Ah, Portugal. There's so much to do, but so little I feel like I have to do when we are here.
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This is the Truth Network. Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is set for one flaw. Introducing first, from Lithuania, he weighs 123 kilos, the Russian nightmare, Nikita Kolob.
Now, the devil's nightmare. Welcome back to another episode of It's Time to Man Up. Corey Oliver, welcome to The Man Up Show. Thank you for having me, Nikita. It's great to have you here with us today. We are in studio, and that's always fun. Great to have you here.
So, let's, for our listening audience out there, Corey, let's give our listeners a little backdrop on who Corey Oliver is. Where do you live? Got a family? Just real quick, just tell them who you are. Thank you.
I appreciate it. Well, I'm Corey Oliver. Saved, sanctified, full of the Holy Spirit, currently serving in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and the surrounding area. I've been a local pastor for 18 years, and also done quite an extensive amount of mission work, but yeah, have two growing sons. One's 24 and the other's 20, and a beautiful bride named Vera.
Vera. How long you guys been married? Oh, we've been married going on four years, coming on five.
Come on. How'd you meet? We met. She actually reached out to me. Okay. All right. She pursued you.
Yeah. Well, I'd just kind of given up on everything and was just kind of set my face like a flint and decided I'd be like Apostle Paul and just travel the world and plant and grow and move on. And she just kind of got my attention, but she had already been praying to God herself and said, this is it, Lord, kind of like one of those Hail Mary throws and just reached out. And it was an immediate courtship. We didn't date, we courted just to discern if we could even be friends.
And if this was the person that God wanted us to connect up with and do life and hopefully partner together, most importantly, in ministry. Yeah, that's pretty cool. Let me ask you something about that. So you said you used the word friendship.
Yeah. So in your observation, and I know in my life experience and moving forward and in terms of relationships, how important do you feel, Corey, that when establishing a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, like you were just describing, how important do you think it is to establish or do you feel it's important to establish a friendship first? I mean, what's kind of the order that you see there in establishing, for those out there, maybe they're single, maybe they've never been married, or maybe they're looking to get remarried, or maybe like you, they're like, I ain't ever getting married again.
Yeah, true. But the Lord brings someone into their life, right? And so how important is establishing that friendship do you feel and, or is it? Well, Nikita, I have a saying, it's Christocentricity, Christ-centered.
Okay. Christ-centered everything. And Christ is my compass, he's my guide, he's my leader, he's my Lord, he's my savior. I tell people he's the lover of my soul, but in John 15, 15, he says, I no longer call you a servant, I call you a friend. And so that's the most intimate relationship. And that's where really Peter knew that he had kind of been demoted in his own thinking when he says, I philo you, Lord, I love you like a friend, I love you like a brother.
And then Jesus was like, well, I'm going to give you a supernatural power to agape me, because that's the way I love you. But it starts with friendship. And, you know, you can go through life kind of on the surface and think you got many, many friends, and Proverbs talks about, if you have one, you're a really fortunate and wise person. So, you know, I think that it is a balance with a wisdom, but if we always put Christ at the center of how we operate and think, then that is the baseline where friendship can be really that beautiful binding, where there is that partnership that can move forward. How can two walk together unless they agree? So friends don't agree, I mean disagree, you know. So the world can be at odds, but true friendship that God designs are supposed to lead you in the right direction. Pretty good answer, Cory.
For those out there listening, you know, wherever, whatever station of life you're in, whatever season of life you find yourself in, I would encourage you to to take heed to what Cory just said. And I like that Christ, Christ, what did you call it? Centric. Christocentrist. Christocentrist. I don't know, I can't even say Christcentered. Christcentered, yeah. I get that part of it. You can say Christocentricity.
You know, Christcentered. You know, being Russian, Cory, I'm still learning English, you know, so it's just, there's not everyone out there will get that, but those who are wrestling fans will. So anyway, anyway, no, but I like that though.
I like the idea of that, and the older I get, the more, for me personally, the more important I find it is to just have those friendships and developing friends, like true, genuine friendships with individuals, which takes time. That doesn't happen overnight, right? You're listening to the truth network and truthnetwork.com.
Because you are number one. If you would like to support Kolah for Christ Ministries, for a gift of $25, Nikita will send you his two CDs, Adoration and Declaration. For a gift of $50, Nikita will include his book, Wrestling with Success. And for a gift of $100 or more, Nikita will include a signed copy of his newly updated life story, A Tale of the Ring and Redemption.
Go to www.kolah.net and donate today. You're listening to the truth network and truthnetwork.com. But especially if you're out there and not engaged or involved in a relationship at this point, consider as you move forward in life, center it in Christ first, and then develop a friendship, and then who knows, if it then shifts into a romance beyond that, then so be it, right? Or maybe it just maintains or retains, you retain that friendship for life, right? You also brought up something else very interesting, you used the word agape, which is just that unconditional love of God, right? And there are different types of love, right? There is a friendship love that Jesus made reference to, right, with Peter and others. And then there's that, just that unconditional agape love, of course, you know, there's the eros, yeah, the eros, right? So there are different types of love as well. It's the foundational friendship, man. I guess that's the thing.
I think there's like in the Greek at least four different veins or thoughts on the other parts of that single word, and we just kind of like lump it into one, or yeah, or just kind of tear it all into pieces or distort it, distort it, yeah, even so. Yeah, oh, I love cheesecake. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, but I love her. So is that the same thing? Like they'll say that all in the same breath, right? Right.
I love her and I love cheesecake. Yeah, I don't think that's all. Exactly.
But you are right. I believe there are four different, break it down. There's the familial, the family, then there's the brotherly, and then there's the erotic, and then there's the agape, the God love that, you know, is uncomprehendable, but it's something that can be received in our heart, whether it's a sanctifying work or even moving into perfection. Yeah. And ultimately, that's what God prefers out of that first intimacy. That's what table was all about at the communion. He says friends. And what Jesus was saying at that very moment, Nikita, was I don't want you to worship me or praise me.
I want you to sit at the table as my friends. Let's break bread and let me help you to understand what this Passover is really about and what this looks like. And then serving them the bread and the cup and then pushing away and wiping feet. I mean, just amazing. How about this? I heard this just recently, talking about the wiping or the washing of the feet, right? So the Holy Spirit highlights two guys out of the 12.
Okay. We're talking about love, like agape, like unconditional love, right? The Holy Spirit highlights two guys, Judas and Peter. One who denies him, not once or twice, but three. One who's going to deny him, not once, twice, or three. And you already know that, and the one who he knows is going to betray him. But he nevertheless, in servant, he washes the feet of a betrayer and one who would deny him.
Well, you want to talk about agape, unconditional love. If that doesn't illustrate how you and I are to really live our lives or give us a, if you want to say a template or a benchmark or something to work towards, I mean, I don't know about you, but I can look back in my life journey and I have experienced lots of rejection over the course of my life from others. I've experienced betrayal over the course of my life.
I'm guessing you probably have or possibly have as well. But what a challenge for all of us, right? All of you out there in listening lane, that if you've been betrayed or you've been rejected, especially as a Christ follower, a believer. Now, not everybody that listens to the show, I don't believe, you know, is following Christ, but my hope is, and you're out there listening, if you don't know Christ today and that you're listening to this show, I would encourage you to make that decision, surrender your heart and life to Jesus. But how amazing is that, though, that the Holy Spirit highlights those two guys to illustrate agape love with Jesus washing their feet.
Amazing, right? And it just shows God's compassion, His sovereignty, Nikita, I mean, and this is really wild and out there, but this was also a choice for Cain and Abel. This was also a choice for Lucifer that God so loved. I mean, He loved and it was that freewill and choice, human choice and even the angelic choice to choose.
So it's over and over again where God's saying, I sit before you, life and death, blessing and cursing, and I love you enough that you get to choose. And even at that moment, Judas could have turned, but he allowed the enemy to enter in. Right.
Scripture says, yeah, Satan entered him. Right. And so that means that he just completely rejected agape love. Yeah.
I mean, that unconditional love, friendship, all of that. Yeah. You just said, you know, I sit before you, life and death, blessing and cursing. It almost seems, it almost seems too simple in a sense, but, and or you might say black and white.
You notice what I'm wearing today. Yeah. Actually got lots of black and white. It's like life, right? But life is black and white. Now, mankind has made it pretty gray.
We've tried to blur the lines. Woke it up. Right. And, and, and, and, and made life more gray.
Yes. But scripture, and I think you brought your Bible with you today, scripture makes it pretty crystal clear. I sit before you, life and death, blessing and cursing, but then it goes on to encourage us. I encourage you to choose life.
And when you do, then the blessing comes along with that. Right. But man, we have, we have man, mankind and his fallenness and our broken fallen world is just so mucked it up. Right. Yeah. It's, um, it's evident that we need a savior. It's simple. And, uh, like you said, we've really tried to confuse it.
We try to find the loophole. Uh, it's always like that famous phrase that says, uh, when, when humanity says either God, your will be done or either God, my will be done. We're not even acknowledging God at all. Um, and just kind of living a life, uh, distorted, maybe having it all.
And I think that that's where the, the toxicity can happen in anybody's life, especially in a man that thinks that some trust in horses and chariots, you know, trusting in their accounts or trusting in false identities, false friendships, and all of that. And building a, uh, you know, a castle in a sand, you know, uh, just, just really not really understanding what is baseline important, the very simplicity of God's love. You know, I was just thinking that even as you were speaking, you used to hear, you used the word simplicity. And, and I'm thinking in, in my mind's eye, if it was, if we could just embrace the simplicity of love God, love others, Jesus distilled it down, right? They're like, what's the greatest commandment? Uh, uh, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And the second is as important, love others as yourself, right? So he distills it down and makes it about as elementary, if you will, or as simple as it could potentially be anyway.
Right? So, well, let me ask you this, let's shift gears here a little bit. You mentioned, I think 18 years in ministry, 18 years.
So at, at what age, Corey, or at what point in your life journey, did you realize God was calling you to ministry and you said you've done a lot of travels and mission work. So highlight, just take a couple of minutes and highlight some of that for us. Wow. It will have to be a highlight, um, because I I'll give you the PG version, uh, Nikita, but, uh, I grew up in what you would, I would call a pagan home. And I'm not talking about like druids and, you know, some type of idolatry, just good naturalistic family, just, uh, earth people, right? Hunting, fishing, sports, all of that kind of stuff. Where, where did you grow up? Out in Pamlico County. And then I commuted to Craven County, to New Bern schools. North Carolina?
Yes, on the coast of North Carolina, eastern North Carolina. I'm a down Easter. And, um, yeah, that was that it. But, um, never really had too much engagement with church. I think I remember going to a few vacation Bible schools as a child, just kind of hanging out with friends or chasing little girls around, you know, um, went to church for all the wrong reasons as well.
If I went at all. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Um, but you know, um, my dad died when I was 17 and that kind of thrusted me into the role of man of the house. Uh, I had been fighting rejection all my life, uh, especially going from county to city schools and not really knowing what it meant to be a crackerjack or, you know, not to wear the name brand stuff.
And so there was all of that social dynamic trying to get in and break the glass ceiling. You know, a lot of that led to, back in the day, a lot of high school binge drinking and popularity and cool and, you know, and being bullied. One of the, the saving graces for me was high school wrestling. It started in junior high and I got really good at it.
And it, uh, my high school coach was like a quasi dad to really an old school bear Bryant, you know, the mark of a true champion is his ability to perform under pressure kind of thing. And you know, all of that was drilled and I've really believed it and believed in the power of, uh, positivity and thinking. And so it gave me a lot of self-esteem, but then, you know, what happens when the pendulum swings too far, it gets out of balance.
And so with trying to be Mr. Cool and popularity, and then learning this new, new skill of taking care of myself, uh, um, it went in the wrong direction. And, um, when my dad died, I just kind of got bankrupt and really didn't have a lot of direction. And, um, I had a long-term girlfriend in high school and, um, did everything wrong that way.
And that kind of fizzled out and that kind of broke me. And so, um, my mom at this time had been, uh, attending a charismatic Methodist church. I didn't know anything different between Presbyterian, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecost. I didn't know.
I just went to church and I didn't know what was going on when I was there. But when I left, I always felt a little bit better. So I went to the preacher because I started reading the Bible a little bit and I was really confused about how people could live 900 plus years.
Right. I still am, by the way. I think I can help you. But, but, but, uh, uh, trying to quicken this up for you, Nikita, what, what happened was I went to the preacher and there wasn't a real good answer for, you know, my inquiry mind. So I just went along and I said, well, what do you do? Will you get baptized and join the church? So, uh, as a United Methodist, I was baptized full immersion in the river in February with very cold, cold, probably 40 degree water. You know, it was terrible. But anyway, I remember, thank you, Jesus. Right. I woke you up.
So, so the next part is kind of, um, where we need to really focus, uh, even in today's brokenness is I didn't ask what to do next and they didn't tell me. And so as quick as I was in, I also was out and from, from 19 years of age to 24, I busted hell wide open as hard as I could. And, um, a lot of drinking and drugging, uh, met a gypsy girl. I had long hair, hippie.
I was kind of a Pantera, you know, grunge type of person and, um, really had a lot of brokenness in my life. And in the lowest, uh, absolute drunken stupor of my life, I asked God, whatever it takes, help me to quit this mess. And, um, that night I got in a client's car.
I own my own pink body shop. And just within less than an eighth of a mile from the house, I hit railroad tracks going 80 flip spin, went in the canal, flipped out, bounced out. And the roof of the car was in the front seat. And to this day, only by the grace of God, do I know how I got out of that car unscathed.
And in the darkness of that country road, I heard Corey, I just pulled you from the pit. You're listening to the truth network and truth network.com. Nikita Koloff here. Have you registered for the Morningstar Men's Conference in August? Not yet. What are you waiting for?
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Go to mstarevents.com. Nikita Koloff here and I am excited. Did you hear the huge announcement, the big announcement? Well, maybe it's a minor announcement.
Anyway, Facebook, go look up my new fan page, Nikita Koloff fans and like it and follow today. You're listening to the truth network and truthnetwork.com. And so that was a wake-up call because, you know, God to me that earlier that morning could have been a coffee cup or a tree or, you know, some kind of celebrity, lowercase g, but God showed me his sovereignty, Nikita. There's a whole lot to that story, but that night I felt discouragement, depression, and I contemplated taking my life.
And I was really close to that and I was sitting on the back porch and I know that water and light creates a prism, but I just looked up and I saw at least a 13, 14, 15 foot bright being just standing there with arms wide open. And so I really tell people that I face death twice in a night. And the Bible's so awesome because it wasn't until a year later after reading the Bible through twice that I was reading in the Psalms and David talks about being pulled out of the pit. I was like, wow, God, you were speaking Scripture over me. And God says, I will never trump my word.
I put my word above my name. And so that was the first time. But then I also realized that whole event in my life was in John 10 and 10. I come to offer life and life abundantly, but the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Well, to get to that place of wanting to take your life, I just heard all of that self-defeat. You're no good. You're never going to get out of this. This is a downward spiral. Your life is garbage. This is your step.
Your this is your stead in life. And I was just thinking, you know, I'm condemned to this forever, this alcoholism and all that. And so, yeah, that was December, that was December the 30th, 1998. And God did such a miraculous work, Nikita, by 2003. I'm a youth pastor. 2004, I'm in full-time ministry.
And it's been full-time ever since. Yeah, that's an incredible story, like for real, of just transformation and God's redemption, right? And illustrating, what you illustrated for those listening out there is just all those things you were saying and or hearing were just lies of the enemy, right? There is a real enemy to our soul. And so trying to fill your head with all those lies and, like Judas, even trying to attempt to get you to take your life, right? You said something though in our last few minutes here I want to highlight. You said something, you know, they talked about that experience at church.
I forget exactly how you said it, but you said, I didn't ask, they didn't offer. I think one of the shortfalls personally, in my observation, in 28 plus years of walking with the Lord is the word discipleship, which is the great commission, right? Go out into the nations, go out into the world and make disciples.
And I think where the church has failed personally, in my observation, miserably, is in that very commission. Now, there are a lot of churches out there are content with going after converts. I mean, I'm an evangelist at heart.
That's what God's called me to. And so I'm all about converts. I want to see converts, right? But then the next step though, once you convert them, once they surrender their life to Jesus is to disciple them, right? And so that's where I think the church really, I personally think needs to step up. And so that to your point, I didn't ask, they didn't offer is to disciple, right? So you're gonna say something?
Well, Nikita, if you don't mind, I'd like to just circle around real quick. And what that is, is you know, it took a lot of work for those disciples when Peter preached in 3000 were saved. Right. And I've learned that true friendship might be where you are like with your man camp. You dig deep with people. Right. You know, and I think we live in such, and so I don't always want to be ominous and negative.
Our culture has gotten so big and we are in everybody's grill, but we are a mile wide in it and a centimeter deep. And really, when you start thinking about it, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy and Titus, Jesus and his 12, Mary and the other Marys and Martha, they were interconnected and they really had a place of doing life with each other that wasn't just surface or fictitious. Well, it all circles back around to friendship once again.
That's what I'm saying. And being friends. Well, you and I met at the Vision Conference at Fort Mill, South Carolina. And since then, getting to know each other. And your story, as I said, is just fascinating to me.
And so I can't thank you enough for being a part of the show today and sharing some of your story and hoping that those listening out there will be encouraged or inspired and or motivated by your story, just to show that, I mean, God can reach any and all of us. Right. There's no one that's beyond reach realistically.
Right. And so I look forward to what do you just take, take one minute. What do you look, what do you look forward to for the future for yourself? What are you looking at? What am I looking forward to the future?
I was just asked this. What I'm looking forward to in the future is just being happy in the Lord. I know in this dismal, chaotic world and everything that has just been thrown at us by the lies of the enemy, the joy of the Lord is my strength and the strength of my Lord is my joy.
And I really look forward to just doing more. Life is good, man. Life is good. Well, and you're currently pastoring a church, but I know in some of our conversations you're even searching, God, is this where I'm supposed to stay? You have something, you have something else for me. So you're looking, you're in that, that season of just exploring that God may have something different, right? A new season for you coming up, right? So I'm excited for you. Well, I'm thankful and I hope that all of us can always take away, if we're just Clay and he's the potter, he can do what he wants with us.
Oh, hey, we're gonna, we're gonna end on that. If you just be Clay and let him be the potter, in other words, put your life into his hands and allow him to mold you and to shape you into the image of Jesus Christ. And that is a process.
Trust the process because that is a process. Salvation is instantaneous. And then sanctification, you used that word early on in our interview, sanctification is a lifelong process, leading home to the celestial city. So Corey Oliver, Pastor Corey Oliver, thank you for being on The Man Up Show today. Oh, it's just been a pleasure, a delight. Great to have you. God bless you. Tune in again for another great interview. God bless. This podcast is made possible by the grace of God and your faithful prayers, support, and generous gifts. May God bless you for your continual contributions. Go to coloff.net and donate today.
Hi, Nikita Koloff. Be sure to check out The Man Up Show, now available on television, broadcast, and podcast. Go to morningstartv.com or the Truth Radio Network.
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