“Talking about the great deeds of God”
Those who profess Jesus are never alone. This is because God is always with them. And there is something special that radiates from anyone who has ever experienced this. And this is exactly what Christ is expecting of His helpers when it comes to serving all human beings in the kingdom of peace.
As part of his 44,000-kilometre trip through the South Pacific, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider also visited the brothers and sisters in New Zealand. On Sunday, 22 September 2019 he conducted a divine service in the Boys’ High School in Christchurch, which was transmitted to all the congregations in New Zealand, Australia, and Papua New Guinea. In the divine service, the Church leader ordained District Elders Patrick Elly Silabe and Lucas Carlson Supok as Apostles for Papua New Guinea.
The Chief Apostle based his sermon on a passage from Zechariah 8: 22-23: “Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”
At the time, Prophet Zechariah was addressing the Jews who had returned from their exile in Babylon. He called upon them to rebuild the temple and announced a new period of salvation. “For believers, this message of the prophet brings to expression the salvation effected by Christ,” said the Chief Apostle by way of introduction. He went on to explain that this Bible passage could be understood as a prophecy concerning the coming thousand-year kingdom of peace.
“Based on our faith, it is our conviction that Jesus will return. He will take His bride unto Himself, and those whom Jesus accepts will enter into the kingdom of God as firstlings.” And then the Chief Apostle began to talk about the marriage of the Lamb and the thousand-year kingdom of peace, when the firstlings will proclaim the gospel with the Son of God: “Even if everything else remains unchanged—people will continue to be born, will live, and will die—Satan will no longer be able to prevent the proclamation of the gospel during this time period,” said the Church leader.
“It is our hope, our wish, and our will to be among those souls who return to earth with Jesus Christ and proclaim the gospel to all mankind, both those on earth and those in the beyond. That is the purpose of our calling. That is our future. That is our calling. And that is the future for which we prepare ourselves.”
“We are elected and called to be part of this royal priesthood,” said Chief Apostle Schneider. And the preparation of the believers consists of proclaiming today that “God is with us”. The Chief Apostle then appealed: “Let us tell people, and show them, that God is with us!”
- Celebrating our encounter with God: “Let us tell people that we are Christians, and that we go to the divine services because we have an encounter with God there. This is part of our lives!”
- No fear for the future: “We are not afraid of the future! We know, we are sure: God is with us. We trust in Him. We are confident”—the people around us are to see this, said Chief Apostle Schneider.
- Following Christ in all situations of life: “We have decided to heed the commandments of God. We have decided to love. No one can prevent us from following the example of Jesus.”
- Being grateful for our wealth in Christ: “We are rich in Christ, and our thankfulness and joy should be visible to the people around us.”
- Looking forward to eternal fellowship: “We look forward to being with Christ forever—and soon!”
- Being one with Christ: “People will listen to us when we talk about our brother and our sister. They will be able to see and hear, ‘Oh, things are different with them! They do not criticise. They forgive one another. There is no accusation or reproach.’”
- Doing good works in the name of Jesus: “Let us help those who are in need. Let us comfort those who are sad.”
Proclaiming the great deeds of God
“Let us not hesitate to talk about the fact that God is with us!” underlined the Chief Apostle, and went on to summarise: “Let us make it known that we are practising New Apostolic Christians. Let us bring to expression our trust in God, our resolve to follow Jesus, our gratitude, and our joy. Let us talk about our attachment to the congregation. Instead of talking about the good works that we do, let us emphasise the great deeds of God, that which He has done upon us.”