"Jesus is coming soon" is a comment that I often hear some Seventh-day Adventist's say to me. My thoughts are when I hear it said are; how much do you believe that Jesus is coming soon? The question that I would like to ask them; what are the limits that you are willing to go to demonstrate that you truly believe that "Jesus is coming soon"?
A question we must ask ourselves is; am I willing to give my life in the belief of the soon coming of Jesus? Many in northern Nigeria are being burned to death in their homes and churches by the Muslim Boko Haram terrorists. In large towns the Christians are forced to flee into the jungle to escape these gangs. It is the same in Egypt. The Coptic Christians are suffering the same fate from the same type Muslims. Christians are being killed for their faith today. These are not isolated events. Will we face the same trials here in America? The following scripture indicates that, Yes, we will face severe trials here in America.
"The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name." Revelation 13:15-17 NIV
Is our faith strong enough that we will stand with God's people when we will not be able even buy food? What will the money that we have accumulated in our houses and investments be worth at that time?
"Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs, and at that time their possessions cannot be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. I was shown that it is the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance before the time of trouble comes, and make a covenant with God through sacrifice. If they have their property on the altar, and earnestly inquire of God for duty, He will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble, and have no clogs to weigh them down." Counsels on Stewardship - page 59.4
"I saw that if any held on to their property, and did not inquire of the Lord as to their duty, He would not make duty known, and they would be permitted to keep their property, and in the time of trouble it would come up before them like a mountain to crush them, and they would try to dispose of it, but would not be able. I heard some mourn like this: "The cause was languishing, God's people were starving for the truth, and we made no effort to supply the lack; now our property is useless. O that we had let it go, and laid up treasure in heaven!" CS 60.1
"I saw that a sacrifice did not increase, but it decreased and was consumed. I also saw that God had not required all of His people to dispose of their property at the same time, but if they desired to be taught, He would teach them, in a time of need, when to sell and how much to sell. Some have been required to dispose of their property in times past to sustain the advent cause, while others have been permitted to keep theirs until a time of need. Then, as the cause needs it, their duty is to sell." Early Writings - page 56, 57. CS 60.2
"The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel, are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. . . ." LDE 203.1
"Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers." --GC 611, 612 (1911). LDE 203.2
If we are going to complete the task that began with our Pioneers sacrificing much to establish our message, can we do anything less today? There is a need for a large number of dedicated people to carry the message of the soon coming Savior to every village, town and city in Ohio. This will require trained Evangelist workers which will require funds to train them and funds to sustain them in the field.
Where will the needed funds come from? We need to look back to the first Christians when they began what seemed an insurmountable task of carrying this new message to the world. The answer, I believe, is found in Acts 2:44-45 “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” Are we expected to do any less today than these early believers? Are we willing, at sometime, to sell our possessions for the finishing of the work? Would this not show that we truly believe in the soon coming of Jesus?
Funding the Intra-State Missionary training program.
In Joel 2:28; when the Holy Spirit is poured out on the Remnant church it is given to both the old as well as the young church members. In Malachi 4 it is that same spirit that unites both the young and old members working together. The older church members will not be excluded in the giving of the Loud Cry of the Three Angels Message. Many older church members may have homes that are paid for, our home is one of them, that equity in their homes can be used to lead souls to the truth for these last days.
Banks have a program that would allow senior members to get some of the equity from their homes and would not require them to move from their home. This is one way for some of the senior Seventh-day Adventist church members to contribute to establish a fund for such a large project.
The plan for giving uses the Reverse Mortgage program where the bank advances money to the owner and no payments are ever made. The members live in their home for the rest of their life and at the end the estate is settled with the bank.
While our economy is still able to function can we not take out part of our equity on our homes to be used to establish The New School of Evangelist? We have things that can be sold for establishing the school. Selling our un-needed possessions would show that we really believe that “Jesus is coming soon”? These funds are to be used only for The New School of Evangelist and the spreading of the Three Angels Message in the new territories of the counties in North America.
One day it will be to late to give our possessions for the closing work. The worlds economy is now being supported with worthless paper notes which will eventually collapse on themselves. (Greece is an example of a country that is in a financial crisis in 2015.) Like those early believers is it not time to follow their example of holding things in common? Is it the time to start thinking about selling our “possessions and goods”? Again, this would show that the return of Jesus is more important than “our” land and “our” money.
Note: these freewill offerings should be given only for a well planed program that has the backing of the denomination. Using the Reverse Mortgage should not reduce the present giving for the established work as it is taking idle money from our homes. It should increase the giving because the people will see a movement to complete the work of the Three Angels Message.
“I saw that this message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry.” --Early Writings p 278 (1858)
We need trained workers if the work is to finished.
This is what I believe. I am willing support and cooperate with a well thought out program of reaching out to those who are wait for an invitation from us.
James C. Opicka March 1, 2019