Dishonesty In The Church Of Nowadays by Joseph Edem Bassey

 

The dishonesty of today's church can be traced to that of the early church.



 "Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying." ~Romans 13:13.


INTRODUCTION:

 Honesty is not comedy, it is the quality of being honest. Honesty comprises of a fair, truthful, straightforward, sincere and modest lifestyle; in speech, conduct and general behaviour. 

 Meanwhile, dishonesty is simply the opposition of honesty; probity or integrity.


 Before I proceed from here, have you ever thought about the calibers of men leading the world today? How about the leaders in the church? Do you know what treatments the led or followers receive on a daily basis? Do you know that many people live their days like in the dark?


 This message is not to preserve, but to point out some behaviours in the church which are not meant to be and encourage readers to do that which is honest.


Referencing The Early Church

 After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the church was given birth to, and established with the effectiveness of the Holy Spirit.


 The early church comprising the saved members, had great leaders who were with Christ Jesus during his early ministry. The passion for preaching the gospel, love for godliness and selfless representation of Jesus Christ, earned them the name; Christians. (Acts 11:26).


 All their great works and transformation can be traced back to the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon them along with the people that were with them. The transformation was massive in the sense that Peter was empowered to speak bolding before the people, leading to the divine increase in the early church. Many people willingly surrendered their lives along with their properties, gratuitously to support and relieve the poor and needy amongst them. (Read Acts 4:31-33).


The Honest Members In The Early Church

 In Acts of the Apostles chapter 4:34-37, it is recorded, "Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35. And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
36. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

37. Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet."


 Taking a good look at what happened, it is interesting to know how great love the people shared among themselves. 

 Kindly imagine how land owners sold their lands and took the money to the Apostles, and the Apostles distributed the money and resources brought to them amongst the needy. 

 This scene displays a straightforward conduct in the early church which rightly portrays honesty between the leaders and the led.


 While sailing with amazement at the early church, I reached a point where my enthusiasm parted from me and was drowned in sorrow. Do you know what happened?


The Dishonest Members In Their Midst

  Though the people were greatly experiencing the love of God and the manifestation of God's power through the Holy Spirit, there were still dishonest members in their midst. By the grace of God, two were exposed and according to the book of Acts chapter 5:1-6, it was recorded;

"1. ...a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2. And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4. Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

6. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him."


 Ananias was one of the members in the church who possessed the quality of dishonesty. While others were giving gratuitously, he was deceived in his heart to keep a share of what was meant to be given by him.

 On bringing the other share, he was exposed by the Holy Spirit and being found unholy, he gave up the ghost.


Acts chapter 5:7-10 further told of the other person who was exposed in the space of three hours.

 "7. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

8. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

9. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

10. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband."


 From the first place we read, it was noted that "Ananias with Sapphire his wife, sold a possession." The aim of selling their possession was to give the money to the church to meet the needs of the needy. Unfortunately, the dishonesty in the church led to the death of Ananias, and his wife was in support of the dishonest conduct of her husband. Who knows if she advised him to keep the share? If she didn't, don't you think she should have compelled him to take all the money for the purpose it was meant?

 When she arrived at the church, instead of being sober, I could imagine her working majestically into the church. When she was questioned by Apostle Peter, she could boldly speak in her deceit. What do you expect? As it was with her husband, so it was with her.


"And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things." (Acts 5:11).


Note: God is not interested in your money or resources. He is interested in your willingness to use what you have to help those in need. That is an easy way to attract God's attention and there is certainly no way He won't replenish and flourish those who participate in alms giving. ( Read 1 Thessalonians 4:12).


Dishonesty In The Church Of Nowadays

 It is usually said that in the midst of the twelve disciples, there is always a Judas. Today, I want to say that there are more than a Judas in the church of nowadays when it comes to the aspect of dishonesty.

 Trying not to be like Ananias and Sapphire, I encourage everyone to admit our participation as victims of the Dishonesty In The Church Of Nowadays.


 Apostle Paul, speaking in the book of 2nd Corinthians chapter 4:1-4, said:

 "1. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

2. But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

3. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

4. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."


What You Should Know:

 Dishonesty is one of the major causes of the setbacks and failures of the church of nowadays in propagating the gospel and advancing the kingdom of God. 

 The enlargement of the house of God or place of worship doesn't guarantee the growth of the church. Everyday, members of the church are faced with challenges that can be solved by the church. Instead of having the church look into the matter with love and compassion, such are being despised and ridiculed by some members of the church.

 Does it mean the church cannot take care of its members? Or has the members suddenly lost their love for one another?

 Every week of the month, the people of God assemble together in their numbers. They pray, praise and worship God together. They also hear God's word and give offerings to God before His representatives. Some give special offerings to the church in kinds to show appreciate to God and reach out to the needy, just like in the days of old.

What happens to all these offerings? Does the offerings really reach the poor and needy? Honestly, only few and in few places of worship. Why? Dishonesty in today's church is the reason.

Greed and contemptuousness have condemned the heart of the people of God. Some leaders in the church are like Ananias and Sapphire. They manipulate records and give dishonest accounts, while keeping a share to themselves. Some lie before God's people on projects they could not accomplish in centuries, robbing the church!

 Where these resources are released for distribution, some distributors in the church are likely to give to people they know, and not those they need to.

 How long, for how long will we continue like this? Is it till they give up the ghost like Ananias and Sapphire? 


Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, the word of God is calling us out of frowardness into straightforwardness, disobedience into obedience, lies into truth; dishonesty into honesty. 


 Never think that God is not seeing because God is silent! He sees what we do that we cannot see. He sees us even in the dark, and today He is calling us from living our days in the dark, into light. Must we continue to partake in dishonesty? Come out from among them and be separated from them!


Apostle Paul's Prayer

 "Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth." (2 Corinthians 13:7-8).


Apostle Paul's Advice

 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8).


Apostle Peter's Advice

 "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." (1 Peter 2:12).

Acknowledgement

 I want to use this medium to acknowledge and appreciate those who are honest in their service to God. Abba Father will surely reward your truthfulness, fairness and integrity in this world and the kingdom to come in Jesus name!


How To Overcome Dishonesty

 For those who are wondering how they can overcome the spirit of dishonesty; lies, frowardness, impartiality and disobedience. It all begins in your mind, then your mouth, before you move with what you have thought and said. Therefore, the easiest way to overcome the spirit of dishonesty is to communicate honesty.
  1. Think honestly.
  2. Speak honestly.
  3. Do honestly.

 Above all, Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. Dishonesty is a sin and the wages is death, while life is in Christ Jesus. Don't you think you need Him? Let me tell you something, "YOU DO!" Therefore, make this prayer with me.


PRAYER:

 Lord Jesus, I thank you for your word and love towards me. I know I am a sinner who has been deceived by the world and deserves, death. Therefore, I come to you for soul salvation and I accept you as my Lord and Saviour. 

 Dear Lord, help me to overcome dishonesty and walk honestly both in the day and in the dark, giving glory to your name. Thank you Lord for saving me in Jesus name. 


Pray For Me

 I pray for your son, Joseph Edem Bassey. Bless him and keep him, make your face shine upon him and fill him with Thine excellent spirit. Use him to fulfill your perfect will in Christ Jesus amen!


 If you prayed that prayer, I want to say congratulations and thank you for praying for me. God bless you.


©JOSEPH EDEM BASSEY


Recommended Contents:

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The Revelation Of God In Human Form by Joseph Edem Bassey


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Joseph Edem Bassey

I am Joseph Edem Bassey, an author of positive life changing and informing books; a writer, singer and minister of the Gospel. Living to inspire my world with my God given vision: the vision of Positive Change and Acknowledgment (PCA). Writing to change my world, positively, while I sing to lift souls to the glory of God.

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    1. God bless you Beloved Sir Sackson for your comment.

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  2. Nice sermon may God bless you abundantly

    It's touching

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    1. Amen🙏 Thank you beloved for your comment. God bless you in Christ Jesus.

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