Warm greetings to all our Tomorrow’s World subscribers! Our Editor in Chief, Dr. Roderick C. Meredith, asked me to write this “Personal” message, while he works on other writing projects and prepares for some upcoming travel. Despite turning 83 in June of this year, Dr. Meredith continues to work at a pace that would challenge many younger men. I am continually inspired and encouraged by his example of going “all out” to do the Work of God. He knows that it is not about him; he likes to encourage the Tomorrow’s World staff with the words of the Apostle Paul: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Jesus Christ dedicated His life to preaching the true gospel message given by God the Father, and that is what Dr. Meredith—and all of us at Tomorrow’s World—are striving to do.
As some of you readers may know, Dr. Meredith grew up in Joplin, Missouri. He saw firsthand the United States of the Great Depression era, followed by the great surge in national unity fostered by World War II. He remembers an America in which, despite the tremendous religious confusion, there was almost total agreement about the importance of “biblical values.” Many of you reading this magazine may also recall that it was not so long ago that the Ten Commandments were more or less accepted by our society as a standard of decent human conduct. Fornication and adultery were considered shameful. A man who coveted another man’s wife, or a wife who coveted another woman’s husband, was thought of as disreputable or a tramp, and such conduct was looked down upon by polite society.
Today, however, millions of Americans have rejected these age-old standards. Consider this report by Washington Times author Ben Wolfgang:
“For the third time in the past year, more than 50 percent of Americans say they support same-sex marriage, a new Gallup poll released Monday states.
The figure shows a remarkable shift in public attitudes over the past two decades. In 1996, just 27 percent of Americans said they supported same-sex marriage. Even just three years ago, the figure was only 44 percent, the survey shows.
But the last three polls—in May 2011, November 2011 and Monday’s release—have put the number at 53 percent, an all-time high.
The change has largely been driven by young people. Monday’s survey shows that 70 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds support same-sex marriage. In 1996, it was just 41 percent, and in 2010, only 52 percent (“Support for same-sex marriage now firmly above 50 percent, poll says,” May 13, 2013).
Gallup reports that although a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage, an even larger majority assume that most Americans still oppose the practice.
“When asked their impression of how most Americans feel about the issue, 63 percent say the public is opposed to gay marriage and 30 percent say the public favors it. These data suggest that a segment of Americans who support same-sex marriage believe that their views are in the minority, while in reality they are in the majority” (“Same-Sex Marriage Support Solidifies Above 50 Percent in U.S.,” May 13, 2013).
What should Christians believe? And how should we act in response to this groundswell of change? Please read Dr. Meredith’s important article on page 5 of this issue, “What Is Wrong with Same-Sex Marriage?” It will help you sort out the truth from the media distortions surrounding the same-sex marriage controversy.
Why has our society so quickly accepted homosexual conduct as normal, and same-sex marriage as not only tolerable but even desirable? As Dr. Meredith points out in his article, there has been a concerted campaign by homosexual activists to frame the issue in terms favorable to their cause. Many of society’s most respected opinion leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, now speak favorably about same-sex marriage.
The year 2013 marks the 500th anniversary of a fascinating little book that has shaped modern political thought ever since it was published. The Prince, by Italian diplomat Niccolo Machiavelli, set out a prescription for governance that has been hailed as brilliant by some, and derided as cynical and even evil by others. How has The Prince shaped our modern world? Can “Machiavellian” tactics be found in the recent push to legitimize same-sex marriage? And, more importantly, which “Prince” has laid out the true pattern for successful governance? Read Dexter Wakefield’s important article on page 10 of this issue to learn more, and also James Ginn’s page 8 article describing the progress of the “gay rights” agenda in Canada.
When we think about the many ills facing our society, it could be easy to lose heart and become discouraged. So, it is more important than ever that we keep our perspective on the “big picture.” What, then, is the “big picture” for us as Christians? It is that—if we use the Holy Spirit that God has given us at baptism, and we yield to Christ in obedience as we endure to the end (Matthew 24:13)—we will receive a glorious reward!
Many who profess belief in Jesus Christ have only the vaguest idea of what will happen after death. Some assume they will spend a few years in “Purgatory,” burning off any minor un-repented sins before they enter into the “beatific vision” of God. Others think they will stare passively at their Savior forever, or will do nothing more than play harps of praise and “roll around in heaven all day” on the clouds. Many admit that they simply have no idea.
The truth of our destiny, however, is far more wonderful and amazing than most can even begin to imagine! As my article on page 16 of this issue (“Your Glorious Destiny Beyond Death”) explains, the ultimate destiny of today’s Christians is not only to rule under Jesus Christ in His literal Kingdom, but also, after all human beings have been given their opportunity for salvation and have received their judgment, to rule “all things”—the very universe itself—as full members of the God Family. That is an awesome truth, which very few understand, yet it is plain in the pages of your Bible!
Dear readers, I hope you will reflect carefully on each of the articles in this issue. They should encourage, motivate and inspire you as you strive to come closer to God. If you have not already made a commitment to God, through valid biblical baptism, and you recognize that you need to start living by the truths brought out in this magazine, I encourage you to contact the Regional Office nearest you, listed on page 4 of this magazine. We will put you in touch with one of our representatives who will counsel with you about your commitment to our Savior. Nothing could be more important than your calling as one of God’s “firstfruits” in this age.
Sadly, as is so evident as we look at the world around us, only a relative few are truly being called in this present age. If you have received the Truth, hold on to it with all your might (Revelation 3:11). And if you are one of the few whom God is calling into His Truth, do not delay—act now on the Truth you are coming to understand!