Renowned global evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke, is here again. The German-born messenger of the Most High is in Nigeria for a five-day goodbye crusade, tagged: ‘Reinhard Bonnke’s Farewell Gospel Crusade’, billed to reach out to estimated 30 million souls with the gospel and a daily attendance and conversion of about 10 million souls. Participants from the neighbouring countries are expected to attend the crusade, holding from Wednesday, November 8 to Sunday, November 12, at Sparkling Estate, Isheri, Lagos from 4.30 pm daily.
Nigeria, this is for you! Bonnke had said in times past that the country had great potentials that were eclipsed by forces of darkness. We have endured a life of conflict and bloodshed. Wickedness in high places pervades the land, as political expediency and brinkmanship is our stock in trade. We have made industry of kidnapping people for ransom; turning children into articles of trade and selling even unborn fetuses for rituals. Our toddler daughters are now endangered because paedophiles are on the loose everywhere, yet government is unwilling to castrate them. Bribery and corruption is glamourised and those who stole from the dead and dying are now being stolen back into offices and promoted instead. Ethnic hatred, suspicion and animosity rule the air. Here political mendacity is worshipped; qualification does not matter; what does is who you know or where you come from because a quota system promotes mediocrity over competence.
Nonetheless, Bonnke has also disclosed that all hope is not lost; that God wants to heal the land. Is Nigeria willing to be healed? Are we willing to let go all demonic forces holding our great potentials down. How prepared are our leaders to throw down the altars of evil and enthrone the glory of God in their service to the people and submit to the will of God? Where are the blood suckers and destiny destroyers? It is time we repented of cronyism, nepotism and corruption. It is time we cried unto the Lord and hand our nation to Him for His will alone to be done. That is the opportunity this crusade brings. Destruction knocks hard on our door if we let this golden opportunity slip through your fingers.
The mammoth crowd that normally throng Bonnke’s crusade is definitely overwhelming. While we trust in the overhang of divine protection, organisers of this event, Christ for All Nation (CfaN), should play their part and do everything humanly possible to ensure adequate security of lives in and property of worshippers around the venue of the crusade, and along all routes leading thereto to avert any tragedy or mischief.
The second plank of this epochal encounter is the “Passing the Burning Torch” conference where willing ministers of God from across Africa are expected to catch Bonnke’s fire for greater exploits. This is akin to the handover of Elijah’s mantle of ministry to Elisha, who eventually did greater works than his master. Great and appealing as this sounds, and knowing that many ministers of the gospel will surely troop out to receive the anointing for greater works, the question remains how many will, of a truth, make the kind of selfless sacrifices that made Bonnke’s ministry the global reference point it is today.
Here was a man who would come with his own money to organise crusade that our own ministers feel does not work anymore. They would rather stay in their cosy mega churches to collect offering and tithes or hold shameful extravaganzas where all manner of demon infested ‘gospel’ musicians would present lewd dance theatrics. They would allow comedians to mount and defile the Lord’s altar from where they dish out ‘holy’ jokes, even against the Holy Ghost while our showman ‘General Oversinners’ recline and laugh.
The church is now in competition with itself; where exhibitionist cathedrals and power rides testify to the success of ministry. We have a situation where pastors are now jealous of one another and have often allowed the devil to use them to destroy ministries of others or even committing murder. Babalawo and mamalawo now wear suits and stand behind altars of Satan, deceiving unwary worshippers blinded by the lust for miracles. When God says, ‘seek you first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and everything shall be added unto you’, we want all the goodies first. This has thrust up Mr. & Mrs. Pentecostal and dynastic churches that have taken over the entire landscape, masking the truth and teaching us what we want to hear, as we gleefully yell in ecstasy like over fluffed buffoons. We no longer care for souls but for the raspy sound of currency notes. The world has mingled so much with the world it has become a burden separating them.
So, Bonnke has brought healing not just for Nigeria but also for the church. But will this crusade be any different? Won’t our pastors fight over the booty Bonnke brought? It is painful that some are already scrambling to be paid for services rendered in putting this crusade together. How many church leaders have primed their members to lure as many souls as possible to ‘our church’ by fire by force. How many workers will obey such directives and fight over baffled unbelievers coming to Christ? Your church, really? Where is the place of the Kingdom? Why cannot we organise such crusades any more in a country full of perishing souls but are rather content with poaching ready-made members of other churches? Shame!
As Bonnke passes the torch, it is worth grabbing. Let us catch the fire for soul winning, the heartbeat of God. That is why Bonnke is God’s great friend and i pray that the good Lord rewards His servant with kindness. However, beyond Bonnke, who is rounding off a life of great accomplishments in the Lord’s vineyard and awaiting his crown of glory, what would you personally present to the Lord?
It is good the entire churches in Nigeria are in this together but when the chips are down and we, like Elisha, cry, where is the lord God of Elijah (Bonnke), will He answer us? Borrowing from the CfaN African Director, John Darku, “for Evangelist Bonnke, the work in Africa will be over. But from us in Africa, the work has just begun.” Will you be in the number?