Pastor Letter (April 17, 2020)
Radio broadcast on WKDW radio - 97.5 FM Sundays, 10-11 AM
Tomorrow’s Sabbath Services will be webcast (through any of our 4 congregational websites) at 11:00 AM
We Must Believe
This Really Did Happen:
“The Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have given Jericho into your hand’” (Joshua 6:2 Joshua 6:2And the LORD said to Joshua, See, I have given into your hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor.
American King James Version×)!
Yes, this really did happen and it is important that we acknowledge the greatness of our God as we look to God to lead us to “be strong and of good courage (Joshua 1: 6, 9) as we “finish the Work.”
And it Must Again
No one said that completing God’s End-Time Work would be easy. We know it isn’t because we have been at it for decades. However circumstances are changing as God has begun removing the false idols that plague this world. As so accurately assessed in yesterday’s letter from the home office, God is taking away gods that people worship. This will open opportunity for God through us to increase public awareness to that message. Below I quote the core of yesterday’s home office message:
“We, who have been told for decades of prophecies that would be fulfilled at the end of this age, are not to be dismayed about what is happening. We know that these things must come to pass. We have a protective Father in heaven Who hears our prayers. His Kingdom will come. His will shall be done. He will provide our daily bread each day. He will protect us from the hour of trial and deliver us from the evil one.
But God also loves the world and is working with it. Right now He is telling the world: "I have breaking news! I interrupt this program with this special message." Using the Coronavirus crisis, God is drawing attention to His message of repentance and reconciliation with Him by striking at the things that the world idolizes. Sports stadiums and arenas are closed. Theaters are closed. Cruises and exotic travel have stopped. The worship of money is met with a blow to the stock market and economy. 22 million people have lost their jobs. As never before, we are forced to stay home. God is giving us all extra time to think.
This warning message is not only to the world, but also to us whom God has called. He tells us to stop, think and recalibrate. This is the time to readjust our lives. We need to take care of personal things we have neglected in this busy-busy world. This is a time to become aware, take responsibility, forgive and find peace. The time is NOW to "think differently" which is the meaning of the Greek word in the Bible that is translated "repent."
Proclaim a Fast
We suggested taking time to fast and pray when we first cancelled in-person Sabbath services for a couple of weeks at the beginning of this crisis. But, this condition of lockdown and prohibition of public gathering has now expanded to six weeks or more and there is no definite restart date at this moment. Many are hopeful that it will be in May. As a consequence, along with Chairman Don Ward, we would like to call for a church-wide day of fasting either next Sabbath or Sunday, April 25 or 26.
The next edition of the Beyond Today magazine coming to homes shortly after May 1 will feature the following strong and timely articles:
Practical steps you can take to endure worrisome times
Epidemics in Bible Prophecy
COVID-19 and Rampant Fear
The Snare of Sudden Change
Will He Find Faith on the Earth?
In a Post Pandemic World, Choose to Change
Five Tools for Dealing with Trials
Coping in Times of Crisis
Could it Happen Again?
Our goal is to preach a stronger warning message of repentance to the world while we have their attention.
- - - - - - -
I repeat, no one said that completing God’s End-Time Work would be easy.. However, as correctly assessed in yesterday’s letter from the home office, God has taken away gods that people worship such as money (Stock Market fluctuations) Sports (empty stadiums, Cinema, School and so many other extracurricular activities. This creates a unique opportunity for society to re-prioritize what is most important. It brings to mind the relevant Bible verse of II Chronicles 7:14 This was a verse often quoted by President Ronald Reagan but the need for this verse to be fulfilled is far greater now than it was even in President Reagan’s time.
“That if my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place…: (NLT).
Our primary concern when evangelizing to the world is to give hope and warning out of a spirit of genuine love and concern. As we fast and get closer to God, we need to ask God for more love and interest in our “brethren in the world.”
But for us to complete the work, we will need the Creator God to knock down ‘Jericho-sized’ barriers that society will want to throw up in our way. Like a “Gideon’s army we will have to plow through whatever obstacles we may encounter ..remembering the promises of God in Isaiah 55:11 Isaiah 55:11So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
American King James Version×which says that God’s word will accomplish all that He wants to do.
Will the ministry get busier?
For the first time ever, almost all of my immediate family called me up individually to “see how things were going”. None have ever been in this church. However one brother, for the first time in more than a decade, asked me about end-time prophecy until 2 AM one night. He said he remembered that I told him that Germany would likely re-unite and Britain would likely leave the European Union, among other things. He confessed that he was quite skeptical at the time he first asked me but now everything was different.
What about all of those millions who got the Plain Truth Magazine or heard the broadcast or telecast years ago? It may be that most of them may still not look to God for some time yet. God is merciful and slow to anger. We have seen Him display amazing patience with this country and we understand that chastising this nation is His least desirable option.
As people at large see what is happening in a society that is on the edge of the Great Tribulation, we believe that, finally, more people will start to value and follow what we are representing.
For us there are the wonderful words of Christ which I hope we still long to hear at Christ’s return . , .the words that Christ said to His productive servants in Matthew 25, “Well done, good and faithful servants,” Just as God was with Joshua when Israel finally took the promised land of Canaan, we will want God’s full blessing in completing our phase of God’s work.
Tomorrow we will have our webcast at 11 AM in which I will expand on the Home Office letter and talk about our near future. The webcast may be seen at the same from the Fort Myers, Ocala, Tallahassee, or Vero Beach websites.
For those interested, Perry Harold, one of our Ocala deacons, will conduct a social get-together via Zoom at 5 PM. Anyone interested in participating is welcome to join. Just e-mail Perry Harold so that you can access the activity. It affords us the opportunity to make our observations about this unique time we have been given to contemplate, revalue, and reassess our unique situation at this time.
Hopefully we all will be able to connect with each other tomorrow.