Going Fishing

On the morning of January 16,1986, we received a phone call from our
eldest daughter who was attending Ambassador College in Pasadena,
California, informing us that Mr. Herbert Armstrong had died. For my
wife and me, this news was not unexpected, since Mr. Armstrong had been
ill for quite a while. The entire Church had been praying and fasting
for him, but we had come to the conclusion a week or so earlier that in
spite of our wishes and desires for him to be healed, it may not be
God’s will to do so.

We were saddened, but knew we had to carry
on in our responsibilities to do the work and grow in grace and
knowledge. Others were totally devastated by his death. It did not fit
in with their preconceived speculative scenarios which they were
preaching as doctrine. Some were so fixed in their minds that Mr.
Armstrong was going to be one of the two final witnesses and that he
would finish the work and lead us to the place of safety, that they
fell by the wayside. Others rearranged their new speculations to cope
with the reality of the present situation. However, God had other plans
altogether, and many found it hard to accept that.

After spending
some three and a half years with, being taught by and witnessing the
miracles of Christ, and having heard His admonitions in regard to His
death, the apostle Peter said: “I am going fishing” (John 21:3). Some
of the other apostles said, “We are going with you also” (same verse).
It appears that their mindset was something like, the party is over, it
was fun while it lasted but now I am going back to what I formerly did,
earning a living by fishing.

Our beloved Senior Pastor died
Thursday morning, at 5:15 am. He had been in a coma for a month, and
although we would have liked to see him healed, that was not God’s will
at this time. When Christ was in the garden, just prior to His arrest,
He prayed fervently to the Father, knowing He would suffer greatly, be
beaten, scourged and spit upon. He did not want to go through His
trial, humanly speaking, yet He submitted to the Father’s will and
said, “… not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). God knew
our wishes, desires and hopes in regard to Mr. Pope. And we know that
God was most certainly capable of completely healing Mr. Pope, and we
prayed fervently that He would do so, subject to His will. However, it
was God’s will that Mr. Pope would be taken from the evil to come and
that he be given rest till the time of his resurrection to immortal
life. Therefore, it is not the time for us to go fishing, but rather to
finish the job we have been given to do. We pause but do not stop. We
reflect but keep going. As the saying goes–and I don’t mean this in a
callous or unloving way–“The show must go

have a job to do and a commission to fulfill, and we need God’s power
and mercy to do it. We cannot do it on our own, but it must be done. We
must move forward in spite of trials, tests and obstacles which the
adversary puts in our path. We cannot get into the mindset of going
fishing, but rather, we must be moving forward and submitting to God’s
will. As was stated in Norbert Link’s sermon last Saturday, “Let’s be
about our Father’s business.” We are not to allow ourselves to be
discouraged by circumstances in our lives or in the Church. Instead, we
must look to God the Father and Jesus Christ to see us through
faithfully to the end, and we must be persevering in the relentless
pursuit of perfection.

©2024 Church of the Eternal God