December 18, 2020 Brethren Letter
“No one can come to Me [Christ] unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).
It is God the Father who calls (draws) an individual to Christ. That’s what your Bible says! Not every person is being called NOW. God is not trying to save the world at this time. But, He does have a plan that will eventually include all of humanity. God is NO RESPECTOR of persons! (Acts 10:34).
As I mentioned previously, some have been predestined to be called now. That does not mean they have received salvation already. It is the Christian who bears GODLY spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22), and who REMAINS faithful to the very end, that will receive salvation. “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13).
The following paragraph was written by Herman Hoeh in the Good News magazine of June, 1961:
What GOD is doing these 6000 years very few recognize. Now is not the time God is trying to save the world. He is rather calling out of the world a select few whom He chooses. To us He reveals Himself, His Will and His Purpose. But we must VOLUNTARILY choose to obey Him…
God doesn’t force any of us to obey. Being called at this time does not mean we can no longer make wrong choices. Our salvation is not predetermined as a foregone conclusion. Remember, predestination has only to do to with the time of our CALLING. It has nothing to do with the spiritual decisions we made today or the ones we will make in the future. God has given each of us free moral agency, with the right to CHOOSE. That same right was given to Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets, the apostles, and others named in the Bible. They were not predestined to receive salvation any more than we are. Enduring faithfully to the very end of their lives is what determined their futures.
We find two good examples of individuals who made right choices in the book of Joshua and the book of Psalms.
(14) “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD!
(15) And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14-15).
I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me (Psalm 119:30).
I’ll end tonight’s letter with a few paragraphs from The Plain Truth magazine PERSONAL of June, 1964, written by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.
In the beginning, God devised, created, set in actual invisible MOTION a living spiritual LAW. This LAW is A WAY OF LIFE. It is THE WAY God devised to produce peace, well-being, happiness, prosperity, joy. Then God made MAN. He made man a free moral agent. Man must CHOOSE WHETHER to obey God, follow THE WAY that will bring him every blessing, or turn to THE WAY that may SEEM right, but that brings only curses.
God created man in His very own likeness — same form and shape. But God is A SPIRIT, and He formed man out of MATTER. Thus IF man rejects THE WAY to every blessing for his happiness — IF he makes choice to go THE WAY that brings on him unhappiness, suffering, and curses — he can be destroyed.
But God provided for man’s salvation. Even IF man starts out the WRONG WAY, he can repent, turn around to go the RIGHT WAY of God’s Law. The SIN of having gone contrary to that Law can be forgiven. Christ paid the death penalty FOR us. We can be reconciled to God, through Christ. And THEN God has promised to actually beget us, by His Spirit, to be BORN AGAIN — next time born OF GOD, as HIS CHILDREN, into HIS VERY DIVINE GOD FAMILY! Then we, too, shall BE SPIRIT. IF man will choose THE WAY that produces full, abundant joyful HAPPINESS, he may enjoy it FOREVER! But he may NOT suffer self-inflicted curses forever.
…Man has REJECTED THE WAY to peace, happiness, prosperity and joy.
But the few who repent, turn to God and HIS WAY through Jesus Christ, study and learn GOD’S WAY, LIVE that way with God’s help, CONVERTED by God’s Spirit, are, in THIS life, actually learning to be KINGS whom Christ will USE, in the seventh thousand years, to RULE the world WITH GOD’S FORM OF GOVERNMENT.
…Christ will assign some, who have LEARNED and LIVED HIS WAY — the WAY of His government, during this life — to rule over one city, or, perhaps five, ten, or a hundred cities.
But THIS LIFE is the training period. It is ONLY those who are UNDER and OBEDIENT TO the authority of God’s government NOW — who learn its LAWS, who overcome every other (and false) WAY — whose REAL citizenship is now reserved in heaven, who THEN will be assigned A POSITION OF RULE.
Those of us who remain loyal and faithful to the VERY END are the ones who receive eternal salvation. “…for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).
Please have a wonderful Sabbath!
Your Brother in Christ,