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Dwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
• #1—Persecution is the expected modus operandi of the devil (“evil”
with a “d”) in his “great controversy” warfare to the divine allies and exiles on earth.
• 2 Timothy 3:12—“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be .”
• #2—Trials and tribulations character and dependency
• John 16:33—“‘I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have . But take heart! I have the world.’”
• 1 Peter 4:12-13—“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to you [as gold purified in the fire—1:6-7], as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
• #3—Persecution keeps the line of demarcation between the exiles and the culture of the captor .
• Walter Brueggemann: “The great problem for exiles is cultural . The primary threat to those ancient Jews was that members of the community would decide that Jewishness was too demanding, or too dangerous, or too costly, and simply accept Babylonian definitions and modes of reality.” (Cadences of Home: Preaching among Exiles 41)
• Lee Beach: “While integration with culture is necessary, to it in all aspects is not.” (The Church in Exile: Living in Hope After Christendom 89)
• #4—Persecution actually the Kingdom of God on earth!
• Esther 8:17—“And many people of other nationalities became because fear of the Jews had seized them.”
• Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream—the king at Daniel’s feet in obeisance to Daniel’s God (Daniel 2:46).
• Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and Nebuchadnezzar’s image—the king their God above all other gods (Daniel 3:29).
• Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar after his insanity—“I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and the King of heaven, because everything he does is right” (Daniel 4:37).
• Daniel and Darius the Great—“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of .” (Daniel 6:26)
• Tertullian: “The blood of Christians is .”
• Frederick Dale Bruner: “In Matthean and biblical teaching the tribulation of the latter days is a Christian experience and ‘runs from the first advent to the second.’ We’re in it! . . . The tribulation of persecution is the essence of Christian . . . . A winnowed, persecuted, purged, minority church—paradoxically,
(Matthew: A Commentary 2:483-484, 292)
• Acts 8:1, 4—“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were throughout Judea and Samaria. . . . Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”
• Ellen White: “The two armies [faith communities] will stand distinct and separate, and this distinction will be so marked that many who shall be convinced of truth will come on the side of God’s commandment-keeping people. When this grand work is to take place in the battle, . . . many will be imprisoned, many will flee for their lives from cities and towns, and many will be for Christ’s sake in standing in defense of the truth.” (Maranatha 199)
• Jesus: “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute also.”
• Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and .” (Cost of Discipleship 99)
• Frederick Dale Brunner: “Though the church is winnowed down, betrayed, arrested, and martyred, nevertheless, like the betrayed, arrested, and executed Jesus himself, it experiences resurrection after crucifixion. The slaughtered lamb becomes a lion!” (492)
If persecution grows the Kingdom—
Family Scavenger Hunt
Sign Up for the First Pioneer Scavenger Hunt Today!
Don't miss the first-ever Pioneer Family-Drive Scavenger Hunt, with fun for all church families with 4-12-year-old children, on Sabbath afternoon, February 6. Drive or walk the 2.5-mile route, starting at the PMC parking lot. Sign up by texting SCAVENGE to 269-281-2345 to get your family start time. Invite friends to this distanced, safe, adventure including activities and gifts for all kids!
Listening to Adventist Pioneer stories and learning Sabbath School memory verses is a tip to acing the clues.
Pioneer Women’s Ministries engages women in Christ-centered discipleship, fellowship and service to glorify God through prayerfully planned activities and events. We are inviting you to participate in a survey that will help plan these activities and events this year. We would be delighted to hear from you either by completing the online survey or by phone by calling Lyn McCarty at 269-208-3377.
Your Year-end Contribution Statements are on their way! Contribution Statements are being delivered conveniently via email. Please note your statements will be received from firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not see it in your main inbox, please check your spam folder. If we do not have a email on file for you, your statement will be delivered via USPS mail.
Military Service Connection
"Military life can be a lonely life away from family on deployment," notes James North, Pioneer's Servicepersons Coordinator. "Military families may have a difficult time in a foreign country even though they are together," he continues. "I spent 358 days (I marked each day on a self-created calendar) in Viet Nam away from my wife and 3 toddler daughters. My access to some of the following material was vital."
SDA military persons may receive complimentary subscriptions to Adventist Review, the Adult Bible Study Guide (Sabbath School), and For God and Country and the choice of 2 journals from Guide, Liberty, Message, Our Little Friend, Primary Treasure, Signs of the Times, and Vibrant Life.
A 2021 order form and instructions are found on page 28 of the current issue of For God and Country and I will post a copy of the form in next week's bulletin. If you have military Adventist family members we invite you to send this information to them.