A lot has changed in the church and in the world since I was a boy. In just a few weeks, I’ll be retiring and I have been reflecting on the nearly 50 years I have spent working for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Looking back to when I first became an Adventist as a young boy in San Antonio, and to when I was convicted that I was being called to serve the church, I remember that I believed and was truly convinced that the world would not last till the present day. The year 2021 was out of the question! I believed that Jesus would return and we would be in heaven or hell—depending on your behavior.
Thankfully, I found out how wrong I was. Salvation is not based on our behavior, but on Jesus’ righteousness alone. If you forget everything I say, don’t miss this: Jesus is our only hope for righteousness. May God help us to allow Jesus to enter into our hearts and lives and do what only He can do which is to make us holy and fit for our heavenly home. I still remember the joy and peace that came over me when I realized that Jesus loves me and there is absolutely nothing that I can do to earn a place in His kingdom. It is all a matter of faith.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is not yet all that God wants it to be, but I think it is moving in the right direction. As we surrender to Him, He will transform us from the inside out. God has great things in store for us. Ellen G. White, writing under divine inspiration, told us that if we were kind and courteous there would be 100 conversions to the truth where now there is only one.
Let me also mention the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a tremendous gift to God’s people in biblical times, and it has come down to us in our day with the same blessings. Made at creation, given to God’s people as a gift, we have been given the Sabbath to remind us of our creator and to remind us that He is also our recreator.
It is good to remember that the Sabbath does not only belong to Seventh-day Adventists but that it was a gift to everyone, it belongs to the whole world. We have the privilege of restoring it to the world.
The church has undergone many changes even in the past few years. Many changes have been good. We have a vigorous mission program. Many people, especially young people, enjoy working for Jesus in the mission field. We have several organizations that sponsor people to do mission work, not just preaching but working with their hands to help others.
In my retirement, I hope to do something similar. I am inspired by others that work in various places to do God’s work. I’ll leave it up to God to place me where I am needed to work for Him. That’s what I’ve done most of my life, anyway.
I want to challenge all of our members to continue to look ahead to see the future unfold and encourage people, young and old, to become more involved in their local church. Let’s keep moving forward together to share His love.
I’m so encouraged that we are able to combine our efforts in our communities with the use of technology in order to spread the gospel to the world. When I joined the church in 1960, there were only a handful of Adventist programs but today we have so many networks through which we can reach the farthest places on the planet. I encourage our church leadership to keep reaching out till the gospel has reached every nation, kindred, tongue and people until Jesus returns.
May that day be soon.
By Larry Moore, Southwestern Union President. Larry lives in Keene, Texas, with his wife, Jeanne.