This month the Seventh-day Adventist world church family gathers together in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, for its sixty-first General Conference Session, scheduled for June 6-11, 2022. Originally planned to be held in 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana, the session had to be postponed twice because of extraordinary circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This session is unique in that it is the first time the more than 2,000 delegates representing more than 20 million Seventh-day Adventists from around the world will meet in a hybrid session. This means that while the majority of the delegates will be on-site in St. Louis, those delegates unable to attend on-site will participate virtually through electronic means. Those attending virtually will have all of the same rights and privileges of those who are on-site, including the possibility to speak and to vote.
General Conference (GC) Sessions are important business meetings, and decisions taken there affect the world church. Some of the business conducted at a General Conference Session includes the election of General Conference officers, departmental directors, and associates, and officers of the General Conference’s world divisions. Delegates at the session also discuss and vote on items such as the church’s constitution and bylaws,our Fundamental Beliefs, the Seventh-day AdventistChurch Manual, and any other business referred by the GC ExecutiveCommittee’s Annual Council.
In addition to these regular business items, other elements of the session include inspiring music and spiritual devotionals, and wonderful reports showing how God is working through His church around the world. Of course, it is also a special time for fellowship as a worldwide family of believers, and everyone is welcome to attend. Because of financial considerations, however, this year’s GC Session is scheduled for six days rather than the usual 10 days of past GC Sessions.
Jesus Is Coming! Get Involved!
The theme for this year’s General Conference Session could not be more timely: “Jesus Is Coming! Get Involved!”
We are living at the end of time. The worldwide signs are ominous, and God is calling us to get involved in proclaiming our God-given message and reaching the world for Him.
Let’s not get caught up in the devil’s trap questioning the Lord’s soon coming and thereby participate in the age-old complaint recorded in 2 Peter 3:3-9: “Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ . . . The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
The fact is, Jesus is coming soon! He Himself said three times in Revelation 22, “I am coming quickly.”
Challenges and Defining Moments
Ahead of us lie a wave of challenges and defining moments as we face the reopening of the postpandemic world, armed conflicts, political and natural crises, and much more. We must be clear in what we believe, for our beliefs define our mission and practice. It is therefore vital that we renew our commitment to following God’s Word and counsels from the Spirit of Prophecy, and to truly seek the converting and reviving presence of the Holy Spirit, asking Him to do in and through us a work that only He can accomplish. We need to plead with God for a deeper consecration, and a heart in tune with His will—for our personal lives, our families, and for our worldwide church. And we must plead for the outpouring of the latter rain of the Holy Spirit, because it is only through His power that we will be able to fulfill our calling.
Brothers and sisters, Jesus is coming soon! What a day that will be when Jesus returns! Christ’s second coming will be the culmination of God’s finished work. One day soon we will see in the eastern sky a small, dark cloud about half the size of a man’s fist. It will get larger and larger and brighter and brighter—all of heaven will be poured out for this climax of earth’s history. Everyone will see Him at the same time through a miracle of heaven. And there seated in the middle of millions of angels will be the One we have been waiting for—not the humble broken Lamb, not the High Priest, but the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ our Redeemer! We will look up and say, “This is the God we have waited for.” Christ will look down and say, “Well done, good and faithful servants; enter into the joy of your Lord,” and we will rise to meet the Lord in the air to go home to be with Him forever!
Let’s dedicate our lives, energies, talents, resources, and time to finishing God’s work so we can go home! God has promised to give you His power to finish His work—He will pour out the latter rain to proclaim the three angels’ messages and finish His work as a united church.
Are you ready for mission? Are you ready to do whatever it takes to proclaim God’s last-day message to the millions and millions of searching souls? Are you ready to participate in practical ways such as through comprehensive health ministry—helping people to live life to the fullest here and for eternity? Are you ready to plead with the Lord for revival, reformation, and the latter rain of the Holy Spirit as we proclaim Bible truth? Are you ready to march forward in God’s mission? Will you commit yourself to this great task as we look forward to Christ’s soon coming? If so, I invite you to pray to the Lord just now and make that commitment to Him.
President of the Worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church •
Ted N. C. Wilson is president of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church. Additional articles and commentaries are available from the president’s office on Twitter: @pastortedwilson and on Facebook: @Pastor Ted Wilson.