CLOSE OF PROBATION
Scripture Reading: Revelation 13:11-18
A most reliable luxury liner the world has ever seen was making its way from England to America. The self-confident passengers were looking forward to a safe landing on the American shore. But instead of reaching their desired harbour of rest, they became statistics of the greatest sea disaster of our age. Do you still remember the name of the ship?
I visited the newly excavated site of Herculaneum next to Pompeii in southern Italy. It happened in 79 AD. Mount Vesuvius, the huge volcano has given a few deep, serious rumblings, warning the inhabitants of the cities below that he may erupt. Only a few heeded the timely warning and fled.
And then suddenly, Vesuvius erupted. Within a very short time red hot molten lava and volcanic ashes covered the cities down below.
As I was strolling along the excavated dwellings of the people who perished in this disaster 2000 years ago, I was thinking of what it would be in the nearby future when we would come to the end of this planet’s history.
Have we had enough warnings in Scripture to warn us of the coming disasters of our planet? Is there still time to get ready, or is it almost too late? How long will God still tolerate our wicked race to continue?
The following notice was published in the Government Gazette:
“Attention: To all members of the SDA Chruch. The UN has unanimously adopted and passed resolution 666 which reads as follows: The Bill of Rights has now been signed by all member nations. One of the rights of every person on this planet is to have one day of rest.
“According to the special commission headed by the Pope, Sunday is to be this day. In order to promote peace, stability and harmony in our troubled world we urge you to cease worshipping on your Saturday. This practice is offensive to the Sunday keeping world.
“Should you however ignore this serious warning, you makeyourselves liable for serious persecution which include the following: We will not buy from you and you will not buy from us. Furthermore, if these measures do not produce the desired effect, we will have to introduce corporal punishment.”
Signed by the secretary General of the UN.
Do you understand the seriousness of the message? In short. It says that if you keep on worshipping on the Sabbath, you will be persecuted? First of all through an economic boycott. If this does not work the death penalty will be introduced.
We have been warned about this time, and now it has arrived.
Does that mean that if I come to church next Sabbath, which the national and universal law now prohibits I am going to lose everything?
Yes. We have to make serious decisions today and during the week.
EMAIL FROM THE GENERAL CONFERENCE
“Dear brothers and siters and young people of the church. We all expected that the Sunday laws would soon be enforced, but we never thought it would be so soon and so sudden. Resolution 666 has just been passed by the General Assembly of the UN in which Sunday was officially legislated as the day of rest for every human being on this planet. Our church has been given an ultimatum: Obey this new universal law or face serious persecution.
After an urgent meeting of the available members of the Union committee, we have adopted the following motion: Recommend to all our members to flee the larger cities within the next few days. Make emergency plans and relocate to the smaller towns and villages in your area. At this stage we cannot tell when to flee to the remote place of our land. We have entered the time of trouble and our prayer is that the Lord will support you in the next few weeks before He comes in the clouds of heaven.”
Your brother in Christ, Pastor Niel Wilson, President of the General Conference of SDA.
“Does this mean that I will have to take my wife and children out of our comfortable home and flee to Stutterheim or where ever? What’s going to happen to all the possessions we have accumulated during a lifetime? Must we buy a tent, take a few pieces of clothing and flee to the unknown?”
“Brother X great calamities are going to strike our cities, especially our coastal cities. And although its going to be very uncomfortable fleeing, it will still be the safest move because you will have God on your side.”
Someone else makes the following remark:
“This is a great day in my life. I’ve been waiting for this time ever since I became an Adventist. During the past few years I have been impressed to invest my funds in the Lord’s treasure, so I don’t have much to lose. I’m prepared to flee. Although my faith is very weak I believe that the Lord will pour out His latter rain on us and enable us to endure the trials before us.”
A sister in the church says:
“I heard some breaking news on the radio. A new skin epidemic suddenly broke out in Europe yesterday. They hardly finished reporting on Europe when Reuters and Sapa reported that the same phenomenon was recorded in the Far East.
Revelation 15:2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.
I’m sure this must be the first plague. Tell me, has the time of probation closed?”
Someone else says:
“Brothers and sisters, I want to thank each and every one of you who donated money and time for the evangelistic outreach we were going to hold. I realize that the time of probation has closed for Adventists and I have flee. I am going to persuade my husband and boys for the last time to make a full commitment and join me on my flight. I have said goodbye to all earthly ties and there is nothing that binds me to this old world.
“I am longing to see Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven and to go home with Him forever. Pray for me as I may a final appeal on my loved ones.”
“Dear friends. The time for which we were waiting has finally arrived. The authorities will arrest anyone who should try and enter the church next Sabbath. We will have to flee as soon as possible.
Please don’t let the comforts of this world hold you back. This is your last chance to make that full commitment and flee with God’s people to an undisclosed venue. I will be there at midnight on foot without a car with my wife and my son. May God bless you till we meet soon.”
Then these sad words are heard:
I’m not prepared to loose all my comforts and my dear non-SDA friends. Thank you for your love and support all these years. I’m lost because I have neglected personal Bible studies. There were weaknesses in my life which I never bothered to overcome. Somehow I learned to love the world more than I loved the Lord.”
This was just an imaginary presentation of the events that are soon to take place. If we want to face the last great crisis, we must be ready now. What is your prayer life like? Have you confessed all your known sins? Are you living in harmony with people around you? I appeal to you to make a new commitment. Give the Lord greater say in your life.
You may want to know what you can do for all that Jesus has done for you.
1. This could be our last opportunity to hold a city wide evangelistic campaign. Let’s make good use of this opportunity.
2. Pray more than usual. Pray for your self. Pray for people who have received invitations to come to the meetings. Pray for those who are involved.
3. Invite some of your friends to the lectures. Your invitation may mean the saving of a precious soul. Your neglect to invite that someone may mean the eternal loss of
4. Decide to distribute more pamphlets. The more we distribute, the more people will attend and the more precious souls will be baptized eventually.
5. I invite you to come and do the work that angels long to do. And if there is anything else you would like to do, come and speak to me and I will tell you what to do.