Some of our readers may not know why our ministry exists! Here's a brief summary.
Pearls may not be everyone's choice of jewelry - they are usually linked with what some consider outmoded 'twin-sets'! However they can be a precious commodity. Indeed Jesus relates the zeal of someone who was an avid collector of pearls - and sold all his possessions to buy a particularly fine specimen.
The point of Jesus' story was that God's Kingdom has similar value: it's worth parting with all else to enter it. Is eternal life such a treasure that you are willing to give all to attain it? And where will you search for such a pearl? Indeed are you searching - or are you content to miss out on the greatest opportunity ever offered mankind? Indeed, an opportunity that defines the very reason for our existence?
A Costly Jewel
Real pearls do not come cheap. Nor - in spite of the "only believe" crowd - does salvation!
Jesus insists that the road is "narrow" and "difficult". It's a treacherous mountain pass fit only for the determined. But it leads to a life of dynamic power and exciting activity - now, and for all eternity. It means the opportunity to work closely with Jesus Christ in rebuilding our damaged world to prosperous perfection in the soon-coming reign of God on earth. It means that for ever and ever life will brim with ever new productive projects that will thrust mankind into unimagined dimensions.
The question for you is, are you willing to pay the price?
But here's another question: where will you find this pearl? The account in Matthew 13 implies its rarity. The words of Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14 clearly show it is a tough climb. Most religion will tell you "the entrance is wide, open to all and an easy relaxing ramble".
If you wish to join battle on God's side - for that's what real Christianity really is - then listen carefully. Our world is dying. Dark human and spirit forces are even now preparing to impose, by force of arms, a worldwide Satanic religion. Only those committed to true Biblical Christianity will remain dedicated to God - possibly at the expense of their own lives. But they will enter the Kingdom. Others won't.
The time may not be far off - as events on the world stage indicate.
This work is one of a very few warning voices. We are dedicated to trumpeting the alarm to all the world. And we are dedicated to sharing the Good News of the way to enter the Kingdom. Our role [of the Church of God, United Kingdom] is to reach Europe with its three hundred million citizens, and to reach out worldwide as resources permit. Already New Horizons is mailed to over forty nations, and with this issue is being published in the United States.
A formidable task. Most readers will not act - for now. But for you to ignore the warning is to bury your head in the quicksands of materialism and a shortsighted self-serving life-style.
This work, too, will teach you true Biblical doctrine. We have no 'axe to grind' - just to present the Bible teachings as perfectly as we can - which sometimes means change and growth for both you and us! Jesus followed his words about the difficulties of the true Christian life by a stern warning about false prophets (Matthew 7:15-21). They abound today - just as he forecast in the Olivet prophecy (ch. 24).
These false ministers proclaim easy victory. They purvey a doctrine of perfect health and abundant prosperity and false spiritual blessing. But they are dead wrong. Wrong in their doctrines, wrong in their prophecies, wrong in how they direct you to salvation. Follow, and you will hear Jesus say: "I never knew you; depart from me you evildoers" (v.23).
Through this work you will also come to understand the true principles of living. You will learn about forgiveness, about personal development and conquering sin, about using your unique talents in service to your brethren in Christ and to your neighbor. You will find the way to peace of mind, and to coping with life's enormous challenges.
We achieve these ends through our Extended Church Program of taped sermons which point you to God, Jesus Christ and the Bible. Dozens of booklets and leaflets on Biblical topics are available. We reply personally to those who write with personal problems or unsolved Bible questions, We provide taped series of intensive Bible study - e.g., the Letters of Paul. In some areas there are fellowship groups where anyone interested may fulfill our human and spiritual need for fellowship with like-minded disciples. And there are opportunities through the year to meet the wider church at Church festivals - those "feasts of the Lord", which most Christians reject!
These are some of the benefits of commitment to this work. Here you will find the direction signs which lead to that "pearl of great price".
Above all we have the resource of God's continuing support and the enlightenment and guidance of His precious Word. At our head is Jesus Christ to encourage and to correct us, and to lead us individually and collectively towards Christian maturity - the essential preparation for our huge task in His Kingdom.
We invite you to consider carefully the claims we make, and to commit yourself through Jesus Christ to the narrow road to life. And to helping others to find this same road to living for ever.
To comment on this article or request more information, please contact James McBride by e-mail at the comment form below.
For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from New Horizons Issue 10, July/August 1998. Edited by James McBride of the Churches of God, United Kingdom.
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