Presenting a Biblical response by concerned former Seventh-day Adventists to the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.

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Commentary on "Mission"



Day 3: Monday, June 22, 2009



“The command to take the gospel to the entire world is found in all four Gospels, as well as in the book of Acts.”



Thankfully, this section is much closer to reality than the previous section. However, the author still can’t get away from a behavioral approach to mission – it must be done; after all, Jesus commanded it.

Let’s take a look at the passages referenced.

Both Matthew and Mark might more properly be translated, “As you are going…” This connotes something less than a command and more of a promise. Matthew 28:18 should have been included – “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’” We can make students (disciples) because Jesus has been given all authority. Our job as missionaries is nothing more or less than pointing people to Him.

Luke, John, and Acts are statements of fact. In effect, “You will be witnesses,” not “You will do witnessing.” A person can’t be a witness regarding something or someone unless they actually know the situation or person. In this context, Jesus must be known, and it is the Holy Spirit who reveals Him to us.

I invite any Adventist who truly believes that Jesus is the only way to God to stand up in their local SDA congregation and say the following, “I know I have eternal life, because I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. He is my life, and I am secure because I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit Who is the seal of my salvation.”

You probably will discover very quickly that the “world” to whom you have been called to be a witness is that very congregation. Why? Because multiple people will respond with statements like, “The Sabbath is the seal of God,” or “You can’t say that you are truly saved until Probation has closed and you have been judged worthy of salvation,” or “Yes, you are saved, but you must continue to keep the Ten Commandments in order to maintain that salvation.”

A conversation regarding people groups around the world who have not heard the gospel is not particularly helpful. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not the same thing as “the Seventh-day Adventist Church is now proclaiming its message…”

For example, I once heard a story of an African who came to the United States to attend a denominational meeting. He had a wonderful testimony regarding how God reached him in spite of his paganism. When asked why he was in the United States, he responded, “Because there are so many people here who don’t know Jesus.”

Let’s make certain our world view of missions is informed by a Spirit-inspired passion to share Jesus rather than an organizational imperative.



  1. The Great Commission should be interpreted primarily as a statement of fact rather than another command to be kept.
  2. As the result of a relationship with the living Jesus, made real in our lives by the indwelling Holy Spirit, we will be witnesses about Him. We can’t help it.
  3. Our “world” is our sphere of influence. For some, it will be their family or friends. For others, it will be a town or city. We can rest in the assurance that God will equip us for the scope of work He needs us to do.
  4. Do not allow guilt-inducing questions (“What difference has your existence made in reaching them?”) to draw your eyes off of Jesus to look at your own tiny efforts.




Copyright 2009 All rights reserved. Revised June 1, 2009. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email:

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