Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Lagos, Nigeria

he Lord Jesus told a parable, which was recorded in the book of St. Mattew chapter 13. It goes thus:

"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.

27 "The farmer's workers went to him and said, 'Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?'

28 "An enemy has done this!' the farmer exclaimed.

"'Should we pull out the weeds?' they asked.

29 "'No,' he replied, 'you'll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.'

I am preaching today on the topic "The Wheat and the Weeds" It can also be titled "Builders and Spoilers on the road to God's Kingdom"

Let us pray.

The moment a child begins to grow, he instinctively knows what is bad and what is good. The Bible says that God had written it in our hearts to differentiate between good and evil.

Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans in Chapter 2: Even Gentiles, who do not have God's written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. 15 They demonstrate that God's law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

God is the sower in the parable. The hearts of men is the field (farm) where the wheat is planted. After God planted the profitable seed, same night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat.

Jesus said that the enemy is Satan.

I will return to the one who planted the weeds later.

God sewed good seeds in our heart. So a child instinctively knows what is good and what is bad, without anyone telling him.

God gave us religion to guide our lives so that we can live a life that will make us to be able to live a life, which will entitle us a place in His Kingdom after we die.

He also gave us religion so that we can live comfortably on earth. He wants us to live comfortably because if we are not comfortable, we may be lured into sin and miss heaven. So He had put in place for us, all, which we need for our comfortable existence, even before He made man and He wants us to enjoy the goodies in full. But there is a condition attached to enjoying the goodies. He said "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land" (Isaiah 1:11). So if we want to eat the good of the land, we must be in obedience to the directives He outlined for eating the goodies.

And this is what I have been exploring. I coordinate the establishment of the "Inter-Religious Organization for the Rehabilitation of Nigeria through Righteousness", so that leaders of all religions, will jointly use the wisdom in our books to encourage the citizens to do what God wants us to do, so that we can enjoy the good of the land and poverty can be eliminated and Nigeria can be reckoned with, in the comity of nations, which in turn, temptations to sins will be limited and we can be sure of a place in heaven. God can never lie, He does whatever He promises

So if we live in poverty, it is our fault because we might have concentrated our attention on things, which do not help us much to achieve prosperity; we do not pursue those things that are important, which can take our poverty away. And when we do this, we play into the hands of the Politicians and they are happy because for once, we lose our focus on their loot. I do not fail to drum it into our ears that it is our behavior that give directives to how we want the government to govern us. Even if they know that our agenda contributes no value to our lives, they go with us in order to remain in power so that they can continue to enjoy the paraphernalia of their office.

Another reason why God gave us religion is to make us live peaceably among ourselves.

Our organization has reached out to people who we think matter to our goal. It however became clear to me that some of them will have nothing to do with people of other religion. I reported in some of my sermons, seeing one time, a signpost in a certain neighborhood, which reads thus "If you are not of this religion (he wrote the name of the religion) do not enter this area"

A farm must be kept clean or dressed and watered in order to produce good harvest. The Priests have the responsibility to dress the field of God in order to harvest good fruits i.e. make the people acceptable for the Kingdom of God after death.

Some Priests are working hard, dressing the field (farm) with honest intentions and in all sincerity of heart, without expectations of any earthly gain. They keep praying to God for guidance on how to nourish the farm for good harvest, i.e to be able to keep the hearts of men in the right, which will make them to safely enter the Kingdom of God. These Priests are ever busy doing everything to ward off animals that may devour the farm; animals which impoverish the citizens.

At the same time however there are other Priests who are supposedly keeping the farm. They do it with great zeal. They are very loud, they talk as if they are the second in command (2oc) to God. They talk as if they possess all knowledge. They see other people outside their faith as infidels.

I am preaching on the topic "The Wheat and the Weeds" It can also be titled "Builders and Spoilers on the road to God's Kingdom"

I have said in many of my sermons that certain people use religion for reasons other than what God intends it for. They use it and even twist it for their selfish interest, but many of us will not suspect because they also say many other beautiful things that captivate us. We are carried away with their religious zeal and for the hardship they ask us to endure in order to be able to get to heaven; rules and hardships, which probably they themselves do not bear.

But because they are very zealous and passionate about what they preach, with sweet mouth, we are carried away. We even praise them for doing a good job and of course they are the ones who have the listening ears of the government. They dictate what the government does.

Their preaching or interpretation of the Holy books will appear fascinating and appealing. They will sound good to the ears. Of course, if the interpretations do not somehow sound sensible, they will have no followers. Unfortunately, often, their interpretation of the Holy books dwells on religious zeal of do's and don'ts; what to eat and wear, what not to eat and what not to wear which are not very important to entering the kingdom of God. They emphasize rules that clean only the outside of the cup but not inside of the cup. And because some of the zealous teachings involve some measure of hardship on the body, we are carried away, whereas cleanliness of the inside alone will make anyone to be acceptable to God.

Apostle Paul explained this in his letter to the Colossians in Chapter 2: 23 "These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline "He concluded "But they provide no help in conquering a person's evil desires"

Is it that these preachers do not know the truth? I believe that they know. But they want to be famous and to be seen as "very holy and Godly"

They may also be protecting some other interests eg. family heritage. Another interest may bother on money.

What many of us do not know is that it is not impossible that some religious leaders derive their wealth from some organizations, from within or outside and they must please he, who pays the piper. They must dance to the tune of the drum even if it will lead to confusion and even fight.

Such people say so many divisive and inflammatory things. But they also say some reasonable things as well. I have heard such religious leaders say so many inflammatory things about the opposite religion.

I am preaching on the topic "The Wheat and the Weeds" It can also be titled "Builders and Spoilers on the road to God's Kingdom"

So, it is very important that we read within the lines and try to understand where they are coming from, so that they do not unnecessarily set us at conflict against each other. After all, they do not share with us any money they obtain from those who support them financially, who they are trying to satisfy.

I understand they will not help you financially if you are in need and you approach them. And if they do not, why do we go with them in their reasoning, without we ourselves scrutinizing their utterances and activities? And even if they share money with you, will you allow anyone to buy your conscience?

Jesus asked "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37)

I have no slight objection to someone of other religion to preach to me. I do not want to miss heaven, so, if 'am convinced that his faith assures me of heaven better than the one I hold at present, I will convert instantly. But it is unacceptable and wrong of someone in the other religion to inflict harm on me because I refuse to submit to his faith. God has not made anyone a judge. It is equally ungodly for any person or government to make life difficult for me because I do not belong to his faith or in order to force me to accept a particular faith. It is equally ungodly for anyone or government to make it difficult for me to practice my faith or restrict me in anyway or deny me of my fundamental human right.

It is also immoral of any one to deny me a job on the ground that I do not belong to a particular faith. It is also ungodly that I am denied any entitlement due to me because of my faith. It is also immoral for one particular faith to be having nocturnal meeting where they plan to allocate positions to people of their faith in detriment to people of other faith who are equally qualified. It is very wrong for one religion to want to dominate other religions. We must be guided by the golden rule "Do unto others as you will want it done unto you" If everyone keeps this in his heart and obey it, how pleasant our world will be!!!

I am preaching on the topic "The Wheat and the Weeds" It can also be titled "Builders and Spoilers on the road to God's Kingdom"

What is most important to me is that we Christians and Muslims and others work in collaboration to make the economy of the nation strong, prevent a situation where individuals are able to pilfer NBillions for themselves from our commonwealth, thereby throwing the rest of the population in abject poverty; that we work together to make Nigeria great so that no Nigerian will be looking for greener pasture across the globe; that we work together to take the reproach of Nigeria away.

Let us return to the story of the farmer.

The farmer's workers went to him and asked, '

"'Should we pull out the weeds?' they asked.

29 "'No,' he replied, 'you'll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them. This will be the lot of those who in the meantime are planting weeds into the hearts of the people, those are very zealous with the cleansing of the outside of the club without paying attention to the inside of the cup. The Lord will then ask that the wheat be put in the barn. (Matt.13: 27-29).

Hear Paul's interpretation of the story as recorded in his 1st letter to the Corinthians in 3: 12-14

12 It is God who laid the foundation of the house. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials-gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

Let us pray.