August 2021

August 19th, 2021

Gerald Weston

Dear Brethren and Co-workers with Christ,

A disaster in Afghanistan is occurring right before our eyes even as I write. The consequences of the United States’ poorly managed withdrawal will be long-lasting as American prestige and credibility has sunk to a new low. And I don’t have to tell you that our world has changed dramatically over the last two years due to the coronavirus. On top of the heartache and death wrought by this virus, nations are badly divided from within over masks, vaccines, and lockdowns, all of which have become political, and truth has become the great casualty (Isaiah 59:14-15). We constantly hear “follow the science,” but for most the science is subservient to political agendas.

The fall of the West is something we have been prophetically expecting for decades, but how painful it is to watch. How painful to see the disaster occurring in Afghanistan. How painful to see a Marxist agenda taking over institution after institution in Western nations. How painful to see cancel culture imposed on any who disagree with the “woke” ideologues.

The bright side to it all is that these things must happen prior to Christ’s return—and, when He does return, He will transform this world in ways almost no one can imagine. “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:2-4).

There is another result of Christ’s return that will make possible a vastly different world. Christ will remove “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 20:1-3). It is difficult for us to understand how different things will be without that evil influence.

But where does all of that leave us as we watch what is happening? Most professing Christians believe God is trying to save them now. On the surface, that sounds good, and we would not deny that God is saving those He is calling, but is that the reason for our calling? Consider this. As Mr. Richard Ames pointed out in his recent powerful telecast “What Happened to the Christianity of Christ?,” most professing Christians lack understanding of the Church started by Jesus. Consider carefully Jesus’ statement to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).

Being sincere is not enough. One must also worship God in truth, and the fact remains that few worship Him in both spirit and truth. This explains how Christianity can be the largest religion in the world and at the same time “the whole world” (including the Christian world) can be deceived by Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9). No wonder Jesus described His followers as a “little flock” (Luke 12:32).

Our study guide Is This the Only Day of Salvation? explains that the overwhelming majority of mankind is not being called today. That is not likely what you were taught, but it is made clear in the Holy Scriptures. Now, that is wonderful news when we properly understand God’s plan for mankind! So here is the question: Why are some called today? Is it all about “me?” Is it only for “my” salvation? The answer is a resounding “No!” If salvation is the primary reason someone is called today, then why not save everyone now? Certainly God is powerful enough to step in and do so, but He has not and there is a very good reason why.

When Adam and Eve chose to disobey their Creator and decide for themselves right and wrong, God essentially said, “Okay. You are on your own for 6,000 years—learn your lesson in pain and heartache.” When we survey the Bible, we see that God called very few down through history, but in every case where He did, He called them to do a Work. Most people know that Noah built an ark to begin civilization anew after the destruction of the earth because it had become violent and corrupt, but do they know he was also called a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5)? God called Abraham to be the father of the faithful and to begin a family in which He would work down through time. The prophets were not called to comfortable lives, but to give warning messages to their peoples and to others. The apostles were to be witnesses of Christ’s life, His message about the Kingdom of God, and His death, burial, and resurrection. Tradition indicates all except John were martyred. That sounds as though there was more to it than a comfortable “personal salvation”!

Now don’t misunderstand. Those of us called during this age are having our opportunity for salvation now, but that is not the primary purpose for our calling. Those called now are called to do a Work, just as God called Noah, Abraham, the prophets, and the apostles to do a Work. I often ask the question, “If God is not calling everyone today, why is He calling anyone?” The clear answer is that those called today have a special job to perform, and those who do that job will be rewarded as a result (Daniel 12:3).

Consider the parable of the minas. Jesus describes Himself as a nobleman going into a far country (heaven). He gives a mina (a unit of money) to each of ten servants. When He returns, He gives out rewards to those who multiply their minas, but then “another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, [notice this] you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas’” (Luke 19:20-24).

Jesus called His servants to do a Work, just as He did the Work of His Father. Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34). But then He goes on to instruct those He has called. “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together” (John 4:35-36).

This is not the first time I’ve quoted these verses, but sometimes we need to hear something more than once before the message sinks in. Salvation is a free gift from God. We can never earn it as it requires Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf to pay for our transgressions. All our law-keeping going forward can never remove the penalty of our past sins. However, the Bible is clear that our reward in the Kingdom of God is based on our works (Matthew 16:27; Revelation 22:12). Salvation is not the primary purpose you are called today, and the parable of the talents demonstrates that God is not going to reward someone who fails to fulfill that calling. Read it for yourself in Matthew 25:14-30.

This parable is similar to that of the minas, but in this case, each servant is given a talent according to his ability (five, two, and one). Again, the lord of these servants goes into a far country, returns, and calls his servants to give an account. The one given five talents doubles them and hears these wonderful words that I hope we all long to hear, “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” (Matthew 25:21). The one given two talents also doubles them and receives a similar commendation, but the one who was given one talent does nothing with it. He was simply waiting it out as some wait out salvation. What was the response to this man? First, he is called a wicked and lazy servant, but that is not the end of the parable. Notice the reward this man receives for failing to do the job his master gave him to do: “And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30). What a sad ending to one who was called by His Master to do His Work!

God has given us a Work to do at the end of this age. We are to preach the good news of God’s coming Kingdom, and to warn a dying world what the consequences will be if there is not a heartfelt turn to go in a different direction. Nothing indicates mankind will change direction, but that does not relieve us from the responsibility to give a warning as a witness (Ezekiel 33:1-7; Matthew 24:14; Proverbs 24:10-12).

Thank you, dear brethren and co-workers, for your part in prayers and financial gifts that make it possible for us to collectively do the Work of God at this critical time in man’s history. We cannot know exactly how God will use us in the years ahead to finish that Work, but we trust from Scripture that the job will be completed.

Sincerely, in Christ’s service,
Gerald E. Weston