In his sermon in Bandung (Indonesia) on Sunday, 25 November 2018, Chief Apostle Schneider said to the congregation of 613 members at the beginning of the divine service “I‘m thankful to our heavenly Father and joyful to see that so many brothers and sisters prepare themselves for the return of Christ in Indonesia.” The Divine Service in Bandung was the last service of his 10-day visit in South-East Asia.
He based his service on Matthew 25:40 “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
Chief Apostle Schneider explained who were those brethren: “My brethren are those who do the will of My Father. As a matter of fact, the brothers of Jesus were His disciples, those who are in Him and who followed Jesus.” And here Jesus describe what’s going on in this circle of His brothers and sisters. He says some of them, they are hungry, thirsty, they are naked. In other words, they are poor and cannot afford what they need for their life. Because being reborn out of water and the Spirit, the love of God has been poured out in our heart. And this love is part of the new creation and it has to grow and to grow in our heart. And to measure this love for God, Jesus will measure our love for our neighbour.
“How can we help our neighbour?” Chief Apostle asked the congregation and give the answer: “You shouldn’t love your neighbour with the tongue and with words, but with deeds and with proofs.” When he is a stranger, just accept him as he is. When he’s sick, when he’s in prison, you cannot deliver him, you cannot heal him. Nevertheless you can do something. In some situations we cannot solve the problem, but we can provide comfort. The most important thing, let us help our brother, our sister to remain faithful in their situation. Even when they are suffers hardships, even when they are sick, when they are weak, when they are different, our main goal must be, let us help them to remain faithful.
Another level of interpretation
He did live on earth as a true Man, experiencing all the things we experience. So as a matter of fact, all man is a child of God and the brother of Jesus Christ. And this image applies also for them. They become stranger because of the fall into sin. They are separated, remoted from God. They do not have what they need to have eternal life. They are hungry, they need God’s word. They are thirsty, they need God’s grace. They are naked because they have no salvation. Their soul is sick. They suffer because of their sin. They are prisoner of the evil one. But they are brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ showed His solidarity with these sinners. He was treated as the worst of the sinner. And for His sacrifice, He can deliver all sinners from sin and the evil one.
“Again, if you love God, you love your neighbour. And here, we talk about all man. So if we love God, we also want the salvation of our neighbour.” said Chief Apostle Schneider. We can announce the gospel with our words and especially with our deeds. Through our behavior, through our deeds, we can become powerful witnesses of God, powerful witnesses of Jesus Christ and of His gospel. That’s what we can do for our neighbour.
“What we do for our neighbour, we do it to Jesus. And those who do it, they inherit the kingdom prepared for them” Chief Apostle Schneider assured the congregation.