I have just had a visitor in my office, on MOST URGENT business! It was Mr. Albert J. Portune, manager of the business office of the most important activity on earth — the great WORK OF GOD!
I'm going to have to rush this letter to you by AIRMAIL because of the very serious URGENCY. The receipt of tithes and offerings for the Work CHRIST HIMSELF is directing, says Mr. Portune, has taken a nose dive the past few days — especially since Thanksgiving Day!
Thanksgiving Day originally was intended to be a day for GIVING GOD THANKS for His blessings, and the prosperity He has granted. But, when people turn attention to their stomachs and feasting, it seems to be only human to get their minds off of the living Jesus Christ and HIS WORK!
But that's not all. Right now, once again, most people have their minds on Christmas shopping — exchanging presents AMONG THEMSELVES! Many of Christ's Co-Workers are right now WITHHOLDING their gifts from the living CHRIST — taking the money which could go for His Work, spending lavishly, buying presents (as they suppose) FOR HIS BIRTHDAY! But these gifts are not going to CHRIST. Right now many Co-Workers are FORGETTING CHRIST — NEGLECTING Him — and His Work is suffering!
I'm sure you know that Jesus was NOT born on December 25th — or even any-where near that date. The ancient pagans celebrated this season of the year in honor of the SUN-god. By the calendar then used, December 25th was regarded as the nativity (BIRTH) of the SUN, because the sun begins to lengthen and the power of the sun to increase from that time of year.
And I wonder if you ever noticed what GOD SAYS about taking PAGAN customs, and using them for the worship of the true God. Many people say: "Yes, I know Christmas is an old PAGAN custom, nowhere authorized in the Bible — BUT" (they argue) "WE use it to honor CHRIST! WE use it for worship of the TRUE God." BUT WHAT DOES GOD SAY? He says: "Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them (the pagans) . . . and that thou enquire NOT after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.' THOU SHALT NOT do so unto the ETERNAL thy God." (Deut. 12:30-31).
Don't you think it would be a little ridiculous if people planned a birthday party, and then everybody who came SNUBBED the man whose birthday it was — ignored him — and exchanged the birthday presents among themselves, giving none to the man having the birthday? You'd SUPPOSE, wouldn't you, that people would present their gifts to the living CHRIST for HIS Work at this season?
Co-Workers, REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST IS ALIVE! He is the guiding HEAD of this great Work. Under His guidance, and with His blessing, this Work has grown great. It is carrying His very Gospel to more than 30 million people every week — in every inhabited continent on earth! WHAT A PRIVILEGE it is for YOU and for me that Christ Jesus has CALLED you and me to be His own Co-Workers! We are His instruments! We are privileged to GIVE so that HIS GOSPEL may go out FREE! I have to let YOU, who voluntarily became an active Co-Worker, KNOW the urgent NEED — so that we can proclaim Christ's Gospel NEVER asking the public for financial support — NEVER asking contributions over the air — NEVER putting a price on The PLAIN TRUTH, the Bible Correspondence Course, or any literature we offer the public.
YOU DO NOT KNOW OF ANY OTHER WORK LIKE IT!
Of more than 30 MILLION people hearing Christ's Message EVERY WEEK, only one out of every 550 has ever sent any money to help us pay the cost; the other 549 have NEVER BEEN ASKED for contributions!
But I do have to ask YOU — in Jesus Christ's name — to come quickly to the rescue, that God's Work may survive this difficult month of December! Jesus Christ has never let YOU down! We must not let Him down right now while so many are neglecting! Mr. Portune tells me we have to bring the December income up to half-again over normal to keep out of financial danger. That means every one of us needs — if possible — to increase normal tithes and offerings by 50% during this month!
Will you PRAY with me for this? It's going to take earnest, believing, persevering PRAYER! It's going to take some SACRIFICE of other things we have wanted. And again, for those who have larger sums you are not free to give at this time — the LOAN of such sums — say, $500, $1,000, or many thousands of dollars — was never more needed. If later you see your way clear to make it a donation, well and good — if not, and you find you must have it back, it will be promptly returned. But let JESUS CHRIST be using it in the meantime — let it be WORKING where Christ is working — and blessing!
I'm forced to ask you for the largest amount God has made possible — and please, this time, send it AIRMAIL! Remember the Christmas mails are clogged down and congested. Let's all make special effort, right now!