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, friends. It’s good to be with you once again to talk about our very important God-given mission, and ways to carry forward His plan to reach the world for Him.
Over the years, many books have been written, seminars given, and papers presented suggesting new and exciting ways of reaching people for Christ. Innovation can be good, bringing life and new energy into soul-winning. To be effective, however, it needs to be based on clear Bible principles, principles upon which heaven can approve.
“Innovation,” according to one definition, is “a new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in form of device or method.”[i] To be innovative is to be creative—to be able to “think outside” the proverbial “box.”
You know, friends, God Himself is the Ultimate Innovator! Think for a moment about Creation—bringing something spectacular into existence out of nothing at all! That is truly thinking “outside of the box!”
Then, when Adam and Eve fell, God’s innovative plan to save us begin rolling into action, as under divine instruction, Adam cut the throat of the first sacrificial lamb pointing to the coming Savior.
Throughout history, God has continually used innovative methods to accomplish His purposes—an ark to save the human race from extinction during a worldwide flood; multiple languages to scatter people across the globe; a promise to Abraham, an old man described “as good as dead” in Hebrews 11:12, and making of him a great nation.
Take the case of Joseph, when nine brothers, filled with hatred and jealousy, sold him into slavery. But God’s innovative plan took what was meant for evil and turned it around for good. Later, as a new Pharaoh sought to wipe out God’s people, God intervened through a baby in a basket boat.
The list goes on—water from a rock, city walls crumbling, a giant slain by a sling and stone, a powerful king converted after seven years of roaming like a beast—these are but a few of God’s amazing ways.
But then, the height of innovation—a Baby, placed in a humble manger, later nailed to a cross to save a race—the human race—that did not know Him.
In John 1:11-13 we read,
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Through the “new birth” offered through God’s innovative plan, God promises to give us power to become sons and daughters of God. Amazing!
Before ascending to heaven, Jesus promised His disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit, promising them power to be His witnesses “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Once this gift was received, Christ’s followers turned “the world upside down.”
Friends, today God still works through innovative means—sometimes in spectacular ways, but often through very simple methods—a knock on the door, a genuine smile, a healing touch, a warm meal, a caring message, an interesting Bible study, a deep conversation, a listening ear—God’s means are limitless, the only limit He has is our willingness to go—to be His hands, His feet.
The importance of God’s calling for us today is made very clear in the book Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, page 24, where we read:
“A crisis is right upon us. We must now by the Holy Spirit’s power proclaim the great truths for these last days. It will not be long before everyone will have heard the warning and made his decision. Then shall the end come.... God is the great Master Worker, and by His providence He prepares the way for His work to be accomplished. He provides opportunities, opens up lines of influence, and channels of working. If His people are watching the indications of His providence, and stand ready to co-operate with Him, they will see a great work accomplished.”
As we move forward in faith, God, the great Innovator, will open doors, showing us His best ways of reaching the world at this time. When we surrender to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, there is no limit to what God can and will do through His Church and through you in Total Member Involvement right now.
Let’s pray together. Father, thank You for the great privilege of cooperating with heaven in the greatest innovative plan ever conceived—the plan of salvation, where Jesus, the Ruler of the universe would come to this earth as a humble human being and would take on human form—100 percent divine, 100 percent human. We can't understand that, but we know it's an innovative, amazing plan. And Jesus lived a perfect life for us, died on the cross for our sins, and is interceding for us in heaven right now as our High Priest, soon to come back as our glorious, triumphant, victorious, conquering King. We look forward to that time. And until that time, Lord, use us to proclaim this amazing, innovative message—a message directly from the throne room of heaven. Thank you for hearing us and thank you for each person who is willing to go for You and to be a witness of what You can do in a life. Thank You for the promise of Your soon coming. We ask all of this in the precious name of our Savior, Who died for us, and lives for us, and intercedes for us, and is coming back to take us home. In Jesus' name we ask it, amen.