‘WHY I LOVE PROSTITUTES, DRUG PUSHERS AND 419ERS’ – Apostle Anselm Madubuko
Apostle Anselm Madubuko, General Overseer, Revival Assembly Church, has an interesting and intriguing story. An erstwhile sinner, womanizer and member of the Pyrates Confraternity, the Lord arrested him at His own time. And ever since, the 56 year-old father of three, from Lilu, Ihiala local government area of Anambra State, has not looked back. Tirelessly winning souls for the kingdom, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka-trained architect revealed to YES INTERNATIONAL! Publisher/Editor in Chief, AZUH ARINZE, why he is in love with sinners, particularly prostitutes, drug pushers and 419ers…
Who is a good preacher?
A good preacher is the one who is not a copycat, but led by the Holy Spirit of God.
Why is it that only few preachers make it in the ministry?
It depends on the assignment. You cannot determine or define somebody’s success until you know the assignment that God gave to the person. If God’s assignment is for the person to win hundred souls, then he is successful when he is able to do that. Success does not depend on how famous you are; how many people you have in your church, how many branches you have. Success is when you have fully obeyed God based on the assignment that you are given.
Why is it that most people can’t do without sin?
Sin is a nature of man. The Bible said it was in it that my mother conceived me. So, for you to do without sin, you have to totally immerse yourself under the power of Jesus Christ.
Why is it that most people who have given their lives to God still backslide?
It is because most people don’t have the foundation. If you are born again, that is the new life. The Bible says, ‘If anyone be in Christ, he’s a new creature’ and because it is a new life, then it would be difficult for them to backslide. But people backslide when they refuse to humble themselves and choose to jump on this new life without having an understanding and a good foundation. Then, people also backslide because they don’t fellowship. Fellowship is where you get the Word of God and the preaching of the Word of God makes you strong. People don’t go to church, they don’t attend fellowships; they look for excuses and see the problems in the church as excuses to stay back at home. They think they can grow alone. You can’t grow alone because good things never come alone. Bible tells us never to forsake the assembly of ourselves. So, even God encourages us that we should live in fellowship. So, when you are in a steady fellowship, it would be difficult for you to backslide.
What exactly does it mean to give one’s life to Christ?
You have to understand one thing; everybody is born into sin. Nobody is born in Christian, we are all born sinners. Now, when you come of age and you understand the difference between good and bad, it is then you know that you cannot help yourself by overcoming the power of sin. Because sin is spiritual and the Bible tells us that ‘the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life’. So, He took our sins, He took our punishment ; that means we have to give our lives to Him so that we won’t be under any judgement again by God. So, being born again is living a second life; second life is a life where you are dead to sin, not by your own effort, but by appropriating the finished work of the cross and making it yours. Jesus Christ died for everybody, but it is not automatic. You have to accept it. Then, it’s the acceptance of His death and resurrection that we call being born again. When you got baptized, your coming out of the water signified a new life, a resurrected life, a life that has chosen to be with Christ and work with Christ. Now, it does not mean that when you are now born in Christ, you are a child of God, you cannot sin! No, because the nature of man is sin, but it would deepen your strong foundation. Your foundation has changed from sin to righteousness and not ordinary righteousness, but the one in Christ. Anybody can be saved: a herbalist, a Muslim, a Pentecostal, Catholic or whatever. Nobody is born a Christian. Your church does not save you. Wherever you are, you can come to that resolute relationship with Christ. This is what makes the difference. So, it is not a matter of anybody being better than anybody. It about somebody realizing he doesn’t want to die in sin and go to hell.
What don’t you like about being a preacher?
(Laughs) I never thought of that before (still laughing). Well, it’s a wonderful life. I thank God for the grace that God chose me to be a preacher and I just depend on that grace.
What is the sweetest thing about being a preacher?
For me, it’s to see one’s life being different. That is what has been my joy. Seeing souls repent.
What have you asked God to do that He has not done?
Many things. (Laughs) Many, many things. But I believe that when the time comes, He will do them and you will see them.
How do you feel each time you beckon to God to do something and He doesn’t?
I know He has a better plan for me. Anytime I pray from my heart for anything and I don’t see it, I don’t feel disappointed. I know that He has a better plan for me, because God is a good God and He said that ‘the thought that He thinks towards you are thoughts of good and not of evil to bring you to an expected end’. So, if I ask for anything and it tarries, I don’t feel dejected, I just know that something better is coming.
How do you feel about the proliferation of churches in Nigeria?
It is painful for me to see what so many pastors are doing. So many of them are practising occultism in the church. They do all this for the love of money, power, for fame and they have compromised their faith. They are acting films on the pulpit, forging miracles and faking testimonies and unfortunately, people are falling victims. They have their support from their relatives; they connive with these people to hear what they shouldn’t hear. They give different contracts forgetting that we have also seen successful witches and wizards in Nigeria. They talk about Jonathan’s success, claiming they are responsible for it. These people may know your problems, but they don’t have the solutions, because they are not from God. They use and take advantage of your problems to siphon you and that is the most painful aspect. But for all the true servants of God who are genuinely called by God, I pray that God would keep them and give them the power to establish more churches, because we don’t have enough churches yet. We are over 150 million people. So, we need more churches to cater for the souls that are perishing.
Why is it that even with the number of churches we have in Nigeria, there are still problems everywhere, people are still committing sins?
Well, I can’t judge anybody. I can’t say or determine what is the truth and what is not. I’m not qualified to judge any man or woman of God, but one thing I know is that this thing is not easy and everybody has an issue. That is the way I look at it.
So, what more do you want God to do for you?
Let God just keep revealing Himself to us and keep showing us mercy because we are still very frail.
The next AZUSA is coming up next month; can you tell us more about it?
AZUSA is about spiritual revival. My call is to unify the churches and the nations and I run this programme as a result of the greatest revival that broke out in 1904 in America; that was the first time that God came down so strongly after the experience on the BOOK OF ACTS and the impact of that revival that took place on AZUSA Street is still felt worldwide. So, it’s like working so that one day we are going to see another revival like that in Nigeria. This year, we are having some very powerful and wonderful guests like George Adegboyega and Alex Omokudu, a friend and a son of mine from London. This guy has a particular testimony because he was born almost dumb, poor and illiterate. But God took him up from nowhere and right now in London, he has the largest church and he is a clean guy! He is not playing games, or all these Pentecostal gimmicks. He’s serving God purely. He is the pastor of The Victorious Pentecostal Assembly and it’s amazing to hear his testimony. He could not go to school, he could not speak, 99 percent dumb, but God healed him and sent him to a place where he must speak English. And an international artist from Kenya, who is the best female gospel artist in Kenya. Her name is Emmy Kosgei is also coming. We have other artists like Sammie Okposo and others.
So many wonderful experiences happen during this programme. Which one would you describe as the greatest?
There are so many of them that I can’t begin to mention. It’s usually a wonderful time. It is an atmosphere of joy. There is excitement in the air, everybody has testimonies. So, it would be difficult to pick one.
At the initial stage of your ministry, what would you say was the greatest challenge you faced that seemed impossible?
That is a good one and a hard one. I don’t think I have ever faced any impossible challenge. I have this attitude: I know that all things work together for good. So, what people call challenge, I call opportunity and it has been so with me. What people call so bad has been so good to me. So, it’s been a wonderful experience.
You are constantly shuttling between Nigeria and other countries, being a family man, how have you been coping?
Well, God has given me the grace to cope. My last kid is more than 20 years. So, they are all adults.
Are there times your wife (Pastor Connie) complains about your frequent journey?
No, she understands my calling. I don’t travel just because I want to travel. I travel because that is what God wants one to do at that time.
So many ministers of God have troubled marriages, why do you think they normally find themselves in this situation?
It’s not easy. It only takes the grace of God for any marriage to stand.
What do you think people can do to sustain their marriages?
There is no formula. Like I said, it’s just the grace of God. There are rules; the people that have failed marriages must have applied some rules. No one has gone into marriage and expects that it’s going to break up. There were some unforeseen circumstances that worked against it. Marriage can’t be run by one person. It has to be run by two willing people who have signed contracts to continue to love one another. Both of them must be willing to keep up the vows they have made. When it’s one person that has it in mind to keep the vows, it wouldn’t work out fine. One person can only carry it for a while and after sometime, he would surely break down. It is the mercy and grace of God that keeps it going.
Who is your favourite Bible character?
It’s Paul. I see me in Paul and I see Paul in me. I love him so much. So, apart from Jesus, Paul is my favourite character.
Your best Bible verse or quotation?
It is the most famous one, John 3:6, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but having everlasting life.’’ Whenever I read it, because I love winning souls for God since I got repented in 1983, I know what it means to be where I am today. I gave up everything for God, all my addictions, my immoralities and all and God took me and washed me and gave me a new life. So, the most interesting people to me are sinners. I love sinners. I love prostitutes, I love bad people, I love drug pushers, I love 419ers and my joy is to see a bad person conceiving in his heart that I want to give my life to Christ, because there is eternity and the only thing we can do to gain eternity is to love God. That your name is Christian won’t take you to heaven. You have to make up your mind by yourself. Your father or mother cannot do it for you. You have to acknowledge and come to God yourself. For me, that is the most beautiful thing that can happen to anybody.
What is your dream for your church, Revival Assembly?
My dream is that everybody that comes here should see Jesus, God and make heaven.
NB: This interview was first published in our maiden edition
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