Now - Your Most Important Time
Good News Magazine
February 1983
Volume: VOL. XXX, NO. 2
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Now - Your Most Important Time
John D Stettaford  

You have been given an important job to do in this age. Much depends on whether you fulfill your part!

   Few realize, when they first come into contact with this Work, exactly what God is doing.
   Consider the casual listener to the World Tomorrow program. Or the person who by chance picks up a copy of The Plain Truth or The Good News. He may know little — or care little — about God or religion in general. He may have little inkling of the purpose of life or the truth that God's people have come to call "God's master plan."
   Yet his interest is piqued by something Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong says on the radio or television. The person is intrigued by a title or a question or an article in one of the magazines. He desires to learn more.
   Every one of us is now in this situation or has been at one time or another.
   And God is working.
   No one can come to have true knowledge of, or a real relationship with, God of his own accord. Yet, from all the billions of people on earth today, God is drawing, or calling, a very few (John 6:44). But why?
   The Bible shows that whenever God calls someone, God always has in mind a specific job for the called person to do. And those being drawn by God in this age have a special calling, unique in history. This calling involves a special job.
   So the question is: Do you realize how important your calling is? Your job right now is, in fact, a deadly serious affair.

Called to a responsibility

   You, you personally, do you realize your importance to God's plan? Are you as an individual really essential to whatever purpose God is fulfilling right now?
   At first thought your answer might be no — after all, the Bible says even stones can be pressed into God's service if people fail (Luke 3:8, 19:40). And yet, if God is truly working with you, you are being given a special calling. In fact, the part that you have to play as an individual is vital to God's plan — that's how God has set it up!
   Our reward as God's people may be future, but our job involves the now. That job can't be postponed or delayed.
   Listen: If it weren't for you and your calling right now — if it weren't for the part you and many others like you play right now as members or co-workers of God's Church — do you realize that God might well abandon this world to its fate? And that fate would be the annihilation of mankind — by mankind itself!
   Notice: "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved ["saved alive" — Moffatt]; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened" (Matt. 24:22).
   Those who properly respond to God's call at this time become God's elect. If you are truly called and have repented and dedicated your life to God's service, and if you have been baptized and have received God's Holy Spirit, you are part of that group.
   If it weren't for the elect, the days wouldn't be shortened. And if the days aren't shortened, mankind will be destroyed! The part you play right now is crucial to the physical survival of the world tomorrow.

Coming — the great Millennium

   What if the unthinkable happened? What if all humanity were destroyed? The Millennium would not occur as prophesied!
   But God's Word will not fail. That, in part, is why He is calling you!
   The Millennium is a major part of His plan. And God's Work through His people today is therefore vital. Without fulfilling our job as the elect of God in this end time, there wouldn't be a physical world tomorrow. Remember: "No flesh would be saved." That means that uncountable millions of human beings would never be born and would never have the opportunity to be saved and join the God Family.
   The part we have to play now, as individuals, is to ensure that there will be a physical world tomorrow.
   What a matchless privilege! What a role for God to have us play in fulfilling His plan!

Doing the job

   God gives us a sure prophetic vision of the world tomorrow. And that vision is there to inspire us to greater efforts now — so the Church won't fail to discharge its commission.
   However, the vision does not have to include you as an individual. There's no prophecy with your name or my name on it included in the Bible. We have to make our calling and election sure (II Pet. 1:10), and the way to do that is to do the job we've been given. And what are we supposed to be doing?
   Read Malachi 4:5-6: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse ["utter destruction" — Amplified Bible]."
   This passage, as Mr. Armstrong has stated, defines a major part of the Church's commission. But note that word lest. It denotes a positive result depends on the proper discharge of the commission by God's people.
   Now look at an example that parallels our commission during this end time: "And the Lord said, 'Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.'... And Abraham came near... " (Gen. 18:20-23).
   We know the story. Abraham asked God whether He would destroy the cities if 50 righteous people were found there.
   Boldly, Abraham kept decreasing the number until God said that if only 10 righteous could be found, He would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, which could well have had millions of inhabitants.
   God doesn't change. Today, in order that this world full of sin might be spared, God will find a number of righteous people — the "elect" (Matt. 24:22) — in it. For their sake the physical world and humanity will be spared from utter destruction.
   You are one of those elect. You are one of those people God is using to help preach the Gospel to the world for a witness, one of those who is to be reconciling fathers and children at this time. You are one of those standing back of this Work, holding up the arms of Christ's modern-day apostle, Mr. Armstrong.

Needed: heartrending prayer

   And what can we do, more than anything else, to help the Work now? Mr. Armstrong has repeatedly told us what we need to do: pray.
   And sleepy-time prayers made up of nothing but lists of "gimmies" won't do. Our prayers are world-shaking — world-saving — in importance. They deserve effort.
   The warning message must be given to the world. It needs your active, prayerful support. Pray heartrendingly for the Work — for Mr. Armstrong's discharge of the commission.
   And your prayers do make a difference. God responds to them (Jas. 5:16)! Abraham's supplications to God worked.
   Are you praying effectively? Only you and God know. But remember: Your prayers make a difference. Never neglect your prayers for this Work and for Mr. Armstrong. Your prayers are a deadly serious affair, and millions of lives are depending on you!

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Good News MagazineFebruary 1983VOL. XXX, NO. 2