Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of a message, posted to You Tube on July 31, from president of the Adventist Church, Ted N.C. Wilson. Elder Wilson will release a new video each week, during the Coronavirus pandemic, which you can view here.
Greetings, once again friends. I hope that you have had a good week and are looking forward to the upcoming Sabbath.
As you know, for the past several months, life has been very challenging as the world has been dealing with a global pandemic. However, in spite of the limitations this as placed upon us as individuals, and on the normal way we do many things as a Church, I’m thankful that the Lord has given His Church, His people, creativity and ingenuity in finding ways to carry on with His mission, in spite of the limitations we have faced! Many of those new and innovative ways have involved creative use of the internet—providing virtual camp meetings, online Sabbath school and church services, Weeks of Prayer, Vacation Bible Schools, youth meetings, and even virtual summer camps! There have also been several evangelistic meetings that have taken place completely online. These meetings, such the one presented by John Bradshaw of It Is Written, and another by Cami Oetman from Adventist World Radio, involved many lay members serving as virtual Bible workers, contacting those watching online and offering them Bible studies. We praise God that hundreds of people have been baptized as a result of these efforts!
While you may not have had the opportunity to be a virtual Bible worker, we all have God-given opportunities to reach out to others, sharing the message that gives us hope and courage. It might be through social media, messaging, or some other electronic means, or perhaps through a phone call, or even an old-fashioned handwritten letter—if our hearts are open to God’s leading, He will show us, even with today’s challenges, how to reach others for Him.
I believe God is going to use each of us in amazing ways, giving opportunities to answer many questions that the world has no satisfying response—“What is this crisis all about?” “What does the future hold?” “Why do you have a happy, peaceful look on your face? Do you know something I don’t know?”
People want answers—not only from reading the Bible by themselves—they want to hear it from you! They want to hear your testimony, your experience of being connected to the Source of all truth and power— Jesus Christ!
Connection with Jesus is key. In order to reach people—encouraging them, bringing them truth and hope, you and I must first connect daily with Jesus—through Bible study, through prayer, through reading the Spirit of Prophecy, and by following His example in reaching out to others. And as we connect with Jesus, He will give us wisdom, courage, and guidance in how best to let our light shine for Him. And I believe time is of the essence, while people are still pondering the deep questions resulting from this global pandemic. God is calling you and me, depending on us to reach others for Him!
In the powerful book of Romans, we are given a clear understanding of Christ’s righteousness, showing how we are so dependent upon the Lord Himself, and how that works out in practical Christian living through a daily experience with Him.
In Romans 12:1-2 we read, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Here, God is asking you, and me, to be a living sacrifice—not only physically, but spiritually. You are to be a powerful influence on people because you are a son, a daughter, of God, our Creator. He wants us to be a part of His great final proclamation, and in order to do that, we need to be connected to Him, not the world.
As we look forward to the Second Coming of Christ, I believe one of the greatest challenges we as Seventh-day Adventists face today is not the coronavirus, or nuclear annihilation, or religious persecution, or some other horrible situation. The worse thing that we face is pride and self. God is calling for us to humble ourselves, and to honor one another before ourselves, to practice selflessness—the characteristic of Jesus Christ.
In the wonderful book, Christian Service, we read, “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work” (p. 41).
We must be firmly connected to Christ, through His Word, through prayer, and through the sharing of His Word. Then, God will give us a mighty and powerful experience in helping others, as we prefer them before ourselves.
May God use you today, and in the coming days, to reach as many as possible for Him—reflecting His love and care and sharing the good news that He is coming very, very soon!
Let’s pray together:
Father in heaven, we ask that you will help us to present ourselves through your power as a living sacrifice someone who is used by you in every facet of life, sharing with others, the characteristics that you place in our lives, as we study your word, as we understand instruction from the spirit of prophecy as the Holy spirit impresses us.
Help us to truly be examples for you and all we do, we know that Jesus is coming so very soon. And we ask that you will use us to demonstrate the power of Christ's righteousness. The core of the three angels' messages of revelation, 14 to help people truly understand their greatest need is to fall at the foot of the cross.
And to accept Christ and his changing power in their lives so that they too can become wonderful witnesses for you. Thank you for hearing us in this prayer and bless each one viewing right now, each one who hears these words, may they be blessed by you as they witness for you? And your soon, second coming in Jesus’ name, we ask it.