FEATURE ARTICLE

Friday, November 1, 2019
ibelemedo@yahoo.com
St. Ann's, Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies
THE "KANYE WEST" SITUATION

want to use this medium to help bring some form of clarity on this issue that seems to be trending lately on social media.

I must start by saying that I have never personally met or communicated with Kanye West or with anyone who knows him personally.

My comments would therefore be generally based on principles and not specifics that support or oppose the stance that he is now a believer in Jesus Christ. Even though I'd mention him in my discourse, please understand that my comments would be keyed into the current social media status quo, which is in the public domain but this in no way, verifies those social media positions.

Now let's dig into the issue.

Firstly, it is the will of God for ALL men to be saved - 1 Tim. 2:3-4; 2 Pet. 3:9. The Bible is clear that God's love for the world is the reason He gave us Jesus Christ - Jn. 3:16-18.

That's the essence of Jesus' redemptive work - Rom. 5:8-17.

Secondly, we must understand that our sinful and depraved state is what the redemptive work of Jesus Christ addressed - Rom. 5:1-17; Eph. 2:1-7. We couldn't save ourselves from our spiritually dead state and nothing we do or did could have freed us from the destruction that we were destined to encounter if Jesus Christ did not die for us.

Thirdly, this means that none of us had or has what it takes to deliver or redeem us, apart from what God, the Father, provided for us through Jesus Christ - Acts 4:12. It is by grace that we are saved through faith not by our works - Eph. 2:8-10.

Fourthly, this means that ANYONE CAN BE SAVED (no matter their past or even their current state) once they BELIEVE IN Jesus Christ and accept His redemptive work - Rom. 1:16; 3:21-25; 2 Cor. 5:16-21; Eph. 2:1-10.

Hence, the idea that Kanye West, (someone who attacked Jesus Christ and Christianity openly, called Himself god and also called himself a monster and clearly led people away from God for many years) can be saved, should not surprise us.

Beloved, that's the essence of the saving power of the blood of Jesus Christ.

The Bible has numerous accounts of God haters, Christian haters, witches, wizards and devil worshippers, who got saved and served God for the rest of their lives.

So, the challenge for me here, is not the validation of Kanye West's or anyone else's salvation experience.

It is the Holy Spirit, not any Christian or preacher, that bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God - Rom. 8:15-16.

Here are issues I consider to be disturbing;

We often "put known celebrities, into ministry, too soon following their "perceived" conversion.

This is not good for either them or the church at large"

I cannot go so far as to indicate that Kanye West, is a tool of the antichrist like some are saying, and neither can I say that his conversion isn't real, simply because other celebrities and the media are embracing him (and justify that by saying the world only loves their own).

I believe he's being embraced because;

1) He's a well known celebrity, period - and where the carcass is the eagles will gather - Matt. 24:28; Lk. 17:37.

2) His message is generally simplistic and immature (by all counts he is not a mature believer), hence can be easily "tolerated" by the world. Be reminded that there is a danger in putting up a novice "to minister in a leadership role" - 1 Tim. 3:6.

3) His appeal to togetherness and "love" - (not necessarily Agape love), which makes "his message" seemingly very inclusive.

4) identifying with "him" is economically appealing, both for the media and the promoters of "his brand".

However, one must be careful not to judge anything regarding "his heart" too quickly.

If Jesus said "by their fruit" you shall know them, He has invariably told us to be very circumspect in our analysis, because it really takes awhile to bear fruit.

That simply means that we should WAIT for it and not RUSH (into conclusion) for it - 1 Cor. 4:1-5, is so clear on this.

Jesus did not say "by their fruit, they are" but "by their fruit, YOU (meaning US) shall know them".

Something can be and not necessarily bear the fruit (or be known) - like the fig tree Jesus encountered in Mk. 11.

This is why both apostles Paul and John spoke about us acting like Christ, because we are His - Col. 2:6-7 and 1 Jn. 2:5-6.

It is by acting like Him or bearing the fruit, of our conversion or repentance that "we will be KNOWN as His, and even assure our hearts that WE ARE born of God".

However, not doing it, or not bearing fruit doesn't mean that we are not His, it just means that WE WILL NOT BE KNOWN, as His. This is because;

A) Young plants do not bear fruit. Until plants reach a certain level of maturity they won't bear fruit - Mk. 4:26-29.

B) Malnourished plants do not bear fruit - Lk. 13:6-9.

C) Sick plants do not bear fruit - Mk. 4:16-19 and

D) Unattached plants do not bear fruit - Jn. 15:4-7. To be a truly fruitful plant, you must be planted - Ps. 92:12-14.

Always remember also that, it is God who really knows who are His - 2 Tim. 2:19.

Let's continue to pray, but never neglect to WATCH (or discern accurately) while we are praying.

Pray the Pauline prayers - Eph. 1:16-22; 3:14-21; Phil. 1:3-11; Col. 1:3-14 etc.

I'm not scared for the church, like some preachers are, because Jesus said "I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT" - Matt. 16:18.

He also took time to pray for the church as recorded in Jn. 17. His longest recorded prayer. He prayed that we would be kept from the evil and also be sanctified (or set apart) by God's Word - Jn. 17:15-17.

I honestly see the Church as Unconquerable, because nothing can separate us from God's love - Rom. 8:35-38.

So believe me, I'm not moved by what I hear or see from anywhere else.

I'm totally convinced that the church IS & WILL ALWAYS BE fine under Jesus' watch.

He was also careful to tell us that it is IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE ELECT (or TRUE CHURCH) TO BE DECEIVED - Matt. 24:24.

This is not inviting us to be complacent because, He and His disciples warmed us about being deceived - Lk. 21:8; 1 Cor. 6:9; 15:33; Gal. 6:7; 2 Tim. 3:13; Tit. 3:3.

The paradox here is that though the church corporately, or as an entity, cannot be DECEIVED OR LOST, individuals within the church can be.

Hence, the admonition is for US ALL as individuals to diligently study the Bible for ourselves and be doers of the Word - Matt. 7:15-27; Jam. 1:22-25; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:15-17.

There is also a responsibility for church leaders to ensure that the Gospel is accurately taught so that God's people can mature and not be deceived.

Deception is and will always be satan's primary tool - 2 Thess. 2:9-12; Rev. 18:23; 19:20; 20:10.

The Scriptures are clear that it is those who do not walk uprightly before God that can and will be deceived so, beloved, be diligent to make your calling and election sure - 2 Pet. 1:10; 3:14.

I therefore, admonish and encourage you to also do the following;

See the Bible as the final arbiter in all matters of Christian living. Study it, meditate on it and do it - Ps. 119:105, 128, 130; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:15-17; Jos. 1:8.

Maintain a tender heart and ensure you do not Harbour unconfessed sin - 1 Jn. 1:9-10; 2 Cor. 7:1; Heb. 4:14-16.

Consistently, grow in the things of God by taking advantage of who we are, what we have and what we can do, In-Christ - Prov. 4:28-23; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1.

Be there for one another - care for, comfort, correct and counsel each other to be all that God has called us to be so we can fulfill His purpose on the earth - Eph. 4:15-18; Gal. 6:1-2; Rom. 15-1-3.

Stay focused on your God ordained mission, stay in your lane and avoid distractions - Eph. 4:16; Heb. 12:1-3.

Never bow to any ungodly pressures because it is In-Christ, that we have the victory - 1 Cor. 15:57-58; Rom. 8:31-39.

That's my take on it for now.

I remain committed to making your life better.

Until next time keep feeding your faith and starve your doubts to death. Stay strong. I love you.

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