By Dave Holloway
I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
I was recently hospitalized for a major operation. I had every expectation of a full recovery and a return to normal activities. Some do not have the same hope. They may know that their sentence—whether medical or legal—will forever alter their life.
The surgery was on Friday, so my first lucid day was Sabbath. Tired and sore, I had no trouble accepting the fact that I couldn’t cross the parking lot and attend church. With reading materials and internet access, it was not that I had nothing to do.
As far as being visited, I expected my local family to visit and was not disappointed. Realizing church members were within walking distance, I expected to see some of them drop by. Soon, they began stopping by, including some I had not expected and most of them on Sabbath when I was so tired. I was also disappointed. A couple people who I had expected to drop by never did.
I appreciated every single visit without questioning their motive, but one in particular affected me more than the rest. One young lady stopped by. We had talked a time or two but had no other contact. The visit was brief, but for some reason it lifted my spirits more than any of the others. Now I didn’t NEED that visit, but I sure appreciated it.
We weren’t told to ask about need first, but to act, to visit. We never know when OUR visit will make a big difference in someone’s life. Surprise someone.
By Josh Holloway
Have you ever been asked, “When did you come into the truth?” It is a question sometimes asked by a longtime Adventist, often of a relatively new one. In a recent Sabbath School discussion, a couple related how their parents had been upset by their conversion to the Seventh-day Adventist Church because, growing up, they had given them the “truth” and they felt that they were now leaving the “truth.”
It is true that many churches have the truth about salvation through Christ, but is it the whole truth?
Not long ago, I was reviewing a video series on creationism. There was a lot of truth in the presentation, but my wife noted the speaker made a comment about going to heaven when we die. It made me think about how someone could have so much truth about one subject and yet miss the mark on another. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t even notice the comment in the video and it made me wonder how many times “error” slips right past me.
The “truth” usually referred to by Adventists is what we call the “present truth” or a truth given for a specific time. Adventists have a number of beliefs that set them apart from other denominations: the State of the Dead, and the Seventh-day Sabbath to name just a couple.
However, when we refer to the “present truth” we are referring to the Third Angel’s message, the Investigative Judgment, and the atoning ministry of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary. We believe that the mission of the Adventist Church is to share this message and to prepare for the soon coming of Christ. Sometimes it seems though, that the further we get from 1844, the more this message gets obscured.
If we want to be “in the truth,” we cannot become complacent about our beliefs and our mission. We must be watchful and vigilant that errors don’t slip by us and corrupt the truth. We must study and know what we believe and why. We must be intellectually honest enough to hear challenges to our beliefs and be willing to accept new truths that come from God and have been tested against His word, for His word is truth. And finally, we must not forget the most important truth of all: Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)