Our future in view and under control
Reigning with Christ means that we are masters of our own destiny. Jesus set the example. In a recent divine service, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider explained how the life of Jesus can be a model for believers today.
More than a thousand people participated in a divine service conducted by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider in Dolisie in the Republic of the Congo on 3 February. The Chief Apostle conducted the sermon in French, which was interpreted into Kituba, the lingua franca in the Republic of the Congo. District Apostle Woll of Canada is responsible for the pastoral care of the New Apostolic Christians in the country.
The divine service was based on John 16: 28: “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.” At the beginning, the Chief Apostle said: “Our Bible text summarises the earthly existence of Jesus.” In his sermon, the Chief Apostle went on to explore this more closely.
He came forth from the Father
Jesus came forth from the Father, but how did He know this? “I imagine His mother, Mary, must have told Him at some point,” the Chief Apostle said. And at the baptism and transfiguration of Jesus, God said, “This is my beloved Son.”
“We were chosen before the foundation of the world,” said the Chief Apostle. “Our mother or our father told us that. We were taught in Sunday School. We heard it in divine service.” And: “When we were baptised with water and the Spirit, the officiant and the Apostle told us, ‘Now you are a child of God.’” The Holy Spirit too regularly reminds us that we are children of God.
He came into the world
Jesus was given no special treatment. He lived a normal human life with all its joys, sorrows, sufferings, and death. He was spared nothing. He came into the world ruled by evil and suffered the attacks of the evil one.” Children of God do not receive special treatment either: “We live in this world and suffer from the consequences of the fall into sin. We are not healthier than others. We are not richer than others. Nor do we have fewer concerns than others.”
“My kingdom is not of this world,” Jesus said. The Chief Apostle explained that Jesus had not come to put things in order and punish sinners, but to save them. “Jesus does not want to separate, He wants to unite.” Christians too have received a mission from God, he said: “We are supposed to be the light of the world and witnesses to Jesus. Our mission is not to rule over this world.” Rather: “Let us not only preach, but also testify of Christ through our behaviour.”
He went back to the Father
With the resurrection body, Jesus was able to leave the world and return to His Father. “This is our goal,” the Chief Apostle said. “As soon as we have fulfilled our mission, we want to enter the kingdom of God.” Jesus died without ever having committed a single sin, he said, but “we can’t claim the same for ourselves.” Nevertheless, it is not impossible: “We want to free ourselves from the dominion of sin. Leaving the world means renouncing sin more and more and becoming more like Jesus.”
Reigning over our own lives
“Jesus had this goal and no one could stop Him from achieving it,” the Chief Apostle said. “No one could prevent Him from returning to His Father.” Even today, brothers and sisters can be masters over their own destiny, and rule over their lives and achieve their goal, namely eternal fellowship with God. The following aspects contribute to this:
- Jesus’ intercession: “He prays for us. Above all, He prays that we do not lose our faith.”
- our faith: “If you want to reign over your life, you must believe until the end. To believe is to trust in God even when you do not see Him, even when you do not understand Him.”
- trust in God: “Jesus helps us to reign over our own lives by strengthening our confidence. And this faith allows us to have confidence in God.”
- love: “If we want to remain in control of our own destiny and our life and get where we want to go, then our priority is as the choir sang: ‘Lord, more would I love thee’.” What we do, we do out of love for God.”
- humility: “If we want to enter the kingdom of God and remain masters of our own destiny, we must be humble.”
- the power of God, “If we want to remain masters of our destiny, if we want to remain strong, then we need the strength of God,” the Chief Apostle explained. “We must receive the word of God and Holy Communion.”
Finally, the Chief Apostle said: “Dear brothers and sisters, Christ has given us an example. He showed us how to serve and how to remain in control of our lives. We believe that we are children of God and that our task is to serve God. And for this we want to leave this world and enter the kingdom of God. To remain in control of our own destiny, we need faith. We trust in the love of God and in His word. We are motivated by the love of Christ, not by self-interest. Let us remain humble so that we can receive His grace. And let us follow Christ through the apostolate. By doing this, we will reach the goal we want to reach.”
Republic of the Congo, Chief Apostle, Divine service