By Samuel O. Doku (Washington, DC). When Pastor Georges-William Ntemi mounts the podium of transfiguration to preach, his sermons always serve as stark reminders to his congregation, from other pastors to visitors, to refrain from their sinful notoriety because God Almighty can neither be deceived nor fooled. That realization brought out a confession from him on Sunday that sometimes he doesn’t like what he says from the podium, but the Holy Spirit ferrets the truth out of him.
On Sunday, he was at his best speaking truth to power when he chastised uncompassionate Christians as charlatans and pretenders because they don’t strive to follow in the footsteps of Christ by striving to live righteous lives. In an anaphora-filled sermon loaded with “Who are you?”, “Who am I?”, and “Are you saved?”, Pastor Georges questioned the hearts of the congregation to examine themselves to know if they are for the devil or for God.
“Who are you? Who am I? Are you saved? When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see yourself as an iconoclast, a destroyer of life or you are a blessing from God? Is your filled with hatred or with love? Are you a cheap copy of someone else?” asked the blessed man of God rhetorically.
To accentuate themes of obedience, love, and honesty in his sermon, Pastor Georges reminded the congregation of the commandments, “Honor your father and mother so that your days on earth may be long; love your neighbor as yourself because if you can’t love your neighbor you see every day, how can you claim you love God whom you don’t see. The problem is that many churchgoers today are great pretenders. There is no honesty in the lives of many. The question you need to ask is, ‘Am I a child of God or a son of the devil?’”
He spoke of Christ’s parable of the Good Samaritan in which a priest returning from a pilgrimage in Jerusalem, a Levite also returning from a pilgrimage in Jerusalem, and a Samaritan returning from work all saw a man who had been robbed and beaten writhing in pain on the wayside. The first two passed him by, but the Samaritan did not.
The Samaritan showed compassion on the man. He stopped and took the man to an Inn, where he gave his entire earning for the day in the amount of two denari to the Inn keeper to take care of the man, and if the money was inadequate, on his return, he would make it up.
Clearly, it is in what is in your heart that determines your relationship with God and not your position in the Church or in life. “What would you do if you see someone in need of help? Will you be like the Good Samaritan or you will be like the priest and Levite? When your neighbor comes to you with a problem, what would be your response? Who are you? Do you love your neighbor as yourself?”
Pastor Georges observed that there are some who perennially complain about things they hate in life, yet they are equally guilty of the things they complain about. He complained about self-betrayal that leads to self-hatred and mean spiritedness and destruction of talent. “Such a person is just like a house divided against itself; he cannot stand and do anything worthwhile.
“Do you boast about your being a blessing to others or you gloat about the number of lives you have destroyed? Let’s be what God has called us to be by being of help to others.”
Pastor Georges had a message for Christians who sham holiness, their holier-than-thou attitudes being of concern to the less endowed. “Some behave as if they are very holy but they are not. Christ said unless your righteousness surpasses that of a Pharisee, you won’t enter Heaven. Who then is a Pharisee?”
In response to his own question, he cited Luke 18: 11, predicating it on the story of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee. While the Tax Collector exemplified humility in his prayer to the Lord, the Pharisee was arrogant and haughty because he thought he obeyed the law; therefore, that qualified him to go to Heaven. The Pharisee would be rejected in Heaven.
Toward that end, Pastor Georges said, “Humble yourself before the Lord. Don’t use the word of God to justify your actions. Don’t pray to the Lord with a spirit of arrogance; He will destroy you,” citing Philippians 2: 5-11.
He also quoted 1 Corinthians 13: 1-4, noting that fathers must not renege on their fatherly responsibilities in the home. Most importantly, he chastised pastors who have the gift of prophesy but have no love.
“The Church of God can only grow through Love. You can’t have the Holy Spirit in you and hate your neighbor. If you use the same tongue you use to profess the holy spirit in spewing diatribe against others out of hate, you are a sorcerer,“ said the blessed man of God.
According to Pastor Georges, loving one another would result in the Lord adding on to the membership of the Church because the Lord would not send people to a messed-up Church.
He also read a couple of passages from Proverbs. Proverbs 17: 9 says, “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateh a matter separateth very [good] friends.”
Pastor Georges narrated a story of a woman who was engaged to marry the man of her dreams, but before the wedding could come on, one that called herself the woman’s godmother went and divulged very secret of the woman’s past to her fiancé, so the fiancé called off the wedding.
Only a witch would do that kind of thing to someone who trusted her, said Pastor Georges mercifully.
Proverbs 26: 17 says, “He that passeth by and meddleth with strife that does not belong to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.” Minding one’s own business has its benefits. “If you involve yourself in matters that don’t concern you, you would be bitten not just by a dog, but by a mad dog. Are you a pretender? Are you a divider? Or You are a believer! Men look at outward appearance, but God looks at what’s inside of us. I speak the truth regardless of whom it impacts because I want everyone to be saved,” said Pastor Georges.
He ended his powerful sermon on a cautionary note: “We are the salt of the world; therefore, we must not be pretenders or fakers, and God will use us to do great and mighty things. We will stand and do wonderful exploits; we will mount and will never fall. We can’t do the same bad things we do on a daily basis and expect God to bless us. Don’t be a weed among wheat. Live up to God’s expectations of you.”