Letters From Our Readers: March/April 2017

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Letters From Our Readers

March/April 2017

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Letters From Our Readers: March/April 2017

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Impacted by teaching on relevant topics

I just wanted to compliment Robin Webber on his article “The Spirit-Led Sacrificial Life ” in the January-February issue. It was a well written, emotional piece of art. I feel sorry for people who do not have God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in their lives. May God bless you always.

From the Internet

I could tell you are blessed by the message you preach as I read your website. Your article “Does God Pick Presidents? ” impressed me a lot. I wish I could pay to have your ministry come preach this and other messages here in Kenya, as we prepare for our elections in August.

Reader in Kenya

 

Wondering about articles on political topics

I have been receiving  Beyond Today magazine for the past four years, and as a result I have learned a lot. However, why do you always include politics in your magazine—especially American politics? Do politics and the gospel mix?

Subscriber in South Africa

Thank you for your feedback. You raise a very good question to consider. We are an international organization and aim to include an international perspective in our literature and other materials as much as possible. But, being based in the United States and having the majority of our readers there, no doubt the U.S. perspective comes through more than most.

Because of the prominence of North America on the world stage, what happens in and to America impacts a lot of the world. America is the world’s largest economy with the biggest military footprint, and it has the largest cultural influence on the world—for good and for bad. Therefore, we are naturally going to emphasize U.S. news.

Many issues that are often seen as merely political are in fact moral issues of right and wrong—including the positions of leading political figures and the general populace. In the Bible we see God’s prophets, and Jesus Christ Himself, warning of the sins of the nations and how that will impact national  blessings and future judgment. These messengers of God addressed national and religious leaders, indicting them for their failed spiritual and moral leadership and example.

So it’s appropriate to address politics in preaching the gospel and God’s call to repentance. While the gospel transcends the world’s politics, in getting people to understand and focus on the Kingdom of God we often have to show the folly and faults of human government.

With this in mind, when we discuss political issues, we strive to keep it in the context of warning against sin and impending judgment for rejecting biblical standards and values while also providing a geopolitical context to prophecy and the biblical narrative. Our goal is to draw a clear distinction between the two and emphasize the message of the Bible without adopting a worldly ideological philosophy.

We pray this is helpful to you.

 

Wanting to observe God’s festivals instead of man’s holidays

I’m wondering when the Holy Days that we should be celebrating are and how to celebrate them. In one article you mentioned Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles, etc. I was raised—and have been raising my own kids—to keep the traditions of Easter and Christmas, without knowing their pagan roots. I now feel a great sense of worry and anxiety that I have offended my Savior, Jesus Christ, and God.

From the Internet

We’re glad to hear you’re interested in the biblical Holy Days. Search “how do Christians observe God’s festivals” on ucg.org to find a short explanation of each festival with additional information on how to take the next step. As for your worries about Easter and Christmas, once God has called us through His truth, it’s our responsibility to respond to that calling. It takes a lot of courage to leave those traditions behind, but it’s worth it. Please feel free to reach out to one of our pastors in an area close to you if you would like some support and guidance. You can find a list of our congregations and pastors at ucg.org/congregations .

 

Looking for a congregation

Can you please help me to find a United Church of God congregation in my area? I have been searching for a true Bible-teaching, Jesus-preaching, Word of God Church to worship in. I am so tired of all of the prosperity churches and false teachers that are out here.

I thirst and hunger for the true Word of God.

Reader in Wisconsin

I have had a question for a while now that has troubled me: Why do most churches continue to worship on Sunday instead God’s appointed seventh-day Sabbath? I have been afraid to attend church, since worshipping on Sunday is a man-made tradition. I deeply want to keep the Sabbath day holy and worship God. Please help me to the right answer. My relationship with God is very important, and I want to obey Him in every way.

From the Internet

We’re glad to hear you have a deep desire to keep the Sabbath. We have many congregations of people who worship together on the Sabbath, and you can look to see if any are near you at ucg.org/congregations . However, for those who live in remote areas or places with no other Sabbath-keepers around, they must choose to observe the day on their own at home by themselves or with their family.

Worshipping God with a group of fellow believers is indeed wonderful, but if that’s not a possibility, think about ways you can set the day apart and worship on your own. The United Church of God, publisher of Beyond Today magazine, offers a live Sabbath webcast at ucg.org/webcast as well as hundreds of video and audio recordings of sermons at ucg.org/sermons/all . You should also consider spending extra time in prayer and meditation, studying the Bible, reading or watching study material and singing songs of praise and worship. God rejoices whenever anybody earnestly seeks Him (Luke 15:10 Luke 15:10Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.
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; Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
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), so even if you are the only one in your household, neighborhood, town or country, He will honor your sincerity and obedience.