SINCE I WAS ORDAINED A PASTOR IN 1975, THIS IS THE THIRD FUNERAL I AM PREACHING IN. THAT SHOULD SUMMARIZE MY RESPECT FOR DR. OBIORA EZEKIEL
MY FRIEND HAS MADE IT! DON’T WEEP FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS GONE TO HEAVEN, WEEP FOR YOURSELF WHO IS STILL ON THE BATTLEFRONT.
EVERYONE WILL DIE, DEATH HAS NO RESPECT FOR ANOINTING.
DON’T BELIEVE ANYBODY WHO TELLS YOU THAT ONCE YOU ARE BORN AGAIN, YOU CAN NEVER BACKSLIDE, YOU CAN. THERE HAVE BEEN APOSTLES WHO BACKSLID.
– Pastor E.A. Adeboye at the Funeral / Commendation Service of Rev. Dr Obiora Ezekiel, Founding Pastor of Christian Pentecostal Mission International.
I was ordained a Pastor in 1975 and this is the third time since 1975 that I am preaching at a funeral. I think that should summarize my feeling, my respect for our brother who has gone to rest. I met him a little more than 40 years ago. I had just become the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and I was living in a room in Mushin and he sought me out. I never met him before but he came to Mushin, located my one-room apartment and paid me a visit.
I don’t need to tell you what then was my reaction but we became very, very close. I knew Brother Ezekiel, I knew the man who became known as the Bulldozer. Many don’t know the meaning of that name, but he was a terror to demons, he bulldozed them. I knew a man who was like the great masquerade, a man I would describe to you as a very generous man. He was generous to a fault. Throughout his lifetime maybe I preached three times in his Church but I can’t remember how many times I had visited him one on one at home.
On my last visit, I arrived very early in the morning as usual because if you live at the Redemption Camp and you really want to save your time, if you want to travel, you must leave before others wake up. I arrived at his place at 6:30 am and we were together for some time but that day I knew he was going. How did I know? We went into his bedroom, as usual, we held hands. I said good morning Sir. How are you doing today? No answer. Is there anything special you want me to pray for today? No answer. Are you upset with me that it has been a couple of months since I last visited? No answer. So the rest of the period I spent with him, my friend didn’t say a word. His face was fixed, suddenly I realized since he is somebody who has seen the unseen, someone who is hearing the inaudible.
He held my hand as if to say can you see what I am seeing, can you hear what I am hearing. I had to pray and after some time he reluctantly let go of my hands. A few days later, I heard he was gone. I am happy that all the people who have been speaking before me have been saying don’t mourn Dr Ezekiel. If you want to cry, cry for yourself. Don’t cry for someone who has gone to heaven. If there is anyone who should be crying now it should be you crying for yourself. That you are the one still left in the battlefront. My friend has made it, oh glory be God.
I was going to talk about Heaven but the biggest masquerade has already spoken about that, he has been there twice. I have only seen heaven once so the one who has been there twice of course can tell you more. Someone once asked me, Sir, can you tell us what heaven is like?” Forgive me if I am not preaching this morning.
This is not the kind of situation where I want to preach, I want to talk to you from the bottom of my heart, I want you to wake up: those of you who are still toying with heaven, those of you who think you can do whatever you like and make it to heaven. It is difficult to describe heaven, you don’t have the words but I will give you a very poor illustration. I told the story of what happened in 1979. I went to America to attend Kenneth Hagin’s Camp meeting in July, summertime.
Tulsa that year was declared the No. 3 cleanest city in America, they washed the street every day, not sweep, wash.
So clean that if your food falls on the ground, you can pick it up and eat it. We stayed in a hotel where the bathroom had three faucets, one for hot water, one for regular water, one for ice water. The light didn’t blink once. Remember I was living in Mushin. By 9:30 pm the sun was still shining bright. I was there for 2 weeks. Then the time came to come back home, we got to Ikeja and they said: “fasten your seatbelts”. I looked out of the window and saw Mushin, I said “oh God, back to prison”. It is a very poor comparison but beloved if you catch a glimpse of heaven, the only reason you won’t commit suicide is because if you kill yourself you won’t get there. Don’t weep for somebody who has gone to heaven, weep for yourself.
Death is not the issue, everybody is going to die if the Lord tarries. Children will die, old ones will die. My friend Dr Uma Ukpai told you about how he lost his wife, children in one day. He is still here. I lost my own son last year. I know what it is for the son to die while the father is still here.
Kings will die, kingmakers will die, Samuel died. Death has no respect for anointing. Elisha died, though there was still enough anointing in his bones to raise the dead. It is appointed to man once to die, you are going if the Lord tarries. The big question is after that judgment.
God forgive me, I was so carried away with what I wanted to share that I forgot to thank the elders of CPM. Thank you for standing by the widow your Father in the Lord has left behind, I have heard good reports about you. They say in Yoruba land that the friend who stands by you when you are alive is not the big one, it’s the one who stands by you when you are gone. God bless you, you will end well too. Let me sound a warning to anyone who wants to take advantage of the fact that my friend is no more around, it is appointed unto man once to die, after that judgment.
The Bible made it clear that we will all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ that is for those of us who are born again, those who are not born again, you will stand before the White Throne. If you ever find yourself before the White Throne, you are not there to check whether you are good or bad, it is to determine how hot your place will be in hell. If you stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, glory be to God. It means you have given your life to Christ. You are there for a reward.
I will talk to those who are before the White Throne in a moment, let me talk to those of us who claim we are children of God, genuinely born again. Let me give you an assurance, every one of us Pastors, Elders, members of the Choir, Ushers etc. When we get to heaven, we are going to cry. Oh Sir, you miss it, is it not written that there are no tears in heaven? Really? Is it not written that God is going to wipe away all tears from our eyes over there. Why are you going to cry? Because when it is time to check your record. It says all your works will be brought forth and tried by fire.
Anything you do on earth here with the wrong motive, fire will consume it. The Bible says if your work is burnt, you are already in heaven no problem. But it will be as if you are passing through fire when you see the good that you could have done that you didn’t do. When you see the evil that you did for personal purposes consumed because God is going to judge you not by what you did but by the motive behind them. Watch what you do from now because one day, you will be the one lying in the coffin and someone else will be preaching.
As for those of you who are toying with salvation, you think this is all a joke. You know how to mix up with us, shout Hallelujah like us, sing like us, you even know all our songs. There are musicians who take a bit of drugs before they get on the stage. As for those of you who are not genuinely saved, you will stand before the White Throne and it will be that hell is settled. I have not been to hell, God forbid, but I asked God to give me an illustration of what hell is like and He gave me three instead of one but I will only tell you one because of time. There was fuel scarcity in Nigeria in a particular year.
It was terrible here in Lagos, so the ‘Kia Kia bus, they were using jerry can to buy fuel and hang it on the bus. ‘Molue’ I think that is the name of the vehicle. There was this boy who was going to school, Mama was also going to work. Mama got down in a particular place and the Molue continued to take the boy on the way to school. There was this little bridge at Yaba, as the Molue was descending the bridge, the driver lost control.
Molue fell on the side, the only side where there was a door and caught fire. The boy was crying “my mother, my mother” until he was burnt to death. God said to me that is an example of hell. Those who go there, they will cry but there will be nobody to rescue them. They will burn there forever. Don’t weep for Dr Ezekiel, he has made it. Weep for yourself, you are still on the battlefront. Don’t believe anybody who tells you that once you are born again, you can never backslide, you can. There have been apostles who backslid. It’s not everybody who is calling Jesus, “LORD, LORD” that will make it to heaven. Wake up brother, wake up sister. Today as we are rejoicing because one General made it. You better tighten your seat belt that whatever it is going to cost, you will make it also. I pray for you that you will.