28 February 2024 at 00:00:00 JST

For God, it is the individual who counts: every single person. The example of the Ethiopian treasurer shows on whom, how, and why God bestows His salvation. Here are some extracts from a divine service for the departed.



“So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.” The Bible text for the divine service on 5 November 2023 in Portimão, Portugal, was taken from Acts 8: 30–31. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider went on to explain.



The Ethiopian said that he did not understand what Isaiah was saying. So Philip began and explained the whole gospel to him.


We read the book of our life, we read in the book of world history. I have to say, “My God, I don’t understand anything any more! The only true and definitive answer is the message of the gospel, the teaching of the Apostles who interpret the Bible for us and proclaim the gospel in the proper manner. The Apostles always tell us, “You must see the whole picture, the whole plan of redemption. And you must see your life and what is happening in the world in this light. That is the only key to understanding God.



The Ethiopian did something very clever. He asked Philip to join him in the carriage and travel with him.


Let us take this message of the Apostles, the whole gospel, with us into our everyday lives. Think about what God has done, what He is doing, and what He will do. Then you will be strengthened and comforted.



The treasurer was from Ethiopia. He was not a Jew and therefore not one of the chosen people. Through him God showed that salvation is truly for everyone.


It does not matter where a person comes from, what their cultural background is, or what their past was like: salvation is for everyone, here on earth and in the beyond.



He was a ruler, was rich, and someone very important.


Salvation is for the poor, for the insignificant ones, but it is also for the powerful and for the rich. No one is excluded.



As he was castrated, the Ethiopian was not allowed to enter the temple. He was excluded.


In this world and in the beyond there are so many souls who are rejected by others because for one or another reason they are not like them. But this is not the case with God! He loves everyone equally and wants to offer them all the same salvation.



At the time, people imagined that if a person had no children, he or she would disappear into nothingness. They wanted to show the eunuchs: you are worthless. You are only there because you are of use to me.


Unfortunately, this is often the case in our society. We no longer see people as human beings. When they are no longer of any use, they are thrown away. God is perfect. He needs no one; but He loves everyone and wants to give salvation to everyone.



The Ethiopian treasurer had no future, no hope. He knew: when I die, I disappear.


How many people live on this earth today who do not have the slightest glimmer of hope for a better future. God says, yes, there is hope for you. He wants to offer salvation to all human beings.



Why could God offer the Ethiopian salvation? Because this man had the right attitude. He had power and was rich. But he was looking for something else. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship God, brought his sacrifice, read the Scriptures, and then he was still searching.


Let us think about the souls in the beyond. Many thought: I have money, I have power, I am fine. Then they arrived in the beyond and realised: all of this is useless. Let us think of the believers. They believed in God, read the Bible, and did good deeds. Then they arrived in the beyond and realised: that’s not enough! They lacked the rebirth out of water and the Spirit, the sacraments dispensed by the Apostles.



The treasurer’s reaction was good. He allowed himself to be taught.

However, we do not know who in the beyond is chosen by God to hear the Apostles’ teaching. The important thing for these souls, however, is that they accept this message. They can receive baptism with water and then they are no longer on the fringes of the church, but members of the body of Christ. Those who are sealed are given the great hope of entering the kingdom of God as firstfruits. Souls can celebrate Holy Communion and have perfect fellowship with Jesus Christ.


What is true for them is also true for us: Jesus loves you and wants you to be with Him forever, and He makes sure that all human beings have the opportunity to achieve the same.


Author: Andreas Rother


nac.today: New Apostolic Church International

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