One year after the tragic Synagogue church building collapse that claimed over 100 lives, the church’s pastor T.B. Joshua took to his Facebook page to pay tribute to the victims.
In the post titled, An Exhortation of Martyrs of Fate, Joshua describes the victims’ death as an unavoidable call to “our heavenly home.”
Here is the post:
It is important to remember that we are members of a family – the family of God. Consequently, for an occasion like this, God should be the Invitee.
My people, we are here because of our loved ones, who fell asleep in the bosom of the Lord. Our faithful and true God will bring them with Jesus, a Rock against which you can lean even as the winds of mourning howl around us.
As Christians, there comes a time when we will need to say good-bye and sing a “requiem” for our lost brethren. It is right and noble for Christians to gather, pray and say, “Requiescat In Pace”. That is, for the soul of their loved ones to “rest in peace”.
It is now one year since our beloved brothers and sisters slept in the Lord. For those of us who find it difficult to let go, we must realise that their death is an unavoidable call – a call to our Heavenly home that no one can disobey.
Of course we all know that this has nothing to do with age, status, rich or poor or even the nature of death itself – as this happened to our predecessors, including the Apostles who paid the supreme price to bring the Gospel to all of us. Some were even beheaded at their prime age. Others were stoned to death in the course of the Gospel. Some others were even crucified upside down, not to talk of the ones that were dropped inside boiling oil.
For those who of us who cannot trace or touch the body of those who are resting in the bosom of the Lord, we must realise that such examples abound among God’s Generals in the Bible.
If you have not yet said good-bye in Jesus’ name, now is your fine grace to do so. You could write a letter to your loved one who slept in the Lord. Express your mind on the good and the bad. Feel free to do whatever you want with the letter. Read and seal the letter. You might decide to share the letter with either your church authority or pastor and do away with the letter as the Spirit of God directs. Once you have done that, leave the rest to the future with expectation as God holds our future.
My people, no mortal man or devil can supersede the plan of God for your life. As a Christian, once you understand and believe this, you set yourself free. Let us set ourselves free from this happening, as it is the will of God, which is unchangeable. When it is the will of God, it happens as His will. If you harbour offence, you cannot stay in God’s will. Let us not harbour offence because it produces more fruit of sin, such as bitterness, anger and resentment, all of which are the purpose and will of the devil.
On a number of occasions, many of us have become victims of maltreatment in the hands of wicked men and women. Honestly you may have been treated unjustly and you get offended. But when you harbour any offence, you fulfil the purpose of your enemy, thereby being pushed out of God’s will. When you free your mind and stop harbouring offence, you will maintain and stay in the course of God’s will. On the other hand, if you continue to harbour offence, you automatically become a victim and captive of the enemy, thereby fulfilling his own purpose and will.
Remember that nothing can come against us without God’s knowledge and approval. Let’s face the fact – if the devil who hates us with passion could have his way, he would not hesitate to destroy us at will. You must keep this exhortation before you.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man. But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond limit (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Don’t get offended, neither should you harbour any offence. This is the weapon to resist the devil. Remember the message of the Cross: “Father, forgive them,” said Jesus. This message of forgiveness points to the future and not to look behind.
Finally brethren, I will not leave you without stating this simple conclusion – why are we rushing? Can we reach the end of this road without God’s knowledge and approval?