The Feast of Trumpets is swiftly approaching, a day which pictures Christ’s return to this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords and reflects the beginning of a series of events culminating in the putting away of Satan for a thousand years and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on this earth.
We see continued trouble in the world which was predicted millennia ago to happen in the last days. Christ, while on this earth, spoke of a time of wars and rumors of wars, of famines, pestilences, and earthquakes – of false prophets deceiving many, and of peril for His chosen people – even lawlessness within their ranks and the love of many growing cold.
What is our number one objective as we come down, according to Biblical reckoning, to the end of 6,000 years of mankind’s existence on this earth? Is it not to have a part in the establishment of God’s great Kingdom on this earth in the very near future? What could be more important to this remnant of God’s chosen people than to understand God’s Truth as outlined in the Scriptures? Yet, is not a lack of true knowledge one of the major obstacles facing God’s people at the end time?
We are living in a time of technological advancement unimaginable just a few generations back. Yet God understood the ability of mankind to achieve such phenomenal growth in all areas of physical life. Very early in the history of man, God saw this ability to advance rapidly and in order to slow down this growth to His timetable, He actually came down and made adjustments to slow this whole process down (Genesis 11:4-8).
Today, unless God intervenes, mankind has come to the point where he has the ability to totally annihilate all life from the face of the earth. And it is a fact that man has never developed a weapon, which he has not eventually used. God’s timetable is now set and we can clearly see events drawing closer to a climax.
Now, relative to God’s people at this same time, Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, tells us in 2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” God’s people are prophesied to begin turning away from the sound doctrines, which have been taught in the Church by God during the life of Mr. Herbert Armstrong, an apostle of Jesus Christ during our time.
Earlier in this book, Paul tells us, “…all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Many of God’s people no longer want to be reminded that we are living in such perilous times. Many do not want to be put under the pressure of these truths that reveal that it is through much tribulation, through many trials, that we will enter the Kingdom.
Paul instructs us, “…in the last days, perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, …lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power…”(2 Timothy 3: 1-5). And in verse 7, “…always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
We are told in verse 13 that during this same period, “…evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
These words were inspired, through the apostle Paul, by God, as a warning to His people who would be living in the latter days. These words were meant for you and me.
Are we offended when a minister of God spends time expounding these and similar scriptures? Do we get weary or bored when we hear such things? Do we realize that it is in the many little things we do in our efforts to live our lives according to the example Christ lived that will eventually reveal our sincerity toward this way of life?
Mr. Armstrong seemed to think that one of the most important things for God’s people in these latter days would be for the bride to be made ready for the marriage supper that is planned at the return of Christ. The individual assigned this responsibility did not perform that task and we find the body of Christ scattered in disarray. We should therefore, in addition to performing our responsibilities relative to preaching the Gospel to the world, be spending sufficient time in carrying out those important details relative to the feeding of the body of Christ in preparation for the marriage supper of the Lamb.
In Titus 2:12-14 Paul writes, “…we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
Let us be zealous for good works, brethren. Let us do God’s Will, to live godly lives and to not be so easily offended by one another or by what we consider the milk of God’s Word. If we cannot take the milk, how will we be able to take the meat, both of which are plenteous in the Word of God? Or, do our ears itch to hear fables, speculations, and the hypocrisy of soothing words telling us we are all okay? Are we indeed rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing?
Dear brethren, we are in perilous times. However, our Lord Jesus Christ wants all of us in His soon coming kingdom when the last trump sounds. Let’s be there!