A Friendly Reminder: Jesus Is Coming Again

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At ASi International Convention, Mark Finley called members to refocus and recommit. “There are times we forget the obvious,” said Mark Finley in his keynote address on the closing day of the 2018 Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASi) international convention in Orlando, Florida, United States, on August 4. It is the reason, the long-time evangelist said, we often need friendly reminders. Drawing lessons from the Bible book of 2 Peter, Finley urged the 3,000 attendees and Orlando-area visitors not to get sidetracked but to refocus and recommit as the day of Jesus’ second coming approaches.

“We exist for one prime reason: to prepare a world for the return of our Lord — to reveal His love and grace … to a watching world and a waiting universe.”

The background to the writing of 2 Peter, Finley explained, is particularly important since, at the time, Peter was a prisoner in Rome, condemned to death. But, Finley said, even when he knew his end was near, “there was one thing in his mind…. The Christ he loved … was coming again in power and glory!”

Sprinters or Marathoners?
The passage of time causes us to tend to forget, Finley reminded his listeners. And just like the recipients of Peter’s letter in the first century, Christians living in the twenty-first century may be forgetting about the certainty and nearness of Jesus’ coming.

“It is easy to forget,” said Finley, “to become complacent, apathetic, half-hearted, especially because of Jesus’ apparent delay.” Drawing on an athletics metaphor, he added, “Historically, the Adventist movement came into existence to sprint, not to run a marathon.” It is the reason, he explained, that as we wait for Jesus’ second coming, we may get discouraged before the end of the race.
But it shouldn’t be that way, said Finley. He added, “Life is not, as someone said, ‘the penalty we pay for the crime of being born.’ We are not wandering mindlessly. We have a destination!”

Witnesses and Scoffers
Finley explained that Peter based his conviction about Jesus’ return on “two immutable facts” — he had already witnessed Christ’s glory, and prophets had heralded the Second Coming for long ages. Even more, Jesus Himself affirmed the word of prophecy when He said, “I will come again” (John 14:3).

It is a message we should never forget, Finley said. “We exist for one prime reason: to prepare a world for the return of our Lord — to reveal His love and grace … to a watching world and a waiting universe.”

Despite all the assurances, Peter states in his epistle, “Scoffers will come in the last days.” Scoffers are people, said Finley, quoting the apostle, “walking after their own lusts.”

Dwelling on Peter’s description, Finley explained that “often we plateau in our Christian experience not because we need to discover some hidden truth but because there is some hidden sin or habit.” It is the reason, he said, that we need to surrender to God and by His grace become overcomers.

And scoffers? Scoffers fail to understand God’s view of time, which is dramatically different than ours, Finley said. “God is never in a hurry.” They also fail to understand God’s patience, since He desires all humanity to be saved. “God is not tardy but longsuffering,” he reminded his audience.

Radical Discipleship
Toward the end of his message, Finley emphasized that Peter’s letter closes with an appeal for holiness, a call to radical discipleship. He quoted 2 Peter 3:11, 12: “Therefore … what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God?”

The question is, Finley said, whether “there will ever be a group of people in this world who love Jesus more than they love sin, whose hearts are more set on heaven than the things of this world, whose minds are fixed on eternity and who live totally dedicated, unselfish, godly lives of service.”
It is against this background that Peter’s appeal shakes us out of our spiritual complacency, Finley reiterated. “Our Savior longs to do something in us so that He can do something through us. He longs to do something for us so He can do something with us. He longs to change us so we can change the world.”
--Article written by Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review


CONFERENCE CALENDAR OF EVENTS AT A GLANCE
January 2020
8 - 18   Ten Days of Prayer
10   Let’s Move to Live Program Begins – Fun/Run/Walk
10 - 12   South Bahamas Conference National Convention
Relaunch of Be My Mentor
12   Annual Meeting (Conference Administrators /Directors/ Coordinators Reports)
14   Pastors’ Evangelistic Campaigns Online Meeting
16   South Bahamas Conference Audit
17 - 19   Family Island Conventions
17 - 19   ACLASS – 10 Hours Pathfinders & Senior Youth Leaders Course
18   Religious Liberty Day
19   AHPA & Health Ministries Re-consecration Prayer Breakfast
21 - 26   OYIM University (Online)
24 - 26   Sabbath School Teaching Training
25   Youth Church ACLASS Graduation and Consecration (Joint AY p.m)
26   Master Guide Program Registration
26   Departmental Training
26 - Feb. 2   Week of Prayer for the Pastoral Family
26 & Feb. 2   Communication Department Training (Joint digital mixer board training for all churches)
30 - Feb. 2   Screening for 8 Weeks to Wellness


ADMINISTRATIVE NOTES
Convention Time
The Administration, Executive Committee, Directors, and Pastors of the South Bahamas Conference thank you for joining us at Convention 2020, under the theme, “Christ, Our Soon Coming King”. We welcome you to an unforgettable worship experience where Jesus Christ will be lifted up. Special greetings are extended to our guest speaker for these meetings, Pastor Austin James Humphreys of Murfreesboro & Maranatha Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Eastern North Carolina. We welcome him to our beautiful shores, and we await the blessings that the Lord has in store for us.


Annual Meeting
Please note that the Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday January 12, 2020 at 8:00a.m at the Maranatha Church.  Reports will be presented from Administration, Departmental Directors and Coordinators. Delegates from all churches should be present for this meeting.  

Pastoral Adjustments 
At our last Executive Committee meeting it was voted to reassign a few of the pastors within the South Bahamas Conference.
Pastor C. Melvin Lewis - Message of Hope Church
Pastor Wilson Isnord – Ebenezer Church
Pastor Lee Burrows - North Andros District
Pastor Jamal Franklyn - Bethany Church – January 4, 2020.
Pastor Sidney Jon Dorsett - Long Island District
Administration – Gambier Church

New Providence District changes are effective February 1, 2020; and Family Island Districts will be effective January 18, 2020.  Please kindly continue to pray for these Pastors and churches that the ‘marriage’ will be one made in heaven.  

--Administration


CHAM DEPARTMENT CONVENTION 2020
Our children are worshiping at the Maranatha Church today on Prince Charles Drive, under the theme ‘God’s Amazing Grace’. Children ages 4-14years are invited to participate in this unforgettable experience!
--Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, Children & Adolescent Ministries Director


COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT
Registration for the hands-on training to be held on January 26 & February 2, 2020 on the Digital Mixer Board is CLOSED. The sessions will be held with Mr. Dwayne Roberts, Professional Audio Engineer. PLEASE NOTE: Only those persons that are registered will be accommodated at this time. Thank you for your cooperation.
– Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, Communication Director


HEALTH MINISTRIES FUN RUN WALK 5K/10K
January 10, 2020 @6:00a.m
Majority Rule Day Holiday
‘Let’s Move to Live!’ For information on registration and t-shirt options call 323-0610 / 341-4021.

Health Ministries Leadership Training
All Health leaders, assistants and Adventist Health Professionals are invited to a training session on January 26, 2020 from 9:00a.m to noon in the boardroom at the South Bahamas Conference. Vital information will be given on leadership, public speaking, preparing PowerPoint Presentations and much more. 

--Mrs. Nathelyn LaCroix, Health Ministries Director

8 Weeks to Wellness 2020
'I Choose to Live Healthy'
February 3, 2020 - March 30, 2020
Venue: New Providence Church
Come and learn how to manage and prevent illness physically, mentally and spiritually. God can do more with healthy people. All persons interested in being a coach for 8 Weeks to Wellness 2020 are invited to attend training sessions on January 13 & 27 between the hours of 6:00p.m - 7:30p.m at the South Bahamas Conference office.

—Mrs. Nathelyn Lacroix, Health Ministries Director


SOUTH BAHAMAS CONFERENCE SABBATH SCHOOL TEACHERS TRAINING
South Bahamas Conference Sabbath School Teachers Training
January 24 @ 7:00p.m
January 25 @ 9:30a.m
January 25 @ 11:00a.m
January 26 @ 8:00a.m
Grant’s Town Seventh- day Adventist Church
Guest Presenter: Curtis Hall


WOMEN’S MINISTRIES  
First Quarter (January - March)
“WE” (Women Empowerment) – Q1 Forecast:

January, 2020
26       French Speaking Churches WM Consecration Service - 6:30 p.m Francophone Church
February, 2020
2          WM Leaders Team Meeting – 9:30 a.m SBC Office    
7          Zone 1  WM Consecration Service
29       SBC “Women on God’s Mission” Evangelistic Series - 6:45p.m New Providence Church
March, 2020
1-7        SBC “Women on God’s Mission” Evangelistic Series - 6:45p.m New Providence Church
7            International Women’s Day of Prayer
20-22    WM San Salvador Weekend Retreat & Zone 1 Community Outreach

Warfare Wednesdays
The Women’s Ministries Department extends an invitation to all women in the South Bahamas Conference to join us on our  “Pause and Pray” journey at noon each Wednesday. This collective effort not only enriches our prayer lives, but the results of these unified prayers are unmeasurable.  You may contact your local leader for more information on this wonderful initiative.

Donation Request
Used, But In Good Condition Devotionals
Kindly donate to your local Women’s Ministries Leader for distribution during our community outreach projects. 

--Mrs. Jacqueline Gibson, Women’s Ministries Director


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                                SUN SETS NEXT SABBATH
                              January 18, 2019 AT 5:44p.m.
                                            Happy Sabbath!