The climax of the Chief Apostle’s 3-day visit to Ghana was a festive divine service held in Accra in the midst of over 2,000 members with thousands more joining via live transmission on national television (GTV) and YouTube. Also joining the service were Apostles and Bishops from West Africa. The service took place at the Accra Central church on Sunday 27 March 2022, a day after the successful festive service in Ho.
The Accra mass choir prepared the way for the sermon with the hymn: “How lovely is Zion.” The beautiful melody resonated with the Chief Apostle as well as the congregants. He thanked the choir and emphasized the message the hymn carried: “Thank you so much dear choir members. Indeed, Zion is really lovely. In the Old Testament, Zion was the dwelling place of God. The place where the people of God, the faithful ones, could meet God and talk to Him. The place where God revealed Himself to His people.”
He continued: “Today Zion is in Accra, and it’s really lovely to be here. And I am grateful that God allowed me to be together with you here in this place. But Zion is as well in all the places where the children of God gather together to celebrate divine service”
Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider based his service on John 3:14-15: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life,”
The Church Leader drew the following lessons from the text word.
How can I obtain eternal life?
This is a question from Nicodemus, the Pharisee, to Jesus Christ. “You have to be born out of water and the Spirit,” Jesus answered. The poor Nicodemus did not understand: “What does it mean?” So, Jesus wanted to explain to Nicodemus that He is the Son of God and announced to him that He, Jesus, would be crucified and those who believe in Him will be saved. To help Nicodemus understand better, Jesus referred to the story in the Old Testament about the story of the venomous serpents.
Look up and be healed
In Numbers 21:5, when the Israelites spoke out against God, He sent venomous serpents to bite them, resulting in the death of many Israelites. Those who survived recognized their sin and asked Moses to pray for them. Out of love for His people, God decided to save them by instructing Moses to make a bronze serpent and set it on a pole; anyone who was bitten, when they looked up to it, would be healed. “It would have been easy for God to remove all the serpents, but He didn’t because He knew the problem of the people was that they didn’t trust and obey Him” the Chief Apostle emphasized.
Look up to Jesus and be saved
Drawing references from the story in the Old Testament, Jesus used this example to explain to Nicodemus that he has to believe in Him to be saved. “The venomous serpents are an image for sin,” the Chief Apostle explained, “since the fall into sin by Adam and Eve, all men became sinners: they were bitten by the snakes and can no longer have fellowship with God” So it is today, no sinner can enter the kingdom of God without being cleansed. God loves us and wants us to be saved and that is why He sent His Son.
The Chief Apostle listed some conditions regarding salvation:
• We need to feel the need and will to be saved.
• Only Jesus Christ can save us.
• Look up to the crucified Christ.
• Christ is the truth and He is the one we must follow.
• Jesus entrusted His work to the hands of the Apostles.
• Our salvation depends on our personal relationship with Jesus Christ
We must look up to Jesus for our salvation. We cannot demand salvation, nor can we buy our salvation. Christ came to fulfill that purpose. When He ascended into Heaven, He entrusted the Apostles with preparing us for His salvation. Congregants were encouraged not to compromise their relationship with God, as there are many voices out there that want to suppress the message of God. We must not entertain the “snakes” around us. Instead, we must look up to the Son of Man.
“So, trust and be patient,” Chief Apostle Schneider said in conclusion. “Jesus Christ is our Saviour; He will save us!”
During the service, 3 Apostles were retired; Apostles Andrews Boakye (Ghana), Effiong Ekpenyong (Nigeria) and Rotimi (Nigeria). Five new Apostles were ordained; two for Ghana and three Nigeria. Apostles Charles Asare and Isaac Opoku for Ghana, Felix Kpegasin, Geoffrey Gwani and Armstrong Inyang for Nigeria.