Below are impressions from the divine service as recorded by our social media team, who were connected to the live transmission of the service in Beijing, China. Please note that these are unofficial notes.
Chief Apostle prayed: “God of grace and God of love, we come to Thee. We believe You are the God of love. We believe You love us…We pray for all those who are suffering. We need Your grace. Grant us that which we need.”
Bible word (Text word): Hebrews 6:19-20: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become the High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Choir Hymn: “The Lord is my light” (Hymn Collection: 165)
My dear brothers and sisters here and in all the connected congregations. First let me be your spokesperson and express my gratitude to the choir. It was very impressive the way you sang that hymn, it is our will to remain in Gods house forever.
It’s a special joy for us to be here in Australia. I must say this time it wasn’t difficult for me to convince my brothers to come to the meeting because of the location.
This District Apostles meeting was a blessing for all of us because we could strengthen our faith and each other by sharing experiences and strengthening the unity as well.
This question of hope and the anchor. Apostle Paul compares the hope to an anchor on a boat, the hope we have is the anchor of our soul. We hope in God, we hope in Jesus Christ and this hope keeps us from being drifted away by the current. This anchor enters the presence behind the veil. This refers to the Jewish temple – the most holiest place in the temple where they believed God dwells, this means that our hope is anchored in God. The question is what is our hope? In the usual language we say we hope for something, we want something to happen, we believe it is possible to happen, this is the definition of hope.
Let me use an example. This is off the record. For instance, the rugby fans in Australia, they may hope that the Wallabies will beat the All Blacks………. but that’s not hope that’s a dream or a wish. It is different if the Wallabies hope to beat the Springboks……….that is hope.
As believers of Christ, our hope is of a higher quality, because we have wishes and we believe that with God it is possible, within His will. That’s the Christian hope, but this isn’t the hope we speak of today.
Our hope is expecting the future in confidence, because we know that God will fulfill His promises. Ok, so what did God promise?
- God promised man eternal life, eternal fellowship with Him.
- Jesus promised that he will come back and take us with him.
- God promised that He will create a new creation, and all man that believes can enter the new creation, have fellowship and there will be no death, no tears, no pain.
When we talk about hope it’s related to these promises, our hope is anchored in God Himself.
We know God and we know that God is the TRUTH. God is faithful! The One we hope in is FAITHFUL and He will fulfill His word. He is ALMIGHTY. No one can prevent him or hinder His plan. Our hope is anchored in God.
Jesus came in Gods stead to place this anchor, he was the forerunner to open the way, and to prove that it’s possible, He made it and He will help us to make it too. He prays for us, He is our intercessor. That’s why our hope is so sure, because it’s anchored in God, our hope, our truth and it has been placed by Jesus the forerunner the one who prays for us.
What we hope for we cannot see, but we can see the effect of this hope in our daily life. Sometimes we face storms, but because our anchor is solid and sure, it cannot affect our boat because of the anchor, the boat tosses, moves but it stays firm. We are shaken by the tribulations and we are tested, and we suffer, but we have this wonderful solid and sure anchor and we know the glory that God wants to give us is much greater than the suffering we endure today.
Even without storms, the boat still needs an anchor or else it will be driven away by the current. We don’t always have suffering. Sometimes people even forget about God, because they are well fed, healthy, happy. And their life is calm, but we as children of God we have this anchor and we are longing for the eternal fellowship with God, no matter what happens we have this longing, to be with our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are not swayed by the time passing, even if it takes a long time for the Lord to return, we remain at the same place, we remain with God. Sometimes we lose courage, we say we are sinners, we are not strong enough etc, but No, don’t forget we have this anchor, we have this hope. Jesus prays for us, we are hoping in his grace, and this anchor prevents us from drifting away from God. Isn’t this a wonderful anchor?
All the brothers in this vast area, the pacific, New Zealand, they have been doing a lot of work, but sometimes after all the working and serving, sometimes there are no successes, and we lose hope, and the Evil One is there that doesn’t want us to spread the gospel. But No, we have this anchor, this solid foundation in God.
Jesus promised that no evil will prevail against the Church. He promised that he will be with us till the end, and we believe in this promise that’s why we don’t give up. We continue working and serving the Lord, knowing that the work will not be in vain. Even if we experience the power of the devil, we have this anchor and we continue working for the Lord knowing that Jesus is with us.
Last point, Paul said rejoice in hope. This hope, this anchor allows us to be joyful even if there isn’t a visible reason to be joyful. This hope allows us to be joyful, just thinking about the future, expecting with confidence for what will happen, sharing eternity with Jesus being delivered from Evil and death. The joy of hope is a wonderful anchor in our lives.
The captain of a ship can lift the anchor whenever he wants and then the current and the wind can drive the ship away. It is up to us to make sure the anchor remains. How can we do that? Whenever Jesus is no longer at the first place in our heart, this is how we lift this anchor and then our soul is in danger, or to make it easy to understand, when the fact that God must fulfill our wishes becomes more important than the Promise of His return to us, then we are in danger, this is a piece of advice the Holy Spirit gives us, dear child of God don’t lift this anchor of hope in God. When we work for the Lord in His spirit we will feel the joy. Amen,
District Apostle Helper Robert Nsamba (Zambia)
My beloved in the Lord, dear brothers and sisters, I’m sure we cannot agree more with what we just heard, from the orchestra. From what we have heard this morning, we have been elevated to a point where we desire that He who has promised to take us home, that we will be able to be found worthy and be taken home.
The images that the Chief Apostle has left us with this morning, about the ship that isn’t being spared, but it is untouched. There are forces who are working, and here we are being assured, don’t worry because God himself is the most powerful. So the designer of this anchor is a perfect one, so we need just to trust, but these movements/trials we must go through are meant for our maturity and development for our journey in Christ, that we don’t drift away but rather that we are orientated and aligned within the range of God’s love. Amen,
District Apostle Micheal Ehrich (South Germany)
My very dear beloved brothers and sisters. Yes, I think for us it is very important that faith, hope and love is strengthened.
In Germany we have a saying, It means half of his life, human beings hopes in vain. This is when someone promises us something and they don’t fulfill it then we are disappointed.
Our Chief Apostle teaches us if we concentrate our hope in God then we will never be disappointed. Chief Apostle has mentioned that Jesus promised that “I will be with you until the end of the world” and this I will take very personal for myself. And Jesus has promised to come and fetch us and this is our hope, May He come soon. Amen.
District Apostle Leonard Kolb (USA)
Dear brothers and sisters, it’s so nice when the choirs hymn is a service in the midst of a service,
A Christian must always keep developing and keep moving forward in the Lord. Today our Chief Apostle teaches us, our hope is not a wish or a dream but it is a reality, Jesus Christ made it so. And we must know it, and then it becomes a security, then it becomes our Joy. Apostle Paul said it, “If God is for us then who can be against us?”
We must remain attached, we must make sure our anchor is secure. An anchor is connected by a chain. Hold on to this chain. Remain attached to this wonderful reality and that we are joyful in the hope in Christ. Amen,
District Apostle Noel Barnes (South Africa)
My dear brothers and sisters, friends. As everyone was called up my hope grew stronger, but at the end it was like hoping against hope. It’s great to be here and the hymn we heard now, “My Savior cares for me”, rounds it off beautifully.
The hope we have in Jesus Christ. To underline that which our Chief Apostle has placed in our hearts. I thought of the first apostles, Jesus said to them go to Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit will come upon you. They had to hope that this will be fulfilled, and things happened that disturbed the plan. They thought that it wouldn’t happen, because they believed that Jesus was great and strong. They had to hope that Jesus’ plan will be fulfilled. Let us wait at the altar of Jesus, let us wait in the fellowship. Amen.
Chief Apostle Schneider – Preparation for the serving of Holy Communion
The Bible says that those who have this specific hope, it cleanses themselves. We want to cleanse and purify ourselves through this hope because we expect to enter His kingdom where everything is holy and pure and perfect. Where everything is like God. This is the place we would like to enter, and as long as we are sinners we cannot enter this place, and the only way to become pure is to have forgiveness of sins, for this Jesus wants us to be repentant and more than this to fight against sin.
Sometimes we take it too easily, **story of the 10 talents**
Jesus provides us with the strength and talents to fight off the sin, but do we utilize it or do we just do the minimum?
It’s not about just having the wish to want forgiveness. Jesus wants us to be committed to fight against our sins and to overcome, everyday.
The one who has the hope purifies himself. That means he is repentant and uses all the gifts God have given him to fight against sin.
Let’s fight against evil, and let us ask ourselves, “shouldn’t I fight a little bit more?” We can answer this for ourselves.
Repentance hymn: With contrite heart I come to Thee. (Hymn 340, Third verse)
Serving of Holy Communion for the Departed