As we wind our way down the corridors of time, we are always made cognizant that the future is never guaranteed to anyone. The tragedy of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 starkly reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless, for those who trust in the Lord with all their hearts (Psalm 9:10), there is another kind of future—a heavenly one—that is guaranteed for every believing Christian follower.
As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, we have a special last-day message of hope to trumpet to the world. That’s why we conduct evangelistic initiatives on an ongoing basis. In order to sustain and maintain this soul-winning emphasis, there are some important factors we must constantly keep before us:
• We must seek to expand our Adventist missional reach into the remotest parts of our Atlantic Union territory. We do this while always keeping in mind that the cities are where the people reside in large numbers, and they, too, must be reached for Christ.
• We must tighten our budgetary spending of resources during these economic hard times. Every nickel gained through tithes and offerings should be every nickel spent wisely for the support and progress of the mission—both local and foreign. In other words, we must rearrange our priorities to reflect careful and thoughtful stewardship that will glorify our Savior.
• There was never a time more than this in which men and women ought to pray! Let there be small groups, large groups, conventions, and congresses of prayer. Let there be men and women, boys and girls, on their knees pleading for deliverance from the power of the evil forces so pervasive in our world today. Prayer and fasting provide a bulwark of protection as well as support for those who trust in the Lord. Prayer connects us to our future both in this world and the world to come.
• Strive to be a gentler, kinder, friendlier people of faith. People do not care what we believe until they believe that we care. How can we validate this? Through random acts of kindness. Adventist Community Service (ACS) projects have proven this through the years. They’ve shown that caring about others keeps it real. The work done after Superstorm Sandy blew through New York City just prior to our NY13 initiative is a prime testament to the success of the efforts in New York.
Another authentication of caring is the youth and young adults of the Atlantic Union who have embarked on a noteworthy Compassion Movement to act in compassionate ways to communities and, when necessary, to march against domestic violence that plagues our streets and schools. Speaking of schools, our Adventist schools (a worldwide system of education second in size only to the Catholic system) is one of the greatest opportunities for demonstrating caring and compassion in these faith-based learning centers.
Finally, the family structure is under severe attack by the arch-deceiver of our souls. Every effort must be made to strengthen family bonds and the God-ordained marital structure established from Eden to this day. Mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, men and women are called upon to prayerfully and compassionately support and hold sacred the responsibility of parenthood and marriage in a world that is steadily deteriorating by the moment.
So yes, the future is ours by trusting with all our hearts in the God of the past, present, and future.
Donald G. King is president of the Atlantic Union Conference and chairman of the Atlantic Union College Board of Trustees.