Dear Fellow Believers in the Advent Hope:
No promise is more precious to God’s remnant people than Jesus’ declaration, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3, KJV). For more than 160 years readers of the Adventist Review and millions of believers around the world have rejoiced in “the blessed hope.” By definition, Seventh-day Adventists organize their lives and their mission around the Savior’s pledge to return. Their confidence in the reality of the Second Coming changes the shape of their everyday experience: they make choices, they form relationships, they enter careers—all with eyes on the eastern sky.
This year’s Week of Prayer sermons are organized around the theme “People of Hope,” and are built on the apostle Peter’s encouragement for God’s remnant to live lives of “holy conversation and godliness,” so that we “may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2 Peter 3:10-14, KJV). Writers from different parts of the world have carefully prepared these sermons and materials, praying all the while that all who read or hear them will be strengthened in their faith and inspired to live the practical godliness that Jesus modeled and taught, all possible through His sanctifying power. The world needs—and deserves—to hear the message of Christ from a people who are Christlike. When we are transformed by His grace, we will preach, teach, and witness in a humble, loving, winsome manner.
Focusing on this same central passage from 2 Peter 3, Ellen G. White reminds us: “Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 69).
Wherever this message of Christ’s soon return has been preached with power and conviction, God’s people have experienced both revival and reformation—and it will happen again! Minds are changed, relationships are mended, lukewarm hearts grow warm with love for others, and congregations lean forward toward the mission Jesus has given His people to “tell the world.”
I’m praying that you will open your heart to the Spirit of God as you plead for revival and reformation leading to the latter rain of the Holy Spirit and Christ’s return. I’m praying that you will be spiritually renewed by this year’s Week of Prayer readings. I’m praying that you will reach out to those in your family, your church, and your community with the wonderful and life-changing news that “Jesus is coming again!”
Sincerely yours in “the blessed hope,”
Ted N. C. Wilson