Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Letter From Dan Dowd - August 14, 2020

Letter From Dan Dowd

August 14, 2020

Sabbath Thought - The Apocalypse Generation

I was seven years old when Israel fought the Six-Day War against the neighboring Arab nations.  For many in the Church of God at that time, that event was seen as a harbinger of end-time events.  Israel survived that war, and an uneasy peace settle over the Middle East in the following years.  Then many in the Church of God thought Christ would return before the end of the 1970s, by the 1980s it seemed many stopped caring.  When the great apostasy came upon the Church in 1995, most of the members simply gave up on church and God.  Too many mistook watching and having a fixation on end-time events for being spiritually grounded.  Many had stayed in the Church of God for decades out of fear - fear of being swept up in scary prophetic events and thought if they were simply in the Church that they would be protected.  They were right, but wrong.

Just about every generation thinks they will be the last before the return of Christ.  Many times the people of God have been justified in thinking that because faith-shaking events have happened in nearly every generation.  But at some point, one generation of God's faithful will be the last.  Many young people look at that time with fear and concern rather than joy.  They fear they will not be able to go to college or start a career.  They fear they will not be able to marry and raise a family.  They fear they will not have enough of a life before Christ returns to enjoy this physical life, and/or to grow enough spiritually to be in the First Resurrection.

While that fear can be understandable to a point, it is without merit because it is based on human experiences.  The return of Christ will not be inconvenient for the people of God.  Yes, some will not have married, or had children, or had a career, or any number of other things - but the point of this life is to spiritually prepare for True Life (John 10:10b)!  Humanly, this is the only life we know, but it is not the only life offered to us.  Still, we think if we don't experience something in this life, then we have been short-changed.  But think about what God is offering - eternal life!  Simply put, eternal life is to live as He lives.  He is not restrained by the physical limitations of this life and still has boundless love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, and more (Galatians 5:22)!

Whatever we "lose out on" in this life will be eclipsed in the life God desires to give us (Matthew 19:29).  We will never grow old or tired, we will have a perfect mind truly and completely filled with the Spirit of God!  We will love for each other as the Father and Son currently love each other (John 17:20-21, 1 John 4:16).  Even if we never are able to live this physical life to the fullest, we don't lose out on anything because what God has in mind for us was never designed to be in this life - it is all waiting for us in His Kingdom!

The world around us, and even our own lives, will be punctuated with troubling times.  Those times are for our spiritual development and are to be a reminder that this life is not the final word on what God desires to give to each one of us.  This Sabbath day is a rest from the cares of life in the previous six days, but even this Sabbath rest is not the final rest God desires for us - "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your [life]" (Matthew 11:28-29, NKJV).

At some point, physical time will run out, mankind will face the consequences of their rebellion against God, Christ will return, and God will continue fulfilling His plan of salvation for all of mankind.  "'Surely [He] is coming quickly.' Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20).  We must be about the business of our Calling, so we do not get swept up in the concerns of this life.  God is waiting to give us so much more!

This Sabbath Thought was inspired by an article in the April 1976 Good News magazine titled An Open Letter to the Apocalypse Generation (https://www.hwalibrary.com/cgi-bin/get/hwa.cgi?action=getmagazine&InfoID=1377426932&SearchWhat=KeyWord&SearchFor=apocalypse%20generation&NoShow=&page=&return=search).  It is worth a read.

I wish you a peaceful Sabbath,

Dan Dowd

14 August, 2020