Generation of Youth for Christ, the power-packed, Bible-centred, outreach-focused conference for young adults in the Seventh-day Adventist church, began its first full day of meetings, seminars, and networking on Thursday, December 29. This year’s conference in Houston, TX, centred around the themes of righteousness by faith and the investigative judgment with the theme of “When All Has Been Heard,” based on Ecclesiastes 12:13.
Morning Devotional: Laughing Out Loud
The morning devotional began with a message from Randy Skeete, an evangelist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. His message, entitled “Laughing Out Loud,” began by detailing the significant difference in lifespans between the antediluvians (found in Genesis 11), Abraham and his descendants (found in Genesis 17 & 25), and those of later generations, such as David (found in Psalm 90). Skeete explored the fact that, as lifespans shortened dramatically over the centuries, what had once been a commonplace age became ludicrous to later generations.
Skeete used this metaphor in connection with 2 Peter 3:3 to illustrate that there are many who adopt a similar approach spiritually, despite the fact that God is not limited by human weakness or insufficiency (Genesis 18:10-14). He remarked that when it comes to the saturating presence of sin in today’s world, many of us have become so adapted to an environment that wreaks of sin that when we consider the notion of living above sin, we laugh out loud.
He further explored Jude 24-25, demonstrating that power over sin resides alone in God. Thus, we will never conquer the power of sin until we acknowledge that the power of God is the only means by which we can do it. Skeete closed with an exhortation, based on Revelation 12:5, to reject the attachments of the world and to live for God alone.
Plenary Session: Ending Human Trafficking Through Prayer
The morning devotional was followed by a series of seminars by various presenters, after which the conference reconvened in the main hall for a plenary session led by Alex Niculaescu, a missionary who has dedicated a number of years to active intercessory work for victims of human trafficking and slavery across the world.
He shared how he first began his work dependant on money and organization, until God demonstrated to him that intercession and the power of prayer were far more powerful weapons of redemption than any organized program or impersonal organization. He He shared story after story, detailing how God had used him to reach out to prostitutes in Brazil, engaging the local Adventist churches in intercession and recovery work.
He concluded by demonstrating, both from the Bible and personal experience, that while we consider human trafficking to be mainly an organized crime, it is more than anything a spiritual war in which rescue entails the direct removal of Satan’s property. He closed by imploring the delegates to become intercessors for the lost, weak, and vulnerable themselves, seeking to save the lost around us.
Evening Plenary Session: The Importance of the Sanctuary and Investigative Judgment
After lunch and a number of seminars extending into the evening, the delegates reconvened for the evening devotional with Jason Sliger, a pastor and evangelist from the Michigan conference. Sliger opened with the startling statistic that close to 1 in 4 young Adventists no longer believe in the doctrine of the investigative judgment.
He then proceeded to read through a number of quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy, each of which demonstrated the foundational importance of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment, and the necessity of all Adventists fully comprehending and understanding them.
The message that followed centred around the validity, importance, and urgency of the investigative judgment. Sliger presented a cogent, concise, Biblical argument for the Biblical accuracy and validity of the judgment, fully invalidating the view held by some that the investigative judgment is merely a doctrine invented to cover up the embarrassment of 1844, or concocted by Ellen White without Biblical support.
Sliger concluded his message by reminding the delegates that each individual on planet earth will come under judgment one day. He warned them of the cautionary tale of Paul’s call to Felix, who requested to respond to the judgment at a later time, and was never given a second chance. He implored the delegates to make their calling and election sure, and to not rest until they had assurance of their place in the judgment.
You can watch the GYC livestream here.