Steed - 983: The Gospel of Liberty (DVD)

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In 1888, America, still reeling from the Civil War, was shaken by a religious proposal for Sunday sacredness. The Blair bill had the backing of most of the major religious groups, civil organizations and social groups and looked like it would pass. Seventh-day Adventists were alarmed. It seemed the prophesied image of the beast was taking shape.

AT Jones and EJ Waggoner felt that if that were happening, God’s people needed to be prepared. At the 1888 General Conference, the two preached powerfully on righteousness by faith. They believed that if Christians were dead to self and alive in Christ, nothing could stop them from proclaiming the truth in Christ, because they would not be held by the pull-backs of life and property.

The spirit of the present time is a spirit of survival. Pressure is on leaders to do whatever’s necessary to save us from terrorism, ecological disaster, lawlessness and other threats. In such times of great stress, it’s easy for leaders to point to someone and say, “You don’t worship the right God, you’re not worshipping correctly, you might be the cause of our troubles.”

Are Adventists prepared for such a crisis? Our church needs revival. We’re building up the barns and structures of a church, but do we grasp the spiritual freedom that Christ has called us to? We must come to the realization that religious liberty is not dependent on supporting laws, it’s dependent on knowing that you’re free in Christ and you’re under obligation to present the truth and stand for the truth.