God's Church has been commissioned to reach this entire world with a MESSAGE. His work is NOW starting around the world. It is vital that you understand YOUR job fully! What does the future hold for YOU?
As many of you know, Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong, Dick Armstrong and I just recently returned from Europe. What we found there has stirred us to realize the scope of what lies ahead for God's work and His church. Brethren, God has opened your eyes to see that He is using Mr. Armstrong — and this work — to proclaim His message to this dying world. God reveals that you must do your part in this work. You KNOW these things. God has made the fruits very evident that this is His church — His called-out people in this last generation of the present age. And now you feel that you belong to this church — God's church. But do you realize that God's church is a living, active, dynamic, growing spiritual organism — that it has a very definite job to do — and that anyone who is not doing his part in accomplishing thar work will soon be cut off. by God Himself, from being a part of His true church? Do you realize the full extent and scope of the work Christ gave to His church in this age-end? Do you understand and are you busily and zealously doing your part in this work?
Or are you just "drifting," and perhaps just KIDDING YOURSELF that "all is well" when, in reality, all is NOT well!
Your Mission in Life
If you are an active member of God's true church — the only type of Christian who will be spared in the coming tribulation — you have a solemn responsibility to do your utmost to aid in furthering the mission of God's Church. This should be your whole PURPOSE in life. It should be the thing that gives your life meaning — and ties in your daily activities with the great PLAN God is working out here below. I beseech you as the apostle Paul said, "to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1). As Jesus said, if you seek to save your life, you will LOSE it. But if you lose your life — if you give your life to God as a "living sacrifice"' — you will SAVE it (Mat. 16:25). Very few of you fully comprehended the full meaning of baptism when this ordinance was performed. But perhaps you do realize that when you were baptized — going down, symbolically, into a watery grave — that this was to signify the death of your old self (Romans 6:3) — and that you acknowledged that Jesus gave His life in your stead — He bought and paid for YOUR wretched, sinful life with His perfect life. Your life does not belong to you any more — It belongs to Him. "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Cor. 6:20). If you will faithfully GIVE YOUR LIFE to God — becoming an active instrument in whatever way He chooses to use you, then you will remain in God's church and will be greatly rewarded when Christ returns. But if you try to take your life — which now belongs to God — and use it for your own human desires, then you will quickly be put out from God's true church (even though you might remain physically a part of it for some time), you will be out from under God's protection, and you will suffer God's wrath if you live until Christ's return. This is serious business! Your life is either given to God — or you are on mighty dangerous ground! Your mission in life, then, is to study, pray, fast, and seek zealously in every way to present your human body — and all of your talents — as a living sacrifice in carrying out God's work here on earth. And what a challenging mission it is!
The Job Ahead
Events in Europe are moving faster than most people realize. It is vital that God's message goes out very soon to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and other European countries before it is too late! Many of these countries are just "ripe" for the true gospel at this time. The French are disillusioned and disgusted with the world and, in many ways, with the Catholic church. So are the Italians — many of whom are Catholics in name only. Millions are turning to Communism as a desperate hope to solve their troubles. They are seeking for something . . . they need God's truth! In West Germany, thousands of spiritually starved people recently turned out to hear a popular evangelist of this world who denies the law of God. But these people were hungry even for crumbs of spiritual food. An overflow crowd jam-packed every speaking place. Many German minds and hearts are still open to receive God's truth. They have not been poisoned again with the drug of Nazi ideologies — not yet. In Spain, I found in talking to many of the common people that countless thousands of them are fed up with the superstition, the fear, and the corruption so prevalent in the church-state dictatorship which so rigidly controls their lives, They would welcome God's truth if He would open a door by which we could reach them. And IF we do our part, He will! Remember that the first commission to all of us in God's church is to see that the true gospel is preached to all nations as a witness (Mat. 24:14). After that, and secondary to it, we are to feed the flock — teach and strengthen those in God's church (John 21:15-17). Think of the responsibility God has placed on each of our shoulders — for if we really belong to Christ and His church; we must each do our part just as certainly as Mr. Armstrong does his. Think of the millions and millions of people we have not yet even begun to reach!
Not Much Time
Consider the amazing rapidity of Germany's post-war recovery and the fact that we are now in the process of granting her full sovereignty and her own army. Notice the news releases about Hitler's former Generals coming back into power and the fact that Neo-Nazi rallies are beginning to draw a huge following. Remember the fact Europe is called a "powder keg" — a place where uprisings and wars start suddenly, unexpectedly. What does it all mean? Simply this — that we must reach many of these nations in Europe within a very few years or it will be too late! Once this revival of the old church-state Roman system takes place, it will be impossible — humanly at least — to reach many of the European nations with God's truth. God will see to it that these nations are reached. But as in the time of the apostle Paul, the extent to which they are reached and number of people converted as children of God — coming under His protection during terrible events to come — all this is affected by the diligence and ZEAL with which every one of us does his part to further God's work. Note God's warning about a time soon to come: "The time is coming, says the Lord Eternal, when I will send a FAMINE on the land, no famine of bread, no drought of water, but OF HEARING THE WORD OF THE ETERNAL" (Amos 8:11, Moffatt). That time will undoubtedly fall in Europe even before it does here in America! We have to be BUSY doing God's work while it is still day — for the night is drawing near. We MUST reach these nations in Europe soon. These people are just as real — and they are just as kind and friendly on the whole — as the people we all love here in America. And as we realized when we met and baptized some in England last summer, once these people are truly converted and filled with God's Holy Spirit, they are as wonderful as any people on earth. In the resurrection, they will be part of our family — God's family. God help you to have real compassion for these people in Europe, and the millions of others throughout the world that we are to reach with God's message. Each of us can have a part in changing their entire lives — and bringing them into God's own family!
In giving yourself as a living sacrifice to God, you have to carry out this "giving" of yourself to His service day by day. You will have to intelligently study and pray in order to have more of the mind of God, and the wisdom of God, in directing your life. You MUST keep your eye on the big goal of the church as a whole — on getting the gospel to all nations as a "witness." You will have your own personal problems and trials to overcome. But even these will be made easier if your chief concern is not "self" — but the work of God. In I Corinthians 12, Paul explains that God gives to each one of us in His church different gifts and abilities, but it is God who is working through each individual and that each part of the job God is doing is as important as any other part. God divides spiritual gifts to each man as He wills (verse 11), but in I Cor. 14:1 we are told to desire spiritual gifts. Remember that God gives spiritual gifts according to our natural ability, so each of us must strive to increase in wisdom, knowledge, and all around ability in order to be qualified for the greater gifts. Many of you brethren will find that you should take further schooling and training — perhaps a correspondence course — which will not only prepare you to serve as a more effective "light" to others now and for a higher position in God's kingdom — but will also result in a greater earning capacity, enabling you to live a fuller, more abundant life and also to have much more to give to the work of God. You see, we are to become like God in every possible way. That means we must grow in knowledge, wisdom, ability, as well as in faith and love. God's way not only makes us better able to help in His work, but it also enables us to live a fuller, happier personal life. God's way is always best! But brethren, take your part to heart. This work of God MUST expand rapid!) in the next very few years. To a great extent, this growth depends on your spiritual growth, your fervent prayers. and your tithes and generous offerings. God knows this, and if you are His children you will know it too — and act accordingly. Be sure you keep up with world news, and study about other nations. Obtain a good map, and familiarize yourself with them. After all, God has chosen you to have a part in CHANGING this world! And as you learn about these nations, PRAY earnestly that God will open up the doors of rruth so that we may reach them with Christ's gospel. As many of you know, we need ministers to start churches in England right now. But as in Jesus' time, "the harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers few" (Mat. 9:37). Ask God earnestly to provide more ministers of His choosing to carry out this work. And lastly, be constant with God's tithe and your generous offerings. Ask God to help you employ your abilities so that you may give more to His work. And pray continually that God will call others who are able to see His truth, and to bless His work at this time. This may be material wealth, but it is to carry out a spiritual message — the last hope of this dying world! It will build up real, lasting treasure in heaven. Does this sound like asking too much? TOO MUCH? Is your body presented as a living sacrifice to God? Or are you stealing the life that Jesus bought and paid for, and putting it to your own use? There is no point whatever in "kidding" ourselves. Eternal life in God's kingdom is a mighty wonderful gift Are you zealously preparing and qualifying yourself by your part in God's work now!