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 together once again as we look at important topics from the Bible.
Today we will look at an especially important question—What is the very important mission God has called us, as His Church, to carry out during these distressing and tumultuous end-times?
You see, I believe Seventh-day Adventists have been called for a special work—to lift up Christ and His Word, His righteousness, His sanctuary message, His health message, His saving power in the gospel, His Three Angels’ messages, and His soon coming.
We are to assist in the work of the Holy Spirit, pointing people to the cross of Christ and His intercession for us in the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary.
And we are to do this in a very practical, spiritual way as Jesus did—touching people’s lives directly.
In Luke, chapter 4, beginning in verse 16, we see Jesus worshipping at the synagogue in Nazareth. He is asked to read from the Scriptures and is handed the scroll of Isaiah. Opening the book, He read: [Read Isaiah 61:1,2a].
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to [a]heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
Clearly, Christ identifies Himself as the “Anointed One,” the Messiah, and outlines His mission.
Commenting on this passage, the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary states—“The gospel of Jesus means relief for the poor, light for the ignorant, alleviation of distress for the suffering, and emancipation for the slaves of sin.”
You see, Christ’s ministry was a very balanced ministry—helping in a temporal sense—alleviating suffering where He could, but always with eternal, spiritual results in mind. He came to relieve not literal captives, but those who were captives of Satan. He offered spiritual release from sinful bondage.
And friends, today, there are so many captives to sin—immorality abounds, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco hold many in a slavish grasp. Pornography, anger, hatred, bigotry and more bind people in sin and sorrow.
But, praise God, Jesus came to set people free from Satan’s bondage, and today He works through us as we lovingly help others as Jesus did.
Christ came to open eyes, not only of those who were physically blind, but those who were spiritually blind.
He came to set at liberty those who were oppressed, those “bruised” spiritually—those who were discouraged, feeling hopeless and helpless. God calls us to reach out to such individuals today with hope and healing, pointing them to the Savior who alone can heal, and who alone can transform hearts.
Jesus came to set people free from the heavy burden of sin and the oppressive Rabbinical restrictions that often obscured the true mission of the Messiah. For you see, the Jewish leaders were looking for a different kind of Messiah—one who would save them from Roman tyranny and bring in social reforms. But Christ clearly stated, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight . . .” (John 18:36).
We are given further insight in The Desire of Ages, page 509:
“The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,—extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.”
This was the focus of Christ’s mission, and through the power of the Holy Spirit it must be the focus of ours.
Our mission is clearly identified through divine inspiration, where we are told:
“In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import—the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention” (9T 19).
These messages, centered on Jesus, provide what the world needs most. As we reach out to a hurting world, ministering to the many needs today, let us, as Jesus did, always keep the eternal in view, realizing that only He can regenerate the heart.
Let us pray together Father in heaven, we thank you that you have the power, not only to create, but to recreate. We thank you for changed hearts. We thank you for the supernatural ability that comes when we simply, we fall on our knees and allow the Holy day, the spirit to supernaturally change us. True connection with you.
Now Lord bless each one. As they fulfill your mission to reach out to people and touching people's lives physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually, just as Jesus did bringing relief from sin and oppression that comes when we are slaves of Satan. Thank you for hearing us and for the hope that one day soon, we will be in heaven where there will be no more difficulties and everything will be perfect.
All because of the blood grace and ministry of Jesus Christ, his righteousness, his justifying and sanctifying righteousness. And we thank you for hearing us in Christ's name. We ask it. Amen.