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“Occupy Till I Come” — 17 Comments

  1. A question that I have is why do we run these life seminars? To help our members or as an outreach to the comunity? How does the answer affect how we do it?
    I think our attitude should always be like Jesus having commpassion on people in need.
    For most of my life I've been part of small churches to which I have to travel from 30 min to an hour. This makes it difficult because we not really part of the community where the church is based. It would be great if there were SDA e-based life groups that we could recommend to our friends.

  2. This lesson is so important for us it isn't funny.
    I've been concerned that we're in effect a church that believed we're saved by knowledge or information. So we disseminate a lot of facts that we hope people give assent to.
    In a minimal way some of these facts are actionable:
    Stop drinking alcohol and caffeine, don't go to parties and the theatre, keep the Sabbath.
    But by and large they are either future-looking or just simply esoteric facts one must mentally accept with no apparent application in practice.

    But I have always been concerned with the idea that our mission on earth seems to bear little resemblance to Jesus' mission when He was here. Why our mission should be so different to Christ's was never clear to me.
    I've heard it stressed time and again (by many individuals) that we have a "peculiar" mission, which is "not like other churches". I have been unable to ascertain what it means to the speakers beyond disseminating little-known prophecy facts to people.

    I think we have to have a serious reckoning with Isaiah 61.
    Our church can be very cold and theoretical in my limited experience. It's almost as if the dirty work of ministering to people is an unnecessary distraction. It's not that there aren't efforts but that these are clearly secondary. We throw little time or effort or resources behind this.
    Again, this is my limited experience. This is just something I wonder about.
    If our mission doesn't look like Jesus' mission I wonder what we're doing?

  3. I would like to separate the church itself as an organization, and the church as churchgoers.
    I do agree with your basic premise about the church offering a nurturing environment, but I don't want to let individual members off the hook.

    Our message as a church should be such that we feel individually compelled to do the work of Christ--that is to restore the image of God in man. This should be the compulsion of each members in my humble opinion.. Too often, I think, being nice to others is presented as an evangelistic hook rather than an end in itself.

    Put a less clumsy way, as followers transformed by Christ, our natural drive in life will be to restore and heal and free and mend just like our Saviour. Meeting these needs is evangelism not just something we do to get people to listen to "real evangelism" (sermons, seminars etc.)

  4. Didn't Jesus do all that and more Himself? Didn't He send out 2 by 2 for the same purpose? We don't need many people doing many things in our smaller congregations, as long as there is one or if possible, two willing to work as Jesus worked. We have the Solution to every need, and the Holy Spirit is the Agent sent to bless every effort to help others with their particular needs.

  5. Watching, as Jesus meant it, is defined by Matthew 25. Notice that there is not really much about watching the signs of the times, though these 3 parables do not eliminate the need for that as expressed in Matthew 24. The focus is our personal need of having a living faith which allows the Holy Spirit to fill us and bring us His gifts for our faithful service for all the needs we can meet by God's grace as He leads us.

    If our faith is dead, we will only talk about signs, wonders, events, "did you hear what the pope did/said, etc?!" We will argue with any who oppose our "doctrines" and defend them will all our energy.

  6. Yes Don, there are many that God cannot heal. No doctor forces their patient to follow the prescribed remedy, and neither does God. We are saved by grace through faith, not by force.

  7. While we wait for Jesus to come we should busy be using up the waiting time telling and encouraging persons to get to know the Saviour personally so that we can enter the kingdom together thus defeating the enemy and his evil schemes.

  8. This is an excellent article that if put into
    practice will allow members to become more involved by using their giftedness to advance the gospel.

    Wednesday evenings: different groups offering different services to the community. (Financial Management; Anger Management; Parenting; Prayer Ministry; etc,etc)

  9. Thank you very much, William, for the thought-provoking and insightful article. As a Christian and a single parent, I've had to struggle alone from a human perspective with the consequences of being a single parent, watching my sons leave the church, deal with the pain of the choices they have made, deal with the pain of watching two of them suffer from mental illness. I dared not seek assistance from the church as my impression is, no one really cares. Thank the Lord for persons like you and 3ABN where I have providentially received counsel and encouragement. Continue the good work.

  10. You are correct that we should minister to the whole person but we should also remember the mission God has sent us on in the world. To preach " The Three Angels Messages" to a world that is perishing. Let us "Not" do it our way; like God doesn't know how to reach His people. This is our problem always trying to do everything but what we were instructed to do. When we tell people the truth everything thing else is small in comparison anyway. Things of this world disappear and our focus is on the Savior. Let God do His work and let us not go where He has not sent us.

    • It seems to me that ministering to the "whole person" includes ministering to their spiritual needs. Thus your "but" is not called for.

      In your view, what does preaching "The Three Angels' Messages" involve?

      • Ellen White said we are to concentrate on present truth. This world is perishing quickly. We need to be out and about with the present truth. People realize something is coming and God has given us the message to tell them exactly what it is they are missing. The third angel's message is of extreme importance at this time. That is where the BUT comes from Ms. Anderson.

        • I still don't know what you mean by "the third angel's message" or "present truth." But it seems to me that you believe it means something other than ministering to the whole person. And if I understand you correctly, I see things differently.

          You see, Christ demonstrated the "everlasting gospel" in His own life, and He ministered to the *whole* person. The Three Angel's messages begin with the "everlasting gospel." There is no other message apart from the "everlasting gospel." However the last message is the "everlasting gospel" preached with added urgency because of the time of judgment and the fall of Babylon. But it is *still* the "everlasting gospel" which is Good News for the whole person - in stark contrast to the false gospel of Babylon which does *not* minister to the whole person but consists only of words.

          Another thought: The last message can not be told by people who do not exemplify the love of Christ in their lives because that's what the message is all about - a living demonstration of God's character of love. Satan would dearly love to have us lose sight of that and preach a message of condemnation of Babylon instead. *He* is the accuser. *We* are to be bearers of Good News (Gospel)>

          • That is what I said. It is important to love our neighbour as ourselves that is why we should be about our Father's business. We need to get up from the potluck dinners and get out in the streets with the people. Joel 2:12-14

            "Yet even now," says the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments." Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Who knows whether he will not turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind.


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