On Sunday 25 October 2020, District Apostle Helper Mandla P Mkhwanazi conducted the morning divine service at Nelsville congregation. This divine service was conducted in English.
He was accompanied by Community Evangelist Darrel De Vries, the ministers from the congregation, a musical ensemble and a small NACTV crew. This divine service was made available on NACTV, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263, as well as Radio KC, Radio Teemaneng, Infinity FM and SABIE stereo. Members could also listen to the divine service by calling in from either a mobile phone or landline. This divine service was also streamed live on the NACTV Facebook page.
For members who were unable to watch the divine service, please find a detailed summary of the sermon:
Opening hymn: Nearer, my God, to Thee (EH:252)
Bible word: ‘Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.’ (Luke 10:20)
District Apostle Helper:
My dear brothers and sisters, once again, I want to bid you a warm welcome. Thank you that you could heed to this call of coming together and sharing this spiritual meal with us. I am saying a spiritual meal because we will be nourished here with the word of salvation. Our heavenly Father, He provides for our natural sustenance, but He also wants to sustain our spiritual life, especially those who have been reborn and those that are being called upon to take this divine call seriously. Our heavenly Father will continue to sustain both our natural wellbeing, as well as our spiritual wellbeing.
From the word that we read, and I want to repeat, ‘Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.’ Just to give a brief background regarding this: the Son of man, Jesus Christ, while He was here on earth He was on a divine mission. He wanted to go from village to village, community to community so that people of the time could understand Him and know His divine mission. Therefore, the Son of man at this time assigned 70 disciples that He appointed or that He had elected to go in pairs and go into the areas and villages where the Son of man intended to go and visit. When we read verse one, it says the following: “After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.” That is so nice to understand – the Son of man also assigned this task to those who followed Him and accepted His invitation. At this point, I just want to request the ministers that whenever you go and prepare a divine service, please understand that you are not doing it for a person – maybe the District Leader or the Rector – because this is actually part of our assignment. Therefore, we are here to help the Chief Apostle, the District Apostle in the bigger scheme of things – preparing the people of God for the day of the Lord. We know that the Son of man will come and that is why the disciples had to go before the Lord. And they needed to come back and give some feedback to Jesus. What did they display in this? They were so overjoyed, thrilled actually when they experienced how the spirits subjected themselves to them. The Spirit gave them the power to cast out demons, and that on its own was an experience for the disciples. But when they were so overjoyed by this, the Son of man wasn’t overjoyed and didn’t celebrate that achievement with them, but He looked at the important point in the bigger scheme of things and that is why Jesus advised them that they should put more value on their election rather than on their achievements. Why is this? It is because Jesus knew that they would have to go and continue to make the fishers of men to come to the Lord, Jesus Christ. But, in this process, they were also going to experience some afflictions, they were also going to experience some rejections because it was the case with Jesus. With these two points of the rejection and affliction, I would want God’s people to go and read some of these quotations because I don’t want to keep them to myself. Please read Luke 9:53 and Matthew 5:11.
So now, with this council that the Son of man had to give to the disciples to prioritise accordingly by putting more value on their election than their achievements, that on its own will make me and you reflect at some point and pause and think again, because in most cases, when we have achieved that much, we come to a point of compromising our faith. We come to a point of easily wanting to give up, easily wanting to say, ‘I can’t go and do it anymore’. It comes to that point. But now, the Son of man here wants all of us to consider our election, and more so that our names are written in heaven, are written in the Lamb’s book of life. We don’t want our names to be erased. No. because our election is upon us. We need to make it certain; we need to make it show by following the Son of man, Jesus Christ.
So, therefore, the Son of man, as a first point here, He assigned them to go and preach. My dear brothers and sisters, when we are assigned to go and preach the gospel, that is not only for the ministers – it is for all of us. As much as we as ministers are coming behind the altar to preach or maybe do a presentation, there is an opportunity that we can utilise to give some anecdotes about the gospel of Jesus Christ – there are opportunities everywhere, every day and every moment if we can simply consider that. This also depends on whether we want to do it, but there are so many opportunities out there. So now, what do we need to do? We proclaim the glad tidings. Proclaiming the glad tidings means that we share the gospel of Jesus Christ – that is the gospel of salvation, soul salvation so to say. We also share this with our neighbours and generously so – we need to do it. So now, the more we share the gospel of Jesus, that also gives us joy – we become glad in it. Why? It is because we know that the Son of man elected us. And the Son of man also made us understand the love of God. Therefore, there is a reason why we had to accept the spiritual rebirth – that was the grace of God. That, on its own, makes us so glad that we are able to participate of Holy Communion and experience the Holy sacraments – Holy Baptism, Holy Sealing and the celebration of Holy Communion. We sustain this spiritual wellbeing or nature of the new creature within us.
And then we continue in this by being merciful and patient to others. Why? It is because we know that Jesus Christ continues to be merciful to us. He was rejected and still is rejected, but the Son of man continues to knock at the doors of all of us, because He wants to see us all saved – that is so good of the Son of man, and that is why we need to continue to preach the gospel. With that, we all are also preparing ourselves and that is something that is so important – preparing ourselves for the return of the Lord, something that will happen so imminently. With this, I want to recall what one of our retired ministers said. This minister was very concerned at one point because he said that the new ministers that are coming on board, they miss the point of reminding the congregation about the day of the Lord – about the imminent return of Jesus Christ. When he brought that to my attention, I was a little bit puzzled as to why he said this, because every sermon drives us to that particular point of reviving all of us unto the imminent return of Jesus Christ. That is why we are here. You have decided to put some of your tasks aside so that you could be revived on the topic of the return of Jesus Christ.
We understand that Jesus Christ wants the gospel to be received by those in yonder world. There are those who were called into yonder world without them having heard the name of Jesus Christ, without them receiving clarity of this plan of salvation. The one or other might say that this can’t happen because the Bible and Christianity are all over the world. But brothers and sisters, think about the countries, even on our continent, who had to experience atrocities or maybe wars for many decades. When I say decades, there are generations there that were born under this warfare. Sometimes, they had to die under such circumstances – they never heard about Christ; they never saw a Bible for that matter. So now, what do we say about them? Do you leave them to die in darkness in that way? The Son of man is very much concerned about such souls, as much as He is concerned about our spiritual wellbeing as living personalities. So, therefore, when we understand the works of our Lord Jesus Christ – this work actually leads us to our eternal destiny with Jesus Christ. That makes us say okay, the Lord calls us to work, but we need to understand that first of all, it is God that works wonders in our soul. Whatever good works we are doing, those works are merely a result of the good works that our heavenly Father has done upon us. With your role in music – thank you that you allowed the ministers and other musicians to groom and mould you. The Lord has given you a task in that regard to also impart that skill to others. Thank you very much to those who are still endlessly dedicated and committed to this divine call. Our heavenly Father works the good works in you with these good works that God has performed in you. Please share, help, improve the status of the Lord’s work in that regard. It is not only musicians. I can mention all, dear brothers and sisters in all the various sectors. Let me go out of the church fraternity and maybe allow you to think about your career. Let us use the example of a doctor. Think about how we are doing these works that will lead us to eternal salvation. If you come to a consultation room of a faithful doctor, will it not move your soul if, because of your fear, because you are so despaired by your ailment, and the doctor says, ‘praise the Lord, you are going to be healed.’ You will be surprised and think that this doctor understands God and understands my faith. As a patient, your confidence will be boosted because you will know that the doctor knows of the potency of you being healed doesn’t solely rely on the medication, but it also lies with the mighty intervention of our heavenly Father. Dear brothers and sisters, we know that we can have a lot of money, but sometimes we can’t sustain our natural lives when it comes to the ending.
I just want to quote this from the Chief Apostle out of Romans 8:29-30, “ For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” – that is the Son of man, Jesus Christ – He wants all of us to take on His image, irrespective of whether we are in this earthly existence or those who are in yonder world. He wants all of us to take the image of His Son. Verse 30 - “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He glorified.” Look at these steps my dear brothers and sisters that all of us need to follow. Predestined, in other words, our pre-election, our heavenly Father knew us before the foundation of this earth – all of us – even those who are in yonder world. There are so many who are desperate in the yonder world because they never took the faith seriously, but our heavenly Father knows what disturbed them during their earthly existence. So now, because they are pre-elected, our heavenly Father still calls on them. He still justifies those that He called, and those that He justifies, our heavenly Father wants to give them glory – that is the great day of the Son of man where we shall be reunited with our loved ones. That on its own my dear brothers and sisters gives us joy. We become comforted under the circumstances when we are afflicted with the pain of losing our loved ones, but when it comes to understanding this glory, that on its own gives us joy. So, therefore, when we are so joyful, we will go and spread the gospel of Christ. When we are joyful, we will be able to seek the last lost soul so that when it is found, there is jubilation in heaven because for one sinner who repents that means there is one sinner who is saved.
My dear brothers and sisters, allow me to summarize on what we have touched so far. We have been taught that we must spread the gospel. Everyone is called upon to spread the glad tidings. Secondly, we need to do the good works because our heavenly Father has done good works upon our soul, so, therefore, let us continue to do the good works. And lastly, the Son of man wants all of us to take the image of Him irrespective of our era - those that are in the beyond and also us. So, therefore, the message now for this divine service is: we rejoice over salvation in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Thoughts from District Apostle Helper Mandla P Mkhwanazi