July 27th, 2017
Greetings from Charlotte,
The Texas Teen Camp finished last Sunday and most of our Charlotte personnel who worked there have now returned safely. Reports have been very positive regarding the camp and we appreciate the work Mr. Sheldon Monson, Mr. Jason Fritts, and all our staff put into making it a success. The Texas Preteen camp began this past Monday. We are pleased to hear that one of our biggest UK stations is moving to a better location, from channel 64 down to channel 39, on the Freeview television platform. We expect this will expose many new people to Tomorrow's World. We are seeing some interesting numbers for several of our full-length telecasts showing up on YouTube. The French program, "Seven Signs of the Antichrist," has seen 375,124 views. The Spanish version of "Seven Proofs God Exists" has generated a whopping 1,259,096 views. On the English side, "Ezekiel's Message Unlocked" has now surpassed the 400,000 mark, with over 1,000 subscriptions generated. These are significant numbers, and a number of Spanish programs are in the hundreds of thousands. It is actually encouraging to see that not everyone gives us a thumbs-up: some give us a dislike, which indicates we are reaching an outside audience. We will begin airing the Tomorrow's World telecast on WSFL, covering Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida on August 6. Tomorrow's World Presentations are schedule for Austin, Texas and St. John's, Newfoundland this Sabbath.—Gerald Weston
Requests for Money via E-mail and Social Media—Must Read
From time to time, brethren are contacted via e-mail or social media (including Facebook) by individuals claiming to be part of the Church, often overseas, asking for financial help. If you receive any message such as this, please exercise extreme caution, as most such requests are scams conducted by people trying to get money under false pretenses. You would be wise not to send money based on a contact via e-mail or social media. And remember, the person contacting you may be impersonating someone you know. Please respond by referring any such contact to that person's local Living Church of God pastor (or to HQ, if you don't know who their pastor is). If there is a genuine need, the pastor will be in a better position to address it.
Northeast Men's Training Camp 2017: "Following Christ"—Change in Deadline: August 1
The deadline to apply to attend the Northeast Men's Training Camp has been advanced to August 1. If you are interested in attending this event, please sign up and pay by this coming Tuesday.
As husbands, we're commanded to be the "head" or leader of our families. Elders are given the duty of leading in their congregations. And as pillars in our Church and community, we're given the task of setting the pace, being examples, influencers, and leaders. Yet, can we lead well without ever learning how to be a good follower? Did you know that Christ was and continues to be the most powerful example of the perfect follower? Can you and I be followers like Christ? These questions and challenges will be at the heart of our 2017 Men's Training Camp. Come prepared to wrestle with these real-life issues as we face the challenge of being better, more Godly men.
The location for our program is New Hope, Pennsylvania, just an hour north of Philadelphia. Men from throughout the Northeast Region are the primary attendees, but we gladly welcome guests from other regions. The program begins on Friday evening, August 18, and concludes at noon on Sunday, August 20. The cost is only $70.
For more information and to register, go to www.nelcg.org (not an official LCG site) and click on the "Activities" tab on the top of the page. Then click on the "Men's Training Camp 2017" in the menu. If you are reading this online, you can go directly to http://nelcg.org/?page_id=28417 (not an official LCG site). The deadline to sign up and pay is August 1.—Jonathan McNair
Charlotte Family Weekend in December—Repeat Announcement
We will once again be hosting the Charlotte Family Weekend this winter. Make sure you put December 22–25 on your calendar for this weekend of fellowship, food and uplifting instruction! We hope many of you will be able join us for an enjoyable and inspiring event!
New Living Youth Website
As announced at the Texas Teen Camp, we have been working with the Youth programs for the last few months and are very happy to have just released the new Living Youth website: www.livingyouth.org. This was a fairly major upgrade to the old site and retains all of the important information from it, like announcements, information about upcoming camps, and photos of past camps, as well as links to camp registration, Mr. Monson's Youth Bible Studies, "Simple Truth" videos, and more. Many of you will also enjoy new features and content, such as the new "Topical Bible Studies" section. This website serves our youth and families all around the world and is visited regularly by people from New Zealand to Belgium to Guatemala! We hope you all enjoy the new youth website, find it a source of helpful information, and that it will enable you to stay connected to the Living Youth Programs.—Wyatt Ciesielka
New Russian Website
We are also very pleased to release the new Russian-language Tomorrow's World website: www.zavtrashnimir.org. This was also a major upgrade and includes additional content and new functionality. Our Russian-language website has proven to be a vital tool in supporting the worldwide satellite transmission of the Tomorrow's World telecast in the Russian-language (voice over), and we often receive new literature requests, not only from throughout Russia and eastern Europe, but also often from the United States, China, Canada and elsewhere. The "average time" that people spend on the Russian website has historically been about twice as long as on our other websites, and the feedback from our small but growing numbers of Russian subscribers has been very appreciative of this resource.—Wyatt Ciesielka
Feast of Tabernacles
Work on the Feast of Tabernacles continues! The Festival Office, in conjunction with the Internet Department, is processing activity descriptions for each Feast site, in preparation for general Activity Registration. Please continue to watch MyLCG and listen for announcements from The World Ahead for more information on the upcoming Activity Registration. When Activity Registration opens, members and guests for the Feast will have the opportunity to sign up, as well as pay, for many activities to be held at your selected site. Stay tuned!—Festival Office
Feast of Tabernacles Sermons—Repeat Announcement
Attention Pastors: Please send to the Church Administration Department ([email protected]) the names of those in your congregation(s) who will be unable to attend the Feast and wish to receive a set of the Feast of Tabernacles sermons on CD. (Sermons are available in English, French or Spanish.) The deadline to submit these requests is August 1 for international recipients and September 1 for recipients in the U.S. Note: Feast sermons will also be uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at www.lcg.org, for those who have Internet access. The French sermons will be uploaded to www.eglisedieuvivant.org.
Living Youth Program
2017 Texas Teen Camp
The 2017 Teen Camp in Athens, Texas, concluded last Sunday, July 23, after two weeks of a variety of exciting and challenging activities! Quality facilities and sunny skies enhanced the summer camp experience for the more than 370 who were in attendance. Camper and staff feedback indicates that this camp was a huge success!
Thank you to the campers, staff, members of local Texas congregations, and others who helped with the numerous work projects needed to make this camp possible! Your donations of time and money and your unending dedication to making this the very best camp experience possible for the teens in God's Church did not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
We learned many things this summer that will stick with us as we move forward in our Christian race. See you all again next summer!
Adventure Trip 2017—Mount Rainier National Park
The Adventure hike at Mount Rainier National Park begins this Tuesday, August 1, and will end on Thursday, August 10. Please pray for God's protection, good weather, and a positive backcountry experience for all those involved.
Living University – Registration for First (Fall) Semester
There are just over two weeks remaining before the start of the Fall 2017 semester of Living University. Students should register for classes and order textbooks as soon as possible in order to be ready for the start of classes on August 16. Those who have never taken a Living University course will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for their selected course(s). Please note that Living University has lowered its tuition cost by nearly 30 percent for the 2017-2018 academic year. Those age 65 and above are reminded that they are eligible to audit one class per semester and the tuition fee will be waived. They are only responsible for the $45 technology fee and the cost of any textbooks. High school students interested in dual-enrollment in an LU course are eligible for our Early College program, which significantly discounts tuition fees. To make application to Living University, to register for courses, and to find out more, please visit the www.livinguniv.com website. For additional information, please contact Assistant Registrar Mrs. Michelle Broussard at [email protected] or 704-708-2294. Watch for LU course descriptions in future issues of The World Ahead. Below you will find examples of classes to be offered this coming semester. For a full list of classes, visit the "Fall 2017 Class Schedule" (Spring in the Southern hemisphere) link on the Living University website.
THL 412 – Epistles of Paul I: This is the first of two courses focusing on the Apostle Paul's life and an in-depth examination of his writings. Its emphasis is on the first four of his letters to the seven churches (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Galatians) and includes a study of the background, message, purposes and themes of each book. THL 136 Acts and Writings of Paul is a pre-requisite for this course.
THL 416 – General Epistles and Revelation: This course introduces the historical setting, purpose, and central theme of the letters of James, Peter, John, and Jude, and the book of Revelation. Emphasis is on the use of critical, historical, archaeological, and cultural analysis to better understand these important Bible books. THL 136 Acts and Writings of Paul is a pre-requisite for this course.
HPRO 114 – Health and Wellness: This course aims to filter the vast array of health-related knowledge available in the world today through sound biblical principles and Scripture itself. Emphasis is placed on lifestyle-related wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention within the context of a range of health topics. Students will develop an understanding of healthy decision-making, consumer health education, healthy weight management, and many other topics.
Are You Easily Entreated? The Apostle James, in James 3:17, describes a Christian who uses God's Spirit as "peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated" (KJV) or "willing to yield to reason" (Amplified) or "reasonable" (NASB). Individuals who are approachable and easily entreated and willing to listen will not erupt with anger or indignation if someone questions their actions, opinions or decisions. They will not be so convinced that their own ideas or actions are right that they are unwilling to listen to questions, advice or counsel from others. Long ago, Solomon made the observation that "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise" (Proverbs 12:15). Solomon also made numerous references to the value of being receptive to counsel and advice (Proverbs 19:20, 27; 22:17). The Apostle Paul told Timothy that real Christians should be "temperate [self-controlled], sober-minded [serious], of good behavior… gentle, not quarrelsome [conciliatory]" (1 Timothy 3:2-3). A truly humble Christian will be approachable, have a teachable attitude and seek to work smoothly with others at all times—in essence, to be a peacemaker. That is a goal that we can all strive for.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 27, 2017
Misguided Confidence: In a recent speech in Poland, U.S. President Donald Trump made the following bold statement about the international challenges facing the West: "Just as Poland cannot be broken, I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken… Our values will prevail, our people will thrive and our civilization will triumph" (Fox News, July 6, 2017). His strong statements about Western values have long been absent from the rhetoric of Western leaders. Yet, it is reminiscent of the words spoken about the Titanic the very day it began its maiden and only voyage, "Not even God Himself could sink this ship." Bible prophecy reveals a sobering and very different future for the nations of the West—that the increasingly godless society devised by men is headed for trouble. Numerous Bible prophets record the same warning message—that many modern, Western, Israelite-descended nations are going to be dominated by a foreign power (Deuteronomy 28:15, 31-37, 45-58). God is going to use a German-led "beast power" in Europe—referred to as "Assyria"—to punish these disobedient nations (Isaiah 10:5-11). The prophet Hosea states similarly, "Israel is swallowed up; now they are among the Gentiles like a vessel in which is no pleasure" (Hosea 8:8), and this coming period of captivity will be at the hands of the modern "Assyrian" power (Hosea 9:3)—because these Israelite nations have come to view the laws of God as "strange" (Hosea 8:12). When nations forget that God is their protector and the source of blessings, and begin to rely on their own power, God will remove His protection. To learn more about the real future of the West, read or listen to The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.
"Aliens" Are Rising: "The number of foreign-born mothers having babies in England and Wales in 2016 reached 28%—the highest level on record, official statistics show. This figure has increased every year since 1990" (BBC, July 19, 2017). Fertility rates among English and Welsh women between ages 20-24 are now at their lowest rate in almost 80 years. While these statistics may not seem important to many, they are in line with Bible prophecies God gave thousands of years ago. God warned that if the Israelite-descended nations continue to move away from Him and to follow their own ways, "The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower" (Deuteronomy 28:43). In many cases these "aliens" or non-native people do not come from cultures rooted in Judeo-Christian values, thus they will likely bring more paganism and practices that God condemns into their host nations. The Bible addresses the consequences of this demographic shift and its impact on societies around the globe. For more on this important subject, be sure to read "A Turning Point in World Affairs."
Biblical Advice for Happy Families and Avoiding Poverty: In today's have-it-your-way society, where biblical morals seldom dictate behavior, more and more people are having children outside of marriage. Yet, new research proves this pattern to be unwise—specifically from a financial perspective. The 2017 research from AEI and the Institute for Family Studies demonstrated a three-step process for family financial success: "1) Earn at least a high school diploma, 2) get a full-time job, and 3) marry before having kids. Only three percent of millennials who followed all three steps, in sequence, are poor by the time they reach their late twenties or early thirties... On the flip side, more than half of millennials who didn't follow the sequence are in poverty" (MSN, July 10, 2017). Long ago, God laid out the same basic pattern. Not only did He direct for children to be born within a healthy marriage between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Malachi 2:15), He also directed humanity to "Prepare your outside work, make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house" (Proverbs 24:27). The key is to prioritize your life and deny certain desires until major goals and milestones are accomplished. Wisdom and self-discipline are important keys. For more keys to a successful life, view "The Seven Laws of Success," Parts one and two.—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, Chris Sookdeo, and John Strain