Sunday 1, June 2014
These are excerpts from my welcome address at the 2nd Grace Foundation Day Lecture on the topic; Child Trafficking: Creating a Hopeless Future for the Future Leaders delivered by the Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan, Professor Oluyemisi Bamgbose at Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan on 16th May 2014. I wish to share it with you my readers as my message to you this month.
Whilst welcoming you, I want to draw your attention to some of the goings on in our nation and in the world today and how these may be omens of terrible events that may occur in the future. As things are unfolding in the world and in our nation for many years now, can we say that they portend grave dangers and are signals to us that the last days are here?
Throughout history and in recent times, there has been a series of signals. Some of which include:
i) The terrorist attack against the World Trade Centre in New York on September 11, 2001, which was perhaps is a most clear trumpet call of the end of times! A shaking that has been demonstrated in the Bible as 'everything that can be shaken will be shaken'.
ii) The global economic meltdown confronting the world, particularly in the countries of Europe and America.
iii) Natural disasters of astronomic proportions, such as the Tsunami in Japan, Hurricane Sandy in the Atlantic Ocean and the east coast of United States of America, the serious flooding experienced almost on a yearly basis over the last ten years in practically all continents, with unprecedented loss of lives and properties on a monumental scale.
iv) The Arab spring in recent years, which has led to serious civil war and continues unabated in Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Libya with Turkey now joining the fray. Lebanon also has its own share of the violence. This has resulted in the fall of many governments and instability in the Arab world!
v) The ongoing problem in Ukraine, which has caused President Yanukovych to step down and now there is a war of attrition going on inside the nation.
vi) The heightened campaign all over the world for Gay rights, that has even entered the church and some churches are now ordaining gay priests and joining in holy matrimony homosexuals and lesbians!
vii) The embarrassing practice of bestiality, where men and women are now marrying their dogs! A recent news item of a woman in England who divorced her husband of many years to marry her dog is a most appalling sight to behold!
viii) The recent disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 people on board during a midnight flight out of Kuala Lumpur. The world, despite its high technology, is yet to locate it several months after!
ix) The recent disaster where a ferry capsized off the coast of South Korea with about 457 people on board. Around 280 people, many of them schoolchildren, are still missing!
x) On our shores in Nigeria, we continue to witness, almost on a daily basis, terrible events of most calamitous dimension in terrorist attacks accompanied by great loss of lives, in our places of worship and public places in the north eastern part of the country, which is now gradually entering the north central region, with Abuja, the nation's capital being increasingly targeted!
xi) The barbarous acts of kidnapping and cannibalism that was recently uncovered in Soka area of Ibadan, right under our noses!
xii) The recent abduction of over 200 students of Girls Secondary School , Chibok, Borno State by Book Haram.
With all the foregoing, can we then say that these are indications of the possibility of having several goodbyes in our societies? In that these are evidences of the imminent close of our times and I daresay, consequences of our sin of corruption, disobedience, apostasy and permissiveness. We have to rise up, stand in the gap and pray; that our God will intervene and save us from ourselves. Only God can deliver us!
As things are unfolding, it is becoming increasingly clear that we may have to say goodbye to a lot of things in our lives; such as peace around our borders, security of life and property, life expectancy, good health, food security, job security, career planning and so on. We may also have to say goodbye to childhood. The children of today are miniature adults, losing their childhood innocence through media influence, the increasing perversion in our society and child trafficking. The middle class society will also disappear, along with democracy and national moral leadership. Many leaders today are like salesmen rather than moral leaders who would father a nation. Our society is a fatherless society, and this is nowhere more prominent than in the political arena and I daresay the church? Consequently, core values are daily eroded and sin is legitimized. For Christians today, there are two vital issues: first, we need to be willing to change and be malleable - under the Holy Spirit; and secondly, we need to love unconditionally. Both are crucial if we are to preserve the core values in an increasingly meaningless society. We've met the final enemy and found it to be ourselves. If we read global signs, then we know that the time is indeed short!
As Trotsky remarked: ''Whoever wants a quiet life has chosen the wrong time to be born.'' It may seem like the wrong time for some, but for those of us who are called by God, according to His purpose, everything must serve for good. This is a time to dare to do things we have never done before. It's a time to reach out, to participate in the grand finale of the Great Commission, which is being fulfilled before our eyes. Dare you enlist in this great commission? The Lord is looking for those who will do so. Therefore I invite you into the vanguard of God's Great Commission. The Lord bless you as you consider and take the step of Faith.
The topic of today's lecture is quite relevant to us in Nigeria. The recent abduction of over 200 girls from the Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State has made the timing of this lecture quite auspicious indeed. I assure you of a very rewarding experience and hope you will contribute to discussions today so that we will be able to come up with ideas and suggestions to help our government achieve success in its efforts to 'Bring back our Girls'.
The Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forevermore. Have a splendid month.
This address contains some excerpts from Gunnar Olson's book, titled Business Unlimited.
1. Lets come into the presence of God by the way of the blood of Jesus and repent of the sins of our world and indeed our nations. Humanity has sinned and grieved our God. We need to confess all the sins enumerated above and our personal sins, which has also contributed to the problems confronting our world.
2. Don't say I am not involved. Remember, the Bible says that 'if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and there is no truth in us. But if we confess our sins, He is a faithful and just God to forgive us all our sins and unrighteousness' Please take some time now to confess, and ask for God's mercies. It is only by His mercy that we have not been consumed like Sodom and Gomorrah!
3. Pray for the troubled spots all over the World and ask God to bring peace again into our world. If your nation is going through difficult times at the moment, spend quality time to present the issues to the Lord and ask for His intervention.
4. Please join us in Nigeria to pray for the 200 girls that were kidnapped in Chibock and ask the Lord to bring back the girls by His awesome power. Pray that this singular act by Boko haram terrorists will lead to the total annihilation and neutralisation of the sect and its allies all over the world.
Grace Leadership Foundation