God's Holy Day Plan

Dear Brethren,

We are just a little over a week away from the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets pictures the time when Jesus Christ will return to the earth in great power. Who will recognize Christ when He comes, and who will oppose Christ at His return? Within God’s Church, it seems that no matter who responds to these questions, the answer is always the same. "Jesus Christ is returning to us, and He is coming against everyone else."

The truth of the matter is that many within God’s Church who believe that they "have it made" are going to be seriously disappointed when Jesus returns. Why else do the Scriptures say: "The children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:12) Too many within God’s Church have failed to mature spiritually and sufficiently to realize that True Christianity goes far beyond a show of religious customs.

Oh, we learned about pork, birthdays, make-up and hair length, etc.; but did we learn the most important doctrine of all – how to support one another fully in our walk in the Truth? We learned a form of religion, but how many of us arrived at the substance of Christianity as Christ would have us live it? The most important unifying doctrine – the one which is so often overlooked – is the command to love one another as Christ loved us, and help one another into the Kingdom of God (John 13:34). When was the last time we truly laid down our very life for another human being?

Let me be very simplistic for a moment. Let’s ask some straightforward questions. Do you believe that you are straight with God because you keep the Sabbath and do not eat pork chops? Do you suppose that your salvation is assured because your Pastor or headquarters would not let you down? Do you think that your doctrine, your calendar, or your congregation is better than all the others, and that the knowledge you possess will bring you to salvation?

When we were called into God's Church, we believed that the Church would keep getting larger and larger until Christ returned. Things did not work out that way. In fact, the true brethren have been scattered in every direction, even as the approach of Jesus Christ has grown ever closer. Many people departed the faith all together. "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." (Matthew 24:12) "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first..." (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

What are we to do now? The Feast of Trumpets shows that Christ is going to return and intervene in world affairs. If we want Jesus to return to us, we had better be practicing the first principles of Christ with an earnest expectation that the Plan of God is going to be fulfilled (Hebrews 6:1-2). How do we prepare? We should be working to patch up the injured and round up those who were driven away by force and cruelty. However, here is what Jesus will say to some of us. "The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them." (Ezekiel 34:4)

The answer to recognizing Christ at His return is for us to be practicing true Christianity. The Bible tells us that the Plan of God is going to be fulfilled, but only by practicing true Christianity will we be a part of God's Kingdom. What can we hope to achieve at this late date? It is not a matter of building a great lasting earthly endeavor. All organizations and establishments of man throughout history have fallen apart – or soon will. How can we expect to accomplish anything or amount to anything? Good question! The answer lies in believing that God's Plan is coming to fruition.

Realize that even the first century Church of God fell apart and was scattered to the four winds. It grew and prospered for a little while, and then was lost to history. Paul wrote about that first break-up of the Church when everyone in Asia left him (2 Timothy 1:15). For true Christians at that time, it was an extremely difficult ordeal. Did God intend for His Church, established on the first Pentecost, to become ever larger and larger? No! Christ called His Church "the little flock." (Luke 12:32) It should be clear at this point in history that nothing is permanent on this earth – not organizations of men, not even God's Temple at Jerusalem – nothing, that is, except the Spirit of God in the children of God – it alone will endure. Be mindful of this one thing – God's Plan is sure.

To some, it may seem that God's Plan has become side tracked. But, we know better than that – God's Plan is on track. When we stop and think about it, down deep we know it. Jesus Christ is working out every detail of His Plan to usher in the Kingdom of His Father. The firstfruits of the better resurrection will be harvested at the last trumpet (Hebrews 11:35, 1 Corinthians 15:52).

In order to get a better focus on our present circumstance, let's step back far enough to see the larger panorama of history. We are privileged to be able to see all the Church eras as they unfolded from that first century until now. Only the end time Church is able to recognize that God's Plan is right on schedule – even as we speak.

What should we be doing with the precious wisdom we possess? Today, it seems as though many of our brethren are standing around saying to themselves, "I wish somebody would do something." They reason, "If only a great leader would arise, I would surely lend a helping hand."

Brethren, let's remember that God the Father has placed us in the Body where it pleases Him. Wherever we find ourselves today – it is the right place to live our Christianity as a demonstration to others with whom God is working.

What are we to be doing now? God tells us we should recognize that things are coming to a head (Matthew 16:2). This world desperately needs what we have to give. We cannot allow ourselves to grow weary. Jesus asks the question, "Will I find faith when I return," (Luke 18:8) indicating that we will not be a huge group at His return. God's Plan is definitely on track and on schedule. We have no choice but to maintain our idealism, our fervor, and our zeal for the truth. Jesus Christ is coming soon!


Sermon:  "God's Holy Day Plan"
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