I was listening to an Adventist preacher this weekend who said that the Second Advent is not receiving the emphasis among Adventist preachers that it once did. His point was that our reason for being is not simply to “Spread the Love of Jesus,” but to specifically tell the world of the second Advent that is soon to take place.
Interestingly enough, it does seem that much Adventist preaching does seem to take on the characteristics of the fads and popular approaches current among evagelicals. Many are seeking to preach the message of “God is gonna hook you up” that is so popular right now. Some are preaching exactly what their congregations wish to hear rather than a prophetic voice that calls them to change. Some messages are only theraputic to be a salve or an elixir to help us make it through another week. And some are simply time wasted. But then there are those who engage in speculation about end time events. They purchase excitement at the expense of their credibility. These are the ones who forever find Sunday Laws on president’s desk or who predict every economic downturn is the final one.
But then, there are those who attempt to preach a relevant word in the present tense, but also attempt to help us look to the future. In some ways it is a difficult undertaking. It is not always easy to preach about the end time without degenerating into speculation about Jesuits and secret meetings. It is not always easy to preach a relevant word to contemporary society without degenerating into preaching an empty shell that assures a “breakthrough.”
Perhaps our end time preaching should be less about events and more about the mindset that will make it through. Perhaps, if we talked about the mindset then we will realize that that mindset not only has future implications, but it will help us through even the difficulties of today. Perhaps God’s work for us and in us in the present time is exactly what is needed to make it through our contemporary problems and our future problems.
And maybe just maybe our end time focus would move from the fear that is based solely in self-centeredness to an assurance that is based in God’s work for us which will most assuredly work “out” of us.