The Seventh-day Adventist church is a prophetic movement which God raised up for the furtherance of the gospel after centuries of apostasy by His church. This makes us special in terms of responsibility. We’re not special because of any intrinsic value that we have, but we have a special message and we are a called people.
The primary purpose of the Seventh-day Adventist church is to proclaim the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes a remembrance of the Sabbath as God’s holy day, and a focus on the ministerial work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary. The everlasting gospel reminds us that God is Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.
While there are many other people willing to preach about the gospel — at least some aspect of it — many of them are missing components, or are willing to suggest that vital sections of the scriptures have been done away with. Whatever their intent and sincerity, they are missing critical pieces of the full, everlasting gospel.
Yes, just as occurred with Israel of old, we could look at our calling as something that makes us better than others, or take our calling to mean that being a Seventh-day Adventist means that we are automatically saved. It would seem that because of this risk of pride and elitism, many have taken to downplaying our message. Or, maybe I should say, “the special message that God has given us to present to a dying world.”
Revelation 14:6-12 is not some random message given by some random people. It is our entire reason for existence at this time, and by taking a stance that essentially has us blending in with the world (or, with the rest of Christendom), we (however you choose to define “we”) fight against the purpose that God has designed for us. Sitting on the message that God has given us will get us in the trouble described in Ezekiel 3.
We don’t need to pretend that we are anyone other than who God has called us to be: Seventh-day Adventist Christians.
We don’t need to be ashamed of who God has called us to be, nor should we pretend that bearing the name Seventh-day Adventist will automatically result in our salvation. Our salvation comes only in Jesus and His sacrifice, and that is the essence of the message we need to share.
While it is true that many will enter heaven who were never called by that name, and that many who are now called by that name will eventually fall away, that does not mean that bearing the name doesn’t matter. It does. Being a Jew did not automatically result in salvation either, but Jesus did point out that salvation was of the Jews (because they had the message of Jesus which should have *led* to salvation, and it was because the Redeemer would come by way of the Jewish nation).
We have been given a great responsibility, and the message we have been given has power as it is prophetically mandated by the God who is the source of all salvation.
As a church, we have been given so much material — so much!!! — that we should not have to worry about whether or not there will be another prophet. Between the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, my family and I can’t even find enough time to get through all the key manuscripts, even with us using some for personal devotions as well as others for family worship.
The first Christians embraced the name they were given, even though it separated them from everyone else. We need not go out of our way to be different just to be different, but it is inevitable that the more we behold God we will look and act like Him, which will make us contrast more and more with those who are following a different leader.
That doesn’t make us better than anyone else, mind you. It just makes us different by the power of God.
And we should not be ashamed of that kind of difference at all…