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Why Lord’s Chosen members wear apron, by Muoka

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In the run up to the annual international retreat of the church usually held in Mgbidi, Imo State, General Overseer, Pastor Lazarus Muoka reveals how the unique apron worn by members of The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries came to be, and its impact in reviving apostolic Christian experiences within the past 15 years of the foundation of the ministry, He talks about challenges and exploits, addressed other relevant issues.

Lord’s Chosen celebrated her 15th anniversary recently, how has the journey been so far?

By the grace of God, despite oppositions, trials and persecutions, we believe that God has advanced us to such a level that in the nation and all over the world, the church is well known. There was a country where someone went to an embassy to inquire for a good church that stands for the truth to worship with and the person was referred to The Lord’s Chosen. So, I think the church has made good impact due to her stand on truth, holiness and righteousness. Also, we are known for radical evangelism and have done well in that area all over the world. When the church started, many people said, forget about that church, and they had nothing to do with us. 

They said we were too radical. But today, just like the bible said it, the stone the builders rejected, has finally become the chief cornerstone. Most churches are copying what we are doing consciously or unconsciously. It is the Lord’s doing, And, I like it that way because it is in conformity with our vision; which is grassroots revival all over the world, revival of the apostolic Christian experiences among the body of Christ that many churches are riding on.

In what other areas would you say your ministry has made great impact?

Well, with God, we have also succeeded in the area of revival of the heaven conscious in the hearts of believers all over the world within 15 years. When you talk about apostolic Christian experiences, you can see that the kind of lives the apostles lived, their approach to holiness, evangelism, you find out that they are missing in the society. But when The Lord’s Chosen came on board, we brought everything up because we are radically for Christ. In fact, God has done great things for us in the past 15 years; he has advanced us in many areas. 

Spiritually, people are being born again and are committed to Christ. We have a strong evangelism strategy, and we have workers and thousands of pastors who are working hard to propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot measure our progress in the area of finance, but in the lives of our workers and pastors, how many are born again and are serving God with all their hearts and are radical in evangelism anywhere, anytime. Chosen does not bother; we preach Christ wherever we find ourselves. God has actually put men to pursue the goal. And, we have set a standard of where we are going. By the grace of God, the ministry is everywhere in Nigeria, Africa and all the continents of the world and is well established.

What were the major initial challenges you faced?

Obviously, any true church will usually face serious challenges. Moreover, our Lord Jesus Christ had challenges. He was mocked abused, rejected and humiliated. Later, it was same Jesus that became the Chief cornerstone. Based on that, when there is rejection, there is always the tendency that success will surely come. In the same vein, any church that is an offspring of Jesus Christ or built on his foundation, must have rejection and opposition from people of the world. Our church fought what could be described as the world war. This means that before the emergence of our church, Nigeria had nearly been thrown into a country where nakedness is a normal practice, where people dress and make-up anyhow. Adultery, fornication, sugar daddies and mummies, smoking, drinking of alcohol, clubbing and other ungodly practices were common, and had nearly taken over the church. Then, un-holiness was at great height, such that many Christians were weak and carried away to the point of joining them. So, we took the challenge of preaching holiness. By so doing, many did not take us serious. They ignored us and had nothing to do with us because we came in a unique way. Despite the opposition the counsel of God stood till date and will stand forever.

Could you tell us how the idea of the apron which your members wear, came about?

I would say that the inspiration for that apron came from God. At a point in Lagos pasting of posters and hanging of banners were outlawed. And it became a serious challenge for us to evangelise and publicize God’s messages. Fortunately, in one of my visits to Imo State then, I saw many people wearing T-shirts of their party’s Senatorial and House of Representative candidates. And, on the shirts, I could see the politician’s photographs boldly printed. When, I returned, I concluded that if those people could wear such shirts for political campaigns without minding, why not we design something and wear to spread the gospel further. So, in one of our workers meetings, I told them that we have to wear the apron, since there was no other means of advertising our ministry, except hand bills or going round. Thereafter, we brought the idea of buying buses, and we had almost 100 pieces of them. So, with the buses and apron we had a breakthrough in evangelism.

When you introduced it, what was the reaction of the people to the apron?

Obviously, we were mocked and cajoled. Some saw us as frustrated people who wear apron up and down, but we did not bother because we knew what was behind the idea. The truth remains that after all were said against the apron, today it has come to stay and has become the identity of the Lord’s Chosen all over the world. Many churches that mocked us are now making use of it in different ways and colours.

Is it true that armed robbers bullets’ do not affect anyone wearing the apron?

I can tell you that we have the faith and it works. Our members wear it anywhere round the world, both in aircraft, and when robbers attack, God who gave us the inspiration, will protect them. Besides, the apron does other things. For instance, someone who was remanded in prison, wore it to court and was instantly discharged and acquitted. In fact, God magnified the apron because he was the one who gave us the inspiration. One would be surprised that he will have a problem if he or she attacks anyone wearing apron because it is meant to advertise the programmes of God and lift up the name of Jesus Christ. And, it is really serving the purpose.

We know that everyone looks forward to your programme at the end of the year. This year’s programme is titled, Only God Can Do This. Could shed more light on it?

The 3-day programme was a testimony about what God has doing in our lives. From January to December, it is only God can do it for us. Therefore, we titled the programme, Only God Can Do This because whatever we have received from God, we believe that it was only Him that could have done it for us. So we used the programme to appreciate God and ask him to do more for us. The programme started with the 15th anniversary celebration of the ministry on December 24th. What God has done for us within the period is unimaginable and nobody else can do it. We had trials, persecutions, temptations and all the noise, yet God had been faithful to us. And, we give him the glory. The programme continued on 25th December with thanksgiving, appreciating God with what we have and ended on December 26th with deliverance and prayer session.

Also, we are preparing for our annual Mgbidi International Crusade titled, What God Has Determined Shall Be Done. This time, it will be a 4-day programme from January 4th-7th. It was extended due to the demands of the participants.

What are the highlights of the programme?

The interdenominational programme is designed to produce a spiritual rebirth that will usher the participants from all over the world into the New Year. This year’s program which is the 12th of its kind is designed to produce a spiritual backbone that will help all to overcome the spiritual, physical and financial challenges of the New Year and above all, produce solution to our myriad of national problems.

It is no longer in doubt that the world is going through its worst perilous time and this has given rise to despondency in the mind of the citizenry. Consequently, the future has become so bleak that human efforts can no longer guarantee the expected security. Amidst the insecurity, corruption and hopelessness that have pervaded the mind of the people, God inspired the programme to elicit the fact that our social, economic and political security do not lie on our ability but on what God has predetermined. 

What happens to us is the determined recommendation of God being accomplished, because He alone knows the future, plans and accomplishes it. He plans what it is going to be and performs what He plans. God has the rightful authority, wisdom and power to bring about everything that He desires. This year’s programme will help the participants to see God as the determinant of our destiny. It is also an opportunity for people all over the world to come and experience God in a better way. People shall prepare their minds to follow Him, so that He can help you now and always. The God of Chosen is wonderful. If you step your feet at the crusade, God will reshape your life so that throughout the year, you will live a happy life. Sickness of any kind shall be relieved because God is interested in the life of everyone. So, all should attend to enjoy miracles, the bread from heaven.

What is your New Year message to Christians, Nigerians and leaders?

They should know that there is no more time. The coming of Jesus Christ is at hand considering all the signs we are seeing today. So, all the believers should hold on to the Lord, draw closer to him, amend their ways and ensure that nothing is standing between them and God. So that whenever the trumpet sounds, our race will not be in vain. So, believers should ensure that they give themselves fully for evangelism and soul wining, as we ensure righteousness in every side. They also should as much as possible, maintain peace with one another because without peace and holiness, one cannot see God. And many of them are talking about rapture that is the coming of Christ, and you find that there are contentions, strifes, unrighteousness, hatred, unforgiveness, etc are striving, yet they feel that nothing is happening.

 I know that everyone has the right to protect their flocks from going astray, but that should not make us to miss the mark. We should live with holiness. We should not hate one another, do not hate people because they left your church. If it is the will of God for them to be with you, nothing will stop that. So, there is no problem being worried that someone left your church. So, if you become angry, fight the person and bewitch him at the long run, God will not be happy with you. For many people and churches, the way they follow things is very bad. Nobody has the monopoly of any human being except God.

What God is determined will be done. Some returned to the ministry after five or seven years and I still accept them because it is all about God. I even wrote a letter some years ago and greeted them, telling all the pastors that left that I do not have anything against them. The body of Christ must maintain purity, holiness and peace with one another, so that we will be able to win souls and save lives.

What is God telling you about 2018?

God is telling me that we all need to draw closer to him and ensure that we are pure and righteous. Nigerians need to draw closer to God because every year is drawing us closer to rapture. In fact, anyone who is telling you things will be better in the midst of evil doing is not sincere. We can only be better when we are doing the right things. So, 2018 is a year when we should look back and correct our mistakes. Otherwise, we will remain where we are.

What is your advice to Nigerian leaders?

Nigerians should do whatever they are able to do now that will touch the lives of the people. So, that the people will make them to accept them as the year progresses. Also, leaders should start now to touch the lives of the people for them to be happy them and respond anytime they are called upon. Now determines the future. If any leader wants a better future, he should do something now so that you will have a better future.

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