THERE ARE basically two categories of people reading this magazine:
(1) those who intend to live by what they learn from the Word of God, and (2) those who read but do not apply what they learn. Which are you? Does it really make that much difference?
If you are a reader who sincerely wants to please God and do His will, if you deeply desire to be in the Kingdom of God and inherit eternal life, then you do need to understand what the inspired Scriptures say about being a "hearer" or a "doer" of God's Word!
Notice this prophecy in the book of Ezekiel, "Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against [the Hebrew could just as well be rendered, about] thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. 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 them not" (Ezek. 33:30-32).
Even as this applied in the days of Ezekiel, it applies today!
Many today "hear for read} thy words, but they do them not"! What difference does it make? A warning is given in this same chapter of coming war and destruction. Those who will be protected and saved alive are those living by the laws of God! (Read verses 4-16)
Jesus Christ taught this very same thing in the New Testament. He said, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it" (Matthew 7:24-27). Those who live by the teachings of Jesus will not fall in the day of calamity. God will help and protect those who obey Him. The "doers" are called wise. The "hearers" only are foolish. Jesus said, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46.)
Some have erroneously thought that we teach "salvation by works." That is not true. The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is the free gift of God (Romans 6:23). We are very familiar with Ephesians 2, verses 8 and 9, which say, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." We believe this! But we also believe verse 10: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." God says we were created to walk (or live) in good works! Put it all together. God's free gift of salvation will be given to those who are willing to obey Him keep His laws, and strive to live a life of good works!
[For information about being saved by grace and the importance of having good works, read our article "What Will You Be Doing In The Next Life?"]
The Apostle Paul, truly a man of God, wrote: "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified (Romans 2:13). He spoke of God's Law as being holy, just and good (Rom. 7:12).
The Apostle James also wrote, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed" (James 1:22-25). He refers to God's Commandments as the "perfect law of liberty" (James 2: 8-12). Whoever will do them "shall be blessed in his deed."
God inspired James to write that "faith without works is DEAD" (James 2:17-20).
Listening to The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast or watching it on television (if it's in your area) is not enough. Reading The PLAIN TRUTH or this magazine is not enough. You must be willing to change your way of life. You must begin to apply the things you are learning through this Work of God!
If you really desire to change and want to obey God's laws - but are not exactly sure on some points or have certain questions - we would be more than happy to help you. Our Personal Correspondence Department will be happy to help you find the answers to your spiritual problems, or you may request a personal visit by one of our Ambassador College - trained representatives. These men are ordained ministers of the True God and are dedicated to serving those who sincerely want to be served. Our only purpose is to help you in obeying your God. Don't hesitate to write!