...Says It Contradicts Bible
The General Overseer of Power of Truth Ministries in Owerri, Imo State, Pastor Sampson Iruagalachi Okenwa has described untimely death by Christians as an aberration as it contradicts biblical teachings.
The pastor, who was Guest Minister at the Special Church Service marking the 70th birthday of Rev. (Dr) Samuel Uruakpa, Founder and General Overseer of Melchizedek Church International, Port Harcourt on Sunday, said Christians who died must against their choice time, have done so in stark ignorance of Christ's promises to those who believe in Him.
He said he came to the knowledge following careful study of the Bible wherein the 'Holy Spirit' according to him, revealed this salient truth.
“One of these truths, according to him, is the realization that as a 'born again' Christian, we are one body in Spirit with Jesus Christ. What this means is that we are spirits because we are born again. And because spirits don't die, we shall live until Christ comes”, he posited.
Addressing the celebrant, the fiery preacher charged him and indeed the Christendom not to be contented at making it to the seventy years of age, saying that with the coming of Jesus Christ at the time, some of the constraints had in the old were obliterated by Him.
“He said we are now spirits, born again, born of the word that does not perish. So, if someone can consciously tap in to that, you have your life to live and that is what I believe and expects everyone who is born again to believe”, he stated.
Pastor Okenwa said the reason Christians are unable to assert their dominion in Christ was the inability to act out the faith, regretting that their lives, perception and reasoning have been beclouded and subdued by the forces of nature.
“Like you hear Christians say 'God gave and He has taken away'. All the people that were taken away in the scriptures were 'translated alive'. You had Eunuch, he worked with the Lord and he was taken away, not by death. Elijah was also taken away, he did not die. Christ was taken away not by death, and that is the portion of every believer of Christ”, he submitted.
He further blamed the trend to the thinking of Christians, which he said have been clocked by so many teachings that have been accepted by human reasoning.
“If the Christian stretches his mind a little bit and tap into the will of God for him, he will see that God said 'If any man believes in Christ, he has passed from death unto life'. It means that if you want to continue to live, you will live. The only exception is if God is satisfied with the way you have lived, then He can take you away”, he said.
The cleric said a peep at Apostle Paul is also instructive, to buttress his argument, stating that after so much sufferings and several near death situations, he declared that he will not die as he was yet to conclude his assignment humanity.
“Paul had a close shave with death when he was stoned. He stayed for three days in water. It's impossible for anyone to live under such situation but God intervened in this case because of Paul's faith in Christ”, he said, adding that the celebrated Apostle only died when he had completed his 'race' and said it was time.
Pastor Okenwa extolled the salient virtues in the celebrant and described him as a leading light and a product of Grace.
“Dr. Samuel is my brother and he is a manifestation of the Apostle Paul's declaration that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. If you come within the fold of Ukanwa, he is the most closest to me and I know him before and I see him now, a new man to the glory of God”, he said while wishing him greater achievements in his ministry.
Highlights of the occasion were a special tribute to the celebrant by his kinsmen from Amachara, Umuahia Community in Abia State led by Elder Ernest Azubuike. A special song composed in honour of the celebrant by the Melchizedek Ministries' choir was rendered at the service to the delight of the congregation while Dr. Uruakpa presented 'liquid fire' (olive oil) to select members of the church in appreciation for their hard working and devotion.