By Akin Ojumu

If you have gone on up to 4 missionary travels traversing many nations
If you have traveled more than 10,000 miles on the sea
If you’ve had to walk another 10,000 on foot
If you spent more than 300 days in transit
If it took you 11 years or more preaching the good news to people in places far from home
If each of these trips cost you close to 5,000 Denarii of your own money (1 Denarius is a day’s wage) on transportation alone not counting food, lodging, and other essentials

If you had to ford rivers
If you had to fend off robbers
If you struggled with friends and you struggled with foes
If you have been at risk in the city and at risk in the country
If you have been endangered by desert sun and the sea storm
If you have been betrayed by those who were supposed to be brothers
If you have known drudgery and hard labor
If you have gone many a long and lonely night without sleep
If you have missed many meals and have had to fast for many days
If you have been blasted by the cold
If you have gone naked in nasty weather

If you have been beaten with the Roman whip countless times
If you have been arrested and jailed multiple times
If you founded more than 12 Churches in multiple cities
If you authored 13 or 14 of the 27 Books in the New Testament Bible,
If it was through your preaching that more half of the Christian world came to know Jesus

If through it all you did not take a cent as salary from the Church or demand a dime in compensation from the congregation 
If in it all you earned your own wages working with your own hands
If you did not think you deserve to buy yourself a horse or a chariot
If you did not see it fit to own a fleet of ship all of your own
If all your possession in the world was limited to the clothe on your back, the sandals on your feet, and the stick in your hand

Surely, you bear in your body the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ and, without any doubt, have earned the right to boast of your Apostleship.

Yet, the world is filled with money-grubbing “preachers.” Many there are who are boastful, puffed up, all hat and no cattle who vaunt themselves as something special. They’re a sorry bunch – pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers – posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core. 

Sadly, the Church heaps so much praise and admiration on these egomaniacs of the pulpit. As many as the sands of the sea put up with these bigshot “apostles” and they swallow everything they say without question or a moment’s hesitation. Easy-to-please Christians, drawn like flies to rotten carcass, flock to these deceivers and they run towards the well-rehearsed voice of the three-ringed preachers. They are swept off their feet by these charlatans who speak with mastered smooth eloquence, sending a tingling exhilaration down their spin.

As though bewitched and enchanted, the easy-to-believe Church displays such an admirable tolerance and acceptance for impostors who rob them of their freedom, rip them off, steal them blind, put them down – even slap their face!

Unless the Body of Christ wakes up from slumber, allows the truth of the Gospel to illuminate their darkness, they’ll forever be led astray, and will run like someone running aimlessly and like a boxer beating the air. And they’ll never get to fight the good fight of faith, and they may never take hold of the eternal life to which they were called when they made their good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Adapted from 2 Corinthians 11 (Message Bible)


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