God considers the whole human being

Homabay is located on the southern shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya. The Chief Apostle’s message to the congregation there was: God loves all human beings equally and will help the humble who call on Him.

It was very special for the brothers and sisters in Kenya to have Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider celebrate a divine service for the departed in their country. This took place on 2 July 2017. Already at the beginning of his sermon he made clear that this was also a service for the visible congregation. After all, the Bible text and the thoughts inspired by the Holy Spirit apply to all people at all times.

“But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God” (Psalm 40: 17). This psalm conveys comfort, the Chief Apostle said. “There is so much suffering on earth. Think of all those who are sick or those who are suffering from war, crimes, or injustice. They are innocent victims of violence.” Still today people are dying because they do not have enough to eat. “One could ask: why does God allow all of this. Why does He not help?” the Chief Apostle repeated an often posed question.

God considers the whole being

The Chief Apostle made clear that God does not want people to suffer. The driving force behind all of this is the evil one. “This earth has become the kingdom of the evil one,” the Chief Apostle said. He is the source of all suffering and misery. God still offers His love and His redemption. “By sending His Son on earth He showed that He cares.” And Jesus made a point of showing that God is very close to those who are suffering by showing compassion and love for the poor and those in need of help. God cares for them all, the Chief Apostle said. He does not see mankind solely in terms of their circumstances or actions. He considers their whole being, their thoughts, and feelings. And He loves them for all that they are, as they are.

God’s love applies to all equally

“God loves all human beings with the same love,” the Chief Apostle emphasised. He loves the happy ones as much as He loves the unhappy ones and the rich as much as the poor. He loves all of mankind, the sinners as well as righteous ones. That is something we cannot understand. We think that God should love the just ones a little more. “That is not the case, however,” he said. Whoever the people are, whatever they have done—God loves them all. He knows a person’s background, their motivation. We only see a part of the reality. We only see the sin, but do not see the debt that is incurred. This is something that God alone determines. God has established a personal plan of salvation for everyone. He has a plan for each soul, the Chief Apostle said.

Our task: to recognise that we need salvation

Mankind has a task, he continued. We have to recognise that we need redemption, that we are poor and needy, and believe that Jesus Christ can save us. We have to prove our humbleness by

  • recognising our poverty: unable to erase our debt toward God, we need forgiveness.
  • admitting our need: unable to save ourselves and not able to earn salvation through works, we are completely dependent on grace.
  • accepting that we are not able to understand the activity of God, but trusting in Him nevertheless.
  • being prepared to forgive those who have hurt us.

God will help the humble who call on His help.

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Peter Johanning
Kenya, Chief Apostle, Divine service