Dear Brethren and Friends,
We believe that we are living in what the Bible calls the end of this age, and the signs of our times bring this truth into clearer focus, day-by-day! And for those of you who have either directly or indirectly followed the message we bring, you know that the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom of God reigns paramount in our activities.
Of our present generation, the apostle Paul was inspired to write a warning for Christians to take to heart:
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Much of what Paul identifies as being characteristic of “the last days” has also arisen in other times, but in these verses, he is writing about society becoming irretrievably saturated with all kinds of evil—much as was the case in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, when unspeakable practices so inundated those people that God was moved to destroy them (compare Genesis 18 and 19)!
Likewise, we find a similar record of those living in the days just before the Flood:
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them’” (Genesis 6:5-7).
Now, in this context, consider what Jesus also said in a warning to us:
“‘But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be’” (Matthew 24:37-39).
For most people in this age, things seem to just be going on—as it has always done. God condemns the blindness of those who should lead in these dire times:
“All you beasts of the field, come to devour, All you beasts in the forest. His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough. And they are shepherds Who cannot understand; They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, From his own territory. ‘Come,’ one says, ‘I will bring wine, And we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink; Tomorrow will be as today, And much more abundant’” (Isaiah 56:9-12).
In the context of the approaching nearness of “the great day of the LORD” (Zephaniah 1:14)—a terrible time of God’s wrath just preceding the return of Jesus Christ—note how the people have ruled God out of events of the world of this generation:
“‘And it shall come to pass at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And punish the men Who are settled in complacency, Who say in their heart, “The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil”’” (Zephaniah 1:12).
This blind complacency that evil has begotten is about to reap its consequences! God, through His written Word and through the proclamation of His servants, has and is warning those who will heed—who will stay awake, ready and watching!
What about us?
As world events spin faster and faster into prophetic fulfillment, will we become hardened to sin and grow weary in our calling? The need to serve God even more diligently, even more fruitfully—until our job, our work, is completed—does not diminish, but grows in urgency!
Brethren and friends, much has happened to the Church of God in the past few decades, and even in this year, divisions continue among those who have been called into the Truth. While we can and must prayerfully consider these circumstances, we, nonetheless, must not be dismayed—for, even these events have been prophesied.
What we have been taught, we also teach, and that is summed up in the words of Jesus Christ, “‘But he who endures to the end shall be saved’” (Matthew 24:13); and in the message He gave to the seven churches in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, which states that we must overcome to receive eternal life!
Finally, go back and reread the verses from 2 Timothy 3, along with the other Scriptures quoted and their context—and consider these words of Jesus Christ, as well:
“‘Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near’” (Luke 21:28).
Once again, we THANK you who so faithfully continue in the calling of God and in supporting this Work that He and Jesus Christ are accomplishing through us all!
In Christ’s Service,