President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Ted N.C. Wilson talks about the greatest reunion of all–the Second Coming of Jesus.
Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of a message, posted to YouTube on September 23, 2021, from President of the Adventist Church, Ted N.C. Wilson. You can see past messages here
Have you ever been to a reunion–perhaps a family reunion, or a class reunion, or a church reunion? Reunions are great times to remember, to get reacquainted with friends and loved ones, and to get acquainted with others.
While reunions here on Earth can be wonderful, let’s talk about another type of reunion that can prepare us for that greatest of all reunions–when Jesus comes to take us home!
After creating Adam and Eve, God created, blessed, and hallowed a weekly reunion with Him on the seventh day, the holy Sabbath day that would remind Adam and Eve and all of us of His love, creative power, and authority over the universe and our lives. Genesis 2:2 says, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” In addition, He visited Adam and Eve every day in the cool of the evening for daily reunions.
We’re not sure how long this idyllic setting continued but those daily and weekly reunions were so important. However, the devil tempted Adam and Eve to disbelieve God and doubt His incredible love and best intentions for them and for all of us.
Because of that fall and the entrance of sin into this world, we have been in a great controversy between Christ and Satan ever since……but God’s great love for us made a way of escape.
This amazing love of God is identified by the first angel of Revelation 14:6 saying, “I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel.” There is nothing more precious than the everlasting gospel which is the plan of salvation by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus, the Son of God, volunteered to come to this Earth to save us. He was the first one to say, I WILL GO.
Jesus paid the price and satisfied the law because He lived a perfect life. He died and rose for us and is interceding right now as our High Priest in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.
But not only is He ministering for us in heaven now–He also longs for a personal, daily reunion with each one of us. It is vital that we have a daily connection with God through Bible study and prayer to make sense out of the strange things happening in the world today. We need to understand where we’ve come from, why we’re here, and where we’re going. We need to be revived and reformed every day through this reunion with Him.
You know, there are many reunions mentioned in the Bible. However, one touching reunion recounted by Jesus is of special significance to all of us—-the well-known story of the Prodigal Son.
In Luke 15:11-14, we read, “……A certain man had two sons, and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.”
The story goes on to say that he found a job feeding pigs. It was about the last job a Jew would want but he had no choice if he wanted to live. In fact, he got so hungry he joined the pigs in eating their food. How low could he get? Sometimes it takes a big challenge to really understand where you are in life.
Verse 17 says, “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” He put together a plan to return home and tell his father that he was not worthy to be his son but at least to make him one of his servants.
Then comes verse 20 and that fantastic reunion! “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion……”
His father never gave up looking for him…..he would scan the road every day to see if his precious son was coming back. God is always checking the highway to see if we are coming to His daily and weekly reunion. God never gives up on us.
Verse 20 ends with the touching scene……..the father “ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” The exciting reunion took place and the father was ready! Our heavenly Father is always ready for a reunion with His children. The son confessed that he was not worthy to be called the father’s son, but the father didn’t even hear him. He ordered his servants to bring the best robe, a ring of authority for his hand, and sandals for his feet. We need the robe of Christ’s righteousness every day—His righteousness is the very core of the three angels’ messages. We need Christ to put us in a right relationship with heaven as we depend completely on Him.
Christ speaks to us today in Revelation 3:17-20 telling us, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—-and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door. I will come in to him and dine with God never forces His way in….He just watches, invites, and waits for us to come to the reunion. He knocks on our heart to ask for the reunion but never forces Himself on us…..He is a God of tender love.
Luke 15 goes on to say that the father of the prodigal son initiated a huge banquet and party for his returned son. It was the grandest of reunions……..the father was constantly ready for that wonderful day. It represents our heavenly Father and His great plan of salvation—–always ready to welcome a son or daughter back home!
In the book, Christ’s Object Lessons, we read: “Do not listen to the enemy’s suggestions to stay away from Christ until you have made yourself better……If you wait until then, you will never come……Arise and go to your Father. He will meet you a great way off. If you take even one step toward Him in repentance, He will hasten to enfold you in His arms of infinite love……Never a prayer is offered, however faltering, never a tear is shed, however secret, never a sincere desire after God is cherished, however feeble, but the Spirit of God goes forth to meet it” (pages 205-206).
Friends, the greatest reunion is just ahead……..the second coming of Christ. I believe with all my heart that Jesus is coming soon!
Are you ready? Have you opened the door of your heart and allowed Jesus to come in? If not, I invite you to do so right now. Then, ask Him to use you to reach others. The world is in desperate need of Christ’s love and changing power. God is counting on you to be a great witness, pointing people to the ultimate reunion when Jesus returns to take us home to heaven. Are you willing to go and invite others to this most wonderful reunion of all? If so, why not tell Him so just now.
Let’s pray together. Father, thank you for creating, along with the Son and the Holy Spirit, the plan of salvation, the everlasting gospel, the opportunity that each of us can be saved through the grace, and merits, and blood of Jesus Christ. And now, Lord as we contemplate the future and how things are happening so rapidly, we look at the opportunity of witnessing for you as we are in connection with you. And we look to the opportunity of coming to meet with you every day, in Bible study and prayer. every week as we worship you on the holy seventh day of the week, the Sabbath day. Lord bless in these reunions. And from each of these reunions help us to take strength and courage, and a fortitude for proclaiming your wonderful messages of love, and the three angels messages, with that wonderful righteousness of Christ at the core of these messages. Thank you now for hearing us, and bless each one as they come to the foot of the cross, excepting you, and going from that foot of the cross to tell others of your soon coming. In Jesus name we ask it, amen.