“If we will talk faith and hope and courage, our souls will be strengthened, and our hope and courage and faith will increase. […]
“If we will talk faith and hope and courage, our souls will be strengthened, and our hope and courage and faith will increase. Let us seek this great gift of the Sun of Righteousness, that it may shine forth in our lives to others.” 1
With this edition, the men and women who bring you Adventist World each month inaugurate a new series focused on the future to which God is leading His people.
We’ve called the series “The Church I Want to Belong To,” and each month we’ll highlight a particular quality of the biblical message about the characteristics of God’s end-time people.
There is no shortage of critics who will castigate God’s church today for its adherence to Bible teachings, for its challenges and struggles to live the values of the gospel, or for the weakness that is sometimes visible in its witness to the world. But we believe that this movement, and specifically this special series, is intended to encourage God’s people with a message of hope, growth, and possibilities.
This emphasis begins where most people around the world first encounter Seventh-day Adventists. For more than 150 years, the Bible’s message of healthful living has been a distinctive feature of Seventh-day Adventist presence. Millions of people are treated and encouraged at Adventist hospitals and clinics each year. Millions more first learn about our faith by discovering healthy lifestyle seminars, classes, and events in their local communities. Adventist health professionals repair broken bodies, coach people toward better diet and exercise options, and present a vision of wholistic health as an integral part of God’s plan for human beings to flourish.
As Ellen White so aptly described it, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s positive, life-giving message about healthful living is “the right arm of the body.”2 It meets modern men and women at their point of need and introduces them to a way of following Jesus that prepares them for eternal life and brings greater joy and deeper fulfillment to everyday life.
As you read this month’s edition of Adventist World, pray that you and those you love will lean forward as members of a church that shares a message of wholeness and restoration in Jesus Christ.
1 Ellen G. White, Our Father Cares (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1991), p. 229.
2 Ellen G. White, in Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 20, 1899.