RIO LINDA SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST Church

Pastor: Michael Kontes

           



As a Christian church, the Seventh-day Adventist church is a community of faith rooted in the beliefs described by the Holy Scriptures. Adventists describe these beliefs in the following ways:

God's greatest desire is for you to see, understand and assimilate in your own character a clear picture of His character. When you see Him clearly, you will find His love irresistible. When you know Him, you love Him. The more you know Him, the more you love Him.

The more clearly we understand Him, the more we will find His love irresistible. As we begin to experience His love, our own lives will begin to make more sense.

God most clearly reveals His character in three great events:

The first is His creation of man and woman--and giving them the freedom of choice. He created humans with the ability to choose to love and obey Him or to hate and disobey Him!

The death of Jesus Christ, who is God the Father's only Son and God Himself, on the cross as our substitute is the second great event. In that act He paid the penalty we deserve for our hateful choices toward God and His ways. When we ask God forgiveness for those choices, Jesus' death guarantees it.

The third event confirms the first two and fills every heart with hope: Christ's tomb is empty! He is alive, living to fill us with His love and guarantees that we will spend eternity with Him!

Our knowledge of God helps us understand His love, character, and grace. Experiencing that love begins a lifelong adventure in growth and service. This knowledge and experience powers our mission to tell the world about His love and His offer of salvation.

Scripture is a road map. The Bible is God's voice, speaking His love personally to you today.

The Bible tells the Creator's directions to us, like a detailed road map that clearly shows the exit ramp directly into heaven. It is also much like an owner's manual for a life ready to be lived on the cutting edge of liberty.

Sometimes His voice speaks through stories, such as those of David and Goliath, Ruth and Boaz, Naaman's little servant girl, Christ on the cross, and fisherman Peter. Some of these stories teach us how to handle the troubles we face each day. Others fill us with hope and peace. Each of them is like a personal letter from God to you.

Portions of Scripture are direct instructions and laws from God such as the Ten Commandments, recorded in Exodus 20. These tell us more about God's character and the Moral life He gives us the power to live. Jesus summarized these commands by "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul," and "love your neighbor as yourself", "on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (Mt 22:40 NKJV).

On other pages the Bible gives God's practical advice and encouragement through parables, lists, promises, and warnings. Amazingly, though many different writers throughout thousands of years wrote the Bible, each page describes the same God in ways we can understand and apply in our lives today. This book is always His voice talking personally to anyone who is willing to read and hear.

God loves us even when we choose to reject His love. In those times He allows us to walk away into the life of our own choices. Yet He is still there, always ready to redeem us from the results of our decisions.

Jesus is God and therefore He never changes. Everything in this world is always changing, even our desires, interests, skills, and body shapes. But Jesus? He's consistent. He's always the same. Sure, He's always surprising us and touching our lives in thousands of new and different ways, but His character is unchanging. He's God's Son, the Creator, our Savior, and Friend.

Jesus is one of the three persons who make up the Godhead. The Bible describes Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit as each being committed to our growth as Christians and to our salvation as their children. They made this salvation possible when Jesus came to Bethlehem as a baby in our human flesh. He left aside His divine powers and lived a life like anyone of us, in our human strength. Yet, He lived perfectly in accord with God's will and He was killed by our sins. He was placed in a borrowed tomb, but He came back to life three days later. Now He is in heaven interceding with the Father for us.

When everything may be falling apart, when you feel totally alone in the universe, the only divine representative of Jesus on earth, the Holy Spirit is at your side, offering personal peace and hope. Allow Him into your life. He immediately begins "remodeling" who you are and how you live. Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, is, in fact, busily transforming His followers into accurate representatives of God's character.

Meditate upon Jesus, and you'll be looking into the understanding and loving face of God.

God's vision for you is life as He lives it! God loves you, and wants to give you the highest quality of life imaginable.

No, not a second-rate existence somewhere on earth, but the highest quality of life imaginable, here and in eternity with Him! That's what God wants us to have. The best!

This is why He provides church families where we can belong. This is why He gives each of us special gifts and talents, so we can live life fully. Amazingly, this is why He's concerned about what you're doing and how you relate to Him. God doesn't want anything to get in the way of our friendship. He especially doesn't want us to get involved in anything damaging or hurtful. He's like a loving father or a good big brother. He's someone who loves you so much that He's always looking out for you.

When God designed you, He included special talents and skills that will help you become a uniquely valuable individual. These may be your ability to teach, your love for others, or your leadership skills. Still, whatever special gifts you have received, God has also provided all of the energy and wisdom necessary for you to use them well.

For followers of Christ, death holds no fear. Remember, Jesus defeated death on Calvary and has given us freedom from death. Cemeteries, then, are filled with followers of God who are in the "peaceful pause before the resurrection." Yes, they are dead, but that death holds no power over their future. Jesus is coming to take them (and those of us who are still living) HOME! Death is almost like a wintery promise of spring.

Life is "overflowing" with hope!

Because love is the key aspect of His character, God is also deeply into gratitude. Before we even finish saying thank you, He's already busy sending more blessings.

In the heart of God is a place you can experience as home. God loves you, and wants to spend time with you personally, one on one, as two close friends.

Because you and God are friends, you will spend time together as friends do. Each morning you'll share and discuss how you can face the day's events together. Throughout the day you'll talk with Him about how you feel. You'll laugh with Him at funny things and ache with Him over sadness and hurts. It's pleasant being God's friend, able to rest comfortably into the safety of your relationship. You can always trust Him to treat you well, because He loves you. He most desires that you rest in His arms.

The Lord's Day, the seventh day (Saturday) is a token of this rest. The Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, describes the seventh day as the one day God has set aside for focused fellowship with His people. The Lord has named His day "Sabbath" (Hebrew word for 'rest') and desires us to spend it with Him. "Remember the Sabbath day," He says, "to keep it holy." The Sabbath is a whole day to deepen our friendship with the Creator of the universe! A day when we're together, perfect symbol of our rest in Jesus.

There's another great truth about friendship with God. It doesn't end in a cemetery, for God is planning a homecoming better than anything we can dream. A homecoming filled with angels, trumpets, Jesus, and resurrections! He's promised to bring His followers, those who have accepted the offer of His life-changing love, to where God is, a place He calls heaven. A place where our friendship can go on growing forever, endlessly, joyfully!

God's love is about you. Personally. He made you and has a very special plan for your life. It's a plan that will fill you with hope, love, peace, and activity. In fact, when Christ paid the penalty for sin on the cross, that gave Him the right to claim you as His own. As a result, you can experience His love and priceless salvation freely and fully without limit. You do belong to Him!

Pictures of everyone fill God's photo album: Nepalese, Brazilians, Nigerians, Yupiks, Germans, people of every nation, culture, background, gender, hair color, and foot size.

Salvation? God cleans away all our sins and replaces them with His goodness. We don't have to be "good" for Him to accept us. Nevertheless, we must accept His promise and allow Him to clean out everything the enemy has left in us. Then we begin to experience the transforming power of His love. It's a giant war: one side pulling us toward empty pleasures and destruction, and God urging us to accept His offer of peace and purpose.

Remember, Jesus has already won the war. He is victorious! We celebrate His victory in our lives when we participate in the Lord's Supper. This meal includes three symbols:

    * Foot washing (which symbolizes our commitment to love others as Jesus loves us),
    * unleavened bread ("This bread is my flesh," Jesus said, "which I will give for the life of the world," John 6:51, NIV), and
    * grape juice ("Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life." John 6:54, NIV)

To help us understand how God can transform us into His children, Jesus modeled the process of baptism for us. Baptism symbolizes dying to self and coming alive in Jesus. The Bible teaches full immersion baptism (of fully willing and understanding people) because by being fully buried beneath the water we symbolize that God's grace fully fills us with His new life for the future. Through baptism we are truly born again in Jesus.

Eternal life, peace, purpose, forgiveness, transforming grace, hope: Everything He promises is ours, because He's offering it and He's shown we can trust Him to do exactly as He promises. Accept His gifts, and you immediately become an active part of His family, and He joyfully becomes part of yours.













Download 3d STL files