Here’s the last message late Dr. Bola Akin-John broadcasted on his social media page:
JESUS OUTSIDE THE DOOR of MOST of OUR CHURCHES (Rev. 3:20) By Bola Akin-John
One of my friends on Facebook posted something where he said a silent millionaire told him, ‘I know many pastors, but I don’t know their Jesus. Most pastors that come to me ask me for money, but they don’t tell me about their Jesus’.
That reminds me of what we have discovered about most churches -there are more nominal Christians than truly born-again ones. More people are religious Christians by name, affiliation and heritage than those who are truly saved. Of the estimated 51-52% Christian population in Nigeria, only an estimated 24% are genuine ones, while the remaining 26% are mere nominal ones. This is not wishful thinking, but a grave reality in our nation and this poses a danger for the now and future of Christianity in our country.
Here are factors that have greatly contributed to this grave malaise;
- Many preachers and pastors don’t have personal encounters with the Lord. Since you can’t give what you don’t have, most church people don’t know the Lord because their shepherds didn’t show the Lord to them. Unsaved pastors will surely breed unsaved people.
- Most pastors and preachers no longer preach Jesus. Yes, preachers of today diminish Jesus in their lives, preachings and churches. Today, preachers and pastors are much more popular than Jesus in their churches. Modern-day preachers hate Jesus and don’t want Him in their churches because His teachings are too hard for them and His lifestyle too simple and free from ostentation. They only use His name to spice things up, not His core life and teachings.
- Altar calls for repentance and forgiveness of sins are rare in our churches. Churches of today no longer talk about the evil of sin, nor do we give altar calls for repentance because we don’t want to embarrass our people. Explaining what sin is and letting people know what they are repenting from and into, is very scarce in our pulpits of today. In fact, true, genuine and sincere repentance is a lost art in our churches today. Grace to live anyhow is the rave of the moment.
- Many preachers of today preach the esoteric gospel. Gospel of morality, positive-thinking, success, breakthrough, wealth and twisting, turning and misinterpreting the bible that negates sorrow for sin, repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus are the order of the day. Biblical illiteracy that leads to errors and extreme prophetic, prayer emphasis are very rife.
- No discipleship system or process in most churches. Yes, many churches only bless people with positions, activities, titles and hierarchies, without making them pass through foundational converts and discipleship classes. I have even seen pastors who have never been water baptized, yet, they were ordained as pastors! What an absurdity!
- We have redefined who a Christian is. Today a Christian is someone who attends church regularly, gives offerings, demonstrates material blessings and is fiercely loyal to his church and pastor. Even though he or she is crumbled up within, steals struggles with sins, fornicates regularly, commits adultery and is a chronic liar. That’s why we have so many people in church who are not in Christ.
- We run our churches by human, management and secular methods, not by Jesus’ standards. Of course, I have been long on the church scene to know that firsthand. Human methods that lead to injustices, carnalities and politics are the in-thing today.
The church leadership, growth and healthy style of Jesus are roundly neglected by the majority. Little wonder churches are more secular than spiritual today.
The greatest threat to Christianity in our nation and world today are not people of other religions, but nominal, unbelieving believers. Check history very well, those who wage the most vindictive war against the church of Christ are nominal Christians – people who once attended church, but who for one reason or the other left the church and started fighting her.
Jesus sends a message to the Laodicean church that He is standing outside the door and knocking. (Revelation 3: 20) That is the spiritual condition of many of our churches today – Jesus is locked outside. Remember that the Laodicean church is materially wealthy but spiritually destitute. And with these factors in place in most modern churches, Jesus is truly outside our doors.
When are we ready to bring Jesus back to Our churches?
Dr. Bola Akin-John until his death on Saturday 6 October, 2023, was the founder of Church Growth International Ministry, Lagos, Nigeria.