In his usual nonchalant self on the podium of transfiguration, Senior Pastor Georges Ntemi delivers a powerful message of total dedication to the Lord.
The focus of Senior Pastor Georges William Ntemi on Sunday shifted from rebuilding one’s life through the spiritual gates o Jerusalem to the need for Christians to rededicate their lives to worshiping the Lord in a genuine and God-fearing way.
The Blessed Man of God stated that for God to honor His covenant in the lives of His children, we have to play our part for that to happen. “In every Covenant, there is God’s part and the part of the Christian. The pastors also have their parts to play in the assembly,” said Pastor Georges.
He reminded the Church of the foundational verse for the year that he took from Isaiah 43: 18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
According to Pastor Georges, these two verses are about the Lord’s blessings and his willingness to turn impossibilities into possibilities in our lives. This year, 2018 is the year. As a result, he challenged the Church itself to shun the gossiping and rumor-mongering of the past and embrace the theme of 2018 fully without any second thoughts.
He informed his sermon of dual eschatological responsibilities from both congregation and pastors with 1 Samuel 1-13. These verses speak of the righteousness of one man that allowed God to have compassion on Israel after they had abandoned Him in favor of idolatry for 20 years. During their waywardness, the Philistines persistently attacked them, but when they realized the folly of their ways and returned to the Lord at Mizpah where Samuel had taken them, they fasted and asked Samuel to intercede o their behalf.
Samuel prayed and offered a suckling as burnt offering to the Lord. When the Philistines heard that the Israelis were at Mizpah, they came in their numbers to attack them, but the Lord thundered and scattered them. As they were fleeing, the Israelis chased them and slaughtered them. The Gentiles learned their lesson and dared not attack Israel again during the life time of Samuel.
The first verse reads, “So the men of Kiriath Jearim came up and took the Ark. They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazer his son to guard it.”
In the words of the Blessed Man of God, “Kiriath Jearim was a city of idols, but Abinadab remained faithful to the Lord. That was the moment when the people said ‘Let’s live our lives. Let’s take the Ark to Abinadab’s house and live as we desire and enjoy life.’
“They enjoyed life for 20 years until Samuel became their leader at Mizpah, where they fasted and Samuel interceded on their behalf. The two-way process adopted here is what I want to draw your attention. As Samuel was praying and interceding, the people also fasted and prayed for forgiveness,” said Pastor Georges.
He noted that many Christians today exhibit the attitude of the Israelis at Kiriath Jearim by pushing God aside and living lifestyles that satisfy their whims and caprices. “Idol worshiping is not just the worshiping of idols. Any thing you are obsessed with that prevents you from fully worshiping God is your idol. To be a Philistine means to be crass but spiritually it means all the things you do that take you away from worshiping God fully,” said the Blessed Man of God.
According to Pastor Georges, pastors intercede for Christians who want to serve the Lord and revive themselves in the presence of the Lord. “Self-imposed fasting is good; it’s a moment for you to be with the Lord to thank Him and confess your sins.”
Pastor Georges reminded the congregation that it was when Samuel and the Israelis were at Mizpah fasting and praying that the Philistines decided to attack. “When the enemy knows you are dedicated to the Lord, that’s when they attack and try to destroy you. Persevere in your prayer because the greatest battle you win is through prayer.”
After his famous victory, “Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has heard us’” (1 Samuel 7: 12).
The Senior Pastor reiterated his second anniversary celebration message to the Church on the need for the people of God to separate themselves from things that are unGodly. He admonished: “A demon in the form of a giant will rule your house if you refuse to serve only God.
“You have to serve God alone who is Supreme. He is Alpha and the Omega, the all-knowing and Majestic God. We are dedicated and committed to serving the people of God and leading them to attain their purpose.”
Pastor Georges hammered on the existential reality that the devil hates people who have dedicated their lives to the Lord, so he loves attacking them. “The enemy is lurking at the door. He will oppress you daily if you don’t dedicate yourself to the Lord. The Philistines attacked the Israelis daily for 20 years until the faithful Lord went to their aid.
“When the presence of the Lord is absent, wickedness reigns and fills the heart, and when there is no spiritual guidance, there is confusion,” noted the Apostle of God.
“Samuel’s heart was on fire because he was with the Lord. The Lord started calling his name when he was young. Hannah prayed to have him and when the Lord gave her a son, he dedicated him to serve his Maker, so she sent him to live with Eli. The Lord can also call your name if you pray hard.”
He said, “The people in Kiriath Jearim starved themselves of the word of God, so there was wickedness and sin everywhere. In such situations, it takes the Lord’s grace for redemption. We are here to pray for your purification and redemption,” said Pastor Georges.
Three important, even quintessential things he wants the people of God to be cognizant of are resisting the temptation of idol worshiping, the evisceration of prideful spirit that leads to arrogance, and avoidance of distractions that disrupt total devotion to the Lord. “Leave idols alone and come to God with a full heart of repentance. The story of the prodigal son teaches us that a bad spirit can deceive you to make decisions that border on arrogance.
“When he came back his senses, the prodigal son returned to his father. Go back to the Lord with all your heart and with humility. Worship Him and Him only. Get rid of the things that prevent you from worshiping Him, for he says, ‘Come to me and I will be your Lord, thy God.’ You cannot come to the Lord with two minds,” preached the Apostle of God.
He reminded the congregation of Jacob who after serving his uncle Laban for 20 years and was leaving, was confronted with the misfortune of his wife, Rachel stealing some of her father’s idols and craftily hiding them to take on the journey. But when he was about to reach Bethel, the Hebrew word for the House of the Lord, he asked every member of his family to release any idols they were carrying with them.
Rachel gave the idols to Jacob, which he buried before they continued the journey. Rachel didn’t reach Bethel with the rest of the family. She died in childbirth when she was giving birth to Benjamin. “You can’t come to God with your mind on idolatry and other perversions. You have to come to Him with a pure heart. He said, ‘If you are lukewarm, I would vomit you.’ You have to be hot for the Lord to accept you!” said the Apostle of God, among other things.
The Senior Pastor reiterated their resolve to move the Church forward by ridding it of gossipers and rumor mongers. “We will move forward together with those who want to build. We will hold hands together and walk majestically toward the growth of the Church,” he assured.