September 12, 2018
September 12th, 2018
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
The world rejoiced in 1989 when the Berlin Wall began to tumble. The decades-long Cold War was coming to an end. It was hoped that world peace would follow the downfall of the Soviet Union, with the United States left as the world’s only superpower. That hope was short-lived.
Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, leading to what has become known as the First Gulf War in 1991. That war was followed by the events of September 11, 2001. A Second Gulf War, and a war in Afghanistan were the result. The so-called Arab Spring saw governments fall in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt; but Bashar al-Assad vowed to resist the tide, and a protracted Syrian civil war continues to this day.
What was once news coverage has deteriorated into partisan propaganda in what is no less than a war against traditional cultural values in the United States and other Western democracies. All pretense of neutral reporting of facts has been cast aside in far too many cases, as news organizations openly line up in support of one side or the other—mostly on the side devaluing morality and re-writing history.
While people are distracted by bitter partisan politics, relations between the United States and Russia continue to deteriorate. The Middle East is in turmoil, as Syria has become ground zero for a proxy war between the two powers. Russia is backing the Assad regime, as is Iranian-fueled Hezbollah. The United States, Israel, and the Kurds are on the other side, with various smaller factions aligning with one side or the other. Both the United States and Russia are mustering naval forces near the Eastern Mediterranean. Will one side blink? Or will another hot war break out? And what will be the result when Titans clash? The Cold War is not over, and hot wars will follow.
Peace for the years ahead is an illusion. The Bible tells us that at the time of the end, “you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. . . .For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:6–7). You can be certain that this prophecy is true. It is true because of its source. And you can be certain it’s true because of what you see with your own eyes. We are entering a very dangerous time in man’s history, the time of the end of man’s rule that will usher in the rule of Jesus Christ! I know that sounds brash, but if He does not return, all flesh will surely perish (Matthew 24:21–22). That prophecy, given nearly 2,000 years ago, is not that difficult to believe considering what we see in our world today.
Bible prophecy is clear. We are in for a very rough time in the years ahead, but there is coming a time of peace when our Creator will intervene to save us from the results of mankind’s foolish rebellion against Him. Many prophecies describe that time of peace that He will bring. So in light of all this, what should we do?
We, who are Members and Co-workers with the Living Church of God and Tomorrow’s World, are proclaiming this bad news/good news message. We desire to warn our friends, neighbors, and the whole world, of where our world is heading. We also give a sure hope that something better is in their future—our Creator does care, and He will step in at just the right time to usher in a world of peace and prosperity for all. Only He can bring that about! This hope and warning goes out through television, radio, the Internet, and print media; and this is possible because of your heartfelt prayers and financial support. Thank you for your steadfast concern for your fellow man.
The Apostle Paul quotes Jesus as saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). This gives meaning to life in a very direct way. The act of supporting this Work, whether in prayer, tithes or offerings, indicates you recognize that there is more to life than the here and now. It indicates you believe in the give way of life, the way of outgoing concern for others. God is love, and those who hope to attain eternal life share in this love.
Most people, even atheists, yearn to find meaning in life. For many, the longing for happiness boils down to the pursuit of pleasure. However, as with all addictions, there is the desire for a greater high, and, as many learn the hard way, there is nothing physical that will give that lasting high. This hedonistic attitude of pleasure-seeking as the goal of life was brought home to me many years ago. I was driving between Greenville, South Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina, where I pastored congregations in both cities. There was a bumper sticker on a small car that I saw as I was coming up the mountain on Highway 25 with this message: “In Search of the Eternal Buzz.” The free-spirit types in the car were declaring their search for the thrill that would last, that would put them in a perpetual state of bliss.
The celebrity world is filled with individuals searching for the eternal buzz, often in the form of drugs. They instead find slavery, and far too often, death. Consider the names: Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, John Belushi, Whitney Houston, Marilyn Monroe and many more.
Art lovers recognize the Thomas Kincade name, but how many know that drugs were involved in his death? What Canadian does not occasionally, if not habitually, get his morning “double-double” coffee fix at Tim Horton’s? Does a younger generation know how the hockey player, who gave his name to this iconic coffee and donut chain, exited life at the age of 44? He died in a motor vehicle accident while intoxicated with dexamyl and alcohol. The list of celebrities who seemingly had it all and who died from drug incidents is legion. This is not to say that celebrities are more prone to drug abuse than the general population. That may be or it may not be, but what it tells us is that fame and fortune do not bring lasting happiness. Fame and fortune do not bring a meaningful life. There may be a “buzz,” but it is temporary. Sorry, free spirits!
Dear Members and Co-workers, our Creator notes your care and love for others. He owns everything and tells us He wants to share it with us. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. . . . The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:14, 16–17).
There is no meaning to life without God, but there is meaning and purpose with God! Thank you for sharing this precious knowledge with others. Some day they will thank you.
Sincerely, in Christ’s service,
Gerald E. Weston