively, our study in this chapter has taken us through some of Jesus’ parables which are exciting, instructive and educative. It is for us to make good use of them in our ministries and personal life. Our Lord demonstrated the wisdom that no human intellectual has ever attained. May we tap from His wisdom and His excellent Spirit in our lives and ministries. Amen