February 7, 2020 Brethren Letter
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (I
Clearly, these two verses show a loving Father in Heaven who awaits the time when His begotten children will actually be BORN into the Family of God. What a marvelous plan!
Mr. Armstrong wrote the following about God’s plan in the Tomorrow’s World magazine of February, 1971:
Jesus preached only one Gospel — that about the KINGDOM (government — rule) of GOD — of how God is going to RULE ALL NATIONS — of how we may, by being begotten NOW, be actually BORN INTO GOD’S KINGDOM at the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead IN Christ, being then GLORIFIED just as Christ is NOW glorified in the very FAMILY of God!
God, through His calling (John 6:44), has offered us the opportunity to be part of the Family of God forever. However, God will not give eternal life to any ONE of us who won’t put God’s way of life FIRST! We have to truly seek it. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33).
Mr. Armstrong wrote the following in The Wonderful World Tomorrow, What it Will Be like:
First, consider how the living Christ, as our High Priest, changes this human nature in those whom God calls to salvation in this present day of man.
Each individual is a free moral agent, and God won’t change that prerogative! Each must be brought, of his own free will, to repentance and to faith in Jesus Christ. Those are the conditions.
Those do not change human nature. They are the conditions God requires of us. But when we, of our own free choice, do yield to those two conditions, then God starts the changing process.
…if one has really repented, and fully believes, he will want to be willingly led by God’s Spirit. And it is “as many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).
If one makes the decision to be led by this new Divine Nature, God’s Spirit in him is also the power of God and the faith of Christ that will enable him to resist his human nature, and follow the Divine Nature. As the converted individual resists the pulls of human nature, and is led by God’s Holy Spirit into obedience to God’s ways, he grows in spiritual character, until at the time of the Resurrection, his human nature will be gone — only the Divine Nature will remain.
When Jesus was on this earth, He spoke in a parable about servants who were given a number of “talents” (Matthew 25). One servant was given five talents. A second servant was given two talents. The third individual was given one talent. The first two servants doubled their talents. The third servant did nothing with his talent except HIDE it.
(14) “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. (15) And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. (16) Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. (17) And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. (18) But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money (Matthew 25:14-18).
Now, notice what happens when the “man traveling to a far country” (Jesus Christ), returns (verses 19-23):
(19) After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
(20) So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ (21) His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ (22) He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ (23) His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
However, the last servant who had one talent did nothing with it. He didn’t increase his talent at all, it had remained hidden (Verses 24-30):
(24) Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. (25) And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ (26) But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. (27) So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. (28) Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. (29) For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. (30) And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
That’s a very sobering parable. Brethren, are you and I growing the way God expects? Are we using our talents and abilities to serve God, or, do we disappear into our own little world and hide? Do we consider ways in which we can actively and faithfully serve God and His people, or do we make excuses, just letting the time slip away? “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God…” (I Peter 4:17). Time is
growing very short! There is no time left to hesitate, procrastinate or hold back. NOW is time to put forth every effort to increase our “talents” as wise servants.
Brethren, God has such a wonderful future planned for us, and for all of mankind. We are given the opportunity to teach along with Jesus Christ, a way of life that produces happiness.
If we’re growing spiritually the way God intends, we too will hear the words that Christ spoke within His parable:
‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
Please have a wonderful Sabbath!
Your Brother in Christ,