Herbert W. Armstrong

Are You Just

This subject is so vital for us today that we are reprinting it from the September 1954 issue.

Recently I received a letter from a girl, 21   years of age, who has problems I believe to be common to many of you.

This girl found herself totally isolated —without friends or companions—because of the TRUTH of God. She was afraid of what people would think and say if they learned about her religion. They would think her "fanatical"—• would ridicule her.

She had been taught as a child by her mother about the second coming of Christ, and the end of this world. She had been led to expect it immediately, but now, since listening to The WORLD Tomorrow, and reading The Plain TRUTH, she realizes it may yet be a few years before Christ comes. Now, she faces the problem of "waiting it out," until Jesus appears.

It just occurred to me that many of you face the same problems, and that the letter I sent her might help many of you, too. So here it is:

An Open Letter

"Perhaps I can help you. Two or three points stick out in your letter. At first your letter sounded like that of an introvert, but as I proceeded I sensed that you are permitting FEAR to grip you and isolate you. I see indications of fear of people and their opinions, and fear of God—I mean a fear different from the normal true fear of The Eternal we ought to feel.

"You say, I am completely alone in my faith'—which is normal enough and true of hundreds of God's people—then, 'I have confided in no one, for . . . they would merely think I had become indoctrinated with some fanatical theory.' You indicate that the so-called better educated, intelligent people scorn the truth in ridicule, which I gather you fear. True, most so-called better educated people have been indoctrinated with the godless fable of the evolutionary concept, and inoculated with the assumption that all religion is superstition — but this is only ignorance and folklore in itself, and I have many highly educated people in my radio audience, tho the percentage may be small. Personally, I do not fear the opinions of these pseudo - educated,  for  I  know  they are merely laymen, and ignorant of TRUTH. "You continue, 'I would be laughed at and ridiculed, but I do not believe any amount of brainwashing could make me lose my grip on what I now believe.' Don't be AFRAID of the truth you believe. Don't be afraid of ridicule or of people. You say, 'How can I alone observe' what God commands. My dear girl, Mrs. Armstrong and I had to do this for years— hundreds are doing it now—and you can, IF you eradicate that FEAR, and replace it with FAITH, and hope and JOY in the truth! You ask, 'Will I be condemned if I do not observe them to the letter, tho I do not reject them?' First, don't be in terror of God. He won't condemn you— but you could condemn yourself. Remember God loves you. His way is RIGHT for you. And remember, too, 'Not the hearers, but the DOERS of the law shall be justified.' God commands His ways because they are best for us. To accept them mentally, but reject them in doing, is to reject THE WAY to happiness and eternal life. Try to find joy in God's better ways. Quit FEARING people and their opinions and ridicule, which will not come to the extent you imagine anyway."

Only One GOAL

"There's only one GOAL in life that can be satisfying and result in ultimate success—to ATTAIN TO THE RESURRECTION in the Kingdom of God. We are mere temporary mortals, now. You need to have patience and tolerance toward people — real love toward them, even the supposedly highly educated—■ not FEAR of them. Now, to attain the supreme GOAL, you have to GO TO WORK AT IT. You have to become a busy, enthusiastic doer, not merely a hearer of God's truth. You need to put your heart, your enthusiasm, your whole life into it. You indicate you have been just waiting for Christ's coming — waiting it out. Meanwhile life is burdensome, full of weighty problems, upset by fears. 'This isolation,' you say, 'is not pleasant.'

"I remember, when I was eight years old, being taken to church and just having to sit there for hours, with no program, no activity, nothing to do—just SIT, waiting the old century out, and the new century in — just waiting it out!

That was almost 55 years ago, and the unpleasant ordeal of it lingers still as a most unpleasant aftertaste. Just to wait out something is stark boredom. You HAVE A JOB TO DO, young lady—why not find it, and get so busy with it—so wrapped up in it—you have no time for all this dread, fear, and unhappy state you've permitted your mind to drift into?

"That job is dual—building a godlike CHARACTER, overcoming SELF, growing in grace and the knowledge of Christ, on the one hand, and contributing YOUR PART in the closing WORK OF God, the greatest, most wonderful, most important activity on earth, on the other. Perhaps your only part, for now, in God's work is your constant prayers and your tithes and offerings. But even that is a most important part—far more, I realize, than our co-workers know! We are having our part in CHANGING the world. Tho I know the world pays little real heed to the Message from God right now, yet when God supernaturally moves to shake this earth, as people have heard me proclaim in advance, then they will turn, by the hundreds of thousands, to God and His ways! We are doing the job now of plowing up the ground, sowing the seed. God will cause the seed to sprout forth, and produce an abundant harvest, after our labors are over! It's the greatest job on earth. We ought to be THRILLED with it, filled with JOY in being part of it—so INTENT on our happy job that the ridicule and scorn of the ignorant in this world, coming from those whom we really love and serve, and yet must endure and tolerate, never ruffles us at all. We love them enough to suffer their misconstructions, for their sakes."

Keep Mind Off SELF

"Next, your mind is too much on YOURSELF. Get your mind on your job in this world—our calling to carry on God's mission PREPARING THE WAY for God's great supernatural intervention and SAVING this world—and the realization that, while our labors, NOW, do not bring forth visible evidence of the changed and happy world ro come, nevertheless   this  is OUR  PART   IN  IT, for now, and later we shall rejoice to overflowing, when we behold THE WORLD tomorrow, beaming and shining in happiness and joy and righteousness, and then look back and realize we actually had a part in PREPARING THE WAY for this HAPPY World Tomorrow, bursting into glad and glorious song and exultation!

"Finally, of course we cannot actually fellowship this world, socially, but must withdraw from it in that respect. Nevertheless, tho not OF this world we live in it, and must serve it in God's work, and can be all wrapped up in the joy of so doing, tho isolated in companionship and fellowship. Our fellowship is with Christ. Now this means you cannot date, nor marry, any outside God's truth, but only one who is converted, as a begotten son of God.

That should solve your fears of being married to an unbeliever. If you already were so married, before your conversion, then you should live with the unbelieving husband if possible—but a child of God is commanded NOT to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (II Cor. 6:14).

"Happiness is a state of mind—not a matter of other people, or their fellowship, their ridicule, or their praise. Happiness comes from the knowledge, the Spirit, and obedience of God—and from being so busy in it—so engrossed in this glorious interest and activity, and in Bible study and prayer, that we have no time to become despondent, bored, unhappy."

How  to Solve  Your Problem

"I believe it would be best for you, for the coming year at least, to go ahead and enroll in the Teachers' college near you. Also to enroll for the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course, and make Bible study an active, busy, happy occupation. We have been forced to curtail enrollment in Ambassador College for this year, and our quota is filled. If you were to come to Pasadena, you would be thrown with a growing family of young people who know and believe the truth. Frankly, strange tho it may seem, I do not believe that is best for you right now. You have a problem —to overcome this fear of the world, and the marking-time waiting-for-the-Lord attitude which has made you unhappy.

At Ambassador you would have no opportunity to overcome it or fight it off—the problem would be removed entirely. I think it's better for you, will strengthen you and develop you more, to fight out this battle and win the victory over it. A year at Teachers' college will be of great benefit, if you should later come to Ambassador, for we shall need teachers in the future. . . .

"Just forget SELF, give your life wholly to God for Him to use, lose yourself in the activity of the DOING, trust God, ask Him for wisdom and guidance, rely on Him, and all your problems will be solved."

by Herbert W. Armstrong The GOOD NEWS December, 1959

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