On the 26th day of October, 2016, PENSA-KNUST was blessed once again with the ministration of Pastor Tony Mensah who is now the Resident Minister at New Tafo PIWC. Ministering on the topic, “MARANATHA-he comes!” Pastor Tony unveiled lots of mysteries unto the church.
Beginning the sermon, he made a remark about two scriptures (2 Corinthians 1:21 and 2 Corinthians 7:1) mentioning how they have guided him throughout his life. In reference to the first scripture, he stated that just as one can buy an item on hire purchase, and make an installment to procure the property for himself; God made a similar installment in us by giving us His Spirit and thereby making us His.
Moving on with the main meal of the day, he picked out scriptures from Revelations 22:20 and 1 Corinthians 16:21-24. This time, he made reference to the second text, establishing that Anathema and Maranatha, logically speaking, should not be joined at the same place. “They are words of two extremes,” he said.
Nonetheless, Paul was making an important revelation here. First of all, the church of Corinth at the time, was one of the most notorious churches, full of divisions, insubordination and misuse of spiritual giftings. For this reason, Paul deemed it necessary to write the latter part of his letter to them, to tell them of the relevance of his message to them. These attributes that made the Corinth church notorious are undeniably present in our days. Sometimes, we must tackle them with love, just as Paul did in 2 Corinthians 16:21-24.
Due to their conducts, Paul used the word “anathema,” which is defined as “something that has been devoted completely by God to be destroyed.” Biblical examples are the City of Jericho in Joshua 6, and the account of Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt. Also, these accounts teach us that as Christians, we must stay away from anything that is cursed by God. Else, we risk bringing the same curse upon ourselves.
Paul’s usage of the word was therefore a call for all believers to be Maranatha-minded. In addition, it is raise the prophetic consciousness of all Christians to be eschatologically focused. Maranatha simply means “the Lord is coming” and we must be mindful of this always. Even the early church was extremely conscious of the second coming of Christ, to the extent that they had to replace their usual “shalom” greeting with “maranatha” by way of keeping themselves conscious. How much more we? Maranatha must be to us, more than a thought, more than prayer, and must become a way of life for us.
In the early days of the Church of Pentecost, history shows that they were fired up for God, tremendously conscious about Christ’s second coming and with total negligence for the things of the world. Modern Christians, on the other hand, have lost touch with the fact that Christ is coming and that he can come right now!
Quoting J.C. Ryle and Ellen White, Pastor Tony made it clear that a man who is born again is careful of his own soul, trying not just to avoid sin but anything which leads to it. He is also careful about his company and lives perpetually armed against the enemy. Also, a character formed according to divine likeness is the only treasure we can take from this world. Let us be mindful of these.
Gradually driving the sermon to an end, the minister went on to speak about the “7 dispensations in the history of the earth”. They are:
- The Innocence ( Edenic)
- The Conscience (Adamic)
- Mosaic (Law)
- Grace (Where we live now)
These dispensations show how God has walked with man through the times. There has never been any time when the Kingdom of God was not in existence. Again, these dispensations flow from one to the next and are associated with God either rewarding the righteous or punishing the sinner.
The second coming of Christ is imminent! Let us make MARANATHA our encouragement, motivation, hope and proclamation.
May God bless His word!