Our medical professionals are on the front line of this epidemic and we want to show them love and support. In the next week or two, we want to send a prayer caravan to drive around the hospital. We'll let them know ahead of time that we'll be praying—and perhaps honking our horns—at a designated time. To get more information and to register, please click below and select the prayer caravan option. We'll see you soon!
Three Angels, One Warning
Three Angels, One Warning: American Confusion
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
More In This Series
“Three Angels, One Warning: American Confusion”
□ Revelation 14:9-11—Angel #3
“The most fearful threatening ever addressed to mortals is contained in the third angel’s message.” (The Great Controversy 449)
□ Revelation 13:11-17—Power #2
- What power on earth sprang into existence and began its comparatively rapid growth into global dominance around the (see Matthew 13:17 for same verb)?
- What power on earth sprang into existence from the waters, from the masses and multitudes of the great nations of the Middle Ages (compare with Revelation 17:15)?
- What power on earth sprang into existence with those credentials and today holds sway?
- Given the historical background as well as the time frame for its emergence, there is only one international power that fits the prophetic description of Revelation 13—late 1700s, away from Europe and the masses, growing rapidly into eventual global dominance—the .
- “The Lord has done more for the than for any other country upon which the sun shines.” (Maranatha 193)
□ Catalysts of American Confusion
#1—The mistaken belief that the United States is God’s chosen .
Paul Dean: “Most American Christians believe that America has a special place in God’s heart. ‘God and Country’ are inseparable in the minds of many to the point that to be a good Christian is to be a good American and vice versa. . . . [However] we must learn to think biblically about ‘God and Country’ and the connection between the two. We must debunk the popular notions that America is a Christian nation (the is the only Christian nation according to the Scriptures); or that America is the New Israel; or that America will one day establish a Christian government and be the light of the world; or that to be a good Christian is to be a good American. . . . You can be a good Christian anywhere in the world and love your country of origin. The issue is not what country we love but whether we truly love .” (www.crosswalk.com/blogs/dr-paul-j-dean/the-shining-city-on-a-hill-americ...)
#2—The mistaken belief that any is God’s chosen agent.
Loren Seibold: “It has become virtually impossible to get elected as a Republican without leaning in some way toward conservative Christian values and promising governmental advocacy for the ideas that conservative Christians hold dear. I should clarify that many of these Christian values are also mine. However if were running for president today, it’s unlikely he could even be nominated by his own Republican Party. He was a member of no church, never publicly confessed a creed, and never publicly used religious beliefs to justify his policies.” (“Is God a Republican?” Signs of the Times November, 2012)
“Jesus never placed much value on occupying an earthly throne. His kingdom, He insisted, wasn’t anywhere on this earth (John 18:36). Who ruled the nations down here was far less important to Him than that everyone understood the character and purposes of the of the universe.” (Ibid)
“Suppose, for example, that a politician decided that everyone should worship on Sunday (an idea that has been proposed from time to time through history). That would be fine for most Christians, but it would put Jews and Seventh-day Adventists (who observe the seventh day of the week) in a situation where they’d have to choose between obeying a human law or their understanding of obeying God’s law. The politicians who give one religious group what they want may be taking from another.” (Ibid)
“When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government . . .” (5T 451)
□ The Prayer of John Knox
“Give me America or I die!”
This week I learned of our world church headquarters appeal for prayer throughout the global Seventh-day Adventist family. Originally timed to end during the recently-postponed General Conference session in Indianapolis, our church leaders are calling us to now focus 100 days of praying (March 27-July 4) on behalf of the global coronavirus pandemic. There could hardly be a more urgent need for earnest praying!
A pastor friend of mine, Jim Moon, pointed out a two-verse juxtaposition I'd not noticed before: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). While everyone knows the beloved prayer call in v 14, few of us connect it with the preceding divine action in v 13. "A pestilence among My people" certainly could represent a global pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. While Satan is the originator of destructive calamities, what more faith-appropriate response is our collective prayers to the One who can deliver this nation, this world, these people, from the grips of pestilence.
So let's join together in humbling ourselves before God and praying and seeking His face—that our world might be saved and our faith community might yet be mobilized to share the glad tidings of Jesus' soon return.
- Pastor Dwight
Since October 2018, our Pioneer congregation and the Andrews campus have joined together in setting aside the first Tuesday of every month as a Day of Fasting and Prayer. Since most of us this coming Tuesday will be safely ensconced in our homes, it will be a fitting opportunity to band together to seek God's face on behalf of our nation, our world, our church. The economic collapse on multiple fronts as a result of this pandemic has seriously affected the Adventist church and schools globally and locally. Let's unite our petitions to appeal to Christ to minister to the members, the leaders, the students, the teachers and all who serve our faith and academic community in this time of financial duress for many. "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
In a world changing now by the nanosecond thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, want to celebrate something that isn’t? Join us in a house-bound Agape Feast, as we celebrate the unchanging love of God poured out through Jesus at Calvary. All you need is some fruit, crackers and nuts. Invite your family and friends to join you online Saturday morning (9AM/11:45AM ET—pmchurch.org or Facebook Live). It’s time to the good news overwhelm the bad news—be a part of the Feast!
Neighbor To Neighbor is hosting a food giveaway on April 6, 2020, sponsored by Feeding America. It will begin at 11:00 AM.
Due to the COVID-19 stay at home mandate, Pioneer is unable to provide physical copies of the Adult Sabbath School Lesson at this time. Both teacher's edition and standard edition are available online for free.
Each year, FLAG Camp seeks enthusiastic, responsible high school and college students to work as counselors, teachers and support staff. If you have a love for children and are committed to setting a wholesome example for our campers, consider joining our team. The application deadline is April 5, 2020. At this time FLAG Camp is still scheduled this summer. Due to the COVID-19 virus, please stay tuned for further updates.
The Board of Elders, under the leadership of Bryan and Becky von Dorpowski, has responded to the immediate spiritual and emotional needs of our oldest Pioneer members. Recognizing many of them will chose to protect themselves from the coronavirus by limiting their time in the wider community and thus missing the weekly fellowship that worship and Sabbath School provided, the elders will be focusing on those Pioneer members in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s—and will be reaching out by phone to visit with them. (In order to protect the health of our members our elders will not be making home visits at this time.)
If you know of an at-risk member who needs personal attention, please call Claudia Sowler 269.471.3134. The elders are praying these targeted phone calls will bring the ministry of our Good Shepherd Savior to these who have faithfully walked with Him throughout their lives.
During this time of potential boredom and cabin fever, enjoy these fun ideas for spending quality time together as a family.
After the long winter of gray and brown, get outside and look for all the buds, sprouts, and new leaves you can find. Try to identify what each one is. You can use your phone to look on the Internet or use an app like Pl@ntNet to identify leaves. Currently, you can see things like crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, snowdrops, moss, ferns, ramps, and wild chives. It is so nice to be reminded that even when things look bleak, God is still there and recreating!
You can also "adopt a friend" each day or week! Send several encouraging and kind notes to a friend via text, email, Messenger, etc. Let them know you are thinking about them and even praying for them.
Sponsored by the Family Life Committee