Hope for a Troubled World
Jesus said not to worry and fret over our physical needs but to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). This, then, is the first priority of every Christian—to pursue God's Kingdom through living as He commands. This pursuit leads to a life of great meaning and purpose, filled with personal enrichment, one with absolute faith in a future that is wonderful beyond anything we can imagine.
Ultimately, God desires that all mankind be saved and live eternally in His family and Kingdom (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9). This is what motivates us as members of the United Church of God in our collective responsibility. We see our mission as servants of God called to proclaim this message, serving God in the fulfillment of His amazing purpose for humanity. There can be no greater mission in life than to have a part in fulfilling this eternal objective.
Our greatest challenge for this age, then, is to live as God commands, to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world, to make disciples in all nations and to care for the disciples God adds to His Church today (Matthew 28:19).
We value God's plan to save every individual who will yield to Him. We understand that two distinct groups of people will hear the message proclaimed by the Church. Jesus said of those called to be His disciples, "It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven ...," but concerning everyone else He said, "... To them it has not been given"—that is, in this present age (Matthew 13:11).
The second group is the world at large—those who, according to God's time and purpose, He will eventually also call and grant mercy to upon their repentance (Romans 11:25-32). To this group the Church proclaims a message of hope.
Why is this knowledge important? Every individual, regardless of race, national origin or sex, will, in time, have the opportunity to be called by God and to hear and respond to the good news of the Kingdom of God and to the testimony of Jesus' life, death and resurrection. What they learn about God's ways today may help them come to repentance with less difficulty at that time.
Therefore, the gospel of the Kingdom of God is a message directed to all of mankind. God's plan explicitly provides for every human being from every nation to eventually have an opportunity for membership in His family—according to His timetable and will. As Peter said, "how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right" (Acts 10:34-35, NIV).
Hope beyond the time of the end
Bible prophecy warns of a coming time of international upheaval unlike any previous period in world history. Jesus describes it as a time of "great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again" (Matthew 24:21, NIV).
He tells His followers to "watch," to be personally vigilant concerning their own spiritual condition, with an eye on world events so as to understand the times and not be caught unaware and unprepared (Luke 21:36; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6). (For better understanding of end-time events, request our free booklets Are We Living in the Time of the End?, You Can Understand Bible Prophecy and The Book of Revelation Unveiled.)
Christians should have a basic understanding of the times and events that may affect their lives and be able to consider them in a proper context. Paul describes Christ's servants in this present age as "ambassadors" for His coming Kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20). That Kingdom is not here yet. But many of its citizens are alive today. The story the gospel tells is that of a little flock that, growing like a mustard seed, will eventually fill the whole earth (see Luke 12:32; Matthew 13:31-32).
Christ is now preparing, in His role as our High Priest, a people who will serve in His coming Kingdom (John 14:1-3). He foretold that for His followers' sake the terrible times ahead will be cut short and humanity will be saved from extinction (Matthew 24:22). Because of their faithfulness now, they will share in Christ's future rule over the earth (Revelation 3:21).
You, too, can choose to become a part of the work of God, a helper in proclaiming the eternal message of the Kingdom of God. The gospel of the coming Kingdom of God holds forth the only lasting solution to humanity's problems. The United Church of God remains firm in its commitment to fulfill its part in that proclamation—making known the noble and awe-inspiring purpose for human life.
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