You have a personal, God-ordained responsibility right now! Here's how you are NOW an active, FULLTIME participant in God's Work today.
IF ONLY I were full time in the Work, then I would really be able to fervently serve God." That thought often crosses many readers minds. But are you as a Church member or co-worker anything less than full time in God's Work right now? The answer might surprise you.
Yearning to Serve
Obviously we shouldn't "second guess" God. Rather, we must be abundantly thankful that God, in His unfathomable mercy, called us by opening our minds to His marvelous truth (Rom. 9:15-16). (Remember that less than about one one-hundredth of one percent — one in 10,000 — of the world's population are readers of this Good News magazine and coworkers with us in this end-time Work of God.) Of course we realize this, but nonetheless the wistful daydreams to be "full time in God's Work" continue to pop into many of our minds. We find ourselves in Boston and Buffalo, Brooklyn and Bluefield, Bismarck and Bakersfield, Bangalore and Ballarat, Boulogne and Berlin — all the while looking longingly to the Headquarters Work in Pasadena, ardently wishing to actively participate by any conceivable means in God's great end-time commission to His Church. We would open the mail, type letters, print booklets, stack Plain Truths, drive the trucks, repair radio or television equipment — anything — mow lawns, sweep floors, wash windows — anything to be "in the Work." Young or old, male or female, black or white, urbanite or farmer — many are preoccupied with a craving to actively serve full time in God's Work. Some may even allow their minds to become captivated by daydreaming of that "special need" in God's Headquarters Work — "for just me." These longings are surely natural, very common and completely understandable. But they are unnecessary! And the reason your "wistful longings" to be full time in God's Work are unnecessary is simply because you are already serving full time in God's Work!
A Full-Time Job
You are actively serving God in this Work today just as surely as any employee receiving his twice-monthly College — or Church — paycheck! But some may look at their average incomes, lack of education and perhaps advanced age and feel just a little sorry for themselves. "How can I ever be used in God's Work?" they may wonder. Let's set the record straight. Every member of the Church of God, every co-worker, every" person who has voluntarily given of his time to pray for the Work or of his finances to support the Work — each one of you — is presently being used by God's Work, as an invaluable asset, every day of his life. Think about it this way: Would God call a person for a "part-time" job? Does Christ offer "part-time" responsibilities? What did Christ say? Did He require that only the twelve apostles or the "120" be "full-time" employes — while all the others would merely be "part-time supporters"? Of course not. Every prospective disciple of Jesus Christ must first forsake all — or he simply cannot become a disciple. (Read Luke 14:26-33 — basic scriptures to be fully understood before baptism.) Throughout His physical ministry, Christ emphasized the necessity of not only burying our entire past lives in a watery grave, but also following Him with 100% of our being (Matt. 10:38; 19:21; Rom. 6:3-6). Look at the situation logically: It would be impossible to "forsake all and follow him" unless we became "full-time" employes. If God is calling you — if you are a Church member, prospective member, co-worker, or even if you have "only" just become an interested reader of this magazine — God is calling you to become "full time" in His Work.
You are as much an integral part of this Work right now as those who do the broadcasts, write the articles and pastor the Churches. (Read and reread I Corinthians 12:14-18.) You are now occupying a specific God-ordained office, fulfilling definite God-ordained responsibilities in His Work today. This office and these responsibilities were very possibly predetermined by God before you were actually called — before you first heard the broadcast or saw your first Plain Truth. God knew your personal capabilities and proclivities and called you for a specific job. God does not use a roulette wheel to call His children at random. You were specifically chosen for a purpose. This does not refer to your eventual office and responsibilities in God's Kingdom — but your full-time position in God's Work today. God knows exactly what you are doing for His Work. And if you are faithful to the very end, you shall be rewarded. "And let us not be weary in well doing [doing the Work of the living God]: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Gal. 6:9). Perhaps you still find it hard to believe that God has multiple tens of thousands of jobs in His Work. This is simply because we often limit the massive scope of God's Work, and how God has decided to conduct and accomplish it. Most have never realized that TODAY they are literally maintaining full-time jobs in God's Work. They have individual positions of personal responsibility, tailored just for them. But God's Word has been telling us just this for millennia. Of course, office and responsibilities are not static. God will raise or lower, increase or decrease them in direct proportion to our obedience and performance (see Psalm 75:6-7).
Where Do I Fit in God's Work?
God has charged His Work with two massive commissions: 1) The stunning witness and warning to the world — the WITNESS. 2) The spiritual perfection of
God is now preparing a body of kings and priests to be co-rulers with Christ — His executive assistants in the World Tomorrow. It is Christ's responsibility to fashion us into a holy spiritual temple — a "building fitly framed together" (Ephesians 2:19-22).
God's Church, Christ's body and team — the TEAM. And, for the sake of this article let's consider a third area: 3) The pioneering development of the system for tomorrow's society — the SYSTEM. The WITNESS, the TEAM, the SYSTEM. As individuals we may feel lost in the rush of this gargantuan whirlwind that is God's Work. "Where do I fit in? Am I really a full-time employe? In which commission am I involved? How? What have I done? What must I do?" Many of you comprehend our breathtaking commissions; but, with a sincere shrug of the shoulders, feel that you can only indirectly participate: giving tithes and offerings for the first commission, perhaps sitting in Church for the second, and doing nothing really important for the third. Well, get ready for a pleasant surprise. Whether you believe it or not, many of you are actually fulfilling a full-time position — and some positions for each commission, three full-time jobs at the same time! You may have individually detailed, God-appointed responsibilities in all three jobs — and will be rewarded accordingly (Matt. 16:27).
One, the Witness
First and foremost, God's Work is to prepare the way for the most singularly spectacular event in the history of the universe: the return of Jesus Christ! This involves the proclamation and publication of the gospel in all the world (Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10). All nations must receive an awesome witness. We do not yet know what impact our Work will have on this world. There has never been anything like it in history. But think back to those last days of November in 1963. Remember the awestruck air of collective consciousness following the assassination of President Kennedy? The entire nation (and much of the world) was united in an attitude of somber meditation for some days. The air was thick with emotion. It was as if one mind permeated the entire country. Just before the end of the age, God's Work will be the object of perhaps even greater worldwide attention — unbelievable as that may now seem. Every mind, every thought, every radio and television news program, every magazine, every conversation will be focused on us — on God's leaders, God's miracles, God's message, on God's searing indictment, on God's prophecies, on God's witness, on God's people. On you? It's ahead — and you could be personally involved. As an active participant in God's first commission, you have a threefold obligation: 1) Prayer. 2) Financial support. 3) Being a light to the world. Perhaps "prayer" sounds a bit sentimental or seems a little "shopworn." In either case, these feelings are the products of the traditional religions of our "sophisticated society." Prayer is powerful. It really works. God is real! He hears your prayers. You were called to add your individually specific prayers to the chorus of minds already beseeching our Creator for His Work's sake. God desperately wants to bless the Work — and your intercessions are the necessary prerequisites. And needless to say, your financial backing has helped make this great Work possible. God has ordained you — and the thousands like you — to be the direct instruments through which He supports His Work. God's Work is not a business — we have nothing to sell. Everything we have, we give away — free, without any obligation whatsoever. This Work does not have any endowments, no organizational sponsors, no large donors or benefactors ... all we have is each other. Your support is the only way we finance our programs to preach Christ's gospel around the world — by TV, radio, The Plain Truth, The Good News, booklets, advertisements, personal campaigns, etc. So don't underestimate the importance of your own contribution. Does "being a light to the world" remind you of prissy do-gooders handing out cheap tracts on busy street comers? Let's try rearranging our thinking. Ponder the number of people that your family has come into personal contact with since you first began applying God's laws. Think of all your relatives, friends, neighbors, friends of friends, business acquaintances, local merchants, schoolmates of your children, etc. We're probably talking about a minimum of 500 to 1000 people for the average family. And since there are over 200,000 individuals or families receiving The Good News, a personal witness is potentially available (to a greater or lesser degree) to over 100 million people! God does not want you to preach your witness — that's the calling of His ministry. God has called you to be that witness, letting "your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your
Whoever you are, whatever you've done, no matter what your age, God has called you into His Work for a unique purpose. After calling and conversion, you are to build upon the foundation of Christ (Hebrews 6:1; I Corinthians 3:11-15).
Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16). We let our lights shine forth by learning and putting into practice God's laws. We can only begin to imagine how intimately God projected our lives before He first called us. Could God have preplanned the hundreds of human beings to whom you would be giving a personal witness? Could He have ordained that your shining example — remember, not your preaching — would eventually become the critically influential factor in their calling and conversion in the future?
Two, the Team
God is now preparing a body of kings and priests to be co-rulers with Christ — His executive assistants in the World Tomorrow. It is Christ's responsibility, as Head of the Church, to fashion, mold and polish all of our divergent, rock-like minds into a holy spiritual temple — a "building fitly framed together" (Eph. 2:19-22). This is the TEAM — efficient, yet merciful; functional, yet loving — which will plan, systematize and run every facet of God's society, from organizing industry to teaching individuals, from dams to dating, from machinery to marriage. This, then, is the second great commission of God's Work today: to build and nurture a body of fiercely dedicated human beings, from every walk of life, to administer God's government in the World Tomorrow. The 1000-year and Great White Throne judgment periods (Rev. 20:11-12) will comprise enormous numbers of human beings — having lived through an immeasurable myriad of experiences. And we — the readers of this magazine — will be dealing with these people face to face. Will we discuss their problems with cold, academic, theoretical aloofness? Emphatically no! That's not God's way. Doesn't it rather make more sense that God would prepare a body of assistants who have themselves amassed every conceivable range of personal experience? Of course. Personal experience enables one to identify and empathize with his counselor; it also develops a unique bond of compassion as well as comprehension within the counselor himself. (This is why, in our society today, ex-drug addicts and ex-convicts can most effectively deal with teen-age drug users and novice criminals.) God follows this principle. As Paul said of Christ: "Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is [or has been] compassed with infirmity" (Heb. 5:2). For this same reason, God allows His ministers to experience afflictions and sufferings — so they can then mercifully counsel, comfort, and console others in similar trials (II Cor. 1:6). For this same reason, God is now putting the members of His Church — the future ministers of the world — through every life experience. Won't it be easier for a former pompous intellectual to deal with the thousands of pompous intellectuals beginning the 1,000-year period of Christ's rule? (If this stunning concept of a coming world-ruling government is new to you, please read The Wonderful World Tomorrow - What It Will Be Like.) What about the millions of older citizens, neglected by their children, forsaken by society? Who but the aged now in God's Church — then in God's family — could most effectively comfort these people? Who but an oppressed Black, from the heart of the ghetto, having lived with the persistent sting of racial prejudice, could best counsel his "soul brothers" in the future? Who but a previously indolent alcoholic could best assist other alcoholics? Think about it. Who in God's family will the millions of cancer victims — once resurrected — most respect? Obviously those who themselves had cancer as physical human beings in God's Church. Whatever personal experiences you've had in life — no matter how ordinary, no matter how bizarre — there are thousands of people whom you, more than any other human being on the face of the earth, can help once you've qualified for the Kingdom of God. This is why you were called. This is why you can be a vitally essential member of Christ's body and team. Nobody else can do your job. This is why you must grow toward spiritual perfection. God's ministers can't piggyback you into the Kingdom — you have to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). Of course, you have the endless resources of the Eternal God in doing this, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (verse 13).
Three, the System
God's Work today must originate, develop and pioneer the educational and religious systems for the World Tomorrow. We are the "prototype" for the entire World Tomorrow — both individually, as distinct human beings, and collectively, as a converted society. But Christ is doing far more than clinically observing our behavior. He is logical and orderly, actually using us — in partnership with Him — to generate, examine, test and develop the entire spectrum of fresh techniques and technologies — absolutely necessary for a sophisticated, God-fearing civilization. Education — in its widest sense — will be the paramount ingredient; education, therefore, must be our specialty. The World Tomorrow will be a modern world. But God has never had a modern, converted society to painstakingly hammer out the manifold laws and correct methods of operation — essential for the proper functioning of a converted modern world. God's Church today is that society — however fallible we as human beings may now be. God is designing, proving and perfecting through us — by the supreme test of practical application — the statutes, judgments, ordinances, skills, arts, sciences and customs which will form the basis for the World Tomorrow. This does not mean that we are living the millennium today. That would obviously be impossible. But the experiences gained and lessons learned in applying God's laws today will provide the invaluable background for the future. Whoever you are, whatever you've done, no matter what your age, God has called you into His Work for a unique purpose. You must learn to alter, revamp and revise all of your personal concept, talents and traditions — subjected them to God's law, refashioning them for God's Master Plan. After calling and conversion, you are to build upon the foundation of Christ (Heb. 6:1; I Cor. 3:11-15). When you have begun to restructure your life, you will have become God's "operational prototype" for your particular customs and skills. And in the World Tomorrow, thousands of others will follow in the paths which you are blazing today.
God "Needs" You
You can't argue and you can't hide! God has an enormous investment in you. You have been charged with specific God-ordained responsibilities in three full-time jobs — one in each area of the Work: the witness, the team, the system. The better you do your assignment, the more enthusiastically you discharge your responsibilities, the more effective the entire Work of God will be and the greater will be your own personal reward. (This biblical principle is fully explained in our booklet What Will You Be Doing In The Next Life?)
To begin to accomplish your personal tasks, you must habitually meditate about, and discuss with others of like mind, God's overall goals for the Work: the witness, the team, the system. Meditate about them. Discuss them. Pray about them. Read about them. Focus on them. Saturate your mind with them. Locate them in your Bible. Inject them into your conversation. Wherever you go, whatever you do — take them with you. Never neglect them. Live for them. The WITNESS, the TEAM, the SYSTEM.