In Church and Hell Bound, Until…
I was dead in sin and trespasses, buried beneath my shame and enslaved in bitterness and hatred. I was bound in religion trying to work out my salvation and righteousness by my self effort. I knew in my heart that I was not in right standing with God and I did everything I could to be accepted by God. I served the ‘men of God’ instead of the God of men in the hope that they would intercede for me and eventually God would finally accept me. I also thought that through serving the ‘men of God’ I would tap into the anointing they had. I paid my tithes and offerings and fasted and even gave away all that I had so as to receive a blessing from God. I did all these things just to be in right standing with God but in my heart I never felt accepted by Him. All this time I was a ‘born again Christian’ because I had recited the ‘sinner’s prayer’ but comfortably living in sin (like so many other Christians around me) but little did I know that I was living in deception and blindly walking through the path to eternal destruction.
I was always hungry for God but nothing could satisfy my hunger. But by the grace of God He chose me and called me out of the grave when I was rotten and stinking in sin. He picked me up in that filth that I was in and washed me thoroughly by the blood of Jesus. He restored my sight and gave me life. In His mercy He decided to reveal Himself to me through a 6 weeks virtual mission and purpose mentoring program called Ready-2-R.U.N in 2020. And when I saw Him, that was when I saw the state of my heart and I fell into sincere repentance. I wept bitterly and I could not even comprehend how He embraced me with so much love. I had done nothing to deserve this kind of love. All this time I was working so hard to be accepted and the more I tried the more I felt rejected. I paid so much to be blessed but I ended up broke. I never knew that all these things I was working so hard to get I have already received, by the grace of God. I have been accepted in Christ Jesus and I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
I learnt so much about the Gospel and to me this was awake up call. I always thought that Christianity was all about prospering here on earth and making it to heaven and the gate pass is reciting the ‘sinner’s prayer’ and professing Christ as personal savior. This is the greatest deception in Christianity that is being passed on from one generation to another. The reason for this deception is because we lack proper discipleship in the buildings where people gather for fellowship. There is no teaching on how to follow Christ as an obedient disciple. Most of the teaching centers around what people want to hear rather than discipling people and teaching them to obey every word of God. Paul asked us to imitate him as he imitated Christ but most ‘men of God’ want us to imitate them as they imitate their Bishops. Men are fixing their eyes on men instead of fixing them on Jesus.
So many people are holding on to this deception because the true meaning of Christianity has been hidden from us by the blindness of religion and because most of us are too lazy to personally seek the truth we blindly follow some of these leaders into the ditch. True Christianity is all about walking in total obedience to the word of God. Jesus said, “Go therefore and MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, TEACHING THEM TO OBEY ALL THINGS that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Most people have not been discipled and that’s why they cannot make disciples. You must be a disciple to be able to make disciples who will make disciples who will make other disciples.
Throughout my training I kept on learning and unlearning and it was not easy for me. One thing I came to realize is the reason why we have so many sinners in ‘church’ is because we are not preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The true gospel binds people with the will of God. Sometimes I walk around on Sundays to see what’s going on in ‘churches’ and I see so many ‘churches’ with empty seats and so many people idling somewhere close to the ‘churches’. The reason is because people are tired of hearing the same thing over and over and the words they hear keep failing over and over. People tell me that they are born again but don’t go to church because they don’t know what to believe in anymore as they receive words that fail them always. If only they had leaders who are committed to discipling them holistically to follow and obey Jesus, then He will be building His Church (Matthew 16). But as long as men will keep on building their own churches, the gates of hell will keep on prevailing.
Mary Karanja is a Disciple Maker with ACTIVATE Kenya in one of our urban mission field near Thika, Kiambu County.