May 14, 2021
What Does the Bible Mean by “Firstfruits”?
As a reader of the Bible, perhaps you’ve encountered an unusual word: “firstfruits.” In the Old Testament, this phrase applied to the first and best portions of a harvest that were to be presented in honor to God, particularly on the festival of Pentecost (also known as the Feast of Weeks). On the day of Pentecost in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit—the literal “promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4 Acts 1:4And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, you have heard of me.
American King James Version×)—was supernaturally gifted in great power to the first Christians, who became a new kind of “firstfruits” (Romans 8:23 Romans 8:23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
American King James Version×). Where are “firstfruits” today? For the answer, read “The Firstfruits of Salvation” by long-time Beyond Today contributor Peter Eddington.
Worried About Inflation, Unrest in Israel, or Other Events?
Coming off a year of pandemic—and even more uncertainty today—many are stressed out, looking for a way to move forward. Perhaps you know someone like this, or perhaps you yourself can relate. What can be done? Long-time pastor and Beyond Today television host, Darris McNeely, offers a sure, spiritual solution. As he notes, sometimes we have to “stand up in the midst of a time of trial when things look pretty dark, when things look like they’re not going to go well.” How do we do that? Watch the two-minute BT Daily “Courage,” or read the transcript.
What’s Happening in the United Church of God?
May is a busy month: the Ambassador Bible College held its 22nd graduation in Cincinnati, Ohio; the Church is considering the purchase of a new multi-purpose facility in the northwest United States; and a major letter to Beyond Today magazine subscribers carries a special message about the meaning of baptism. Read more exciting details in the May 13 “Personal from the President.”
How Will You Be Worshiping God on the Day of Pentecost?
Following His resurrection, Jesus gave a special direction to the apostles: “He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4 Acts 1:4And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, you have heard of me.
American King James Version×, English Standard Version). A few days later, on the biblical day of Pentecost, “a sound like a mighty rushing wind…filled the entire house where they were sitting,” as “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:2-4 Acts 2:2-4  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
American King James Version×, ESV). Does the observance of this day have meaning for you today? You might be surprised to know that Jesus Himself observed all of the ancient Hebrew High Days—setting an example for us today. Reading this, perhaps you might echo comments made on that day of Pentecost some 2,000 years ago: “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37 Acts 2:37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers, what shall we do?
American King James Version×, ESV). For answers, download our free Bible Study Guide, God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind.
May 7, 2021
Mothers of Faith and Promise
May 9 represents the annual celebration of Mother’s Day in the United States and other parts of the world. “Mothers and motherhood are true gifts of God created to be an important cornerstone of humanity and of society,” says Richard Kennebeck, an Elder speaking in a United Church of God worship service. “Mothers,” he says, “have a great opportunity to have an impact, an impact on people’s lives that can last forever, to impact multiple generations with their wisdom, their hope, their faith, their love and their example.” Listen to Mr. Kennebeck’s sermon, "Mothers of Faith and Promise," or read the transcript.
Living Free from Worry
“What are you worried about? What is living rent-free in your mind and sinking your heart?”
Long-time Pastor and Beyond Today contributor, Robin Webber, asks these and other probing questions as he explains from the Bible how to rid your life from needless fear and worry. Read his current Beyond Today article, “A Doorway of Remembrance.”
Do You Control Your Technology: Or Does It Control You?
Coming off a lockdown year of pandemic, personal technology (smartphones, laptops, computer pads and HD TVs) has become more important in our lives than ever. When does technology start becoming a burden instead of a helper? Darris McNeely details how technology can have a draining effect on our lives, and how we can use biblical principles to get our lives back and put things in productive perspective. God offers a surprising spiritual tool to help us set our lives aright, one that requires us to stop, pause and rest. Watch Mr. McNeely’s insightful presentation (or read the transcript) on the Beyond Today television program “The Sabbath Rest."
What’s It Like to Worship God in Zambia?
Zambia pastor Derrick Pringle offers an insightful look at what disciples of Jesus Christ deal with in northwest Zambia, including some areas close to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Church President, Victor Kubik, who has visited these areas with his wife Bev on a number of occasions, provides an inside look of life in this African nation in his May 6, “Personal from the President."
April 30, 2021
Special Streaming Service: A Vision for the Church
What’s on deck for the United Church of God in 2021? Watch Church President, Victor Kubik, outline a vision for the Church this Sabbath, beginning at 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). Church Treasurer, Rick Shabi, will also present a message prior to Mr. Kubik’s sermon. The live presentations and Church service are part of the Church’s annual General Conference of Elders, which is taking place this year in a virtual format. Watch the special church service on May 1.
Heartbeats Never Lie
What choices are available to women who unexpectedly find themselves pregnant? An unanticipated pregnancy can represent a complex set of challenges and possible outcomes. Can the Bible help make a decision in these possibly challenging circumstances? In an important article titled, “Heartbeats Never Lie,” Beyond Today magazine contributor Terri Eddington describes a situation that she witnessed while volunteering at a pregnancy resource center and offers objective thoughts. Read this important article now.
How Do You Exercise Your Free Will?
An amazing attribute of God includes the fact that He gives all humans free will to make independent decisions. But with free will comes accountability and consequences—for both good and not-so-good decisions. God has a specific path He wants you to choose. Long-time pastor and Beyond Today television host, Steve Myers, reviews this path in his short BT Daily "Free Will." Watch the short video or read the transcript.
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Our experienced ministers, writers and contributors present a wide variety of quality information on life topics and biblical understanding, all free to you. To sample more of our insightful articles, programs and other Bible resources, visit our “Preaching the Gospel” Beyond Today page. This content is updated regularly, so don’t forget to bookmark the page on your browser.
April 23, 2021
The Risk of Being Tone-Deaf
Much communication today can be described as “tone deaf.” Someone who talks, writes or posts in an insensitive or inappropriate manner runs the risk of offending or hurtfully polarizing a situation. Drawing on a biblical example of how Jesus Christ communicated at a critical time, long-time Pastor and Beyond Today television host, Darris McNeely, examines the critical aspect and positive power of proper tone and voice in communicating with others. Watch the four-minute BT Daily on Tone and Voice.
When God Knocks, How Do You Respond?
The Bible uses a simple but powerful figure of speech to describe how God and Jesus Christ sometimes gently get our attention. Calling on us to grow in grace and knowledge, Jesus Christ makes this powerful statement: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20 Revelation 3:20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
American King James Version×). The same figure of speech is used by Jesus Himself to also illustrate how we are to communicate with God. Beyond Today contributor and long-time pastor, Robin Webber, explains the vital importance of this for us today. Click here to read, Knock, Knock! Will You Answer?
Spiritual Riches in an African Nation
Malawi is one of the poorest nations in the world in terms of economic standards of life, but it contains some of the most spiritually rich disciples of Jesus Christ. Church President Victor Kubik and his wife Bev have visited and served in this country for many years, as recently have a number of young people. Mr. Kubik describes how Christians live, serve and worship in his current Personal from the President.
Ready to Explore More?
The Bible serves up remarkable wisdom and standards for conduct that enhances life, including yours! To sample more of our insightful articles, programs and other Bible resources, visit our “Preaching the Gospel” Beyond Today page. This content is updated regularly, so don’t forget to bookmark the page on your browser.
April 16, 2021
A Critical Question: Is Jesus the Only Way?
Do all paths lead to the same eternal place? Are Jesus, Buddha and Aristotle all human guides who should be equally rolled into a form of practical atheism, serving up generic moral precepts? Certainly, many gifted humans have discerned remarkable truth, but all have flaws (for example, Aristotle is considered to be the human originator of western logical thought, but he also incorrectly taught that the brain is a radiator to vent excess body heat). In profound contrast, Jesus Christ made two astonishing, unbreakable claims: “I am the way, the truth and the life,” and further, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Does Jesus mean what He said? Long-time pastor and Beyond Today television host, Gary Petty, explains the answer—and its direct meaning for you—to the critical question: Is Jesus the Only Way?
Liberation and the Fear of God
Unrestrained, free-floating fear can be a symptom of a generalized anxiety disorder. But a focused and deliberate fear—an expression of profound spiritual respect and acknowledgement—can serve as a positive liberating strength for a disciple of Jesus Christ. In fact, such reverence and respect produces change and positive vision in a Christian. Darlene Lausted, a member of the United Church of God, provides some simple but insightful thoughts to consider in her short Beyond Today blog, To Fear God.
Can Science and Christian Beliefs Actually Complement Each Other?
Science and Christian belief—when these words appear in a discussion—they often reflect unremitting hostility. Are science and Christian belief truly eternal antagonists? Or can they yield remarkable insight when viewed together? Pastor Steven Britt brings an unusual dimension to his service as a minister of Jesus Christ—that of a trained scientist holding a PhD in Applied Mathematics. In this special edition of the Inside United Podcast, Dr. Britt and Church President Victor Kubik discuss how the impressive complexity of DNA and RNA—together with thousands of genes and multiple billions of combinations—mathematically and systemically prove the existence of a powerful Creator God. Listen to details in this fascinating 27-minute podcast.
A Refreshing Point of View
Looking for biblical perspectives that can improve your life? Visit our “Preaching the Gospel” Beyond Today page and sample recent Beyond Today videos, articles and more. This content is updated regularly, so don’t forget to bookmark the page on your browser.
April 2, 2021
What Biblical Festivals Did Jesus Observe?
When people read the Bible in depth, some find it amazing that common modern religious festivals—like Easter and Christmas—are never observed by biblical figures, including the original apostles and Jesus Christ Himself! In addition to seeing Jesus observing the annual, biblical Hebrew Holy Days—like Passover and the Festival of Tabernacles—we also see the apostle Paul writing to a Greek gentile congregation in Corinth, urging them: “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8 1 Corinthians 5:7-8  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
American King James Version×, English Standard Version). Paul was clearly writing to a non-Hebrew church assembly about positively observing the Days of Unleavened Bread season, one that is commanded by God in Leviticus 23:4-8 Leviticus 23:4-8  These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons.  In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover.  And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread.  In the first day you shall have an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein.  But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein.
American King James Version×. What does that personally mean for us today? For more information, read this meaningful excerpt from one of our popular study guides: "Are God's Holy Days Relevant Today?"
Easter: The Rest of the Story
Each year, multiple thousands of well-meaning people gather on a spring Sunday to take part in many traditions, including egg coloring, egg hunts and big family meals. But what do baskets of chocolate and brightly colored eggs have to do with worshiping Jesus Christ? Long-time minister and Beyond Today television host Steve Myers, answers this question and more, including discussing the very sign that Jesus powerfully gave to prove He is the promised Messiah. Get the answers about Easter for yourself. Watch, "Easter: The Rest of the Story" or read the transcript.
God, the Moon and the Suez Canal
On the day when the Ever Given container ship—one of the largest ships in the world—was pulled free from blocking billions of dollars in shipping through the Suez Canal, some found a bit of humor in the fact the day coincided with the same biblical day the ancient Israelites were set free from Egyptian slavery. What was more interesting was it took what one international news source described as “a piece of celestial good luck”—an unusually high tide caused by the Supermoon that heralded in God’s annual Days of Unleavened Bread—to lift the 200,000-ton ship free. Church President Victor Kubik reviews how the stars and moons declare both the existence and glory of God, even though these celestial wonders never say a word. Read more about God’s awesome power and what it means for you in President Kubik’s weekly column for April 1, 2021.
Dealing with 21st Century Philistines
The Bible speaks of the many challenges ancient Israel faced with its arch enemy, the Philistines. The aggressive Philistines relentlessly plagued the people of Israel and Judah. Longtime pastor and Beyond Today television host, Darris McNeely, notes: “We don’t fight against the Philistines today, [but] we have spiritual Philistines and spiritual battles that we have to engage in today.” Are you dealing with spiritual issues of depression, anxiety, anger and more? Check out what Mr. McNeely recommends to do by viewing (or reading the transcript of) his recent BT Daily: Philistines.
A Critical Lesson from Jesus Christ
Shortly before dying, the late president of the United Church of God, Dennis Luker, wrote to the ministry of the Church. He emphasized how disciples of Jesus Christ learn, and how we are to embrace an attitude of Christ-like service when we take part in the annual footwashing ceremony during the Passover service. Current Church president, Victor Kubik, republishes Mr. Luker’s insightful comments to help us embrace “deep, godly love and sincere humility.” Read Mr. Kubik's March 25 "Letter from the President" for the full letter from Mr. Luker.
March 19, 2021
The Christian Passover: A Pivotal Event for You
Here is a critically personal truth: the astonishing sacrifice of Jesus Christ as our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7 1 Corinthians 5:7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
American King James Version×) opens the door for Christians to be forgiven of their sins, to be reconciled with God, and to ultimately receive eternal life. The importance of the Passover cannot be understated—without it, none of the rest of God’s plan for humanity can take place. How are 21st century disciples of Jesus Christ directed to observe this New Testament Passover? Read more in, "The Passover: Why Did Jesus Have to Die?"
Christian Perspective on Race Issues
“People of color need to hear the same thing as all people, that is God is love.” Dealing with racism, white supremacy issues and modeling compassion in turbulent times, are among the topics discussed in a special edition of the Inside United podcast hosted by Pastor Dan Preston and Ernest Grier, an African-American serving United Church of God congregations in North and South Carolina. Mr. Grier, a deacon in the Church, notes that over the past year, “as more police killings of unarmed people of color have been publicized, it has put a spotlight on racism in the United States.” Mr. Grier believes all people need to remember, “God is no respecter of persons” and according to Acts 10:35 Acts 10:35But in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him.
American King James Version×, all people who fear God and do what is right are “accepted by Him.” What should members of the Church of God fellowship be doing? Listen to this insightful podcast.
Changing How We Think
An important aspect of our lives is that our all-powerful God grants us the freedom to act at our own discretion. As Church President Victor Kubik writes: “We are deliberately allowed to make personal decisions, whether for good or evil.” As he continues, “God will equip us to make good choices, but He will not make those choices for us. We have to develop and exercise godly character and wisdom to make the right decisions.” Spiritually preparing for taking the Christian Passover includes a focus to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 2 Corinthians 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
American King James Version×). Read more about how to do this in Mr. Kubik’s March 18 “Personal.”
A Fresh Point of View
Want to add a new perspective for your spiritual journey? Visit our “Preaching the Gospel” Beyond Today page and sample recent Beyond Today videos, articles and more. While you’re there, why not bookmark the page on your browser, as exciting and interesting content and commentary on today’s news is frequently updated.
March 12, 2021
Forgiveness: For Us and For Others
There’s an old saying about forgiveness: "When we seek forgiveness for something we did to someone else, we want mercy. When someone has hurt us, we want justice." What is the biblical view? Being forgiven of our personal sins is critical for our eternal salvation and our mental health. But also important in this spiritual act is our forgiveness of others when we have been hurt or harmed. Forgiving others can be a real challenge. Sometimes it’s not easy. In this time of examining ourselves before the Christian Passover (1 Corinthians 11:28-31 1 Corinthians 11:28-31  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
 For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
American King James Version×), we should ask for the spiritual gift of forgiveness, including help from God in forgiving others. Read, “The Spiritual Need to Forgive Others,” excerpted from the Beyond Today Bible study guide, "Forgiveness is Possible."
A High Tower of Hope
A quick review of everyday news can be discouraging. But despite daily tests of every shape and size, there is good news! No matter what the issue, challenge or trial, the Bible declares that God Himself is the high tower—a safe place of refuge—where disciples of Jesus Christ can find confidence and shelter. Long-time minister and Beyond Today host, Steve Myers, tells Christians where they can confidently place their trust and be rewarded. Watch his Beyond Today Daily, "A High Tower," or read the accompanying transcript.
Preparing for the Christian Passover
A year of living and persevering in a pandemic has taken a toil on many, but Christians have real hope. How does one find that hope? As disciples of Jesus Christ prepare to take the annual Christian Passover, we can seek God for personal insight, asking Him what each of us needs to know about ourselves and what we need to change. This can confidently propel us to new spiritual heights and an abundant life. In his March 11 podcast, Church President, Victor Kubik, challenges us to renew our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ as we prepare both for the Passover and the transformational Days of Unleavened Bread which follow. As Mr. Kubik encourages us: “This season, be a believer. Believe in Jesus Christ your Savior, believe what He says, believe in what He does, believe in His role in the coming Kingdom of God and everything that this means—and experience your best Passover yet!” Listen to the 15-minute podcast, "Passover Preparation."
March 5, 2021
The Ultimate Vision
The book of Proverbs makes an important fact plain: when people lack a motivating vision to sustain and guide them, the Bible says they can literally “perish” (Proverbs 29:18 Proverbs 29:18Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.
American King James Version×). Minister John Miller, a member of the United Church of God Council of Elders, relates how Abraham Lincoln created a human vision to help a divided people come together. However, as the Bible shows, the ultimate energizing vision is to fully grasp and understand what it means to be like Jesus Christ in both present and future realities (1 John 3:2 1 John 3:2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
American King James Version×). Read more of this exciting and motivating vision in, "The Ultimate Vision."
What is the Future Role of Jesus as the Messiah?
As He stood before Jewish and Roman authorities, on what cause was Jesus condemned to die? Jesus powerfully acknowledged before Pilate, the Roman governor representing Emperor Tiberius, that He was in fact a king, the King who would one day rule over the entire Earth! Born from the prophesied line of King David, Jesus will return to this Earth as the living, visible Head of the coming Kingdom of God. What does that mean for you personally? Read more from Church President Victor Kubik in the current issue of Beyond Today: "Christ the King."
Prayers Requested for Christians in Myanmar
Violence between protestors and military forces in Myanmar continues to rise. The United Church of God has members in the area, who report of dangerous situations and request prayers for God’s safety and intervention. Read more here.
Tap Our Spiritual Resources
Want to dive deeper into the rich spiritual resources published by the United Church of God? Visit our “Preaching the Gospel” Beyond Today page on our website and sample recent Beyond Today videos, articles and more. While you’re there, why not bookmark the page on your browser, as exciting and interesting content is frequently updated.
February 26, 2021
Join us online and experience our worship services live – and Preparing for Your Best Passover Yet! (part two)
Have you wanted to worship with the Church that produces the Beyond Today television program and magazine, or are you simply looking for a Christian assembly dedicated to preaching biblical truth? This week please join us online at 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Saturday, February 26, for a special live service (or catch the archived service afterwards). Click here to watch and participate online.
The Christian Passover represents a critically important event for the disciples of Jesus Christ. As Church president, Victor Kubik, writes in his weekly personal column: “As we renew our relationship to Jesus as our Passover, we reignite our commitment to overcoming sin, to being spiritually victorious (Revelation 2:7 Revelation 2:7He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the middle of the paradise of God.
American King James Version×). The rewards for this commitment are many, both spiritual and physical.” The Bible directs Christians to humbly and deliberately make ready to take part in this annual service with focused preparation, directly engaging God and Jesus Christ in the process. Read the full personal now.
Why Did Jesus Christ Come to Earth?
In the March-April 2021 Beyond Today magazine cover story, managing editor, Scott Ashley, details a powerful biblical truth which has a direct impact on all today. What did God intend to accomplish when He sent Jesus Christ to earth? As Mr. Ashley writes, God’s “purpose is to ‘bring many children into glory’ so you and I can be part of His eternal spirit family!” This incredible human potential is made plain in the Bible, as Mr. Ashley explains in his article, "When God Became Man So Man Could Become God." Please make sure you read this important piece in its entirety.
February 19, 2021
Preparing for Your best Passover Yet (Part 1)
What direct ties does the creation of the awesome universe have to do with you? Consider this critical fact: the sacrificial death of the Messiah in the first century stands alone as the singular event in human history. Amazingly, this extraordinary act was a most vital part of an awesome plan—a plan that directly affects you—which was laid out and set in motion billions of years ago, even before the foundations of the earth were fashioned. As part of this plan, we observe the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ as the Passover lamb for all humanity (1 Corinthians 5:7 1 Corinthians 5:7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
American King James Version×). By observing it, we receive marvelous spiritual benefits. These include how the Passover illustrates the deep love God has for us all (John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version×), and how by observing it we declare our continuing dedication to be overcomers, more than conquerors in this physical life (Romans 8:37 Romans 8:37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
American King James Version×). But there’s more. Read Church president Victor Kubik’s personal message from February 19.
Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper
For Christians living in a world filled with judgmental comparisons, it’s far too easy to get caught up in worrying what other people may think about us. Instead of burning up emotional and mental bandwidth being concerned about what others think, long-time pastor and Beyond Today commentator, Darris McNeely, advises disciples of Jesus Christ to metaphorically “keep your eyes on your own paper.” In a recent Beyond Today Daily, he says: “We have our own lessons to learn…we need to keep our eyes on our paper and let those lessons come to us.” God’s direction? We should “not compare ourselves with one another.” There is a positive standard of comparison, but it’s above a human standard. View the short video: "Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper."
February 12, 2021
What Can God Do Through Believers?
In the early days of the Church of God, the first century disciples in Jerusalem faced great upheaval, scattering as they fled hundreds of miles to escape violence. What did God do with these early believers? Instead of being wiped out, these disciples energized great growth, becoming living examples of the gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached (Matthew 5:14 Matthew 5:14You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
American King James Version×). What did these early Christians do when they came to Antioch in Syria? “The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:21 Acts 11:21And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned to the Lord.
American King James Version×, English Standard Version). How can we as believers today follow Jesus Christ, the living Head of the Church? Read more in Church president Victor Kubik’s personal message from February 11.
How Can We Experience God’s Gift of Peace?
In times of national and personal turbulence, how can we experience the peace that Jesus promised? Even in times of political turmoil, a seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic, lack of employment, personal health issues or other challenges, we can experience miraculous peace of mind—a peace that passes all understanding. Robin Webber, a long-time pastor and Beyond Today contributor, invites us to claim the promise Jesus made in John 14:27 John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
American King James Version×: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” How do we do this? Read how from Mr. Webber’s October 2020 Beyond Today column, "My Peace I Give to You."
February 5, 2021
Protecting Yourself from a Global "Infodemic"
Do people believe what they hear or read on the news? According to a major international report, a “global infodemic has driven trust in all news sources to record lows.” For the first time, research found that a majority of respondents viewed news media as both incompetent and unethical, “purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false.” That’s a dangerous place to be. Thankfully, as Church president Victor Kubik writes, we have a unique and indisputable source of real Truth to turn to. Mr. Kubik shows how to personally tap this source of real truth and protect ourselves by holding fast to the spiritual trunk of the tree. Read his personal message from February 4.
Have You Really Turned Your Life Over to God?
Many people desire earnestly to worship God, spending time reading the Bible, praying and trying to be a good person. These all represent good traits, but what does God want and expect? John LaBissoniere, a long-time minister and Beyond Today senior writer, shows how God’s purpose and expectation for disciples of Jesus Christ is nothing short of total transformation. How does one set out toward this seemingly impossible goal? God provides divine grace and a specific pathway for disciples to begin a rewarding life of spiritual growth. Read Mr. LaBissoniere's latest article: "Have You Really Turned Your Life Over to God?"
January 29, 2021
Spiritual Skills for Times of Severe Challenges
When times are challenging—even gritty—how do disciples of Jesus Christ find help and hope? Long-time pastor and Beyond Today contributor, Robin Webber, offers three keys to receive real spiritual strength and go beyond simply muddling through day-to-day life. Citing how disciples living in the first century received transformational spiritual power, Mr. Webber writes: “Let us all follow the example of Christ’s first disciples in likewise following Him, allowing Him to truly lead us from within in full assurance of faith.” Read more encouragement from his important article, "How to Cope Spiritually in Times of Darkness."
How Will God Put an End to Evil?
It’s hard question, but a fair one. As Church president Victor Kubik notes: “Many atheists claim that a major reason for their not believing in God is they cannot reconcile how there can be an all-powerful and loving God who is not able to stop war, suffering and injustice. How can a loving God who created us in His image and likeness not put an end to all the evil?” As Mr. Kubik writes, "The Bible plainly explains where evil comes from and how God Himself will abolish it. We can be confident that an all-powerful God has a magnificent purpose and has already defeated the evil powers of this world through Jesus Christ." Read more of what will happen in his article, "Where Does Evil Come From? How Will It End?"
January 16, 2021
Urgently praying in the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14 2 Chronicles 7:14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
American King James Version×
As a new President of the United States prepares to be inaugurated into office, what should be the response of a disciple of Jesus Christ? The Bible confidently tells us: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray…then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 2 Chronicles 7:14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
American King James Version×). In his current weekly column, Church President Victor Kubik reminds readers that all Christians are directed by the Bible to pray “for all who are in authority” (1 Timothy 2:2 1 Timothy 2:2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
American King James Version×, New Living Translation). This is critically important for the perilous times we live in. Read his full remarks.
America and the Return to God
Recognizing a need for national repentance, tens of thousands of Americans peacefully gathered in the fall of 2020 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. They took part in a prayer-focused event called “The Return.” Beyond Today host Darris McNeely and Church President Victor Kubik were on hand to observe and report on this remarkable event. “I heard many blunt and true statements from sincere speakers. ‘The churches of the land are filled with golden calves,’ proclaimed one of the leading organizers. ‘God has left the building,’ he said, referring to Ezekiel’s vision of God’s presence leaving the Jerusalem temple,” writes Mr. McNeely in the current issue of Beyond Today. Listen to Mr. McNeely’s and Mr. Kubik’s first-hand experiences in the nation’s capital on the current Inside United podcast. Or read the full account in the January-February issue of Beyond Today magazine.
January 8, 2021
Fear not – let’s be about our Father’s business
How should disciples of Jesus react to the January 6 chaos on Capitol Hill? Congressional leaders warned of a possible “death spiral” of America shortly before protesters stormed into the Capitol and violently disrupted Congressional proceedings to confirm the next President of the United States.
Church President Victor Kubik refers all to the reassuring truth of the Bible: “Regardless of what we may have seen this week, even as we continue to endure turbulent times, we also confidently hold the precious and immovable truth that God is in control.” For more insight on this important development, listen to President Kubik’s eight-minute podcast, Rampage on Capitol Building. Or you can read his remarks in the January 7 Personal from the President.
Know someone worn down and struggling? Here’s how you can help!
Do you know anyone who is worn down and discouraged by the grind of life? Maybe this is affecting your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers. What can you do to help those who are worn down by weariness? How can you better cope yourself? In the January-February 2021 Beyond Today magazine, regular contributor Terri Eddington offers specific practical advice, following up on her well-received article from July, with How Can You Help Those Worn Down by Weariness?
October 22, 2020
Jesus and Today's Cultural Christianity
While a second wave of the coronavirus sweeps the United States, Europe and elsewhere, where is Jesus? Does the God described in the Bible even exist? On a recent Beyond Today television program, long-time pastor Gary Petty reviews how the creeping influence of misleading secular humanism dangerously erodes the societal influence and life-saving truths of the Bible. Watch the 25-minute program, "Jesus and Today’s Cultural Christianity" as Mr. Petty also answers the critical questions, is Jesus alive and can you have a transforming relationship with him.
Want to dive deeper?
The Bible reveals exciting truth about both your personal future and the future of humanity. God outlines a specific plan—broadly pictured by the ancient Hebrew Holy day seasons of the Bible—that involve you. The last annual seasons, the festival of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day, portray a coming time of marvelous peace and prosperity, heralded in by what Jesus described as the Kingdom of God. Click here to watch or listen to an in-depth sermon, "The Kingdom that Everyone Wants" from Victor Kubik, president of the United Church of God, from the Church’s recent observance of the Festival.
August 1, 2020
Hope and Help for the Brokenhearted
The Bible describes those who suffer depression, deep discouragement and emotional trauma from being subjected to harsh and unrelenting trial as being among “the brokenhearted.” Authors Peter and Terri Eddington, who have served in the ministry of Jesus Christ for more than 25 years, offer practical advice and real hope for people facing the challenges of 2020. Read Hope and Help for the Brokenhearted by Mr. Eddington and Are You Worn Down by Weariness? by Mrs. Eddington.