Letter to the Brethren – January 20, 2011
Dear Brethren and Friends!
According to man’s calendar, another year has come and gone, and 2010 is not one that too many will look upon with any great affection.
The ongoing problems in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to take young lives, and a large majority of people in both the UK and the USA are suffering financial difficulties, following the well documented economic problems that have beset many nations around the world.
The coalition government that we now have in the UK has the unenviable task of trying to reduce a massive budget deficit, and those who are affected inevitably complain at the measures being taken. Benefit fraud and the “milking” of the system has been endemic for some years. The Daily Telegraph reported, in September of last year, that “Four million households in Britain have no adults in work, official figures show, with the number rising this year to reach a 10-year high.”
In addition, Sky News commented last October that “Incapacity benefit claimants will today start being reassessed for their ability to work – part of the first phase of the Government’s welfare reform programme. The move comes as new figures showed that almost £135bn had been spent over the past 10 years keeping two million people ‘on the sick’. Very few people argue against the fact that huge financial abuse has taken place and this reflects a society where ethics are disregarded in the pursuit of self.”
Also in 2010, earthquakes continued to regularly take their toll of human life, and a BBC report on the floods in Pakistan said that 12 million people had been affected. More recently, an earthquake generated tsunami devastated remote islands in Indonesia. And on October 28th, just over two months ago, it was reported that 28 European Union leaders meeting at the European Council in Brussels approved a plan to revise the Lisbon Treaty to facilitate the creation of a permanent framework for ailing euro zone economies. As we stated in our November 5th Update: “The time for the creation of a ‘core Europe’ and a strong leader in Europe may arrive soon.” It seems that events are moving at an alarming rate.
But there is one disturbing aspect that society as a whole would not want to consider at all, but which will have quite an effect in the future. That terrible reality is man’s rejection of God.
In Stephen Hawking’s new book, which was published last year, he stated that “Modern physics leaves no place for God in the creation of the Universe.” Atheist Richard Dawkins wrote “The God Delusion” in 2006, and this book has sold in huge numbers. And Christopher Hitchens, another atheist, published with great success his book “God is not Great”.
One Christian commentator opined: “But judging by the unanimous acclaim given to ‘The God Delusion’ in the national press, it is likely that the ideas contained in it will have a big influence on policymakers and the nation as a whole over the coming years. And if this turns out to be the case, we as Christians will find ourselves to be an increasingly persecuted people.”
The three high profile agnostic or atheistic British authors (mentioned above) have helped delude millions by their utterances which have been taken as truth by so many. Basic understanding is ignored because it is Bible based – understanding that would, if implemented, solve so many problems. But without practicing the truth of the Bible, there is really no hope that world conditions could improve.
For example, 2 Thessalonians 3:10 states: “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat”. If this simple basic instruction was implemented, those whose lifestyle is living on state benefits would be a thing of the past. That would save the country billions of pounds.
Another truth is that “… the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). If this was taken seriously, the huge debts that so many have incurred would never have happened. Nevertheless, the nation sets no example in this regard, printing money seemingly at will.
Husband and wife relationships are covered in a number of passages (see, for example, Ephesians 5:22-29; Colossians 3:18-19; and 1 Corinthians 11:3). If such admonition was taken seriously, we wouldn’t have the misery of separation or divorce and the negative effect this inevitably has on any children of that union.
The First of the Ten Commandments instructs us that we should have no other gods before the great Creator God (Exodus 20:3). If this was followed by humanity, we wouldn’t have agnosticism or atheism or any of the false religions that abound, particularly the aggressive terrorist type of misplaced zeal that is such a plague on society today.
Further, if the Fourth Commandment was taken seriously (Exodus 20:8-11), then the observance of the 7th-day Sabbath, a day of rest from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, would refresh and help those whose frenetic lifestyle for the other six days of the week can cause illness and health problems by continuous overuse of their bodies.
Because the Bible is mocked by such agnostic or atheistic authors as mentioned earlier (and others), these truths are not known, understood or taken seriously. The Bible is a storehouse of wisdom and truth, with Proverbs particularly standing out in this respect, but if the Word of God is “rubbished” by these “intellectuals”, millions are influenced by their views and turn against biblical revelation.
Man is thumbing his nose at God, but that disrespect will only be allowed for so long. Blasphemy is endemic in our society where God’s Name is used by the youngest to the oldest as a swear word and an epithet. Many simply may have no idea what they are saying and doing, and if they did know, they would probably not be concerned anyway.
God and His way does not figure in most people’s lives. The sense of decency, courtesy, politeness and respect that we used to practice has simply been discarded, and God is just not in the picture. The freedom of expression that we enjoy has been exploited by those whose agenda is anti-God. This unnoticed aspect of our society will bear fruit because “whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). The initial part of that verse is chilling. It says: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked”, and so the godless society we live in will only be allowed for so long until God’s purpose is fulfilled.
A few days ago, after having been absorbed in the pagan holiday of Christmas, the world celebrated its New Year with all the antics and behaviour that is so often associated with it and which characterizes this pagan festival year after year. It was observed with the usual high expectations for the coming twelve months, but the signs are not good.
Next it will be Easter, and that “Christian” world’s holiday will again be kept in due time. But God has given His people the marvelous truth about His way of life and the master plan of salvation as revealed in the Holy Days that will commence in April of this year. As a special service to our readers, we are enclosing pocket calendars for the dates of God’s annual Holy Days until 2017.
Now is not the time to let down. It is high time to maintain our trust in God, not in politicians, business tycoons, various other leaders and misguided authors. Many of these high profile individuals may be well intentioned, but unless one understands the truth, repents of one’s wrong ways of thinking and practices, and unless one has received God’s Holy Spirit, one cannot have the answers necessary to resolve the insurmountable problems that we will continue to experience in 2011.
Those problems will only be resolved when Christ returns, and how long will that be? In spite of various predictions by some who should know better, we simply have no idea as to the year of His coming (Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:6-7). God simply hasn’t revealed the date. (That our calendar lists God’s annual Holy Days until 2017 is only because of space considerations. No other meaning should be attached to this fact!). We can say, however, that as the world continues to degenerate in just about every way, Christ’s return will surely have to happen soon to save us from ourselves (compare Matthew 24:22, 32-35).
Satan is angry and will continue to intensify his efforts to derail us. Let us intensify our efforts in becoming and staying close to God. That way we will be able to weather the storms that lie ahead with the promise of a wonderful future—for eternity. It will be worth all the effort!
With Christian love,