Saturday, September 16, 2017 was a unique day in the annals of Amazing Love Church Ministry Int’l. It was the day on which Pastor Jean Paul Ntap performed his marital vows as he wed the former Ms. Gaelle Rikong in a charismatic ceremony in the Church. It was a graceful occasion.
The Church was packed and the wedding was expertly performed jointly by Pastors Ntemi and Richard Olowomeye with Mrs. Olowomeye rounding off the ceremony with a powerfully sanctifying invocation.
Pastor Ntemi appropriately followed the message he delivered to the newly wed on Saturday with an equally vital sermon whose themes dangled with loyalty and faithfulness on Sunday.
He began the sermon by reading from the Gospel of Mark 9: 49-50, “For everyone shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good; but if the salt has lost his saltiness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves and have peace one with another.”
Here, the replacement of the neuter gender pronoun “it” with the personal pronoun “he” seems to suggest that Christ spoke figuratively and likened himself to the salt. The combination of salt and fire, consequently, is symbolic of the trinity,
From that perspective, Pastor Georges explained that the symbolism of salt is that of loyalty and faithfulness. “Our God is a faithful God so we must be loyal and faithful to him. Salt is also about love. God is love and love is God. When salt loses its salinity, it’s gone forever. Have salt, have loyalty and be at peace with yourself and with one another. When you have salt in you, you have the Lord’s protection.”
From salt and fire’s profound symbolism in the Gospel of Mark, Pastor George continued with another citation from 2 Chronicles13: 5, “Ought ye not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, even to him and his sons by a covenant of salt?”
Unpacking the verse, the blessed man of God aligned the covenant to God’s loyalty to David and his posterity to rule Israel and any outward illustration of rebellion by anyone else would be mercilessly dealt with, and so went the fate of Jeroboam who rebelled against Solomon.
“God is a loyal God; even, if you change, he does not. Solomon had a detour in worshipping God but God still kept the covenant intact.”
“Colossians 4: 6 says, ‘Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how to answer every man,’” read the apostle of God. In other words, explained the blessed man of God, if you have salt in you, it’s just like having the Holy Spirit in you, so you would always have the appropriate response for every question.
Pasto Georges observed that covenant is a profound word. “Every blessing is a product of the covenant. Because of our faithfulness and obedience, the Lord honors his word and promise in our lives. In sickness and in health, in poverty and in wealth, in scarcity and in abundance, the Lord honors his covenant with us,” affirmed the apostle of God.
More importantly, the blessed man of God pointed a quintessential human weakness that God in his mercy turns to overlook in that after establishing a covenant with God, we usually forget our part of the bargain. “It’s easy to make a covenant with God but it’s very difficult to keep. Some pray hard for a job, but as soon as they get it, they look for another one that makes worshipping God very difficult for them.
In spite of the promise, they recluse themselves from worshipping God,” said Pastor Georges.
He reminded the congregation of the loyalty and faithfulness of Ruth, who in spite of being told by her mother-in-law, Naomi that she should return to her parents’ house, the result of the passing of her husband, Ruth was adamant, and she says in Ruth 1: 16:
“And Ruth said, ‘Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.’” Because of her loyalty and faithfulness, Ruth went on to become the great grandmother of David.
The blessed man of God intimated, “Ruth was rewarded because of her loyalty and faith. When you are loyal, you gain life and favor with God and men. It’s good to be loyal. Proverbs 3: 3-4 read, ‘Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart. So shall thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and men.’”
Pastor Georges denounced the shameless of heretics, noting that Amazing Love Church Ministry Int’l is the place for them. He called for unity in the Church, a church without Judas Iscariots whose essential modus operandi is betraying their own.
Pastor Georges praised the Lord for Amazing Love by citing Luke 2: 14, “Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men. The blessed man of God ended his sermon with Proverbs 18: 24, “A man that has friends must show himself friendly, for there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
He concluded: “A loyal friend understands what covenant is. He stands for what is right. He does not pervert his way with lips of deception. He is one who will stand firm in loyalty and will have favor with the Lord. The Lord can only build his Church with such people. They sacrifice for others to be happy. The Church welcomes such people.”