February 13, 2019
February 13th, 2019
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). This is a powerful statement and should not be minimized. However, contrary to what many profess, love is more than a warm feeling in one’s heart. It involves sacrifice and caring actions toward God and toward our fellow man.
Correct doctrine is vital to the Church of God and love is at the heart of correct doctrine. After all, the Bible is an expression of the mind of God and God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). The Apostle known for his love tells us, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). So why is this subject so important that I take time to address it in this monthly letter with you dear members and co-workers?
Doctrine, we might say, is simply teachings or instructions, and in this case, the teachings of the Bible. The Apostle Paul confirms that doctrine is important. He warned the Church of God at Ephesus that they “should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. . .” (Ephesians 4:14). And he urged the members in Rome to “note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).
Right doctrine is what allows us to have unity. Paul told the Corinthians that they should all speak the same thing, meaning they should be unified in the basic doctrines they were taught by Paul and other ministers of the truth (1 Corinthians 1:10). And he pointed out that we must strive to keep the unity of the faith: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
A servant of God must teach sound doctrine as found in the Bible, not ideas with roots in pagan philosophy and heathen practices. He must also be bold in proclaiming the truth and in fulfilling God’s command, “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1). We live in an age where God is despised, because this generation, especially, hates His laws. Biblical values are rejected at every turn and a totalitarian-minded elite is convincing a whole generation to do everything it can to wipe out any remembrance of God and His Word. The “culture war” is, more precisely, an assault against God.
This assault against biblical values is undeniable, and this is happening in countries that once professed to embrace Christianity: the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and other Western nations. People want “freedom” from all restraint.
Most do not recognize that some of the Psalms are prophetic in nature. The second Psalm is among them and addresses this desire to cast off all restraint just prior to Christ’s return. “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed [Christ], saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us’” (Psalm 2:1-3). Read the whole Psalm to see the end-time context.
An extreme example of this occurred June 28, 2017. “A man yelled ‘Freedom!’ as he crashed his vehicle into Arkansas’ new Ten Commandments monument early Wednesday, nearly three years after he was arrested in the destruction of Oklahoma’s monument at its state Capitol, authorities said. The privately funded Arkansas monument had been in place outside the state Capitol in Little Rock for less than 24 hours before it was knocked from its plinth and smashed to pieces” (cbsnews.com).
This assault against Godly values must not go unchallenged, and this is why this Work of God must cry aloud, spare not, and show our nations their sins. The problem is that in our touchy-feely age of “micro-aggression” sensitivity, anyone who disagrees with the leftist agenda of abortion, same-sex marriage, and LGBT rights, just to name a few, is viewed, at the very least, as lacking love. That is simply not true. When is it love to promote the killing of babies up to the time of, and even after, birth? Rather, is it not love to care for these helpless infants and speak out about such murderous acts? How disgusting to see New York State legislators cheering and high-fiving the passage of a bill condoning abortion all the way up till the time of birth. Governor Mario Cuomo displayed no shame celebrating the bill by lighting up the World Trade Center and several other locations in pink!
We in the Living Church of God and at Tomorrow’s World see our world stumbling to the slaughter. We recognize that God is not mocked. He will tolerate rebellion against Him for only so long. He is unbelievably patient and long-suffering, but His wrath—specifically, “the wrath of the Lamb [Jesus Christ]”—awaits our sinful world (Revelation 6:16-17).
I began writing this letter after viewing some pictures taken at last year’s Feast of Tabernacles observances and was struck by the love and unity that exists in the Living Church of God. Going over the pictures, I realized how many members I recognized in places as faraway as Australia, South Africa, India, Europe, and all parts of North and South America. Admittedly, some were travelers from the United States and Canada to those far away places, but others were members Carol and I met over our many years of service in the Church. For all our shortcomings in the Living Church of God, we truly are one body.
This love was seen at a funeral this past Sunday, as members traveled from afar to pay their respects for a long-loved sister in Christ. This love is seen every week in the fellowship among our members prior to and following Sabbath services. Some members travel an hour or more to come together to worship God since not every city has a congregation. That is no doubt part of the reason they stay long after services to converse with one another, often until the lights are turned out.
But this love is also shown in the support all you members and co-workers provide for the preaching of the good news of Christ’s coming Kingdom, and for warning a world stumbling to the slaughter. For we are told, “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Surely we did not know this,’ does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?” (Proverbs 24:11-12).
There is a warning in the above passage. God will hold us accountable if we fail to do our part, but I doubt that most of you members and co-workers are motivated by fear. Most, if not all of you that I know personally, are motivated by love. You love God and keep His commandment regarding tithes and offerings. You generously give and pray for this Work to have greater impact, and you have faith that God will use us to finish the work He has given us to do before the end comes. What I see is a people who have genuine love for one another, even for those who make themselves Christ’s enemies.
Thank you for your support and for caring for a world stumbling toward its destruction.
Sincerely, in Christ’s service,
Gerald E. Weston