God’s Continuing Work in the UK | Tomorrow’s World — March/April 2024

God’s Continuing Work in the UK

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The magazine you are reading continues the very Work of God, in which one of the original “pirate” radio stations played an important role.

Who remembers Radio Caroline? As the first 1960s “pirate” radio station aimed solely at the United Kingdom, Radio Caroline was famed for its pioneering mode of broadcasting from a ship moored off the coast of England. However, this radio station made an important contribution to more than just popular culture. It also played a key role in allowing God’s word to be broadcast on a wider stage.

Over a three-year period, the number of Radio Caroline listeners to that particular Bible-based programme grew steadily, and some faithful Church members who responded at that time are still alive today. The Tomorrow’s World magazine you are now reading is a part of the continuation of God’s work, in which Radio Caroline played a surprising and important role.

The History of Radio Caroline

In 1964, Irish entrepreneur Ronan O’Rahilly followed the example of Danish pioneers who had set up Radio Mercur, transmitting commercial radio from a vessel in international waters. O’Rahilly purchased a used 700-ton Danish passenger ferry, the Fredericia, to use as a radio broadcasting platform. On a fundraising trip to the United States, O’Rahilly saw in LIFE magazine a picture of President John F. Kennedy applauding his children as they danced in the Oval Office, disturbing the weighty governmental affairs around them. It is said that this image inspired O’Rahilly to name his radio station after Kennedy’s daughter Caroline.

MV (Merchant Vessel) Caroline was anchored approximately three miles out to sea off Felixstowe, just outside British territorial waters, and on Saturday, 28 March, 1964, started broadcasting popular music throughout the day, which the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) found unacceptable. Soon began a three-year battle between the British government, BBC regulators, and what became known as “pirate” radio stations, including Radio Caroline.

While Radio Caroline and other offshore stations operated, they provided a unique opportunity, a short-term “open door” for God’s Church to broadcast the Gospel message to millions of homes in the UK (Revelation 3:8). The radio programme The World Tomorrow, broadcast on Radio Caroline from late 1964 to August 1967, was a predecessor of the modern Tomorrow’s World programme.

MV Caroline later moved to near the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea and became Radio Caroline North, while another ship, MV Mi Amigo, became Radio Caroline South. Together, their signals covered the whole of the UK mainland. Other offshore radio stations like Radio London also carried The World Tomorrow, with a combined potential audience of roughly 55 million.

The UK government could not regulate these offshore stations, as they operated outside British territorial waters. Instead, British regulators used a statutory instrument of law to silence them. Called the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act of 1967, it did not directly ban the stations’ operation, but rather made it a criminal offence for British citizens to work for or assist in running the stations. It came into effect in August 1967, and most offshore stations had no practical choice but to close down.

The World Tomorrow Programme

In many ways, The World Tomorrow was not compatible with the popular message found in most of the offshore radio stations’ broadcast schedules. However, Radio Caroline needed paid programming to survive financially, so an agreement was made. In that way, God opened the door for the true Gospel message to go out to many who had previously been beyond reach. Radio listeners and the circulation numbers of The Plain Truth magazine climbed rapidly in the UK during this period—and, in time, so did the number of Church members. Indeed, a few older UK members in the Living Church of God today came into the Church at that time, after hearing messages that made them think seriously about what they believed.

Our regular Tomorrow’s World readers will realise that we produce this magazine, along with our TV programme of the same name, to fulfil the commission God has given to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the whole world—something Jesus Christ specifically instructed His disciples to do. “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). That Work of preaching the true Gospel continues today, as we have not yet reached the end of this world’s society, which remains under the deceptive influence of Satan, the devil (Revelation 12:9).

The Gospel message 60 years ago, as today, deplored the prophesied decline in the moral standards of the Western nations, identifying mainstream “Christianity” as a deceptive force working against clear biblical teaching. Through Radio Caroline, millions heard the Scriptures’ promise of a better world under the direct rule of Jesus Christ, where all will be blessed as they follow the laws of God. Certainly, this message, broadcast to the UK via Radio Caroline for nearly three full years, made some uncomfortable. That is, however, a natural side effect of the Church’s duty to point out sin in this world: “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1).

From the very beginning of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, He described the need to repent of sin, to change how we live so we can be in accordance with God’s law: “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14–15). For three fruitful years, God used Radio Caroline to spread that message.

Christ’s focus did not change after His resurrection. In Matthew 28:19–20, He instructed His followers, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them… [and] 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.”

The Mission of God Continues

God has called us to the ongoing mission of preaching His Gospel message in “this present evil age,” as the Apostle Paul labelled it in Galatians 1:4. This message is desperately needed, both in the UK and around the world. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things’” (Romans 10:14–15).

At the beginning of his booklet Do You Believe the True Gospel?, the late Dr. Roderick C. Meredith gave us a stirring reminder: “Your eternity depends on your willingness to understand and believe the true Gospel!” We must fervently pray for God to open doors for the Gospel message to resonate widely and powerfully (Matthew 9:37–38). Radio Caroline, for a brief time, was one of those doors.

Just as those listeners to offshore radio who responded between 1964 and 1967 did, some people today desire to grasp God’s tremendous truth and make a change in their lives. Are you willing to wholeheartedly surrender your life to God, walk with Christ, and depart from the sins of this world to follow God’s inspired way of life?


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