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Introduction to salvation – NewsDay

By Erasmus Makarimayi

WE live in a space occupied by many opinions, dogmas, philosophies and schools of thought. It becomes very critical to seek the truth and hold on to it. Believers know that the truth is Jesus. The reference point of this assertion is the Bible. We have the challenge that anyone pushing for whatever agenda, twists the Bible and proclaims that her/his idea is God’s original plan.

The devil quotes the Bible to create enmity. Fields of human endeavour such as business, agriculture, science, etc undergird their theories with the Bible. What’s the mission of the Bible? Let it speak for itself. 2 Timothy 3:15, records: “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” The Bible is Holy Scriptures, that is set apart or sacred writings.

In simple terms, the Bible is meant to reveal salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. There are business, economics, life coaching, motivational or inspirational books. A serious student of economics will not use the Bible to defend a thesis. File this somewhere in your memory, we shall expand it. For now let’s open up salvation.

Why should one seek salvation and attend church? This question and many others of such nature have been so often wrongly answered among both believers and nonbelievers. There is naïvety that is often exhibited by Christians trying to lure non-Christians into the faith by suggesting material blessings as a bait. Promises of cars, houses, tenders or marriage are used as reasons to confess Jesus’ lordship. This line becomes frustrating if one is ministering to someone who has, in general, terms all the material needs. Many invite others to church based on the premises that have nothing to do with the Gospel of Christ. In some circles, the church has lost its saltiness.

They were buying land and getting married before Jesus came in the flesh, just above 2 021 years ago. With good planning, non-Christians can buy houses, cars and other material imperatives. Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:45: “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Let us not belittle the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. We need to be children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. We have to be clear in our minds so that we don’t assume that those seemingly doing well don’t need Jesus. There is a thought among many that it is only those struggling financially, materially, in relationships, health and so forth who need salvation.

It’s disheartening when the world is led to believe that when everything seems to be in order, there is no need for Jesus. This wrong doctrine has left the world getting demonic or satanic power to acquire wealth. Some have acquired riches through evil and unorthodox means and the preacher has failed to convince them to accept Jesus.

On the basis of materialism, why should a preacher tell her/his unsaved landlady/landlord to become a believer? Why would a nonbeliever, with a fleet of cars, listen to her/his believing driver? Why should a believing elderly sister tell an unsaved married younger sister to accept Jesus. The coming of Jesus surely should bring more. The Creator of heaven and earth wouldn’t die for a house and a car.

Jesus’ coming, His death, burial, resurrection and ascension surely should lead to something better and more valuable. With the truth of the Gospel, the rich and famous will turn to Christ. The difference is that the unsaved is dead and a born again believer is alive. The church has to be blunt and let all know that everyone without Jesus Christ is dead. Period. We don’t apologise for this truth.

Genesis 2:17 records: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” From that time, everyone was dead, merely existing and leading life as dead beings. There is nothing to envy in someone having all material resources, but without Jesus. If anything, it should be the burden of every believer to feel for everyone who is not born again.

Jesus says in Mark 8:36: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” You have to have life. Romans 5:12 and 17 explain: “(12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)”

Being born into the natural world is entering into a fallen state. The solution is that one has to be born again. A born again believer has life and life-eternal. John 3:15 clarifies: “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” If you are not yet saved, please, do so now and have life. The fall of man gave rise to consequences such as sickness and other unfortunate predicaments. Being born again brings back life and the benefits lost at the fall of man. The blessing then allows believers to partake of the material blessings as living beings.

The life of Christ will bear fruit and material resources may begin to accumulate if ever they were not there. Should you have it all without Jesus and you choose to be born again, you will enjoy your wealth with peace. A wrong mindset to salvation closes the door to sinners. Please, always keep it in your heart. 1 John 5:12: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

Choose life and live. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.

  • All Bible quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.
  • Fellowship with Pastor Makarimayi on Facebook and on www.twitter.com/PEMAKARIMAYI.

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Scientist Says Omicron Was a Group Find – Voice of America

The Botswana scientist who may well have discovered the omicron variant of the coronavirus says he has been on a “roller coaster of emotions,” with the pride of accomplishment followed by dismay over the travel bans immediately slapped on southern African countries.

“Is that how you reward science? By blacklisting countries?” Dr. Sikhulile Moyo, a virologist at the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, said in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press.

“The virus does not know passports, it does not know borders,” he added. “We should not do geopolitics about the virus. … We should be collaborating and understanding.”

Moyo was doing genomic sequencing of COVID-19 samples at his lab in Botswana two weeks ago and noticed three cases that seemed dramatically different, with an unusual pattern showing multiple mutations. He continued studying the results and by early last week, decided to publicly release the data on the internet.

Soon scientists in South Africa said they had made the same findings. And an identical case in Hong Kong was also identified.

A new coronavirus variant had been discovered, and soon the World Health Organization named it omicron. It has now been identified in 38 countries and counting, including much of Western Europe and the United States. And the U.S. and many other nations have imposed flight restrictions to try to contain the emerging threat.

Speaking from his lab in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, Moyo bristled at being described as the man who first identified omicron.

“Scientists should work together and the ‘who first did that’ syndrome should go. We should all be able to be proud that we all contributed in one way or the other,” said the 48-year-old scientist.

In fact, he noted that the variant was found to be something entirely new only by comparing it to other viruses online in a public database shared by scientists.

“The only way you can really see that you see something new is when you compare with millions of sequences. That’s why you deposit it online,” he said.

The Zimbabwe-born Moyo — who is also a research associate at Harvard’s school of public health, a married father of three, and a gospel singer — expressed pride in the way he and his international colleagues were transparent about their findings and sounded the alarm to the rest of the world.

“We’re excited that we probably gave a warning signal that may have averted many deaths and many infections,” he said.

A visitor wears plastic gloves to help curb the spread of the coronavirus upon arrival at an exhibition hall in Goyang, South Korea, Dec. 4, 2021.


A visitor wears plastic gloves to help curb the spread of the coronavirus upon arrival at an exhibition hall in Goyang, South Korea, Dec. 4, 2021.

Omicron startled scientists because it had more than 50 mutations.

“It is a big jump in the evolution of the virus and has many more mutations that we expected,” said Tulio de Oliveira, director of the Center for Epidemic Response and Innovation in South Africa, who taught Moyo when he was earning his Ph.D. in virology from South Africa’s Stellenbosch University.

Little is known about the variant, and the world is watching nervously. It’s not clear if it makes people more seriously ill or can evade the vaccine. But early evidence suggests it might be more contagious and more efficient at re-infecting people who have had a bout with COVID-19.

In the coming weeks, labs around the world will be working to find out what to expect from omicron and just how dangerous it is.

“What is important is collaboration and contribution,” Moyo said. “I think we should value that kind of collaboration because it will generate great science and great contributions. We need each other, and that’s the most important.”

South Africa is seeing a dramatic surge in infections that may be driven by omicron. The country reported more than 16,000 new COVID-19 cases Friday, up from about 200 per day in mid-November.

The number of omicron cases confirmed by genetic sequencing in Botswana has grown to 19, while South Africa has recorded more than 200. So far, most of the cases are in people who did not get vaccinated.

“I have a lot of hope from the data that we see, that those vaccinated should be able to have a lot of protection,” Moyo said. “We should try to encourage as many people to get vaccinated as possible.”

Moyo warned that the world “must go to a mirror and look at themselves” and make sure Africa’s 1.3 billion people are not left behind in the vaccination drive.

He credited earlier research and investment into fighting HIV and AIDS with building Botswana’s capacity for doing genetic sequencing. That made it easier for researchers to switch to working on the coronavirus, he said.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Moyo finds some cause for optimism.

“What gives me hope is that the world is now speaking the same language,” said Moyo, explaining that the pandemic has seen a new global commitment to scientific research and surveillance.

He added that the pandemic has also been a wake-up call for Africa.

“I think our policymakers have realized the importance of science, the importance of research,” Moyo said. “I think COVID has magnified, has made us realize that we need to focus on things that are important and invest in our health systems, invest in our primary health care.”

He added: “I think it’s a great lesson for humanity.”

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Zim Born Scientist Who Helped Identify Omicron Slams Travel Bans – New Zimbabwe.com

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AP


THE Botswana scientist who may well have discovered the omicron variant of the coronavirus says he has been on a roller-coaster of emotions, with the pride of accomplishment followed by dismay over the travel bans immediately slapped on southern African countries.

“Is that how you reward science? By blacklisting countries?” Sikhulile Moyo, a virologist at the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, said in an interview Thursday night with The Associated Press.

“The virus does not know passports, it does not know borders,” he added.

“We should be collaborating and understanding.”

Moyo was doing genomic sequencing of Covid-19 samples at his lab in Botswana two weeks ago and noticed three cases that seemed dramatically different, with an unusual pattern showing multiple mutations.

He continued studying the results and by early last week, decided to publicly release the data on the internet.

Soon scientists in South Africa said they had made the same findings and an identical case in Hong Kong was also identified.

A new coronavirus variant had been discovered, and soon the World Health Organization (WHO) named it omicron.

It has now been identified in 38 countries and counting, including much of Western Europe and the United States.

And the U.S. and many other nations have imposed flight restrictions to try to contain the emerging threat.

Speaking from his lab in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, Moyo bristled at being described as the man who first identified omicron.

In fact, he noted that the variant was found to be something entirely new only by comparing it to other viruses online in a public database shared by scientists.

“The only way you can really see that you see something new is when you compare with millions of sequences. That’s why you deposit it online,” he said.

The Zimbabwe-born Moyo – who is also a research associate at Harvard’s school of public health, a married father of three, and a gospel singer – expressed pride in the way he and his international colleagues were transparent about their findings and sounded the alarm to the rest of the world.

Omicron startled scientists because it had more than 50 mutations.

Little is known about the variant, and the world is watching nervously.

It’s not clear if it makes people more seriously ill or can evade the vaccine.

But early evidence suggests it might be more contagious and more efficient at re-infecting people who have had a bout with Covid-19.

In the coming weeks, labs around the world will be working to find out what to expect from omicron and just how dangerous it is.

South Africa is seeing a dramatic surge in infections that may be driven by omicron.

The country reported more than 16,000 new Covid-19 cases Friday, up from about 200 per day in mid-November.

The number of omicron cases confirmed by genetic sequencing in Botswana has grown to 19, while South Africa has recorded more than 200.

So far, most of the cases are in people who did not get vaccinated.

He credited earlier research and investment into fighting HIV/AIDS with building Botswana’s capacity for doing genetic sequencing.

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Jaw-dropping – a show promoter’s experience – Chronicle

The Chronicle

Tongai Mbirimi
There are people who when you meet, have a huge impact on your life in so many ways. You start to see things from a different angle altogether.

There are influential people that I have met because of being in the entertainment space. One such person is none other than multimillionaire businessman and philanthropist Justice Maphosa.

I met Maphosa in Johannesburg in 2015 when he was planning and putting together his Gwanda International Gospel Festival first edition. It was a new gospel festival in Zimbabwe in the mining town of Gwanda.

This was going to be a spectacular and prestigious gospel extravaganza in Zimbabwe for the next four years, little did I know at that point.

Our first meeting, I remember it vividly. He had big plans for the festival, the stage, artistes, format of the event and logistics, everything he was planning was big.

I had just met a man with big plans which were, for me, very frightening to even think of. That was to be my first lesson on my encounter with Justice Maphosa.

Think and plan big, you will do big. We clicked and he then put me in charge of hotel accommodation and meals for all the visiting artistes and guests who were to attend the festival, both local and foreign.

I looked at the guest and artiste list and was in shock as there were so many high-profile artistes from South Africa and Zimbabwe including royal family members from some kingdoms in South Africa.

Planning took a rigorous four months, attention to detail was breath-taking.

Things became real when I was dispatched to Bulawayo and Gwanda a week before the event. To my amazement, the stage, sound system and VIP hosting tents were set up already right in the heart of Phelandaba Stadium a week before the event.

Everything was on point at the stadium and everything was big and proper. Logistics were seamless.

A day before the festival started, our guests arrived in style. A chartered Boeing 747 aircraft for the 140 artistes and guests who came from South Africa, and two private jets for the VIPs landed at Joshua Nkomo Airport in Bulawayo.

It was like watching a movie, the glitz and glamour, it was showtime!

In terms of setup and preparations, Maphosa’s setup in the heart of Gwanda was world-class. He went all out in his execution as he is a man of excellence and I remember him telling me that “excellence inspires people”. I was inspired I can confirm.

He had decided to host this praise and worship festival where he was born and raised as also his way of giving back to his community and praising God.

Single-handedly, Maphosa and his team would for the next four years, annually put the town of Gwanda into a standstill, gospel entertainment lockdown as over 15 000 people would throng Phelandaba Stadium to attend the three-day praise and worship extravaganza.

When something new comes to town, locals usually adopt a wait and see attitude. It was different in this case, the preparations were too appetising and the locals were keen to know what the festival was going to be about.

The festival indeed lived up to its billing. A tradition at the festival every year was the 30-minute firework display explosion just before midnight. This literally woke up everyone in Gwanda and the surrounding rural areas including those who had tried to ignore the festival, it was a spectacle.

The economic spillover effect of this Gwanda gospel festival was huge. All lodges/hotels in Gwanda would be fully booked, there was brisk business for supermarkets, bars and restaurants and the empowerment of the ladies in the community to do the catering for the artistes and selling foodstuff to festival-goers. Entertainment and arts is an industry after all.

Some of the amazing acts that graced the festival over the four years were Zimpraise, Rebecca Malope, Hlengiwe Mahlaba, Takesure Zamar Ncube, Dr Tumi, Oliver Mtukudzi and Mathias Mhere. This festival proved and showed me that any corner of Zimbabwe is full of possibilities. The people of Gwanda were blessed.

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