Implantable microchips that have all your personal data is one of the key things that would facilitate the operation of the one-world government of the Anti-Christ.
When some American and European information technology companies perfected the development of implantable microchips and commercial organisations and even government agencies began deploying them for the purpose of storing personalized indentification data and controlled access to facilities, alarm bells went off in the minds of Christian scholars of the biblical prophecies about the signs of the end time. In this interview, the founder of International Church Growth Ministries, Dr. Bola Akin-John, talks about what this represents for the church in Nigeria and charges Christians who are spiritually sleeping to wake up and be more active in pursuing the great commission.
Before he left office, former United States President Barack Obama signed a law that allows companies to introduce implantable microchips for commercial applications. A recent news report stated that British and European companies have started adopting implantable microchips as means of identification and storage of bank account numbers, medical records like blood group, genotype and chemicals/drugs the person is allergic to. As a man of the gospel what is your reaction to this?
This is one of the clearest signs that the rapture is very close. It is one of the signs of the end time prophesied in the bible. In Mathew 24, the disciples asked the Lord Jesus Christ, what would be the sign of His second coming. What would be the sign of the end of the time? Jesus gave them bit by bit answer, signs that would show that the world was coming to an end and that the time when God would pour out His final judgement on the earth was close. What I can say is that this technological development is a major sign of the end time. Implantable microchips that have all your personal data, either in the forearm or the forehead, is one of the key things that would facilitate the operation of the one-world government of the Anti-Christ which the bible warns would come after the rapture. The bible said that when the Anti-Christ comes, the one-world government would take the data of everybody and place a mark of identification on everybody on earth, which the bible called the Mark of the Beast. The bible said that without that mark nobody would be able to work, go to school, trade, withdraw money, get medical services, board a commuter bus, go into a public building, visit relations or friends and be welcomed into their homes or do anything at all that would require identification. So to me, this technology that some organisations have started using is the clearest indication that the world is moving into the last stage before the rapture. When you take this together with several other things that are happening around the world, you will see clearly that the prophecies about the end time are being fulfilled. Today, all manner of violence and atrocities have made human life to be so cheap. Innocent blood is shed through wars, robberies, ritual killing, murder and other deliberate acts such as the school shootings in America, slaughtering human beings in bestial manner as if they are animals, the kind of thing you see in videos put on the internet by terrorist organisations like ISIS and Boko Haram.
Talk about earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami and other natural disasters as well as calamities happening in different places, where hundreds of people die. Even climate change is part of the signs of the end time.
Now look at all forms of sexual sin (fornication and adultery), which the bible condemned and the way it has multiplied. The same-sex marriage law passed in America and many other European countries is all part of the signs of the end time. People now flaunt sin because it has become glamorous and celebrated. Today, gay lifestyle is even encroaching into the church. The concept of baby mama is the glamorization of sin. These things are part of what Jesus said will point to the end of the world. He said that sin would increase and become common place, the love of God will grow cold; people will love pleasure more than God. People just want entertainment, eat, sleep, dance and generally enjoy themselves and not care what happens to other people. So I am not surprised or alarmed that these things have started to happen. It is fulfillment of the bible.
Today, we have herbalists who wear suit and operate in the churches as pastors. They now call themselves prophets and apostles and are engaged in African traditional religion in church in the name of performing miracles. This is another manifestation of the signs of the end of time. You have a lot of fake preachers who claim to be men of God but are really men of the devil. The incidence of this is increasing today. When you go to churches today, you need to open your eyes and be careful, to differentiate between a genuine pastor and a fake pastor. We are clearly in the end time; so I am not surprised by what is happening now.
Given what you have said, what should the church be really doing now?
I believe that genuine Christians and genuine pastors who believe that the church belongs to Jesus Christ should go back to preaching the truth of the gospel of salvation with zeal, preparing people for eternity with Jesus Christ. The bible says that flesh and blood cannot inherit heaven. So no matter our beautiful cathedrals, fine buildings, high standard of living, eloquence and such other signs of success cannot take us beyond here. Since death is certain for every human being as a consequence of sin, I think the church should go back to preaching against sin in all its ramifications, both in church and the society and focusing on the preaching the undiluted gospel of salvation in its purest form as the apostles of old like Peter and Paul did it in the bible. The hard gospel of seeking God, holiness unto the Lord and turning away from sin. The bible said that we are in the world but not of the world, the bible says that we must come out of the world and be separate, but today, the church is more worldly than the world it should be working hard to convert unto Christ. Instead, the church is working hard to conform to the world.
The church should be getting ready for eternity. Enough of this gospel of you will make it, you will rise and shine, you will succeed. Of course, God wants us to succeed, but that is not the substance we should be pursuing. In the course of wanting to make it, by engaging in the rat race, you can lose God and eternity. The true church should go back to the gospel and demand that people should repent, make peace with God through Christ and be born again. People should live godly life. It is not about building 20,000, 50,000 or 200,000 capacity auditorium. It will be waste of effort and resources if those who worship in the place are not genuinely born again and eternity conscious and they are not disciples of Jesus Christ; their character and lifestyle do not show that they are preparing to spend eternity with Jesus Christ. Just as people prepared for Christmas, I wish everybody would equally prepare for eternity with the same degree of excitement, zeal and devotion they showed in getting ready for Christmas. I wish the pulpits in our churches would be dedicated more to preaching about the need to prepare for eternity much more than we preach about prosperity and how to make it. Many people were alive at the beginning of 2018. You had people like the OPC founder, Dr Fredrick Faseheun, Chief Anineh (Mr Fix-it), George Bush (former US President) and many millions of other people who have all gone. Many more will still go before this year ends in the next 24 hours. The question is, are they prepared for eternity? That is the question. The church should focus its efforts to provide right answer and fulfill the primary purpose for which God sent the Holy Ghost, which is to preach the gospel and make disciples of the nations, and prepare people for eternity with Jesus Christ. If a person misses eternity with Jesus Christ then that individual would spend eternity in hell fire with the Devil and the fallen angels, experiencing eternal sorrow. Christ shed his blood on the cross of Calvary so that whosoever believes in Him and surrenders his life to him will not perish but have everlasting life in Heaven. I believe that the church for which Jesus shed His blood should go back to the bible and preach the undiluted gospel of salvation and encouraging people to live holy lives and getting ready for rapture and eternity.
There used to a time when churches collaborated to hold joint crusades that made impact (like when Reinhard Bonnke several years ago.) Also in 1984, in Imo State, the orthodox churches (Anglican, Methodists, Baptists, Scripture Union) worked with Uma Ukpai to hold a major crusade in Owerri that shook the whole state. Today, what is seen is more of individualism. How do you feel about this?
I believe churches should cooperate on the one hand, but on the other hand, I also know that we are personally responsible for preaching the gospel. We thank God for men like the late Reinhard Bonnke and other evangelists that came to Nigeria as well as Uma Ukpai and other Nigerian evangelists who were able to pull churches together for joint crusades, we thank God for the crowds, but the truth and nothing but the truth is that some of the joint crusades were just jamborees. At the end of the day, two years down the line, if you analyse those meetings, you will see that they did not really contribute to the growth of the church.
I am surprised to hear that. Please explain.
The reason is that the converts who responded to the altar call and accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour at those crusades were not turned into disciples, which is the second and extremely important component of the salvation experience. After the meetings, the collaborating churches did not take up the responsibility of closely following up to assimilate and integrate the converts from those major crusades and make them become disciples. You see that is where the church in Nigeria is failing. Christ called us to make disciples, who will become responsible, growing Christians that impact the society and enlarge his kingdom. Unfortunately, you often find that more than 60 to 70 per cent of the people at the crusades were never followed up. The church fails in discipleship. Of course individuals have to take it up. That is why churches need to train their members on discipleship. Of course we are also seeing a situation where every Adam, Adamu, Peter says I am a pastor and then sets up one ministry without really having first become a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is absolutely wrong. You have people who were not truly called by God into ministry, but are people who called themselves because they see the ministry as a source of daily bread, as a form, of career who just rent a hall and put in the physical facilities and they are in business, so to say. These are the ones essentially ‘pastoring’ people to hell.