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Teaching Godís Truth Before and After Christís Return

 

Sermonette 9-14-02Ann Arbor, Michigan, UCG

 

With the fall Holy Day season now in full swing, our thoughts are drawn strongly to the Feast of Tabernacles before us and what part it symbolizes in Godís plan for humanity.When we consider the wonderful World Tomorrow to come, we think of how much will change for the better.We think of, for example, of the end of war, crime, and poverty worldwide by Godís power after Jesusí return.But God has us Christians play a role in this worldwide transformation and reclamation project.And the most important thing that needs to be transformed and reclaimed is human nature.Human nature needs to be changed from doing habitual evil to doing habitual good.To accomplish this, God doesnít do it all Himself, but he uses other humans to help accomplish His will so that we develop in character ourselves when helping others learn to change their lives.

 

S.P.S.Therefore, both before and after Christís return, itís our job as Christians to help teach the world more about Godís ways.By teaching others, we learn more ourselves about Godís ways while helping others learn the same truth.

 

Notice that although we may become kings and priests in the millennium, we arenít that now, obviously enough.I havenít noticed anyone wearing crowns around here, the last I noticed!

 

But we are to be teachers now and then, both before and after Christís return.We need to teach Godís ways both now and then.And by teaching others now we learn ourselves more firmly Godís ways so we can teach about Godís law then.

 

As a part-time instructor for Western humanities at Davenport University, it has taught me more about my subject even as I prepare to teach it since I do research for the lectures and read material related to it, not just the textbook.My students also can have interesting insights into matters also.Likewise, as we learn more about Godís ways in various books, whether it be the Bible or books that tell us how to understand the Bible better, we can learn more about Godís ways ourselves. For example, if we study books about (say) marriage relationships or childrearing, that helps us in our own immediate situations potentially as well as helps us be able to teach others about how to manage their own family lives better now, or in the millennium.Notice how opposed this approach is to the Irish playwright George Bernhard Shawís famous cynical statement that ďHe who can, does.He who cannot teaches.Ē

 

Isa. 2:2-4

 

This text is very familiar to us all.But now notice in particular the parts related to education:The law of God will go forth from Jerusalem.And how will that happen?If the world is to be educated in Godís ways better, surely those members of Godís family who were once in the flesh will be part of this process of teaching the world Godís ways, which Godís law tell us about.Furthermore, if they arenít to learn or train for war any more, we as teachers will be sure to eliminate certain subjects that are in the curriculum of military colleges, such as West Point, Annapolis, Sandhurst, the ROTC program at various campuses, etc. today. The 18th century French philosopher Claude Adrien Hel/veí/ti/us, once wrote that ďEducation makes us what we are.ĒIf weíre to help raise up a peaceful humanity, they have to be taught the ways of peace in their personal lives.

 

Isa. 9:9

 

Now, turning to another very familiar text, exactly how is this going to happen?The text doesnít say.But we know that today God often wants us to do for ourselves many things in our lives without his direct aid, such as earning a living.God also uses human means today to preach the Gospel.Would things be any different then, during the millennium?God will use us as teachers then and certainly not take on all the work Himself.

 

Matt. 28:18-20

 

But notice now that our role today as Christians who teach others Godís truth isnít really any different from what weíll do during the millennium.Part of this, of course, is done within our own families, as parents teach their children why Godís ways are right and the worldís ways are wrong.Notice that the noun form of this verb translated ďmake disciplesĒ means ďa learner.ĒThus, it means, from a teacherís viewpoint, ďone who follows oneís teaching,Ē according to Vineís.Hence, notice, weíre told to teach others today, which is the way to prepare for this role of ours in the World Tomorrow.

 

There are opportunities the church gives us today for teaching others by spreading knowledge of the Gospel to the world.For example, locally two people, including me, place copies of the Good News magazine in various kinds of stores for people to pick up.†† At the present rate, about 1000 copies every issue are distributed this way.I would encourage others to participate, especially since now I do have a number of surplus copies on hand.

 

We also can participate in a new pilot program the home office is investigating.Using these subscription request cards here, we can have a special free gift issue of the Good News sent to relatives, friends, people we know at work, etc.The person receiving it would then have to fill out another subscription card, included with the magazine, to get a free yearís subscription.I would like to encourage people here to take some of the cards home with them, fill them out, and bring them back to me if youíd like to participate.

 

So in conclusion we as Christians have a job to teach others Godís ways and Godís law both now and during the millennium.The worldís wrong ways of thinking that are opposed to Godís will have to be changed to be in conformity with His will.Then right actions will naturally flow from right thoughts after having corrected the thoughts by correct education.We as Christians need to educate others in Godís truth both now and in the World to Come.And by teaching others now, we prepare ourselves to be teachers in Godís kingdom as well as learn more about Godís ways now as we should.So letís remember that indeed, ďEducation makes us what we are.Ē

 

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