The teaching of the Apostles
What the Apostles preach and why we should follow the Apostles’ doctrine was the topic of a divine service the Chief Apostle conducted in Korea. He explained what the Apostle ministry has to do with the future of God’s children.
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” These words from Matthew 10: 40 were the focus of a divine service in Daejon, South Korea, on 13 August.
At the beginning, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider made it clear: “God is the Father of all of humankind. He loves all human beings with the same love. There’s no difference.” And all human beings can talk to God. Everybody, whether they believe in Jesus or not, can talk to God. And all who speak to God can receive an answer from God, he said.
Being together with God
The difference, he said, lies in the way we receive God. “To receive God means: God comes to you. You receive Him in your home.” Or put more simply: “It’s about being together with God.” Faith in Jesus Christ is crucial here. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” And that means that He is the source of eternal life, the source of salvation.
The Chief Apostle went on to say that Jesus, in turn, sent out the Apostles. “It was through the Apostle ministry that Jesus Christ made salvation possible.” What Jesus told His disciples when He commissioned them, is also valid today: “You must receive the Apostles who are sent by Jesus Christ.” Decisive is not the person who carries the Apostle ministry, but what God accomplishes through his or her ministry. “To receive the Apostle means to receive the ministry of the Apostle.”
Receiving the Apostle ministry means:
- receiving the sacraments
- accepting the absolution, and
- hearing the gospel.
The Chief Apostle then went into more detail about the teaching of the Apostles, that is, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Telling others about eternal life
“The teaching of the Apostles is above all that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth to bring salvation,” the Chief Apostle explained. He warned the members: “Many so-called preachers teach that you will become rich and wealthy if you follow Christ.” This contradicts Jesus’ statement in Matthew 8: 20, where Jesus says of Himself that He has no home. “The Apostles’ teaching is that Jesus Christ did not come to improve life on earth or to rule the world. He came for eternal life.”
The Apostle ministry also proclaims how this redemption can be obtained. “The Apostles explained clearly that salvation cannot be bought. You cannot buy your salvation with money.” Rather: “To be saved, you must do the will of God,” which is “that you believe in Jesus Christ, that you follow Him, and that you follow those who have been sent by Him, His Apostles.”
Don’t ignore difficulties
“Another teaching of the Apostles is that there will be difficulties,” the Chief Apostle said. He emphasised that this does not refer to earthly conditions. “This is about things spiritual,” he said. The Apostle ministry teaches: “To remain faithful you must struggle a lot. It means that you will have to go through tribulations to enter the kingdom of God. It means that you have to fight until the end to remain faithful.”
He went on to explain how this struggle could lead to victory: “The apostolate tells us that God loves us. But we must first fight and struggle to believe in God’s love.” The Chief Apostle appealed to the congregation: “Believe without seeing, without miracles, without proof.”
Preaching love of neighbour
“The Apostle ministry teaches us that we must love our neighbour,” the Chief Apostle said. Jesus is a role model in this, he said. “This is also one of the key teachings of the apostolate: Jesus does not want us to punish sinners, but to save them,” the Chief Apostle explained, reminding the brothers and sisters: “He laid down His life for all human beings. And He wants us to love our neighbour. And our love for sinners should not depend on whether or not they accept the gospel.”
Preparing for the return of Christ
“The Apostles tell us that we must be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ,” the Chief Apostle continued. “We must be prepared to become part of the bride of Christ, and this transformation, this preparation, involves a change, a development.” The goal is to become more and more like Jesus. “The teaching of the apostolate is that you must grow, grow spiritually. It is not enough to stay the same and preserve tradition.”
At the end, the Chief Apostle summed up the divine service this way: “We follow Christ not for earthly reasons, but for divine reasons. We want to enter His kingdom as firstlings. In return, we believe in Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Apostle ministry. Remaining faithful involves a struggle, a fight. We want to love our neighbour. Jesus did not come to punish sinners, but to save them. And we really want to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ step by step. And Jesus promised: ‘If you follow the Apostle ministry, you will receive Me and you will receive My Father.’”