Dear Church Family,
If you read this after January 1, 2021, then, we did it! We survived everything that 2020 brought our way. COVID Pandemic. Economic challenges. Lockdowns. Distancing. Masking. Thousands of hand washings (which we should have been doing anyway!). Elections. Limited church services, Thanksgivings, and Christmases. If you are like me, then you are ready for 2021 to begin! The Times Square Ball has already dropped, and we are ready for something new.
For the new year, I have been thinking of preaching and teaching from the book of Revelation. Both it and the book of Daniel hold the keys to the understanding of the Gospel of Jesus as seen through the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Every Sabbath we look at the art of the Three Angels of Revelation 14 on beautiful stained glass in the front of the sanctuary. I believe that if we would understand this picture in its depth, we would be able to share the entirety of the Gospel to those around us who don’t know.
But before we get to Chapter fourteen of Revelation, we need to fully come to a belief that Jesus HAS already saved us. For an Old Testament chapter on this, I like to open Isaiah, chapter 43. It is a great chapter to end the year 2020 and enter His presence. It begins with these words in verse 1: “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!’” This is the same message as the first angel of Revelation. We worship the Creator and Him alone, with no fear, for our judgement (redemption) is secure in Him. Isaiah goes on to teach us that, “For your
sake I have sent to Babylon, and will bring them all down as fugitives…” verse 14. The second angel of Revelation tells us that “Babylon is fallen”. We live with the knowledge that the systems of this world have no lasting value.
Then in Isaiah 43, we receive a promise, “Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” Verse 19. We know that this “something new” was the birth of Jesus as our Savior. He is both our Creator and the only one worthy of our worship. This “something new” is the purpose of our study of the book of Revelation.
Isaiah writes in the same chapter the message of the third angel, that of the results of false worship. Verse 22, “Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob; but you have become weary of Me, O Israel. You have not brought to me the sheep of your burnt offerings”. The mark of the beast is the failure to worship the one and only God.
Here in Tillamook, we want to be worshippers of the Creator God. We want to reflect the beauty of the God of something new. And as we mark the change of the calendar, let us truly mark the change that God brings to our hearts. God bless each one of you in this New Year.
In His Matchless Love,
Tim Mayne, pastor