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Preaching the Gospel in a Difficult Clime

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Preaching the Gospel in a Difficult Clime

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Christianity in our world today is facing an uphill battle against secularism, atheism and all other kinds of “isms.” And, in the Church of God, the battle is even more pronounced because the message we bring is found to be unpopular even among those who call themselves Christians! Not only are we asking our readers and viewers to keep the Sabbath, but to turn their lives right-side-out in so many other ways—and genuinely follow Jesus Christ. It’s not a popular message!

But despite these challenges, our job is to let the world—all nations—know of the Kingdom of God coming—not exactly the day when it’s going to come, but that it will come—and to instruct and give people some hope.

Despite these challenges, our job is to let the world—all nations—know of the Kingdom of God coming.

We must give people a world to look forward to—true hope. We must not back away from the urgency and the drive to do the work of God. This is why we’re a part of the firstfruits now, and this role must be taken seriously!

It is a work of making disciples. God the Father is the One who determines who the disciples are. But we have to sow the seed broadly, and then God will determine where the fertile soil is. At the same time, not everybody is going to respond, so it will be a witness as well.

The message is the same

There are many ways we are now able to “broadcast” the video gospel. It is so much more than just the printed word or wireless radio. Much has advanced because of satellite television and the Internet—particularly through streaming video technology. It’s not just over regular TV anymore.

Ours is a work of spreading the gospel around the world. We have a divine, scriptural commission to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom to as many people as we are able.

The message is the same as it has always been for 2,000 years, but many of the tools are different to what was available way back then—in particular, that of video, television and streaming TV.

New tools at our disposal

According to Statista.com the global population of regular Internet users, as of July 2018, is 4.1 billion people. And, 3.3 billion people were social media users. Plus, they note that 3.8 billion people access the Internet regularly using mobile devices!

God expects us to carry out the work He commissioned to His disciples—no matter how difficult it may seem.

Around 48 percent of the world’s population has an Internet connection today. In 1995, when UCG began, it was less than 1 percent! This is why a large portion of our work at the United Church of God includes video and online streaming TV.

This is a far cry from when many of us first started watching TV in the 60s. This is one of the many reasons why the United Church of God and Beyond Today leverage social media on many channels.

By 2019, half the world’s population will access the Internet regularly. Inexpensive mobile phones and mobile broadband connections are making Internet access available in countries where the Internet had been out of reach for people.

Our commission

Here is one of my favorite scriptures: “Later He [Jesus] appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature [to everyone, or, to all creation]’” (Mark 16:14-15 Mark 16:14-15 14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
American King James Version×
, emphasis added).

Only time will tell how much of this huge goal we in the United Church of God will be able to accomplish in this end time—before the Two Witnesses begin their work from Jerusalem—but we believe that the seeds we are sowing in the United Church of God, an International Association, will germinate and bear fruit at the appropriate time and as God desires.

We are reaching millions of people every year with various elements of the gospel message. Our UCG.org website received more than 10 million unique visitors last year, and we are currently ranked by Alexa as the 13th most popular religious denomination website in the world. This is a remarkable achievement considering our limited resources. Those with higher rankings than UCG are very large organizations—like catholic.net and jw.org.

Religious confusion removed

There is religious confusion in our world today. Thankfully, Jesus Christ is going to return to reign on this earth and end the confusion. Humanity will have hope, peace, joy and an opportunity to receive eternal life.

In the meantime, God expects us to carry out the work He commissioned to His disciples—no matter how difficult it may seem. And this includes preaching the gospel of His Kingdom to the world as widely as we are able. We give the world hope of a better world to come than what we see in the religious confusion of today.

God’s Church is the means by which He is preparing our world for Christ’s return! It has a job to do! It is through us, His firstfruits, that He is preparing the future leaders and teachers of His Kingdom. He is building a world for tomorrow through His Church today!