Welcome to the headquarters of Pentecostal Bible Church of Saint Clem (PBCSC), Abuja. This is a Saturday Special Holy Service because we have in our midst “jim-jim” men of God. Join me in welcoming Bishop Thomas Dexter “T. D.” Jakes. As you all know, Bishop Jakes is from the United States. He is the bishop/chief pastor of the Potter’s House, a non-denominational American mega church with 30,000 members located in Dallas, Texas. His net worth is $150m.
We also have in our midst, our own Bishop David Oyedepo, the founder of Winners Chapel also known as Living Faith Church Worldwide. Our distinguished bishop is hailed as the wealthiest man of God in Africa and is rubbing shoulders with Jakes in terms of his wealth which is put at $150m and four private jets to boot.
Also to grace this service is our own Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye of the “Let someone shout Halleluia” fame. The erudite scholar turned pastor oversees the affairs of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Worldwide. In 2008, the NEWSWEEK listed him as the most powerful man in Africa (spiritually?) and one of the 50 global power influencers.
Also in our midst is Pastor Toufik Benedictus “Benny” Hinn, the Israeli televangelist and author, best known for his miracle crusades held in major cities across the globe. The net worth of this charismatic miracle man stands at $42m.
I am delighted to recognise the presence of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the “Atmosphere of Miracles” fame. Our flamboyant man of God and founder of Believers’ Love World Ministries, a.k.a Christ Embassy, needs little or no introduction at all. Nevertheless, it will excite you to know that his estimated net worth is between $30m and $50m. I can feel the atmosphere of miracles already even as I introduce him to you!
Do not be surprised if you are smelling dollar mints around us. This is because the founder and Pastor of World Changers Church International, Creflo Dollar, is sitting right before me. His manna is known to come in form of green bucks and he is valued at $27m.
Please, rise up for recognition, Evangelist William Franklin Billy Graham Jr. Billy is a famous televangelist who has conducted countless crusades worldwide, raking in millions of dollars. His net worth is $25m.
The last on our guest list but by no means the least is the controversial Pastor Temitope Joshua of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOA). He is valued at between $10m and $15m and can boast of over 15,000 worshippers bowing in his synagogue ever and anon.
We are highly honoured by the presence of these great men who have been listed by the Forbes Magazine to be among the 10 richest servants of God under the sun.
Today’s homily is entitled “How rich pastors can enter God’s Kingdom.” With this galaxy of star pastors and bishops in our midst, the topic has been carefully chosen to suit the unique gathering. The opportunity to have these great men in our midst knocks once in a lifetime.
Please, open your Bibles to the Gospel according to Mark, chapter 10, verses 17 to 25. Now, I read: ”And when He was gone forth into the way, there came one running and kneeled to him, and asked, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?… and the Good Master answered: thou knowest the commandments: Do not commit adultery; Do not steal; Do not bear false witness; Defraud not…” And he answered and said unto Him, “Master, all these I have observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him. One thing thou lackest, go thy way, sell whatever thou hast and give to the poor and thou shall have treasure in heaven, and come and take up thy cross and follow me. And the youth was sad at that saying and went away aggrieved, for he had great possession. And Jesus looked round about and said unto his disciples: Hardly shall they that have riches enter the Kingdom of God… How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.”
Dear brethren, be not only the hearers of the Word of God but also the doers of same. We all have heard the familiar truth as articulated by the Lord in today’s homily. It is the truth that we already know. But it is not enough to know the truth. Rather, it is the truth that we know and do that will set us free, so that we can gain access into the Kingdom of God.
My brothers and sisters, I am not here to condemn the rich of this world inclusive of the men of God in our midst this morning. As revealed by the Forbes Magazine, these stupendously wealthy pastors and bishops own the world. They are kings in their own right, owning thriving business empires outside their ministries and flying in private jets to spread the gospel of prosperity around the globe. But the sources of their riches are the struggling congregations who live from hand to mouth. And because they too want to hug prosperity, their spiritual fathers preach giving… generous giving to the church. And who are the receivers? The pastors and bishops, of course! Then there are the rich members in the church who are never encouraged to help the poor in their midst. Every giving must go to the church and their fathers in the Lord. It is the only way they can get blessed. That is the indoctrination in the system.
In Nigeria, many of the high profile churches have established institutions at all levels but they are priced beyond the reach of the poor within the system whose contributions were used to set up the schools.
As the Lord told that rich young man, you, the opulent pastors and bishops, must carry along the poor in your midst. Doing so will transform you into the proverbial camel that will find it easy to pass through the eye of a needle and subsequently squeeze yourselves into the Kingdom of God.