Fifty years ago faithful servants of God came to the Philippines and announce this great message to them: Jesus is coming! fifty years later this promise is not yet fulfilled. And everyone can see, the Lord didn’t come. A divine service full of encouragement to keep walking by faith.
On Sunday, 16 October in our Tupi Church, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider celebrated the 50th anniversary of New Apostolic Church in the Philippines. He used a passage from 2 Corinthians 5:7 as the basis of the divine service “for we walk by faith, not by sight”
“Together we want to celebrate this day as a festive day, and that’s a reason to express our gratitude,” said the Chief Apostle. “Thanks to God, many people accepted the message that was announced 50 years ago and believe in it. And step by step God’s work could grow, and today we have many brothers and sisters in many congregations. And that’s a great joy to have so many faithful brothers and sisters in this country.”
But until now, the promise is not yet fulfilled. So what about this promise? And the answer is: as long as we are on earth we have to walk by faith and not by sight. The promise is still valid. But we have to believe and to walk to experience the fulfillment of this promise.
To receive the fullness of His blessing Abraham have to go out of his country and go to the land that God will show him. Abraham had no idea where this land would be, or what it would be like, but He believe and walked. No different from Moses. He has to go out of Egypt and he has to walk. The Israelites have to believe and walk for a long time until they could realize their wish. The formula is always the same: they had to believe and walk by faith.
“So we have to believe. What does it mean?” asked the Chief Apostle and then continue to give the elaborations. To believe means:
- we are really convinced that what God says is true. We absolutely convinced that the word of God is the truth, not what we see, not what we understand but what God says
- to have confidence in Him. I’m convinced that what God says is the truth. I have confidence in him, he can do it and he will do it.
- to be patient. we wait with patience until he will fulfill his promises.
“Then we have to walk,” explained Chief Apostle elaborating on the next step. The people of Israel had to believe that God will deliver them but they had to go out of Egypt, and they need certain courage to do it. they have taken the risk, and they began to walk. God delivered us through baptism out of the water and the holy spirit. But that was not the end of the story, that was the beginning of the story. And now we have to walk, as the people of Israel had to walk. God told them every day what they had to do and they had to do it. And we too, have to walk to follow the instruction of God:
- He teaches us how to love. We have to learn to love our neighbor more and better.
- We have to increase our knowledge of Jesus Christ. We have to overcome the old nature and become a new man in Christ.
- By walking together in faith, we learn to become one. In the desert, the Israelites realized they need each other. We also belonged together.
We believe, we walk, and the promise is not yet fulfilled but we can experience the presence of God in our midst. “We have no reason to give up.” Sad enough many Christian nowadays have given up their hope. “Don’t just use our faith and Jesus Christ for earthly matters. Don’t give up! We are preparing ourselves for the return of Christ,” urged the Chief Apostle.
To be prepared for the return of Christ means to follow the apostolate. They are sent to lead us into the kingdom of God. Let us follow faithfully the Apostles. And finally, we also want to contribute more to the unity of the church. We have to love our neighbor better. “And then we will experience: God is faithful, He keeps His promises.”
This post is also available in: Indonesian