Discovering our gifts is not difficult. You will be able to recognize quickly the gifted ministry areas of your pastor and other key leaders in your church. All you have to do is observe what they are doing and notice how people respond to their ministry. However, it is another matter when it comes to considering what one’s own spiritual gifts might be.1
The process of discovering an individual’s spiritual gifts has sometimes been presented as rather simplistic: fill out an [...]
“Another year has almost passed into eternity. A few more days, and we shall enter a new year. My brethren and sisters, employ wisely the remaining hours of the old year. If you have in any wise neglected your duty, repent before God, and return to the path from which you have wandered. Remember how brief the period of life allotted you. You know not how soon your probation may close. Say not presumptuously, ‘To-day or to-morrow we will go [...]
That the Lord had not yet come is undoubtedly the basis for some of Paul’s counsel to the Thessalonians. What does Paul counsel the church at Thessalonica as they wait for the promised coming of Christ? 2 Thessalonians 2. 1
Certain events have to transpire in human history before Jesus will return, yet, the hope for the future is glorious.
The book of Revelation, the great book of “climaxes,” also gives evidence of a time lag. At the opening of the fifth seal, what do the [...]
From the earliest days of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Adventists believed that Christ’s coming was soon, “nearer than we first believed.” As it stands, we’re still here, much longer than many among us anticipated. How are we to understand this “delay”?1
First of all, we’re not the only ones whose expectations about when the Lord would act have not been fulfilled as people have thought.
Eve, for instance, thought God’s promises for a Deliverer (Gen. 3:15) would be fulfilled in her first-born son. Read Genesis [...]
As Christians, as Seventh-day Adventist Christians, we live with the hope of Christ’s literal return to this earth. Some Christian groups have abandoned hope in this teaching or have pushed it off to the side or they have watered it down and so spiritualized it away that the Second Coming becomes essentially just a personal thing. They may say: The Second Coming is realized in our hearts when we learn to fulfill our role in our community or When we learn [...]
Because “last things” center around the establishing of God’s kingdom, attention to “last things” has always been a paramount Seventh-day Adventist concern. So much so that we have drawn attention to the end times in our name: Seventh-day Adventist. The name itself points to our belief in the second advent of Jesus.1
How does Peter express this hope? 2 Pet. 3:13. Why is this hope so central to all we believe? Without it, why do we have no real hope at all?
Our own human [...]
The description of our pitiful human condition is honestly and correctly painted in Scripture. Bible writers did not always despair, however, because they knew the final outcome. The last chapters in the books of Isaiah and Revelation assure us that the destruction of sin is coming and that God’s kingdom will be restored. God revealed to His prophets the “last things” that will lead to the ending of our world’s dark history. These prophets gave full weight to the gravity [...]
In both the Old and the New Testament, marriage is utilized to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people. To the mind of Jesus, the gladness of wedding festivities pointed forward to the rejoicing of that day when He shall bring home His bride to the Father’s house, and the redeemed with the Redeemer shall sit down to the marriage supper of the Lamb. He says, “As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so [...]
Read John 2:1–11. What does this tells us about Jesus’ attitude toward marriage and romantic love? What does it mean that He gave His blessing to such boisterous and long-drawn-out affairs as Jewish weddings were in that day and age? 1
Jesus had just returned from the wilderness of temptation, where He Himself had drunk the cup of woe. But from there He came forth to give the human family the cup of blessing and to consecrate the warm relationships of human life. [...]
Libraries could be filled with books that deal with the difficult question of human suffering, difficult especially for those who believe in a loving and all-powerful God (for the atheist, suffering is merely part of what it means to live in a godless and meaningless universe and thus doesn’t present the difficult philosophical questions it does for Christians). However, without an understanding of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, most of those books don’t make much headway (even with [...]