The Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Mbamili, Anambra State, The Rt Rev. Obiora Uzochukwu has reminded Christians that after death, one must either go to heaven or hellfire.
This was while preaching at the burial service of an Onitsha based community and church leader, Late Chief Edmund Anene Ejidike at St Peter’s Anglican Church Agulu, Anambra State, on Friday, 8th October, 2021. The Bishop, taking his text from Revelation 21:8, noted that God revealed to John the Divine what are to take place at the end of times, many of which are already taking place, thereby necessitating getting ready for the remaining ones as they will also surely take place. He said that among the things shown to John was “the lake which burns with fire and brimstone” prepared for the evildoers, and therefore warned the people of the reality of hellfire. “Hellfire is real. It is God Himself who said it. Don’t believe those who say otherwise”; the Bishop of Mbamili said.
Uzochukwu pointed out that Jesus also spoke of the existence of Hell in the Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus, where he made it clear that it is in this life that one prepares himself to go to heaven and escape hellfire. He posited that as the journey to heaven or hell starts from the earth, everyone should know his destination while here on earth. Highlighting on “unbelieving” in the list of what takes one to hellfire as contained in the text, Uzochukwu asserted that the way to eternal life starts with believing in Jesus Christ. Citing John 3:18, he concluded that the Judgement will be based on whether one believes in Jesus or not, and so, the way to avoid hellfire and partake in eternal life in heaven is by accepting Jesus Christ.
The Rt Rev. Obiora condoled with the family of Chief Edmund Ejidike, noting that his connection with the family started in his childhood when the Ihiala Street branch of the Onitsha Anglican Children Ministry (ACM) he belonged to, was meeting in their house. He further met the eldest son, Noel, in Bishop Crowther Junior Seminary Awka when he entered secondary school and also later became the Vicar of St Faith’s Church Onitsha. He extolled the virtues of the man especially industriousness and godliness. He said: “He started as virtually nobody, but by diligence and Divine grace, became great. He was highly disciplined. His life itself is a gospel.”
The eldest son of the deceased, Engr. Noel U. Ejidike, the MD Noelab Engeneering and Construction Ltd, also commended his late father for the legacy of virtuous life he left for the children and the commitment to train them, especially preparing him as the eldest son to succeed him. In a special tribute to him, Noel said: “Your love towards my siblings and I, and the dedication with which you raised us especially I, can only be compared with that of Christ for the Church… Your decision to send me to seminary school not minding the cost implication was to make sure I follow the way of the Lord and get the best of education. You endured my youthful exuberance to the extent that I damaged your vehicle beyond repair, but it did not deter you from focusing to see me grow into a responsible man.
Your eightieth birthday celebration was filled with joy that you blessed all of us from the depth of your heart. That was the day you gave me the name ‘Afunwaecheta Nna’.
You have always been of good service to the church and Agulu in general, and you served so faithfully that everywhere we go, those who knew you speak so well of you. You are trusted by any man that encounters you because of your integrity. I have been enjoying goodwill and so many favors being your son for the life you lived… The widows and the needy cried when they heard you have departed and all I hear is who will give us now that he has gone. I pray God will help me to meet their needs like you always do.
Your systematic handing over to me with confidence commenced in line with your plan because you believed you have invested so much in me.”
The Late Chief Edmund Ejidike served the Church and community in numerous capacities including as member of St Peter’s Church Committee and Chairman of the Church’s Building Committee, Chairman of Agulu Anglican Communion (Home and Abroad) and Executive member of Agulu Development Union.