Maybe Difficult To Recover Lost Souls that Have Returned and Tasted the Old Life –Nduka Ijeoma
Pastor Nduka ljeoma is the Resident Pastor of Evangel Power Chapel, Mushin, Lagos. He also, the Prayer Director, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Surulere Provinceand Chairman, Ojuelegba chapter of PFN. Our church vision is to the take gospel of power and deliverance to the lost soul and break the power of Satan over their lives. We also minister to souls and set the captive free through the word of God and prayers.
In this encounter, Pastor Nduka Ijeoma shared with PROVIDENCE his experience, views and opinion on the COVID -19 pandemic, lockdown; the church and the society.
Pastor Ijeoma affirmed that the lockdown was unexpected and difficult to express, with all aspiration for the year 2020 are met with the pandemic. Everything was standstill with the church under lock and key is disturbing. I can’t do without attending church on Sundays, but now it’s worrisome. Romans 8:28 says, “all works together for good to them that are in Christ Jesus.” so I believe, it will end well with the church and Christian’s.
Whether it is fulfillment of the Bible prophecy, Pastor Nduka said the bible described the last day as perilous tim and we pray for more grace to go through it. Matthew 24 gave the information and pictures of happenings in the world today. It is an indication that the end time and the beginning of sorrow the Bible talk about is here with us but the children of God, washed in the blood of Jesus will survive it.
On difference between previous reported cases of pandemic, he said, yes, there was much difference. I heard the story about influenza and how people died without solution and I have not experienced or heard of any other disease, so this is different, at least there is solution to it.
Speaking on the lesson to be learn by the church, he said, the church will learn that nothing is permanent and anything can change because pandemic has changed everything from schooling to banking system. The atmosphere, environment, thinking and the society, have all change and this call for thorough review. The church must begin to look for ways to reach out to people without being a church and more people are turning to God now because, the world has no solution to their problems. The Church must learn to plan and cater for their members who are depending on church for their up-keep.
He emphasised that expectation after Covid -19 should be how to recover Church members and Christians who are disfranchised. Some Christians would have by this time lost interest in the things of God. There are some we try to keep focus, but can’t bring together now as a church. Evangelism must continue whether there is church or not. There may be some difficulty as a result of the economic situation, because you will need to have something in hand, to give food and to get people’s attention. Also prayers is needed to release the Holy Spirit into the heart of people.
Lamenting the continuous state of locking up of worship centres, Pastor Nduka said, the church should be open with conditions and guidelines. We still need the building to go and pray. With social distancing, we need God and we should return to the building soon. In other state people have started going to church and it is only in Lagos that church is closed.
Considering the gain and losses of the church during the lockdown, Ijeoma is of the opinion that, the number major gain is, it has helped to know Christian’s stand without pastor’s preaching or directing people to pray, it also helped families to bond and pray together more.
Though, many soul will be lost, some will go back to their old ways and it maybe difficult to recover the lost souls that have returned and tasted the old life.
He suggested prayers and orientation support for the role of the church in stabilising the society after the pandemic. Because everyone is affected and everyone need support and is the only place where one can get balance support.
Ijeoma believes, COVID -19 is not meant to silent the church. We have to be careful of making statement we cannot defend or prove. Church is not the only affected place, but looking at the essential position and service of the church, it makes it more important, he said.
To a large extent, the lockdown affect the church and pastors/members relationship. Not only on financial aspect, but psychological, spiritual and other areas of development. As earlier stated, there are people who we are still working on, to focus them; there are those who need guidance and counselling, and there are others whose happiness is being around other people in the church. People say all manner of things against pastors that they want the church open because of tithes and offerings, not knowing that pastor’s give tithe and offering too. I have been a pastor for 21years and can convincingly say, pastoring a church, either big or small is not about tithe and offering, it is about a call, burden and demand. God help, bless and reward those who faithfully obey to carry the burden and available for the service in His own way.
Ijeoma disagree with doubting of divine healing, he said, everyone is free of their opinion and permitted to doubt divine healing and miracle. God still heal, deliver and do miracle. He has used me to heal many and to cast out demons in the name Jesus Christ. It is wrong for anyone to doubt divine healing and miracle of God.
God is God, He does not change.
The primary error and controversy affecting Christians and the Church is diversification of doctrine and not speaking in one voice. As a church we ought to have one voice because the new testament church was a church one voice, Acts. 4 says, they lifted up one voice and pray in one accord. The Church is one before, that is why it is called body of Christ, he said. But today, the church is not only divided, it is polarised with church with her doctrine, style and tradition.
Pastor Ijeoma admonished that, the general society will be okay, things will back to normal and get better. But many will lost their job, some business will experience challenges and many bread winners will have difficulties in providing as before. But everyone should believe and look unto God for help. As Psalm. 121:1 says, look up unto the hill.
He advised Nigerian leadership to kill corruption. Our major problem as a country and people is corruption. Nigerian government system is very corrupt and this has eating deep into our societal system and ways of life. Let us stop celebrating corruption, corrupt people and anything corruption, then we can have a society with zero tolerant for corruption.
As people in pain, in needs and in agony, Nigerians should believe that, our help with provisions comes from the Lord and He alone will heal our pain