Many are not doing the work God has called them to do. Are you? Read this article to be sure.
THE GREATEST and the most important work on this earth today is the WORK OF GOD! God's work involves all nations and people! It is going to affect the future of all mankind! He is just now preparing the stage for end-time cataclysmic events which will shake this world to its senses.
You Have Your Part
YOU ARE CALLED TO HAVE A VITAL AND NECESSARY PART IN THAT WORK. You probably do not remotely realize the tremendous responsibility that God has laid upon our shoulders, because you have not yet perceived what great things God is doing, and will do through HIS CHURCH. This work requires the diligent and zealous labor of all those in the Church, and yet many of you are not doing your part! Many of you do not realize the seriousness of the time. You do not realize your particular part in completing the work that God has given us to do. We know too many sit on the side-lines and criticize those who are doing the work, while they fail miserably to perform what God has called them personally to do. This should not be! This is not a one-man work, nor is it alone the work of God's ministry, nor the work of Ambassador College. It is the responsibility and work of the complete body of Christ — the whole Church of God. No one man, no group of men, no local congregation can alone perform the tremendous task which God has laid before us. It requires the power of the Spirit of God within all of us working zealously together to perform this mighty task.
This Prophecy Concerns You Personally
There is a prophecy which has been read in your hearing many times over the WORLD TOMORROW program that you probably do not even yet fully realize. It is a prophecy which vitally and personally affects you wherever you are. It involves many things that you probably do not realize. Jesus Christ foretold these days in which we live. He said that in this end time His work would be accomplished. "And this GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM SHALL be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14). This prophecy concerns you personally — not just Mr. Armstrong, or the ministry of God's Church. It requires the collective efforts of all God's people, empowered by the Holy Spirit of God to fulfill this vital end-time prophecy. No other work — no other church — is preaching this SAME gospel of the Kingdom to the world today. This prophecy is the end-time fulfillment of the Great Commission that Jesus Christ gave to His Apostles before He returned to heaven. He commanded His Church — His ministry — to preach this gospel to the world as a witness, "teaching them to OBSERVE all things whatsoever I have COMMANDED you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Mart. 28:20). No other church is teaching the world to OBSERVE the things that Christ commanded. The churches today do not believe in OBSERVING anything except those pagan holidays which God condemns. They do not OBSERVE the things that God COMMANDED, and which Christ and the New Testament Church did observe. Here again is more proof that this is actually the work of God. It is the work that God has called you, along with all of the others in God's Church, to perform. This is the WORK for the Body of Christ in our day. This is "one body" and not many! It is ONE WORK, and not many works. God's Church is not split and divided into all different sects and denominations. It is one work that God is doing through His Church.
Preparing the Way for Christ
We each pray almost daily "Thy kingdom come" as Jesus Christ instructed us in the "Lord's Prayer." We also sing fervently "come thou Almighty King." But do you realize that Christ our King will not come till you and all of the others in God's Church, empowered by the Spirit of God, have performed this work first? Christ will not come now — today or tomorrow — because the work will not yet be finished. There is a tremendous amount of that work yet undone. Before Christ will return, the prophecy of Matthew 24:14 WILL BE FULFILLED. God has given us a very singular and wonderful work to do. A work that He has called no other generation to do. No other people have had such a wonderful opportunity. And yet, most of us do not fully realize or recognize it. In a sense, God has called us to PREPARE THE WAY for Christ's return. What a wonderful thought, that God has entrusted us with such a vital mission in this end time!
Many Do Not Answer the Call
God states that He has opened a great door for us (Rev. 3:8) and yet sometimes we are hardly able to take advantage of the many, many opportunities — doors — that He does open up to us. WHY IS THIS SO? Why is it continually necessary for this great work of God to be so needful of SUFFICIENT FUNDS to carry out this work and to go through new doors God is opening? Why is it Mr. Armstrong is compelled to frequently send out impassioned pleas for help? Why is it that only a small fraction of God's Church recently responded to his urgent request for pledges? The reason is made very plain in the Scriptures. It is not God's fault. God is calling many thousands of people. But ONLY A FEW OF THOSE whom God has called to send in of their tithes and offerings ARE ANSWERING that call. Only a PART of those whom God has called into His Church are faithfully doing their financial part or praying as they should. THAT IS THE REASON! Many are not answering the call of God to SERVE FINANCIALLY. Some of those who do answer are not faithful in continuing their devotion and service to God. They either do not regularly send in tithes and offerings, or they are not faithful in continuing.
Willing to Serve?
There are many people who are perfectly willing to say: "Here am I, Lord, send me." But when it gets right down to the details, these people are NOT WILLING to serve God UNCONDITIONALLY, WITHOUT RESERVATION, WITHOUT ANY STRINGS ATTACHED. There are many who would want to be sent as evangelists or office managers. But few are willing to be sent or to serve in WHATEVER capacity God assigns them! Why are there not more people like David who was willing to be a "doorkeeper" in the House of God? David was not seeking after high position and glory. As a result he was given great honor and glory in this physical life, and will have great glory in the Kingdom of God. He was willing to do the MENIAL tasks. God wants men and women who will yield themselves and dedicate their lives to God completely, without reservation or strings attached. He wants people who will not say, "I want this job or that job," "I want to work here or there," "I want to work under these particular conditions." Instead: "Here am I, use me in whatever way you wish." God wants dedicated people who will continue faithfully after the newness wears off and the work may become "routine" — who will be satisfied in the job and not "grow weary in well doing." On a recent baptizing tour several people asked me: "Why don't you have a church in our small town? Other churches do. And why don't you have a school here for my children?" These were the people who look to Mr. Armstrong to provide all of these things for the whole world. THESE SAME PEOPLE WERE NOT DOING THEIR PART. God had called them and yet they were not faithful in the little things that God had already given them to do. Usually the ones who are the most critical are the ones who do NOTHING. If we are not faithful in little things, God will not make us responsible for the big things.
God's Work Is Growing!
In spite of all the need, God's work is still growing at a tremendous rate. Much work is being done. Much fruit is being borne. Thousands of lives are being changed continually, and people are turning to God's way of life for the first time in their life. The broadcast is going forth continually with greater power. New stations are being added so that more new people are able to listen to the broadcast. The literature is going out in greater quantity all the time. New booklets are being added. Many new articles are available on a great variety of Bible subjects. The literature leaves the Ambassador College Press Building by the tons. The overseas work is expanding so rapidly that we are hardly able to send enough called and trained personnel to fill the need. New ordinations of deacons, elders, and ministers are taking place from time to time. Yes, God's work is sprinting forward at a greatly accelerated pace in spite of our lack and continual need.
Baptismal Tour Shows Fruit of God's Work
Some of the fruit of this work has been brought to my attention in recent weeks. I was very happy to have the privilege of going on one of our baptizing tours for just two and one-half weeks. Assisting me was Mr. Bill Winner, a junior at the college. We met many people from all walks of life who are having their lives changed as a result of this work of God. This reminded me of Christ's parable of the seed as found in Matthew 13. He explained that many do hear the word of God but do not fully understand it. Even those things which they do understand are caught away by Satan. We met several people just like that on our tour. They had heard the word of the Kingdom of God which Christ preached over the WORLD TOMORROW broadcast. They understood a few things, and came to us for more. But in several cases, what little they did understand was being snatched away by Satan. I am reminded of a young man in just this situation. He had heard the broadcast and understood many of the things concerning the truth. But he did not do as the Bereans did to prove whether these things are so (Acts 17:11), and search the Scriptures daily. He went to the "higher critics" for proof as to whether or not God's Word was inspired. He was not grounded in the Word of God yet, so only confusion and questions resulted. Satan, through his "higher critics," was snatching away what little this young man understood.
Weighed in the Balance?
The city of San Francisco is also an example of what Christ said in this parable. Here is one of the great cities of this present civilization, of some one million people. The Kingdom of God has been preached mightily for one whole year in this city since the last baptismal tour. One of the best stations in this city, which covers the Pacific Coast from Canada to Mexico, and including part of Alaska, had broadcast the WORLD TOMORROW nightly. Many hundreds of thousands of people listen to this broadcast at a very prime radio time. Out of all of these people, how many do you suppose, in one year's time, had come to the point where they even wanted to be baptized? Only ELEVEN! Think how many thousands of people in that great city had heard the word of the Kingdom of God, did not fully understand it, and then the little they did understand was snatched away by Satan. But of those eleven only six met us. And out of those six who met us, not one was ready to completely give his life to Jesus Christ. Certainly Christ's words of Matthew 13:19 were fulfilled. There were others, elderly people, who had lived wrong all of their lives. Now at the closing months or years of their lives, they wanted to "make their peace with God." They read that they should be baptized and they had not yet been baptized. It didn't matter too much who did it, they just wanted to be baptized. They were not ready yet to repent of their ways. What little they did understand was being snatched away. Then there were others that we met on our tour, who had not yet been baptized, but who were already coming up against trials and difficult decisions because of God's word and His commands. Some had the problem of adultery. They were living in sin contrary to God's commands. Here was a REAL trial. And some were not willing to obey God. A few had problems in regard to the Sabbath. They were not yet willing to obey God on this point. Of those who were baptized some may yet fall, because of tribulation and trials. Others will permit the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches to rob them of their goal, the Kingdom of God. They will not keep their eyes single to that goal, and will not DO the work which God has called them to do with all their might (Eccl. 9:10).
In Their "First Love"!
How joyful it is to meet people who are now in their "first love, and who are zealous for the work of God. One example was a very fine Puerto Rican couple. The wife could not read English, nor understand English well. Her husband had to translate many of our comments into Spanish. He had really studied very diligently in God's Word. In fact he would put many of our brethren who have had the privilege of a better education to shame. He had really been feeding on the good Word of God. Now, he was willing to repent of his own sinful ways and follow Jesus Christ. Even though his wife could not understand or speak English very well, she had really yielded her life to God. Her fine attitude was far more evident than many that we met on our tour. Others we met were living in adultery, but they decided to obey God, and not continue on in that sinful life. It is certainly heartwarming to see people who are willing to give up some things in order to obey God and to prepare themselves for the Kingdom of God.
We met one young man who was just 17 1/2 years old. His father and mother were of an entirely different religion, and his older brother had completed three years at a theological seminary. Even with such a background, he had been listening to the broadcast for several years, had completed approximately 23 lessons in the Correspondence Course, and had really learned many of the ways of God. Not many young men would apply themselves in learning God's true ways at this age under such circumstances. This young man determined that he wanted to attend Ambassador College and has now been accepted. Here is one example of some of the fine young people that God is calling to this college. A woman we met had been looking for God's Church all her life. She had looked first in one church and then another. Everywhere she looked she could not find God's true Church. One of her friends, who was of the Jehovah Witness sect, made comments about the WORLD TOMORROW broadcast. She asked about the broadcast, and was told where to find it on her radio. She listened to the broadcast at last she had found God's Church! How joyful she was to have the opportunity to find God's Church in this end time. We met a young couple who had been listening to the broadcast less than six months. In that short time they had come to a complete attitude of repentance. And yet we met others who had been listening to the broadcast for fifteen or more years, and were no closer to repentance now than when they first heard it. They still were not willing to obey God. One young wife and mother we met had been reared in the Mormon religion. She told us how her mother formerly had a very serious illness. Her mother heard the broadcast, and came to Ambassador College to have one of God's ministers anoint her with oil according to the command of James 5. She came here on crutches, and went away with-out using them! GOD HEALED HER BEFORE SHE EVEN LEFT THE CAMPUS! This was a real witness to the daughter. The daughter then began to listen to the broadcast and to study the literature. She told us that she was the type of person who believed in going all the way or not at all. Finally she came to the point where she realized she would have to either reject this knowledge or do something about it. At first she decided to reject it. She burned all of the literature that she had received from Mr. Armstrong. Later she again turned back to God. She really did come to complete and true repentance, and was baptized.
You Had a Part Too!
We only reaped a small harvest on our very short tour. Other tours spent the whole summer crossing the United States visiting people similar to this. All of these tours saw many scores of lives being changed through the power of God's Holy Spirit, and through the message that is heard over the WORLD TOMORROW broadcast. But do you realize that YOU HAD A VERY VITAL AND IMPORTANT PART IN THIS HARVEST? Do you realize it would have been impossible for us to have even gone on a tour without the collective labor of all of God's Church. Without the tithes and offerings of God's people, we could not have gone. It was imperative that we had the prayers of all God's people back of us. But this was only a very small part of this great work of God. It would be impossible to have the broadcast going to the world without our combined support, WITH the power of God. The 12th chapter of Corinthians and the 4th chapter of Ephesians show that we are all a part of the body of Christ, and that we all have our separate responsibilities to perform. We must be united in doing this great work. We must have God's Spirit within us, and be of one mind and attitude.
God Gives the Increase
After we do all that we can, there is still much that is lacking. Let's compare it to a farmer who grows vegetables. Someone must first go out and prepare the soil for the seed. The ground must be fertilized and ploughed. Another may go out later and sow the seed. After that it is necessary that the ground be watered, and the weeds removed. After a length of time the vegetables are harvested. Many people may be involved, instead of the work of one man. But who gives the increase? Paul explained in I Cor. 3:6-9 that he had planted the seed, and Apollos had watered. GOD GAVE THE INCREASE! The man who works is not anything but it is God who is important (verse 7). We are also told (verse 8) that we are going to receive a reward according to OUR OWN PERSONAL LABOR. How much labor are you doing in the work of God? "For we are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry (farmers — working for Him) ..."
Don't You Make Excuse!
The seed is now being sown through the broadcast and through the literature. Many are being called but few are answering the call. Even many of you in God's Church are not doing the part that God has called you to do. Therefore it seems we have a continual need of funds and of qualified spiritual leaders among our laymen. Many are offering all kinds of excuses as to why they cannot do what God has given them to do. Christ explains this in Luke 14:16-24. He tells of the great supper where many people are invited. Here is the invitation that God is giving to all those that he is calling. God is now sending out His servants to invite many to the feast. The setting of the parable is at SUPPER time or EVENING (verse 17). "And they all with one consent began to make excuse" (Luke 14:18). One man had bought a piece of ground, apparently sight unseen. Now that it was almost night time he had to go to see it, and could not come to the feast. Another man had purchased five yoke of oxen. It was evening and now he wanted to go to prove them. What silly excuses. And yet these are just like the excuses that people are giving today for not obeying God. This is just like some of the excuses that some of you are making as to why you are not doing the work that God has called you to do. Do you have such "lame duck" excuses as to why you cannot be a profitable servant? Don't have such excuses when God first calls you. Don't have such excuses if your labor and work becomes routine, or the novelty wears off. You need to press forward and persevere unto the END.
Called to Work
God has not called us to a social club, but He has called us to WORK! We are not called to be independent, but we are a part of one body. We have a joint work to do, a spiritual work as Christ explained in John 6:27. Verse 28 mentions the work of God. That work is to believe on Christ, to DO the things that He said, to FULFILL THE COMMISSION that He gave us. The world is doing work which will perish. Many are prospering in this world, but what they have accumulated will be destroyed. They are not called to do God's work. You and I are called to do God's work. Our work need not perish. We can be instrumental in helping others to learn God's ways. To help others change their lives in repentance and obedience to God. That kind of labor brings fruit which will never perish. God has called many to do this spiritual work, and yet so few are actually doing it. Many do not realize that night is coming very soon when no man can work (John 9:4-5). The time is coming when there will be a famine of the word of God (Amos 8:11). We must work now, because our work here will soon end. There is a work to finish NOW. Don't be slack in this work, or leave it to others to do for you. We read that because of the work of God, and because of the lack of others, one of God's ministers in apostolic times became sick near to death (Phil. 2:25-30). Here was a man who supplied the lack of others (verse 30). Some were not doing their full part. Even though this church of Philippi received one of Paul's warmest letters, they still were lacking in some things. It is the same today, because of the lack of many, OTHERS HAVE TO DO MORE THAN THEIR SHARE. Christ set us an example of what we should be doing. Even at the age of 12 He told His parents that He must be about His Father's business (Luke 2:49). He had a work to do and He finished that work. He came to do the will of God who sent Him and to finish His work (John 4:34). He is also doing a work through us today. The harvest is now ripe (verse 35). And yet some of those that God has called to labor are saying, "I will do my part LATER. I will work NEXT YEAR." Christ said we were not to put off our duties. God wants us to do the work that He has given us to do now, then we may all rejoice together (verse 36). Are you really doing your part? Are you personally faithful in what God has called you to do? Are you faithful in praying that God will cause more people to send in of their tithes and offerings? Are you personally faithful in sending in your own tithes and offerings? Are you an example and a light to others?
Back Up Those at the "Front"!
You should "back up" those whom God has put in the "front of the battle," with all your might. You should give your life completely and unreservedly to God without any strings attached. Be willing to serve God no matter how menial a task He might give you to do. Exhort and help others, encourage them in the ways of God. Do more than what is required of you (Luke 17:10) for if you do just what is required of you, you are going to be an unprofitable servant. Bring forth fruit in God's service. Do not have all kinds of excuses as to why you are not doing the particular work God has given you, and then blame others for what you think they ought to do. Don't let the trials of this life, or the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches separate you from this work of God. Put the Kingdom of God and the work of God FIRST in all things and not the physical work of making a living and of acquiring material goods. Brethren, there is a great task yet to be done in this work of God. GOD'S WORK IS WAITING ON YOU. Let's be about our Father's business!