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At World Youth Conference, Asscherick,
Reality 7 Bring Evening Messages

“Former purple-haired punk rocker” encourages youth to follow Jesus. (Posted August 6, 2013)

BY ANSEL OLIVER, Adventist News Network, reporting from Pretoria, South Africa

David Asscherick, the self-described “former purple-haired punk rocker,” brought spiritual messages to more than 3,000 young Seventh-day Adventists attending the denomination’s world youth conference in South Africa and those watching via live streaming.

Asscherick became a Seventh-day Adventist at age 23 after reading The Great Controversy, which was authored by church cofounder Ellen G. White.

 
PREACHING JESUS: David Asscherick preaches about “nonnegotiable truths,” chiefly that “God is love,” on Tuesday, July 9. He spoke each evening at the Impact South Africa world youth congress in Pretoria, South Africa. [PHOTOS: Ronald Pollard]
“Is it good news that there is a God?” he asked the audience at the opening of his sermon July 9, the conference’s second night.

“It depends,” he said, going on to describe a view of God that some Christians had tried to teach him before he became a Christian himself.
 
 
Some Christians had told him God would send someone to hell if they didn’t accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. Asscherick challenged them to consider those who might not ever hear about the Christian gospel and be given the option to choose. He later came to the conclusion that “if there is a God who allows people . . . to suffer unending, conscious torment for something that they never even had the chance to know . . . I would rather choose atheism.”

His evening devotionals focused on what he says are “nonnegotiable” truths that should be on the table—chief among them, he says, is that “God is love.”

“If God is . . . as described in 1 Co-rinthians 13,” the oft-described “love” chapter, “then I suggest this is the best possible news in all the universe,” he said.

Asscherick is cofounder of ARISE, a supporting Seventh-day Adventist ministry. He also became codirector of Light Bearers when the two organizations merged in 2011.

Several groups also treated attendees of the world youth conference to nightly musical performances, including featured South African a cappella singers Reality 7.

Men raised in a children’s welfare home founded the six-member group in 1992. The group performs full-time ministry by singing South African gospel music at hospitals, schools, and church events. On weekdays several members mentor youth through the Abalindi Welfare Society Home in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal.

 
MUSICAL PRAISE: The a cappella group Reality 7 performs at the St. George Hotel and Convention Center in Pretoria, South Africa. The group was featured at the Adventist Church’s 2013 world youth congress.
“It’s an honor for us to perform here, to show our international guests the African way of praising God,” said Themba Nkosi, the group’s manager. “It’s our prayer that God uses us.”

As the group performed their final song one evening, “I Feel Like Traveling Home,” two 24-year-old men from Botswana waved their arms along with the song in the back ofthe hall.

“We like this group so much,” said Tshwaragano Aupiti, a nurse. “When they sing, I can feel the Holy Spirit.”

“They are singing the African way,” said Thubelihle Ncube, who works at a safari park.

At the end of the song, many in the audience applauded and shouted “Amen,” and 16-year-old Enzo Bocchino from Australia offered his appreciation with a short blast through an orange vuvuzela.

Adventist Review associate editor Lael Caesar attended the world youth congress in Pretoria. Read his blog dispatches online at http://bit.ly/16Gx14u.—Editors




 

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