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God's medicines (July 21)

Name some of the medicines or treatments for us one might find in God’s first aid bag.

Who Are Adventists?

So who are Seventh-day Adventists anyway? Are they some freakish cult? Do they eat only fruits and veggies? Do they have something to do with the Jewish faith? The answer to all of these questions is no. Now read on, and you just may find a few more things about Adventists that you didn't know.

Our church began in the mid 1800s--a relatively young religion in comparison to some others. A small group of people in their teens and early 20s began studying their Bibles and decided that what they believed to be truth departed from their established faiths. Today, from that small group who, over 100 years ago, dared to share what they believed, a worldwide church has formed.

Naturally, since every person is different, not every Adventist believes exactly the same thing as the next. However, as a church, we have some basic doctrines that we stick to. First of all, we believe that all Scripture is inspired by God, and that the Bible constitutes the foundation for everything we believe in.

We believe that all people are sinful. However, we also believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and now offers the free gift of grace to anyone who accepts it. Salvation is not something to be worked toward. We'll never be good enough to make it to heaven on our own. All we have to do is take God's gift of eternal--life it's that simple.

We also believe in Satan, an angel who was created perfect by God, but rebelled and got kicked out of heaven. Satan is a very real being who will stop at nothing to win people over to his side. But God is stronger than Satan and can lead us to be victorious over him if we just ask.

As shown in our name, the Second Advent, or coming of Christ, is something we believe in very strongly. We believe that the people who accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, but have since died, will be resurrected when Christ comes again. Therefore, dead people are not alive right now in heaven but merely waiting in their graves for Christ's return, much like sleeping. At the time of the Second Coming, those who have chosen not to accept Christ's gift of eternal life will be destroyed, along with all sin.

Seventh-day Adventists believe in baptism by immersion, following the example Jesus set for us. We also believe in supporting our church mission by tithing, giving 10 percent of our income back to God, as well as freewill offerings.

The belief that the seventh day (Saturday) is the Sabbath is probably one of the more distinctive doctrines of our denomination. Since we believe that the Bible is inspired by God, we believe in keeping the Ten Commandments. In the fourth commandment it says, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." We believe that God gave us the Sabbath back in the Garden of Eden, and that it still stands today. We can find no evidence in the Bible that God ever changed His law. So that's why we go to church on Saturday, because we feel that this is following the scriptural guidelines for keeping the Sabbath holy.

Adventists believe that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, and so we need to treat them with respect. We try and fill our bodies with healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains, and many Adventists are vegetarians. We avoid using things such illegal drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.

We are selective about the entertainment we engage in, asking ourselves if the activity is something that Jesus would participate in.

This is a very brief summary of who Adventists are, and what we believe. We hope it has shed some light on a religion that had quite possibly left you in the dark. If you would like more information on Adventists and what we believe, visit www.adventist.org/beliefs/.