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Ready or not. . .yet perfect

By Pastor Jim Coffin
Seventh-day Adventists believe strongly in the
soon return of Jesus. So strongly, in fact, that our denomination’s
founders put the second-advent doctrine into the very name of our
denomination. That’s why we call ourselves “Adventists.”

But, as a whole, Seventh-day
Adventists—especially the young—don’t look forward with eager
anticipation to the second advent. And I would suggest that a major
reason is that we don’t feel “ready.”

Adventists talk a lot about “being ready” and “getting ready” for the coming of Jesus. But what does readiness entail?

Does it mean being perfect? Not if I
understand my Bible correctly. We read in 1 John 1:8 (NIV): “If we
claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in

Those are strong words—”deceive
ourselves”…”the truth is not in us.” And the text says nothing about
any future point when those words won’t apply. It doesn’t say, “But
before Jesus comes there’s going to be a group of people who will have
it together so totally that they’ll be able to say they’re without

Just in case the foregoing words aren’t
strong enough, however, God, through the writer John, repeats and
rephrases the statement a couple of verses later (1 John 1:10 NIV): “If
we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word
has no place in our lives.”

Some might argue that John is here talking
about claiming to have never, ever, ever sinned—but that it wouldn’t be
inappropriate to claim that we haven’t sinned in, let’s say, the past
twenty-four hours or the past two years. That would be acceptable. The
problem comes only if we claim to have been perfect from square one.

Read the whole article over at the main Spectrum site.

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