3 THINGS CHRISTIANS SHOULD REMEMBER IN THE NEW YEAR
Happy new year, everyone! I find it incredible that we are in the year 2020. It doesn’t seem so long ago that we approached the year 2000 with trepidation because of the anticipated impact of the Y2K bug (Year 2000 or Millennium Bug).
I also recall when earlier (between 1996 and 1997), 2010 seemed like eons away and Nigeria was confident that her economic blueprint then, Vision 2010, had enough time to be actualised. But today, we are two decades into a new millennium and Nigeria is nowhere near being democratically stable and economically prosperous as the plan projected.
Although there have been advances in science and technology worldwide leading to easier communication; better prevention, treatment and management of diseases; less wars and other benefits, the world has gone berserk morally and is entrenched in its defiance of God.
Therefore, as we (Christians) make our plans and resolutions for the new year, there are certain things we need to bear in mind.
Points to Remember in the New Year
1. This world is not our home: Two decades ago, the Church was very poor (at least the pentecostal segment in Nigeria was). Many Christians lived from hand to mouth, church buildings were small and few parishioners had cars. But today, the prophetic declarations of prosperity coming to the church have been fulfilled. Today we have Christian billionaires like Cosmas Maduka, the President and Chairman of the Coscharis Group of companies. Some of the biggest auditoriums in the world are churches like the 100,000-seater capacity Dunamis’ Glory Dome in Abuja and church parking lots are filled with all manner of pricey cars.
We should not allow the wealth and ease to steal our hearts. We are still pilgrims on earth and we should live with that perspective.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” – Philippians 3:20 (ESV)
We must resist every desire to be overtaken by the love of this world and the pleasures it offers; we must overcome every longing to settle, to act as if we have got all we want here.
“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” – 1 Peter 2:11.
The best attitude is that recommended by Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:31 that “those who use the things of the world,” should not be “engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away” (NIV).
“1. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4. When Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” – Colossians 3:1-4.
2. We are living in the last days- we need to be ready for the Lord’s return: If anyone has doubts that these are the last days, all they need to do is listen to the news. The signs of the times are everywhere: the increase and normalisation of sexual and other kinds of perversions like homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, transgenderism, incest, paedophilia, bestiality, otherkinism (self-identifying as non-human, e.g as a goat or a dragon) and transability (self-identifying as disabled by an able-bodied person which could lead to calculated impairment of the body part so desired, e.g. cutting off a good leg because one sees oneself as one-legged).
Nothing is too shocking for people to advocate and do anymore and those who oppose this slide into insanity are demonised by the woke, who are mere virtue signallers. Take the insistence that there are over 100 genders, for instance. Through the mainstream Western media which has become a cesspool of radical liberalism, those who speak out against these unnatural notions are hounded, attacked physically and punished through cancel culture for being “bigoted,” “hateful” and opposed to “diversity” and “inclusion.” Social justice warriors harass and try to silence those who espouse biblical or traditional views while promoting the most debased ideas and practices. The educational and legal system, the media, United Nations and its agencies, big corporations, entertainers, powerful political parties and actors promote hostility against God and depravity. It all reminds one of the biblical story of the days of Noah.
“5. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth” – Genesis 6:5-7.
You would expect Christians to be united in their stand against the evils of this time but no, many Christian leaders and churches are on the wrong side of the fence, engaging in unbiblical acts like appointing LGBT clergy, conducting same-sex marriages and supporting LGBT causes. A recent example is the Vatican’s funding of Rocketman, the biopic on British musician Elton John, who is married to a fellow man. According to the UK Telegraph newspaper, Rocketman made history as the “first studio film with gay sex scenes” and while celebrating that “accomplishment” and the monumental attention gay sex received in the film, the international men’s magazine Esquire, has this to say:
“When the pants start coming off and we realize that someone is actually about to have sex, the camera doesn’t turn away. That is likely thanks to Elton John, who ensured that the film showed the R-rated parts of his life. The rocker wrote, ‘I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life.”‘
This is the movie sponsored with funds from the charity, Peter’s Pence, and in the Pope’s push to make homosexuality less reprehensible, according to the Fatima Center* (a Catholic organisation):
“the Vatican’s Pontifical Biblical Commission has just published a new book, titled What Is Man? An Itinerary of Biblical Anthropology, which now reduces the ‘sin of Sodom’ to ‘lack of hospitality.’
“According to Vatican experts who oversaw its publication, Sodom and Gomorrah were not punished for engaging in lewd acts with the same sex but were punished for closing their borders and failing to ‘welcome the foreigner.’ The claim is brazenly made that Scripture does not indict homosexual acts but rather indicts those who are ‘inhospitable’ to foreigners. …
“‘a behavior judged very serious and therefore deserving to be sanctioned with the utmost severity, because the rejection of the different, of the needy and defenseless stranger, is a principle of social disintegration, having in itself a deadly violence that deserves an adequate punishment.’
“So according to Francis’ ‘reformed’ Vatican, patriots who courageously guard their borders against Communists and Jihad invaders … deserve punishment while those who offend God by engaging in a terrible sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance (homosexuality) can now be acceptable persons whose lifestyle is ‘legitimate’ and ‘dignified.'”**
Similarly, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church and the Anglican church, among others, are experiencing rifts and upheavals over the issue of endorsing the LGBT lifestyle and appointing clergy from that community.
Furthermore, the pursuit of a cashless society and convenience is leading to the implanting of microchips in people’s hands that contain all their data to enable them shop, operate equipment, etc. without carrying cash and peripheral devices like keys. How much longer before this practice, which is currently voluntary but is being advocated as the way to go, becomes mandatory? These things were foretold as signs to show that the end is near. Those pushing for implants in the human body for financial transactions, open borders and one world government are obviously paving way for the unveiling of the Antichrist, who will rule the world before the Lord Jesus returns.
“16. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” – Revelation 13:16-17
When you see marked wickedness all around you, do not lose heart, know that time is running out.
“Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” – Revelation 12:12 (ESV)
“1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” – 2 Timothy 3:1-4.
3. We need to represent our Lord in every way, share and stand for the gospel in spite of the pervasive and often militant opposition: Seeing the state of the world- the arrogance, the corruption and the destructive behaviour of human beings- the command of our Lord Jesus (the Great Commission) is now more imperative than ever before:
“19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:19-20
None of us is exempt from this duty no matter our status. That is why the billionaire Cosmas Maduka (mentioned earlier) engages in street preaching. And sharing the gospel is by words and action. We cannot be preaching what we do not practise.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” – Ephesians 4:1 (ESV).
“14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
Sure, not everyone will appreciate the light we shine. Many, including the rich and powerful, will try to snuff it out but we must stand our ground because compromise is a route to damnation.
“20. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21. Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” – Isaiah 5:20-21
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” – John 3:19
“32. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 10:32-3
Living by the foregoing reminders will not fully profit us except we resolve to show love and kindness to all. We cannot represent God if we are not walking in love. We cannot see the world as He does (lost, confused and ignorant) when we are not walking in love.
“12. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13. bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” – Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)
However, being kind and loving does not mean sugarcoating the truth or pandering to the misguided and wicked views/behaviour of anyone.
Lord, I thank you for bringing me into the new year. Help me to be focused on pleasing You, to shun the world’s distractions and illicit pleasures and shine Your light to draw souls out of the dominion of darkness into your glorious kingdom. Amen in Jesus’ name.
Hi! Hope you were blessed by this post. Kindly share other things you would like Christians to remember in this new year and beyond.
The scriptures in this post are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible except where otherwise stated.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
**The Bible does reproach the uncharitable lifestyle of the people of Sodom in one verse (Ezekiel 16:49) but in the next verse and in numerous portions of Scripture like Genesis, chapters 18 and 19 where the original story of the city’s destruction was told, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:22-28 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, it expressly condemns homosexuality. Note that the Bible talks about haughtiness in Ezekiel 16:50. Helps one understand the motivation for gay pride parades and other obtrusive practices of the LGBT community.
From His Presence Nonprofit
New Vatican Book Reinterprets Sin of Sodom
Please google this.
*I cite this organisation (Fatima Center) not because I endorse its doctrine but because it’s easier for people to weigh these charges objectively when the source is not Pentecostals, who largely disagree with the Pope, but Catholics.