Letters From Our Readers
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Letters From Our Readers: January/February 2018
Response to “Living the Dream: What Will It Be Like?”
In the November-December issue of Beyond Today, the article “Living the Dream: What Will It Be Like?” stated that we need a change of heart, that we need to be “fully committing to a life of change.” This was profound to me! And in the "Letters From Our Readers" section, a lady mentioned that she started to change her way of thinking. God is changing people’s hearts and minds—awesome! Very biblical! Thank you so much for the insights in this magazine. May God richly bless all who take part in contributing to it!
Reader in Tennessee
Fans of Beyond Today
I wish very much to renew my subscription. It is very important to stay in tune with God and His words. There are other people who are interested in your magazine, so I give it to them after I finish reading and studying it. I pray that God blesses your ministry to continue to the end. Please keep Seychelles in your prayers, we’re facing turbulent times. Yet even with all the problems, people are hesitant to learn the truth.
Subscriber in Seychelles
I’d like to say you are a blessing to my life and marriage. Beyond Today and your sermons brought my wife and me back together. You all have proven to me that a lot of what God had already led me to conclude through study (such as the nature of God not being three in one, the truth about heaven and hell, and much more) is true. Thanks to the hosts of Beyond Today and all your ministers I listen to before bed, I know how to back up my beliefs from the Bible. I don’t have a congregation near me, unfortunately. The closest is two hours’ drive and we have no car. But as soon as we get one I will be driving two hours every Sabbath. I promise that. You all are just so amazing to me.
From the Internet
Asking for help in defending the Sabbath
A friend of mine who goes to another Christian church doesn’t keep the biblical Sabbath or feast days. I asked her why she keeps Sunday when it’s clear the biblical Sabbath is on Saturday. She answered that Jesus said to love God with all your heart, and to love your neighbor as yourself, and that is all that is required. So, she says that if she does that, she is keeping the commandments. What is the best way to respond to her? Thank you so much for your attention and any feedback you may give.
From the Internet
Thank you for your question. Your friend is right in saying that our responsibility is to love God with all our heart, mind and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus indeed called those the two great commandments (Matthew 22:37-39). But He went on to say, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (verse 40). Those two commandments don’t negate the other commandments, but are simply a broad summary of what the rest of the commandments communicate. In other words, the Ten Commandments (and the other laws of God) show us how we fulfill those two commandments.
Jesus Himself said in the Sermon on the Mount: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18). Some have misinterpreted His statement about coming to fulfill the law as meaning He obeyed the commandments so that we don’t have to. But His teaching right after this (verses 21-48) shows clearly what He meant—that not only must we strive to keep the letter of God's laws, but we must keep them in their full spirit and intent.
On another occasion, a rich young man asked Him, “What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16). Jesus replied that if he wanted to enter into eternal life, he should keep the commandments. When the rich young man further questioned which commandments he should keep, Jesus specifically pointed him to the Ten Commandments as well as the broader command about loving our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 19:17-19).
If you search our website at ucg.org/learnmore you’ll find much more information about the biblical Sabbath day and God's commandments.
These are good starting points, but when talking to your friend again, please keep in mind that she may not be open to what you have to say. Be willing to let the subject go if she’s not receptive. You can’t force somebody to understand what seems so clear to you, so just pray that God opens her mind in time. Our free study guide The New Covenant: Does It Abolish God’s Law? gives a thorough explanation of this subject.
Searching for a United Church of God congregation
I receive your e-mail newsletter and want to know how I can get to one of your church congregations. I live in the Netherlands and have been looking for a church that teaches my beliefs. I have been listening to your teaching, and I am happy with it. I hope to be with brothers who love God’s word of truth.
Reader in the Netherlands
I am in search of a Bible-based church that teaches Holy Scripture. My search began in 2001. Will you contact me to give me more information about United Church of God services?
Reader in Florida
Thank you so much for your magazine. I have been receiving it for about two years, and it has caused me to question many of the practices of the church I currently attend. It appears that there is no United Church of God in my area of Virginia, but reading your magazine is giving me true insight into God’s plan and how we should live.
Subscriber in Virginia
Interested readers can find a list of all our congregations at ucg.org/congregations. If the closest one is several hours away, we recommend that you find the congregations closest to you and make contact with the pastor there. It is possible he may be aware of others meeting together in a location closer to you than what we have listed.