Dear Brethren and Co-workers with Christ,
An era has ended. Queen Elizabeth II reigned with grace and dignity for more than 70 years, and the baton has now been passed to her son, King Charles III. There has been much commentary on the Queen and the new King, but there is a part of the story that you will not hear from mainstream news sources. I will explain “the rest of the story” about the British throne in my December Tomorrow’s World “Personal” column. Be sure to read it. But, for now, I want to mention something we can learn from the life of this gracious woman.
Many young girls dream of being a princess carried off by a Prince Charming. It all seems so glamourous and idyllic, but the reality can be very different. In real life, the royals of this world are called to a role they did not choose and not all negotiate the challenge gracefully. For all its glamour, theirs is a difficult calling, which is why we see chaos in the lives of some royals. But the Queen, whatever personal struggles she no doubt endured, placed duty above her personal wishes. This is why she was so greatly respected and loved. There is no way any of us can fully appreciate the weight of responsibility she bore for her 96 years of life, most of which were as Queen, but what we do know is how she sacrificed her life to fulfill her royal charge—to serve her subjects.
Royalty is something one is born into—not a choice people can make for themselves. The Christian calling is similar. Even though many erroneously think they chose God, it is the other way around—God chose us. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” and that “no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by my Father” (John 6:44, 65). And He told His disciples who were called to be Apostles, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you” (John 15:16).
In other words, we understand God’s plan for mankind, only because God the Father opened our minds to that truth. Sometimes He allows us to be “knocked down” to the point where we humble ourselves and finally turn to Him. Other times, He puts questions in our minds and introduces the answers. But no matter what means He uses, God the Father starts the process.
God has only called a very few for His Kingdom down through history, but in a very real sense, they are called to become royalty (Revelation 5:9-10; 20:4; Daniel 7:27; Matthew 19:28; Luke 19:12-19). Our responsibility is to respond to that call, as seen in Jesus’ Parable of the Wedding Feast, which He sums up by saying, “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:2-14). Yes, many reject their calling and duty, just as royals sometimes do. That is why Christ’s Church has always been small (Luke 12:32). God’s calling is rare and a great privilege, but how many really get it?
Many who call themselves Christians think God’s calling is for personal salvation alone, that their own well-being is what it is all about. Nothing could be further from the truth. I often ask this question: “If God is not calling everyone today, why is He calling anyone?” The answer should be obvious. He is calling us to do a Work, and if we do that Work, as Jesus did (John 4:34), we will be ushered into the Kingdom of God and given positions of rulership when Christ returns. This does not leave out obedience and grace, but we cannot idly sit back, do nothing, and expect to be in God’s Kingdom, as shown in the Parable of the Talents.
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. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.” 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. . . . Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. . . . And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:24-26, 28, 30).
Queen Elizabeth did not choose her calling. She could have abdicated as her uncle, Edward VIII, chose to do. But she embraced her calling. Though not perfect before God, as none of us are, she set a sterling example of putting duty before personal desires, and she did it with dignity and grace. Neither did we choose to be called by God to do a special Work at this time, but those who embrace that responsibility will be part of a royal kingdom, ruling with Christ in the near future. That is no fairy tale! We are called, not to be saved only, but to do the Work of preaching the good news of that kingdom to all the world (Matthew 28:18-20); to warn our British-descended and American peoples, as well as the nations of the earth in general, of what is to come (Ezekiel 33:2-7); and to feed the flock of God—those precious few who respond to God’s call (John 21:15-17).
We too can embrace that call or turn back from it. After describing the disastrous result of turning away from their calling, Paul said this to the Hebrews:
But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:9-12).
And yes, I am confident of good things from you brethren and co-workers as well. We are not of those who slink back, but of those who put duty first. “‘Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:38-39). The fact that you have become members or co-workers indicates you recognize this duty and take it seriously. Thank you, and may God reward you greatly!
We must not deify Queen Elizabeth—after all, she was human and had personal shortcomings—but we can learn from her example of recognizing and embracing her calling. We do not live so much in the public eye, but we live in the eyes of God, and He is looking to us to fulfill our duty. We must put personal desire second to the will of our Savior (Luke 14:26).
The duty we have been called to involves a personal relationship with our Creator, and that involves heartfelt prayers for His Work and personal giving according to His will and our ability. Though we are small, we are doing a significant Work. As of this letter, along with sending the hardcopy Tomorrow’s World magazine to approximately 600,000 subscribers ten times a year, entirely free of charge, we are also reaching a significantly different audience of nearly 587,000 French, Spanish, and English YouTube subscribers who say, by subscribing, that they want to see more of what we have to give.
We also have more than 825,000 combined followers on Facebook in English, Spanish, and French, and our French version of “Three Things Nailed to the Cross” gained 950,000 social media views in less than two months. We also provide literature and have active websites in Dutch, Afrikaans, German, Hindi, Russian, and Chinese. So far this year we have conducted 176 Tomorrow’s World Presentations in the United States—far surpassing our previous record of 89 in 2018 and 2019. Our recent presentation in Sherbrooke, Quebec was successful enough that we have begun a new congregation there.
All of these efforts—and so many more—are made possible by those of you who understand your calling and duty. As always, thank you for your dedication and zeal to get out this important message before our world sinks into the unimaginable. And may the God who has called you, and desires to add you to His royal team at Christ’s return, bless you even now for your dutiful service.
Sincerely, in Christ’s service,
Gerald E. Weston