The newly enthroned Bishop of Ijebu Diocese of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, The Rt. Rev. Peter Rotimi Oludipe has said the era of playing lip service to the things of God are over in the diocese; promising that he and his team by the help of the Holy Spirit would shake the diocese for Jesus.
He made the promise while delivering his maiden sermon at the inauguration of his ministry which held at the Our Saviour’s Church Cathedral, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State today September 29.
Oludipe who was the provost of the diocese is the 5th Bishop of the diocese since its establishment.
His predecessor was the Rt. Rev Ayodele Awosoga who passed on early in the year after a brief illness.
In the sermon, Oludipe told the congregation which was full of clergymen, royal fathers and top indigenes of Ijebuland, that they should brace up for a new chapter insisting that the time of playing church is over.
He said, “We can’t afford to be at ease. The night is coming when no man can work. We have a special assignment which angels are not permitted to do. It is the preaching of the gospel. We must all remember that the eternity of men is at stake. What you preach or fail to preach will determine the eternity of people.”
Incidentally, the new Bishop comes from a family of preachers. He has two other brothers as pastors both in New Covenant Church in Manchester, UK and another in the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
He said during his tenure as the Bishop of the diocese, he would be committed to evangelism, witnessing and discipleship asking all the priests in the diocese to be ready for work.
He said “We shall mobilise all parishes for the sake of evangelism. Enough of sitting down on the fence. Enough of playing church. It is sad that some people come to church for social reasons so that when they have a social function they can get the church to be involved.
“But the church is not for that. The purpose of the church is for the salvation of souls. People need to seek the face of God and surrender to Him. We all need a personal encounter that will turn us around.”
Olusina who preached quoting from Isaiah 60v1&2 said also that it was time for the church to arise and shine.
He said “the demise of the former Bishop was enough ground to discourage us. But just like God told Joshua to be courageous after the death of Moses, God is saying the same thing at this hour.
“I have come to declare the same mandate. It is time for us to arise and shine. God has something great for us. There are more grounds for us to cover in Ijebu diocese.
“Many have backslidden. Many are already cold in faith. Many are fast asleep in the darkness of sin. Many have lost their faith in God. The intention of the enemy is to keep many in darkness. But it is time to break forth.”
Oludipe warned against allowing the death of Jesus to be in vain noting however that “with Christ, life becomes more meaningful.”
He said further, “Sin will destroy you. God is no respecter of any person. If you close your eyes in death without knowing Jesus, your eternity is sealed. Let people see Jesus in the way you live.”
Story by Gbenga Osinaike