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Dwight 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.
• #1—Persecution is the expected modus operandi of the devil (“evil”
with a “d”) in his “great controversy” warfare to the divine allies and exiles on earth.
• 2 Timothy 3:12—“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be .”
• #2—Trials and tribulations character and dependency
• John 16:33—“‘I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have . But take heart! I have the world.’”
• 1 Peter 4:12-13—“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to you [as gold purified in the fire—1:6-7], as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
• #3—Persecution keeps the line of demarcation between the exiles and the culture of the captor .
• Walter Brueggemann: “The great problem for exiles is cultural . The primary threat to those ancient Jews was that members of the community would decide that Jewishness was too demanding, or too dangerous, or too costly, and simply accept Babylonian definitions and modes of reality.” (Cadences of Home: Preaching among Exiles 41)
• Lee Beach: “While integration with culture is necessary, to it in all aspects is not.” (The Church in Exile: Living in Hope After Christendom 89)
• #4—Persecution actually the Kingdom of God on earth!
• Esther 8:17—“And many people of other nationalities became because fear of the Jews had seized them.”
• Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream—the king at Daniel’s feet in obeisance to Daniel’s God (Daniel 2:46).
• Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and Nebuchadnezzar’s image—the king their God above all other gods (Daniel 3:29).
• Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar after his insanity—“I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and the King of heaven, because everything he does is right” (Daniel 4:37).
• Daniel and Darius the Great—“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of .” (Daniel 6:26)
• Tertullian: “The blood of Christians is .”
• Frederick Dale Bruner: “In Matthean and biblical teaching the tribulation of the latter days is a Christian experience and ‘runs from the first advent to the second.’ We’re in it! . . . The tribulation of persecution is the essence of Christian . . . . A winnowed, persecuted, purged, minority church—paradoxically,
(Matthew: A Commentary 2:483-484, 292)
• Acts 8:1, 4—“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were throughout Judea and Samaria. . . . Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”
• Ellen White: “The two armies [faith communities] will stand distinct and separate, and this distinction will be so marked that many who shall be convinced of truth will come on the side of God’s commandment-keeping people. When this grand work is to take place in the battle, . . . many will be imprisoned, many will flee for their lives from cities and towns, and many will be for Christ’s sake in standing in defense of the truth.” (Maranatha 199)
• Jesus: “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute also.”
• Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and .” (Cost of Discipleship 99)
• Frederick Dale Brunner: “Though the church is winnowed down, betrayed, arrested, and martyred, nevertheless, like the betrayed, arrested, and executed Jesus himself, it experiences resurrection after crucifixion. The slaughtered lamb becomes a lion!” (492)
If persecution grows the Kingdom—
Church Access for Attendees with Physical Challenges
Pioneer is pleased to announce that transportation will be provided for Sabbath services for attendees with physical challenges who would have trouble in negotiating stairs.
Pioneer Traffic and Deacon teams will transport attendees by golf carts from the canopy entrance to the doors at the east entrance (JN Andrews statue). At the end of the service, attendees will be invited to return to the door and alert a greeter to contact the cart that will transport them to their cars.
If you would like to be picked up from your car at the start of the service instead of at the canopy entrance, please call the church office on (269) 471-3133 by Friday at 10:00 AM and supply the following information:
Name(s) of attendees
Make, model, and color of car
Estimated time of arrival
We hope that this interim measure will be a helpful blessing to you.
Summer Grow Groups are Ready to Join!
This summer we have some great leaders who are looking forward to sharing a wide variety of groups, both online and in person. All are welcome to join--Grow Groups are for everyone! Summer groups will meet from June 5-July 30. Head to our digital catalog here, or text JOIN to 269-281-2345 to check out our available groups. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or need assistance.
Offering for May 21, 2022
Pioneer Operating Budget
Demonstrate Self Denial
1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
We worship God with our resources because of His sacrificial love. Jesus left heaven, and He embraced the plight of fallen humanity. He accomplished his mission against fearful odds and dire resistance. Finally, He offered it all, His own life. This is how He demonstrated love. As God’s representatives, a sacrificial spirit is part of our identity. That was the spirit demonstrated by our church’s pioneers, and J.N. Andrews was a leading figure among them. John Andrews was a widow with two children when he accepted a call to go to Europe as the first official Seventh-day Adventist missionary. He accepted the call without knowing what his specific salary would be. They agreed to send him money from time to time, but this was not done as regularly as needed.
For him to publish tracts, pamphlets, and the French periodical “Les Signes des Temps” he often had to use his own funds, sometimes going without food and other necessities. He contracted pneumonia in 1877, and after the examination, the physician commented: “This man is almost starved to death!” One year later, his daughter contracted tuberculosis. Andrews brought his daughter home to Battle Creek and she was treated by Dr. J. H. Kellogg, but she sadly passed away. The committed missionary nevertheless returned to Europe to continue his groundbreaking work until he died of tuberculosis at the age of 54. We are living in a time where money and other resources are hard to find.
In this context, these words of Ellen White are most relevant: “Those who profess to be one with Christ and indulge their selfish desires for rich and expensive clothing, furniture, and food, are Christians only in name. To be a Christian is to be Christlike.” (Review & Herald, Oct. 13, 1896). This week, may our tithe and regular offerings reflect a spirit of self-denial, the Spirit of Christ.
—North American Division Stewardship Ministries
Andrews Academy's Graduation Weekend Events
Congratulations, Andrews Academy seniors! May the same Lord who got you here lead you into the uncharted adventure ahead! "I am with you always," is His promise. Everyone is invited to attend graduation weekend events. Class Night May 26, 7:00 PM at Andrews Academy; Consecration May 27, 8:00 PM at Village SDA Church; Baccalaureate May 28, 11:45 AM at Pioneer, Commencement May 29, 11:00 AM, also at Pioneer.
Join Pioneer’s Prayer Team
If you enjoy praying for others, join one of our Prayer Teams which meet in person at the church during the first and second church services (your choice). Teams will rotate on a scheduled basis. A monitor in the Prayer Room allows the teams to hear the congregational prayer and the sermon. For more information, text "PRAY" to 269-281-2345.
Meals for Moms
Pioneer’s Preschool Pray & Play group provides families who are welcoming new children into their homes (by birth, adoption, foster care, etc.) with meals. You don't need to cook to help out! We're in need of people who can:
make and deliver meals
order take-out and deliver it
help us identify families who are expecting new children
As we get more volunteers, we're hoping to expand this ministry to help families identify the many rich resources available to them at Pioneer and in our community. We want to be the hands of Jesus to new parents and their kids in as families grow.
We are in need for additional volunteers for Pioneer's Traffic Ministry. The weather outside is getting warmer and this would be a great opportunity for you to show your kindness, caring, and smiles to everyone who enters our church doors for Sabbath worship. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Darryl at email@example.com or text 732-379-1300. Thank you.
Ministry Design Project Submission
Ministry and Grow Group Leaders: We are here to help you create appealing materials both digital and in print in order to familiarize people with your ministry or upcoming event. Because we support many ministries, kindly provide us with at least 10 design days from the time we receive your project details to completion. Additional time may be needed for printing and shipping when applicable. Submit your project online today at pmchurch.org/design/submit. -Pioneer Media Ministry
Something in Common
John Ortberg's 6-part series “All the Places to Go...How Will You Know" will help us identify open and closed doors and real opportunities. Dates and Sessions include:
May 7 - Part 2 - "Door #1 or Door #2?: How Do I Decide Which Door to Walk Through?"
May 14 - Part 3 - "How to Cross a Threshold: Practicing Discernment"
May 21 - Part 4 - "The Doors We Open for Others: Seizing the Opportunity to Bless Others"
May 28 - Part 5 - "The Jonah Complex: The Things That Hold Us Back"
June 4 - Part 6 - "Thank God for Closed Doors: Why God Leaves Some Doors Closed"