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Planet In Distress, Part 2: When Did We Stop Watching?

Scott Christiansen

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Scott Christiansen

Director of Trust Services and Director of Stewardship, Northern New England Conference

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Recorded

  • July 13, 2013
    10:00 AM
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pleasure to be here in the Sabbath school is bright sharp and mostly young minds pleasure to be back in Loma Linda I left her thirty years ago for New Mexico and then on to Mongolia for five years China several years then back to Maine which is home now is a pleasure to come here and I'm just astonished at the number of people that I see after a moment I recognize it turns out that while I was growing older that is thirty on May twenty five years ago I left but anyway while I was going over old or over the last twenty five years turns out everyone else was as well subjects it takes a moment on I call you find all you allow its fun like I want to start with you this morning about watching I want to talk to sleep while watching for signs of the end I want to talk to this morning about what Christ told us to do a lot of talking this morning about signs that we have missed and what that means but I want to start this morning by telling you talking to you about my great-grandmother my great-grandmother was only about this high and she got shorter and shorter and shorter she got older and older bent over but she was a force of nature she had a hard upbringing hard upbringing course upbringing she was not a Christian by any stretch of the imagination until she converted Adventism in her mid- twenties as a matter of fact as always you irritated great grandma and there were four of us grandkids we call her Little grandma anyway she had a daughter who was much taller and grandmas would come and visit us with the simplicity of juvenile conceptual frameworks we would call them to grandma little grandma but if you irritated little grandma a sufficiently and it didn't take much she could turn the air blue she couldn't let you know that she had hard and then she would apologize sincerely she had golden heart she love Jesus now when we were younger living in Loma Linda SSA for boys for rambunctious boys and we always knew when the grandmas were going to come and visit because there were certain preparations that would make we were living on low spirits you know where that is on the other side in Mountain View anyway we would know when the grandmas were going to come and visit because the big red leather chair would be a hall of my father 's study and it would be placed by the fireplace the fireplace for all the rest of the time was dead as it should be doable in the honey prevent out loud why do they put fireplaces and houses in Southern California I live in Maine now we only heat with wood we burn eight cords of wood were pretty serious about it Carl Duane by single line one fireplace what's up with that but anyway so grandma was coming as she liked the house to be oppressively warm and and we would get a cord of dry eucalyptus needs serious fire with so we did in the cord of firewood we did nothing read of red leather chair put right by the fireplace we get a little table and put by the red literature we would get a small stand and a black-and-white TV which for some reason she referred to him as he and she was all set up the fire have to be going a little grandma got there so the house on the weekends we just couldn't stand in the house the house was so warm and always come during the liturgy come down from Washington but the winters of course warm enough without the fire so anyway how come and she would settle into that chair and as she got older holder she lost more more hair she got smaller she said Linda shares she look for all the world and no and she sits there doing her selling her knitting watching her TV drinking her coffee she was a coffee addicts and she would dispense wisdom from that chair whether you wanted it or not she would hold court and there were many times when I was innocently walking past the chair and she grabbed me and give me a piece of advice one piece of advice I got often I don't know why but one piece of advice that I got often she grabbed a huge age Scotty you'll need to marry a pretty hard-working girl well okay check grandma I actually did that and she was absolutely right I actually appreciated by so I had pretty much pick up on that clue what my own there were other pieces pieces of advice that it were led a bit more difficult my grandmother her health began to decline of course as everyone stars eventually so she would come down with her medicines she would come down with everything she needed to stay at our place for like two months two months anyway as you say she brings stuff and she is this is what this medicine that she call green under and I don't know what was in them to even imagine and I had no idea I remember some of you back in the day when you used to go to the pharmacy you would get your medicine in a eager plastic or glass brown or clear model right slap a label on our time sixties and seventies are back in the day I had no idea that those came in the two liter size Army of me it assumes you know but she had out there and she get this coughing fit and should have a green thunder and should have I'm almost tempted to say a tumbler but you have a glass there is e.g. gone gone gone finally with great reluctance she translated region were banking on that huge bottle she poured out and she in one go and you don't move and then would come the advice and she was a Scottish ever grow old as this will there is graying beard you know some advice you can take some you like to take that advice I really would but I can't there was another time or other times when she gave me advice more frequently than any other she gave me advice she would grab me as I was walking by and she would make it cheap lonely down so she could look me in the end she would say starting one for Jesus because you will see we will see him my grandmother was a very sincere my great-grandmother was a very sincere convert Adventism whatever she did she get with her heart she absolutely believe she will see Christ's coming see how absolutely watch for Christ she washed the signs ultimately she was wrong she went to arrest in nineteen ninety seven at the age of ninety nine my grandmother 's big grandma my grandmother converted to Adventism along with my great-grandmother though my grandmother at the time was ten the two were just sixteen years apart part of my grandmother 's great-grandmother 's heart upbringing but my grandmother also believe that she would see Christ but perhaps as a function of personality perhaps as a function of upbringing perhaps as a function of her taking in the culture in which she lived what she believed she believed in the dryer fashion a more intellectual fashion a more call caller passionless almost passionless fashion she believed Chrysler yes she believed that she would see him she ultimately was wrong she was laid to her rest in a few years ago at eighty nine years of age my father who works two days a week over the dental school Doctor Christiansen and Christiansen if anyone knows him is convinced still that he will see Jesus come but he thinks that Jesus better hurry up because it's seventy six he doesn't have that much longer now my hello my grandmother my grandmother my father all believe that they will see Jesus come believe they would see Jesus come on the basis of seeing more sin in mankind seen the world become coarser and rougher and brutal and basically saying how much more and the world take how much longer can this go on now I do believe that I will see Jesus come in my lifetime ultimately I may be wrong but I believe that I will see Jesus come in my lifetime but I have a completely different set of metrics yes I believe that one of the indications of Christ's coming that we see is the waxing of sinfulness in this world 's primary indicator I while we've seen that the six hour we haven't seen it but it's been going on for six thousand years I accept that metric but I'm also looking at other metrics that we have not looked at now last night some of you are able to come out to the front and distress seminar that held last night the first half had another son of the second half this afternoon Oracle will recover but we talked about the tremendous and accelerating decay of our natural systems that God created we talked for ninety I talked for ninety minutes I don't really want to do that this morning but I can just give you just a taste of what we were talking about we're talking about systems that underpin the function of the world that were created in perfection are atmospheric system our climate system our food production system otherwise known as soil and its subsystems this related relation to the other systems our freshwater system are oceanic system and we talked about how every one of these systems is in dramatic and accelerating decline that we can actually observe the decline of the physical earth is happening fast enough that we can observe in the course of our lifetimes and it has been observed all over the world and the case of the ocean the best measured system the one with each with which man has the most intimate relationship the oceans are in staggering decline commercial fish species will essentially disappear within the next twenty five years is what the best science says one alien people rely on the ocean as their primary source of we were looking at all these systems in great detail some some of them in great detail last night and the important thing about these systems is that our global complex society which will be talking about accepting our global complex society is built foursquare on these systems as we see the effect of sin this is not an environmental thing by the way my environmentalists yes in the sense that I love the earth that God created and can hardly wait to see it created a new works even better than my environmentalist in the sense that we need Xavier no you can think that's good you think that's bad but you know not even God will save your he will destroy and re-create only people can be saved from this so here's the thing society is built foursquare on these systems that are classy and we can see right now significant stresses in society that are a result of our rapidly declining global systems inspect the global systems that are in accelerating decline of the new couple examples Syria this trouble in Syria right well-designed renowned people that are dead in the last couple years I don't know what counts as trouble huge trouble you've heard about by this prompted me to write problems in the Middle East generally right Yemen Tunisia Libya have you ever hurt you heard of Arab Spring your well-educated adults you watched some media I trust you heard of air spring what we don't generally understand but what is very well studied in science and an number of articles written on is that they are spraying was not triggered by some spontaneous mass desire for democracy we like to believe that okay no but that's not what it yes these people were living under despotic governments yes they were having miserable lives yes they were pressed yes they wanted better but it had been that way for generations so why all the sudden was there this great dramatic Arab Spring which is ended up costing well over a hundred thousand lives when you count Libya and elsewhere anywhere in Egypt it's far from settled what it is well the best two thousand six starting in two thousand six there was a historic drought settled on the Middle East and zero was serial and this drought is the worst in recorded history of the Fertile Crescent and that's an awful lot of recorded history and what happened starting two thousand sixty six crops failed not just alluded a failed dramatically the drought was punishing horrible for people relatively poor people who had small amounts of agriculture going on and who had hers that they graze around they were raising hey they graze fees where they could these people lost everything across sale there was nothing to eat for the hers so they had either slaughter them for trying David and through to the next year to the next year was the same thing across absolutely failed what was left of the herds were dying off as a result of that people who had nothing to begin with now had absolutely nothing do we sell little bit of furniture that we have Tobias C to plant a crop but the third-year processing in the fourth year was the same the price of food absolutely shot up the price of food in the starting in two thousand and seven June two thousand and eleven shot up seventy percent and you didn't even notice that was not just the Middle East from eleven thousand global phenomenon in the Middle East was closer to hundred percent because of weeks local shortages a foot Christlike that you didn't even notice because when you buy your box of corn flakes and pay four dollars for in the box of corn flakes is a handbook on a handful of sugar is about to get and the court is devoid of nutrients by the way and there's none in the sugar but that's about twenty cents worth of food you're paying four dollars for all sorts of other things luxury housing for twenty Tiger marketing transportation all this stuff oh but for the three five billion people on the face of the earth who are making two dollars and fifty cents a day or less sometimes much much less when this little bit of food that is all I can buy every day was up seventy percent or higher percent this is only got and they become very very very unhappy this was not just a Middle Eastern phenomenon is a global phenomenon as it is still reverberating around the globe the White House when you get a clue price spike and you are miserable in the first place is a you just don't take it anymore where there were despotic governments not just the Middle East where there were situations that were incredibly difficult people rose up arise the rebellions there were governments overthrown was death in Syria this is what triggered the rebellion Syria people got to the point where they just couldn't take it and they started openly stated in the streets and for their trouble they were shot and things unraveled from their what we see our climate shifts which are among just one of those systems of the many of the several systems that are in steep and accelerating decline we see climate shifts that affect the systems on which our societies are built and from that we see conflict in society we see increases in disease especially wears water shortages we see pestilence we see Matthew twenty four sixty when the rebuttals Matthew twenty four six soon they don't know what I'm trying to let I think I can just repeated and ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars see that you are not troubled for all these things must come to pass but the end is not yet for nation will rise against nation kingdom against kingdom there will be famines pestilences and earthquakes in various places all these are the beginning of sorrows this afternoon for clock one of the things we'll do is really unpacked that person but here's the thing Sarah affects the actual physical birth when man's sin and his dominion over the earth has to his conqueror Satan when Satan came between the creator and creation the result of sin was that the man to animals to the earth itself to these systems that were created in perfection you cannot separate creation from creator and expected to go up and the society that we have a wonderful and I really admire this this new Centennial complex disease this is the limit we have is air-conditioned those of you who who who drove their air-conditioned cars I foolishly walked into heavy wool suit it was anyway that's forgot what it was like to live in California I don't know for those of you who want to know when and we go to the market we got all this food we live in a wealthy society we have in essence insulated ourselves from God and we also insulate ourselves from his creation were in here gods out there majors out there and we just like it that way as a society not necessarily a sister address assignments community but as a global society if God is anywhere we want them there one way so how is our society again rest four square on the systems that were created in the systems that are dying and that is pushing the fulfillment of prophecy now we are at the point where we can see on a global basis where the stresses we know where otherwise lacking me know how fast it's going away we know what shoppers are being pumped dry we know where the agriculture is failing we know where there are climate refugees we know where there are flashpoints we can not only chart and graph the fulfillment of prophecy in real time but we can predict it's coming now what with the people of my great grandmother 's generation savings and is so sincere and Dennis if they were living now and they saw prophecy being fulfilled signs that we are not even awake to not only them one of the founders of the administered people who some of them who honestly and sincerely stood in their cornfields and potato fields in October of eighteen forty four and waited and watched for Christ and were disappointed in some sense as my great-grandmother and grandmother were disappointed but they were disappointed and lived through it and eventually regrouped and realize their mistakes only layout of the Adventist church age is not founded on dry theology they found it on passion that Christ was coming so they sounded on the belief that they would see him they were wrong but here's the thing brothers and sisters couple things from generation to generation to generation we seem to have done some exact same things of the nation of Israel did something that same things we criticized them for we seem to have gone from conviction to tradition we seem to have gone from a church that was on fire that dedicated it's time that dedicated its resources that wasn't willing to knock on a door and be in Paris were gone something almost no one of this generation is willing to do Christ told us to watch let's take a look at Mark thirteen under read from thirty two thirty seven and I want you to count with me the number of times in this particular verse that we are told the watch but of that day in our all right away if you system one yeah if you are in Jonathan 's class to my dismay he read this turns out a scope so you can sleep through this part may be minimally be doing for minutes as a short nap anyway I know this wasn't what he read he read Matthew twenty four apologize out anyway for a fight but of that day and hour no one knows not even the angels in heaven nor the son but only the father taking watch and pray for you do not know when the time is it is like a man going to a far country who left his house and gave authority to his servants was the management of our country and it was a service pack like a man which of our country left his house and gave authority to his servants and to each his work and commanded the do watch watch therefore for you do not know when the master of the house is coming in the evening at midnight at the crowing of the rooster or in the morning lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping and what I say to you I say to all watch diary that last verse correctly this is a trick question not answered if you have a new King James version as I do you will notice that the team of translators who put this translation together and who were figuring things out decided that there was in after the final watch the language and context requires that was their decision and what I say to you I say to all why now to understand the importance of that you have to compare it to the other things this team of translators did if you have time sometime on Saturday and especially to have a red letter edition which makes it really easy go through marketability Matthew even better in the new King James version and see where they decided to put so when Christ was talking and yes this is Christ speaking in Mark thirteen two notices that Christ frequently spoke with when he was speaking of parable and when he was in your person when he's speaking for one of the characters as his character is like a new enemy the story 's characters action no his characters didn't stop as I got his next mission point that Christ also is quoted using at least talking to scribes and Pharisees all of you what is all person on your road of vipers and I can argue with the use of exclamation points there absolutely belongs I see Christ shouting those things but how often Wednesday plainly and when speaking on emotionally and when talking to his disciples and giving a direct command which if it were a direct command of his disciples is a direct connect us how often does Christ use risk rates quoted using an explanation going will this is an exceptional verse we are told to watch why well one reason is because we become like what we watch if we're watching the world know is the close right machines cost issues are I I I I live on a farm in Maine as an excuse I have been assigned an excuse if you are watching the world my car my job my career my status heavily significantly among here edition mentioned that I walked here but we were if you're watching the world the entertainments of the world the distractions of the world the metrics of the world where we measure ourselves in comparison to others it were watching the metrics of the world we will become more and more and more like the world and we will grow colder and colder to Christ and that's an easy thing to do in the Christian Adventist society comfortable Christian and society in the world today but if time is really short can we afford to do that and the other thing is for watching the world we can't even see the signs of Christ's coming over not wanting to one of the functions of watching for Christ is that you see things other people 's only hallucinating what you're looking for them you're watching you are analyzing and therefore you are seen things which the world will not perceive we see if this is generation can actually see the fulfillment of prophecy in real-time if we see things our ancestors as they could be alive to see if we are living in this tremendous age of terrible responsibility do we have a sense of urgency that matches a day in which we live or are we asleep go back to Matthew twenty four the context of Matthew twenty four is that Christ's disciples had come to him after Christ had earlier said the terrible things would happen they come to him privately in the semester LSU was about the same reason he got us an arrival here in hotels about this in Christ does he lays out logically in great detail in significant detail what will happen in the last days he and typical of prophecy he laid out what would happen in a relatively short term to Jerusalem but also what our experience would be in the last days has a dual application and Matthew twenty four is a chapter that is worth reading and entirety guys don't take it with a grain of salt if it's something is worth reading every month to keep us focused we just get in there and say these are grace words telling us to watch and telling us what to watch for if you go into later in the chapter in Matthew twenty four verse forty two ago to verse forty two you notice that we just read that over and Mark Silva yes this is the exact same stuff but it's better and more both disciples were recounting what Christ said but we get more detail in marks and we read it from there but it was important enough that both disciples recorded it now long ago to Matthew twenty five or Jonathan was Jason times when his Sabbath school class and you know what they were chapters and verses put into the Bible they were put in going to their best judgment but the Bible is start out that way they were added later and so were looking at this and it's important it's not that the we got a new chapter and there's certainly a new seeing someplace else a new scene in a movie but that the action has been moved that is unrelated to what has gone before what happened between chapter twenty four and chapter twenty five is the Christ of the breath this is all one thought this is all one saying that he is trying to tell his disciples what will happen in the end days first part of chapter twenty five goes with Chapter twenty four celebs reading chapter twenty five then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins all while a story this is preached a lot who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom no part of the more wise and five of them were foolish those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them with oil was very good class I get A's but the wise took oh well in the event in their vessels with their lamps and while the bridegroom was a bridegroom they go right for Ms. Jesus while the bridegroom was delayed as sisters we are in the tarrying time through mercy I will discuss a little bit this afternoon through mercy God is waiting until the very last second to save the maximum number of sold where in the carrying time but there's a limit that carrying time will end prophecy will be fulfilled but while the bridegroom was delayed they all slumbered and slept how we slumber are we led an army lives in church obviously is that right person it would happen that's actually cold comfort and at midnight a cry was heard behold the bridegroom is coming out to meet him this so much sugarbeet preacher by the resist the temptation given the time and then go through to my point then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps excusing and the foolish said to the wise and resort up in a corner so the wise give us some of your oil for lamps are going out but the wise answered saying no lest there should not be enough for us and you but go rather to those who sell and buy for yourselves and while they went to buy the bridegroom came and those were ready went in to meet him again with him to the wedding and the door was shut afterward the other virgins came also saying Lord Lord opened us to be answered and said assuredly I say to you I do not know you watch their for verse thirteen for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming this is all I thought all of chapter twenty four hours China's what will happen I also know why she went down why should we go watch right now there are fifteen countries in which the prophecies and after twenty four six three and then fully fulfilled and more countries are being added to that list eighty Syria Egypt think we can put in that category I'll be talking about those fifteen countries this afternoon we are seeing prophecy fulfilled are we watching on even awake Ellen White has something to say on this great controversy eighty eight edition page three seventy though no man knows the day nor the hour of his coming we are instructed and required to know when it is near we are further taught that the disregard his warning and refuse or neglect to know when his adventures near will be as fatal to us as it was for those who lived in the days of Noah not to know when the flood is coming are we comfortable are we watching the world are we content with tradition how we given up on pursuing conviction and passion are we tied it up to the world that we don't want to be on fire for Christ because my goodness that would be embarrassing to be talking to other people about Jesus all the time I've seen that's like that I don't be one of those those who deny Christ will be denied by Christ's brothers and sisters we're seeing in real time while the founders of this church what would it have their hair on fire when talking about it more this afternoon will be talking about whether or not our sense of urgency measures moment and what we should run in a number of this media was brought audio nurse a website dedicated to spreading God 's word through free sermon audio and much more I really would like to know more about our universe this is more so than in 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