Dear Church Family,
Having been off the grid for over a week during vacation amidst the peaceful retreat of nature, we were reminded upon our return of what turbulent times we are living in. Hurricanes, Wildfires, Threats of Nuclear War, Government corruption, and the list goes on. As I heard that this past Sunday was declared a national day of prayer I couldn’t help but think of what’s to come. Certainly, the time is ripe for evangelism. The following quote seems relevant at this time.
Heretofore those who presented the truths of the third angel’s message have often been regarded as mere alarmists. Their predictions that religious intolerance would gain control in the United States, that church and state would unite to persecute those who keep the commandments of God, have been pronounced groundless and absurd. It has been confidently declared that this land could never become other than what it has been—the defender of religious freedom. But as the question of enforcing Sunday observance is widely agitated, the event so long doubted and disbelieved is seen to be approaching, and the third message will produce an effect which it could not have had before.
In every generation God has sent His servants to rebuke sin, both in the world and in the church. But the people desire smooth things spoken to them, and the pure, unvarnished truth is not acceptable. Many reformers, in entering upon their work, determined to exercise great prudence in attacking the sins of the church and the nation. They hoped, by the example of a pure Christian life, to lead the people back to the doctrines of the Bible. But the Spirit of God came upon them as it came upon Elijah, moving him to rebuke the sins of a wicked king and an apostate people; they could not refrain from preaching the plain utterances of the Bible—doctrines which they had been reluctant to present. They were impelled to zealously declare the truth and the danger which threatened souls. The words which the Lord gave them they uttered, fearless of consequences, and the people were compelled to hear the warning.
Thus the message of the third angel will be proclaimed. As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven.
White, E. G. (1911). The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan (Vol. 5, pp. 605–606). Pacific Press Publishing Association.
In the news:
- Tonight begins our Discover Prophecy series! This series, led by our young people, will meet nightly through the following Saturday night, Sept 16 at the church. We would invite everyone to invite a friend and come to these relevant presentations. Each meeting begins at 6:30pm and should end around 8pm. The school is supporting our effort by keeping homework to a minimum so that the youth can work as row hosts, presenters, greeters and the like. Your prayers and support is much appreciated. The meetings were promoted in the paper with a half page color ad put in Wednesday through Friday of this week.
- I will be sharing the message this Sabbath with a sermon entitled, “Let Go & Hold On!” We will be looking at Joshua 7.
- The Cross team will be hosting the fellowship dinner this Sabbath! Remember, for those participating, to bring enough food for your family and another family of like size.
- AYA this week will be at 6:30pm and will feature the second presentation in our Discover Prophecy series.
- Note that due to the prophecy meetings, there will be no board meeting or Ezekiel class this week.
- Pastor Alex & Suranny hosted last Saturday night the young adults at their home for some fun and games. Then last Friday night, they also hosted an Imitators get together at the park where they exchanged notes of encouragement for the week ahead. Here are some pictures from these two events.
- Please remember the victims of Hurricane Harvey in prayer and let us pray for those living in the path of Hurricane Irma. Much prayer is needed!
- The school is looking for volunteers to participate in preparing chili for the chili cook off on Sunday, September 17. If you have a special chili recipe you would like to enter or a craft or hobby you would like to share, please contact Kim Shumaker for more details.
- Our family returned from vacation earlier this week after a wonderful visit into the boundary waters of Northern Minnesota. For the readers of Sam Campbell, this was in the vicinity that he wrote about in his famous nature books. We spent 10 days kayaking and camping along the waters, removed from all the distractions of modern day society. Here is a picture that illustrates the peace we enjoyed. I will try and share some more pictures in next week’s Grapevine.
Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath! See you tonight at 6:30pm for our opening of Discover Prophecy.
In His Service,