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Assembly Summary: Activist for God

Author: Yolanda Watt | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2021-22


Estimated Reading Time: 3 min.

“What I do is an answer to a prayer. I wanted a hands-on feel for what the work was really doing.”

These are some of the opening words to Mr. Lehman Lyons’ recent Assembly lecture. He summarized some of his work history, which ties in with what he does in the Living Church of God today. He has a background in business, though he started his career in a grocery store before being hired by a moving company. Once his employers found out where he was from, they offered him management of an agency forty-five miles from where he grew up in South Carolina. While there, He learned the whole spectrum of what happens in a moving company.

In 2001, the Church hired Mr. Lyons to work in purchasing. He was hired because the Church, headquartered in California at the time, was moving across the country to North Carolina. Due to his prior moving experiences, he was able to offer expertise that most members did not have, and helped the Church save massive amounts of money.

Purchasing

Mr. Lyons’ corporate title is Buyer. He is responsible for purchasing anything that the Church needs, looking for deals that will get the best quality things at a responsible price. Mr. Lyons encouraged us to pray for open doors for the Church, saying that God can bring the money into the Church and multiply it to do His Work.  

Mr. Lyons’ work often takes him outside of the Headquarters building. While most Headquarters employees mainly work with each other, Mr. Lyons’ main line of work necessitates working with people outside the Church. He expressed that, since we need to find favor in the eyes of the people with whom we do business, another thing we can pray for is “vendor favor.”

Mr. Lyons is also responsible for the fleet, which comprises the automobiles that the Church has on its property as well as the ones that it supplies the ministers in the field. The Church purchases these vehicles and handles their fuel cost and maintenance, buying automobiles through Enterprise and paying the bills on time. Mr. Lyons also handles the transportation of visiting ministers to and from the airport.

Activists for God

“I look at my job as tending and keeping,” Mr. Lyons said. He supervises the maintenance for the HQ building, which was a blessing from God through the donations of the members. Mr. Lyons described the HQ building as one of the biggest benefits the Church has, because it would be way more expensive to rent a building. The Church also owns houses that it has purchased in Matthews, North Carolina, the maintenance of which Mr. Lyons helps oversee.

Mr. Lyons closed his lecture by saying that he is an activist advocating for the cause of the Church. He mentioned to the students that we are already a part of the Work, being in the educational program and engaging in the work-study opportunities available to us. He asked all the students to join him in striving to be a vital part of the Work of God.

Student Life: A Trip to Valdese

Author: Caanin Fausone | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2021-22


Estimated Reading Time: 2 min.

On Wednesday, November the tenth, this year’s LivingEd students took a trip down to the storied and historic Waldensian Trail of Faith located in the small-but scenic town of Valdese, North Carolina.

There, they had the opportunity to learn about some of the brethren who kept the true teachings of Christ alive in what can only be called an especially dark time for the Church of God. This trip not only served as an opportunity to learn some interesting things about our spiritual forefathers but also was very helpful in supplementing Mr. Wayne Tlumak’s Biblical Doctrines class in which he explains the different eras of the Church of God. At the “Trail of Faith” itself, the students had the chance to see firsthand what set God’s people apart from the apostate believers of the Thyatira era. Seeing the documented debates of when to keep the Sabbath as well as the storied discourse over whether to keep Easter or Passover was especially interesting. 

Another important aspect of this trip was seeing just how the Waldensians lived, forced to worship in caves and being more than just persecuted for their faith, but in many cases laying down their lives for what they believed. It was really eye-opening to see the liberty we so freely enjoy in many parts of the world today be desperately fought for by devoted people of faith who came before us. Though the Waldensians eventually did succumb to the protestant dogma that swept through Europe in the 1600 and 1700s, their desire to do what they believed was right no matter the consequence is an admirable quality no matter the time or era. 

After seeing all that the exhibit had to offer the students went a short way down to a local park in the Valdese area and enjoyed a relaxing walk to an old water mill and the babbling stream that used to run it. All in all the trip was an educational, enlightening and enjoyable experience and I’m sure it will have a lasting impact moving forward throughout the year.  

Course Spotlight: The Unpardonable Sin

What is the unpardonable sin? What did Jesus say about this topic? Take a look at this excerpt “Is there an Unpardonable Sin?” by Richard Ames to get an overview of this topic!

Course Spotlight From The Life, Ministry, and Teachings of Jesus Christ: (Unit 2) The Galilean Ministry

Forum Summary: Four Keys to Successful Decision-Making

Author: Ryan Price | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2021-22


Estimated Reading Time: 3 min.

When we’re young, there are so many unknowns to face.

We make decisions every day of our lives, and God wants us to develop the capacity to make good decisions as part of our training, whether the decisions involve spiritual questions or the physical decisions that impact us in so many unexpected ways. Sound decision-making is one of the primary lessons we are to learn in this life. In this week’s Forum, Dr. Jeffrey Fall shared with the Living Ed students four key principles to good decision-making.

Key 1. Get the Facts

Sometimes, you won’t have all the information, and making a poorly informed decision can end in disaster. If we gather all the facts, we get more pieces of the puzzle, which will give us a clearer picture of the situation. As an example, in Joshua 24—at the end of Joshua’s life—Israel had to make a decision. There were those who were loyal to God, those who were attracted to the Canaanite gods and customs, and the majority who hadn’t yet decided. God, through Joshua, laid out the facts—how He had led them from Egypt and intervened on their behalf many times. Joshua 24:16-18 shows us that when faced with the evidence, Israel made the right choice in this case.

Key 2. Seek Counsel

As human beings, we have a tendency to “go it alone” and try to figure things out for ourselves, yet Proverbs 11:14 shows us that counsel is an important part of decision-making. When we receive good counsel, it can open our eyes to aspects of the decision we might not have seen before. Seeking counsel may not come naturally at first, but when we do so, we embrace God’s way of passing on spiritual insight to us. However, we need to be careful to seek counsel from the right sources. As Psalm 1:1 tells us, we should avoid seeking counsel from the ungodly.

Key 3: Set Your Priorities in Order

Not every priority should hold the same value as we make decisions. God expects us to discern the weightier matters of the law and ask ourselves, “What would God’s highest priority be in this situation?” Our goal is to set our priorities in line with His priorities. For instance, while the Sabbath is a day of rest, we go to Services because being with our brethren and learning more about His way is a higher priority than just physically resting. As 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us, we are to be “rightly dividing the word of truth”—setting our priorities in the right order.

Key 4: Ask God for Directions

Even when we have the facts and have received proper counsel, the right decision won’t always be obvious. Going to God in prayer is a valuable decision-making tool, as is fasting about the decision. In Isaiah 58:1–11, God promises that He will guide us continually if we do our part. Fasting over a decision and asking God to show us His will brings nothing but benefit to us. Even if God’s answer to our question is no, we can take comfort in the fact that He knows what’s best for us.

We will make countless decisions throughout our lives; God won’t do it all for us. He’s teaching us the principles of proper decision-making. As we go through life, we can have confidence in these principles designed by our Father. He is seeking children who can make successful decisions, and He is always looking out for our best interests.

Course Spotlight: The Nazarite Vow

What is a Nazarite vow? Do we have any examples of a Nazarite vow in the Scriptures? In Lectures 2, 3, and 4, Dr. Meredith describes how Paul and his companions participated in a Nazarite vow.

COURSE SPOTLIGHT FROM ACTS OF THE APOSTLES: (UNIT 3) PAUL’S IMPRISONMENT

Assembly Summary: The Disposable Era

Author: Yolanda Watt | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2021-22


Estimated Reading Time: 3 min.

It is really easy to give up and quit when we are doing something that is difficult or out of our comfort zone.

We live in an era of variety, in which people can easily change their minds. Mr. Ferreira lamented that in today’s world people are no longer interested in fixing things; instead they just replace them. This kind of attitude is so prevalent that it is even found in relationships and marriages. Couples are no longer interested in trying to work through their relationships, and instead they get a divorce, only to start the cycle all over again. Mr. Ferreira also talked about this in relation to people moving from one church to the next when they encounter issues. He refers to such people as “church fleas” hopping from one group to another.

Mr. Ferreira mentioned that we are to be long-suffering and patient, and followed that up with two thought-provoking questions: Do you follow through on your commitments (Matthew 5:37)? Are you grounded and steadfast (Matthew 7:13–14)? 

Five lessons from a simple pencil

Mr. Ferreira related these questions to a story about a pencil maker who told a pencil that if it remembered five lessons, it would be a successful pencil.

First, we will be able to do great things only if we allow ourselves to be held in someone’s hand—we must learn to rely on God for strength. If we are in God’s hands, anything is possible (Matthew 19:26).

Like a pencil, we also will experience painful sharpening from time to time, but this is needed for us to become better. God wants us to improve on a daily basis; it does not happen all at once at baptism. A Christian cannot grow without going through tests and trials. The trials might not feel great, but giving up on God’s way of life is never an option for true Christians (Romans 5:3–4; Matthew 24:13).

A pencil also has an eraser at the back of it to fix mistakes. Our “eraser” is genuine repentance (Isaiah 55:6–7; Psalm 103:11–12). Thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, repenting from our sins allows those sins to be erased from the record of our lives in God’s sight. We all make mistakes—and with God’s help, we are able to repent of our mistakes and correct them. 

No matter how fancy a pencil’s exterior is, the lead within it is the most important part. Likewise, the most important part of Christians is always what’s inside. We should not define ourselves solely by who we are physically; we should remember that what is in our hearts is what truly matters in God’s sight (1 Samuel 16:6–7; Jeremiah 17:10).

On every surface a pencil is used, it leaves a mark. We, too, leave marks as we go about our lives, through the examples we set and the legacies we leave behind. It is a Christian’s responsibility to strive to exemplify Christ’s life and leave a legacy that points back to Him (1 Peter 2:21–23; 1 Timothy 4:12).

 As Christians, we can all learn from the lessons of a pencil. We need to make sure that we stick to our commitment to God’s way of life—we cannot afford to give up when things get tough. With His help, we will be examples of those who stand apart from the disposable era.


Course Spotlight: The “Perpetual Virginity” of Mary

The write-up below is a typical Catholic explanation of the “perpetual virginity of Christ”. In order to understand why Dr. Meredith emphasizes the scriptural emphasis on Christ’s brothers in John 2:12, it’s helpful to know the Catholic view…

Course Spotlight from The Life Ministry and Teachings of Jesus Christ: (Unit 1) The Early Life of Christ

Digging Deeper: Simon of Cyrene


Author: Mr. Kenneth Frank
| Faculty in Theology, Living Education


Estimated reading time: 8 min.

Did you know that Jesus was so weakened by his various beatings before His crucifixion that a passerby was conscripted by Roman soldiers into carrying Jesus’ cross or crossbeam to the crucifixion site?

The Gospels draw attention to this stranger who was dragged into the commotion of the execution of a prophet from Galilee. This stranger’s sacrificial act of mercy is noted in the Gospels. Digging Deeper this week considers who he may have been, what he carried, and how this experience may have changed his life—and has changed ours.

Our focus verse is: “And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross” (Matthew 27:32 KJV throughout). This story appears in all three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The other two references are Mark 15:21 and Luke 23:26. John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible describes Cyrene as: “… a place in Libya, and one of the five cities called Pentapolis: which were these, Berenice, Arsinoe, Ptolemais, Apollonia, and Cyrene (l); Kir in Amos 1:5 is rendered by the Targum, קירני, ‘Cyrene’, as it is also by the Vulgate Latin” (e-Sword 13.0.0). It was a capital city about 800 miles west from Jerusalem, being where Tripoli is today.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary provides important historical information about the Roman province of Cyrene that was along the Mediterranean Coast: “A hundred thousand Jews from Palestine had been settled in this province by Ptolemy Soter (323-285 B.C.), where by this time they had greatly increased in number. They had a synagogue in Jerusalem [Acts 6:9] for such of their number as went thither to the annual feasts” (e-Sword 13.0.0). The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible adds: “… its population included many local Libyans, resident Greeks and Jews” (Tecarta Bible App).

Who was Simon?

In the Bible, several people are named Simon, an abbreviated form of Simeon. He was either born Jewish or was a convert (proselyte) of the Diaspora (Jews outside the Holy Land). The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature by John McClintock and James Strong describes him as: “A Hellenistic Jew, born at Cyrene on the north coast of Africa, who was present at Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus either as an attendant at the feast (Acts 2:10) or as one of the numerous settlers at Jerusalem from that place (Acts 6:9)” (e-Sword 13.0.0).  

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible comments that: “Simon was a Greek name very commonly used by Jews (because it resembled the patriarchal name Simeon). His coming to Jerusalem probably suggests that he is Jewish by faith, whatever his ethnic background.” (Tecarta Bible App). He may have traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. Little did he suspect the experience that lay before him. Roman soldiers had the authority, called the right of impressment, to draft a passerby to help carry the cross to the crucifixion site. Simon was in the right place at the right time for this duty.

William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible characterizes what it may have been like for Simon when the Roman soldier approached him to bear Jesus’ cross: “This must have been a grim day for Simon of Cyrene. Palestine was an occupied country and any man might be impressed into the Roman service for any task. The sign of impressment was a tap on the shoulder with the flat of a Roman spear. Simon was from Cyrene in Africa. No doubt he had come from that far off land for the Passover. No doubt he had scraped and saved for many years in order to come. No doubt he was gratifying the ambition of a lifetime to eat one Passover in Jerusalem. Then this happened to him” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

The burden that changed him

The reason Simon was drafted to bear the cross is that Jesus had been so weakened by His scourging that he probably stumbled in carrying His cross, though He had set out doing so (John 19:17). The ESV Study Bible declares: “The skin and muscles of his back would have been severely lacerated, and he could have suffered severe injury to his internal organs” (Tecarta Bible App). It was customary for the prisoner to carry his crossbeam, called a patibulum, to the crucifixion site, where it was attached to the upright stake. The KJV Study Bible adds: “The transverse piece was usually carried separately and attached by rope to the vertical pole at the place of execution” (Ibid.).

It was also possible Jesus had been carrying the entire cross, which could weigh up to 30-40 pounds. Describing this cross, the ESV Study Bible details: “The most common Greek word for ‘cross’ (stauros), though originally designating a ‘sharpened pole,’ became associated before the NT with various penal means of suspending bodies (before or after death), including those employing a crux, or cross-shaped device, for crucifixion” (Tecarta Bible App). If it was the entire cross Jesus was carrying, Simon may have assisted Him by carrying one end.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible suggests that the Romans inducted Simon to help Jesus carry His cross to Golgatha: “… not out of good will to Christ, but fearing lest through his faintness and weakness, he should, die before he got to the place of execution, and they be disappointed of their end, the crucifixion of him; or because they were in haste to have him executed, and he was not able to go so fast as they desired…” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

Undoubtedly, this experience was life-changing for Simon. The NKJ Study Bible notes: “Simon must have been (or later became) a Christian; it is unlikely that he would be referred to by name if he were a stranger to the Christian community” (Tecarta Bible App). Some even suggest Simon is the Simeon of Acts 13:1 who served as one of the teachers in Antioch’s young church. If that was the case, his experience carrying Jesus’ cross, no doubt, propelled him to discipleship.

Simon’s sons, Alexander and Rufus, were later known by the early church (Mark 15:21). From the world of archaeology, The NIV Study Bible reports: “A first-century ad ossuary (a limestone box containing the bones of the dead; see note on Mt 26:3) bearing the inscription ‘Alexander (son) of Simon’ was found in 1941 in Jerusalem” (Tecarta Bible App). It may have been the same Alexander. John Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature extends this linkage further: “The family of Simon seems to have resided afterwards at Rome; for St. Paul, in his epistle to the church there, salutes the wife of Simon with tenderness and respect, calling her his ‘mother,’ though he does not expressly name her: ‘Salute Rufus, and his mother and mine’ (Romans 16:13)” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

The true weight of the matter

The Gnomon New Testament by John Bengel offers a solemn lesson for all Christians from this account: “There was neither Jew nor Roman who was willing to bear the burden of the cross. Men were present at that time from Europe, Asia, and Africa. Even in the remotest regions Christ has since found those who would bear His cross.—ἵνα ἄρῃ, to bear) Simon is not said to have borne it unwillingly. Well has Athanasius (Book i. fol. 10, 11) said, in his sermon on the Passion [Suffering], ‘Simon, a mere man, bore the cross, that all might know that the Lord underwent, not His own death, but that of men'” (Bible Analyzer 5.4.1.22). 

Spiritually, Jesus carried Simon’s cross, on which he would have died for his sins. Similarly, Jesus bore the cross for each one of us to remove our sins. At baptism, Christians are symbolically crucified with Christ (Romans 6:3-7).  As Jesus’ disciples, we are to carry our crosses continually: “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). This means death to ourselves so that we may live unto Christ.

The Apostle Paul used this same metaphorical language: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Jesus was crucified outside the city gates of Jerusalem (Hebrews 13:12). Notice Paul’s use of this detail: “Let us go forth therefore unto him without [outside] the camp, bearing his reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). Every Christian vicariously carries Jesus’ cross as Simon literally did. We too have been drafted to do so, not by brutal Roman soldiers, but by our Savior Who liberated us from sin.

Kenneth Frank headshot

Kenneth Frank was born and raised in New Jersey, USA and attended Ambassador College, graduating in 1973. He served in the Canadian ministry from 1973-1999, after which he returned to the USA to pastor churches in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina for 15 years. Having earned a BA degree from Ambassador College he later earned a MA degree from Grand Canyon University before being assigned to the Charlotte office to teach at Living University, now Living Education. Currently, he teaches the Survey of the Bible course to the on-campus students and writes the Digging Deeper column for our online Bible study program. He is married, has four children, and seven grandchildren.

Forum Summary: Should you become an entrepreneur?

Author: Ryan Price | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2021-22


Estimated Reading Time: 3 min.

Mr. Michael Thiel is an entrepreneur in advertising, currently writing ads and marketing in about ten industries.

For this his forum, Mr. Thiel gave a presentation on aspects of entrepreneurship and what it takes to become an entrepreneur.

What Does an Entrepreneur Do?

To become an entrepreneur, you must first have an idea for a product or service of some sort. Even if you lack total confidence in your idea, you can test it out, and if it works, knowing that it does will motivate you to move forward. 

But if it fails, you can still analyze and learn from the failure. Progress is achieved by acknowledging your failures, reflecting on them, and learning from them. If you can do this, failure will have no effect on your ability to succeed—it will only help pave the way. 

Requirements of Entrepreneurship

Once your idea is set in motion as a business, you will engage in two types of work as an entrepreneur: Productive work that benefits or furthers your efforts to build your business—such as getting clients, making products, etc.—and  “unproductive” activities that might not get you more work, but still need to be done, such as accounting, filing taxes, etc. Beyond that, here are two things to keep in mind in order to be successful as an entrepreneur: 

  1. You must love it! To keep your business alive, you must love either what you do or the market that you serve. That will be the source of your motivation to keep going—you can’t just be in it for the money. This motivation will help you persevere through difficult times. 
  2. You must be flexible. You may have an idea that may not be marketable or doesn’t have a market at all; if you can’t sell your idea, but still stick to it no matter what, you’re heading for failure. Flexibility is key—sometimes you may need to try another idea or market to find success.

The Pros and Cons of Being an Entrepreneur

There are some downsides to entrepreneurship—you’ll have to pay higher taxes in the form of self-employment tax, you won’t be given health insurance or no paid time off, your pay will not be guaranteed, and everything that goes wrong will be your fault. Also, if you promise a customer something, it will be up to you to see it through, no matter what. 

On the flip side, there are many perks: you won’t be pressured to work on the Sabbath, you won’t have to worry about job security, you will often be able to work from home, your travel will be tax-deductible in certain cases, you will get all the proceeds directly, you will be able to say no to work you don’t want to do, and you will be able to become known for your work. 

If you can meet these requirements and stick with it, then, as Mr. Thiel said, you will have an overwhelming chance of turning your idea into a successful business.

Assembly Summary: Why are you here?

Author: Yolanda Watt | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2021-22


Estimated Reading Time: 6 min.

Mr. Dexter Wakefield opened his lecture with something Mr. Armstrong used to ask on Holy Days and Sabbaths: “Why are you here?”

Mr. Wakefield stated that we have quite a few reasons for being here—some excellent reasons and others that may not be so excellent. We may have primary, secondary, or even tertiary reasons as to why we are in the Church of God and in Living Education. Mr. Wakefield referenced 1 Chronicles 28:9, saying that God knows the intent of the thoughts of our heart, which goes deeply into our psychology. 

Mr. Wakefield then asked a challenging question: “Why do some people leave the Church?” He revealed that, over the years, he has seen that those who leave the Church have lost their reason for being in it. If something happens that troubles or challenges us, having the right reasons for being in God’s Church can remind us of what we stand for. Examining our reasons for being in the Church, in order to prioritize the right reasons and become aware of the weak reasons, can strengthen our devotion to the Body of Christ.

Some Weak Reasons for Being in the Church

  • I want to avoid the tribulation. Mr. Wakefield mentioned that some people may think that they will simply attend Church services when things get rough in the world—but “that’s an illusion.” It is going to be much harder to come to services then than it is now.
  • I want to be a Philadelphian: If you have a small doctrinal disagreement that makes you feel more Philadelphian than another person, you might start to consider that other person Laodicean. Mr. Wakefield believes that true Philadelphians do not worry about being Philadelphian—rather, they are occupied with God’s truth and the Work. He went on to compare prideful people—those who think of themselves as Philadelphian while looking down on other members—to the practice of Judo, in which a small person is able to throw a larger person. The idea in Judo is not to resist the attacker, but to pull them farther in the direction they are already going and then throw them off balance. Satan does the same with a prideful person; that person can be easily deceived.
  • I want to avoid the lake of fire: While it is good to have a bit of fear for the lake of fire, it should not be a primary reason for being in the Church. People who have an irrational fear of the lake of fire can be easily deceived and manipulated. Yes, we want to make sure we are not sinning willfully, but if avoiding the lake of fire is a person’s entire motivation, that person will be tripped up once doubt comes in.
  • I want to get salvation: This is a great motivation to have, but when it is the only one, it may lead to a begrudging attitude toward the commandments of God. If someone has no love for the commandments, they may go along with an unbiblical change in doctrine that challenges the commandments. This is exactly what happened in the Worldwide Church of God. By contrast, God’s people learn to love His commandments and obey them from the heart.
  • The Church is where my friends are: In John 15:12–17, we are commanded to love each other, and it is fine to want to be with our friends—but that should not be the main reason we are in the Church. If it is, and a friendship ends or a friend leaves the Church, our own reason for being here will be demolished.
  • I want to be in a loving environment: If this is the primary reason for a person staying in the Church, that person will leave once another Church member offends them. It is good to be in a loving environment, but our reasons for being here must be stronger than that.
  • I want intellectual stimulation: The problem with this reason is that those who are motivated by it always want to hear something new. Mr. Wakefield referenced Acts 17:18–21, explaining that we should go deeper in the truth, not move on to a different “truth.” He mentioned he has seen individuals spending quite a bit of time on the Internet looking for a new doctrine that contradicts the truth. Spiritual growth results not from always learning new “truth,” but in changing our hearts and our character.
  • I want to be where a particular minister is: God provides spiritual services to his children through his true ministers and those who serve under those ministers. Everyone has their personal preferences, but if one minister is someone’s main reason for being in the Church, what happens if that minister leaves? We must remember that Christ does the Work and ministers occupy an office that Christ works through. We must also consider our brethren around the world, some of whom only see a minister a few times a year and have to rely on video sermons. Their reasons for being in the Church can be instructive to us.
  • I’m comfortable here: Currently, many find attending with the Living Church of God to be stable and comfortable, but what happens when we have turmoil? After all, we will be hated during the end times. “If your priority is comfort and stability in the Living Church, then the end times are going to be tough for you,” stated Mr. Wakefield. Satan will focus his activities where God’s work and truth are.

Strong Reasons for Being in the Church

  • I want to obey God and seek His Kingdom first: If we have genuine love for the real God and the truth revealed in His word, we will be rooted in a desire to stay amongst those who share that love.
  • To learn the truth of God: Many eras of God’s Church did not have all of the truth and understanding that we have in the Church today. We must evaluate what is most important to us. The truth has been challenged in various times and it will be challenged again, so we all need to maintain a solid understanding of exactly what the Bible teaches.
  • To be part of the Work of God: Christ is accomplishing through His Church the Work of proclaiming the Gospel of God’s Kingdom to the world, and we must recognize where that work is being done. In Ephesians 4:14–16, we are taught that we all have an important part in what the Church is doing.

It is important for us to consider our primary reasons for being in the Church, making sure that those reasons are strong. Wherever Christ is, His truth and His work will be, and this can serve as our guiding beacon. If we consider carefully why we are here, we can develop the conviction to stay with God’s truth and His work.