This glorious day started again with a season of prayers and meditation on God’s word. The morn-ing worship started with the singing of the hymn entitled “The Great Physician Now is Near.” The opening text was taken from the book of Mark 1:21:
“And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the syna-gogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine:for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.”
The title of the morning worship was “The Man of Calvary”. One Sabbath day, Jesus went to the temple to worship. Satan went there too but with a different purpose. His purpose was to disrupt the people listening to Jesus’ teaching. Satan used the man with the unclean spirit to disturb the people. He wanted them to miss the precious lessons they needed to hear for their salvation. Sa-tan does the same thing today. He is trying to turn our attention to things that are temporary. We are given the “will” to exercise our special gift from God—the freedom of choice.
There is no place for neutrality; no man can serve two masters. Every one of us should choose to whom they will give their hearts, whom they chose as their Master.
“No man can serve two masters:for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24
The Lord is knocking at our hearts, and we are given the freedom of choice to open or reject His calling. What will you choose today? Who will we ask to take control of your life? Are we setting aside time to pray and study the word of God? Do you meditate upon His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary? No demon can prevail in the presence of God. He can help us change our character, and a marvelous transformation will occur in our lives. A change will take place inside—in our hearts. May Satan be defeated and let Jesus have dominion over our hearts today. Our decision will de-termine our destiny.
The Business of the Day
The session started at 8:30am with 171 delegates uniting their voices in singing the beautiful hymn ”My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”. Prayers were offered and Br. Sureshkumar shared a short message of appeal on “Repentance and Conversion”. Repentance and conversion do not pertain only to the people who do not yet know the truth. Repentance and conversion must begin in our ranks, especially those who are holding high position in the church. But without the power of the Holy Spirit, we cannot repent nor be converted.
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of re-freshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:19-21
“The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revela-tion of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer.” Selected Messages vol.1 363.
The minutes of September 7th were read and accepted. There is much to be accomplished yet, and a motion to extend the session by one more day was accepted by the delegates. With this, the various committees returned to their own committees and worked till lunchtime.
After lunch, the committees reconvened, and the Doctrinal Committee presented the point on rental of church properties, which had been previously tabled. After the session voted on this matter the resolution stands as follows:
RESOLVED, that while we do not rent out our sanctuaries, in general we also do not rent out our churches or meeting halls, particularly where we gather for weekly services. However, we believe that we can make some exceptions, particularly where the church owns property that is not being used on a regular, weekly basis for religious services (an example of this may be a church-run school or a campground where conferences are held). Where this is the case, the properties generally are underutilized, by staying vacant most of the year. In such cases, we may consider renting the facilities to outside groups from Sunday to Friday. However, we should be careful in evaluating each group and each situation on its own merit. Some points to analyze include: the particular or-ganization and its purposes, types of activities to be conducted, and any implications to the honor of God and the reputation of our organization for allowing that group or activ-ity on our facility. We should be careful not to allow such inappropriate activities as the playing of loud music, consumption of alcoholic beverages, or anything that is opposed to our fundamental principles, and so forth. If the facility rental would also include the Sabbath hours, then all the above are applicable, with the addition that the purpose and activities of the renting organization would not violate the principles of true Sabbath keeping.
Election of Officers
After many smaller matters were discussed and resolved, the Nominating Committee brought back their names for the candidates for the office of Education/Family Department Director. After the names were put to a vote, Br. Mario Alvarado was elected to serve this department for the next four years.
The Nominating Committee presented three names for the office of Welfare and Stewardship Department Director. After two rounds of voting, Br. Andre Devai was elected to serve in this department for the next four years.
Another three names were nominated for the office of Medical Department Director. After two rounds of voting, Br. Dragan Ivanov from Serbia was elected to serve the department for the next term.
The Finance committee also presented a proposal, which was accepted and voted on by the ses-sion. The result of this vote states that the next host for the General Conference Session in 2019 be the Romanian Union. The day closed with evening worship.
The Bulletin Committee,
Olivine E. Uy