with Keiran & Eraina Mckenzie
This article is taken from Creeping Compromise
Suppose some giant computer could make a faithful record of all our thoughts as well as our words. Would we be pleased to see the results spread out before us? It would probably be a shocking experience to see the concrete evidence of what we consider the most important matters in life. What do we think about the most? What subject is so important to us, so dear to our hearts, that we talk about it more than any other topic? Most of us, as Christians, would like to believe that the computer printout would reveal thoughts and words about Jesus and His glorious troth, above all other subjects.
Surely our spiritual commitment should take priority over every earthly competitor for our time and attention, including family and job. The personal relations with Jesus Christ must be given absolute and unchallenged recognition as the supreme issue in the life of every Christian. Jesus taught that we should love Him more than father or mother, husband or wife, son or daughter. He said also, “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33. Talk about priorities! Anything that gets in the way of serving Christ should be immediately put out of the way. Anyone who begins to compete with God for the highest place in our affections should be instantly denied that position.
Obviously then, the focus of every Christian should be upon spiritual things. Every aspect of his life should revolve around the one great centre of serving God and sharing Him with others. This does not mean that most of our time will be spent in church. It does not imply either that we stay on our knees through much of the day.
The fact is that family, profession, and friends will occupy most of the waking hours of every week. But the centrality of Christ in the life does mean that all the related activities of earning a livelihood, relaxing with the family, and associating with friends will be permeated with the sweet Spirit of an ever-present Saviour abiding in the heart.
Not many Christians are able to give sermons or Bible studies, but all can preach powerful sermons by living out the beautiful principles of Bible truth. Regardless of talents, education, or profession, every Seventhday Adventist should be a soul-winning witness of the obedient life.
We do not have an ordinary message. Our doctrines are thrilling, life-changing principles taken directly from the Bible. We can cite the example of Jesus and the apostles for every one of the standards held by this church. We are the “remnant,” or last end piece, of the New Testament Church. This is why we keep the Sabbath just like they did. We eat and drink to the glory of God by abstaining from harmful foods. So did the apostles.
Being filled with love and desiring to run no risk of displeasing the Saviour, we obey the injunctions of the Scriptures against worldly adornment and vain attire. The foot-washing service is peculiar to our worship, but it was given by the example of Jesus Himself. Our distinctive lifestyle touches every phase of daily conduct. It is all bound up with our religion and our spiritual commitment.
Christ is coming very soon. These final probationary moments are for preparing to meet Him. Others may not believe this, but we know it is true. There is no time to waste on the inanities of TV, dancing, theatre, and worldly pleasures. By the power of consistent holy living we must draw others away from the emptiness of materialism. Satan is almost having his way all around this polluted planet. Even popular religion has been infiltrated and manipulated by him.
One stubborn pocket of resistance stands against the evil one, and that is the remnant church. No heavier responsibility ever rested upon any people than upon those who represent the final warning message of truth in this generation. We are a savour of life or death to multitudes who linger in the valley of decision. Every soul will be drawn to join us in obeying this message, or else will receive the mark of the beast by rejecting it.
Everything we do will influence the people we meet to make a decision—a decision for or against the truth. What do our words, actions, dress, and diet say to those whose only sermon will be what they see in us? Many of them will be under conviction, but they will also be looking for a loophole around the unpopular demands of truth.
Whether we like the idea or not, our lives will be under the searchlight of scrutiny. Half-convinced to go ahead in faith to obey the Word of God, many will look to us for encouragement. Some will be wrestling over the Sabbath question. Their family business establishment will have to close on the Sabbath if they decide to be baptised. They need to know that it is all-important to honour the Lord of the Sabbath by keeping His day holy. What will they see in us? Would your Sabbath-keeping right now show them the joy of putting Christ first? Or would they see you eating out in a restaurant for Sabbath dinner, causing them to question as to whether it really is all that important to close their own commercial enterprise on the Sabbath? If they are given the idea that the Sabbath is only a holiday and not a holy day, they will make a quick decision to stay right where they are. If Sabbath-keeping is just like Sunday-keeping, then maybe they can justify keeping their employees on the job that day.
Some judgement-bound souls will be struggling over the problem of giving up unclean foods. Convicted and convinced about the body temple, they look around in the church for strength to make the difficult break. What
do they see? I’ll tell you what one person saw. I know, because it happened just two weeks ago from this writing, in one of my crusades. A young mother had made her decision for baptism. A few days before the baptism she was invited to the home of a Seventh-day Adventist lady. While there she was offered a cup of coffee. Only a week earlier she had, with severe trauma, made file break with a lifetime habit of drinking coffee. Although she explained this to her new Adventist friend, she was still urged to go ahead and take the coffee. She held her ground, but the next day she faced me with some questions that I had a hard time answering. Unfortunately, that lady did not follow through with baptism, and has not at this writing. Coffee drinking does not appear as a small thing when it causes a soul to make a decision against obeying the truth. Christian standards are tied to the Christian witness, and thousands are destroying their witness by the distorted notion that little things don’t matter.