by Kolapo Olapoju
Almost two weeks after a hotel building collapsed in the premises of the Synagogue Church of all nations, and claimed the lives of several people, 84 of which were South Africans, Prophet T.B. Joshua, founder of the church has sent a condolence message to the South African government.
The hotel building came crashing down like a pack of cards on Friday, 12 September, and while the Lagos state government sought to blame the tragedy on the raising of the building from 2 to 5 floors, Joshua, on the other hand, attributed it to an external attack, releasing a video to the effect, which showed a plane hovering over the building minutes before the collapse.
On Monday, 23 September, we reported that a South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has declared its intention to write the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to help South African victims of the SCOAN building collapse and their families to sue Joshua.
Possibly reacting to the proposed class action suit, T.B. Joshua has now released a condolence statement to the South Africans, stating that the dead have been released from the bondage of the world and taken to enjoy in another sphere.
The statement also pleaded with the South African government to not allow the tragedy affect the mutual relationship and trust that had been established over many years between them and the Synagogue church of all nations.
Read full statement below:
With our heart-felt condolences, we at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations reach out to the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa, most especially to the families, friends and loved ones of the departed souls who lost their lives in the tragic incident on Friday September 12, 2014. Our prayer for you is that God’s presence in your hearts and lives would more than supply their absence. We need no more to make us strong than to have Christ’s presence with our spirits.
He is with us by His grace, which is the good will of God towards us, enlightening and enlivening us, sufficient to strengthen and comfort us, to support our soul and cheer up our spirit in all affliction and distress.
We at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations believe that when the believer dies, he is delivered out of trouble. The believer’s conflict has come to an end; he is done forever with the trouble, sin and temptation of this world and goes into glory. He at last rests in the arms of his Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, death to believers is not a period – it is only a comma. They do not cease to be but are only removed from one world to another. Death to a believer, therefore, is his release from the imprisonment of this world and his departure to the enjoyment of another world. Those who are born from above long to be there.
The highway to Heaven starts from this side of death and the entrance is very easy to find because the Bible says whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). Those who lost their lives in the incident died not in vain; they died martyrs of the Kingdom of God. As the Psalmist reflects, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints. (Psalm 116:15)
It is sorrowful indeed that we have our people from South Africa among the affected. South Africa has long been a true friend of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations – a partner in faith and in prayer. We are a part of the same body – the body of Christ – by the same Spirit and so, there can be no division in the body. We are one by Christ’s love. What can separate us from the love of Christ? “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
This tragedy will not and must not be allowed to waiver or affect our mutual relationship and the trust that has been established over many years. We continue to pray for the Government of South Africa and its citizens, especially the relations of the affected – for nothing makes us love a person as much as praying for them. There is no doubt that the rescue operation, medical treatment for survivors and other incidental matters came at a huge expense but this is immaterial compared to the lives affected by this tragic incident.
We wish to expressly thank President Jacob Zuma for his compassionate leadership on this issue and his emphasis on the care of the families of the departed. The South African High Commissioner to Nigeria Lulu Louis Mnguni, Consul General Mokgethi Monaisa and their team have greatly assisted us in these trying times and we cherish their friendship and support. Equally, we wish to thank the dear people of South Africa for their earnest concern and prayers.
May these moments prompt us to live each day as if it were our last for when we are prepared to die, we are prepared to live.
Our prayer for you remains the same – that your faith in Christ Jesus should not fail. Though there may be reason to be troubled, Jesus said there are greater reasons not to be (John 16:33).Let us remember God’s everlasting promise to comfort all who mourn, provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and a garment of praise for a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:3). Trouble may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). To all, we greet you, Good morning.