Written by: Stephen Gachengo
Article source: JOY! Magazine
The Gospel is the most powerful force on this earth. The transformative power of the Cross changes lives around the world daily. If the Gospel is not changing hearts, then it is not the full Gospel that is being preached. In Africa today we see a number of pastors at the pulpits who share the message of Christ, but this is not accompanied by their lifestyles. If we look to Paul in the Bible, he says that our lives should imitate that of Jesus. The power of the message is portrayed through the life of the messenger. That is why Jesus Himself gave the example – He lived a life that was an example to the disciples, making a disciple of Himself. And this is the great calling! The Lord is calling us to make disciples of Him by living that life.
A house built on a weak foundation won’t stand.
Focusing on what unites us
Through this transformative message, we have seen many churches change. As we travel across Africa bringing this truth, we see the Lord is changing lives, changing marriages, changing relationships, and we can see pastors who could not previously work together, coming together. I believe that before the return of Jesus, we are going to see many things change. In Kenya, we are working with over 2000 denominations – not even churches – denominations! And the denominations are coming together. For too long there has been much division, focusing on the things that separate us rather than those that unite us. We are living in a time where the Lord wants to bring the people within one heart, one mind, and one vision to work together for His Kingdom.
Churches need to change
And this is the same message that has made me come here to Cape Town. I came to meet a couple of pastors who are involved in organising a life-changing conference that is happening in February. We are calling all pastors and leaders to attend. In Africa, and South Africa too, we are seeing much deception in the church. Many leaders are not following the teachings of Christ, yet are attracting crowds by using His Name. This needs to stop.
The original message
Pastors, Apostles, Evangelists, Teachers, and Prophets – you are called to a higher standard. Your lives need to lead others to Jesus, by imitating Him and allowing the Gospel to transform your heart. If this nation is going to change, we need to first see change happening in the churches. We need to return to God’s word. We need to allow the Cross to work in our hearts. We need to be led by the Holy Spirit. This is the only message that we are bringing to this conference in February – it is not a new message, it is the original message of the Cross.
SA is not the only nation with deception
This trend of deception from the pulpit is not unique to South Africa. The Bible says that in the end days we will see many false prophets. Church Team Ministries International (CTMI) is reaching out to many countries in Africa. We are taking this conference to Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and several other nations. This Build conference brings pastors and church leaders together for three days. We feel that if the church is going to change, the man behind the pulpit must change. We are having a lot of different leaders preaching other gospels, and these other gospels are not changing the lives of men. That is why the Lord is calling the men of God to go back to the foundation of the Gospel. Jesus Christ crucified, that is the message! It is simple, it is powerful, it can change people, we have seen the change. In Galatians 1:6, Paul challenges the Galatian people. He had come and preached the message to them, but they started drifting. He says, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel.”
The message of the Cross is the foundation of the house. Today we see men of God have been trying to build a roof and the walls without the foundation. If you build a house without the foundation, what do you expect to happen? Jesus spoke about two houses. One built on sand and one built on the rock. We know what happens when the storms come. The house built on sand crumbles, but the house with the right foundation stands. That’s why we see the church and many men of God falling today. In 1 Corinthians Paul warns, “I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.” Now we see people building on sand – people building on their own mind and intelligence. Today people are trying to build a church with all types of philosophies, forgetting that there is only one Biblical foundation that Jesus left.
Jesus’ message was simple – “If you want to follow me, If you want to be my disciple, if you want to be like me… deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.” That is the message! And that is the foundation of the church. Our message is one. He is calling Africa, He is calling the world, and He is calling everybody who loves Jesus – to come back to the right foundation: the message of Jesus Christ. We are going to see our countries change, we are going to see relationships change, we are going to see our families change, we are going to see our children change. God is calling us to come back to the message that changes our lifestyle, our character, our behaviour, our mentality. And when our character and mentality changes, we are going to change society. Because when God takes over, the nation is blessed.
Date published: 11/01/2020
Stephen Gachengo is the East Africa Co-ordinator for CTMI Ministries, and the senior pastor of Harvesters Christian Church in Nairobi, Kenya. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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