This article is a transcript of a sermon delivered at the recent Sacramento Central SDA Church symposium on Last Generation Theology by Elder Dennis Priebe, on the evening of March 22, 2019. As Dennis's son Matthew assisted in the preparation of this sermon, his name is listed as co-author with his father.
Regardless of where we stand with reference to proposed political remedies to these problems, faithful Christians—in particular Seventh-day Adventists—should stand resolutely against violence of any sort, especially when such deeds are perpetuated against persons because of racial or other differences.
Following Jesus means an abundant life now and an abundant entrance into the kingdom when He comes. For this reason “I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though you know them, and be established in the present truth.”
As we see a world convulsed in sorrow at the destruction by fire of the iconic cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France, our hearts go out to the millions for whom this architectural, historic wonder serves as a symbol of faith and the ultimate meaning men and women seek from their faith.
It has been said that hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. More than likely, this is because even those not desiring to relinquish certain evil deeds—along with those who do thus desire but lack the power available through Biblical conversion to do so (Rom. 7:14-25)—nevertheless realize that a measure of outward goodness makes for greater success in traversing the grim interval between birth and eternity.
The controversy in modern and postmodern Adventism over whether sinless obedience (character perfection) is possible in earthly lives through God’s power, is no mere abstract argument. It is an intensely practical one. More than any other reason, this accounts for the staying power of this discussion during the past half century and more of Adventist history.
Let us never forget how God has led us, His current guidance, and His future leading. God never changes, and neither does His truth, as we come closer to Christ’s soon appearing.
The theory that Biblical salvation involves no proactive human effort beyond passive belief and a surrender process best defined as “letting go and letting God” remains enormously popular in certain circles of contemporary Adventism. Even among theologically conservative church members this notion persists, often to an alarming rate.
Those in contemporary Adventism who adhere to Biblical faithfulness regarding the issues of human sexuality must certainly rejoice at the outcome of the recent Methodist General Conference session in St. Louis. But due to earlier concessions by so many in the United Methodist Church regarding higher criticism, theological liberalism in general, and women’s ordination in particular, the struggle to hold the line on the sexuality issues will be vastly harder in that community than it might otherwise be.