A youth pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on Friday night, at the church’s Holy Ghost Service, preached a gripping sermon on salvation that moved pastor Enoch Adeboye to tears.
The man, pastor Abraham Emmanuel, was one of the four youth pastors who preached at the yearly service conducted by youths from the various zones of the country.
It was the culmination of a weekly programme to train the youths and early adults of the church, at which Pastor Adeboye took notes for his comments on the performance of the pastors and youth choirs from the zones.
But as Emmanuel from the northern zone of the church preached a sermon on “Indomitable Soul Winners,” Pastor Adeboye abandoned the notes taking because as he explained, it was a sermon from above.
“Initially, I tried to jot down but suddenly I realised that he was not preaching but bringing to us directly a message from the throne of Heaven,” he said, revealing that when Emmanuel invited him to pray for youths who had rushed out during an altar call to dedicate themselves to soul winning, he waved him on because he was in tears.
In a very moving scene, Emmanuel cried as he prayed for the hundreds of people who responded to the call.
Preaching under the general theme of the night, “Stronger Than Your Enemies 9: The Indomitable,” Emmanuel made a passionate appeal for salvation and soul winning; sharing testimonies, including how he travelled for 5 days by road to from Kaduna to Sierra Leone to win souls for Christ.
He listed some qualities of Indomitable Soul Winners as fearlessness; the love to save people from perishing; confidence in the Lord; being discernible; and sharing testimonies that bring revival.
Commending the general performance of the youths, Pastor Adeboye said, “Tonight, I just want to thank God for the kind of children He has given me.
“Each time we have the opportunity to ask the youths to take the programme, we are mightily blessed. Tonight has been exceptional and good. Every choir and preacher performed well. All the preachers really showed that our future is alright.”
Before and now
Rather than preach his own sermon as he usually did during such programmes, Adeboye continued with the issue of soul winning, recalling how a guest on Dove Television had set him thinking about it before.
He said in the past there was hunger for people to be used by God and people prayed for Almighty God to use them as “Vessels unto Honour.”
But today, people are looking for the God they will use, the God who will give them promotion.
“Today people pray like this: ‘God promote me, heal me, give me breakthrough, give me a wife’.”
Surrendering all to God
He said in those days they were willing to surrender all to God, citing examples of stories of selfless soul winning they had heard.
One of the stories was a missionary who was not afraid to die to save lives.
He said: “There was this lady evangelist, a missionary, who was working in a village in Africa. There, she got everybody to become born again. The people realised what God had done for them and they were on fire for Him.
But one day, she decided to convert those in the neighbouring village too. She informed her first converts about her plans but they were not in favour of that.
‘You can go to another village, Ma. Don’t go there,’ they advised her.
She asked, ‘Why not?’
‘Because there are lions on the way; we have been hearing them roaring and when they roar like that it means they are hungry. So, please don’t go near that village.’
‘But I must go,’ she insisted.
So, one of the men, a very elderly and feeble man, said to her, “Okay, if you must go, I will go with you.”
But the Evangelist looked at him and said, ‘If a lion attacks, even I can defend myself better than you.’
The man said, ‘You don’t understand, lions don’t attack when they are full. They only kill when they are hungry. So, the idea is this, Ma, I will go ahead, the lion will kill and eat me and then your way will be clear.’
The general overseer recalled some of his personal experience. According to him, when he started full ministry he was a head of department of mathematics but he was happy to be a pastor of a church, which was unknown then.
“In those days, we were thought only of the man God will use,” he recalled. “So when I gave my life to Jesus Christ and I became full time pastor; I open doors for my children to follow my example. The first to follow, I can remember, is Pastor Odeyemi – he resigned his job. Not long after, Pastor Daramola did and then quite a few others.
“We are ready to go anywhere and it does not matter the hardship, we just couldn’t care less. Our joy was that as long last, God is using me.”
Redemption Camp experience
He also spoke about their experience in the early days of the Redemption Camp.
“The first bed I slept on at the Redemption Camp in Lagos, I made it myself. When a mathematician makes a bed you can imagine what it will look like. I just got some pieces of wood from here and there, knocked them together, put some planks on top and I was ready to sleep,” he said.
“By the time we went to bed in those days, we would have worked all day and all night till about 3 a.m. I used to call it balancing the equation when I carried one bag of cement with my right hand and another with my left. People like your Assistant General Overseer were among those who were digging wells.
“We really worked hard and we enjoyed every bit of it. I want you to know that those who work for God, He will always reward. In those days when we were building the first set of buildings at the camp in Nigeria, there were people who laughed at us because our dormitories looked like hen pens. Each dormitory was open, with the walls only about three feet high, and surrounded with mosquito nets. That was our dormitory but I’m telling you we loved it because it was ours. Those who were laughing at us then are no longer laughing. We are the ones having the last laugh. And those who laugh last laugh best.”
Countdown to the end
Recalling a prophecy he gave at the beginning of the year, he said, “the Countdown to the End has started”.
He wondered why people are nonchalant about that when the prophecy came from the same God who warned about floods.
“Yet, people are carrying on like they couldn’t care less if their neighbours are going to hell,” he said, looking worried.
Giving examples to show the urgency of salvation, he challenged people to win souls and save others from going to hell.
He said: “At my age, I still travel all over the world – I am not a trader or a businessman and I won’t be one. That is not my assignment. My assignment is to win souls. And you have a greater opportunity than I have because you live among these people.
“I told my senior pastors yesterday that I just returned from Israel. What did I go to do there? They were celebrating the ‘Feast of Tabernacle” at which I was invited to preach. When they gave me the microphone, I preached and then I gave an altar call and half of the congregation came out to give their lives to Jesus.
“I try to save souls at every opportunity.”
So engrossed was he in the subject of salvation, which youth pastor ignited that Pastor Adeboye did not preach the sermon he had prepared.
“My beloveth children, if you want to write down; I will give you an outline of the sermon that I wrote because you will pray tonight,” he said.
The outline centered on what it means to be indomitable and how to be one:
- Being indomitable means that you cannot be stopped from moving forward. If the purpose of my life is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and win souls; anyone who stand in my way, the wind of God will blow him off.
- Like in the case of Joseph, nobody can keep you from rising.
Nobody can stop you from reaching the top because the everlasting arms are underneath you and lifting you up.
- Nobody can keep you in prison.
- You cannot be killed.
Again, he explained that he was not preaching a sermon, stressing that, “I want to tell those of you who have been joking with the issue of your salvation that the countdown to the end has started. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Do you know what? That means that anyone of us here today could be gone tomorrow.”
As usual there lots of prayers, singing and testimonies, which included the bringing back a girl called Favour from the dead in Rivers state with a handkerchief anointed by Adeboye.
Photo credit: Segun Komolafe