$1.3 Million Mission Offering, Revival and Reformation Focus of ASI Convention Sabbath
 New digital evangelism application launched; Brooks is morning speaker (August 11, 2013)
 
Update 1  |  Update 2

BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor
 
Seventh-day Adventist lay members demonstrated their extraordinary commitment to preaching the Gospel to all, donating and pledging $1.285 million to missionary projects sponsored by Adventist-laymen's Services & Industries (ASI), which concluded its annual international convention on Sabbath, August 10, in Orlando, Florida.
 
The offering, which exceeded expressed needs by more than $100,000, is an annual highlight of the ASI International Convention, whose stated purpose is to energize and equip those “sharing Christ in the marketplace.”
 
But the money raised is only the beginning of members’ commitment to the work of the church. Participants experienced a day of preaching and teaching centered on the theme of “Revival and Reformation,” which also was the topic of the current quarterly Adult Bible Study Guide. Evangelist Mark Finley, the author of those lessons and an editor-at-large for Adventist Review, taught the week’s study on Sabbath morning.

 
SABBATH SCHOOL: Adventist Review editor-at-large Mark Finley teaches a lesson from this quarter's "Revival and Reformation" Adult Bible Study Guide, which he authored, Sabbath morning, August 10, 2013, at the ASI International Convention in Orlando, Florida. [ASI photos]
“Because we still have natures that are fallen, we tend to wander,” Finley said in explaining the need for personal revival. “So God invites us every day to come to the Cross, to know Jesus afresh and anew. Revival is a daily experience in the life of the believer. It is daily experiencing God's grace. There will never be a time when believers do not need revival.”
 
Answering the question of what personal reformation is, Finley said it “always” follows personal revival, and “has to do with a change in habits, attitudes, and thoughts that leads me to a new lifestyle. It has to do with this reorganization of life, of habits, this practical change of lifestyle.”
 
A trio of ASI leaders – Terry Anderson, evangelism vice president; Dan Houghton, a board member and past ASI president; and Denzil McNeilus, another past ASI president who is on the board of ASI Missions, Inc. – joined together Sabbath morning to launch the “ASI Evangelism” application, available now for Apple Inc. IOS devices, including the iPod, iPhone and iPad, as well as smartphones and tablets running Google Inc.’s Android operating system.
 
The free software includes slides and notes for the “New Beginnings” evangelism series formerly available on DVD, plus a raft of evangelism training tools and helps. Also included are the famed “Discover” Bible studies from the Voice of Prophecy, a pioneer Seventh-day Adventist radio ministry, and resources from several Adventist church speakers aimed at helping lay members share the church’s message.
 
No longer restricted to bulky DVD players and video projectors, these items can be shared on TV screens and via projectors, often using wireless connections. They can also be utilized in small groups and one-on-one encounters. The application, makes these resources instantly available, Anderson said.
 
“You'll have all of those tools right at your fingertips. You can go over a health presentation over lunch on your phone or iPad,” he said.
 
Renowned evangelist C.D. Brooks, founder and emeritus director of the Breath of Life television broadcast,  traced the role of Jesus as Messiah throughout the Scriptures to illustrate the continuity of God’s plan to redeem a fallen world.

 
WORDS OF LIFE: Pastor C.D. Brooks, founder of Breath of Life, preaches Sabbath morning, August 10, 2013, at the ASI International Convention in Orlando, Florida.
“There was a time when this world was lost through the sins of our fathers. Heaven took into consideration a plan of redemption, which involved also the cost of redemption,” Brooks explained. “God has willed that we have a part in his work, including a financial part, as he seeks to salvage from humanity and build up the population of his entire universe.”
 
In the afternoon, seven Seventh-day Adventist thought leaders, including General Conference president Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, participated in a panel discussion on the role of Bible prophecy in the life of the church.
 
Weimar College chaplain Don Mackintosh led the discussion, which along with Wilson included evangelist Finley; Andetta Hunsaker, M.D., an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and ASI Atlantic Union chapter president; C.D. Brooks; Ed Reid, assistant to the president of Adventist World Radio for development; and author and attorney Lewis Walton.
 
“The Second Coming has to be rooted in your own relationship with Christ,” Wilson said in answer to a question. “As I travel, I try to emphasize strongly the Second Coming. Every sermon we preach should somehow, some way, have a sense of urgency about Jesus’ Second Coming.”
 
Answering an audience question about how the church’s preaching of righteousness by faith is related to end-time prophecy, Finley noted, “Righteousness by faith is not sinning by presumption.” Rather, he said, this righteousness “grasps everything that Christ has done on the cross, is doing in the heavenly sanctuary and everything he will do in the future.”
 
Attorney Walton observed that one sign of the approaching end is today’s “globalism that occurs at the end of time and has a religious overtone.” Walton noted that current events are illustrating the predictions made in the biblical book of Revelation about those who will oppose God’s faithful believers.
 
And for Seventh-day Adventists wondering if diversity in lifestyle choices including dress, entertainment, and diet could be delaying the Second Advent, Dr. Hunsaker dismissed a symptomatic approach: “There’s one great central truth to be kept before the mind in the searching of the Scriptures—Christ and Him
crucified. If they [young Adventists] saw a Christ lifted up from the pulpit, you would not see these [other] problems.”




 

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