ECWA Weekly Spiritual Digest: The Church is Full of Hypocrites, So Why Should I Go to Church?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | We are saved by grace through faith and not because we earned it through our own righteous efforts.

We need to define what the Church is before we can answer this question correctly. The Church is not a building, not a place and not a program or liturgy. The Church is called Ecclesiathe called-out ones. This means that the believer is the Church and not the stained glass building with a cross at the corner of the street. Jesus Christ was accused of associating with sinners and His classic answer is an all-time response to questions like the one we are addressing. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mk 2:17. All those who come to Christ the Great Physician are sick people – sinners: hypocrites, adulterers, liars, murderers, thieves, etc. (1Co. 6:9-11) They are forgiven on account of Christ’s death on the cross for their sins and are legally in right standing with God.

ECWA Weekly Spiritual Digest: The Church is Full of Hypocrites, So Why Should I Go to Church

The Church is Full of Hypocrites, So Why Should I Go to Church

We are saved by grace through faith and not because we earned it through our own righteous efforts. Isaiah 64:6 says that ‘all our righteousness is like filthy rags.’ Christians are a work in progress for if we “claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” 1 John 1:8. So, if someone does not want to go to church because there are hypocrites, then that “righteous” person ought to go and help the sinners as Jesus did.

There is no perfect church on earth until Christ returns. For now, the Church is a hospital where sick people are being treated and prepared for heaven. Welcome in!

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: How Can a Loving God Send Anyone to Hell?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | God is the very definition of love and therefore He cannot do anything that is unloving. The Scripture tells us that God IS love; hence, everything He does is an expression of that perfect love. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

God did not create HELL for human beings but for Satan and the fallen angels. However, anyone who buys into Satan’s ways chooses to voluntarily follow Satan to Hell. Heaven and Hell are two eternal destinations, and everyone gets to choose where he/she will spend eternity. The choice may or may not be expressed verbally but it is lived out daily.

  • God does not want anyone to go to Hell and He has done everything possible to accomplish this objective without infringing on our free will to choose (Deut. 30:19).
  • He gave His Son as a substitute to die in our place so we will not have to go to Hell. (Rom. 6:23).
  • He has delayed His return to earth to judge the world giving us plenty of time to repent (1Pt. 3:9).
  • God continues to warn us about hell (Mk 9:43-38).
  • He once destroyed all sinners by flood and only Noah and his family were saved. God also destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and only Lot and his family were saved (Jude 7).
  • All the Israelites 20 years and older that left Egypt for the Promised land died in the desert for their sins except Caleb and Joshua (Num. 32:11-13). God is not only a God of love but also a Holy, Righteous, and Just God who judges people in fairness.

What will He say to those He has already judged and condemn? God does not send people to Hell; people choose to go to Hell on their own. He loves you and you do not have to go to HELL.

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Can I Know God Personally?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | Jesus came so that each of us could know and understand God in a personal way. Jesus alone can bring meaning and purpose to life.

We have all tried to do good things so that God will accept us and tried to stop doing bad things so that God will be happy with us; but we failed woefully and still cannot connect with God. All our righteous acts are like filthy rags, Is. 64:6.

All religions are the futile attempts of man to connect with God; but in Christ, God seeks out man and connects with him. Here are just three aspects of the Good News.

  1. God came down to look for you.
    Before the fall, man had uninterrupted fellowship with God. At the fall, Adam and Eve hid themselves from the Lord and the Lord had to come searching for them. God activated the plan for the salvation and reconciliation of man to Himself by coming in the form of man. Is. 7:14, Gal. 4:4.
  2. You can know God personally.
    Jesus wants to reveal the Father to you. Matt. 11:27. He is knocking and waiting at the door of your heart because He wants to come in and dine with you. Rev. 3:20
  3. You can have a real relationship with God.
    When you receive and believe in Jesus Christ you automatically become adopted into the family God, John 1:12. God is your Father, Jesus is your brother, Heb. 2:11. Jesus also relates with you as a friend,  John 15:15.

We cannot earn or contribute to this process. All we can do is to respond by accepting what God has done for us. What is the evidence that you know God personally and not just know about Him? Have you accepted His offer? Do you love Him and delight in His ways?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Is the Bible Reliable?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | Some people think others don’t believe the Bible because they don’t have sufficient proof of its authority. However, the unity of the Bible, its miracles, its scientific accuracy, its Biblical archaeological evidence, its fulfilled prophecy, or its transforming power remains unmovable.

If the Bible is indeed the Word of God, then you will expect it to be accurate, truthful, impactful, prophetic, not requiring any improvement. Indeed, the Bible is the word of God that meets all requirements. There are those who raise objections regarding the reliability of the Bible. There is no doubt that some of those individuals have never read through the Bible or experienced its transforming power in their lives.

The Gutenberg Bible, the first printed Bible

The Gutenberg Bible, the first printed Bible

The Bible is unique. It was written over a period of 1,600 years by 40 authors from every walk of life. Written in 3 languages on the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. God inspired the authors and they wrote as the Spirit of God moved them {2Tim 3:16-17; 2Peter 1:21}. As of 2017, the complete Bible has been published in over 670 languages and the New Testament in over 1,520 languages. No book in the world has been criticized like the Bible. But all the critics continue to ware away while the Bible remains unmovable.

Biblical archeology has further authenticated the Bible. Prophecies are in abundance and many have been fulfilled while others are waiting for the right time. True account of History and personal stories are not brushed up. No one has ever trusted in God’s Word and has been disappointed.

Since God’s Word is eternal and everything written in it will be fulfilled and since my eternal destiny and even my current life is tied to God’s Word, how then should I treat God’s Word?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Is Jesus Really God?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | Only God is the omnipresent Spirit who can hear and answer prayer, but Jesus said in John 14:13, “If you shall ask anything in my name I will do it.”

The question, if Jesus is really God has caused different reactions ranging from excitement, confusion, anger and outright rejection by Christians and non-Christians alike. The existence of Jesus Christ is a no contest. He lived here on earth; His genealogy is known. Where and when He was born and the life He lived have all been documented by historians. The claim that He is God is the bone of contention. Here are four reasons to aid our understanding in believing that Jesus is God.

  1. Testimonies that Jesus is God.
    1. The Prophets: Isaiah & John the Baptist: Isa 9:6; 7:14; Jh. 1:1-3
    2. God the Father: Heb. 1:8 & Ps. 45:6.
    3. Jesus Himself: Jh. 8:58, 10:30.
    4. Jesus’ Disciples Jh. 20:28.
  2. Jesus has all the attributes of God – A few will suffice:

    1. Self-existing Jh. 5:26;
    2. Eternal Is. 9:6; and Is 46:9
    3. Holy Jh. 8:46;
    4. Omnipotent Phi 3:21;
    5. Omniscient Jh. 16:30;
    6. Omnipresent Matt. 18:20; Judge. 2 Tim 4:1.
  3. Jesus did things only God can do.
    1. Created the world. Jh. 1:3; Col.1:16.
    2. Raised the dead and Himself too. Lk 7:14, 24:7
    3. Forgave sins. Lk 5:20;
    4. Promises eternal life. John 3:16; Lk 23:43
  4. Jesus Accepts worship – due only to God.
    1. Disciples worshiped Him Matt. 28: 9;
    2. Every knee will bow in worship Ph. 2:9-11
    3. Saints, Angels, 24 Elders, 4 Living Creatures worship Jesus. Rev. 5

Every religion admits that Jesus was a prophet, righteous and sinless but reject His deity. He did not leave us that option. We either voluntarily worship Him now or involuntarily do so when it is too late.

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Is Christianity too Narrow?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

The assertion here is that Christianity has many restrictions and is not inclusive. People want a borderless Christianity. The fact is that every institution that is worth its salt has restrictions and is inclusive only under certain conditions. Christianity is not different. We generally view God’s laws as restrictions from enjoying something good. Which is not true! God’s laws are barriers to protect us from hurting ourselves while enjoying all the good God has made available to us.

Christianity is a relationship with Christ and everyone irrespective of race, age, gender, abilities/inabilities, sinners, etc. are accepted unconditionally. All roads may lead to Rome, but only one Road leads to God – Jesus Christ. Religion is humanity’s attempt to reach God while Christianity is God’s attempt to reach humanity. God is the initiator and not man and He says “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Matt. 7:13 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. Those who argue that Christianity is narrow are not sincere. They willingly accept restrictions in other areas of life. They only know about Christianity and have never experienced the true freedom that being in Christ brings.

Regardless of how Christianity is viewed, the question remains,  are you ready for a committed relationship with Christ knowing God personally came down to look for you and bring you into His Kingdom? So, what is the point of this argument?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | Job was a righteous man, yet he suffered. Everything went wrong in Job’s life in a single day and his response was to worship God. God is still there despite any tragedy you may be experiencing. God allows Job’s pain to prove to Satan that Job worshiped God for who He is and not because of His blessings.

Pain and suffering are real but also relative. For some kids, eating veggies is the worst suffering in the world. Every one of us has a story of pain and suffering and some are going through it right now. The primary source of pain is the Fall. We sowed SIN and we are reaping its harvest. The good news is that God is interested in you, loves and cares for you more than you can ever love and care for yourself. Pain and suffering come upon good and bad people alike, but it has an end! Job was a righteous man, yet he suffered. Everything went wrong in Job’s life in a single day and his response was to worship God. He declared the truth we must always remember: The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Job did not ask Why Me? He accepted both good and trouble from the Lord. Job. 2:10.

Some reasons why God allows pain and suffering?

  1. In Job’s case it was to prove to Satan that Job worshiped God for who He is and not because of His blessings. Why do you worship God? Pain and Suffering will expose your motive.
  2. When we suffer like Christ, we become more like Him.
  3. It produces Perseverance, Character and Hope. Rom. 5:3-5.
  4. Because of the Name of Jesus Christ. Lk 21:12

We learn obedience just as Jesus did. Heb. 5:8. When you suffer, you have a choice to either remain stuck and bitter or better by growing through your pain. If the purpose of my life is to bring glory to God, then even when I suffer, I must bring glory to Him. How have you handled pain and suffering recently? God promises He will be with you, not let you go through trials beyond your ability, give you grace, peace, joy, hope and finally deliver and reward you with the words: Well done, good and faithful servant.

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Is There a God?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | When a tragedy occurs even atheists cry out or get angry with the God they do not to believe in. Ps. 14:1.

The first time I saw the ocean, I was awestruck and the words that came out of my mouth were: “How can anybody say there is no God?” There are some who do not believe in God and even mock the idea of a God. God is real and He has revealed Himself. Our experiences of unanswered prayers and why disasters or evil happen are not conclusions that God does not exist.

Is There a God

Is There a God?  (image: Pixabay, Ascension)

So, How Has God Revealed Himself?

  1. Through His creation – the size, beauty and orderliness of it. PS. 19:1-2; Rom 1:19-20.
  2. Morality – the sense of right and wrong. Rom. 2:14-15. Fyodor D. said: “If God does not exist, everything is permitted”
  3. The Bible. This is where God revealed what He has done, what He is currently doing and what He will do in the future. The Bible is authentic, and it is about a real God and real people.
  4. God chose Israel and gave them a land and promises only God can give.
  5. False gods. The only reason there are false gods is because there is a genuine God.
  6. When a tragedy occurs even atheists cry out or get angry with the God they do not to believe in. Ps. 14:1.

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” While there is no risk in believing in God, there is colossal loss if we reject Him only to discover too late that we were wrong. “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds it’s rest in thee.” ― Augustine of Hippo. If you truly believe there is God, how are you living out that conviction?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Does Life Have A Purpose?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | “God said to Jeremiah that even before He formed him in his mother’s womb, he set him apart and had plans for him. Jer. 1:5, 29:11.

At age 16, I reasoned that religion was man-made ideology so people could live in peace with one another. I thought I could find the purpose for my life elsewhere and not in Christ. But I was wrong. My guess is that you have been there as well. This question is still troubling today and some of us have not honestly confronted it for several reasons. Ignorance is not an option. As writing by E. Hemingway, “Life is just a dirty trick, a short journey from nothingness to nothingness.” Is it vanity as king Solomon wrote? Are we products of random chance as some scientists want us to believe? Then where did we get order and morality and why should any person restrain himself from doing whatever he feels like doing?

Apostle Paul wrote if life has no purpose beyond this earthly existence then “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” – meaning: live as wild as you can with no consideration of any consequences. But the fact is this: God created us, and for a purpose. He said to Jeremiah that even before He formed him in his mother’s womb, he set him apart and had plans for him. Jer. 1:5, 29:11. God created us for His own pleasure – to be in fellowship with Him (Rev. 4:11 & Col. 1:16). When God is satisfied with you, your purpose for existence will be fulfilled. Nothing you attain in life will fulfill you, only God can. The implication of knowing this fact is that we must stop living as practical atheists. People who believe in God but live as if He does not exist. “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?” Lk 6:46

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Who is the God of this World?

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Rev. 11:15b

Gen. 1:1, John 1:3 and Col. 1:16 confirm that God, through Jesus Christ created the world and everything in it – the angels, Satan, demons, human beings, etc. Every creature does God’s will – yes, even Satan. At creation, God gave Adam and Eve the responsibility to rule over the earth and everything in it. Satan mischievously deceived Eve and brought Adam and Eve under his control thereby assuming the rulership of this world.

In Luke 4:6 Satan asked Jesus to worship him and he will give him the whole world since it has been given to him. Jesus did not call him out as a liar. Three times in John 12:31, 14:30 and 16:11 Jesus affirmed that Satan is the ruler of this world. Paul declared same in 2 Corinthian. 4:4. God owns the world, but Satan is the ruler currently as evidenced by the prevalence of sin. One encouraging note is that Satan cannot do anything outside what God allows him to do. God has boundaries for him as Job’s story confirms. We do not need to lose faith due to Satan’s misrule. The world is waiting for the day when it will be finally declared: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Rev. 11:15b. Why not start the celebration now?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: The Best New Year Resolution

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | When you have met with the Lord early, then you can go on your way all day and Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isa. 30:21.

January 8, 2019.
We all want a blessed, peaceful and prosperous New Year, but the recipe many are trying is bogus and sure to fail within the first or second month of this year. Here is a time-tested recipe from God Himself: “Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway”. Pro. 8:34. This recipe is simple: LISTEN TO THE LORD! How? Two simple steps: 1. Keep watch daily at my doors. Doors are meant to go in and out, so you must go daily to meet with the Lord. 2.  Wait at my doorway.

When you come into the presence of the Lord, don’t be in a hurry to get out until He has spoken, and you heard Him clearly. The Bible is where you will encounter God and He will speak to you as you read it reverently with an open heart to understand and obey His instructions. Jesus Christ used this recipe all the time: Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed”. Mark 1:35. When you have met with the Lord early, then you can go on your way all day and Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isa. 30:21. Blessings and success are guaranteed.

Rev. Sunday Bwanhotby Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | Congratulations that you are among the chosen by God to see this New Year!

January 1, 2019
2018 has come and gone with its mixed baggage of good, neutral and bad experiences. 2019 is here! Congratulations that you are among the chosen by God to see this New Year. What will make 2019 a better year for you than 2018 is having the goal that Paul had and living out life as he did.

Goal
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”

How to live
“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:8-14.

Have a blessed 2019!

Rev. Sunday Bwanhotby Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.