Reigning and what is so special about it
Reigning? Can this really be the ultimate goal of a Christian? Most definitely yes, because this has nothing to do with exercising power over people. The Chief Apostle talks about biblical perspectives for the future and the New Apostolic motto for 2023.
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” This was the Bible text the Chief Apostle used for the New Year’s Day service 2023 in Eibenstock, Germany.
Serving and reigning…
“God started to pursue His plan of salvation immediately after the fall of man. Out of love for humankind,” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider began. “What is the end of God’s plan of salvation? The perfect fellowship of human beings with God and among one another in the new creation.”
And what will human beings do once the plan of salvation is completed, once they are in the new creation, he asked. The answer: “They will serve God forever and they will reign with Him, it says in Revelation.”
…in the new creation
How will human beings serve the Lord in the new creation? They will worship and praise Him forever because the salvation God has granted them is so great that even after 10,000 years they will still not have managed to thank Him enough for it and express their joy.
And how will they reign with Him? This has nothing to do with exercising power, the Chief Apostle said. “They will share in Christ’s victory over sin. They will reign with Him because they have mastered sin with the help of Christ: they have become masters of sin.”
…in the kingdom of peace
The next big step on the way there is the first resurrection and the kingdom of peace. “The Lord will come again to take His own unto Himself and as firstlings lead them into this fellowship. There they will serve God as priests of God and of Christ and reign with Him a thousand years.”
How will the firstlings serve God in the kingdom of peace? “As I said, they will praise and worship God forever,” the Chief Apostle explained. Moreover, the priests of God and of Christ will serve Christ by proclaiming the gospel and will help human beings find their way to God and follow this path.
And how will they reign with Him there? Jesus clearly said: “My kingdom is not of this world.” Reigning simply means, as in the new creation: they will share in the victory of Christ over sin.
“And whoever wants to be saved can be saved. But it is up to us to prepare ourselves for this,” the Chief Apostle made clear. “And that is why we have issued this motto for 2023: serving and reigning with Christ.”.
What services can we perform today?
- The first service believers should render to God is divine service. That means they leave their everyday life and the comforts of home behind and go to worship God.
- We serve Him by offering up sacrifices. This is a matter of spiritual sacrifices. When we come to divine service, we forgive our neighbour and thus surrender all thoughts of revenge, retaliation, and accusation.
- We come to divine service to hear the will of God knowing that in order to enter into the new creation we must correspond to God’s will completely.
- We also serve the Lord by serving our neighbour. For example, I also come and contribute to it so that my brother, my sister, can experience a divine service.
- I serve my neighbour by proclaiming the gospel in word and deed. This is what it means to serve God: helping others find their way to God and helping them to follow this path.
And how does one go about reigning?
- We are to rule over sin. Human beings are not involuntarily subject to temptation. “You can also say no,” the Chief Apostle said. “Do it. The devil cannot do what he wants with me. With the help of Christ I can rule over my own life and my nature.”
- “Let us take control of our own life and decide for ourselves what our future should be.” It is a glorious future: fellowship with God, the completion of the plan of salvation. Let’s not allow anyone to meddle with that. Whether I am sick or healthy, whether I have money or not, I have decided that I want to have fellowship with God. And I will allow no one to meddle with that.
“Let us keep this in our hearts: with the help of Christ, we can rule already today,” Chief Apostle Schneider said in conclusion. “We can rule over sin. And we can master our life, our person, and our future. Let us serve God with Christ and let us reign over our lives with Christ already today. And then when the Lord comes He can lead us into His kingdom.”
Germany, Chief Apostle, New Year's Day, Divine service