THOUGHTS FROM CHIEF APOSTLE SCHNEIDER
Service for the Departed
Regarding the souls' salvation in the beyond, our Catechism of the New Apostolic Church "Questions and Answers" (coming soon) it states:
Question 544: How is it possible for souls in the beyond to change?
Souls in the beyond who have never heard of the gospel, never had their sins forgiven, and never received any of the sacraments, find themselves in a condition of remoteness from God. This condition can only be overcome through belief in Jesus Christ, His sacrifice, and by receiving the sacraments.
Question 546: Can we help the departed attain salvation?
Yes, we can intercede in prayer for unredeemed souls and ask the Lord to help them. Likewise, we can pray that these souls come to believe in Jesus Christ, that they are open and prepared to accept the salvation God wishes to grant them.
Since both the living and the dead in Christ comprise a single fellowship, they will work both here and in the beyond in the mind of Christ by interceding in prayer for the unredeemed.
Redemption itself can only occur through Jesus Christ.
In preparation for the next Service for the Departed, I would like to place the following word in your heart: "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering." (Colossians 3:12).
We were elected by God to serve. In order to carry out this service in accordance with God's will we need to be sanctified by the word, grace and the sacraments.
Our motivation to serve is the love that God has for us - we are the beloved ones of God. Our service torwards our neighbour should be imbued with:
- Compassion - it goes beyond with, we ask ourselves how we would have reacted if we were in our neighbours' position;
- Kindness - let us be lenient toward the guilty;
- Humbleness - have an accurate assessment of ourselves before God and others;
- Gentleness - the best way to encourage our neighbour to come nearer to God is to allow them to experience the love of God;
- Patience - prayer for the departed requires patience, as it is only after the return of Jesus that we can truly measure its impact...