I congratulate Adventist Review for the topics you are addressing, particularly in the June issue, involving encouraging the young; God’s care and concern for those who are vulnerable; resolving conflicts—there are too many to mention. But the illustrations are memorable.
On one topic I would like your interest: the urging to invite the stranger into our homes. The idea of a duty to make ourselves and our homes vulnerable to people whom, though obviously needy in many ways, we know nothing else about. These exhortations move us, whether we are young or old, living with our family or alone, whether we have much or little to offer. Having answered them throughout our adult life, my husband and I are well acquainted with the joy that can come with such encounters.
We have served long- and short-term mission assignments in several countries. Everywhere we had a table to which we could invite people, we did. Sometimes it was hard work, but we enjoyed it. There are ways to serve, no matter our age or our living situation. The same Lord who told us to be “harmless as doves” also warned us to be “wise as serpents.” Practical advice. I’d like to read and hear more of it.
Loma Linda, California
The Long View of Things
I’ve appreciated the conversation with Jon Paulien! As a theologian and especially a Revelation expert, I was inspired by his views of our times and prophecies.
Having served our church worldwide, I’ve been asked many times about world events and their relationship with the second coming of our Lord. I like what Paulien said about when the disciples questioned Jesus. He said that Jesus does not answer the disciples’ “When shall these things be?” questions. He warns them instead to watch, and points to a lifestyle rather than a timetable.
I hope and pray that we should be more preoccupied in being ready for the coming of our Lord than to jump to conclusions and set timetables. Our major task is to preach the gospel. We have counsel from the Lord and Ellen White about last-day events and our glorious future!”
To Eat or Fight
I was enlightened by the article “To Eat or Fight” (May 2017). It made me wonder why the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church is presently involved in how administrative church structures function when doctrine is not the issue. It appears to me that the cultural majority want to protect their turf at the expense of the minority. Maybe the time will come when each member will have to decide to follow church governance or not. We all live on a rebellious earth. After all, it started in heaven.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Does God Like Me?
Regarding the article “Does God Like Me?” (March 2017): I wish it had made the distinction between God’s love and God’s favor. Yes, God loves and cares about everyone. But unless we are willing to obtain His favor by the process of conversion, we will all be lost. What we do or not do does not change how much God loves us. But it most certainly can affect whether or not God can bless us with His favor.
Our salvation depends on obtaining and retaining His favor, not merely that God cares about us as He does all of humanity in general. Though God loves everyone, only those who respond to the gospel through repentance and a life of obedience by grace receive and retain God’s favor. We must be careful not to give sinners a false sense of security that since God loves them, they are automatically in a saving relationship. Only a daily new-birth experience can do that.
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