The crops are in, the summer is over,
But for us nothing’s changed.
We’re still waiting to be rescued.
(Jer.8:20 THE MESSAGE)
Is the gospel also for us? This is the cry of THE PROSTITUTES, DRUG ADDICTS, DESTITUTES AND AREA BOYS (HOOLIGANS) in the society. Our generation has reduced the whole gospel meant for the whole mankind, irrespective of their condition in life to some particular class of people. The truth that brought liberation to our spirit, soul and body is not meant for us alone but it is meant for the so-called outcasts of the societal. The Master’s intention is to see that all kind of men regardless of their manners of life have access to the same gospel that brought us total transformation and peace in this hostile world. (see John 16:3, Rev. 12:12). It is only by the gospel that all mankind with different manners of life can be saved and transformed, because the gospel …is the power of God unto salvation of mankind. (see Rom. 1:16)
The restriction of the gospel to the selected and well-to-do in the society as the exclusive recipients of the gospel is contrary to the Father’s will. This is nothing but the devil hand work through men, for him to continue to ruin the destinies of the PROSTITUTES, DRUG ADDICTS, DESTITUTE AND AREA BOYS (HOOLIGANS) in the society. Honestly, as the gospel is meant for the well-to-do in the society so also it is for the outcasts of the society. You and I are saved and changed today because God’s saving grace was extended to us through the gospel and since then our eternal transformation began. If we were discriminated upon, we would have still remained unsaved till today. (Jer. 8:20). Their lives will continue to be ungodly and hostile in the society since the Church has chosen to withhold the gospel-the heavenly tool of change from them. The gospel is the only divine tool of change that can transform the lives of the HOOLIGANS in the society. (see Col. 1:5-6). If heaven must succeed in changing the lives of these outcasts in the society then, the gospel must be delivered to them just as it was given to us by men of faith.
For some of us, our way of life before we met the Lord cannot be distinguished from the life of these outcasts. But today, the story has changed. We have become partakers of His divine grace and mercy. These people are also supposed to partake in His grace and mercy, if only they are properly exposed to it. I stand to testify to the glory of God that, my soul is redeemed from the custody of the strong man and my life is now filled with love and passion for the Master. Simply because somebody stood in the gap to snatch me from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light by travailing intently on his knees and holistically conveying the gospel to me (see Col. 1:13). It was by that divine action of love that helped me to discover the truth that brought my soul out of bondage. It wasn’t by chance or coincidence. If you are truly born again, your testimony may not be different. So, I see no reason why we should write these outcasts off in the society. Only a few in the society still believe that something positive could come out of them. The tragedy of this synopsis is that, even the Church has by her actions shown that nothing good can come out of these BOYS and GIRLS.
Either by speech or actions, some of these churches still speak and behave like Nathaniel. “And Nathaniel said to him, can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philips says to him, come and see” (John 1:46, Darby version)
Men and brethren, right from the time of old, God has been confounding the wise with the foolish things. Some of the heroes and heroines of faith who started this journey and finished well had empty foundation and ugly background yet God thought it wise to make history with them. People like Matthew a tax collector; whom Jesus made a disciple and later became a martyr, Mary Magdalene the demon possessed lady; whom later God used to support Jesus’ ministry while on earth; Rahab the prostitute; whom God counted worthy to make mention of in the genealogy of Jesus, Saul the church persecutor; who later became the great Apostle of Jesus Christ and even in our contemporary time we have Pastor Ayo Oritsajafor who was a Drug Addict And Area Boy; yet God is well pleased to use him and even elevated him to become the incumbent National Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), just to mention but a few. These were men and women heaven was never ashamed to ride on their back to change the world. In essence, a man’s present state does not define his end. God is still in the business of using the destitute to save the rich because, for every prostitute, drug addict and hooligan is a potential instrument in God’s hand.
My own past life was not any better from these societal outcasts. My conversion was as a result of the groaning and sighing of some concerned believers who waited on the Lord until the spiritual scales covering my eyes from seeing the light of the gospel was taken away. It was then I embraced Christ as my Lord and personal savior. That very action of love of those concerned believers saved my soul. Today, that sacrificial effort is now yielding multiple results. I am not just standing in Christ, but I am daily consumed with the passion for the salvation of my past associates. This matter has consumed me so that my desire is that these societal outcasts might be saved just as Brother Paul expressed his longing desire for the Israelites. “Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved”. (Rom. 10:1, NLT)
The legacy of the gospel that the early church passed over to the early European kingdom minded believers was that the gospel is for all mankind. That is why they were restless in their comfort zones desiring to expose all people to the Saving Grace. All through they were conscious of the globalization of the gospel. These believers understood and believed the gospel is global and is for the global harvest of global souls. So they dare not restrict its spread and the recipients. They delivered the gospel even to the lunatics. They were like the sower in the account of the proverbial story of Jesus in Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, who sowed with a large heart.
Due to this concept of global harvest they thought it wise to extend the gospel to Africans seeing how we were covered with gross darkness. These believers understood Africa was in darkness as a result of the absent of the gospel, and so if we must come out, then the gospel which is the light must get to us by all means and at all cost. They never minded the cost of conveying the gospel to us even if it would demand their lives. Africa was formerly known as the white men graveyard. Despite the fierce hostility in our land and the climate, they were not afraid, but ensure that the truth gets to us in Africa. They knew they were saved to save others; they grabbed the concept that the master has left them since they have been saved to start searching for the other sheep that are yet to come to the fold (see Matt 18:12-14, John 10:16) So if they had reduced the sound of the gospel’s trumpet to the boundary of Europe, Africa would have remained in total bondage till date and several of the African God’s generals that have contributed to the global movement of the world redemption would have remained chief servants of Satan expanding the frontier of his kingdom.
Therefore, this new trend in the church where the gospel is solely dished out to the well-to-do in the society is not of God. We need to get a proper orientation because in the beginning it was not so. The church organized and sent evangelical team to pray and strategically reach out to the influential in the society, only few churches open their doors and organize strategic program to reach out to THE PROSTITUTES, DRUG ADDICTS, DESTITUTE AND AREA BOYS (HOOLIGANS) in the society because, they don’t have fat offerings to give. We earnestly need to trace back our step to the ancient paths and see where we missed it, chasing money instead of souls. We hold these BOYS and GIRLS the responsibility of being saved. If God must reach out to them, He must definitely pass through His church.
Brother Paul said “For the love of money is the root of all evil…” (1 Tim 6:10 KJV) Though money is good, it is the soul that will go to heaven not even any foreign currency will be needed in Heaven. Therefore, to go after money at the very expense of souls is not the Master’s desire for the church. Often times, some justify their selfish acts by saying that, God has not given them the burden or the vision to reach out to these outcasts in the society and we decided to rest the matter there, but this is not true. When did God give you the vision only to the well-to-do in the society? Did Jesus die on the cross only for the well-to-do? Sometimes again, we deceive people by saying we are attracted by their souls not their purse .But, why is your anointing only attracting the naira loaded souls but repels the souls of THE PROSTITUTES, DRUG ADDICTS, DESTITUTE AND AREA BOYS (HOOLIGANS) in the society? We may have our different opinions on this matter; just remember our reasons will only continue to leave them in bondage. So, if these BOYS and GIRLS must change their ungodly lifestyle then the gospel must reach them so that they will stop wondering if the gospel which is the divine agent of change is also for them. Sidelining them from access to the gospel will perpetually keep them from change.
It has never been the wish of the Father for any of these to perish but that they rather come to repentance and have eternal life (see Matt 18:14). So this is God’s clarion call, mobilizing you to join this move to rescue these outcasts in the society thereby make them agent of change to the nation. May the good Lord, bless you as you avail yourself in respond to the cry of these societal outcasts. For more information on membership and partnership with this Network see the cover page. Thanks and God bless you.
Evans O. Akpocha
The Redeemer’s Network Outreach.