DATE: March 9, 2019
TEXT: Matthew 7:21-23 – NIV - “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
You’ve got to hand it to him… he puts on a pretty good show.
The “him” and “he” in that paragraph is Pastor Alph Lukau who has a church, Alleluia Ministries International, outside Johannesburg, South Africa. And “the good show” to which I was referring was the raising of a man from the dead.”
The church put out a video of a “dead man” lying n a casket. Pastor Lukau stands near the casket and shouts at the man, telling him to “rise up.” Well, wouldn’t you know, the man sits upright and all the spectators cheer at the wondrous miracle they have just seen.”
New before I go any farther, you should know I believe that the Lord can bring people back from the dead. He has done it in the past and He can do it now or any time in the future that He chooses. On the other hand, I am extremely skeptical that the Lord has entrusted this power to Pastor Lukau.
There are any number of reasons, but the most important is the fact that after the Pastor and the miracle drew some public criticism, they changed their tune about what had happened. Now the church says that the “dead man” was already alive when he was brought to the Pastor.
Now they’re saying, Pastor Lukau "completed a miracle that God had already started.”
Which means, if the man was alive when he came to the good Pastor, there was no miracle and there certainly was no miracle of resurrection. After all, you can’t bring a person back from the dead when that person is still alive.
As I said, it was a “pretty good show.”
But there is a second part to the show. That part came when people and organizations started to criticize Pastor Lukau. South Africa’s Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) went on record as saying, “There are no such things as miracles. They are made up to try to get money from the hopelessness of our people."
“No such thing as miracles?” Wow, that’s pretty strong. And I happen to know the Commission is wrong. Now Pastor Lukau may be a conman and a charlatan but I have seen miracles. I know folks who were supposed to die and didn’t. The best MD’s in the world gave them weeks to live and, today, twenty years later, they’re still around. I’ve seen people emerge unscathed from disastrous car accidents. I’ve seen… well, I’ve seen a lot of miracles…including the saving of my sinful soul.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for the Savior Whose sacrifice was a miracle that has forgiven my sins. I rejoice in the Holy Spirit Whose work has called and keeps me in the saving faith. I give thanks for the miracle of the heavenly Father’s grace which saves my soul. All these miracles come from the hand of a loving Lord and I give thanks for them in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one published by the BBC on February 26,. 2019 . Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47370398The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers.
This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html