"I have many people in this city"

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"I have many people in this city"

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The message of the Kingdom of God will always pierce the clutter of secular messages that steal our time and attention. Last weekend's second round of seminars remind us God is not done adding to His Church.

We are in the  midst of a second round of seminars aimed at taking the message of the Kingdom of God to as many as we can reach with the media tools at hand. In print and on television, by direct mail and the Internet and through direct contact the United Church of God is inviting people to come and hear the most important and vitally needed message of the time. And people are coming to hear.

Last weekend I traveled to New York City to conduct a seminar for our members and subscribers. Despite the snow we had thirty-five people attend. This may be only a "snow flake in a blizzard" compared to the millions of people in New York but I was greatly encouraged. My conversations with attendees revealed a sharp interest in what we had to say about the central message of the Bible. They were eager to stay and learn and enjoy the company of many veteran Christians who wish to share the gospel with as many as possible.

Going into New York I wondered at the response we would receive. Scores had signed up via the Internet indicating a desire to come out and hear a distinctly religious message. Our registration has been larger this round of seminars and it is an indicator that people need hope at a time of great stress. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God provides that hope. They came to hear that message in New York and around the world.

After the day's meetings I thought of the account in Acts where the apostle Paul was told by God to remain in Corinth to preach and tend to those He was calling. "Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city." And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them" (Acts 18:9-11). God indeed called many to this congregation. The lesson for today is wherever He has a field He will do a work and add to the Church.

Religion is a hot topic today. The secular ideologies are failing and providing little hope for better future. Yesterday, in Egypt, a new parliament sat with a majority of elected delegates belonging to fundamentalist Islamic groups. This is the first tangible result of last year's revolution which toppled the secular government. As lawmakers took the oath of office references to uphold and respect "God's law" were added to emphasize the point that religious convictions would drive the body.

The fog has not lifted to reveal what kind of state will be created in Egypt but the signs are pointing to one more religiously oriented than before. The prophetic ramifications for this are enormous. The trend among Arabs states in the Middle East is toward more religion in public life, not less. The people are looking for better solutions than those offered by failed secular ideas.

The message of the Kingdom of God contains tangible solutions for anyone looking for a way of life that works. That is why people are drawn to what these seminars offer. Why not consider signing up for one near you and attending? Challenge yourself to put away all the previous ideas you have about God, religion or truth. Take the challenge to hear the message that Christ preached and continues to be preached by His Church today.