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How does a church fulfill the great commission?

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Soli Deo Gloria:

--- Quote from: restoretruth on March 06, 2012, 01:31:14 PM ---
 "SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST WORLD CHURCH STATISTICS
--- End quote ---

restoretruth:

--- Quote from: Soli Deo Gloria on March 07, 2012, 12:41:48 AM ---Restore,
I am not sure of what point all those statistics prove. The point of the article posted at the top of the thread is whether a church is meeting fundamental goals in preaching the gospel. There is certainly no desire to engage in an argument about which denomination is doing it better.

Stan

--- End quote ---

No argument, Stan!  Sorry, if I seemed edgy. It just seems that sometimes there is an undercurrent of criticism of our church, even on this forum. I realize the article you posted was directed at churches in general but when you posted it here, on this forum, I didn't believe much of the article applied to our SDA  work. Non- SDA's sometimes read what we post. I wanted to point out to anyone who might read it -- that our SDA church is making a real effort to meet the goals of taking the gospel to the entire world, despite the fact the church needs revival. I think I posted answers that are pertinent to the criticism that was in the article. In additional, there are some concepts in the article that many SDA Christians would not agree with, some of which are:

"1. A God-centered God... who exalts himself."

We don't see a God who exalts Himself.  We see a God who humbled Himself as Paul stated in Php. 2:8

 "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. "

 He took the 2nd death due us, to not only save us from the penalty of sin but to give us power over sin -- by our living our life in Christ & bringing our life & thoughts into obedience to Him!  He is a God who takes us as we are & transforms us to reflect Him!  Christ has taken our form for eternity!  He humbled Himself so that He could reach us where we are!

"2. A word-saturated ministry. We give them a glimpse of the glory of God by giving them the Word of God. It

Larry Lyons:
Well said Restoretruth. I would like to emphasize that the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist church is unique in that it includes the everlasting gospel and the 3 angel's message. Currently, one of our greatest dangers is what one theologian calls the "protestantization of the Adventist mind." There is a trend or perhaps some would say an open effort on the part of some in our church to adopt the methods and practices of the Evangelical denominations. The ultimate outcome of this would be to water down our message and transform the church into another generic Protestant denomination. This is one of our greatest dangers.

Here is a link to an article in the Journal of the Adventist Theological Society that touches on some of these things. It is by Fernando Canale who is a professor of theology at the seminary at Andrews U. It is written with lots of theological jargon so it can be a bit heavy reading.
 It is titled "The Eclipse of Scripture and the Protestantization of the Adventist Mind: Part I: The Assumed Compatability of Adventism with Evangelical Theology and Ministerial Practices."

http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=374&journal=!&type=pdf

Stan, you might find this article interesting in that it confirms your position about the content of QOD. According to the article, the book itself does present correct Adventist theology.
 Addendum: However, Froom et.al. is not let off the hook by Canale.

Restoretruth, as you say, in spite of all of the problems that the church is facing, the work is progressing. Especially in undeveloped areas of the world.

Richard OFfill:
A question- We speak of the 'finishing of the work'. So what would that look like. Is it something that is quantifiable? Would a finished work be when there are 50 million members?

Don't misunderstand me but does having my name as a member of the Apopka Fl church mean that we are one person closer to a 'finished' work? I am not trying to be cynical or heretical. God gave a message to prepare a living people to meet a living God. Our church is not the message but a basket to carry the message. The danger is that the basket become more important than the message.

Sometimes I have wondered if we have not been like the typical Catholic in that we have equated the organized church as being the same as salvation. Don't misunderstand me. I am a loyal son of the church but I have wondered if we might have been guilty in playing up the church and playing down the message. I don't remember using the word 'Adventism' until the somewhat recent years. We used to talk about the Truth and the Message. Adventism is for Adventists. The truth and the message are for everyone. I must be careful not to see the 'God's people' as being only the members of the Apopka church.

I am in the Dallas area as I write this. We just had lunch at a Thai restaurant. You should have heard the testimony of the waitress! I am not saying we should play down the message that God gave those pork eating/Sunday keeping founders of our church, rather we should play it up. We should also, it seems to me, to expand our concept of what constitutes 'Gods people'. This is just some of my thinking and in no way should be considered 'the last word'  :-)

Larry Lyons:
Pastor, it is true that church membership doesn't save anyone, having one's name on the books doesn't prove that one is really part of God's people. But being out of the church doesn't save anyone either. We are told that there will be a crisis in the church that will cause a mass exodus and also there will be a mass influx that replaces them. Something like that happened in 1844. Writing about the hostility of the established churches at that time towards those members who looked forward with hope and joy to Jesus' return, EGW wrote: "In the summer of 1844 about 50,000 withdrew from the churches" (Great Controversy p 376). I don't know what the total membership of Christian churches was in those days was, and if I'm not mistaken, most of the Millerite preaching was in the northeastern states, I think that 50,000 would have been a fairly significant percentage.

 I guess my point is that from what we have been told, in the near future we will be confronted with a situation where it will seem to many, that the safest thing to do will be to give up connection with the Adventist church. There is an increasing spirit of intolerance in this country towards groups that appear "different." Intolerance and hatred seems to be politically correct. A solid and enduring connection to Jesus Christ and a more than superficial grasp of Bible truth will be essential to have.

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