Eternity for the Faithful
We are living in the midst of mixed reactions as regards eternity for the faithful; we differ because of the way we understand the Bible. The majority of `Christians' believe in spending their eternity with God in heaven, while relatively few believe that they will spend eternity on earth.
It may seem very simple to decide who is right in this case. We could go with the majority, since it may seem hard to believe that only a few will be selected for the kingdom of God, as the minority tell us. But we can prove who is really right by reading our Bible, unbiased by anything learnt either from our parents or from legendary stories.
God through Isaiah, His prophet, has made it clear that the purpose of creating the earth was to be the dwelling place for the people (45:18). Moreover God promised Abraham, the father of the faithful, the land of Canaan as an eternal inheritance for him and his seed (Genesis 13:15). Again, Jesus in his mountain teaching pointed out that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). From what we have gathered therefore, we come to the central point for those who argue that we shall spend eternity on earth.
It may appear very unconvincing to talk about spending eternity here when we see the way things are on earth with all its violence and spiritual darkness. Additionally, the faith of many is very cold; hence the question, Will the son of man find faith on earth? Well, we need not forget the curse that was imposed upon man for disobedience which has resulted in the wrong things on the earth. The work of Jesus, the begotten, beloved son of God, is to remove that curse in fulfilment of the purpose of God. Having done that, the earth will be turned into a new paradise without violence and spiritual darkness. God will be all in all to his faithful servants.
Resettlement Of Our Refugee Brethren:
Putting Ourselves In Their Place
Sis Esther Worrell (Canada)
Since my last issue I heard over the media that the authorities responsible for accommodating refugees in the camp had expressed concern about their ability to maintain the humanitarian programs vital to the day-to-day mental, moral and physical wellbeing of the occupants.
The Very Distressing Situation of Our Brethren Let us try to put ourselves in the place of these people, especially single females, single parents, young families and young people. These are people who have had to run from settled comfortable homes, many from established jobs, with very little, if any, personal possessions. They have lost just about everything they ever owned, and have to make do in a new very likely harsh environment with the barest of necessities, not knowing what their future will be. They realize that they will have to exist with inadequate food, and very depressing living conditions. Those with children have no idea what their children's future will be, as in their position there is nothing to which they can look forward. Some just have to stand by helplessly witnessing their teen-aged children being taken advantage of because of their inability to provide them with the required necessities. The prospects are hopeless, as there is absolutely nothing, but darkness ahead of them. All of us would like to be in a position to be able to plan and work towards a future, but these people huddled in small or even gigantic make shift camps, with no comfort, very little privacy and poor sanitary conditions, with not enough food to go around, have no idea how long they will be in this situation or worse if they will ever get out. Imagine parents who normally provide for their children, standing in line, along with those very children, for handouts of food. Yes, just let us take some time out from our comfortable situations and consider how we would manage in this situation. We must remember that they are there through no fault of their own. What then can we do?
"In All Their Affliction He Was Afflicted". Hopeless and desperate as this situation is, I know from my reading of the scriptures, that our Heavenly Father is in the midst of them. He is their Father, and they are His children, and as He is our Father too, they are therefore our brothers and sisters and children. When His children were sojourning in the wilderness, he told David that He was with them - 2 Samuel 7 6 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Very comforting that God is with us in times of affliction Isaiah. 63: 9 "In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old." I've noticed however that despite His presence with them, He commissioned a man, Joshua, through Moses, to take them over to the land He'd promised them, but note that He did not leave Joshua alone with this task, but sent the captain of His host to direct him.
God Similarly Expects Us To Make An Effort To Relieve Our Suffering Brethren "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." . These people our brethren - in the refugee camps are our own flesh according to Isaiah 58 7 "when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?" Even though God was with the Israelites, just as He commissioned Moses and Joshua to do their part on behalf of their brethren, He similarly expects us to make an effort to relieve our suffering brethren. Let us apply the second great commandment that He gave to us, for this situation - Matthew 22: 37 "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets". Let us begin by getting together, beseeching our Heavenly Father to come into our midst, and begin planning how we will approach this matter.
It will greatly help if those who are in charge of our publication to the brethren worldwide would include these appeals, giving as many as possible, the privilege and opportunity to get involved in this rewarding project
--Sis Esther Worrell (Canada)
Owing to the considerable increase in the number of refugees, inflation and lack of resourses, it is not always possible for the relief organizations to provide what is regarded as the minimum basic food rations. The two large meetings in the Nyangusu Refugee Camp (Tanzania) temporarily had their basic allowances cut. Thanks to the help of those donating to CAT Funds it was possible to help remedy this situation, as you will see on the the back cover photo.
Bro Sylvester Tembo (Mzuzu, Malawi)