I had determined to remain silent in this forum indefinitely, but this topic is of such importance to me that I now want to speak.
Now that I’m in my 70s, my observation has become that we Adventists have been mistaken in trying to have a specific, firm answer for everything. We seem to have trouble with “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man…” Have we lost value of faith without certainty?
By this point in my life I’ve become frustrated when I hear Adventists saying “SOON”, because if Christ’s coming were going to be soon, I would not be here — Christ would have returned!
My direct ancestors were among the earliest Adventists 170+ years ago. In fact, they were the first Sabbath keepers in America. They all taught and believed “soon and very soon”. I remember my g-grandparents, my grandparents, and my parents believing and teaching this. Yet I have laid them all to rest now. Christ did not come “soon” from their perspective.
Years ago my wonderful pastor taught in a sermon that we should not love and serve God because of WHEN Christ will return! We should love and serve Him regardless. This has saved my faith. I don’t expect the second coming in the 20 or so years I have left. I don’t know how or when I’ll be reunited with my beloved parents. Yet I will still believe!
I love this poem:
Why, then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
Should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning heav’n,
Or of escaping hell;
Not with the hope of gaining aught,
Not seeking a reward;
But as Thyself hast loved me,
O ever-loving Lord!
(17th C Latin, translated)