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“God’s Restoring Salvation---Our Last-day Message”

President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Ted N.C. Wilson, gives Sabbath sermon during the 2019 Annual Council.

Editor's Note: President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church gave the sermon, Saturday, October 12, 2019, during the 2019 Annual Council meeting of the Church's Executive Committee. Below is a transcript.

 

Ephesians 2:8-10: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

The clouds were gathering. It was becoming very dark. Something ominous was about to happen. As it became darker and darker, people were unsettled. They were unsure as to what was going to develop next.  Then, suddenly, an earthquake surprised everyone beyond their imagination. It shook so violently that sepulchers were opened and the dead were thrown out of their tombs. . . .  And hanging on the cross was the One who was the LIfegiver, the One who was losing His life for you and me.

A few moments before, as Jesus hung on the cross, one of the thieves mockingly told him, “Get us off this cross, if you’re the king!” The other thief, amazingly, quieted the other one and then turned to Jesus   and said, “Lord, remember me when You come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42).  And Jesus at that moment turned to that thief and said, “I say to you today, you will be with Me in paradise.” Jesus was saying, “Right now, on the cross, I’m telling you today, you will be with Me in paradise” at the appropriate time when I return to wake up all those who have died in Me.

That’s justification. Immediate! However, Christ’s righteousness does not stop with just justification. It continues as you accept the power of the Holy Spirit to give you sanctification, working in your life to will and to do according to His good pleasure, not your own. Even though the thief could not move off the cross, he still participated in sanctification. He had to hang on the cross until they broke his legs so he could not breathe any longer, and he died also.

But get the picture. It’s Friday afternoon. The clouds have come, and  Jesus said in a powerful way, “My God, My God,” why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).  Can you imagine what was going on in Christ’s heart at that very moment? The separation—your sins, and my sins—separating Him from His Father. And that’s why He cried out, because certainly God the Father had not forsaken Him. And then, as Jesus died, John 19:30, indicates that  Jesus proclaimed, “It…is…finished.”

Why did Jesus die on the cross? What was the purpose? As we delve into what was the result of the cross and the resurrection, I want you to think for a moment. Picture in your mind’s eye. We can put nothing on the screen that will even come close……so your mind will actually paint the picture for you. Look at Jesus hanging on the cross, suspended between heaven and earth, dying for you and for me, dying a death,   as Philippians 2 says, “He came down and humbled Himself” further, and further, and further until He took the form of a man and died on the cross for you and for me. When a person  died on the cross, the person not only suffered physically and mentally, the person was also humiliated. The person died naked. All this, Jesus did for you and for me.

So, for a moment—Ellen White tells us we need to spend a thoughtful hour every day thinking about the life and the death of Christ---just now for 90 seconds, quietly think about it. I’m going to sit down and think about it, that crucifixion on Friday afternoon.  

Jesus died. He rested on the very same seventh-day Sabbath that we’re resting on today---a sign of His authority as Creator. The cycle has never been broken.   Even in His death, Jesus rested on the day that He proclaimed, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, at the beginning of this earth, to be a day in which we were, as the Ten Commandments says, to “remember.” Jesus was taken off the cross, placed in a tomb to remain there forever—so thought the Jewish leaders, and even the Roman soldiers.  However, I don’t think the centurion who looked up at Jesus on the cross and recognized in Him a righteous character was surprised by what took place next.

On Sunday morning—in a dramatic way, Jesus is called from the grave!  Because of that, Jesus is now ministering for you and for me in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary, giving us the opportunity of eternal life! Can you say Amen?  Christ and His righteousness is at the very core of the three angels’ messages and what Seventh-day Adventists are to proclaim in word and deed with Holy Spirit power in these last days of earth’s history.

What a beautiful hymn we sang this morning---“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.” And because He lives and is interceding for you and for me right now, we can have the assurance of God’s overwhelming salvation. 

Life is worth the living because He lives!  You see, after Jesus rose that Sunday morning, He ministered to His disciples for a number of days. Then He ultimately ascended to heaven.   At that ascension, the angels told the disciples that “As you have seen Him go up into heaven, so He will come back” (Acts 1:11).  The second coming will be a visual, audible, powerful sight and experience. Jesus ascended, took His place in heaven as our Redeemer! He entered the Holy Place to continue His ministry for us. 

The Bible tells us that the sanctuary service and the tabernacle that was shown to Moses was a copy of what is in heaven. Now, I believe that what was shown on this earth was not just some kind of figurative, imaginary setting, but when the Bible says it was a copy for this earth then there is an original. And I believe that there is a Holy Place and a Most Holy Place in heaven. The Spirit of Prophecy is quite clear on that. Jesus entered into the Holy Place.   You’ll recall when He died what happened to the curtain dividing the holy and most holy compartments in the earthly temple?  It was torn from top to bottom, angels ripping it, helping us to understand that the sacrifice which had been carried out for hundreds of years no longer needed to be done because the real sacrifice had been offered.

Jesus entered that Holy Place, and He began to minister for us, because He lives. Then, according to prophetic understanding in Daniel 8:14, according to the understanding of 2,300 days or years with the day/year principle that we understand from Ezekiel 4:6 and elsewhere, in 1844 Christ entered into the Most Holy Place to minister for us in His last atoning actions before His return.

“I can face tomorrow because He lives.”  Remember, we are living in the very last days. Don’t get distracted by life itself, by issues which seem to cloud your thinking. That’s why Seventh-day Adventists have been asked to proclaim this amazing message, this restoring plan of salvation. 

Let’s look at a beautiful passage in Hebrews 4:14-16 about what Christ is doing for us because He lives.  “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest”—so Jesus is our Creator, Jesus is our example, Jesus is the Lamb, Jesus is the High Priest, Jesus is the coming King, Jesus is our all in all. “…we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens.” And Paul says here, and I believe Paul wrote the book of Hebrews, “…Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” So, hold fast your connection with this High Priest. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus lived a perfect life.

How can we understand Christ being one hundred percent human, one hundred percent divine? That’s two hundred percent! I don’t understand it, but I accept it, by faith. How can we understand that Jesus came and took on the feebleness of human beings after 4,000 years? It’s a unique situation, and I don’t think anyone can fully understand the nature of Christ. But after 4,000 debilitating years, He comes as a little child.  He lived a perfect life. He was tempted, yet without sin."

Verse 16 is a most powerful promise.  Because He’s ministering in heaven for you right now, what are you going to do? “Let us therefore come”—meekly, sneak up, to try to get a foot in the door? No!  “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace,” God’s amazing grace, God’s overwhelming salvation, God’s restoring plan through His righteousness, “that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Turn to Hebrews 8: 1-6: “Now, this is the main point of the things we are saying. We have such a High Priest” (again, Paul’s referring back to what he said in chapter 4) “who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” Can you imagine, you have access to eternal life and to the Father because Jesus is seated right next to Him! Because He lives!   “…a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; therefore, it is necessary that this one also have something to offer, for if he were on earth, he would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law, who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things as Moses was divinely instructed” (see, there’s another proof, this is the copy that God showed Moses)  “…when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant which was established on better promises.”

It is amazing, overwhelming and restoring salvation that Christ offers! Turn two more chapters over to  Hebrews 10:19-25, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near” (come boldly again)  “…draw near with a true heart and full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water…” Again, here’s “let’s,” let’s do this!  “…Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Can you say Amen? Because He lives!  “…And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” Again, an allusion to sanctification, because when you accept this marvelous power, and His robe of righteousness, you then are empowered to do good works.  “…Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.”

It’s a beautiful concept of what’s happening in the sanctuary right now. Let me draw your attention to a beautiful quotation from the little book, Christ in His Sanctuary, page 5.  It says, “The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith.” Let us try to comprehend what Jesus is doing for you and for me because of what happened on that cross, and then His subsequent ministry for us in the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place……it is the foundation of His restoring plan of salvation.

Also, from Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 67, this amazing quotation, “The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’s work in behalf of men.” What was accomplished on the cross was only the beginning. And what He is doing for us in the sanctuary is the very center of His work. “It concerns every soul living upon the earth. It opens to view the plan of redemption, bringing us down to the very close of time. . . .” That’s where we are right now.  “. . . and revealing the triumphant issue of the contest between righteousness and sin. It is of the utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subjects. . .” Not just the pastor, not just an elder, not just a specialist in sanctuary doctrine-----It’s not just for them. It’s for all of us!  “. . . and be able to give to everyone that asks of them a reason for the hope that is in them.”  Be part of Total Member Involvement and the proclamation of this restoring salvation message. 

In that wonderful little book, Faith and Works, by Ellen White, and you will find a copy of that book for you on the side of your seat right now unless you already discovered it---it is for you to take with you, on page 16,  we read, “Let this point be fully settled in every mind:  If we accept Christ as a Redeemer, we must accept Him as a Ruler.  We cannot have the assurance and perfect confiding trust in Christ as our Saviour until we acknowledge Him as our King and are obedient to His commandments. Thus we evidence our allegiance to God. We have then the genuine ring in our faith, for it is a working faith.”  

You see, this overwhelming salvation process is so powerful. Turn with me to Matthew 22 for a few moments. Let’s look at this amazing salvation process. An interesting story was told by Jesus Himself, and it has to do with a wedding.   Verse 2 says that “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son. He sent all his servants out and  he said, ‘Tell those who are invited to come.’” Well, some people had other plans. People were involved in all kinds of things. But the father had prepared everything for people to come and enjoy the wedding. Well, some people “made light of this invitation” (verse 5),   “went their ways into his own farm, another to his business…” 

I’ve never done this, and I hope you haven’t when you received a wedding invitation that comes by way of the postal agent. You don’t kill the postal agent, but that’s what these people did.  Verse 7 says, “[They] treated them spitefully, and they killed them. And when the king heard about it, he was furious” of course! This was the wedding of his son!   “And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants,  ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.  So, those servants went out into the highways” (verse 10) “and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.”

Most ladies seem to love attending weddings. Now, men, perhaps not so much, unless it’s your daughter or your son! All three of our precious daughters have gotten married and believe me, I was there! In fact, I had the privilege of walking all three of them down the aisle. Nancy and I didn’t give away our daughters, we gained three sons. 

However, many people in the biblical story rejected the wedding invitation, and they were deprived a robe of righteousness. The story goes on…..All these people came----“the good and the bad.” Now, that’s an indication that in our work here on this earth we are not only to minister to the people who we think are good; we are here to minister to everyone. Also, the church will have those who love Him and those who don’t until the very end, when the wheat and the tares will be examined. Then, the Lord will save those who are truly connected with Him. But we should never turn anyone away!

Well, somebody came into the wedding, and this poor fellow—I don’t know what he was thinking, but it says here in verse 11, “When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.” Now, when I walked our three beautiful daughters down the aisle, I was wearing a suit. I didn’t come in my tattered clothes that I use for working in the yard. I came in clothes that would befit a wedding.  “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” And he was speechless.” The Bible says he didn’t know what to say……he wasn’t thinking. “I don’t know.” “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for many are called, but few are chosen.’”

There is not one person in this auditorium today who will ever be turned away from heaven unless YOU decide against it. God’s overwhelming salvation is so strong that it provides every avenue for you to respond and say, “Yes, Lord, I accept it.”  Just like the thief did on the cross. “Yes, I accept You, and I want You to live in my life.” And when you do, your life will be abundant as you accept Christ’s robe of righteousness.   Faith and Works, page 118, indicates, “It was impossible for the sinner to keep the law of God, which was holy, just, and good; but this impossibility was removed by the impartation of the righteousness of Christ to the repenting, believing soul.”   Page 119 says, “Jesus became the Mediator between God and man, to restore the repenting soul to favor with God by giving him grace to keep the law of the Most High.  Christ came not to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them to the very letter.”

Now, many times Seventh-day Adventists are accused of being legalists. Well, you people go to church on Saturday, on Sabbath. Some may accuse us that because you carry your Bible with you, because you return tithe and give offerings, because you witness for the Lord, that we think God is going to credit us with special points in heaven contributing to our access to heaven…….and somehow you can slip into heaven because of what you have done. I want to tell you, brothers and sisters, because He offers us His amazing grace, because of His overwhelming salvation plan, you cannot get into heaven except by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. However, once that happens, you then accept His sanctifying power.   Faith and Works, pages 25-26, indicates, “When men learn they cannot earn righteousness by their own merit of works, and they look with firm and entire reliance upon Jesus Christ as their only hope, there will not be so much of self and so little of Jesus……They need to see by faith the righteousness of Christ as their only hope for time and for eternity.”

Now, let’s read these few brief lines about what this whole story represented. A few brief lines from  Christ’s Object Lessons, page 310: “By the wedding garment in the parable is represented the pure, spotless character which Christ’s true followers will possess. It is the righteousness of Christ, His own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to all who receive Him as their personal Savior.   Only the covering which Christ Himself has provided can make us meet” (or prepared) “to appear in God’s presence. This covering, the robe of His own righteousness, Christ will put upon every repenting, believing soul.”

We don’t have time to pursue many of those thoughts. But the robe of righteousness is that which Christ has provided to us because of His righteousness. His righteousness also, then, begins to work in you to accomplish what Christ wants to see you do in your life. That robe of righteousness is justification provided by Christ’s perfect life in place of your sinful life—when the Father looks on you, you are perfect because He sees Christ’s righteousness. Because He lives! But then, immediately, you accept the Holy Spirit into your life and Christ’s righteousness begins to work in you, and you become a new creature.   Faith and Works, page 31, shows that, “God’s law is the mirror presenting a complete reflection of the man as he is, and holding up before him the correct likeness.  Some will turn away and forget this picture, while others will employ abusive epithets against the law, as though this would cure their defects of character.  Still others who are condemned by the law will repent of their transgressions and through faith in Christ’s merits, will perfect Christian character.” 

Turn with me to Ephesians, chapter 2, one of the most powerful explanations of Christ’s righteousness—His justifying power and His sanctifying power--- in verses 8, 9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” That’s justification.   Then verse 10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Something’s beginning to happen in you. It’s called sanctification. You are becoming more and more like Jesus.  “…which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”----in the good works.

Turn just a few pages over to Philippians, chapter 2. We already referred to chapter 2 about Christ coming down, taking on the form of a bondservant, or a human being. But look at verses 12 and 13 in that marvelous chapter.   “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Now, someone who is works-oriented might say, “Ah, you see, I’m supposed to do everything. I’m supposed to create a checklist. I’ve got to figure out exactly how to get into heaven.” Well, keep reading. It’s not the end of the sentence.  “…For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

What a marvelous, overwhelming plan of salvation! It combines justification and sanctification through Christ’s righteousness. Steps to Christ, that beautiful little book----and I urge each of you to make that book a precious connection to Christ, has a beautiful explanation of justification and sanctification.  Page 63, summarizes it, “So we have nothing in ourselves of which to boast. We have no ground for self-exaltation. Our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us.” That’s justification, that’s that robe from that wedding feast. It covers you! “…And in that wrought by His Spirit working in and through us.” And that is sanctification. The overwhelming salvation process of Christ and His righteousness working in and through you!

In the book of Titus, chapter 2, we see the following in   verses 11-15:  “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,  righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us  that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Again, a beautiful combination of Christ’s righteousness----His justifying power, His sanctifying power. “Speak these things, exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”

Preach this precious message! It is the core of the three angels’ messages in Revelation 14………the very core of those messages is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, turning people back to the true worship of God. You’re not saved by works. You’re saved by His justifying power……and His sanctifying power helps you to accomplish good works.

Let me share with you a powerful illustration of what God’s restoring salvation will do in the life of  a convicted murder, Don Johnson, who brutally killed his wife in 1984 and was executed recently by the State of Tennessee.  Don became a Christian in prison and then became a Seventh-day Adventist 

and a church elder in prison.  He was befriended over many years by the family of John and Pam Dysinger and others who witnessed to him allowing him to become a strong witness to others in the prison for many years.  God changed Don’s life from being a murderer to being a humble servant of God.  

However, on May 16, 2019, he died at 7:37 pm in a Tennessee prison execution room.  Some of us sent letters of appeal before his execution to the governor of the state asking the governor to commute his sentence to life in prison or whatever was appropriate. However, the decision was made to allow the execution to proceed as planned by lethal injection.  On the day of his execution, Don went without his final meal asking that it be given to the homeless.  He was calm as he was strapped down sharing these final words of prayer before he died: “I commend my life into your hands.  Thy will be done.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.”  He then sang as the execution drugs were entering his body……his last song was “We Are Going to See the King” with the lyrics of "No more crying there, we are going to see the King/No more dying there, we are going to see the King"……his singing drifted off and ended when he sang, “no more dying there.” Don represents those whose lives are changed by the power of the Gospel message with Christ’s justification covering them and then His sanctifying power working in their lives to give glory to God’s restoring salvation process.

I want to ask some questions of John and Pam Dysinger, Kirsten Dysinger Knecht, and Pastor Furman Fordham of the Riverside Chapel Seventh-day Adventist Church where Don was an elder even though in prison.

John, Pam, and Kirsten, you and others in your family visited Don for over a decade in prison. Tell us how that began and what happened to Don as you would witness to him?  What miracles took place in his life through God’s intervention and restoring salvation?

Pastor Fordham, what kind of person did Don become and what was the effect of his life on other inmates? What kind of legacy does Don leave in spite of his murder conviction?  

What an illustration of God’s restoring salvation, the Gospel message, and Christ’s sanctuary message!  Let’s look at Titus 3:4-8, “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us through the washing of regeneration” (justification) “and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (sanctification) whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior . . .” The overwhelming, abundant, and restoring plan of God’s saving power!  “That having been justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works” (again, sanctification, all Christ’s righteousness. “These things are good and profitable to men.”   Faith and Works, page 122 says, “Christianity is simply living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.  We are to believe in, and live in, Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. We have faith in God when we believe His Word; we trust and obey God when we keep His commandments; and we love God when we love His law.”

Now, back to that poor man who came down the aisle, joined in the wedding procession but came in without a wedding garment. Let none of us leave today without the robe of Jesus Christ covering us, because He lives! And when we take on that robe, He will empower us to become the best missionaries possible, Total Member Involvement, everyone doing something for Jesus, because He lives! 

Christian Service, p 9, says, “Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary.”

This is the message that Seventh-day Adventists must be living and preaching as we head into the last days of earth’s history which I believe is now.  Let’s be involved in personal and public evangelism.  As leaders in God’s church, show a great example in holding evangelistic meetings or engaging in small group evangelism as you participate in Total Member Involvement.  As leaders, be involved in Mission to the Cities and Comprehensive Health Ministry.  In North America, regional conference members have long been involved in reaching the cities; and many conferences around the world are engaged in lifting up Christ in every way possible to reach millions in these large metropolitan areas. 

Testimonies, Vol 9, page 19, says, “In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers.  To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world…..They have been given a work of the most solemn import----the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages.  They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.” 

Just recently, we had the great privilege of being part of “Kolkata 2019” and “Hope for Kolkata”---a multi-year plan to bring God’s amazing, restoring plan of salvation to the millions of that great city.  What a privilege to see many people accept the power of God’s Word in their lives and accept Christ as their Savior.  

Allow God to work through you as a leader to model the mission proclamation of God’s restoring salvation to the world.  It will do something for you, as well!  It does for me!  Nancy and I have been involved in two evangelistic meeting this year---in Jamaica and India.  Next year we will be again involved in two evangelistic meetings in Papua New Guinea and in Indianapolis just before the General Conference Session.  Renew your spiritual vision and mission focus as you turn from peripheral and distracting challenges around you and focus your attention and proclamation on lifting up Christ, His Word, His righteousness, His sanctuary service, His saving power in the great controversy, His three angels’ messages, His health message, His last-day mission to the world including the need to plead for the latter rain of the Holy Spirit, His restoring salvation, and His soon second coming.

For one day soon, we’re going to look up into that sky and see a little cloud appearing, getting brighter and brighter and larger and larger, and soon filling the entire sky. Not because of electronic technology, but because of God’s miraculous event  when everyone will see Him at the same time all over the world, whether you’re in Mumbai or Buenos Aires, whether you are in Beijing, Nairobi, or Johannesburg, whether you are in London or Mexico City, you will see Him at the same time! And we’ll look up, and say, “This is the God we have waited for. He will save us!”  Jesus will have taken off His priestly robes. Remember, He’s the Creator. He’s the perfect example. He is the Lamb who died on the cross. He is the High Priest. He is even our Judge. But this time He will come with the robes of a king, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. And He’ll look down on us, and He’ll say, “Well done, good and faithful servants.  Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

And we will rise off this earth, following those who will have answered that trumpet call and will have risen from the grave. 

Earlier this year, I attended a funeral at Sligo Church for a wonderful gentleman whose name was Karnel Charles, originally from India. He did a lot of good in his life helping many poor people through the organization he established called, “Teach International.” He was very careful in the way that he used his money----used it for the good of others. But he didn’t do that to gain salvation. He did it because Jesus was working in him. When brother Charles rises out of the grave, he will be in the air first. And those of us, as I Thessalonians, chapter 4, says, will rise up and meet them in the air, “and so we shall ever be with the Lord.” What a promise! We’re going home because He lives! 

Charles Hugabrooks, please sing that wonderful “Midnight Cry” appeal. 

How many of you today as you walk out of this auditorium want to say, “Lord, thank You for what You did on the cross. Thank You for what You’re doing in the Most Holy Place for me right now. Lord, I accept that beautiful, restoring plan of salvation and I accept that righteous robe.” If you want to make that statement today, would you stand to your feet?  

How many of you are willing to tell someone else about this precious message?  Would you raise your hand?  Thank you, you can lower your hand.  Now, I want to ask a very important mission question, how many of you are willing to readjust your busy schedule and, by God’s grace, commit yourself to Total Member Involvement…….either in holding an evangelistic meeting or a small group outreach activity between now and General Conference Session?  Would you raise your hand?  

Let us seal these commitments in prayer.