Whether you think yourself "religious" or not, vast CHANGES are going to take place in YOUR LIFE. These will be either for good — or for eternal DEATH. YOU have a rendezvous with destiny!
WE LIVE in an age of lying and deceit. An age of hypocrisy and ignorance in religion, in education, in politics. We live in an age of rebellion — an age seemingly bent on destroying itself. WHY? Because people have lost their moorings. They no longer feel truly responsible either to the Creator God or even to their fellowman. "DO your own thing," is the keynote. Ours is the age that produced the H-bomb, germ warfare and the ever increasing threat of human annihilation. Ours is the age that murdered President John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. And many writers and thinkers have discussed the probability that we would also murder Jesus Christ if He were to appear in the flesh — in this age — and indict us for our sins, our hypocrisies, our crass selfishness and stupidity. Yes, this age would honestly do that, wouldn't it?
A SICK Generation
As I write, I have before me one of the best-known "advice columns," printed recently in a major newspaper. This particular column answers the plea of a heartbroken mother whose daughter has become a lesbian. What should the mother do? The woman columnist answers that "you who profess to love her must accept her as she is or not at all." Then she quotes Sigmund Freud's statement that homosexuality is "nothing to be ashamed of" and is merely a "variation" of sexual functions. All of this was printed, remember, AS THOUGH IT WERE TRUE and had the backing of our society — in a MAJOR West Coast newspaper! As nations and as individuals, we in the English-speaking world have gotten to the place where we will accept almost ANYTHING as lawful, decent, acceptable and even call it "normal"! Is homosexuality "normal" or "right" in ANY way? It depends on whether your "authority" is the reasonings of men or the inspired WORD of the Creator as revealed in the Holy Bible. Speaking of the human philosophers who are regarded and even honored as the "fathers" of Western thought, God inspired the Apostle Paul to write: "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.... For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet" (Romans 1:22, 26-27). Our generation has come to regard as "acceptable" what the Bible describes as VILE affections and PERVERTED lusts and appetites. This, along with openly accepted immorality at every level, is the reason why venereal disease is now termed "pandemic" for the first time in the penicillin era! Many don't like to admit it, but people do, eventually, reap the bitter "fruits" of their labors in sin and rebellion against the laws of their Creator. This is a SICK generation!
Put Yourself in the Picture
Each of us needs to realize that — like it or not — we have been affected by this sick world around us. God has been made to seem impotent or far off, His laws unreal or impractical. As a people, we have tended to compromise or "water down" basic principles which, deep down, we know are right. And most of us haven't had much practical, powerful and authoritative teaching direct from the Bible, have we? So we have "gone along" with and probably participated in lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, juvenile delinquency, drug abuse or many another CRIME against God and against our fellowman. Be honest with yourself! We have so scarred and seared our collective conscience that we would undoubtedly — as a people — literally KILL Jesus Christ should He appear in the human flesh and indict us! Now listen! Over 1900 years ago a generation very similar to ours had literally done this very thing. But through logical, powerful and heartfelt preaching — and through direct miracles — thousands were beginning to realize the wretchedness of their own lives in even countenancing this act. They began to see that their "establishment" — religious and political — their society, their grown-up "playhouse" was a SICK and WRETCHED thing, and that it had infected them personally and individually. For their generation had directly KILLED the promised Messiah! "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly," Peter said, "that God hath made that same Jesus, whom you have CRUCIFIED, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). Here was an indictment that could have been bitterly resented. But at least several thousand people of that generation were intellectually and spiritually honest. They were willing to face the fact that they, personally, had become callous and sinful and guilty before their God. They needed help and FORGIVENESS even as we in this generation do also. How can it come? How can man be reconciled to the Creator God and receive divine help to truly UNDERSTAND the will of God, the purpose of life, and then have the spiritual strength to accomplish that purpose? Those people were "pricked in their heart" and said, "Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost [Spirit]. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:37-39). Notice that verse 39 puts YOU into the picture. For the promise of receiving God's Spirit is extended to all people of all generations — "even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
No human can naturally or normally yield himself to obey God in his own strength. You MUST have God's Holy Spirit to understand, grow and overcome spiritually (Rom. 8:9). AS Acts 2:38 and the entire New Testament make clear, you must unconditionally SURRENDER your will to the Creator God, and then be symbolically BURIED in water baptism in order to receive the Holy Spirit. Then you are to arise from the symbolic baptismal grave and walk in newness of life — following Jesus' example. You are promised the gift of God's Spirit to guide and help you in following and obeying Jesus Christ — your real Lord and Boss whom you are to serve and obey in actual fact. God's Spirit is a part of His very CHARACTER placed within you to enable you to live as you should. Paul explains that "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Rom. 5:5). There are many human ideas about how we should express this love every Christian must have. Most professing Christians seem to think that it is a sentimental emotion about the person of Christ, or a sanctimonious attitude with lots of religious-sounding talk in front of our fellowmen. But, in His inspired Word, God tells us what this divine LOVE really is. "For this IS the love of God, that we KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: and his commandments are not grievous" (I John 5:3). Perhaps the best definition of a "Christian" contained in any one verse of the Bible is found in I John 2:6. The Weymouth Translation makes the intended meaning more clear than the older King James wording. It reads: "He who says that he abides in him is bound to live AS HE LIVES." How many of today's professing "Christians" feel BOUND to live exactly as Jesus Christ did — to literally keep the Ten Commandments us He did; to ref rain from killing, stealing, lying; to keep HOLY the same days that Jesus did; and, through the Holy Spirit, to literally let Him LIVE HIS LIFE all over in them as human instruments?
The complete, unconditional surrender of one's self to God and to Christ as Saviour and Master is the key to real conversion. If you would really be a Christian — examine yourself. Have you come to the place where you BELIEVE in the Creator God and in the Bible as His Word — His inspired Revelation to man? Are you willing to totally SURRENDER your will to OBEY His Word — to study it honestly, zealously, and to live by it? Are you ready to actually GIVE your life to Christ — yielding completely, willingly, SO that He may live His life in you through the Holy Spirit? Are you willing to let God fashion and mold you after His own divine CHARACTER — that He may give you eternal life in the resurrection and a place of RULE over cities and nations under Jesus Christ in the World Tomorrow? Are you willing to quit arguing and reasoning with your Maker and say, "Yes, Lord, THY will be done"? If you sincerely feel this way, you should be baptized — immersed in water — as an outward sign of your willingness to completely BURY the old self in full surrender to Christ. "Sprinkling" or "pouring" do not picture this burial. Christ taught water baptism and so did all the apostles in the inspired New Testament Church. Remember and heed the words of the Apostle Peter's inspired sermon at the time he commanded repentance and baptism: "Save yourselves from this perverted generation!" (Acts 2:40, Phillips Translation). For if there was ever a generation that was decadent and sick, we are it. We are now making rapid progress (?) in a full-circle return to the degradation and FILTH of ancient Sodom, Gomorrah and pagan Rome. Those of us over forty may remember President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's sobering words: "This generation has a rendezvous with destiny." The population explosion relentlessly gains momentum. The Soviets persistently close the gap in nuclear arms and missiles. A German-dominated United States of Europe looms ever closer on the horizon. Britain slithers and slides from a second to a third or fourth-rate power — her former greatness GONE. America's pride in her power and her real national strength and influence slowly slip away. Darkness gathers. Millions remember the inspired warnings and specific prophecies thundered for years through The WORLD TOMORROW program, The PLAIN TRUTH magazine and now TOMORROW'S WORLD. They fearfully realize that unless deep and heartfelt repentance comes, this generation is destined to experience divine intervention and PUNISHMENT from a Creator who is very much alive and who will not be mocked! Our actual "rendezvous with destiny" will be quite a SHOCK to those who leave the true God out of the picture. But true conversion is a personal matter. Each of you — with God's help — can SAVE YOURSELF from this generation which ridicules the idea of a real GOD and the necessity to OBEY His laws and ways. It is up to you.
What to Do
Jesus Christ commands us as His true servants: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is BAPTIZED shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15-16). If you feel that this is the very Work of God — preaching Christ's message as a witness to this dying world — perhaps you would like to write us about being counselled or baptized. We now have dedicated, fully instructed and trained, ordained MINISTERS in all parts of the world. Their hearts and their very lives are wrapped up in this great Work of God. But they know that only GOD can open your mind and call you to true conversion. So they will only call on you IF you request it. They will NEVER attempt to "pressure" you, "cram" any of God's truth down your throat, solicit contributions or try to get you to "join" anything. For God's true Church cannot be "joined." It is composed of those who have been called OUT of this "untoward generation" by God Himself to receive His Spirit, to understand His prophecies now rapidly being fulfilled, and to qualify for a position in His divine Government soon to be set up on this war-torn, sin-sick earth — the glorious Kingdom of God!