The Church of the Eternal God will soon mark a full year of existence. That short time span has seen many serious obstacles and challenging tests. However, far outweighing any of these temporary difficulties has been the remarkable blessings and rock solid growth we have also experienced.
We have ALL been tested—each of us as God has determined appropriate. Hebrews 12 speaks of the discipline of God, and verse 7 specifically encourages us to “…endure chastening.” The Apostle Peter, after having completed most of his life, sums up the key for Christian growth by reminding us of the end results God seeks for us:
“…though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved (distressed) by various trials, that the
genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire,
may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love.
Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
receiving the END OF YOUR FAITH—THE SALVATION OF YOUR SOULS.” (1 Peter 1:6-9)
Later, in 2 Peter 1, verse 14, Peter speaks of his imminent death. Many things are recorded about Peter’s calling and the work he was given to do. It is evident that he completed his responsibilities, and that he will be in the glorious future Kingdom of God.
Brethren, we know many in our own generation who have been called into God’s Church and who have died in the faith. Many have already completed what God assigned for them. They, like Peter, are sealed in death awaiting the resurrection to salvation.
We, on the other hand, still have much to accomplish—as individual Christians and as members of the body of Christ. Earlier I mentioned our blessings and growth. Let’s review a little of whatGod has already permitted us to carry out:
- Booklets—With a new publication now in the review process that deals with God’s laws and covenants, we have just finished mailing a seventh booklet entitled, Keys to Happy Marriages and Families. These insightful, powerfully written booklets are designed to deeply cover pivotal issues affecting not only newly interested individuals but also mature Christians who continue to look to God’s Word for guidance and growth.
- Web site—Keying our efforts to the doors God is opening, the Church of the Eternal God’s official web site has proven to be an indispensable aid to everyone. Along with the outstanding opportunity for live Internet services each week, all of the Church’s literature, letters and updates are posted. In addition, sermons are available for listening and downloading. This multifaceted tool is literally a door opened to the world. In case any of you reading this letter haven’t yet visited this web site, the address is www.eternalgod.org
- Updates and Newsletters—Each week, the Church publishes an Update—The Week inReview. Timely information concerning sermon topics, Church news and announcements, world news as it relates to prophetic Biblical fulfillment, and concise editorials about Christian living are just some of the content. On certain occasions, the Church also publishes special Newsletters. If anyone is not receiving the updates or needs an actual printed copy of future editions sent— please contact us at the Church mailing address.
- Tape Program—Copies of sermons from both the weekly Sabbath and the Holy Days are provided to those who request them. This valuable service has been very helpful throughout the past year as an additional study aid to many brethren who live in scattered and remote areas.
- Member Letters—Every four to six weeks, special member letters are sent out to our subscribers to communicate with them on a personal level. 2 — Feast sites— As we did last year, we have selected special Feast sites in beautiful surroundings to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles 2002 with our members.
- Television—We had begun producing and broadcasting regular television programs over Public access stations. We decided to temporarily interrupt this service to explore more effective ways to produce our program, and to seek alternative measures to proclaim the gospel. Programs are still being shown in certain parts of the country while we are evaluating their productivity.
- Advertisement—We have run test ads in the UK and Canada to promote our literature, and to evaluate the effectiveness of this tool for preaching the gospel. Please note: We have included a card with this letter for those who want tapes or our literature. Even if you are currently receiving tapes or our literature, including member letters such as this one, please return this card in order that we can verify our address list for this service. Since we must be faithful stewards of the money that God is giving us, we want to be certain that our mailings are being sent only to those who desire them. Therefore, it is important that you tell us that you do want to receive, and/or continue to receive, our material by returning the enclosed card.
These are some of the fruits that God has allowed us to produce. Many have served and continue to serve mightily and selflessly to fulfill the opportunities set before us. Brethren, we are all a part of the body of Christ—His Church. We must continue to ask ourselves, “Is God pleased with my service—is there more that I can do? Do I earnestly pray for the success of this Work? Am I, personally, truly committed to this Work? Do I help enough financially? Or, am I
just a drifter, a passive bystander—someone who ‘sits on the fence,’ waiting to see whether this Work will succeed or collapse?”
As we continue to go through the doors God opens to us, one thing is paramount. We must be more than observers! We all must rally and stand together. Certainly, we all need to encourage and uphold one another! One of the great keys for accomplishing this is to stay engaged—to stand with each other in faithfulness and deep respect for our mutual calling.
In the beginning of the Church of the Eternal God, we all were committed to our commission— or so it seemed. But, as time went on, some decided not to walk with us any longer. As we all experienced, this was a very difficult trial. Remarkably, though, that test established a sure foundation for the rest of us who stayed together—upon which we have continued to build!
Finally, let us also consider that the Church has an awesome job ahead of us. Momentous events are changing the world we know with frightening speed! The groundwork for an emerging super power unlike anything in human history is falling into place. This world will soon face the tumultuous wrath of God! Remember, God has given His Church the responsibility to watch, to warn and to proclaim the good news of His coming Kingdom. Let’s make certain that we complete the job He has given us to do!
In Christ’s Service,
David J. Harris