We are living at the end of time. Our world seems more than ever divided, angry, violent, and even hopeless. The signs the Bible foretold in the books of Daniel and Revelation especially are being fulfilled in rapid pace. There is no more prophetic time left, we are living on borrowed time. But how are we to live as young Seventh-day Adventists in such challenging days? What is our most important work? What practical lessons does the Bible gives us to navigate through such solemn times as these?
As young people living at the knife edge of time, the Bible calls us to complete surrender and dependence on God. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7: 14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Whether you consider yourself a liberal, a moderate, or a conservative, we are all sinners in desperate need of an all mighty Savior. God’s people at the end of time are going to be characterized by their meekness and relentless surrender to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through the grace of God, we must learn now to have a genuine sorrow and hate for sin and a desire to reform – not for our glory but God’s glory. Before we blame a person, an idea, or an organization for the woe in the world, we must first look at ourselves in the mirror, our social media posting, our iTunes playlist, our friends, the words that we say about other people who do not think or look like us. It is often said that we recognize more quickly the faults in others that we struggle with ourselves. There is a reason that some of the first words spoken by John Baptist and Jesus where “Repent”. This is a matter of urgency and it is okay to submit to God and His Word and to renounce our sinful ways.
2. Become Biblically Literate
Secondly, we must be students of Scripture. A youth director was once quizzing some of is youth about their Bible knowledge, and asked them to give him about three verses supporting the Sabbath teaching. None of them could. One even tried using John 3:16. That is a wonderful verse, but the connection to the Sabbath doctrine might require some spiritual gymnastics. Most likely, that verse was the only verse he knew from memory. What is interesting to note is that most of these young people that participated in this exercise had been attending church most of their lives. But before we point a finger at them, how many of us can defend half of our 28 fundamentals doctrines using two verses for each or name the Ten Commandments in order from memory. The Bible says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You” (Psalms 119:11). Living at end of time, Satan knows that he has but a short time and is doing whatever he can to distract us and overwhelm with temptation and despair. He wants to destroy us. We might have all knowledge of the world but if we don’t know God’s word, we will be swept under a current of error. If we do not study, God’s word will not be hidden in our hearts now and we will separate ourselves not only from one another, but ultimately from God. But the more we earnestly study scripture the more loving we become, the more Christlike we shall be. Sister White concludes, “A true knowledge of the Bible can be gained only through the aid of that Spirit by whom the word was given. And in order to gain this knowledge we must live by it. All that God’s word commands, we are to obey. All that it promises, we may claim. The life which it enjoins is the life that, through its power, we are to live” (Education, page 190).
3. Be All In
Lastly, we must be resolute in our decision to follow Christ and His remnant movement to the end–even if it is not popular. We are often told to consider how to be relevant to society. This can be helpful. But more importantly we should ask ourselves: are we relevant to God? God is going to finish this work with or without us. God’s movement is the movement that will end all movements, and it does not get more relevant than that. And He has called you and I to be a part of His church – His Bride. We have a choice. But the Bible warns us that joining God’s prophetic movement will set you up on a collision course with the world. Jesus said:
“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17: 14-17).
The closer we come to Christ the more we shall be tested on these points. If the world hung Him on a tree, why should we expect any less? We must ask ourselves, Who do we serve? Am I willing to stand for truth though the heaven falls? Is my identity in Christ more valuable to me than my identity in the world? Such a resolute stand for Christ can only be aided by the power of prayer. Jesus himself spent much time in prayer (John 17). When he faced the cross, He was seen in prayer in the garden. Such is our example of faithfulness in the last days. If Jesus needed to pray, how much more do we? This is why at this GYC, we want to make prayer a central focus of our conference. We want to surrender, claim God’s promises, and be faithful till the end. We want to dare ourselves as youth to take sacrificial initiatives for Christ. Hence, to set the spiritual tone of our conference, we want to invite you to join us for 40 days of prayer leading up to GYC. We will begin on November 17. We will claim a Bible promise and a theme for each day. Once at the conference, we will gather together from all four corners of the world in the prayer room early Sabbath morning and every morning at GYC, seek God’s face together, and see what He can do when His people who are called by His name shall humble themselves and seek His face.
President // GYC