Letter
July 2021

July 14th, 0021

Richard F. Ames

July 14, 2021

Dear Brethren and Co-workers with Christ, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Weston are currently serving our Church youth in Athens, Texas, where about 240 teenage campers and staff are enjoying the Living Youth Camp. The Lone Star Camp grounds, including a lake, provide for many challenging activities designed to help the young people to “recapture true values.” Our youth are precious, and training them for potential leadership roles in the Church and community is vital for the future. We appreciate your prayers and support for the success of this intensive two-week program.

Meanwhile, after a year or more of lockdowns, public activities are increasingly opening across the United States, and sports stadiums are again filled with thousands of spectators. However, much of the world is facing dangerous variants of COVID-19. Just last week, because of rising COVID-19 cases, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency in Tokyo, banning spectator attendance at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics (Charlotte Observer, July 9, 2021, p. 1B.).

As we see these sobering trends, we are reminded to watch for the future end-time ride of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who will kill one-fourth of the earth’s population (Revelation 6:1-8). We must be prepared for prophetic events leading up to the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22) that will suddenly shock the Western world. Be sure to read Mr. Weston’s Tomorrow’s World magazine article “Then Comes Sudden Destruction” (July-August 2019). Brethren, we must never let down our alertness and watchfulness in these end-times. We must always remember Christ’s words, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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 21:34-36).

While the U.S. economy may appear to be strengthening, in reality it is a proverbial bubble that will someday burst—and suddenly. I hope you saw Mr. Wallace Smith’s Tomorrow’s World telecast “The End of America.” One of the biblical curses he discussed was “Crushing National Debt.” The program featured the “U.S. Debt Clock” which at the time of this writing shows more than $28 trillion dollars in U.S. national debt. The current debt-to-GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio for the nation is 107.60, indicating a troubling risk of default. Remember God’s warning, “The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail” (Deuteronomy 28:43-44).

We trust that God will allow enough economic health to support, for a while longer, His Work of preaching the Gospel. But the time will come when our warning the nations of this world will cease: “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord God, ‘That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it’” (Amos 8:11-12). We have a weighty responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission and to work with our whole heart while there is time. Jesus understood the signs of the times: “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). We need the attitude of Christ, who said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34).

Many tragic trends remind us of the crying need for God’s Kingdom to come. More than four million around the world have died from the COVID-19 pandemic. A report by the United Nations World Food Program USA lists the hungriest nations—including Yemen, which has more than “16 million people—over half of the population—waking up hungry every day.” The report notes that conditions in Yemen are “a devastating reminder of what conflict can do to a country. More than two million children are severely malnourished, and 400,000 are at risk of dying without treatment” (“Over 65% of the World’s Hungriest People Live in Just Ten Countries. Why?,” April 23, 2021).

The UN reports sobering news of famine and starvation:

The dramatic rise in global food prices over the past twelve months, coupled with diminishing food stocks and escalating fuel costs, has gravely jeopardized global food and nutrition security, and has re-emphasized the critical actions needed to realize the right to adequate food. Hunger and under-nutrition are the greatest threats to public health, killing more people than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Each day, 25,000 people, including more than 10,000 children, die from hunger and related causes. Some 854 million people worldwide are estimated to be undernourished, and high food prices may drive another 100 million into poverty and hunger. The risks are particularly acute among those who must spend at least 60 per cent of their income on food: the urban poor and displaced populations, the rural landless, pastoralists and the majority of smallholder farmers (“Losing 25,000 to Hunger Every Day,” UN Chronicle).

The end of mankind’s 6,000 years of living apart from God is coming. We thank God for the good news of His Kingdom, which will put an end to the selfishness and suffering we see all around us and establish His glorious way of love expressed through the Ten Commandments and their spiritual application.

As we preach the Gospel around the world, more and more people are being introduced to the Truth. The Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course is one of those tools through which human lives are being transformed. In the second quarter of 2021 (April through June), we sent out 35,593 copies of the first lessons, more than any previous quarter! If you have not yet subscribed, be sure to do so. Read this inspiring comment by a student from Wisconsin:

I have finished the 24-lesson Bible Study Course and I’ve learned so much. I never before really understood the statement, “Let he who has eyes to see…” Some of the scriptures I’ve read many times but didn’t really see what they meant. I have filled twelve ring binders with notes along with every scripture referred to in the study. Great job to all who put this together.

Sadly, many professing Christians neglect the Bible, though now is not the time to “let down.” Satan is increasing his attacks on belief in the existence of God, the veracity of the Bible, and God’s way of life. We must strive to submit to our Father’s and Lord’s instruction: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God’” (Luke 4:4). Our Lord quoted that scripture in His battle with Satan!

If you have been neglecting your Bible, I urge you to determine to read, study, and research it daily. Set aside 15 minutes or a half-hour of your time—make it a daily habit. Always keep the big picture in mind: “Thus says the Lord: ‘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).

Our Tomorrow’s World magazine helps readers understand the Bible. Our August 2021 issue will be sent to 488,000 subscribers around the globe. Yes, God is blessing His Work. Your support is contributing to growth online, in print, and on the air. Please pray that God will inspire new viewers and open doors to new stations. And I encourage you to read the inspiring, motivating, and informative articles in every magazine, particularly Mr. Weston’s in the July 2021 issue, where he writes,

If God is real to us—and if we truly believe there is a reward for obeying Him—we will strive to keep His commandments. We will forsake the holidays of this world that put the name of Christ on pagan practices. We will keep His Sabbaths—the seventh-day weekly Sabbath and the annual Sabbaths. We will allow nothing and no one to deter us from obedience to our Lord and Savior. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:37-39). Yes, if God is real to us, we will put Him first, above all else! Those words come straight from Jesus Himself! (“Is God Actually Real to You?,” p. 8).

Thank you for your continuing prayers for the preaching of the Gospel. As you seek God wholeheartedly, claim His promise: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). And take comfort and joy that Christ’s prophecy is being fulfilled and will be fulfilled: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

In Christian love,
Richard F. Ames