June 16, 2017
June 16th, 2017
The last several weeks have been a sad time for members of the Living Church of God, the sponsor of the Tomorrow’s World magazine and telecast. The following announcement was sent out to various recipients far and wide.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr. Roderick C. Meredith, Presiding Evangelist of the Living Church of God. He had been suffering from cancer and died peacefully late Thursday night, May 18, 2017. He would have been 87 years old in June and took his 67th Passover this year. He is survived by his 6 children, 10 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
Dr. Meredith was one of the first evangelists ordained by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong in 1952 and spent 64 years in the Work that Christ began through Mr. Armstrong. He was active in the Work until recent months. The Living Church of God, which Dr. Meredith raised up, has more than 350 congregations in 55 countries worldwide. He is succeeded as Presiding Evangelist by Mr. Gerald E. Weston.
Even after the partial paralysis of a stroke in 2008, Dr. Meredith pushed himself to continue to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world and to shepherd the flock. His greatest wish was for the Work in which he labored for so long to go forward in unity and power under Jesus Christ. We look forward to seeing him again in the resurrection at Christ’s return.
On a personal level, Dr. Meredith was my Freshman Bible Class Professor at Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. We have interacted on numerous occasions since 1965 and have had especially close contact over the last 22 years. It is difficult to quantify just how much his life has changed mine for the good, and I know many of you feel the same way.
Dear co-workers, while these letters often focus on world events and how this Work is doing, I believe it is appropriate at this time to focus on something more personal. There is nothing like death to wake us up to the reality of life. When we were young we thought it would last forever, but time seems to speed up with age, and we see the end coming as a train speeding out of control. The end of the track comes more clearly into sight, and the realization sets in that there is no way to stop the train. Life is short!
I have often asked the question, “What is success?” If you live a hundred years, amass great wealth, have a wonderful husband or wife with dozens of children and grandchildren, but never know WHY you were born, can you truly claim success in life? If there is no life after death, no overall purpose for your existence, what difference does anything make? Once you die, you will never know what happens afterward. All your efforts, no matter how seemingly successful, will never matter to you. If we are a product of blind chance and if there is no God, mankind will eventually disappear from the universe, and it will be as if we never were. That is the hope of an atheistic world, but not the hope of Dr. Meredith and those who know the true God!
God does exist! He has a purpose for you and me, and you can prove that to yourself. As we have brought out in Tomorrow’s World articles and telecasts, the proofs of God’s existence are there for anyone brave enough to look at the facts as they are. The very idea that mankind can arise from something as simple as a bacteria cell is preposterous. Scientists, even evolutionary scientists, tell us that a bacteria cell is more complicated than the most sophisticated machine made by man, and animal cells are even more complicated. They report that cells are constructed by hundreds of miniature molecular machines that work in harmony to make life possible.
But because God is rejected, His plan and purpose is totally unknown to almost everyone. How sad! Our world is rapidly moving toward a crisis of unimaginable proportions. Godless men and women struggle for solutions, yet find none. Note this CNBC headline: “‘Looks as if the world is preparing for war,’ says former Soviet president Gorbachev.” Mr. Gorbachev is then quoted as saying, “Politicians and military leaders sound increasingly belligerent and defense doctrines more dangerous. Commentators and TV personalities are joining the bellicose chorus. It all looks as if the world is preparing for war” (January 27, 2017).
This should come as no surprise to Tomorrow’s World followers. How many times have we reported what Jesus Christ warned in His Olivet Prophecy regarding the end of the age? “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’” He answered, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:3, 6). Of course, we have always had wars, but never has war been so potentially dangerous. This prophecy speaks of wars and rumors of wars in general, and when we look at the world as a whole that is exactly what we see in the Middle East, the Korean peninsula, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Rumors and fears abound!
Dr. Meredith often reminded us that we are not here to “play church.” Our lives are temporary, and we live in a dangerous world that is spinning out of control. Nations are more and more frequently turning to leaders whom they see as strong enough to make hard decisions that will solve our problems, but sometimes the result ends in disaster.
May I be totally open with you? Jesus tells us that “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). He also tells 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).
Dear co-workers, we are very thankful for your dedication, your generosity, and the fact that you go beyond monetary support and offer up sincere, heartfelt prayers on behalf of this Work of God. Never think that we do not appreciate you! However, I often wonder why many do not take the next step and become more intimately involved with those of like mind. The Apostle Paul wrote the Hebrews and reminded them of something very important. We are not to forsake “the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some.” On the contrary, we should be “exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
We often say, “You will not be asked to join anything” when you are invited to attend one of our live Tomorrow’s World Presentations, and that is true. We never want to pressure anyone to do what he or she is not ready, willing, or able to do. But I want you to understand that our concern is not for your money. You are already donating! Our concern is for you! While we will never come knocking at your door unless we are invited, we want you to know that we would love to meet you and offer to you what we enjoy—fellowship with others of like mind. So if you are interested, let us know. If not, we will continue to appreciate you as a faithful co-worker. We will continue to send you any, and all, of our literature free of charge. And we will continue to care for you in our prayers.
Sincerely, in Christ’s service,
Gerald E. Weston