Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

God's Love for His Creation

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God's Love for His Creation

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God's Love for His Creation

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God Loves His entire creation–every sinning human being. We must learn to actively do it too!

Sermon Notes


Sermon
“Love for His Creation”
Dells 1/8/11

Intro: Dear Co-Worker with CHRIST: 12/29/66

        Do you realize what's just ahead for YOU? Here we are, [just ready to enter] (entering) another new year. But also--a million times more important--we are right on the very threshold of a N E W  W O R L D !

        You probably never thought of this before. But consider!

        If I said to you, "Jesus Christ has shown me that He has called YOU--yes, Y O U -- to preach His Gospel, now, TODAY, wouldn't you reply, "What?--called ME to preach the Gospel? Why I can't preach! I couldn't be a preacher!"

        I'm not joking! I'm SERIOUS! I do say to YOU, on the authority of Jesus Christ, "Jesus Christ has called YOU to preach
His Gospel now--and to have a vital PART in CHANGING THE WORLD, in the soon-coming wonderful WORLD TOMORROW! And YOU have been called by Jesus Christ to have part in it, too!

        But what about RIGHT NOW?

        LISTEN! This, I think, will amaze you! In this Great WORK OF GOD, in PREPARING THE WAY for Christ's coming to straighten out and SAVE the world, He actually HAS called YOU to preach His Gospel, NOW! Here is the explanation--in a way you probably NEVER REALIZED before!

        Jesus Christ, just before ascending to Heaven, said to His disciples--not only His apostles but disciples: "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel."

        UNDERSTAND THIS! The Gospel Message was sent from GOD by Jesus Christ over [1984] years ago. But even Jesus said, "I have not spoken of myself: but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." (John 12:49 John 12:49For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
American King James Version×
.)

        But, further: that of Himself He could do nothing: "but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works." The Father dwelt in and empowered Jesus, not in literal Person, but by His Holy Spirit! It was the POWER of God's Spirit, working in and through the then human body of Jesus, that started out the preaching of the Gospel!

         But when Jesus ascended to Heaven, He sent the SAME Holy Spirit to enter into and work through the COLLECTIVE BODY of ALL His disciples--and thus the CHURCH came to be called "the BODY OF CHRIST." It is now the collective Body in and through which God's Spirit PREACHES THE GOSPEL! That includes every real Christian!

         Now Jesus said, speaking of OUR DAY, just before His RETURN as the King of kings to usher in the peaceful and happy WORLD TOMORROW: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the END (of this world) come." (Matthew 24:14 Matthew 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.
American King James Version×
.) But HOW?

         I, myself, an ordained minister--(I had been ordained in June, 1931)--had been able to PREACH THE GOSPEL to ONLY 40 people! But now, the help of Co-Workers made it possible for ALL 16 of us to preach to at least 1000 people. Subtract the 40 I could preach to ALONE--and THEIR PART in the Work meant that THEY were getting the Gospel preached to an additional 960 people. On the average, every one of them was responsible for getting the Gospel to 64
people!

         Each CO-WORKER was, in effect, preaching to 64 people. I, an ordained minister, alone, had been preaching to only 40! You see, then, how the PRAYERS and OFFERINGS of these few Co-Workers each was responsible for PREACHING THE GOSPEL to 60% more people than I could alone!

                  TODAY, in this same way, EVERY Co-Worker--and that means YOU --is actually responsible for preaching the Gospel to approximately 300 people! [And ALSO that includes about 25 people who read The PLAIN TRUTH! Averaging it out, YOU are paying for subscriptions to The PLAIN TRUTH reaching about 25 people, and ALSO YOU are preaching to about 300 people EVERY WEEK--52 weeks a year --BESIDE also having a part in putting students through Ambassador College, training more ministers and trained personnel for this rapidly growing WORLD-WIDE Work of God!]

        THAT'S how YOU are actually proclaiming the Gospel right now--PREPARING THE WAY for Christ's coming--PREPARING A PEOPLE for His coming--CHANGING LIVES! This past year, SEVERAL THOUSAND precious lives have been converted and baptized through this Work!]

        Alone, I was able to preach Christ's Gospel to 40 people! TODAY, Co-Workers have increased that to some 1,790,000 every MONTH!

        Listen to SOME FACTS--which YOU are helping make possible!

[With 235 TV markets at just 1000 viewers per market there is an average audience of 235,000 per week to Beyond Today. With 400,000 subscribers to the Good News magazine, that is a readership of 850,000 monthly. There is the Bible Correspondence Course, the Bible Reading program, Ambassador Bible Center, The Youth Programs, as well as over 50 booklets on doctrines of God, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and God’s Way of Living. So you are helping preach the Gospel to well over 1,790,000 people a month. YOU personally are preaching the Gospel to nearly 300 people. YOU are doing that along with Christ.]

        It is, today, a MIGHTY, and a POWERFUL, world-wide Work that GOD is using YOU, as well as me, in doing! DOESN'T IT GIVE YOU A THRILL? Doesn't it make your heart leap for JOY? WHAT A PRIVILEGE!

{        Here are the facts about ORDAINED MINISTERS, mostly Ambassador-trained, now serving AROUND THE WORLD. United States, 130 ordained ministers, plus 32 Ambassador College-trained second men serving under ordained ministers prior to Ordination--total 152 men visiting, counseling with and baptizing people who REQUEST such
visits. NO ONE is ever called on, UNLESS they REQUEST such a visit and counseling by a minister. }

        TIME IS GROWING SHORT! 

        THIS year we must work harder than ever! YOU, as only ONE Co-Worker, are preaching Christ's Gospel to approximately [300] people EVERY MONTH, beside paying for [Good News] subscriptions for others.

        And, if you are faithful--if you are LED by God's Holy Spirit, if you remain fervent in prayer, if you OVERCOME, and GROW spiritually--YOU shall have a PART in God's Kingdom far more important than being President of the United States--far more important than ANY position ever held by ANY human on this earth! Yes, WHAT a privilege.

That is a modified member letter from Herbert Armstrong dated 12/29/1966.  The numbers are updated to reflect today’s Work of God. YOU are preaching the Gospel to over 300 human beings per month right now!

Benefit Statement: How much do YOU want the WORLD to know the Plan of God? How much are YOU praying for, and yearning for the mankind God created and sustains to come to the Knowledge of the Kingdom and Family of God?

As followers of Jesus Christ and the Father of all, how SHOULD we dedicate our very being in pursuit of “Going Into All the World” as this Age comes to a screeching, grinding, cataclysmic tortuous end?

SPS: Let’s look at How God Sees “the Work”. Is He solely interested in developing His Church? Is He interested in telling His Creation the Purpose and Plan of Life itself? God’s “Love for His Creation”As we learn to imitate and follow Christ, let’s become students of
 
Body:
1)    God’s Approach - ALL men would be saved - 1 Timothy 2:1 1 Timothy 2:1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
American King James Version×
1Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 
 
God is the Source of every useful and valuable thing. It is Given by and FROM Him - James 1:17 James 1:17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no ficklenss, neither shadow of turning.
American King James Version×
16Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. 19£So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
21Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.         

God is not like humans – He does not return evil - Lk 23:33 33And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 
34Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. 
35And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”  
God is motivated to GIVE Himself to His Creation FOR His Family - John 3:14 John 3:14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
American King James Version×
14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in Him should £not perish but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 
           
2)      God intends for mankind to learn His Ways, and change to become like Him.
Compassion for those who resist Him - Mt 23:37 37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 

            We are to NOT think as humans about humans. But like God thinks about His Creation.
Isaiah 55:6 Isaiah 55:6Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near:
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6    Seek the Lord while He may be found,    Call upon Him while He is near. 7    Let the wicked forsake his way,    And the unrighteous man his thoughts;    Let him return to the Lord,    And He will have mercy on him;    And to our God,    For He will abundantly pardon. 8    “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,    Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9    “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,    So are My ways higher than your ways,    And My thoughts than your thoughts.

God intends for His People to learn and Live HIS Way of self- Sacrifice - Mt 5:38 38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor£ and hate your enemy.’ 44£But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet your £brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the £tax collectors do so? 48Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
             
            When God’s People actually DO this, they are truly beyond human!
Acts 7:60 Acts 7:60And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
American King James Version×
54When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 
55But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 
56and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 
58and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 
59And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 
60Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
            This kind of living is NOT human. But it IS how God reacts to His Creation.

What DOES this thing God calls “Love” DO? - 1 Corinthians 13:4 1 Corinthians 13:4Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs not itself, is not puffed up,
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4Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 
7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 

            Why is “love” like this? It is a different way of thinking. God Thought. Selflessness.

            God Thinking and Acting creates MORE Life for others by Giving it to them!
We are to Live like Christ - Mt 10:38 38And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Self Sacrifice is what Christ said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 
26For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
ist showed us – even to Death for US - Mt 16:24 24

3)      We are ALL offered to actually become members of the God Family. Literal Children of God. That is only possible for the Church today as we come to see humanity as God sees them.
1 Peter 1:3 1 Peter 1:3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
American King James Version×
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
 
There is NO need unfulfilled for ANY - 1 Corinthians 3:21 1 Corinthians 3:21Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your's;
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21Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. 23And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

            HOW does God view sinning mankind? Like WE do? Absolutely NOT!
Hebrews 2:6 Hebrews 2:6But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that you are mindful of him? or the son of man that you visit him?
American King James Version×
5For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6But one testified in a certain place, saying:    “What is man that You are mindful of him,    Or the son of man that You take care of him?7    You have made him a little lower than the angels;    You have crowned him with glory and honor,    And set him over the works of Your hands.8    You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
            [Psalms 8:4-6 Psalms 8:4-6 [4] What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him? [5] For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor. [6] You made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet:
American King James Version×
]
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 
9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 10For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 
11For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12saying:    “I will declare Your name to My brethren;    In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” 
13And again:    “I will put My trust in Him.” And again:    “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”
[Isaiah 8:17 Isaiah 8:17And I will wait on the LORD, that hides his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
American King James Version×
,18]
14Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 

Humanity are NOT excluded from salvation or the Knowledge of the Plan of God, except that we hold the Truth to ourselves while “developing God’s Character”.

What are WE to do? What are our marching orders? - Mt 28: 1Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone £from the door, and sat on it. 3His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.  4And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” 8So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.  10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” 11Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.  12When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.”  15So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. 16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

ONLY God can Call a human! He does THAT. We are to “GO” to them with Christ! -  Mt 16:18 18And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

HOW were the Apostles told to recognize God in their “Going”? - Mt 10:11 11“Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy [axios -deserving, as if drawing praise], and stay there till you go out. 12And when you go into a household, greet it. 13If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
(Apostles shown indication some not responding to Call by Father to Christ Who is with Us.)

Were members ever given the assignment to “Go”? - Acts 8:1 Acts 8:1And Saul was consenting to his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
American King James Version×
1Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2And devout men carried Stephen to his burial and made great lamentation over him. 3As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. 4Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching [evaggelizo – evangelize, declare, bring] the word. (rare but actual).

Conclusion:
God considers humanity potentially Family and prevents self-extinction due to ONE element of His Plan -     Mt 24:2121For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

So, there is a specific purpose for The Church in this Age. It is to become the Bride of Christ in the saving of human life, and ultimately participate in bringing as many as would accept God’s Way into the Family of God.

In order to develop God’s Character, we must also see His human Creation as He sees It. Humanity is the Potential Family of God. We MUST Love humanity enough to want ALL in God’s Family WITH us!

They are saved from total extinction because of the human embryonic Family of God (the Church) which has learned to give Itself to participate in saving mankind. Christ-like Life.

Close: To develop the Mind of God completely; to become perfect as our Father is perfect; it is clear that God’s People MUST consider God’s Creation in the same active selfless outgoing Concern that He has for His Creation!

January 1986 – (Last member letter from Herbert Armstrong) Dear Brethren and Co-Workers:

       Once again the time has come to send each of you your receipt for tithes and offerings--for 1985.

       I want you to realize the magnitude of the accomplishments you have helped make possible this past year--yet I wonder if it is humanly possible to comprehend just how great is the work the living Christ is accomplishing through our combined efforts and sacrifice under him and through the boundless power of the great God in heaven.

       We are humanly inclined to judge by what we can see physically. What we see physically is a small church body on earth. Yet what we should see spiritually is something so stupendous as to defy any comparison, so colossal above all that has been accomplished by all the combined efforts of the large churches of this world. Spiritually it is a gigantic worldwide accomplishment compared to no spiritual accomplishment whatever.
  
       Jesus Christ sent forth the first apostles to the small world of that day centered around the Mediterranean Sea. In 20
years there was violent controversy over whether the gospel to be proclaimed was a gospel ABOUT Christ, or the gospel OF Christ. For nearly 1,900 years Christ's Gospel of the Kingdom of God was there-after NOT PROCLAIMED to the world. But Jesus had said, "THIS gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto ALL NATIONS, and then shall the end [of this world] come."

       It is now true that this Gospel has been proclaimed within EVERY NATION ON EARTH BY THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD.
       Following are current worldwide figures you should know for the year 1985.
       · Seventy-four million PLAIN TRUTH magazines were either mailed to subscribers or distributed through newsstands.
       · Seven million GOOD NEWS issues were sent out.
       · Two million YOUTH 85 magazines went to young and old alike.
       · Six million booklets, books, and reprint articles were mailed upon request.
       · More than one million Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course lessons were sent to students.
· Our Mail Processing Center received more than one million phone calls, mostly in response to the WORLD TOMORROW program on television.
       · Our offices around the world received more than 10 million letters from subscribers responding to the work of the  
         Church.

What tremendous accomplishments your tithes and offerings have made possible in 1985. Now let's keep it up in 1986!
                         With love and gratitude, in Jesus' name,
                         Herbert W. Armstrong
   
It has not happened like that for that reason since that letter.

We must learn God’s Way of Love through keeping His Law of Sacrificing of our Lives for all others, AND that also means burning in our desire to share the Plan of God with His Creation.

All Power in heaven and earth is given to Jesus Christ, Who will be with those who “Go therefore into all the world, even unto the end of the Age”.

And the gates of the grave will not stand against this Holy Group of called out Ones doing what God wants done -
 
Developing His Approach to His Creation in His future Family Members

Let us GO to them …again!