There are two of our resources that you have not likely come across. Frankly, I do not think we have advertised them to the public or mentioned them in our magazine in years. Do you know what they are?
This column is titled “Personal” for a reason. As Editor in Chief, it gives me an opportunity to communicate with you about those things that are on my mind, and in this issue, I want to answer three questions that are asked of us: “Who is behind Tomorrow’s World?,” “Is it really free?,” and “How can you pay for so much television and give away all of your materials without asking for money?”
Let me answer the second question first. Yes, everything we advertise really is free of charge—no strings attached, and no emotional appeals. We do not sell magazines, booklets, DVDs, or CDs—and we never will. Our 24-lesson Bible Study Course is sent free of charge. We do not hawk shirts, mugs, prayer cloths, or any other such items as you have likely seen peddled by other ministries.
The answer to the first question, “Who is behind Tomorrow’s World?,” explains the answer to the third. The Tomorrow’s World magazine and telecast are sponsored by the Living Church of God, which is made up of dedicated members who seek to practice “the whole counsel of God,” as the Apostle Paul referred to it in Acts 20:27. That counsel includes the biblical law of tithing (or “tenth-ing”). Most of our members faithfully and voluntarily send in their tithes and offerings throughout the year. We don’t even take up offerings during our weekly Sabbath services!
Jesus gave us our mission in Matthew 28:19–20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” In Mark 16:15, He plainly commands, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Furthermore, He said that we will succeed in accomplishing this mission before His return: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
As you well know, we never request donations on the Tomorrow’s World telecast, in our magazine, or in any of our literature. Coworkers and members of the Living Church of God take seriously Jesus’ admonition, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Or as Proverbs 23 tells us, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it” (v. 23).
Of the more than 290,000 current subscribers to Tomorrow’s World, only about 15 out of 100 ever contribute to this Work. Many of these do so only one or two times over a period of several years. We are grateful to all who contribute, no matter how often and no matter how much or how little. We also appreciate our subscribers who, for whatever reason, never contribute. We advertise that our literature is free, and truly it is. And this may surprise you: We are so serious about our literature being sent free of charge that we return money when the giver explicitly says he or she is sending it as “payment” for our materials. This is true for all our offices around the world. I can personally confirm this, as I was the Director of the Living Church of God and Tomorrow’s World in Canada for more than 13 years, and in the United Kingdom for a couple of years, before being transferred to our world headquarters here in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Each month, one of us—usually me—writes a letter to all our members and coworkers to express our appreciation for their support and update them on biblical prophecies and trends taking place in this world. We also give “behind the scenes” information on new developments in this Work to which they contribute.
The Living Church of God has more than 390 congregations scattered across North, Central, and South America, Australasia, the U.K. and Europe, and Africa. We, along with coworkers who have voluntarily chosen to be part of this Work, are a small but dedicated group who are willing to go against the course of this world (Ephesians 2:1–2), following the way of Jesus Christ and first-century Christianity. Our members reject pagan and heathen traditions that have infiltrated modern Christianity. We observe the days God instructs us to observe, and we follow the true doctrines found in the Bible.
At the beginning of this Personal, I referred to the two least-advertised and least-requested pieces of literature we provide. Do you know what they are? The first one is our booklet God’s People Tithe! We do not promote it frequently because we don’t want anyone thinking there is “a catch to all this free stuff.” Receiving any of our resources is not dependent in any way on donating to this Work. While this booklet is listed among our resources on the Internet and in Lesson 16 of our Bible Study Course, it is the second-least-advertised and requested booklet that we have. As I write this, very few of our subscribers even know of it. As far as I can recall, it has never been mentioned on our Tomorrow’s World telecast.
And speaking of the Internet, we do have a link on our website for anyone who wants to donate. This is only because some people want to do so and want to know how. We do not “promote” it or position it prominently, as so many websites do with theirs. It is there strictly as a service for those who want to donate of their own free will, and there is no emotional appeal made for them to do so.
So, what resource could be advertised less than our tithing booklet? The one that almost none of our subscribers (and probably not all of our members) know of is our “Planned Giving” brochure. Some of our members, coworkers, and subscribers desire to include us in their wills or make other types of planned gifts. We make this resource on estate planning available upon request to help those who want to do so.
Now, I understand that I’ve taken a risk here of bringing out the cynical nature in some. They no doubt will think this is an appeal for money—and if they do, I understand. However, we have nothing to hide, and we receive these three questions on a regular basis. I believe it is best to be open with people and simply “tell it as it is.” Tomorrow’s World is backed by the Living Church of God and others who want to contribute to this Work—and yes, all of our materials really and truly are free.
And more importantly, all our resources will continue to be sent free of charge. No one will call to ask you to send money or buy something. You should never feel pressured to give to this Work. We are grateful to those who do, but that is a decision between you and your Creator. We will do as we have always done—trust God to provide. For us, faith that God will provide is real. He has taken care of us, and each issue you receive of Tomorrow’s World is tangible proof.
Occasionally, we ask our subscribers to renew their free subscription—not to get them to contribute money, but to let us know that they are truly interested in receiving further issues of Tomorrow’s World. We believe this is a way to be good stewards—by not sending magazines to individuals who may no longer want them.
So, while other televangelists sell their wares with sentimental music, pictures of orphans, and teary-eyed appeals for money, we will never do that. Truly, this magazine and all our resources are free for the asking.