On Sunday 08 May 2022, Apostle Werner Von Schaeffer conducted the central AVT divine service at Kimberley congregation. The divine service was conducted in English.
The Apostle was accompanied by District Evangelist G Dyer, a music ensemble and the NACTV crew. This divine service was made available on NACTV, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263. For members who were unable to watch the divine service, please find a detailed summary of the sermon:
Opening Hymn: When I’m with Him (EH: 401)
Bible word: “[Give] thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” (Colossians 1:12-13)
Apostle Von Schaeffer:
My dear brothers and sisters here in Bloemfontein and those connected. I welcome you to the house of the Lord. And this is worldwide also a special day, and I want to make use of this opportunity to wish all our mothers a blessed Mother's Day. Those still with us and those in the beyond. They care for us and have cared for us. And they will continue to care for us. And they remain special. And therefore, I hope that you all enjoy this day and that you are being cared for. Jesus also had a mother whom He loved. And look at His circumstances. When He was being crucified, one of the last words that He uttered was, He asked the Apostle John, to please take care of His mother. And we can read in John 19:27, after that the Apostle John took care immediately of His mother. Mary represents the church of Christ. Remember, one day Jesus was busy teaching. And then one of the disciples came and said Your mother is here. Your brothers are here. And He said who is My brother? Who is My mother? It's those that do the will of My Father. She represents the church of Christ. And how beautiful that God takes care of us through the apostolate today, as Apostle John had to take care of His mother. And therefore, we have much reason to be thankful. We are being cared for. There are many people, and I don't want to mention sports teams, where they say their slogan is I belong. And we can say today, I belong. I belong to this beautiful church of Christ. I am thankful that I am a child of God. Remember, that's our greatest blessing, that we are in a relationship with God. With a Triune God. And there are so many things that we are thankful for.
In our Bible word today, three things are mentioned. Many times, we are so absorbed by all the problems of life, and then we forget to be thankful. Thankful to the Creator, the One that can do anything, that can change anything. And look at the first reason for being thankful, it says in our Bible word, “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance...” Meaning we are thankful that God has shown us the path to soul salvation. We are people with a promise. A great reason to wake up every morning and say, this is a day closer to reaching eternal fellowship with Jesus Christ. Here salvation is compared with inheritance. Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are open about inheritance. I hope the parents and the older people are open with their inheritance, what we will inherit as children. Sometimes it's a surprise. Then the person comes and reads the last will and testament and people are disappointed. God tells us now already this is your inheritance, eternal fellowship with Me. That is what you will receive. It says here He qualifies us for that. Meaning that He prepares us. We didn't deserve this. Some children maybe don't deserve an inheritance. I know someone spoke the other day, she said, she knows of this one person that changes her testament nearly every week depending on the behaviour of the children. Every week it changes. God does not do this. We have the salvation that He gives us. I want you to be with Me for time and eternity. I created you for this. And therefore, He qualifies us. And how does this qualification work? As Jesus said, if you are not reborn out of water and the Spirit, you cannot enter My kingdom. We did nothing to deserve this. We just answered to His call. But He has chosen us and now we are part of this plan of salvation. He qualifies us. From our side, we just need to become like Jesus Christ. There's no fake qualification with Jesus Christ. We live in a time where everything becomes fake. This qualification, being reborn out of water and of the Spirit, our part being to grow in the image of Jesus Christ, that qualification is authentic. That qualification is valid for time and eternity, and we are thankful for this. I hope you renewed your driver's license already. That expires every five years. Sometimes we gain a qualification in a certain country then it's not valid in another country. You need to do extra courses.
Secondly, it says “He has delivered us from the power of darkness...” He has delivered us from the power of the evil one. Not delivered us from the evil one. The evil one is still there. Evil is prevalent in society. He has delivered us, what a great reason to thank Him, from the power of evil. Meaning we are free in Christ. We live in a society where corruption dominates, where dishonesty dominates. And here we are. We are so thankful that we are free in Christ. I do not need to comply to that spirit. We have the Spirit of Jesus Christ inside us. And despite that darkness, we can be children of the light. As the people then said, Jesus died, and He can perform no works. His teaching means nothing. Today people think in a similar way that how can His teaching be applied in society today? We are the subjects of performing His teachings where we still, as one of our Chief Apostle’s said, we “sweep” them with love. That's the answer to corruption. That's the answer to dishonesty. Love. It should not be difficult. And it's not difficult for us. Wherever we are, there’s a hymn where we sing “Brighten ev’ry corner where you are”. In this way we perform these teachings, at our natural work, in our homes, and in society. We love our neighbour because God said these two are equal. You love Me and you love your neighbour. He delivered us. He made us free from this bondage of the evil one. We are free and that's where we need to examine ourselves this morning. Am I free from the material needs of this earth and my material wants of this life? Because He delivered us from darkness. He delivered us from the striving of material things. In Scripture, we can read that we should not love the world nor the things of the world. That is Jesus' teaching. Many times, in this society we see people do everything to become rich, everything for them to prosper in life. There is nothing wrong with that, but our neighbours can be hurt in the process. And we are so thankful that the material things of the world have no effect on a child of God. I'm thinking how can you speak to someone about your beautiful, expensive car and this person doesn't even have feet? How can you complain about my thumb being in pain and this person doesn't even have an arm? Think of the things we say. We portray the image of Jesus Christ. We cannot concentrate on the natural things. It's like the problem I have with my eyes when I am not wearing glasses. I can read, but I can’t see things that are far away. Meaning I can only see close-by. Is that our situation in life? We can only see the material things. We must be able to see our eternal future. We can see the treasures that await us. We can see the things in life that really matter, that are valid for eternity. He has delivered us from the power of darkness. We are free. We are not prisoners of society. We are not prisoners of material things and needs.
And then lastly it says, “And conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” He took us and He said, let me show you to whom you belong. Let me show you that you belong to the church of Christ. Isn’t that beautiful? Jesus Christ shows us. And therefore, our spiritual senses must be up to standard. We need to experience Him, feel Him, see Him touch Him in His church, the church of Jesus Christ. Look at this reason to be thankful that He is the head of this Church, Jesus Christ. And He teaches us, through His Spirit, through His ministerial authority, ministerial body where we have people that are there instead of Him teaching us. But He is still in charge. They are also not qualified. We heard at the beginning that we did nothing that gives us merit to be a child of God. He just chose us out of love. Not qualifications, also in a natural sense in our ministers. It is the authority that is important, not the person. If God allows, it will still be a while until I retire. But there will be a time when I will no longer be in the authority of the ministry. And the Chief Apostle surely too. Our Rectors in our different congregations. They will change. We will have a new Rector. We will have a new Apostle. We will have a new Chief Apostle. A new Deacon. But the path of salvation does not change. Let's think of those that travel long distances. The bus driver or the pilot. They change while we are asleep or whatever the case may be. Although those people change, the destination remains the same. And therefore, let us experience God. He is in charge. Jesus Christ is in charge of His church. And here we just want to fulfil His will because He is in control. Here we want everyone to experience a glimpse of our eternal kingdom. Remember, we are still here on this earth and everything you should experience. Truly, I am in the presence of the Lord.
And those are reasons to be thankful. We are thankful that we have salvation offered to us. He chose us. He elected us. He qualifies us. Secondly, we are thankful that we are not prisoners of the power of the evil one. Be it on a material level, be it in society. And thirdly, we are so thankful we are in the church of Christ where Jesus is in control. Amen.
Thoughts from Apostle Werner Von Schaeffer