During a recent Bible study that a friend and I were giving, our student asked us a very common question: “So why the Seventh-day Adventist Church?” It is not the first time this question has been posed, and I hope it isn’t the last. Through my own walk of faith, I have made it a point to dig deep into the Word to know why I believe what I believe, which has given me a solid foundation in the Word, a real walk with Jesus, and a genuine appreciation for the church that I belong to. So when that question arises I am able to share why I am passionate about the Adventist Movement, especially these three aspects:
I was raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the suburbs around Johannesburg, South Africa. My family immigrated to the western Chicago suburbs when I was 11, and I continued to be a part of the Adventist Church and attended Adventist schools through college. From a young age I realized that our church had an international presence. Still, it wasn’t until I was in college that I discovered the pervading influence of the gospel message throughout the world. There were members who shared the same dedication to God’s Word and work and who were part of His family everywhere I went. No matter where I found myself–be it in Bangladesh, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, or Kenya–I would find myself surrounded by my Seventh-day Adventist family. It was encouraging to see that in spite of culture, location, or socioeconomic status, the movement was moving, pressing forward to spread the gospel of Jesus, fulfilling our God-given commission.
2. Our Emphasis on Health Ministry
Before graduating from college, I had the opportunity to join a medical team on a mission overseas. That mission subsequently led to many more missions around the world, collaborating with the local Adventist churches to spread the Good News through the health message. I have counted it a privilege to be able to serve and bring comfort to those who are suffering. Through the health message I have seen physical illness treated, I have seen vision restored, but most importantly I have seen the hope that the name of Jesus gives. I have experienced the beauty of blending healing and the gospel, just as Ellen G. White speaks of Christ doing: “The Savior made each work of healing an occasion for implanting divine principles in the mind and soul. This was the purpose of His work. He imparted earthly blessings, that He might incline the hearts of men to receive the gospel of His grace” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 20).
3. Our Solid Stand on Scripture
Finally, and most importantly, our church stands firmly on the Bible alone as the word and voice of God to us. Just as Christ met all arguments, questions, and temptations with “It is written” (Matt. 4:4), I belong to a church that has kept the Bible and the Bible alone as the foundation of practice and belief. Throughout the centuries, God has opened up the truths as they are written in His Word to people who are willing to listen, learn, and obey. The Adventist Movement was thus born and continues to grow through the study and application of biblical truths.
With so many denominations to choose from, I can see why many people could feel confusion and a sense of being overwhelmed as to what truth really is. I love belonging to a movement that wants to help restore the body, mind, and spirit; that has gone global in its efforts to prepare the world for Jesus’ soon return; and that has grounded itself on God and His Word alone.