? ? ? ? ??I have had a great burden and concern for our country Ghana for a while. Therefore, I believe time is ripe for me to address some issues that are very pertinent to the situation in Ghana. This would be series of articles that cover a spectrum of subjects including the spiritual, cultural, economic, moral, and social matters that confront our dear country.
????????? First, I would like to tackle the spiritual aspect of the situation in Ghana.
I. WHAT IS REDEMPTION?
????????? The word “redemption” derives from the verb “redeem.” The word, “redeem” literally means, “to buy.” It denotes to buy out, especially of purchasing a slave with a view to his freedom. It is used metaphorically in Galatians 3:13 and 4:5 of the deliverance by Christ of Christian Jews from the law and its curse (Vines, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, 263). In the Greco-Roman World, the term was used in the barter system for the exchange of goods. In the spiritual and Christian sense, redemption is the exchanged life. In other words, Jesus Christ purchased the human race from the slave market of sin with His precious blood on the cross. Jesus delivered us from the bondage of sin and the dominion of Satan and his cohorts. He purchased our freedom with His own sinless life so we can live authentically for God.
Therefore, I intentionally begin the series with “Ghana’s Cry for Redemption” with a spiritual emphasis. A house does not collapse suddenly without any cause or reason. When a house caves in it indicates that the foundation was faulty or flawed (Matthew 7:26-27).
I am not an authority in Scriptures. I am not a Theologian or a Systematic Theologian by any means. I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. Nevertheless, I have gained some insight from the Scriptures as I have sat at the feet of the Lord to hear from His Word. Therefore, I am of a firm persuasion that the root cause of Ghana’s problem is spiritual. I dare to make this statement because our nation has strayed from the spiritual foundation on which it was built. Today the preaching of the Word of God has become anthropocentric (human-centered). The deeds of men and women are exalted to the neglect of the salvific (saving) work of Christ. The question that needs to be answered is “Who died to pay for the penalty of your sin?” Before you put any human on a pedestal above Christ, you have to answer the question above.
Miracles, signs, and wonders have become the fascination of many in Ghana to the exclusivity of a call for repentance, confession of sin, and salvation of souls. It is the Word of God that changes life. However, Satan has invaded the pulpits of many churches in Ghana with false miracles to sway the gullible and immature believers (2 Thess. 2:1-12). I know that the false prophets and teachers are not going to pay heed to this clarion call to change their ways. However, my concern is that they reflect upon the big picture and realize that a day is coming when they would stand before the White Throne Judgment individually to render account of what they did with Christ. The blessings of God surround spiritual integrity. Specifically, my message is geared toward preachers and believers who have not “bowed their knee to Baal.” In other words, I would like to speak to those who are still faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to address those who are thirsty and hungry for the Lord. I would like to appeal to those who are still in love with Jesus Christ, the soon coming Bride Groom. My address is for those who are completely committed to Christ.
II. THE SIMPLICITY OF THE GOSPEL
I would like to urge the pastors and those who proclaim the gospel to remain faithful to Christ. The gospel is simply the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). Therefore, preaching in Ghana should be Christocentric (Christ-centered) rather than anthropocentric. When preaching becomes Christ-centered then, the Holy Spirit is given unhindered access to operate in the hearts of men and women, boys, and girls. The question is, “Are we dependent upon ourselves or desperate for the Holy Spirit in our lives?” When preaching is Christ-centered the forces of darkness are repelled and they retreat to their abode. Not only are preachers to preach the gospel; they are also to live the gospel. There is a wide margin of disconnect between our orthodoxy (conventional beliefs) and orthopraxy (how or the way we live). If we preach powerful sermons and teach sound doctrines but our lifestyle is inconsistent with the message we declare then, we should not wonder why Christianity has become a death knell in the ears of the unsaved. Then we should not marvel why darkness has come over our nation. There is a church in every corner of Ghana. However, the widespread corruption, greed, deception, and avarice in the country betray the genuine spirituality of the Christian community. Something is definitely missing when our profession of faith is not synchronizing with the way we life the Christian life.
We should preach the simplicity of the gospel by pointing people to the person of Jesus Christ as the answer to life’s ultimate questions. There is a sense of hopelessness in the country that drives people to do the unthinkable. Why should a person commit suicide? Why should a person snuff his life out as if life has no purpose or meaning (Matt. 11:25-30)? The rampant episodes of suicides in the country is symptomatic of the authentic spiritual vacuum that has pervaded the nation. There is also a sense of desperation in the hearts of many of the younger generation. These are desperate call for help but even many spiritual leaders have lost their spiritual sensitivity that they cannot hear the cry. They have become just like Eli the Priest during the boyhood of Samuel. The Lord is calling these men and women of God but because they are preoccupied with their own issues and agenda they cannot hear the voice of God to meet the needs of those in desperation.
I challenge ministers to preach and practice contentment and simplicity of life. Opulence, extravagant lifestyle, arrogance, and material wealth are not the criteria for blessings from God. In fact, and at best they are affront to God. Granted, these ministers and their churches have become just like the Laodicean church. They have expelled Christ from the church. Christ is standing outside the church knocking at the door but they have bolted the doors (Revelation 3:14-22). Christ wants to be let in so He can bless them but they have closed their ears, hearts, and eyes.
I appeal to all Christians and Ministers of the Gospel to be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and respond accordingly. When you see a brother or sister in need help him or her if you could. If you do not have the resource to help such a person, make it known to the church to intervene before it is too late. I would like to submit to those that are contemplating suicide to refrain from such thoughts. Life is God’s gift to us and we cannot terminate it at will without consequences. There is no circumstance in your life that is outside the purview and control of God. God can see you through any insurmountable problem that you are dealing with. Therefore, invite Him into the equation and let Him help you. Be open to share it with friends and loved ones that you can confide in them. Life is too precious to destroy at will. Think about the irreparable damage and pain it would cost your family, friends, classmates, coworkers, and neighbors. Reflect on the stigma your departure would bring upon your loved ones. Do not listen to the whispers of Satan and his demons to commit suicide. Suicide does not come from God. It emanates from a confused, distorted, convoluted perception of reality and the deception of the evil one.
In my next installment of messages, I will continue from a cry for help, a call for social justice, the economy, etc. Meanwhile, ponder on what I have expounded here and let the Lord speak to you.
Kennedy Ahenkora Adarkwa, PhD.