Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Greetings from Charlotte, NC! What actually comes first in your life? Most of you co-workers have demonstrated by becoming co-workers that you know God is real—and that He is intervening in world affairs and in your life. That is wonderful. And the Creator will certainly bless any of us who sincerely try to honor Him and do our part in His end-time Work!
But is that enough?
How can I best serve you and serve all of our other co-workers? I am now 82 years old and may not have that many more years left to serve my Creator and to serve you. Certainly, as long as God gives me life and breath, I want to continue to preach, teach and write the full Truth to all of you the best I can. Even though it may not be the “popular” or the “politically correct” thing to do, I am commanded by the Creator God to correct when necessary and to exhort you to do better. For God Almighty commands His faithful ministers: “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1).
In the New Testament, God 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).
So how can I genuinely help you the most? Going beyond what we normally do in these letters in telling you about the ongoing fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the growth of this powerful Work of faith, I now want to warn every one of you dear co-workers, in love, about one of the most dangerous and pernicious attitudes now permeating our entire society. This attitude will undermine and simply destroy your relationship with God if you get into it. Please think deeply about this quotation I have used in the past in articles and letters. As U.S. News & World Report pointed out a few years ago: “More than three-fourths of Americans call the nation’s religious diversity a source of strength…. Meanwhile, more than 3 in 4 Americans believe all religions have at least some elements of truth—even though few say they know much about religions other than their own. And nearly 70 percent think spiritual experiences are the most important part of religion. ‘If one’s religion is more about individual identity than doctrine or creed, it’s a lot easier to be tolerant,’ says Egon Mayer, a sociologist at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Gallup says that the high degree of religious tolerance reflects, in part, ‘not only a lack of knowledge of other religions but an ignorance of one’s own faith.’ In some polls, he says, ‘you have Christians saying, “Yes, Jesus is the only way” and also, “Yes, there are many paths to God.” It’s not that Americans don’t believe anything; they believe everything.’”
My dear brethren and co-workers, this attitude is certainly pervasive in the approach of millions of Americans. For they increasingly believe different “bits and pieces” of various religions and philosophies. Also, because of the almost total confusion in religion today, other millions are completely “giving up” and turning to atheism—completely denying the existence of God Himself! People are really confused as they “cobble” together, “their own” form of religion. However, extremely few people in the United States, Canada, the UK or Australia take with total seriousness the real God of the Bible. Somehow, they are not willing to surrender their will to the genuine Higher Power who created them and gave them life and breath. They are often quick to say, “Here is the way I look at it!”
In all respect, do you really think that the great God—the Creator of heaven and earth, the God who gives you life and breath—is very concerned about the millions of differing “opinions” that we puny, mixed-up human beings have about the ultimate purpose of life? For the God of the Bible tells us, “‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,’ says the Lord. ‘But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word’” (Isaiah 66:1-2).
If we in this Work are helping you grasp the absolute fact that God is real—and that He has total power over world events and over your very life—then it would seem to follow that each of you would begin to exhibit the profound respect for your very Creator which He describes above. Do you, personally, tremble at God’s inspired Word? Will you honestly obey whatever God clearly tells you to do in the Bible? Is the Jesus Christ of the Bible really your “Lord”? Remember, here is what Jesus said about those who claimed to follow Him: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
Obviously, if you do not obey what Christ says to the best of your ability, then Jesus Christ is not your Lord!
Yet, in our supposedly sophisticated society, we now increasingly “water down” and virtually do away with almost everything the real Jesus Christ of the Bible taught, stood for and lived for as He set us an example that we should “follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). Although we often have clever arguments to justify our conduct, we manage to regularly break nearly all of God’s Ten Commandments! This attitude reached an all-time high recently when the very President of the United States publically stated that he now approves of the idea of “men marrying men”!
The inspired Word of God tells us, in advance, of the very attitude described in these verses: “But know this, that 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, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Indeed, the watered-down “form” of godliness now permeating our nation always leads to “denying” the real power or the authority of the living God. The Word of God reveals that—in this final age or “era” of His Church and of this earth’s civilization—the spirit of “Laodicea” will prevail. Here is how God Himself describes the Laodicean attitude: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16). Even most supposedly religious people very seldom get truly inspired or “on fire” for God and His Word. The spirit of complacency and compromise is totally dominant in today’s “Christianity.” God’s true ways and His laws are compromised and watered down in every single facet of our society.
So all of us need to wake up! If you haven’t yet done so, please call us or write us and request your free copy of our vital booklet entitled, The Ten Commandments.
All of our physical lives will come to an end. We must learn to take very seriously God’s instruction through Moses, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
Dear brethren and co-workers, are you personally truly studying your Bible each day in order to fully understand and to obey the Eternal God’s instruction as to how you should live? Are you meditating on that as you carefully think through how you may more fully reflect Jesus Christ in your life? Are you fervently praying and increasingly “crying out” to God to help you more deeply understand His Word, His will and to perform it in all of your life?
In this Work of the living Christ, we are dedicated to helping you do all of the above! As I near the end of my physical life, I hope you won’t mind if I occasionally instruct you and exhort you to “go all out” to obtain the ultimate goal in all of life. For the real Jesus Christ of the Bible is returning to this earth soon as King of kings! Christ commands all of us to preach His Gospel to this entire world as a “witness.” But you are part of our “inner circle” of members and co-workers. We want to go “above and beyond” in helping all of you in our extended family to fully understand and to fully obey our great God’s precious Truth. For Jesus Christ said that the horrible suffering of the soon-coming Great Tribulation will come “unexpectedly” on those who are not truly close to God. Then Jesus commanded, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).
May God Himself shake you to a full realization of what is now beginning to happen in world affairs! And may our heavenly Father bless you and guide you into fully giving your life to Him and urgently avoiding the “lukewarm” and “watered-down” Laodicean approach to religion which we see all around us today. May our merciful Father help every one of us go all out in doing His Work, in preparing for His Kingdom, and in truly seeking Him with all our heart, with all our strength and all our mind. That is what must come first in all our lives.
With Christian love,
Roderick C. Meredith