On the trail of heavenly mysteries
Mysteries are generally very popular. Many people find it stimulating and thrilling to know things that are not known to everyone else. But ultimately, all mysteries will be revealed in the light! This is also the case with our faith, says Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider.
The international Church leader stayed in Zambia for a weekend. There he celebrated two divine services, each attended by many thousands of visitors. On Saturday, 25 September 2021, the sermon he gave in Kalabo—some 450 kilometres west of Lusaka—revolved around a Bible text from Matthew 13: 11-12: “He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.’”
“The mysteries of which Jesus speaks here are divine truths that elude human understanding,” said the Chief Apostle as he began his sermon. “Human beings can only recognise them if the Holy Spirit reveals them. Human beings must believe these truths in order to be blessed and saved.
Exactly which divine mysteries the Chief Apostle had in mind, he went on to share in his sermon:
- it is a divine truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Many of His contemporaries believed that Jesus was sent by God to work miracles. “But they did not believe in His divine Sonship.” Many turned away from Him in the end. But those who recognised him as the Son of the living God were later able to see Him as the Risen One and, after Pentecost, preach the gospel with zeal and courage. The conclusion: faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God provides access to eternal life.
- it is a divine truth that God has called His flock to glory. “Those who truly believe that God has made them joint heirs with Christ will be humble and grateful. This attitude of heart gives them access to blessing.” On the other hand, those who no longer really believe in this will set different priorities for themselves and thus risk losing the benefits of their calling.
- it is a divine truth that Jesus Christ gave the apostolate its authority and mission. New Apostolic Christians believe that the apostolate reveals those mysteries that are essential to salvation. “Where this belief diminishes, we assign greater importance to rules and traditions than to things that are necessary for salvation.”
- it is a divine truth that the bridal congregation will be caught up to God at the return of Jesus Christ. Chief Apostle Schneider preached that this was one of the great mysteries that Christ revealed to the apostolate. “This belief gives meaning to our lives and comforts us when a loved one dies. He will enable us to enter the kingdom of God as firstfruits.” The conclusion: it is the task of those who follow Christ to pay special attention to this treasure.
- it is a divine truth that Christ is there in the midst of those who gather in His name. “This belief is not always as alive within us as it should be,” noted the Church leader. “Let us judge for ourselves: from the biblical account we learn that the presence of Jesus Christ puts an end to all accusations against our neighbour and any dispute about who is greatest.”
The knowledge of these divine truths is imparted by the Holy Spirit. Believing in them provides the believer with access to blessing and salvation, repeated the Chief Apostle.