It’s not every day the General Conference (GC) President Dr Ted Wilson comes to Australia, so it was no surprise that Melbourne’s Dallas Brooks Centre was packed to the rafters.
Three tiers of seating filled with around 2,500 guests eager to hear, in person, the vision of our recently appointed world church leader, and to enjoy the fellowship of friends on this high Sabbath day. So keen were some attendees that they travelled from across the state for the celebration.
Practical love and care of others; that’s what it truly means to be a Seventh-day Adventist…
There was also in excess of 800 churches and other groups streaming the live broadcast.
Eric and Molly Geelan travelled 250 kilometres from Wangaratta. “We wouldn’t miss the chance to see the GC President, and hear him share his message with the church. It’s also given us a chance to catch up with old friends.”
Attendees were blessed by an extraordinarily talented orchestra and a team of vocalists who produced a delightful and moving array of worship music for the occasion. “It’s been a high point for the Institute of Worship students and it’s the biggest group we’ve ever put together. They were from every state of Australia, with a large component of Melbourne players,” said conductor, Dr Lyell Heise.
Cellist Luke Nowlan, 17 years of age, was proud to be part of the ensemble. “It’s a huge honour to be able to play and represent our local conference and church. It’s a great experience.” Playing was no easy feat for this gifted young cellist who, five months ago, broke his thumb and is in pain each time he plays. “My thumb hurts tons, but no way would I miss this,” he said.
Victorian Conference president, Pastor Wayne Stanley and wife Martina, welcomed Dr Wilson as “the leader of the family of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” Dr Wilson was joined by his wife Nancy. They shared a brief history of their ministry and family life, and Dr Wilson’s passion for the “revival and reformation of God’s remnant church”.
|Pastor Wayne Stanley and wife Martina, welcoming the Wilson’s to Melbourne.|
President of the Australian Union Conference (AUC), pastor Chester Stanley, also welcomed Dr Wilson and encouraged the massive congregation to break into groups of two or three to pray for revival and reformation as part of the AUC’s national day of prayer, with hundreds of other congregations praying in one accord across Australia.
Dr Wilson began his sermon by expressing his joy of the day, stating: “It is a great privilege to be amongst other Seventh-day Adventist Christians who love Jesus, and are singing about Jesus.”
“Practical love and care of others; that’s what it truly means to be a Seventh-day Adventist… I urge you all to take an interest in young people. Speak to them, take time to care for them. Learn their names, and help them to feel a part of God’s great church family, a family that now outnumbers some 17 million members.”
His inspiring message focused on recommitment to God’s remnant message as part of the fulfillment of the prophecy recorded in Revelation 17, and the imminent return of Jesus.
“We are nearing the very end of time…in my opinion,” he said. “In the time described in Daniel 2, we are at the very ends of the toes of the statue.”
Dr Wilson and the General Conference have called church members to a state of revival and reformation, and for churches to evangelise the major cities of the world over the next few years; to reach the world’s population with the Gospel in order to hasten the soon coming of Jesus… Over 60% of the world’s population is now living in the cities.
“When I say we need ‘Revival and Reformation’ I mean renewing in Jesus, revival in Him, and reformation, as the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, and makes us more like him”. Dr Wilson quoted from Ellen White’s writings to highlight the need of a revival at this time.
Dr Wilson said Adventists need a renewed sense of mission of who we are as Seventh-day Adventists. He said God is calling us be revived and reformed by his word. We are called to be more than a denomination or church body. “We are a heaven-born Adventist movement. We belong to a church that does not rely on traditions or human reasoning, but on the written word of God, and the Holy Word of God, – Jesus”.
Dr Wilson also drew the congregation’s attention to what he termed, “the Caller ID text of the Bible” and “the sign of God’s creative and redemptive power,” (Revelation 12:17). “Those who keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus”. Following this text, Dr Wilson explained the connection with Revelation 19: 10, which says, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”. He also stated that the spirit of prophecy was fulfilled and manifested in the ministry of Ellen White. Dr Wilson also reminded everyone that the Sabbath is the end time sign to identify who His people are, the ones who are truly worshipping God.
|Prayer for revival and reformation around Australia.|
The special message concluded with advice and encouragement on some current issues facing the world-wide church. “Do not be intimidated by those who don’t believe in a literal 6 day creation. They only minimise the importance and truth of the God who created us. Do not accept any argument that is not biblically based. We are the remnant of her seed, the unique biblical destiny sent to proclaim the three Angels message in love.”
“It pays to know who we are, why we are here and what God has in store for his people. Let us focus of Christ, and his soon return”. He said.