A Christian is someone who follows Jesus Christ. In Matthew 12:50, Jesus said, “Whoever does the will of my father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.” Also, in John 14:15, Jesus exclaimed, “If you love me keep my Commandments.” Here we see that someone who follows the will of God, who loves Jesus Christ, and keeps His commandments out of love are Christians. “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26).
“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:2). In addition to recognizing that Jesus came in the flesh and died for our sins, Christians are people who follow Christ and His teachings, live the way that he lived, and hold the Bible as its sole Guide. Christians believe that their salvation comes from Jesus Christ alone and they can only be saved through Him and not by their own works. They also accept that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are One in power, glory, and authority.
Seventh-day Adventists fall into this category.
For a long time, many have wondered why Seventh-day Adventists are different from other Christian denominations. Here are five main beliefs that stand out:
God wants His people to observe the seventh-day Sabbath.
Adventists observe the fourth commandment and do not believe that it was abolished or done away with. God meant for the Sabbath to be a law that would be unaffected by time. He gave us the Sabbath day as a sign that He is Creator and we are His people. He commands His people to keep that day holy by refraining from work and secular activity so that our attention would not be diverted as we spend time with Him in worship. On the seventh day of the week, Adventists attend church, spend time with family, serve those in need, and recuperate for the week ahead.
God’s people honor Him through diet and lifestyle.
The lifestyle that we keep is nothing new. We believe that God, out of his love for us, gave us health laws to follow that would help us to live longer and be stronger. He did this so that we can be in health and serve Him and serve others with vitality. The main laws that guide diet are found in Leviticus 11 where God gave his people a list of things that they were to eat and not to eat. When we follow these health principles, many times, it results in good health. The Bible teaches that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and so Adventists avoid substances and activities that are detrimental to physical, emotional, and mental health. We do not believe that diet makes one person more holy than another. We believe that out of love for God, we should do all within our power to be healthy since God Himself desires that we “prosper and be in good health even as [our] souls prosper” (3 John 1:2).
The dead know nothing.
Do you remember what was happening outside when you were asleep last night? Well, you wouldn’t have a clue because you were asleep. If you had any consciousness of your surroundings and were aware of what was happening, you would not say that you were fast asleep. The Bible describes death as a “sleep”. In John 11:11, speaking of Lazarus’ death said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep.” Then, the Bible says, “Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead”” (John 11:13,14). When we compare all of the scriptures in the Bible that talk about death and what happens when someone dies, we will see that when a person dies they are no longer conscious. Instead of going directly to heaven or hell, the Bible teaches that they are dead – that person ceases to exist until the Second Coming of Christ.
The Spirit of Prophecy
Imagine using a flashlight to find a light switch in a dark, unfamiliar room. During the Dark Ages, Christianity plunged into darkness. God used the Reformers and their work to point people back to biblical truth, the true Light. As these men and women discovered Bible principles, they began to keep them and taught other people to do so as well. In the mid to late 1800’s, Ellen Gould White received visions that helped point many people to Bible teachings that were not being observed for a long time. As the Holy Spirit pointed out neglected principles, she wrote down what she learned and published them in periodicals and books. Her writings address topics like religion, social justice, prophecy, health, Christian lifestyle, and education. The Bible refers to this as the “Spirit of Prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). Her literature gives people a better understanding of the Bible; they do not add or take away from the Bible or have the same authority as the Bible.
5. The wicked will not have eternal life in hell
John 3:16 makes the promise that eternal life will only be given to those who choose to accept the love of Jesus and His righteousness. The wicked do not live forever. In His infinite love, God will not allow those who reject Him to burn forever. This does not reflect His benevolent character. Adopting this idea would mean to believe that God is a very cruel and unjust God to burn someone for all eternity for sins committed in one lifetime. Many were shocked and say that it was harsh to sentence Larry Dayries to 70 years in prison for stealing a tuna sandwich, then wielding a knife at a security officer. You wouldn’t consider God to be very loving if He condemned a person to eternal torment. Hell will be hot enough to completely consume everything and everyone caught in its flames. The result will be eternal but their suffering will not last forever. “They will be punished with everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Because the wicked will not inherit immortality, they will be consumed and cease to exist. The Bible teaches that hell will occur on earth when Jesus returns again and pours fire on the earth.
Although we observe teachings that are unfamiliar to a lot of people, we are Christians and we invite you to study the Bible for yourself and see what God’s word has to say about these doctrines.
By: Felecia Datus