November 14th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
This week, we reviewed Mr. Wallace Smith’s upcoming Tomorrow’s World telecast “2020 in Bible Prophecy,” and I recorded “Four Facts About Marijuana Revealed.” An offer was sent in late August-early September to a select group of 71,296 subscribers, advertising the “Antichrist and Spirit Wars” DVD. So far we have received 18,110 returns, a strong 25.4 percent response.
We have put on hold doing any more TWNow programs at this time. Dr. Scott Winnail moderated and coordinated the program, but we have moved him to the day-to-day responsibilities of serving the Charlotte congregation. Our pastor, Mr. John Strain, was recently diagnosed with lymphoma and will be “out of service” for an expected six months. Please remember him and his family in your prayers. This change does not allow time for Dr. Winnail’s role with TWNow or for the on-site Living Education program.
In addition, we have been evaluating the effectiveness of TWNow since its inception and we know that many members loved it (I hear this all the time), but our commission is to preach the Gospel to the world, and other initiatives are fulfilling that task more effectively. A typical TWNow program received a few thousand views, but some Tomorrow’s World telecasts, TW Viewpoints, and TW Whiteboard videos are reaching hundreds of thousands, even millions. The Viewpoint “Where Did the Celts Come From?,” which advertises the United States and Great Britain in Prophecy booklet, has more than 575,000 views. And the Whiteboard on the “Timeline Explaining 3 Days & 3 Nights” has more than 378,000 views. Due to limited time, manpower, and resources, we need to focus our time on those initiatives that are most successful.—Gerald Weston
2019 Charlotte Family Weekend
We are getting excited about the fellowship, spiritual food, seminars, sports, and other activities at this year’s Charlotte Family Weekend! It will run from Wednesday, December 25 (arrival day) through Sunday, December 29 (departure day). Activity and meal registration will begin soon, but now is the time to begin making hotel reservations. To see a detailed schedule of activities and access a link to receive the Church’s discounted rate of $99/night at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel, visit the cogl.org website, log into MyLCG, and click the link for the Charlotte Family Weekend. Hotel reservations must be made by December 4 in order to receive the discounted rate.
The past week, our students in the Charlotte program were treated to a presentation by Mr. Peter Nathan, the Regional Director for the U.K., Europe, and Africa. He focused on the Work in Africa over the past decades, providing very helpful insight into our Church family there. Next week, our group will travel to Valdese, North Carolina, to view an outdoor museum with exhibits recounting the history of the Waldensians, some of whom we count as fellow brethren in the Thyatira Era of the true Church of God. For young people who are curious about how to be part of our Living Education–Charlotte program for the 2020–2021 school year, we’ll be opening our registration soon.—Jonathan McNair
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Friday Evening Bible Study
The online Friday evening Teen Bible Study on November 22 will cover Mark 9 and begin chapter 10, and will be given by Mr. Sheldon Monson. Join us at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
To join the study, visit https://live.livingyouth.org, and sign in with either your MyLCG or LYP camp registration credentials. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. For those who are unable to make it to the study, recordings of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening’s on Mark 7 and 8, can be found on the Living Youth Programs Live archive page at https://live.livingyouth.org/archive/.—Josh Penman
Certified Lifeguard Needed at the Latin American Living Youth Camp in Mexico—Must Read if Applicable
We are in need of a lifeguard to serve at the Latin American Living Youth Camp to be held in the city of San Luis Potosí in Mexico from December 15–22. If you are a certified lifeguard and would like to join us, please e-mail Mr. Cristian Orrego at [email protected] by Friday, November 22.
The Importance of Humility: One of the biggest problems that can limit our effectiveness in serving God and His people is a lack of humility. Even though we may be gifted in certain areas, pride and vanity can be stumbling blocks that limit how God can use the talents that He has given us. Unfortunately, we seldom see these problems in ourselves. This is why the Bible repeatedly warns against pride and its consequences (see Proverbs 8:13; Daniel 4:37; Mark 7:21–23). God clearly spells out what He is looking for in all of us. He says through the prophet Isaiah, “on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:2). Jesus taught, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). If we are humble and teachable, willing to take direction and work as a team, God will use us in His time and in His way. However, without the important quality of humility, we cannot be the effective instruments in His hands that He wants us to be.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 14, 2019
The Need for Justice: On October 14, thirteen state police officers in Mexico’s western state of Michoacán were ambushed and massacred by a fast-growing local drug cartel (The Guardian, November 5, 2019). The police were outnumbered, outgunned, and wore subpar protective gear. The police radioed for help but it took an hour to arrive, “by which time the gunmen and their armoured vehicles had left the scene.” Police in Mexico report being critically under equipped and feeling as if they do not stand a chance against the better-armed and better-financed drug cartels.
Police officers in Mexico are also notorious for making direct alliances with drug cartels. “Corruption among the ranks is also encouraged by dismal salaries from which officers are not only expected to buy their own bullets, but often their own uniforms as well.” Many criticize Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s new law enforcement policy of “hugs not bullets,” while the people of the nation wait for justice. This same sad story of widespread corruption and violence is becoming commonplace in many countries around the world.
The Bible clearly warns that corruption, violence, brutality, and greed will become rampant in society as we approach the end of the age (2 Timothy 3:1–4; cf. Matthew 24:37–38 and Genesis 6:11–13). The prophet Isaiah warned of such a time: “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street” (Isaiah 59:14). Increasingly, shifting international norms are reflected in these prophecies—and the situation in Mexico calls such prophecies to mind. The world is in dire need of the Prince of Peace who will return and “reign in righteousness,” assisted by princes who “will rule with justice” (Isaiah 32:1; cf. Revelation 5:10). While human beings do not know the way to peace (Isaiah 59:8), the returning Jesus Christ will bring peace and justice to this earth (Isaiah 9:6–7). To learn more about this encouraging message, read “Seven Reasons Why Christ Must Return!”
America’s Religious Decline: According to interview data recently released by the PEW Research Center, the percentage of Americans labeling themselves as “Christian” has fallen significantly in the last ten years (October 17, 2019). In addition, significantly fewer attend church services regularly. At the same time, more Americans label themselves as spiritual but not religious, and the percentage of the “religiously unaffiliated” has significantly increased. The correlation between self-identification and age is also clear: the older the person, the more likely he or she is to identify as Christian. The opposite is also true: the younger the person, the less likely.
Bible prophecy warns that “in the last days” an increasing number of people will be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” and that they will have “a form of godliness” but will deny its power (2 Timothy 3:1–5). In fact, there will come a time when those who do hold to the true name and teachings of Jesus Christ will be hated because of His name (Luke 21:17). America’s continuing religious decline—especially among once-professing Christians—is real, and it fits well with end-time prophecies. For greater insights into this trend, be sure to read or listen to Who or What Is the Antichrist?—Scott Winnail, Richard Franz, and Francine Prater