August 26 2018, Steps to Life Newsletter

, by Joel Ridgeway

Upcoming Programs

Revisionary Thinking:  How Soon is Soon?

What is revisionary thinking?  A simple definition of it is to revise the way of previous explanation or thought.  A philosopher would have a more specific definition such as This view involves a radical revision of our common sense conceptual framework, ….. For these philosophers, metaphysics is continuous with science, … . It is a superscience. (Russell and Broadbent).  The intentional inference from the academic philosophical leaders, who subtly create the thought underlying assumptions of the worlds we live in, is that to set limits to speculation is treason to the future. (A. N. Whitehead, The Function of Reason.)

While speculation in the philosophical and physical world of thought has led to some amazing discoveries, these discoveries are always deepening insights into the God-given laws of nature.  The discoveries don’t change the laws which are foundational to the operation of His creation or to what God has revealed about the spiritual journey He progressively leads each one of us on.  The discoveries simply reveal more of what God has put in place, even though humanists, atheist and evolutionists provide non-God centred explanations.

Today, amongst those who claim to be looking for the Second Coming of Jesus, there are evidences of spiritual revisionary thinking taking place.  Beware of it!  Unless it has rock solid Biblical foundations underpinning what is being proposed it can lead to spiritual shipwreck.  In essence they are saying my lord delayeth His coming. (Matthew 24: 48, Luke 12: 45).

This spiritual revisionary speculation seem to be arising from frustration that Jesus has not come a second time already.   The proposition put forward is, Yes, we still believe in the Second Coming of Jesus but we have been preaching it for over 150 years and it still has not happened. Seventh-day Adventists have lost their credibility because of this.  Really our key message should be one of relationship with Jesus.  He’s the one that saves us.  Let’s emphasise the relationship over the return and we will regain credibility.

While what follows in no way diminishes the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus, it does stress that it is also of paramount importance to not downplay in any way the need to say loudly that Jesus is coming soon!  We are called to be Seventh-day Adventists.

So, what does the Bible teach about the certainty of the Second Coming?

  • John 14: 1 to 3 – Jesus, in assuring his disciples, gave them this rock solid guarantee. It was a feature of His departing message to His disciples.  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  ….. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
  • Matthew 24 is full of very clear quotes from the mouth of Jesus, just before he departed, stressing that His second return is His focus, as it should be ours.  In this chapter he repeatedly refers to His second coming emphasising its importance, not down playing it.
    • Verse 14:  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  With satellite TV and the internet, where has not the gospel been preached today?   
    • Verse 24:  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
    • Verses 29, 30:  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, ….. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: ….  and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
    • Verses 32, 33:  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. How many of the signs of Jesus second coming listed in the Bible have not been fulfilled today?
    • Verses 36, 37:  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  The days of Noah were characterised by gross immortality, violence, self gratification/hedonism, etc, and no belief in God.  What is the world immersed in today?   
    • Verse 43, 44:  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
    • Verses 35, 36:  As part of the Matthew 24 ‘final words’ discourse by Jesus, He stressed the need to be ever ready for the second coming, particularly as the signs are all fulfilled.   Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
  • Luke 12 has similar statements made by Jesus about being ready, and telling others of the need to be ready, for the second coming.
    • Verse 37: Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching:  Jesus gives his blessing to those who are waiting, watching and telling.
    • Verse 40:  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. We must always be ready and encouraging others to be ready.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church was raised up in mid 1800’s specifically to tell the world that Jesus in His role as our High Priest has moved in 1844 into the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary, that the Investigative Judgement had commenced and when Jesus finishes His work in the Most Holy Place He will pronounce the words ‘It is finished’.  Then His second coming.

When we look at events across our world we have to ask ourselves How much worse will it get? How much longer will it go on?  Where do we sit in time in the prophecies in Revelation of the churches, the seals, the trumpets, the plagues? Then there is Daniel’s metal image prophecy and Paul’s comments in 2 Timothy 3: 1 to 5 about lovers of self, covetous, boasters, pride, blasphemy, disobedient children, ungrateful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, despisers of the good, placing love for pleasure above love for God, learning but never coming to understand the truth about life and salvation.  Paul specifically says that all these things are indicators of the last days (Verse 1).

In Matthew 24: 48 Jesus himself describes the person who says my lord delayeth his coming as an evil servant. In the last book of the Bible again Jesus, himself, twice stresses His soon coming.  Revelation 22: 12, 20.  Verse 12.  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  Verse 20.  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.

Who are we to diminish the nearness and importance of Jesus soon return?  Noah preached about the soon coming flood, and built a structure that had never been seen before for 120 years before the flood happened.  Despite the sceptics and scoffers he carried out his God given mission and is commended for doing so.  What an example and encouragement for us!

7 Keys to Understanding the Sanctuary, Sabbath Afternoon, 3.00 to 7.30 pm, September 1, in the STL Studio, Lilydale.

Retired evangelist, Don Sforcina will be presenting his research into the importance of understanding correctly the work of Jesus in the Heavenly Sanctuary.  Its part 1 of a two part set of presentations Don has.  A ‘to scale’ sanctuary model will be on display.  Its going to be a great afternoon of refreshing our minds and learning the lessons for us in the Heavenly Sanctuary.  See the enclosed brochure/attachment for full information.

Repairing the Breach, with Pastor Andreas Mellas: Melbourne, Sunbury, Lavington, Sydney, Wauchope, Coffs Harbour, Perth

Unfortunately, as a once off, this seminar will not be travelling to Brisbane.  However, future seminars will be.  The Mellas’ are based in Canada.  He has been a regular presenter on AD TV.  His theme is on the spiritual lessons from the book of Nehemiah that we need to know about as we live today, close to the soon return of Jesus.  See the attachment/brochure for all the details.

In the Last Month the STL Extended Team has Been Active

A number of you good folks have taken up the opportunity to purchase materials in bulk from us to share with family, friends, neighbours and beyond, in the last months.  It’s a real privilege for us to send off to you quantities of The Great Controversy, Understanding the Godhead (Book and DVD), the History of Tomorrow and a whole assortment of the small booklets on a whole range of topics.  If you would like to partner with STL in getting out truth filled materials, check out our website and then call STL or just call us for suggestions of what people find most useful to give a way.

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