Our medical professionals are on the front line of this epidemic and we want to show them love and support. In the next week or two, we want to send a prayer caravan to drive around the hospital. We'll let them know ahead of time that we'll be praying—and perhaps honking our horns—at a designated time. To get more information and to register, please click below and select the prayer caravan option. We'll see you soon!
The Last Letter
Wretched (Last Letter for America)
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
More In This Series
"The Last Letter: Wretched (Last Letter for America)"
» Laodicea and America (Revelation 3:14-19)
• Parallel #1—
• Ranko Stefanovic: “Because of its favorable location on the system of Roman roads, the city became one of the greatest commercial and financial centers of the ancient world.” (Revelation of Jesus Christ 144)
• Parallel #2—
• Parallel #3—
• Parallel #4—
• Roy Allen Anderson: “Valuable wool was produced in the valley, soft in texture, glossy black in color, but tinged as it were with violet. Black garments were worn almost exclusively by the Laodiceans as evidence of their wealth.” (Unfolding the Revelation 42)
• Parallel #5—
• Parallel #6—
• Jacques Doukhan: “Their mentality is but the symptom of a civilization that prides itself in its secularism and humanism while excluding God. . . . The human has usurped the divine on all levels.” (Secrets of Revelation 46)
• Parallel #7—
• Greek—”a people judged”
•Ellen White: “The Lord has done more for the United States than for any other country upon which the sun shines. . . . Here Christianity has progressed in its purity. . . . But the enemy of all righteousness has designs upon God’s purpose for this country. He will bring in enterprises that will lead men to forget that there is a God. Worldliness and covetousness, which is idolatry, will prevail through the working of the archdeceiver, till the law of God, in all its bearings, shall be made void.” (Maranatha 193)
• James Warren: “[Roger] Williams disavowed the Puritan’s cherished belief that their Holy Commonwealths were in a special covenant with God. There was no ‘chosen nation’ in the seventeenth century, nor had there been once since Moses’ Israel. Williams believed . . . that ‘since the coming of Christ the only way God had contracted with men . . . was through the churches of Christ. . . . Nobody of men who now employed force in defense of religion, whether at home or abroad, could claim the name Christian.’” (God, War and Providence 70-71)
• America is a Christian nation.
• Martin Luther King, Jr: “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the of the state.”
• Jonathan Walton: “‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’ are promised by America and God. But they are not the same in origin, practice, or motive. The goals and intentions of the Declaration of Independence sit in opposition to the gospel of Christ. The totality of Scripture does not endorse the marriage of God and country or the establishment, development, or practices of any country in the name of Jesus.” (Twelve Lies That Hold America Captive: And the Truth That Sets Us Free 18)
»So what hope is there for this nation?
•Revelation 14:6-7—”And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, ‘Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.’”
• Facebook now offers gender options: “Last year we were proud to add a custom gender option to help people better express their identities on Facebook. We collaborated with our Network of Support, a group of leading LGBT advocacy organizations, to offer an extensive list of gender identities that many people use to describe themselves. After a year of offering this feature, we have expanded it to include a free-form field. Now, if you do not identify with the pre-populated list of gender identities, you are able to add your own.” (www.facebook.com/facebookdiversity/posts/last-year-we-were-proud-to-add-a-custom-gender-option-to-help-people-better-expr/774221582674346/)
• Jesus is America’s last great hope.
• Acts 4:12—”’Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved [than the name of Jesus].”
• John 4:42—”They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this Man really is the Savior of the world.’”
• Jon Meacham: “‘A bold President who knew himself to be supported by a majority in the country, might be tempted to override the law, and deprive the minority of the protection which the law affords it,’ [James] Bryce wrote. ‘He might be a tyrant, not against the masses, but with the masses.’” (The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels 271)
• America’s thought leaders need Liberty.
God save America—and let me help You!
This week I learned of our world church headquarters appeal for prayer throughout the global Seventh-day Adventist family. Originally timed to end during the recently-postponed General Conference session in Indianapolis, our church leaders are calling us to now focus 100 days of praying (March 27-July 4) on behalf of the global coronavirus pandemic. There could hardly be a more urgent need for earnest praying!
A pastor friend of mine, Jim Moon, pointed out a two-verse juxtaposition I'd not noticed before: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). While everyone knows the beloved prayer call in v 14, few of us connect it with the preceding divine action in v 13. "A pestilence among My people" certainly could represent a global pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. While Satan is the originator of destructive calamities, what more faith-appropriate response is our collective prayers to the One who can deliver this nation, this world, these people, from the grips of pestilence.
So let's join together in humbling ourselves before God and praying and seeking His face—that our world might be saved and our faith community might yet be mobilized to share the glad tidings of Jesus' soon return.
- Pastor Dwight
Since October 2018, our Pioneer congregation and the Andrews campus have joined together in setting aside the first Tuesday of every month as a Day of Fasting and Prayer. Since most of us this coming Tuesday will be safely ensconced in our homes, it will be a fitting opportunity to band together to seek God's face on behalf of our nation, our world, our church. The economic collapse on multiple fronts as a result of this pandemic has seriously affected the Adventist church and schools globally and locally. Let's unite our petitions to appeal to Christ to minister to the members, the leaders, the students, the teachers and all who serve our faith and academic community in this time of financial duress for many. "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
In a world changing now by the nanosecond thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, want to celebrate something that isn’t? Join us in a house-bound Agape Feast, as we celebrate the unchanging love of God poured out through Jesus at Calvary. All you need is some fruit, crackers and nuts. Invite your family and friends to join you online Saturday morning (9AM/11:45AM ET—pmchurch.org or Facebook Live). It’s time to the good news overwhelm the bad news—be a part of the Feast!
Neighbor To Neighbor is hosting a food giveaway on April 6, 2020, sponsored by Feeding America. It will begin at 11:00 AM.
Due to the COVID-19 stay at home mandate, Pioneer is unable to provide physical copies of the Adult Sabbath School Lesson at this time. Both teacher's edition and standard edition are available online for free.
Each year, FLAG Camp seeks enthusiastic, responsible high school and college students to work as counselors, teachers and support staff. If you have a love for children and are committed to setting a wholesome example for our campers, consider joining our team. The application deadline is April 5, 2020. At this time FLAG Camp is still scheduled this summer. Due to the COVID-19 virus, please stay tuned for further updates.
The Board of Elders, under the leadership of Bryan and Becky von Dorpowski, has responded to the immediate spiritual and emotional needs of our oldest Pioneer members. Recognizing many of them will chose to protect themselves from the coronavirus by limiting their time in the wider community and thus missing the weekly fellowship that worship and Sabbath School provided, the elders will be focusing on those Pioneer members in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s—and will be reaching out by phone to visit with them. (In order to protect the health of our members our elders will not be making home visits at this time.)
If you know of an at-risk member who needs personal attention, please call Claudia Sowler 269.471.3134. The elders are praying these targeted phone calls will bring the ministry of our Good Shepherd Savior to these who have faithfully walked with Him throughout their lives.
During this time of potential boredom and cabin fever, enjoy these fun ideas for spending quality time together as a family.
After the long winter of gray and brown, get outside and look for all the buds, sprouts, and new leaves you can find. Try to identify what each one is. You can use your phone to look on the Internet or use an app like Pl@ntNet to identify leaves. Currently, you can see things like crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, snowdrops, moss, ferns, ramps, and wild chives. It is so nice to be reminded that even when things look bleak, God is still there and recreating!
You can also "adopt a friend" each day or week! Send several encouraging and kind notes to a friend via text, email, Messenger, etc. Let them know you are thinking about them and even praying for them.
Sponsored by the Family Life Committee