Good doorkeepers

On Tuesday, 21st of November 2023

District Apostle Edy Isnugroho, accompanied by Apostle Samuel Tansahtikno and Apostle Freddie Nuyad, along with Medie Sabal, undertook a visit to the South Cotabato area from November 10th to November 19th, 2023.

During the initial six days, he visited congregations in Dawan, Rizal, Tagum Central, Campanggang, and Malita within the working area of Apostle Freddie Nuyad. Subsequently, he spent the following four days visiting congregations in Labo-o, Lemblete, Lake Sebu, and Lagao, all within the working area of Apostle Freddie Nuyad.

A significant highlight of the visit took place in Tagum Central, where District Apostle Edy Isnugroho ordained six young Deacons. Among them, four are destined to serve in the Tagum Central congregation, while the remaining two will contribute their service to the New Bantayan congregation.

On Sunday, 19th November 2023 morning at our church in Lagau, he conducted a divine service. The Bible Text was out of Mark 13: 34 “It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.”

At the beginning of his sermon, he refers to the flood in the time of Noah in the Old Testament. God loves sinners — He saves the righteous, those who believe in His word and put it into practice. God prescribed the ark, but Noah and his family had to build it.

The story of the flood foreshadows the New Covenant established by Jesus Christ. God saves those who believe in and follow Jesus Christ. The flood water is an image of baptism (1 Peter 3:20-21). The ark symbolizes the Church of Christ, which is instituted by Christ. He sends the apostles. It is built up through the contribution of its members. Every baptized believer is called to build up the church, to serve Christ out of faith and out of love for Him. Everyone has tasks and responsibilities.

In the parable, Jesus is the master of the household. He has gone to His Father. He has assigned various tasks and responsibilities to His servants. He will return at a moment in time that no one knows, and will hold them accountable.

God sanctifies us through His word and the sacraments. But we are responsible for our salvation. It is up to us to come to Him in faith, hear His word, receive the sacraments—and do His will. God has made us into a new creation, but it is up to us to give this creation room to develop, namely by renouncing the evil that still lives within us.

Our salvation must be a priority for us. There is no credible excuse for allowing it to slip into the background (cf. Luke 14: 16–24). We alone are responsible for our salvation. We cannot absolve ourselves of our mistakes by blaming others for them (cf. Genesis 3: 12–13).

We are called to serve the Lord. Our task is to proclaim the gospel. We want to be witnesses of Christ. Our unshakable bond with Christ testifies to the greatness of the salvation He opens up for us. Our conduct in difficult times clearly showcases what we are capable of doing thanks to Christ. When the Roman centurion saw how Jesus conducted Himself on the cross, he cried out: “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27: 54). We are also called upon to do good works, especially to those who share our faith. We have also been given the task of supporting the Apostles in their mission. Let us put our gifts and strengths at the service of the congregation and let us do our part to contribute financially to our church.

Let us be good doorkeepers. Jesus reminds us of the task of a doorkeeper, who must remain vigilant. The task of the doorkeeper is to prevent people from entering the house when they have no business being there. We are the doorkeepers of our souls. Let us reject thoughts and opinions that are not consistent with the gospel of Christ. The ideas of false prophets (cf. verse 22). For example, the prosperity gospel is not compatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all responsible for the unity of the church! It was the doorkeeper’s task to announce the arrival of the master of the house.

We believe that Jesus is coming soon! But let us also believe that He can come at any moment. Let us remember the events when Apostle Peter was in prison. The brethren gathered in order to intercede for him in prayer. When Peter was freed by the angel he went to the place where they had gathered and knocked on their door. A girl named Roda recognized his voice and told the brethren that Peter was at the door, but they did not believe her. Although they had prayed for Peter to be freed, they did not believe that such a thing could really happen! We pray that the Lord to come soon. Let us also believe that He can return at any moment.