Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Until his call into full time ministry, Pastor Adewale Giwa was a journalist who had worked in different media organisations both in Nigeria and United States of America. He is today, General Overseer, Awaiting the Second Coming of Jesus Ministry, with headquarters in Akure, Ondo State.
He spoke on Christian leaders acquiring wealth, insecurity and other sundry issues:
You once said that pastors who are acquiring private jets would not make heaven. Why?
I received different calls, reactions and text messages after the message was delivered. Though, telling the truth is never easy but you should never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty, truth and compassion against injustice and greed. Few Christians read and understand the Bible, and that is the problem the Christendom is facing today.
If I read and understand the word of God, why should I allow myself to be deceived by so-called prophets or anybody? How much time people have to read their Bible? If they have used hours they stay on social media to read and understand the Bible, they would not have allowed themselves to be deceived. It is not my stance but the truth according to the scriptures.
The poor cannot own a private jet, but the rich can. It is unfortunate that the affected pastors have ignored the word of God in 1 Timothy 6:7-10, which says, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grieves.”
Those who own private jets have to sell them and use the proceeds to support the poor. The biblical passage about the “Rich and the Kingdom of God” simply tells such pastors what to do. It will be extremely difficult for pastors who gather treasures on earth to make heaven.
The young rich man who came to meet Jesus in Matthew Chapter 19 said he had fulfilled all the commandments of God. But, Jesus replied him to go sell his possessions to the poor so as to have treasure in heaven. In verse 22, the young man went away sad because he had great wealth.
Nobody is greater than the word of God. You can never see them quoting this verse. Even if they quote it, they might decide to twist it. To set the record straight, it is not my opinion that the pastors gathering wealth won’t make heaven, but it is the word of God. These pastors do not only have private jets, but also have private institutions that the poor cannot afford.
Don’t you think acquiring private jets will assist them to move around to preach the gospel?
So, you are telling me that without private jets they cannot preach the word of God. The most effective evangelism is house-to-house, which Apostle Paul practised in Acts 20:20. They should take time and read it. Acquiring private jets is a worldly thing that will perish with the world.
In Mathew 6:19-21, the Holy Bible says: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
What is your take on the allegation of rape levelled against a popular pastor in the country?
I won’t want to add my voice to the issue because it has to be thoroughly investigated. Allegation of rape is weighty; it is something that only God can reveal with time. At this time, the man in question needs prayers from Nigerians.
Everyone has a past, but if you are in Christ you will definitely do what is right. Not all Pastors are men of God, except those that allow themselves to be led by the Holy Spirit. Many men of God still live in flesh and allow flesh to guide and control them.
These men of God are liable to fall when temptation comes. I have my past before knowing Christ and there is nothing that can make me do what I used to do because the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding me.
Can you then share your past?
I was in the world before now. I am now a new creature, a new being that is always willing to do the will God. I was once in love with hard drinks. I used to drink beer and all kinds of drinks to a point I was nicknamed “Oti.” The moment I gave my life to Jesus Christ totally, I put that behind me. I am a new creature and old things have gone away.
I also dated so many girls outside my wedlock. But, the truth is that I am now in Christ and I cannot afford to go back to my vomit. You must have a story to tell if God wants to use you. Most of the people who worked with God and gave their lives to God in the Bible were once sinners.
It is important to advise church leaders across the world that there is need to keep the House of God clean. As ministers of God, we should live by examples. We are to keep the Temple of God clean because God is holy. It is better you don’t know Christ than knowing Christ and continue in sin.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, according to Hebrews 10:26. The moment you realise and forsake your sins and beg God for forgiveness, He forgives you and you do not need to go back to sin again. You cannot stand on the pulpit preaching and, as well do something contrary. You cannot claim to accept Jesus in your life and still continue in sin.
In Deuteronomy 22:10, we are instructed to refrain from yoking and ox and a donkey. They will want to go in different directions and at different speeds. The job description for the spirit filled believers is to keep His temple, (our bodies) clean. God will not live in a dirty house.
How best do you think the issue of insecurity can be tackled?
We are in serious risk in this country, due to growing cases of insecurity. There is virtually no day in Nigeria that innocent people will not be killed. Herdsmen are killing on daily basis; they have also taken over the South West by kidnapping innocent people. We are witnessing this unfortunate situation because we are not being truthful to one another. As it is, Nigeria is a failed nation. The nation’s current security is in a shamble, and it requires unity and oneness to curb the menace. What we have now is not a nation.
Unless we pray for divine intervention, there may not be solution to the problem. The only solution is God. I want to urge religious leaders in Nigeria to put aside their personal interests and pray God to have mercy on the country. Israelites were treated cruelly in Egypt until God had mercy on them by sending Moses to rescue them. We must beg God to send someone like Joshua or Moses to wipe away tears from all faces that wallow in abject poverty, intimidation among others.
Moses delivered Israelites from the hands of Egyptians and Joshua was placed to take the people of Israel to the Promised Land. We must call upon God to send the helper who can genuinely have mercy on the people. At present, the situation in Nigeria is getting out of hand.
Since 1960, we are still where we are and this is not a good development for the nation. Injustice, selfishness and disunity pervade Nigeria. I am worried because politicians do not place God first in anything they do.
What is the way forward?
All hands must be on deck to overcome challenges facing the nation. In times like this, we need unity from everyone. Besides, our leaders need to adopt proactive measures to tackle insecurity.
This is time for the President to take action and be proactive without minding whose ox is gored. Tribalism should be put aside by our leaders. The President should not see himself as someone representing a particular tribe.
Also, the judiciary in Nigeria is not truly independent likewise the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). These two main pillars of our system should, however, be called dependent regulatory bodies’ instead.
Unbiased Nigerians, today will tell you that they have lost confidence in INEC and the judiciary. The judiciary should be the last hope of the common man, but the commission has continued to demonstrate its incompetence to Nigerians over the years.
As it is, I hope it can still redeem its credibility in the on-going presidential election case. There are a lot to be addressed in Nigeria, but I doubt if the political leaders can deem it necessary.
Imagine the 1999 Constitution still remains in use today in Nigeria. This is an outdated constitution that needs to be changed if we sincerely want the best for the country. If Kenya could be using 2010 constitution, what stops us from enacting a new one? Kenya’s constitution was presented to the Attorney General of the country in April 2010, and was subjected to a referendum on August 2010 with the approval of 67 per cent of Kenya voters.
We have three arms of government, the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislature. By the principles of separation of powers, each of them is supposed to be autonomous. In Nigeria today, we have a state government dictating to judiciary. Judiciary is depending on governments before it survives in terms of salaries and other things. This should not be so in a country where true federalism is being practiced.