Surviving in the present age involves many challenges on several levels and God does not want us to get a hunting rifle or a fishing rod and go live in the wilderness, or to live in a monastery, waiting for the return of Christ. Notice the admonition of Christ in John 17:15: “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”
We have to live in this world and since one of our responsibilities is to support the Work of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world, which includes warning the world of impending doom because of sin, we need to do our best to survive ourselves under these conditions now and in the near future.
We all face different challenges, based on age, marital status, raising a family or being retired or widowed. The physical challenges come with aging and we have to learn to do our best in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.
In this Q&A, we will look at our relationship with God, our family, our employers and our neighbors, always with the view to our survival.
1. Our relationship with God
We need to have and maintain a close relationship with God by using the tools He has provided for us, including prayer, bible study, meditation, and occasional fasting.
In regard to prayer, we read that Christ often got up early, went to a remote area where there would be no distractions, and prayed there. During the day, He was surrounded by crowds seeking healing and wanting to hear what He was saying, even to the point that at one time it was challenging to eat, as we read in Mark 3:20: “Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.” Mark 6:31 records another episode: “And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.’”
There were other times when Christ prayed all night, alone, or when He prayed not too far away from His disciples. So following His example, we need to find a private place to pray without distractions, and depending on our situation, we may have to adjust our schedule to accomplish this. The same is true for your Bible study, and there may be several times during a day when one is able to meditate. David said in Psalm 119:15: “I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.”
Fasting should be planned in such a manner that it gives us a chance to combine it with prayer, Bible study and meditation.
With this introduction, we want to concentrate on building our relationship with God by keeping God’s commandments which we must do if we want to survive the evil time to come.
We prove our love for God by keeping His commandments. In John 14:15, Christ tells us: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” To some in the world, obeying God is foreign to them and not on their agenda.
The commandments are not complicated rules to follow, and the first four of the Ten Commandments tell us how to love God.
(a) Exodus 20:1-3 states:
“And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.’”
This is not complicated. We are not to place anything between us and God; be it another person, job, position, or even our intellectual capacity (which comes from God)—in other words, anything that could become a stumbling block before us. We are to put God first in our lives and utilize the fact that He and His Son dwell in us (when we are converted baptized members of the Church of God) and look to Christ’s perfect example of always giving glory to God the Father. We must give God the credit for what He is able to do through us. We are to put the spotlight on God, not on ourselves.
(b) Exodus 20: 4-6 continues:
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”
Several religions blatantly break this commandment by praying to statues or human figures, and they number in the billions. Such worship is all in vain, as described by these words:
“But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine” (Jeremiah 10:8).
“You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led” (1 Corinthians 12:2) .
Today people idolize movie stars and rock stars. One popular competition show is called “American Idol.” But idol worship became a stumbling block for Israel and was one of the reasons why they had to go into captivity.
Idolizing anyone–any man or woman—and any object breaks the second commandment.
(c) Exodus 20:7 continues:
“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
On any job site in the Western world, God’s name is continuously used in vain. This is also the case in many songs and in movies. It’s hard to find a song or a movie where God’s name is not used in vain.
The third commandment prohibits using God’s name in vain, such as “My God,” but it also includes vain repetitions, as is the custom in some churches and in prayers, or cursing (“God da…”), or using euphemisms which appear harmless like “my goodness”, “gee,” “gosh” or “geez.”
All these are an affront to God and should be avoided by true Christians.
(d) Exodus 20:8-11 reads:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
God says, remember the Sabbath, and man quickly forgets or substitutes other days like Wednesday, Friday or Sunday, and some say, the Sabbath could be every day of the week. But God makes clear that the weekly Sabbath is from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. We are to refrain from working and doing business, and we are instead to spend time at services or listening in to services if one lives too remote to be able to attend in person. We do not do our own things like attending sports events or watching them on TV. The Sabbath should be dedicated to God. It was a day of rest for God after six days of recreating the surface of the earth, and it should be a day of rest for us. God was of course not tired after His creation, but He kept the Sabbath for us, showing us that we must follow His example. It sets us apart as God’s people, and it is a sign for us that we worship the true God.
Exodus 31:13 tells us: “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.’”
It points to the God of creation. It sets us apart as His children who worship the God of creation. No other day does that, be it Sunday, Friday or any other day. This also includes the annual Sabbaths and Festival seasons which outline God’s plan for mankind from repentance and baptism to becoming full members of the God Family as God beings which is our ultimate potential.
The tools of prayer, bible study, fasting and meditation are useful for having and maintaining a good relationship with God, and keeping the first four commandments demonstrates our love for God.
2. Our relationship with our family
Husband and wife ought to be on the same page when it comes to following the dictates of the Bible in the relationship between them. Our booklet “The Keys To Happy Marriages and Families” goes into detail about how to achieve this.
One key issue in the raising of children is not to allow a child to create a division between the parents. They must agree on how to deal with requests from their children. Children have to see parents as united for the purpose of keeping harmony in the family.
Parents must be aware of what their children are exposed to at school or by their peers. Schools may propagate the critical race theory which teaches children to hate their country, or promote sex-changing drugs and abortions without the parents’ knowledge and consent. Parents need to stay informed as to what their children learn and must counteract at home any evil teachings their children may be exposed to.
Children need to be taught about God and His ways and to get used to the habit of praying and studying the Bible.
Proverbs 22:6 tells us: “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proper teachings will carry them a long way, so when they become teens and adults, it will help them to stay on the narrow path of righteousness. However, such an outcome is not automatic, as we explain in our Q&A, “How do you understand Paul’s statement that our children are holy? And what are the practical consequences? (Part 2)” https://www.eternalgod.org/update-1078/#qa , where we said:
“Rightly understood, Proverbs 22:6 does not teach that a child who has been trained by a righteous parent will continue automatically in God’s Way of Life… In light of the fact that the Bible emphasizes individual responsibility, it must be concluded that Proverbs 22:6 does not intend to impress the idea that the righteous teaching of parents will automatically lead to the conversion of a child. It is true, of course, that parents are to teach their children about God and His Way of Life (Deuteronomy 11:18-19). But this does not mean that converted parents can bring about the conversion of their children. They have their own responsibility in the matter. Ultimately, a child who is ‘brought up’ in God’s Church CAN make it into God’s Kingdom. Those who are called today for salvation have been foreknown and predestined by God to be called before they were born.”
3. Our relationship with our employers
If someone is self-employed, he or she can determine when to take time off to attend the Feast of Tabernacles and keep the other Holy Days. As an employee, it is sometimes more challenging. A good relationship with our employer is crucial in getting time off for God’s Holy Days. If we are diligent and conscientious workers, employers may not want to fire us for keeping God’s Holy Days at an “inopportune” time, even though they do not like to grant us time off. In any event, it is critical that we pray to God first, before making our request, that God will give us favor in the eyes of our employer.
4. Our relationship with our neighbors
Being friendly to our neighbors without getting involved in their lives is good advice. They will soon find out that we are different in that we don’t swear or use bad language, we are polite and we go out every Saturday dressed up with the family. We don’t have Christmas lights on our property or no pumpkins on Halloween. They will see we don’t do work projects on Saturday, we don’t cut the lawn on Saturday, but they may hear our lawnmower on Sunday (unless it is against the law to mow our lawn on Sunday). We go “on vacation” in the fall for over a week with your children. Our children are polite, non-destructive and help around the yard, and even though we have different practices, we are good neighbors who can be trusted.
At least, that is how it should be, even though we all lack in this to an extent. Still, even though our neighbors see and scoff at our strange behavior, they may respect us for our friendliness and willingness to help when there is a need.
For further study, please read our free booklet, “The Ten Commandments.”
We live in a perverse, corrupt and evil society that is under the influence of Satan the devil—an evil being beyond redemption for his evil deeds. Satan hated God in that he tried in the past to overthrow Him and take possession of ruling over God’s creation, but he was cast down to this earth in failure. He will try again to fight against God in another rebellion, proving he is unwilling and unable to change because attempting the same effort twice, expecting a different result, defines insanity.
He hates God’s Church and people and would like to see us fail in our calling and lose out on our salvation, and he will try to get us to compromise or fall short so that we fail.
If this is unsuccessful, he will try to destroy us physically. That is why we need to seek God’s protection and pray we may be counted worthy to escape the trials and destruction coming on this world in a few years.
Being faithful to death does not take away our salvation. Unfortunately, some having fallen a little short in what is required to maintain a proper relationship with God, may have to go through the tribulation.
Troublesome times are ahead and this Q&A is written to help us to survive what’s coming and to stand before our beloved Saviour at His return. Then, we can truly help change this world to become a better place in the Millennium and beyond, ruling under Christ when Satan’s influence is removed.
We want to ensure we fulfill our destiny to become God beings in the glorious Kingdom of God, which is not too far away.
Lead Writer: Rene Messier (Canada)