“Let us Make God Known in Europe”
25 August 2012, Rogaška Slatina, Slovenia [Victor Hulbert, tedNEWS] Five days, countless sermons, workshops and conversations. Has it made a difference? Are European pastors now more prepared for 'Making God known'?
They were certainly positive about the five days of meetings, praising both the organisation and the varied content of the event. In the extreme heat of the week they were also grateful for the 13,000 litres of water consumed in just the marquee, the kind service of the staff in ten hotels across the complex, and the commitment of the TED staff who went out of their way to be both welcoming and professional. The greatest thanks went to God and was expressed through the rapturous signing of the hymn, "To God be the Glory," with the voice of
Wintley Phipps bringing 1,200 ministers and their spouses to their feet.
In a moving symbol of change, and to the music of 'Falling in Love with Jesus', around twenty sad faced ministers carried placards onto the platform with signs of loss, loneliness and sadness. Frowns then switched to smiles as the placards were turned into ones of hope, joy and faith.
"Let's make God known" in credible ways, Bertil Wiklander challenged at the start of his address. He fully recognized that this would not be easy. The apostle Paul, he reminded ministers, described making God known as a fight – though in Ephesians 6 the armour of God is provided for the battle.
Referring to the Gospel Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, Dr Wiklander noted this was also all about 'Making God known'. It is part of the identity of being a Seventh-day Adventist. Even in Revelation 14, what Adventists love to call the 'three angels message', in verse 12 he noted that the 'faith of Jesus' includes trust, hope, faithfulness, obedience and loyalty.
Dr Wiklander then quickly surveyed the Book of Revelation, emphasizing that faithfulness can be challenging, dangerous and even fatal. However success comes by keeping focused upon the central character of the book, Jesus Christ. "Christ as the Lamb that was slaughtered is the key," he emphasized.
"The three angel's message is not some strange, weird, futurist thing from North America," Dr Wiklander stated, rather, "It is a message with Christ at the centre."
"Can we do that in Europe? In secular, godless Europe?" he asked. He clearly believes that the answer is 'yes', noting that in the midst of all our sophistication in Europe, in what we feel is “the best of all worlds”, Europeans still fear death. "Never doubt that people want what we have because we know that God has defeated death in Jesus Christ."
Paraphrasing Matthew 25 he concluded by stating that "I was hungry [for God] and you fed me … I was in prison [where my only exit was eternal death and eternal silence] but you can to visit me [bringing me a way out]." The conclusion and commitment from all present, a resounding 'Let's make God known'.
There may have been 10,000 readers to tedNEWS, 1,000 followers on Facebook and twitter, and several hundred following the live stream, but there was nothing to beat the spirit of a full auditorium, spontaneously joining hands and in glorious benediction, singing “meet me in heaven, we'll join hands together… praise the Lord we all will be there.” [tedNEWS]
To see more photos from the EPC, please click here.
tedNEWS Staff: Miroslav Pujic, director; Deana Stojkovic, editor; Dragana Selakovic-Duval; Frederic Duval & Tor Tjeransen, photographers
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