Letter to the Brethren – August 14, 2014
Dear Members, Co-Workers and Friends,
When a patient goes to a doctor with unidentified injuries or physical problems, the approach for determining what is wrong with him is to check his pulse, his body temperature, the mobility of his limbs, his blood pressure and any swelling or bruising. These are all prime indicators to assess any physical problems the patient may be having. The first thing the doctor or nurse will do is to ask the patient where it hurts or where the problem is located.
If we look at the current state of the world, what do we find? A war is raging between Hamas and the nation of Israel, while ISIS or IS, a radical jihadist terrorist group, attempts to take over Iraq, Syria and other countries, while brutally murdering everyone not in agreement with them.
All kinds of protests and demonstrations are being held worldwide about the conflict in the Middle East. They are mostly directed against Israel, while very few support it. Ironically, no nation would stand by and tolerate their sovereignty being violated by rocket and mortal attacks; yet, many are quick to condemn Israel for defending itself and retaliating against such attacks.
There is an ongoing conflict in the Ukraine with Russia flexing its muscles and assisting those who want to bring the country again into the sphere and territory of mother Russia.
We hear of an Ebola outbreak in western Africa, which threatens to spread worldwide, potentially causing a pandemic of nightmarish proportions. We are plagued presently by the worst drought in the history of California, with no end in sight.
A report was published that the lava beneath Yellowstone National Park is much larger than originally anticipated, and an eruption would cause unimaginable death and destruction to many US states, affecting the whole nation.
The USA is confronted with an immigration crisis pertaining to foreigners who are illegally entering the country. This includes many unaccompanied children, and this dissolving of its borders will only add to America’s economic downfall.
There have been recent earthquakes in Alaska and other regions of the world, and the “big one” to hit Los Angeles is overdue.
The death toll caused by murder and other violence in some U.S. cities is on the rise, especially in Chicago.
This is just some of the evidence indicating that the patient, namely this world, is nearing critical conditions and is about to expire.
Does all of this sound somewhat familiar in light of the warnings that Christ gave? This is what He told us, in Matthew 24:6-8 (Authorized Version, ”AV”):
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
What we are witnessing today is only the beginning of sorrows; so when can we expect the madness of this world to end? Christ gives us that answer, also. We read in Matthew 24:14:
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Mark 13:10 confirms this: “And the gospel must first be preached (AV: “published”) to all the nations.”
Christ gave His Church the task of proclaiming the only true gospel or good news of the Kingdom of God. It is the spiritual Body of Christ which must do this (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15). How can we possibly accomplish this task when we are not even allowed to physically enter some countries to preach the gospel there?
The Bible does not say that we have to personally preach the good news face to face to every human being on the planet, but the gospel has to be made available to “all the nations.”
When you think about this, it is presently available through the Internet. Our 39 booklets (we are preparing the 40th booklet as we print this letter), our many articles, over 650 weekly Updates, numerous video and audio sermons and our StandingWatch video and radio programs are all accessible through the Internet from anywhere in the world.
That is how we fulfil our part of God’s Great Commission to the Church in order to hasten the return of Christ. Yes, we can hasten His return (2 Peter 3:12) by getting the job done sooner, to the degree that satisfies God, and by personally repenting of our sins (2 Peter 3:9). Then the Father can and will send His Son back to this earth to establish the rule of the Kingdom of God, which is the only hope for mankind. On the other hand, we can delay Christ’s return by getting side-tracked with peripheral non-essential activities, which draw our focus away from our commission to preach and publish the gospel to the world as a witness. As we have said many times, the more we are involved and engaged in God’s true Work, the more we will overcome spiritually. If we accomplish our task and responsibilities of finishing the Work, while not neglecting our spiritual growth, then, and only then, will Christ return.
The biggest favour and outpouring of true godly love we can do and have for this currently very sick world is to stay focused on God’s Great Commission. Nothing is more important for the entire world’s ultimate salvation (John 3:14-17).
If this madness was to continue, mankind would totally wipe himself off the face of the earth and all flesh with it (Matthew 24:22).
We have an important part to fulfil in not letting that happen, so let us make sure we are doing our very best to accomplish the task given to us by Jesus Christ, the living Head of the Church, for the world’s sake.
The gospel of the Kingdom of God will be preached to the world; since God has prophesied this to occur. We will need to continue to excel in this, even if others lose focus by misinterpreting the true gospel of the KINGDOM or FAMILY of God and by engaging in futile domestic and international “missionary” work and “outreach” programs. This distraction is NOT what Christ commissioned His Church to do in these last days. But if we are faithful in what God HAS commanded us, then we can look forward to real progress in setting things straight on this earth. This we will do when we rule in God’s Family, with and under Christ, which is our reward which God is anxious to give us.
In Christ service,