The President's Post
Our Lord's Great Commission
I have really enjoyed hearing from many of you after my last Post. Thank you so much for responding and sharing your heart. I smiled as I read and felt your passion for Jesus and His Church. Believe me when I say I share that passion with you.
At the time of this Post, my Mom is contemplating a very serious surgery to stop a life-threatening condition. My Mom lives alone in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, drives her own car and in many ways, is very healthy. This issue would not be a difficult decision for you or me but she is 91 years old. Does she go for the surgery or take her chances? My mind goes both ways. Right now, I feel if she has the surgery and recovers, she will have several more years to live and enjoy her independence. I covet your prayers for my Mom, I love her with all my heart and one of my life’s joys is honoring her as my Mother.
Recently, my brother sent me this text: “Just rode by old Seventh-day Adventist Church in Menominee (Michigan), a motorcycle gang bought the building. About sixty Harley’s parked there now.” I hope this makes you as sick as it does me. There was a time in this churches history where they served their community and won souls for the Kingdom. I knew this church! I’ve been in this church. I preached there! In my mind’s eye, I can see the faces of these people -- they thought and acted like you and me. What happened? How could this church become a clubhouse for a motorcycle gang?!
My dear friends, at the risk of sounding redundant, it all starts with a loss of mission. I know you’ve heard this from me before but I have to repeat it. When we lose God’s heart for lost people, when we think we know better than Luke 19:10; “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” If we make up our own mission and ignore the clarity of Scripture, and the Spirit of Prophecy, we can easily pretend it’s here to serve me and my needs. If we do this, we are headed towards becoming the next motorcycle clubhouse.
Let me share a little exegesis with you on Matthew 28:19,20: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples’ of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.” In these two verses, there’s only one command. That command is not “Go!” It’s a given that we go, we know this world is coming to an end, we must go! But that is not the command. The only imperative in the great commission is “make disciples.” Brothers and sisters this is where we are falling short. The definition of a disciple is “one who makes others followers of Jesus.” And we are not on our own; there is the precious promise that He will always be with us. But to think or imagine that a Seventh-day Adventist Church would not make disciples is preposterous. We need to be trained to become a force for the cause of Christ. Every church in our Conference shares the immanency of Christ’s Second Coming. I believe you. I join you in that yearning and can’t wait until the sky breaks open and those that have died in Christ will be raised from the dead, and we who are alive will meet Him and them in the air. What a reunion day!!! What an event!! Whatever the cost for us to be prepared we can proclaim, “Heaven is cheap enough!” We need to work together, love one another, listen to each other and most importantly pray for one another as we move forward on our knees.
Do you agree with me? If you don’t, which do you prefer, Harley Davidson or Honda’s Gold Wings? Menominee, Michigan is a town of 8,600 people, they never relocated their church, it died. They never imagined this in their future and I know we can’t either. But this is real. We don’t soul win to get more people to pay our bills; we soul win to depopulate hell!! Work with me folks, work with me. Together we can impact our communities like Jesus would have us do.
In His Grip,
Pastor Dave Livermore
Office of the President
The President guides the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Gulf States from its Montgomery, Alabama, headquarters. He serves on various organization boards operated by the church, and lends leadership to mission, evangelism, educational, and humanitarian strategies.