The divine services in November will focus on eschatological subjects. This is a technical term for the “doctrine of the last things”. The question is: how do we see the beyond and the end-time?
“Hope” is the title of the first divine service in November: the midweek service is about the image of the tree that was cut down and sprouted again. The Bible text is taken from Job 14: 7. In the end, this image is a reference to the redemptive power of Christ that paves the way to salvation both for the dead and the living.
This world and the beyond
And that brings us to the first Sunday of November and the divine service for the departed. Revelation 1: 17 and 18 tells us that Jesus has the keys of Hades and of Death. That means all authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth—and therefore also in the beyond. Salvation in Christ applies to both the living and the dead, just like His invitation: “Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
The Spirit and the bride
The Bible text for the second Sunday, Revelation 22: 17, is taken from the same context. The focus is on the words: “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’” The Holy Spirit keeps our hope in Christ’s return alive. The bridal congregation pleads for the return of Christ in word and deed. And this is meant to encourage everyone to join this yearning.
Serving and reigning
What follows the return of Christ is described in the following midweek service using images from Isaiah 2: 3. After the conclusion of the first resurrection, Christ will establish His kingdom of peace on earth. Christ and His own will preach the gospel to all, both the living and the dead. Isaiah’s image of people streaming towards Zion is a reference to the proclamation of the gospel and its acceptance by many.
Judgement and mercy
The next chapter in God’s plan of redemption is opened on the third Sunday: the Last Judgement of God as described in Revelation 20: 12. All human beings will have to answer for their actions before God the judge. Already the return of Christ is a judgement: the firstlings will be accepted and united with Christ. At the Last Judgement it will be revealed whether all other human beings actively profess their faith in Christ.
Hope and preparation
The goal of the New Apostolic faith, however, remains the resurrection of the firstlings, which 1 Corinthians 15: 51–52 speaks of. There Christ will take to Himself the dead and the living who have hoped for His coming and have been prepared for it. And they will receive a new body. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the basis of our hope.
Everyone will get their chance
The Bible text for the youth service from Acts 17: 31 more or less brings together the end-time themes of November. The core thoughts are: the incarnation of God is the proof of His love for human beings. Jesus Christ does not judge in order to condemn, but to establish justice. All people will have the opportunity to experience the power of His love and to align themselves accordingly.