How to get everything you need
Tired? Tired of fellowship, of promises, of faith? The answer can be found in a letter whose authorship and the identity of its recipients is unclear. Here is a wake-up call from a divine service by the Chief Apostle.
The Bible text for the divine service in Colombo (Sri Lanka) on 13 March 2022 was Hebrews 4: 14–15: “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
It is uncertain who wrote Hebrews and to which churches it was addressed. “The Bible does not tell us this,” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider said. What is clear, however, is that the author wanted to strengthen the faith of Christians whose faith was faltering because of strong Jewish influences. Their problem: “They had grown tired in faith.”
Why? For one thing, because they had been waiting for the return of Christ in vain. And secondly, because their living conditions changed for the worse, if they changed at all, extending even to persecution. And finally, because they had difficulties with their teachers and church leaders and left the church.
The biblical letter offers suitable answers and solutions for each of these aspects. Crucial is, the Chief Apostle pointed out: “The message of the epistle to the Hebrews is still valid for us.”
Long since fulfilled
The following appeal applies to all who are disappointed that the Lord has not yet returned: “When God says something it exists, even if you cannot see it. Jesus Christ is the first man who entered the kingdom of God. He is already there,” the Chief Apostle said. “So, please, remain confident and be patient. Hold fast to your confession. Jesus is coming. He will lead us into His kingdom.”
Always present in daily life
The Chief Apostle explained to all those who miss the effects of faith in daily life:
- “The Son of God came to earth, He shared in the fate of mankind. He is with you. He is on your side.”
- “Jesus knows what it means to suffer. He knows what we need and He gives us what we need. He tells us: God loves you. He prays for and with us, and He gives us food from heaven.”
- “Jesus also showed us how we can escape evil. If you are obedient until the end you will overcome death and evil. That is not just a lesson taught by some teacher. No, Jesus has proved this. It works.”
- “Because Jesus brought this perfect sacrifice, namely because He never committed a sin, He can forgive your sins. You can receive forgiveness of your sins and you can prepare for eternal life.”
Strength in numbers
The Chief Apostle reminded all those who have distanced themselves from the fellowship of the believers:
- “You need to hear God’s word and put it in your heart.”
- “You need forgiveness of sins.”
- “You need to receive godly food: the body and blood of Jesus Christ.”
- “Be aware that you cannot be saved alone. We need one another.”
- “If you have problems with your teachers, your ministers, the recommendation in Hebrews is: pray for the minister. For “God wants to bless us through the ministry”.
In summing up, the Chief Apostle said: “Jesus will come and His bride will be prepared. It is entirely up to us whether we can partake in it.”