Ready or not. . .yet perfect

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By Pastor Jim Coffin

Seventh-day Adventists believe strongly in the soon return of Jesus. So strongly, in fact, that our denomination’s founders put the second-advent doctrine into the very name of our denomination. That’s why we call ourselves "Adventists."

But, as a whole, Seventh-day Adventists—especially the young—don’t look forward with eager anticipation to the second advent. And I would suggest that a major reason is that we don’t feel "ready."

Adventists talk a lot about "being ready" and "getting ready" for the coming of Jesus. But what does readiness entail?

Does it mean being perfect? Not if I understand my Bible correctly. We read in 1 John 1:8 (NIV): "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

Those are strong words—"deceive ourselves"…"the truth is not in us." And the text says nothing about any future point when those words won’t apply. It doesn’t say, "But before Jesus comes there’s going to be a group of people who will have it together so totally that they’ll be able to say they’re without sin."

Just in case the foregoing words aren’t strong enough, however, God, through the writer John, repeats and rephrases the statement a couple of verses later (1 John 1:10 NIV): "If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."

Some might argue that John is here talking about claiming to have never, ever, ever sinned—but that it wouldn’t be inappropriate to claim that we haven’t sinned in, let’s say, the past twenty-four hours or the past two years. That would be acceptable. The problem comes only if we claim to have been perfect from square one.Read the whole article over at the main Spectrum site.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at