Apostle Timothy Akubia (Volta North Apostle Area) officiated the first divine service for the departed in 2021 on Sunday March 7, 2021, at the Ve-Koloenu congregation, with 179 members in attendance.
The Apostle read a text from Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Whosoever will may come!
“My dear brothers and sisters physically gathered here, and those from the yonder realms, I experienced oneness in spirit with the choir while they sung the beautiful opening hymn; ‘whosoever heareth, rings far and wide, to the living fountain …whosoever will may come’, stated the Apostle as he begun the service. “Indeed. all people are invited; from all races, nations, poor or rich, clean or unclean-irrespective of the condition of the soul” he continued.
Likening the invitation to the parable of the wedding feast, the Apostle highlighted that, servants were sent with the instruction to ‘go into the highways, and as many as you may find, invite to the wedding’. So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good’. Apostle Akubia further stated that, all people are invited for salvation, and we must come willfully, without any form of coercion. However, there is a process to be followed by all invitees, thus, to accept to wear the gown meant for the participants at the gate. This process, the Apostle stated, includes, to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, accept the sacraments and abide by the teachings of Jesus Christ. These, the Apostle explained, affords the invited souls to be adorned in the wedding garment.
Jesus Christ, the worthy Lamb
In his elaboration of the text, the Apostle stated that, from the day sin entered the habitation of man, sacrifices of animals were made by human beings at the time for the atonement of same. However, the curse imposed by God on man and the earth, affected all the elements of the earth, hence the animals were not without blemish. The sacrifices were simply imperfect! stated the Apostle. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only Lamb without blemish! His salvific sacrifice is eternally valid and this could only effectively wash away our sins, emphasized the Apostle.
Grace, a need for all
The Apostle further explained that, no man, through his own efforts can attain salvation without grace. He advised members to eschew the erroneous belief that by good works alone one can be saved. “Not by works, but by grace alone shall we be saved. We all need grace, here and in the beyond. Like the criminal on the cross, we also want to plead for grace from our Lord Jesus Christ today, for we are all sinful” the Apostle stressed.
“But before then”, he continued, “we ought to be filled with compassion towards our neighbours, while recognizing our own shortfalls. Then we shall not be judges. We should encourage all souls, irrespective of their relationship with God, to come to the Lord with the confidence that they shall obtain mercy.”
Concluding the sermon, Apostle Akubia emphasized that, all people are invited to the altar of grace, but one would have to approach it with confidence and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. “It is our responsibility to intercede for the souls in the yonder realm, and the Lord shall grant them the needed grace. There shall come a day, when we shall meet again, not here, but in a better fairer land.”
The Apostle was assisted by District Rectors Stephen Agyemang (Jasikan District), Christopher Xa (Hohoe District) and Peter Akai (Krachi/Bimbilla District)