San Diego Clairemont Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Developing a loving relationship with Christ and our community

A Word To The Little Flock Part Eighteen

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

We have been experiencing a very challenging time in that we have gone back to Phase 1 and it seems that all return to normal has been delayed. This is really calling for “the patience (or perseverance) of the saints” {Revelation 14:12}. How well can we handle delay? It may be helpful to remember that the pioneers of our faith had to endure a disappointment so much more painful.
James White wrote, “If we keep the coming of Jesus ever near, and live consistently with such a faith, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, we may be saved. But remove the coming of the Lord to the distant future, become imbued with the love and spirit of this world, and remain in such a state, and perdition is certain. Let the painful history of the past relative to those who have said in their hearts, "My Lord delayeth his coming," have apostatized and have been scattered to the world and to Satan, be a warning to all to be ever "looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God."” {1868 JW, LIFIN 304.3}

Ellen White speaks of this important question. “The people here addressed were in danger of making shipwreck of faith. They had done the will of God in following the guidance of his Spirit and his word; yet they could not understand his purpose in their past experience, nor could they discern the pathway before them, and they were tempted to doubt whether God had indeed been leading them. At this time the words were specially applicable, "Now the just shall live by faith." As the bright light of the midnight cry had shone upon their pathway, and they had seen the prophecies unsealed, and the rapidly fulfilling signs telling that the coming of Christ was near, Adventists had walked, as it were, by sight. But now, bowed down by disappointed hopes, they could stand only by faith in God and in his word. The scoffing world were saying, "You have been deceived. Give up your faith, and say that the Advent movement was of Satan." But God's word declared, "If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." To renounce their faith now, and deny the power of the Holy Spirit which had attended the message, would be drawing back toward perdition. They were encouraged to steadfastness by the words of Paul, "Cast not away therefore your confidence;" "ye have need of patience;" "for yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry." Their only safe course was to cherish the light which they had already received of God, hold fast to his promises, and continue to search the Scriptures, and patiently wait and watch to receive further light.” {Spirit of Prophecy, 4:256}  
She also wrote, “Now is the time to look to it that we have on hand an abundant supply of the oil of the grace of Christ. It was the wisdom of the wise virgins in supplying themselves with oil that made the difference between their fate and that of the foolish virgins, who had neglected to keep oil in their vessels with their lamps. In the Scripture, oil is used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The wise virgins are those who have faith and love and patience, whose experience day by day is nourished by the Holy Spirit. They do not conform to the world in careless inattention. They do not put off their daily preparation, but follow Jesus wherever he leads the way. God is not pleased with a flickering faith. It is compared to a lamp that is going out. He is pleased with those whose experience is like that of a lamp that is burning brightly. His followers are to shine as lights in the world. Christ's servants are to keep their lamps trimmed and burning, that they may add their light to the light of others who are following Christ. Those who are not daily desirous of gaining a living, daily experience in the things of God, will not meet his approval, but will be found with those whose lamps are going out, and will not be prepared to go in to the marriage supper of the Lamb. We cannot be ready to meet the Lord by waking up at the last minute, when the cry is heard, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh," gathering up our lamps, from which the oil has burned away, and thinking then to have them replenished. Our only hope is daily to love God, to love the truth, not for the sake of its clear arguments, but for truth's sake alone. We must bring the truth into our hearts and minds, and every day be living, shining lights, learning daily more and more of Jesus. Our conversation must be in heaven, from whence we look for our Lord Jesus Christ. We should talk much of his coming; then we shall be constantly receiving the grace which cometh from above, from the Source of all spiritual power.” {Signs of the Times, August 6, 1894 par. 6}  

One of the favorite passages of our pioneers was this one,
And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:2-3 KJV)
Y Jehová me respondió, y dijo: Escribe la visión, y declárala en tablas, para que corra el que leyere en ella. Aunque la visión tardará aún por tiempo, mas al fin hablará, y no mentirá: aunque se tardare, espéralo, que sin duda vendrá; no tardará. (Habacuc 2:2-3 SRV)

Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. (Luke 12:41-46 KJV)
Entonces Pedro le dijo: Señor, ¿dices esta parábola á nosotros, ó también á todos? Y dijo el Señor: ¿Quién es el mayordomo fiel y prudente, al cual el señor pondrá sobre su familia, para que á tiempo les dé su ración? Bienaventurado aquel siervo, al cual, cuando el señor viniere, hallare haciendo así. En verdad os digo, que él le pondrá sobre todos sus bienes. Mas si el tal siervo dijere en su corazón: Mi señor tarda en venir: y comenzare á herir á los siervos y á las criadas, y á comer y á beber y á embriagarse; Vendrá el señor de aquel siervo el día que no espera, y á la hora que no sabe, y le apartará, y pondrá su parte con los infieles. (Lucas 12:41-46 SRV)

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. (James 5:7 KJV)
Pues, hermanos, tened paciencia hasta la venida del Señor. Mirad cómo el labrador espera el precioso fruto de la tierra, aguardando con paciencia, hasta que reciba la lluvia temprana y tardía. (Santiago 5:7 SRV)

We all need to learn lessons about patient endurance. Fifty-nine years after his death the third-generation heirs of D.C. Stover of Freeport, Illinois, are receiving checks and securities totaling $2,044,000. Stover's strange will, plus years of litigation—clever lawyers know how to prolong these affairs—delayed the division of the estate until finally fifty-nine years later.

We all need to be very fervent in our devotions. The earliest African converts to Christianity were earnest and regular in their private devotions. Each one reportedly had separate spots in the thicket where he poured out his heart to God. The several paths to these little Bethels became distinctly marked; and when any one began to decline in devotions, it was soon apparent to others. They would then kindly remind him, saying, "Brother, the grass grows on your path yonder."

Here are some Biblical Descriptions Of Second Coming
1. Personally—1 Thes. 4:16.
2. Literally and visibly—Acts 1:11; 1 John 3:2; Rev. 1:7.
3. In Glory—Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 25:31.
4. In Power—Matthew 24:30.
5. With Angels—Matthew 25:31; Rev. 5:11.
6. Come Quickly—Rev. 22:7, 12, 20; Matthew 28:7-8.
7. Unexpectedly—Matthew 24:50; Luke 21:34-35.

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20 KJV)
El que da testimonio de estas cosas, dice: Ciertamente, vengo en breve. Amén, sea así. Ven: Señor Jesús. (Apocalipsis 22:20 SRV)

Pastor Richard Parent

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