Turn up the heat on evildoers
ANNOTTO BAY, St Mary:
Earlier this month, as part of the 17th national 'Healing the Land Prayer Conference,' the head of the Gospel Chapel Church and Preparatory School in Annotto Bay, St Mary, Dr Raphael Thomas, delivered a thought-provoking and impassioned sermon calling for The Church in Jamaica to adjust and reset its moral compass.
Performing as guest speaker at the event, which took place at the Bethel United Church in Highgate under the theme 'Resetting our generation, resetting the nation,' Thomas called on virtuous and principled church leaders to turn up the heat on evildoers by becoming more visible and proactive.
He told Family and Religion: "A thermometer tells the temperature, it can only tell you what is happening. I'm saying The Church must do more than that. We are called to set the pace, lift the bar, and encourage people to live righteously.
"The Church must be a thermostat rather than a thermometer. It must set the spiritual temperature and point in the direction that society should embrace, not reflect what is happening in society.
"The Bible says righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Sin will upset in very serious ways every sector of our society, but when we live righteously, God will bless us tremendously."
The popular orator, who is an executive director of the Christian Brethren Assemblies and supervises 32 religious groups in the northeast region, noted that around 150 years ago, Jamaica enjoyed an extraordinary religious awakening and believes the country would benefit greatly from something similar today.
Thomas said: "This evening we are praying that God will visit us here in Jamaica in a special way and bring healing to this land; that the crime will be reduced or obliterated from our nation; and that God will bless this land economically, socially, and spiritually.
"In the 1860s, history records that Jamaica experienced a mighty revival and a number of persons came to know the Lord, and churches grew significantly. If we want to see something like that again, I believe we need to pray more and obey the scriptures, not just carrying out rituals, but repenting with a whole heart before God, and turning from our wicked ways and practising righteousness.
"This will make a significant difference to Jamaica because we have seen in scriptures that when the people of Israel turned to God, He blessed them, but when they turned away from Him they experienced significant difficulty.
"A case in point is that of Hezekiah (2 Kings 20). The enemies were coming to destroy him and his nation, but when he turned to God and practiced righteousness and reopened the temple, which had been closed, God blessed the land."