Over the decades I have had close contact with literally thousands of members in the Church of God. The beginning for me was hearing The World Tomorrow broadcast at age fifteen. A couple of years later, I met someone who was part of what was then called the Radio Church of God. That was followed by my attending Church services in Springfield, Missouri, and then being accepted to Ambassador College in the fall of 1964.
In those years of 1960’s and 1970’s, there was tremendous growth. Every aspect of the work of the Church flourished. There was inspiring unity, a kind of singleness of heart among the majority of people. Occasionally, however, some left the Church even when it was at its strongest. The reasons were varied, but those who remained carried on. The prevailing attitude was that this would only happen to the few, but just the opposite has proven to be the case!
Now, in May of 2015, tens of thousands of members who were once in the Worldwide Church of God have faded into a dizzying array of groups. While some struggle to remain faithful to God, most have allowed themselves to be reabsorbed into the society they once rejected!
My reflection on what has transpired is something we should know all too well. But this isn’t just history—it is our struggle of this time, and it will be true in the days ahead. It is because Satan seeks to stamp out anyone and everyone who is a member in the Church of God.
Looking back, it seems that we were easy prey for Satan. Our mistake in times past was that we didn’t really take precautions—we didn’t heed the warnings we all heard! But know this, while we can learn from what has happened in recent years, the real test remains—to finish!
Jesus outlined the challenge set before us:
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and THERE ARE FEW WHO FIND IT” (Matthew 7:13-14)