Background Considerations

Seventh-day Adventists have been looking for the second coming of Christ for 150 years. As a Church we have never set a date for Christ’s coming, nontheless many Church members feel there has been a delay. Clearly, world conditions today are fulfilling Bible predictions about the end-time. These include economic insecurity, political strife, decline in moral values, the revival of spiritualism, and the resurgence of papal power and influence. On a more positive note, consider these signs which are helping to fulfill Matthew 24:14 (the gospel will go to all the world).

  1. Greater access to the Bible-98% of the people in the world have access to the Bible in their mother tongue.
  2. Closed areas are opening up – We can now share the gospel in formerly inaccessible areas: Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, etc.
  3. The world has become a global village — international trade, tourism, rapid transportation are all useful in the spread of the gospel.
  4. New technology – communication to the whole world is instantaneous and pervasive; ie, the internet, radio, TV, satellite communication.
  5. Emerging spirituality – many people recognize that secularism, hedonism, and materialism have no lasting answers and are looking for spiritual solutions to the world’s problems.

Key Passages and Questions

  1. Failure and Success — Acts 17:32-34
    • Would you consider Paul’s work in Athens a failure or success?
    • How does God determine failure and success?
    • How much effort should we put forth to reclaim one soul?
  2. Finishing God’s Work — Acts 17:1-7
    • In what sense is it true that the Christian message turns the world upside down?
    • What is the relationship between our sharing of the three angels messages and the finishing of God’s work?
    • What is our individual responsibility in the finishing of God’s work?
  3. Eternal Results — Romans 1:11-16
    • Under what circumstances did Paul finally get to Rome?
    • Despite his chains, what as he able to do in Rome? Acts 28:30-31
    • What hope drove Paul in his mission? II Timothy 1:12
  4. The Rewards of Witnessing — I Thess 4:13-18
    • When will we really understand the results of our witnessing for Christ?
    • In light of the eternal consequences all of us should share Paul’s testimony… Cor 9:16-22

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