Joab Cano (Courtesy Photo)

Joab Cano (Courtesy Photo)

Living & Growing: Listening to the messengers

What is a messenger?

What is a messenger? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a messenger is someone who bears a message or does an errand for another. The scriptures give testimony that God always had messengers with a special mission to benefit humanity. For example, Noah was sent by God with a powerful message of salvation for the people of that time, to be saved from the flood and destruction. Unfortunately, the great majority of people did not believe Noah’s message and therefore perished in the flood. If we go further and analyze the prophets one by one, we will find they all came with a special message sent directly by God. However, many people persecuted them and even murdered them. Only a small portion of humanity believed in the message that they brought from God. Thus, it was always difficult to deliver the message.

According to the Christian doctrine, Jesus Christ sent a special group of men as his messengers to announce the gospel that he had taught them: the apostles. The gospel of Luke narrates a special occasion when Jesus went out to the mountain to pray all night, and the following morning he called all his followers to him. Then from all his followers, he selected twelve. Furthermore, he gave them the title of apostles and no other title, according to Luke 6:12-16. No man had given these names to him. There was no voting process or procedure set in place. On the contrary, the apostle John gives us the details on why Christ specifically chose these 12 in John‬ 17:6 in the words of Christ himself, “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.”

It was to these apostles that according to Matthew‬ 28:19 he gave the authority and the great commission to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…”

Later, in Acts 2:42 we read about the other apostles named Matthias and Paul who also delivered this gospel. After Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, we read in the book of Acts what the apostles preached, how they delivered the message and that their followers persevered in the doctrine of the apostles. It is important to understand that the doctrine of the apostles is the doctrine of Christ. Remember, the apostles were the messengers sent by Christ, so everything that they announced were the teachings of Christ.

The Light of the World Church believes in this foundation that Christ himself established in his Church in Ephesians 2:20. We believe in this order that was designed so the apostles could preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person without distinction and ultimately advance the work of salvation to all the ends of the earth, per Acts 13:47. The Church of Christ believes in the sovereignty of God and accepts who he calls to send a message and at any given time that he is pleased to do so. We believe that for almost a century now, God in his dominion over all, has been pleased to send messengers like he sent in the past; that he has sent apostles to deliver the message of salvation for all humanity.

Currently, the apostle Naason Joaquin Garcia is delivering this message of compassion and love throughout the world. The preaching of the apostle has reached many ends of the earth and continues to advance the work of salvation. Although it has been difficult and with many challenges along the way, the apostle continues to deliver the gospel of Christ. The result of this hard work was evident last month as thousands of people worldwide decided to be baptized and follow the doctrine of Christ.

To conclude, I would like to extend an invitation to join us at our daily online prayers. Links can be found at the official website TLOTW.org or The Light of the World Facebook page. Feel free to send an email to lldm.juneauak@gmail.com for more local information as well. God bless you all.

• Joab Cano is a missionary for the Light of the World Church. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Friday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.

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