20th December, 2011
My brother, friend and ministry partner, Pastor Vince Igbeare, has passed on to be with the Lord. Although I miss him, I am glad that he gave his life to Jesus Christ. Beyond even getting saved, Vince devoted his life to preaching the gospel, proclaiming Godâ€™s salvation for this fallen, decaying world that was doomed to destruction. This message of hope for a dying world formed Vinceâ€™s primary preoccupation even as he battled cancer, retaining his faith against all odds.
We praise God for using Vince to be a blessing to so many of us and for his role in helping give birth to theÂ www.aholynation.net andÂ www.saved123.orÂ websites. We rejoice that he is with His Maker now, awaiting his reward at the resurrection of the righteous in the new age when God creates a new heaven and earth, giving believers new, incorruptible body, free of disease, sin and death. Amen! Please read below a tribute I wrote for my brotherâ€™s going home ceremony:
How do you describe Pastor Vince Igbeare? A brother? Yes! A husband? Yes? A father? Yes! A great friend! Oh yes! And much more! Above all these, you can describe our brother Vincent as a man of God. He had a passion for God, serving Him and for telling others about the goodness of God to save people from the impending doom that will destroy this world. Yes, he gave his all to God!
Many years back, Vincent told one of his brothers about how he was pondering the troubling thought that not many young people were going into ministry. And he heard the Lord ask: How about you? So began the process of Vincentâ€™s call and answer to ministry as he quit his job to do Godâ€™s will in preaching the gospel.
With the hand of God on him and a seminary education, Vincent hit the road, preaching from church to church, on the invitation of his many associates in ministry.
The measure of the manâ€™s faith is the fact that there was no guaranteed income in his new line of work. Reminds you of the Patriarch Abraham who was called by God to go away from where he was without knowing where the journey would end (seeÂ Genesis 12). Like Abraham, our brother obeyed God, trusting that He would provide for his every need. And God came through big time for our brother, providing resources as and when needed, giving him the strength to keep on preaching the gospel regardless of the many challenges along the way.
Eventually, after many road-runs, our brother stopped being a â€œRoad Preacher,â€ establishing the House on Faith International in the Atlanta suburbs.
Church-planting is no easy matter. Sometimes people show up and sometimes they donâ€™t. Regardless of the initial struggles, our brother stuck to his faith in God who has kept building up the ministry to where it is today, a thriving church open to all, a place to worship God and hear the true gospel preached.
We praise God for the vision he has given our brother in ministry and for sustaining him and his family through all the trials, struggles and even through the battle with cancer. We thank the Lord for the wonderful friends who have collaborated with our brother in ministry, encouraging him, providing a lending hand. We praise God for the appreciative congregation he is leaving behind and pray that the work our brother started will continue to grow and draw more people into the Kingdom of God.
Here is a word for those who may be wondering why a normal adult would give up a steady job to preach the gospel. Some may even be wondering why Pastor Vince kept trusting God and praising Him through his battle with cancer. Vince gave his all simply because he loves God, acknowledging that he already has eternal life. Although he may fall sick and even die, God is able to and will raise him up in the resurrection of believers when Jesus Christ returns.
The Bible proclaims that all are appointed to die once (the first death) then the judgment, with those unsaved condemned to the second death (seeÂ Hebrews 9:26-28Â andÂ Revelation 20:11-15). Those who are saved like our brother Vince will not suffer the second death.
Death comes to us all in humanity because of sin originating from Adam and Eve, which has stained the whole world (seeÂ Genesis 2-3). But by claiming the benefit of being reborn (born-again) through the Holy Spirit by virtue of Jesus Christ dying on the cross to pay for our sins, we all can get a new life in the spirit and not die (seeÂ John 3:3-16). We can have eternal life like Pastor Vince. If you are not saved, you can have that life now!
Our brother Vincent has gone home to our heavenly Fatherâ€”he has eternal life in the Kingdom of God! We are body, spirit and soul. His physical body is dead, but God was going to replace it anyway! When Jesus Christ returns, he will, by Godâ€™s grace, not suffer the second death, which is permanent. Pastor Vince will instead receive a new spiritual, incorruptible body that is free of pain, disease and death. All believers will get the new body and live forever with God (seeÂ 1 Corinthians 15:42-58).
If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ or have wandered away from the faith, please reconsider your position. God has made it possible for you and everyone to have eternal life and receive great rewards for the good you do in this world.
See the life of our brother Vince; by Godâ€™s grace, he will be rewarded for all his good works in the new world that is to come. The present world will be destroyed as the Bible proclaims (2 Peter 3:10-12). There will be a new heaven and a new earth (see Isaiah 65:17,Â Isaiah 66:22,Â 2 Peter 3:13Â andÂ Revelation 21:1). Vincent, like other believers in Jesus Christ, will be resurrected in a new, spiritual and incorruptible body as joint heirs with Christ who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
In the coming new age, to be ushered in when Christ returns, there will be no more pain, sorrow or death (Revelation 21:4). But this privilege is reserved only for those who have embraced and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, acknowledging their sins and its full payment by Jesus at the cross. So, if you are here today and have not made your peace with God, please do so now.
And for those who are wondering why God did not heal our brother from cancer or if God could have healed him. Well, God could have healed Vincent, but decided in His own sovereignty to give our brother rest from pain until he is resurrected with a new disease-free body when Jesus returns. And we praise God, expecting to see our brother again soon! Hallelujah and glory to God! The critical point to understand here is that even if God had decided to heal our brother, it would have been temporary. He would still have diedâ€”the first deathâ€”the only exception would be for those believers alive when Jesus returnsâ€”they will be transformed supernaturally from the present body (seeÂ 1 Corinthians 15:50-52).
We rejoice knowing that our brother lived his life in this world well. He loved his family and friends passionately. He devoted his life to serving God. Pastor Vince never shied away from telling others about the salvation that is available to all through Jesus Christ our Lord. We love our brother and will miss his vibrant presence, his encouraging voice and Godly wisdom. But we rejoice in his life, knowing that he is with His maker now. And there is no better place to be in the whole universe! Amen!