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Thursday: Turning Hearts in the Last Days — 13 Comments

  1. When I was growing up, Seventh-day Adventist Evangelism primarily focused on prophecy. "Dead Men Do Tell Tales" was etched into my brain by the time I was ten years old. I attended these mission programs with my parents to help make up the numbers about every second year, so I absorbed the message by proximity and repetition if nothing else. The overall message was dry and heavy on logic, proof texts, and doctrinal correctness. Our message was better than everyone else's.

    For a long time, we have been dismayed about the revolving door effect. All too often, converts were made, they came to church for a while and they left. We offer a variety of reasons why this happens, but ultimately we need to ask ourselves when people come into our church, do they feel loved and appreciated, or are they simply there to make up the numbers. The church can be a lonely place if nobody talks and listens to you.

    When you think about the Elijah/John the Baptist messages, their message was really about preparing for the future by doing something about the "now". Our message about the Second Coming only makes sense if it makes a difference to us now. In recent years there has been a church move towards legislated unity with the church hierarchy seeking ways to ensure that we are unified. That approach is not going to work. Unity will only come when we love one another in spite of our differences.

    Paint on the outside of a building may look good but it does nothing for the structure of the building. Likewise, if we want the church to be an effective witness in the end time, we need to get the "love and unity" right within our own hearts, rather than just painting the unity paint on the outside.

    Loving one another is more difficult than defining doctrine because it is the very basis of human relationships and our relationship with God.

    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35

    Amen!(52)
  2. Please answer these questions.

    1.Who was the first person to receive Elijah's power and spirit?

    2. Why did John the Baptist say that he was not Elijah?

    3. Why is Elijah called Elias in the New Testament?

    4. Why did Jesus call John the Baptist the greatest prophet?

    5. Why did John the Baptist say that he was not Elijah?

    6. Why did Jesus say that Elijah had already come (John the Baptist) and again that Elijah will come?

    7. Elijah came on the mountain of transfiguration, was he the promised Elijah?

    8. What does it mean to come in power and spirit of Elijah?

    9. Are the Adventists Elijahs?

    10. Elijah and John the Baptist had a simple diet, simple clothes, strong message, had disciples, run ahead of kings. Do we resemble that?

    Amen!(8)
  3. I’ve missed the last few days. I’m in the hospital and have been unable to read. I have been totally out of it. Maurice I would ask please for prayer for healing. One thing we need to remember is the little things. We want to help people with the big problems, but forget about helping people open a package. We take for granted brushing our hair, brushing our teeth, being able to stand up without assistance, being able to eat without help! Believe it or not these little things mean a lot. I’ve been on everyone’s pray list, and I appreciate that, but I need help in other ways. I think we tend to forget our brothers and sisters in the little things.🙏🙏🙏🙏

    Amen!(9)
    • Hi Sylvia. You are in our prayers and we pray for your speedy recovery, and that you will experience the love and peace of Jesus through your community of believers.

      Amen!(6)
    • Will pray for you Sylvia. I know the feeling of being in hospital had a day procedure and the thought of GA was frightening but thank God all went well now waiting for the next stage. The Lord is the greatest physician, i pray that He hears and answers your prayers. Be blessed.

      Amen!(3)
    • Hi my sister, I just prayed for you. I wish I wasnt living so far from you. I would certainly come and assist you. My heart goes out to you! I am also praying God will send persons to assist you in whatever way you need.

      Much love!!!

      Amen!(1)
  4. Thank you Maurice. I’m going to acute rehab tomorrow which is good news. I was found non responsive last Sabbath morning with a blood sugar of 20! I had a bad reaction to a new medication. I’m finally getting back to normal with all the prayers.

    Amen!(5)
  5. "To turn the hearts of fathers to their children" Should ministers remind parents of the basics (so they can teach often by word and example) that: All should pray for the graces for all the essential attributes/actions that God decrees are needed for a truly living faith, as opposed to a dead or dying faith. That all ministers should place on their web site a list of what they believe are these essential attributes/actions. That these lists should include praying for the graces to pray ever more perfectly and the graces to want to know, believe, and understand with God's understanding, all the truths that God wants everyone to want to know and believe.

    Amen!(1)
  6. Bro. Dr. Maurice, that you for your honest reflection on your experiences and observations. May I quote you:
    "...too often, converts were made, they came to church for a while and they left".
    "When people come into our church, do they feel loved and appreciated?"
    "We need to get the "love and unity" right within our own hearts, rather than just painting the (love and) unity paint on the outside".

    Your message:
    1. Many "converts" were baptized without repentance
    2. Many (most?) in the Church were baptized without repentance, hence an environment lacking in love.
    3. The "painting" of prophetic knowledge is the same as painting "love and unity", for an unconverted congregation has no inner Holy Spirit transformation to replicate God's love.

    You might be reflecting the Word of Scripture in Book of Revelation, Chapter 3. where self-assessment of Church leaders and members is drastically opposite of God's assessment of the Church.
    Church self-assessment: "rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing."
    God's assessment of Church leaders and members: "wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked"
    God's solution:
    Receive from God the ability to see.
    Receive from God the ability to love.

    God's conclusion: His Church is self-deceived and unconverted. His Church needs to come to Him to receive Him - which will result in transformed believers who genuinely love others.
    Our SS Lesson: When a believer truly receives the message of Elijah, John the Baptist/Elias and Jesus Christ: "Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand", love becomes an intrinsic and spontaneous characteristic that is retina and neurologically photographed and etched, not painted on.

    Amen!(3)
  7. Hello Sylvia,

    Until a person experiences an event like you did, there is no real understanding of how fragile and ephemeral life is, and how difficult (or possibly impossible) it may be for life to get back to “normal”. I am thankful that God’s response is conditioned by his incredible love for each of us rather than what human thinking might dictate. Our extremity is God’s opportunity to turn our hearts and minds to him.

    My prayer is that you will know the Lord’s presence is with you through this and that you will work out his will for your life through this experience. Hebrews 2:10 speaks to this when it states that Jesus was perfected through his life experiences. We are no different.

    The great benefit of being part of God’s family is that not only is God with us, but so is our family. And in that sense, it is as if Jesus were here in body to serve each distressed one to help, to comfort, to hold and to love. That is the essence of the Elijah message: God turning each heart (both of the helpless and the helpful) to each other through loving words and actions.

    God’s turning of hearts is true repentance and it is Holy Spirit supernatural. I know this from my own experience where my heart said “No”, but God’s Spirit said “Yes”, and I had a choice to make: Would my will or God’s be done?

    Maurice is so right: preaching doctrines in crusades is not the Elijah message and it is certainly not the Gospel. I pray that all of us will through experience and repentance of heart “preach” the Elijah message so that in the great and terrible day of the Lord (which is to come), he will not smite the earth (and us) with a curse.

    Sorry this rambled on a bit.

    Richard

    Amen!(2)

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