Today we begin a new series focusing on the life-changing book "The Great Controversy," which opens our eyes to events that will change the future forever. But before we get into the book, we'd like to start with a story that happened some time ago.
George Rice was the only child of George and Dorothy Rice. Born in 1933, George grew up on the family farm in Bethlehem, Connecticut. As he grew, George learned to love books. One day, as a teenager, he went up into the attic of his house and came across an old box that had belonged to his grandfather. Curiously, George opened the box and to his delight found many books! Pulling them out, he noticed the author's name—Ellen G. White. He started reading, and the more he read, the more convinced George became of their importance and truth. At the age of 15, he was baptized into the local Seventh-day Adventist Church. George shared what he had learned first with his grandmother, and then his parents, who joined the church. His aunts and uncles soon followed in baptism along with their children.
That was just the beginning of a lifelong impact Dr. George Rice had on countless lives as he served as a pastor, New Testament and Greek professor, author, and friend. And Dr. Rice's experience is similar to countless others around the world who have been significantly impacted by the Bible-based, inspired writings of Ellen G. White.
The book we will focus on for the next several months is The Great Controversy, by Ellen White. Knowing the vitally important messages contained there, she wrote, "I am more anxious to see a wide circulation for this book than for any others . . . for in The Great Controversy, the last message of warning to the world is given more distinctly than in any of my other books" (Colporteur Ministry, p. 127).
Although written by human hands, it was inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit. The purpose, wrote Ellen White, is to "unfold the scenes of the great controversy between truth and error; to reveal the wiles of Satan, and the means by which he may be successfully resisted; to present a satisfactory solution of the great problem of evil, shedding such a light upon the origin and the final disposition of sin, as to make fully manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all His dealings with His creatures; and to show the holy, unchanging nature of His law" (GC, p. xii).
This is going to be an amazing journey as together we go through the book The Great Controversy. Since we will only be looking at highlights from each chapter, I strongly encourage you to obtain a hard copy of the book, or download a free copy, available in multiple languages, at greatcontroversyproject.org. You may also want to invite a friend to join you as we go through this timely book together.