KEYNOTE ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE 1ST KWARA BAPTIST CONFERENCE ROYAL AMBASSADORS JAMBOREE, August 11, 2017
- Introduction: Life is a risk. Only the courageous overcomes the challenges of life. The scriptures also confirm this (John 16:33). Business is risk oriented and only god risk managers can survive and surface again and again in the business world. Same applies to the king’s business. The king’s business is the Master’s business which must be attended to at all cost. This topic is related to the Royal Ambassadors world since the RAs are the risk managers in this kingly business (as Christ Ambassadors). No wonder the RA Hymn, written by E. T. Cassel is appropriately titled “The Kings Business”. Living in a strange world is risk oriented especially when one is on the master’s business (Stansa 1 of the RA Hymn). This can also be related to the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 19-20) – Go ye into the world. To live the wordings of both the kings’ business and the great commission is to take a risk for the Lord Jesus. The attempt therefore is to examine the risks involved as we resolve to undertake the king’s business (here on earth).
- An Examination of the Risks Involved –
Risk taking could be pleasant especially when it yields dividends. The Hymn “Its so sweet to trust in Jesus” (BH 258) captures the pleasant accept of the risk involved in the Master’s business which Christ himself said in Luke that he must attend to. In taking up the Master’s business risks abound. Many have died in the course of the business. Many have suffered afflictions, tribulations and many more will. People like Daniel suffered for their faith in the one living God. Jesus was crucified for no sin. In this present day, many are victims of this risk. One Revd Abraham Adewole saw his only son been burnt alive during the Kaduna riot or the 9Os – yet he did not betray Jesus till date. Such is the risk therein.
Paul, our central character was a converted Christian. He got converted when he encountered Jesus supernaturally on his way to Damascus (Acts 9). He was a well educated man who masters the act of persecution first before becoming unequal preacher of all ages. He took the risk, faced the challenges therein, paid the price but came out victorious.
- Identifiable Risks (from our text)
Using the experience of Paul, the risks therein could be summarized thus among others:
- Popular Unacceptability – Once you are in the kings business, you risk your popularity and unacceptability. Paul that was the toast of the powerfuls turned out to be an enemy, most unpopular and sough after individual to be killed.
- Possible Molestation (V. 27, 30) – Paul was subjected to ridicule and molestation. The crowd was ‘stirred up’ against him, they ‘seized him’ and dragged him (V. 30). They even threw dust at him ( 22:23).
- Unfounded Allegations (V. 28) – The Jews, and even the high priest could not lay any tangible accusation against him and so the would be judges. Yet, they wanted him dead for unfounded allegations. In Acts 25:24-26, Festus declared that he founded nothing against Paul. Also in Acts 26:31 Agrippa said he had done nothing deserving of death.
- Undue hatred and punishment (Acts 22: 24) – The undue hatred from the crowd, and the commander also ordered the flogging of Paul. He was also chained for no cause.
- Incarceration – Paul was arrested and imprisoned for no just cause. He was inhumanly deprived of his freedom even as a born Jew. The recognition of his Roman citizenship could not prevent him from experiencing arrest and detention for over 2 years (24:27).
- Death Threat (V. 31, 23:19-22) – The people attempted to kill Paul through jungle justice knowing fully that the law could not found him guilty. About 40 people even took an oath of going on hunger strike until Paul is put to death.
- Managing the Risk
Where there is a will there is a way. Jesus said in this world there would be troubles but that He has overcome for us (John 16: 33b). This is our consolation as we risk the kings business. The following are identified as ways out:
- Know who you belief – Daniel did not bow down for the craven image of Nebuchadnezzar neither did Paul gave in to the threat of his persecutors because he knew God to be God.
- You need God’s wisdom (23: 6-8) – Paul while speaking to the Sanhedrin caused confusion by identifying with the Pharisees since this will cause disagreement with the Sadducees. This is God given wisdom at critical times and not craftiness.
- Courage – Peter spoke courageously on the day of Pentecost and souls were won. Paul, throughout his trials spoke of the resurrected Christ with much confidence and courage to the extent that King Aggripa said Paul wanted to make him a Christian (Acts 26: 28). With his courageous presentation of not covering the truth, the worst they could do was to transfer him from one hand to another; they could not put him to death for fear of Paul and his words. This boldness of his extended to the last chapter of the book of Acts.
- Trust in God – Paul prayed, hoped and Trusted in God in his trials and it was recorded thus “the following night, the Lord stood near Paul and said “take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome” (23: 11).
Beloved brethren, let me end this key note address by telling you that the risk involved in the kings business is positive and worth risking. A reward awaits every successful individual. Paul our character study declared boldly that he has won the race and fought a good fight of faith. Matthew 5:12 says “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad; for great is your reward in heaven…” Risk the risk, receive the reward.
Thank you, God bless and do have a pleasant first of its kind Kwara Conference RA Jamboree
Coun Ayo Adekunle (Post Plen)
Marshal, Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria