20 Things You Can Do Personally to Destroy Racism

Compassionate people around the world have been horrified as they have watched or learned about the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. They have seen the evil of racism taken to a new, and compellingly visual, level. These are emotionally intense times. How will you respond?

Racism is not new. Moses experienced it in his own family (Numbers 12:1). Daniel and his three friends experienced it (Daniel 3:12; 5:13; 6:13). Jesus had to help his own disciples overcome it (John 4:1-42; Matthew 15:21-28. Desire of Ages chapters 19 & 43).

As you seek The Lord He will impress you with how best to respond to the current situation in the United States. Here are 20 things I’d like to suggest that every believer can do wherever you live and whatever your background.

  • Pray for 5 People who aren’t like you. People you know personally from work or school or the neighborhood, or people in the news. Ask Jesus how best to pray for them. Pray for their conversion? Pray for justice to be applied properly? Pray that Jesus will bless them? Pray that Jesus will comfort them? Pray for the five people by name if you can and be a specific as possible. Pray for them each day for at least a week and see what God does and impressed you to do.
  • Discover 5 Stories of how Jesus treated people who were different from Himself. Skim through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) in the Bible and pick out stories. Ask the Lord to give you insight and wisdom as you read and reflect. Ask yourself what is setting for this story? Who are the people in the story? How was Jesus involved and what did He do and say? Then ask yourself the most important question – What can I learn from this story? Write some notes and share your insights with others. Ask Jesus to help you put these lessons into practice.
  • Clarify 5 Reasons the Three Angels’ Message (Revelation 14:6-12) is needed now more than ever. This is God’s Final Message to Planet Earth that prepares people everywhere for Jesus’ return (v14-20). Focus in on the various parts and become clear on what it means for you as you live it and then give to to others. How does the “everlasting gospel” change hearts, homes, churches and communities? Why is it important that this message go to “every nation, tribe/race, language and people group” so they can be represented around God’s throne someday (Revelation 7:9; 14:6). How will we treat others differently when we “fear (reverence) God and give glory to Him”? How is it good news to hear that “the hour of God’s judgment is here” and that ultimately there will be justice for all (Romans 12:19; Revelation 15:3; 20:12-15)? What will it look like when we truly “worship Him who made” everyone and everything (Genesis 1:1-2:3)? Why is a twisted view of God and false religion (“Babylon”) so destructive to relationships and society (Revelation 18:1-8)? How can we have the “patient endurance of the saints” when we feel like giving up? Why are all Ten Commandments important, not just when written in stone (Exodus 31:18) or in the Bible (Exodus 20:2-17), but in our hearts and minds (Hebrews 8:10; 10:16)? How does the “faith of Jesus” change our worldview?
  • Build 5 Bridges with people who are different from you. This will take some creativity and persistence but it is essential. It will involve some level of discomfort. It will probably involve some heavy doses of asking questions, listening to others, encouraging, appealing and giving of time and/or money. But as you build these bridges you will see Jesus do some things in your own heart that are needed. And someday in heaven you will see the full results of your initiatives. Please share below about one of the bridges the Lord helped you build.

Inspired Insights On Prejudice and Racism Destroyed

The religion of the Bible recognizes no caste or color. It ignores rank, wealth, worldly honor. God estimates men as men. With Him, character decides their worth. And we are to recognize the Spirit of Christ in whomsoever He is revealed.—Testimonies for the Church 9:223. Ye Shall Receive Power 337.3

Thus Christ sought to teach the disciples the truth that in God’s kingdom there are no territorial lines, no caste, no aristocracy; that they must go to all nations, bearing to them the message of a Saviour’s love.—The Acts of the Apostles, 20. Ye Shall Receive Power 337.4

The walls of sectarianism and caste and race will fall down when the true missionary spirit enters the hearts of men. Prejudice is melted away by the love of God.—The Review and Herald, January 21, 1896. Ye Shall Receive Power 337.5

Walls of separation have been built up between the whites and the blacks. These walls of prejudice will tumble down of themselves as did the walls of Jericho, when Christians obey the Word of God, which enjoins on them supreme love to their Maker and impartial love to their neighbors—The Review and Herald, December 17, 1895. Ye Shall Receive Power 337.6

When the Holy Spirit is poured out, there will be a triumph of humanity over prejudice in seeking the salvation of the souls of human beings. God will control minds. Human hearts will love as Christ loved. And the color line will be regarded by many very differently from the way in which it is now regarded. To love as Christ loves lifts the mind into a pure, heavenly, unselfish atmosphere.—Testimonies for the Church 9:209. Ye Shall Receive Power 337.7

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Someday soon God’s Final Message will go to every nation, tribe/race, language and people group (Revelation 14:6-12). All will respond by either becoming more sensitive to the Holy Spirit or more hardened against the Holy Spirit (Revelation 13:8, 15-17). Jesus will announce that the first phase of the Heavenly Judgement is finished and He is coming soon (Revelation 22:11-12). He will come again for His people (John 14:1-3; Titus 2:11-14). His people will include those from every nation, tribe/race, language and people group on earth (Revelation 7:9).

It’s going to be awesome! What are your thoughts?

Blessings to you,

Dan Serns

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Outstanding message by Pastor Dan Jackson

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Adventist Preaching Interview

In May 2020 I had the privilege of interviewing with Christopher Findley, who moderates the Adventist Preaching Facebook group. I shared how I got started preaching and things that have helped me become a better preacher and pastor. Here’s the interview.

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Can a pandemic shut down soul winning?

IIW TV - Hope Awakens

Can a pandemic shut down soul winning? Of course not! 

Pastor John Bradshaw and the It Is Written team were ready to launch Hope Awakens, a city-wide evangelistic series in Indianapolis, Indiana this spring as part of the preparation for the General Conference Session scheduled for summer 2020. But then COVID – 19 swept the globe and the best laid plans seemed to be completely blocked.

When God allows a door to close He may be opening a window. A window of opportunity! The It Is Written team saw a God-given opportunity to take the Hope Awakens evangelistic series globally online at a time when millions would be limited to their homes. Why not spread the everlasting gospel and the Three Angels Message faster than the coronavirus! Major adjustments were made and plans revised.  Continue reading

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Ellen White on Church Growth

tmi

Check out these amazing insights on what it takes to see God’s church grow! Share any thoughts in the comments below. 

God has given to “every man his work.” He has not left the spiritual interests of the church wholly in the hands of the minister. It is not for the good of the minister, nor for the good of the individual members of the church, that the minister should undertake exclusive charge of the Lord’s heritage. Each member of the church has a part to act in order that the body may be preserved in a healthful condition. Continue reading

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Four Tips to Maximize Your Reaping Meetings

speaker

Many churches have reaping meetings in the spring and fall. Here are four tips to maximize your results. Continue reading

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“Our church is financially broke”

Rear side of audiences sitting and listening the speackers on the stage Premium Photo

Every church goes through lean times financially. Four years ago it was our turn.1 Our church treasurer came to me with the bad news. “Pastor, as you know, we have been falling behind on our bills each month for several years. Our church is now financially broke. We can’t even pay the utilities bill this month. What are we supposed to do?” But today, four years later, all our bills are paid, we have a reserve fund of four months’ expenses, and our tithe two years ago was almost twice what it was four years ago. When people ask how we did it, I tell them that only the Lord can reverse a downward spiral like that, but there were three key ways we learned to cooperate with Him. Continue reading

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Baptism for the Dead? 1 Corinthians 15:29

Second coming

“Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?” 1 Corinthians 15:29.

So what does “baptism for the dead” mean?

What do you do when you run into a verse that is somewhat obscure?

Here are three things that can help…

  1. Look at the context of the passage.
  2. Look at key words in the verse and study their meaning throughout the Bible.
  3. List possible meanings and, asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, select the one that fits best with the context and key words.

Context

Continue reading

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Why Not Try This? …Take the 2020 Challenge

baptismAre you ready for the 2020 challenge?

As a pastor (or church leader), by the end of 2020 what will you have done, cooperating with the Holy Spirit, to bring people into God’s final movement? There will be a thousand distractions, a hundred other things, and a dozen fires to put out to derail you from doing the most important things.

I love what the apostle Paul said in Acts 20:20. “I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house.”

Based on that, I’d like to personally challenge you to do three things in 2020. Continue reading

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Why Not Try This? …Use Your Israel Trip for Evangelism

Israel Flier - DiscoverYourFuture-Postcard

Many pastors and church leaders have taken a trip to Israel to walk where Jesus walked and see the Bible lands. Why not use all those pictures and experiences to share Jesus and Bible truths with others?

Last month (September 2019) my wife Lois and I visited Israel and Jordan with a group of pastors and spouses from Texas. It was an incredible experience. Based on a challenge from our son Dustin we went with the purpose of taking pictures and being ready to have a week of reaping meetings within a few months of our return. Our son Jacob and daughter-in-law Vero were on the trip as well and made videos we could use as part of each presentation. They are available on YouTube.

We just finished our reaping meetings with the Benbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church, which was planted just last year. With any reaping meetings it is important to have people ready for baptism through Bible studies before opening night. At the end of our meetings we had a family of four baptized in the swimming pool of the hotel where we held our meetings. And during the week we made friends with new interests, involved more church members in our God-given mission, saw God transform lives and started a weekly Amazing Facts Study Group as follow up.

baptism.jpgBelow is an outline of what we did each evening in the reaping meetings. There are links to various resources. Feel free to use or adapt anything here for your situation that might help you win souls for Jesus and His final movement!

Continue reading

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Five Keys to Strengthen Your Church

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The Lord has a great plan for your church family! Your little church can impact eternity for Jesus!

“A company of believers may be poor, uneducated, and unknown; yet in Christ they may do a work in the home, the neighborhood, the church, and even in “the regions beyond,” whose results shall be as far-reaching as eternity.” The Desire of Ages 640.4

Here are five crucial areas to examine and strengthen in your congregation.

  1. No disconnected guests. How do you make sure that when a person visits your church there is someone who will connect with them, help them feel comfortable and get them introduced to others? Who will offer to give them Bible studies so they can learn transforming Bible truths for the last days? Who will invite them to join a group where they can find fellowship, encouragement and spiritual growth?
  2. No dormant disciples. The Lord doesn’t call people to just sit in church. What is being done to help people discover their gifts and passions and put them to work for Jesus?
  3. No dead space. How can you eliminate dead space during the worship service so it has a natural flow and people aren’t distracted from connecting with God through the various parts of the service?
  4. No dry baptistries. Do you fill your baptistry on a regular basis to be sure it still works? Does everyone know when the next few baptisms are scheduled so they can encourage people to make their decision?
  5. No diminished prayers. Is it common to see people praying with each other in your church facilities? When people pray in church, is it clear they believe in a God who loves them, listens to them and has the power and wisdom to answer their prayers in the best way in the light of eternity?

As you reflect on these points and questions personally and with your church family the Lord will show you areas to revitalize and/or strengthen your witness to your community.

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