Towards The Year 2000
John Yang (Los
Translated from Chinese)
Four years from now, 2000 AD will
mark the end of the current century and usher in a new century. Some Christians
believe that it is also quite likely to mark the end of humankind. For more
than 100 years, many have fallen into the folly of fixing the date of the
Lord’s return. None of these predictions have proven true. We ought to be
careful to avoid such hasty conclusions as that the Lord will return no later
than 2000 AD. Jesus has said that the day of His return will not be made known
to man (Mt 24:36). What really matters is to ponder over how the church should
strive during the four years preceding the turn of the century to spread the
Gospel of salvation to the lands it has not yet reached, and to perfect the
spiritual virtues of the TrueChurch in preparation for
the Lord’s return at any time.
More than 1,900 years ago, our
Lord, the incarnated Word, came to the world to preach the good news of the
heavenly kingdom. To redeem us from the world and deliver us into the heavenly
home, He was crucified on our behalf and secured our salvation (1 Cor 15:1-3).
Ten days after His ascension, the promised Holy Spirit was bestowed upon the
disciples, who were greatly empowered to preach the Gospel in all Judea,
Samaria and, through Antioch, spread it abroad to places such as Galatia,
Media, Asia, Macedonia, Athaia and Rome. Regrettably, in subsequent years, the
pure Gospel was lost in the Roman Empire’s
integration of church and state. Although Martin Luther advocated reform in the
16th century, erroneous teachings still permeate both the Orthodox and
Protestant churches today (cfEze 23:1-2, 11). Thanks to God’s grace, in His
scheduled time, the Holy Spirit of the Latter Rain descended during this end
time, restoring the knowledge of the Truth in many countries throughout the
During the four concluding years
of this century, the church must renew her awareness of God’s two great
commissions of evangelising to the world and pastoring the flock, moving
Preaching to Assemblies
The church can hold more
evangelistic meetings, on a weekly or at least monthly basis, so that members
may have the opportunity to invite their friends, relatives and even strangers
to attend. With discretion, home gatherings can be used for evangelistic
purposes. The church may also organise groups to preach in hospitals, prisons,
schools or jointly hold large-scale evangelistic meetings with nearby TrueJesusChurches.
Step up Prayer for the Spread of
Besides intensifying our efforts
in preaching the Gospel, we also need to pray more earnestly for this mission.
To bring souls into subjection to Christ and acceptance of salvation, we need
the Truth, miracles and the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 15:18; Acts 1:8). The
General Assemblies in various countries and the International Assembly should
rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance and find ways to actively promote the
Gospel both at home and overseas (cf Mt 24:14; Rom 15:20-23).
In conclusion, we should not
arbitrarily connect the year 2000 to the end of the world. We only need to
cherish and direct our efforts towards the two main missions of the church as
to the world and pastoring the flock are analogous to the two wheels of a
vehicle. To push it forward, equal amounts of power must be applied on both
wheels. The International Assembly and the General Assemblies in various
countries should develop overall strategies and plans to be executed in phases.
Especially with regard to the work for the next four years, a pace must be
deliberated and decided upon, announced to the entire congregation, so that
every member can attend to his duty and act in concert.
May the Lord work with us so that
by the year 2000 the holy work will see great accomplishments —unprecedented
increases in membership and number of churches — acceptable to the Lord, to the
glory of His name. Amen!
to the World (Mk 16:15)
The church has to encourage all
believers, young and old, to be courageous in witnessing to others. They are to
preach the Gospel in word (through conversation and verbal persuasion), deed
(through good virtue and behaviour, shining for the Lord to attract people to
Him) and literature (writing, publications), introducing the salvation of the
Lord to relatives, friends, neighbours and strangers (Rom 1:14-15).
Personal Evangelism by Districts
Divide the locality of the church into several districts and organise the
believers to preach through spoken and written word, house to house, district
The Flock (Jn 21:15.19; Eph 4:11.16; 5:26-27)
Build up believers’ faith in the
Lord Jesus and His True Church according to biblical teachings. Only faith
rooted in the Truth can grow and bear fruit (Mt 13:20; Isa 37:31; 27:6; Jn
15:1-6; 1 Jn 2:19).
Build Up Virtue and Character
We have to encourage members to
pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and for constant infilling so as to be
renewed inwardly and manifest the image of Christ, becoming the light of the
world and the salt of the earth (lit 3:5; Eph 4:20-24; Mt 5:13-16).
Live for the Lord
We have to constantly remind
members of the Lord’s grace in His propitiatory death and encourage them to set
their minds on living for the Lord, each faithfully serving God according to
his gift, and through the bond of love build up the church (Rom 14:7-8 ; 2 Cor
5:14; Eph 4:11-16).