On Thursday 01 December 2022, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a divine service in the Kopanong Auditorium, University of the Free State.
He was accompanied by District Apostles John Kriel, Joseph Ekhuya, Kububa Soko, Michael Deppner, Tshitshi Tshisekedi and District Apostle Helpers Mandla Mkhwanazi, Robert Nsamba and Arnold Mhango.
The Bible word for the divine service was taken out of John 1:6-7, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.”
During the sermon, the Chief Apostle explained that we live in this special period of the year, the period of Advent. He went on to say that Christians should remember that it’s not only in preparation of Christmas, but we should remember that God fulfilled His promise and sent His Son to the earth. A central figure of the story of Advent is John the Baptist. John the Baptist was a prophet chosen and sent by God.
The Chief Apostle centred his message around John the Baptist. John the Baptist was sent as a prophet to announce something and to fulfil a mission, which he fulfilled. John the Baptist appeared as a prophet of the Old Testament, and the message he conveyed was a similar message to all the messages from the previous prophets. He told the people of Israel to be aware because everyone will be judged by God. John the Baptist added that it's not enough to be part of the chosen people. You won't be accepted just because you have been elected. You can only be accepted if you do the will of God.
John the Baptist also had a more specific message. He added another dimension to his message. And he announced to the people that the Saviour is already here. He is in our midst. This is the Jesus from Nazareth, the Saviour. He will save you. He will deliver you from your sins and you will be accepted by the grace of God and He will baptize you with His Spirit. That means with His life, you will get a new life. You will become a new creation in Christ.
The Chief Apostle went on to explain that we have another promise. Jesus Christ will come back to save us and to take His bride with Him. The Chief Apostle elaborated on the fact that the message of John the Baptist is still relevant in our time because God will judge every man. However, God is love. He wants all man to be saved. But He will only save those who have done His will. There's no other way. So, He makes sure that everybody has the possibility to do His will. But those who refuse to do His will won't be accepted. They won’t enter the new creation.
John the Baptist also said, if you want to be accepted by God, you have to accept the Saviour, and the Saviour is Jesus Christ. The salvation He offers is eternal life; eternal fellowship with God in His kingdom. Jesus came to bring eternal life and fellowship with God in His kingdom. That's also part of the preaching of John the Baptist, what salvation consists of. Salvation consists in having fellowship with God - eternal life. And you can only get this salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said, no one can come to My Father, except through Me.
In summary, the Chief Apostle said that the congregation must not forget the message of John the Baptist. He was a perfect tool in God's hand. He fulfilled his mission in a perfect manner. He was a blessing for the people in his time, and he is still a blessing for us today because his message is still valid. But he couldn't make it to be saved because he didn't follow Jesus. He had his own ideas. You can be a great source of blessing for your neighbour. That doesn't mean that you will be accepted by the Lord at His return. Because we are not saved by our deeds. We will be saved because we will be transformed into the image of Christ, and if we see everything in the light of Christ, because we believe, we trust, and we love.
The Chief Apostle also called upon District Apostles Joseph Ekhuya and Tshitshi Tshisekedi along with Apostle Werner Von Schaeffer to serve along.