Believers begin to see

In the dark, you can’t see anything, are disoriented, and bump into objects. How wonderful when there is light to help you find the way. Our faith is such a light.

On 12 September Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a divine service in Santana, São Tomé and Príncipe. He based his sermon on 2 Peter 1: 19: “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”

Darkness

“This dark place in our Bible text is obviously not to be understood from a natural point of view, but from a spiritual one,” the Chief Apostle said, explaining the Bible text. “The dark place is the remoteness from God, being far away from Him. Since man’s fall into sin, he has been under the dominion of the evil one.”

At a distance from God…

  • we feel despair: “Without God there is simply no real hope for a definite improvement,” the Chief Apostle said. “We know that evil will always return.”
  • we can be afraid: “One does not understand what is going on,” the Chief Apostle explained. “In this respect many people are in a dark place. They perceive what is going on, but do not understand it. Why does God allow this? Why does He not intervene?”
  • we can be disoriented: “I see how lost people are,” Chief Apostle Schneider said. “They no longer know whom they can believe, whom they can trust, and who is telling the truth. They have no orientation.”
  • we do not see ourselves as we are: “Without God, people do not recognise themselves,” the Chief Apostle said, describing the darkness without God. “They think: ‘Oh, I am not that bad. There are people who are far worse.’ They don’t see themselves as they are.”
  • we do not see our neighbour: “Many people are in a dark place and do not watch out for their neighbour; they hurt him,” the Chief Apostle pointed out. “Through words and deeds they destroy many things that are precious without even realising it.”

The light

However, the Chief Apostle had a solution: “God has given us a lamp, a light: the prophetic word.” What exactly is the prophetic word then? On one hand, it reveals salvation and, on the other hand, the will of God: “Through the prophetic word God tells us what we must do to see this promise fulfilled.”

“With this lamp you will be able to see clearly, also in a dark place,” he promised. Everyone has this lamp. All you have to do is light it. Otherwise it won’t work. “How can we light it?” the Chief Apostle asked and provided the answer: “It is possible through faith. God gives the prophetic word. If we believe, the light will come on.”

Those who believe in the promise…

  • know: “The situation will not remain like this, soon we will experience salvation! Evil will not always be the strongest force. God is the strongest, Jesus Christ has conquered evil. The time will come when there will be no more death, no more pain, no more tears.”
  • understand: “I can’t explain every event in my life, but I know what God is doing: He is preparing me for the kingdom of glory. What a wonderful light!”
  • see the next step: “It is only a small light, but it helps me to see the next step I need to take. In the light of faith we can recognise: this is the next step I should take. I can’t see the goal just yet, but I know what the next step will be.”
  • see themselves: “They see themselves as they are, seek grace and sanctification, and are humble and grateful.”
  • see the neighbour: “They know: what I do for my neighbour I do for Jesus Christ.” And they see how valuable fellowship is. “They are careful not to destroy the atmosphere in the congregation, not to destroy the Church, the congregation.”

In conclusion, the Chief Apostle invited the congregation: “Let us make this lamp shine and walk in its light. We must believe until the Lord comes.”

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