Several have cast aside their eternal life just recently. They are headed straight toward the lake of fire! Read this article and avoid the frightening mistakes they have made.
HERE is a stern warning for God's Church today. In the last few months some few — just as Jesus prophesied — have fallen away. That ought to put fear and trembling in each one of us — lest we also let slip this ONE opportunity of eternal life. It is no strange thing when people who have been a part of God's Church for years fall away. It happened in post-apostolic days (II Thessalonians 2:3). These individuals who departed would not have believed a year or two ago that they would make such a horrible mistake and cut themselves off from God — BUT THEY DID! There were warning signs during the past months and years that they COULD HAVE SEEN. They could have prevented this. But they purposely disregarded these signs until it may now be too late. Many are letting the cares of this world, the problems of physical life, and the lusts of the flesh separate them from the goal of eternal life.
What About You?
Are you still striving with your whole might to enter that Kingdom? Or have you, LIKE SOME OF THESE, GROWN "WEARY IN WELL DOING?" Some of you are DISQUALIFYING YOURSELVES RIGHT NOW from ever receiving that wonderful reward! Some of you who have been attending services in God's Church are really NOT a part of the true "body of Christ" any longer. You are NOT really a part of this Church, the Church of God. Others of you have never been made a real part of the true "body of Christ." Just because you are with God's Church physically, does not mean you are a part of that spiritual organism the TRUE CHURCH which is carrying on the work of God. Some — who have been a part of the Church in the past — already have put themselves out because of DISOBEDIENCE. Others of you are on very shaky ground and may be rejected by Christ EVEN NOW! This does not apply only to those who have been attending our local services. Others of you have come to God's festivals, or you may never have come to God's festivals, and yet you believe you are a part of this Church, when you may not be!
You Can't "Join" God's Church
We do not "join" the body of Christ. God makes us a part of it through His Holy Spirit after COMPLETE REPENTANCE, BAPTISM, and a total change of attitude. We remain in the church ONLY by CONTINUING in this right attitude and by OVERCOMING through prayer and faith and obedience. We do not become a part of the body of Christ by telling our friends or neighbors that I "belong to the Radio Church of God." Nor do we become a part of that true body of believers by just signing a statement. We do not become a part of that TRUE BODY BY BAPTISM ALONE. It requires complete repentance and submission to God — and faith toward Jesus Christ — before we are put into the true Church of God. Let us not deceive ourselves. We may fool some people, but we cannot fool God. HE IS OUR JUDGE. Don't deceive yourself. It is time to examine yourself to determine whether or not you are in the faith. Whether or not you are truly a part of God's Church in this climactic end-time. The time is fast approaching when it will be too late for change and correction, too late to go to the place of safety that God is preparing for His people. Some of you are sinning and know it. You have procrastinated and delayed obeying God. God is merciful, kind, loving, patient. But there always comes a time when God's patience ends. Then will be the time of action. He may permit you to continue in sin for a season, but if you do not repent and change, He will soon cut you off IN YOUR SINS. Others of you are sinning and cannot see your sin. Why? Because you are not continually looking into God's Word for correction. Sin is the transgression of the law. It defines what sin is. The Word of God is a spiritual mirror. Look into that spiritual mirror to see your sin.
Are You Unknowingly Guilty of These Sins?
The Bible tells us that love is the fulfilling of the law. But some of you have HARD FEELINGS and BITTERNESS against others in God's Church. You will never get into God's Kingdom with such animosity! NOW is the time to go to your brother, to ask his forgiveness, and settle the matter. Remember that Jesus Christ willingly and lovingly died for both of you. Remember that you both have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and it is only through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ that either one of you have ever been forgiven of your past sins. Others of you have been talebearers, telling falsehoods and untruths, or half-truths. Or you may have repeated gossip WHICH MAY BE TRUE that you should never have repeated to others. One of the six things that GOD HATES is the spreading of discord among brethren (Pro. 6:19). Some CLAIMING to be a part of the Church are actually HYPOCRITES. They come among us, and yet when they go home, or to their job, they do not live what they profess to live while among God's people. WHAT A WRETCHED STATE! Living a LIE. God is going to cast all such people into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, unless they repent and change in time. If you are one of those in this category, NOW IS YOUR TIME TO CHANGE AND TO REPENT. There have been many articles in The PLAIN TRUTH and in The GOOD NEWS concerning the first and second tithe. But some are still refusing to obey God in this PLAIN AND CLEAR COMMAND OF GOD ALMIGHTY. Some of you did not attend this recent Feast of Tabernacles because you had not faithfully saved your second tithe as God commands. Some day you must give account of your deeds — IN THE JUDGMENT. What excuse are you going to give then? Or you may have had many other kinds of excuses. If you are guilty of these sins — and many of you are, now is the time to repent, to change your ways and to PREPARE NOW for God's festival next year.
What Are Lusts of the Flesh?
There have been articles, broadcasts, and sermons on the subject of SMOKING. And yet some of you still persist in continuing in this filthy, rotten and enslaving habit. We know that it is not easy to quit this habit, once a person has become enslaved to it, but IT CAN BE DONE. With God's help, many have conquered the desire to smoke. If you are still enslaved by this habit, you are not serving the true God in spirit and in truth. You are serving and idolizing tobacco instead. Others of you are married and now are living apart from your true mate. You may have had to separate because of God's commands concerning adultery, or you may have already been separated before you learned of God's laws. If so, are you, as some, sometimes letting your lusts of the flesh come before your over-all spiritual goal of the Kingdom of God? Some have permitted themselves to break the SPIRIT and intent of this law by spiritually committing fornication or adultery (Mart. 5:28). If you have "hidden sins" that no one else knows about, remember this — all sins are open to God. He sees all. It is He who will judge you. YOU CANNOT FOOL GOD. Now is the time to put such sins out. If we are not overcoming these things now, how can we ever expect to overcome them in the future? Some of you married couples who have been having marital problems have nor been overcoming them. If both parties show the real true Christian love of Jesus Christ, and the kindness that He has, you would NOT have these problems. Is Jesus Christ living within you? If so, then that love and kindness would be growing and increasing in your life. You would be having more patience, kindness and consideration for others.
Don't Be "Cut Down"
You may have continued in your sin and God has not yet finally cut you off. Such a situation is described by Jesus in Luke 13:6-9. "He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none." God has been coming to some of you for a long time seeking fruit. He has looked for the fruits of the Spirit, given in Galatians 5. He has come to see whether or not you are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He has come to see whether or not your real goal is still the Kingdom of heaven. He has come to see if you are really doing your part in getting this gospel of the Kingdom to the world. He has been patient and merciful. BUT GOD HAS FOUND NO FRUIT FOR MANY OF YOU! Notice Christ's further words. "Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?" That may be what God the Father IS about to say of you now. Maybe He has already said this at some time in the past. But Jesus Christ has intervened. "And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it." God has sent His ministers and His servants to work with you. They have worked with you in articles, in the Correspondence Course, the booklets and other literature. He has also sent His servants to work with you through The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast and through our local ministers so that fruit might be produced in you. Some of you have produced fruit and SOME HAVE NOT." And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt CUT IT DOWN." Some have already been "cut down." There comes a time when God ceases to have patience or leniency. Others of you are just about ready to be "cut down." What about you? If you have not had fruit, it is because YOU ARE NOT APPLYING YOURSELF. It is because some are not REALLY putting the Kingdom of God FIRST in their lives (Matt. 6:33). You have lost sight of that overall goal, the Kingdom of God. Now is the time to once again put your eye SINGLE TOWARD THAT GOAL, not on your physical surroundings.
First Love Lost
Some of you have gone backward and nor forward since God first called you. You have lost that "first love." You need that "first love" to enter into God's Kingdom. To you it might personally be said: "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love" (Rev. 2:4). Do you have the same zeal and love for the work and truth of God now that you had when you were first converted? If not, you had better change now. Here is Christ's instruction for you: "Remember therefore from whence thou art FALLEN, and REPENT, AND DO THE FIRST WORKS..." (Rev. 2:5). Another reason why many of you are having these problems is that you are neglecting the Christian NECESSITY of prayer and Bible study. How call you grow spiritually except you pray "without ceasing" (with regularity). We must devote a regular period each day to prayer and Bible study. How can we know what our sins are unless we look into God's Word regularly to see those sins? Many of you are neglecting The PLAIN TRUTH, The GOOD NEWS, the Correspondence Course and the various booklets and articles. Unless you have God's ministers explain necessary things to you by these publications, you will not be able to grow spiritually as you ought.
Don't Neglect the Broadcast
Some of you have become lax in listening to the broadcast. In most areas of the United States you can hear the broadcast more than one time each day. In some areas it is available SEVEN TIMES a day. And yet, some have neglected this very important part of their spiritual life. If you believe that it is not necessary for you to do these things, then you have become "spiritually rich," just as the Laodicean church (Rev. 3). THAT CHURCH IS NOT GOING TO A PLACE OF SAFETY. God says to some of you: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: BECAUSE THOU HAST REJECTED KNOWLEDGE, I WILL ALSO REJECT THEE, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast FORGOTTEN THE LAW of thy God, I will also forget thy children" (Hosea 4:6). That is why some of you are disqualifying yourself to enter God's Kingdom! You are rejecting the knowledge that God has given you, and not acting on that knowledge. You have forgotten the law of God, and in place of it you are seeking worldly and temporal pursuits. NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT ON THE KNOWLEDGE GOD HAS GIVEN.
Who Will Be Saved?
Since there is such a lack in many who assemble with God's Church, it can sometimes be discouraging. Sometimes one almost wonders, "Will anyone attain to the Kingdom of God?'' There were people in Jesus' time who also had such questions. "Then said one unto him, Lord, ARE THERE FEW THAT BE SAVED?" (Luke 13:23). This is a natural question to ask. Notice the very next words of Christ. "STRIVE TO ENTER IN AT THE STRAIT GATE: For many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able" (Luke 13:24). That is the answer from Christ. Are you STRIVING to enter into the Kingdom of God? Or, have you let the cares of this life turn you away from that goal? Some of you who think you are in God's Church now will try to enter into God's Kingdom, and will not be able! You will not have time to prepare for God's Kingdom next year or the following year, or ten years from now. The time to prepare is NOW. If you put off until tomorrow what you should do today, you may find that you are too late. God's ministers diligently show the people of God their sins. God's people are told through His Word, the broadcast, the literature, and in church services. But the ministry can only sow the seed, cultivate, water or fertilize. The ministry by itself cannot bring the increase. The ministry cannot act for the people. The people must ACT. We can only "blow the trumpet" (Ezekiel 33). It is up to the people to heed the warning. Some of you have heard these warnings and have not acted. Have you looked to the ministers as those who are doing a good job, and yet you have not applied it to yourself? It is the responsibility of the ministry to warn the people, but it is also the responsibility of the people to act on that warning. Some of you really enjoy hearing Mr. Armstrong on the radio, and you enjoy hearing the ministers in service. But do you apply these things to yourself? It is just like God told Ezekiel, "And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: For with their mouth they show much love but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And lo thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: For they hear thy words, but they do not do them" (Ezekiel 33:31-32). If you are one who has this attitude, now is the time to repent.
God is Calling You
If you are guilty of any of these sins, what should you do about it? "Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts" (Heb. 3:15). Now is the time for action! Now is YOUR day of salvation. Judgment is now upon the Church of God (I Pet. 4:17-19). Don't become weary of well doing, but press forward to the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus. Fight the good fight of faith now. Repent of your sins. Turn from them. OVERCOME. If you do this, you will be among those of the faithful who will hear the voice of Christ saying: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."