By Jon Egie

 

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His Grace, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican communion)

His Grace, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican communion) presenting his address during the meeting.

The Primate of the Church of Nigeria, His Grace, the Most Revd Dr. Nicholas Okoh has called on all Xtians to watch and pray ahead of the general elections.

 

The Primate’s charge was contained in an opening address he presented during the Standing Committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria which held at the Bishop Agori-Iwe Memorial Church, Ovwodawanre Ughelli, Delta State.

 

The Primate said as the general elections are due to kick off soonest all over Nigeria with the polity already being heated up, Xtians cannot but watch to ensure that they are not used for any selfish reason befor, during and after the elections.

 

According to him, the world is presently in perilous times as foretold by Christ and hence natural disaster, moral evils, heresies, unimaginable calamities and man’s inhumanity to fellow men are the order of the day.

 

He said the world has been plagued by civil war, terrorism, insurgency, devastating situation like Ebola, air crashes, the madness of ISIL in Iraq and Syria, the raping, killing and maiming of innocent Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen and the wanton destruction of lives and property by Boko Haram and their supporting international groups.

 

He said the perilous or times of stress also brings about moral deterioration where people worship the god of money and sex and that the Church is not shielded from these evils of heresies, utility and convenience gospel and hence Christianity has polarized the body of Christ.

 

He noted that the economy is not spared as oil price has fallen as low as 47USD per barrel.

 

“In all these, however, the greatest threat to humanity is terrorism and the fear that, should nuclear weapons enter the hands of these increasing blood thirsty terrorists, they could wipe out nations in one day”.

 

Referring to Jesus’ parable of the wheat and tares the primate said, the enemy, the devil, has always taken advantage of the times men sleep to wreck havoc against humanity and the kingdom of God and charged that it was not time for Xtians to sleep because the battles still rages on between light and darkness, the kingdom of God and that of Satan, between righteousness and wickedness and therefore it is pertinent that they watch and pray.

 

He said by praying Xtians draw power from God that would sustain them to face the trying times. He exhorted that the injunction of Christ is not to watch alone or pray alone but to watch and pray in order for Xtians to be victorious in this crooked, perverse and chaotic generation.

 

He cited the example of how the Jews in the times of Nehemiah watched and prayed by being battle ready while they did the work of rebuilding Jerusalem.

 

“Nehemiah, in his time, stationed his men with weapons of physical warfare but when Jesus Christ called on His disciples to watch and pray, it was that they maybe equipped with the weapons of spiritual warfare with which they can conquer the world, the flesh and the devil”.

 

He said there was need for Xtians to be alert spiritually and physically against harm that could happen either to the soul or the body and hence the issue of protection is not located to only divine responsibility of God without any human actions, “otherwise, faith without works may actually mean death”.

 

He exhorted that Xtians should keep alert, be self-controlled and not to forget that they are still in the battle front because the battle is not yet over.

 

“Be vigilant, watch and pray, keep your eyes open, your ears attentive and watch the path of your feet. As the 2015 general election come, we charge all Xtians to vote in a way that having had the opportunity to go to church and worship freely in our generation, our children born and yet unborn, should still have the same privilege of going to church freely and unhindered.” The Primate further charged.