Letter to the Brethren – July 19, 2006
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Just as God has said, all will reap what they have sown! This world has written its history in blood; in the painful suffering of both the guilty and the innocent; in the destruction of mighty civilizations; and, now, in a blind rush to its own eventual annihilation. God inspired the prophet, Isaiah, to write: “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths” (Isaiah 59:7).
We are in a time when we hear of wars and rumors of war—among the very conditions spoken of by Jesus Christ that would begin to signal and then usher in His return to this earth (Compare Matthew 24:6).
Our generation is seeing globalization emerge as a reality. Prophecies in Daniel speak of our day: “‘But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase’” (Daniel 12:4).
As never before, people can travel to places all around the world. In ways not even dreamed of just a few years ago, communication through cell phones and the computer Internet has exploded into our daily lives! An international space station along with hundreds of man-made devices, currently occupy orbits around the earth.
Many nations now enjoy an unsurpassed abundance of everything—yet, along with all of these marvelous wonders of our day, God’s ringing indictment finds its fulfillment in Isaiah’s words: “The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace” (Isaiah 59:8).
Paul explains WHY this world suffers in its own misery in spite of the stunning technological advancements mankind has made: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Sin brings about consequences. Sin pays its way, and its way ends in death! (Compare Romans 6:23).
All are accountable to God! We all have the freedom to choose our own path in this life—whether our way is obedience or disobedience to God (Compare Deuteronomy 30:11-20). In that choosing, we must remember that there are certain outcomes for us: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
To place all of this into our own perspective, consider what Jesus taught in Matthew 16, verses 24 to 27: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.’”
We find ourselves living in the tumultuous times that have been the focus of prophecies in the Word of God—prophecies of the end of the age of man’s self-rule. Likewise, we face a period in which Satan will be allowed to exercise great influence over the earth. He will soon empower wicked leadership described as “the beast” and the “false prophet” in the Book of Revelation.
The Church of God has an ongoing job to continually warn of these impending events. The Church is to preach the same good news delivered by Jesus Christ—the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Through the remarkable technological advances to which we have access, though small in numbers, we are able to faithfully teach the truth of God.
We have been called at this time for more than our personal salvation—for more than just our own protection in the days ahead! We bear a responsibility to answer our calling by living as ambassadors to this earth of a heavenly kingdom (Compare 2 Corinthians 5:20). We must not, as Christians, allow ourselves to get caught up in the political affairs of this world. Rather, we must work the work of God in whatever capacity He has placed us—as His servants.
The march of prophesied events is closing in on this world—and on the Church of God! We must pray more fervently for God’s strength to complete the work given to us by Him. Continue to do all that you can—especially, ask God to open the way for us to have our message heard.
Abruptly, the nations of this earth will find themselves at the end of this age! These will be terrible and fearful times for all. Stay close to God—closer in every aspect of your life! Remember, we will also reap what we sow! Let it be the fruit of eternal life in the glorious Kingdom of God.
In Christ’s Service,
J. Edwin Pope