Since the creation of man, one question that has been a thorn in the human soul and which it eagerly desires a clear and sure answer is: “If a man die, shall he live again? It is an old, old question.”
Job examined the question long ago in an agony. Job could only see one indisputable fact, the tragic fact of death:
“But man dies and is laid away;
Indeed he breathes his last
And where is he?
As water disappears from the sea,
And a river becomes parched and dries up,
So man lies down and does not rise.
Till the heavens are no more,
They will not awake
Nor be aroused from their sleep.” (Job 14: 10-12)
“If a man die, shall he live again?” I know all of you here today are asking the same question with similar desperation in these days of ours.
I’m convinced as a Christian that I have good and sufficient grounds for faith to believing confidently that when I die, I’ll live again.
What reasons do I have for believing that after I die, I shall live again? Three reasons: the nature of man, the character of God, and the experience of Christ.
You know how I lived the whole time I have been with you. From the first day I founded WOSEM, I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing from all angles.
You know I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you and I have taught you publicly and from house to house.
I have declared to Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, White, Black, and Brown that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
Now, I’m compelled by the Spirit to tell you my days are numbered, not knowing what would happen to me after today. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me.
My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you.
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
I know that when I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own members will arise people that will distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
So be on your guard! Remember that for years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
And now to the heart of my farewell message. I have been reliably informed by a whistleblower that my son Pastor Paul Obadare with some of my protégés organized a family meeting in Lagos where they discussed my funeral.
I was further informed that Paul would hold a press briefing to announce to the world that they’ll put me in $25,000 casket.
As a matter fact, the whistleblower was kind enough to release advance copy of Paul’s speech:
“The coffin to be used for the burial of our father, Apostle Timothy Obadare, is taken after the type used for the burial of the late Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.”
“He said the … founder of World Soul Winning Evangelical Ministry (WOSEM) deserved the honour and more.”
“Michael Jackson was buried in a gold-plated casket called Promethean, said to have cost $25,000. Whitney Houston’s casket was also said to have cost around the same amount, but she reportedly wore costlier jewelry worth $500, 000 inside the costly casket. Obadare won’t be using any jewelry, save probably his wristwatch … may be a ring too.”
I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing or casket. You yourselves know that my life has been consistently simple, and a contented life of a lowly shepherd.
Everything I did I showed you that we must help the weak, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, comfort the aggrieved, heal the sick, seek justice, free the oppressed, and preach the Word.
Paul my son, I have some questions for you:
Why do you want to use $25,000 gold-plated casket for me? Where and how did you get the money? Please you must not overburden the flock with the expenses of a casket that would be eaten up by moths, termites, and maggots.
Why do you want to bury me in an expensive casket like Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston? Why comparing me with the Jacksons and Houstons of the world?
Paul, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Then, what baptism did you experience? Well then, what do I have in common with Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston?
I’m a pastor – shepherd, prophet, and a builder – I’m not an entertainer.
I’m a preacher, they were performers. I’m nobody, they were celebrities. I’m a soul winner, they were song stars.
I’m of the sacred, they were of the secular. Difference between the two is like difference between day and night. This is a living reality and not a dead abstraction.
We cannot divorce ethics from theology. I’m not a Gospel Comedian but a Gospel Commandant. In all my life I have refused to imitate, imbibe, or imbue the personification of pomposity.
My calling is of the old theology as opposed to the “new theology” – a bad photograph – under-developed and over-exposed! An eagle does not roost in a sparrow’s nest.
Paul, fellowship with known and vital error is participation in sin. Why do you want to join the confederacy of those who are alien to the truth?
We have a fixed faith to preach with a definite message from God. The best way you can honor me is to promote the truth, shun hypocrisy, worship God in humility, do things in moderation with wisdom and promote the gospel.
The divine truth never changes, but the human personality does. Take everything away from me but my reputation and my Bible.
To know God is to know he should be obeyed. Please don’t put me in a $25,000 gold-plated casket for a second. Use the money for the poor, please!
And don’t delay to change your mind on the $25,000 gold-plated casket. Postponed obedience to the command of God usually amount to disobedience.
Paul, the choice is yours: you can “beat the heat” by doing God’s bidding or “feel the heat” of his chastening hand.
I have polished the lenses of souls and help them see well. Putting me in a $25,000 gold-plated casket would mean replacing all that WOSEM stands for: spiritual growth, obedience to the Word of God and winning souls for Jesus.
Paul remember, the applause of the crowd is not always the approval of the Lord. My preaching has been appeals to the conscience, penetrating preaching, clinical preaching, preaching that makes people to cry “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
For me I’m now near to eternity. My calling has cost me the greatest moral effort, the greatest venture of faith which I ever made. The Lord has something better for the man who would not promote or publicize himself.
Few men could have passed through such an agony of choice that I have suffered. Now to be tainted, soiled, and symbolized by worthless $25,000 gold-plated casket? God forbid!
Finally brethren, In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself has said, it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Those who are weak in faith must be encouraged; the strong ought to help bear the infirmities and not to please themselves.
Admonish the disorderly, encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be long-suffering toward all.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly. I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.
From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing.
Paul my son, do you love me? Do you love me? Paul my son, do you love me? Feed my sheep.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Unilaglss