Heaven and earth shall pass away,
But my words will never pass away.
“Christianity is dying just like any other religion is dying. Godliness is what lives forever.”
-Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa
Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa of Zimbabwe, Africa on June 25, 2023, said the above statement in a Question and Answer session posted on his YouTube Channel. Makandiwa pointed to the Scripture below stating that the first disciples were called Christians by men in Antioch who were not even believers yet. The point made was that the word Christian was not a name given to us by God; it was something that men started calling believers and the word meant followers of Christ or Christ-like.
Acts 11:26 (KJV)
26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Some Believers or Christians say they do not use the word “Christian” anymore. Why do you suppose this is the case? Is it a matter of semantics (the meaning of the word) or is there some significant change taking place within the world towards Christians? What are your thoughts?
When I first heard the statement that “Christianity is dying,” it shook me to my core. Something within me grew very tense. I couldn’t shake the thought of this word which I had associated with who I am. My whole life was shaped by that word Christianity; I couldn’t fathom it becoming a dirty word. I was certainly offended by the very idea of Christianity dying and I rejected any inclination of that idea in my head.
Then I thought:
“Am I my religion or am I His Daughter?”
I begin to wander what would I do if my back was up against the wall and I was asked in a cold cruel world, “Are you a Christian?” There are so many things going through my mind right now and several points in time stand out. I recall that Pilate asked Jesus when they marched him to the judgment hall to crucify him: “Are you the King of the Jews?” and Jesus answered him: “Do you say that I am or is that what they told you?”
What a loaded coaching question! Jesus was awesome at that!
Instantly, I was delivered from the thought of losing my identity just because someone else doesn’t like the word Christianity. The word Christianity doesn’t make me who I am. Jesus made me who I am. It doesn’t matter what others call me as long as He calls me His Own.
Then there is the time when God created man out of the dust of the ground, and God called the man, Adam, for he was taken out of the ground. The Word of God says, “And let us make man in our image and likeness,” and so it was that man was made from the dust of the ground. And God breathed into his nostrils and man became a living soul.
Genesis 2:19 (KJV)
And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
So God Our Almighty Creator thought it fit to bring every thing that was created to one man and allowed that man to name everything that God himself had created. From the man’s mouth came the name that God honored and even today, created beings are still called the names that were given to them by Adam. Notice that when Adam named all the creatures, he wasn’t saved. There was no sin in Adam when he was created by God, so there was no need for Adam to be “saved.” He was already living in the presence of God and getting everything he needed from God, even eternal life. Notice everything that Adam needed had been placed in the garden for him, including the Tree of Life, which was the means for Adam to live forever.
Genesis 2:9 ESV
And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 3:22-24 ESV
Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
So the Bible points out that Adam was good, but he wasn’t perfect. The Lord God created everything and God called creation good and that was good enough for God! But Makandiwa points out God did not call everything perfect. And this bothered me because all these years, I thought if we could just get back to the state we were in before Adam sinned, everything would be okay. Yet, what the Scriptures were clearly showing me is that if we did go back to the state that mankind was in when God created Adam, still we would not be perfect. What do I mean by that? We were not going to live forever on our own automatically.
The only way to live forever is to eat the Tree of Life which was Christ!
This is significant! That’s why the Tree of Life was in the garden in the first place so that we could live forever. But what if one did not eat of it? Then it follows that one would not live forever even with God being present in the garden!
As I stated last month:
You give your dominion away; God never does.
Joel 2:28-29 says:
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:35-39 (KJV):
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.