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FROM THE WORD

The Everlasting Gospel To Sacramento

There’s about 2.5 million people living in the greater Sacramento area with almost 600,000 actually living in the city of Sacramento. For about 240,000 of these people, Central is the closest Seventh-day Adventist Church. Where those 240,000 people live is our specific church territory. To be more precise, this is 82,317 homes or apartments. How are we doing reaching these people? Last year “Light Sacramento!” outreach efforts brought Glow Tracts to 11 or 12,000 homes. That’s about 14% of our territory. Some may question how much this matters. Hopefully, it will be seen that reaching everybody in our area of responsibility is vitally important. 

The Bible teaches that sharing the gospel truth is an essential objective for the return of Jesus. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations: and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14. Ellen White wrote that the second coming of Christ “will not tarry past the time that the message is borne to all nations, tongues and people.” (Review & Herald June 18, 1901) So, we really have to get the truth out if we want to see Jesus come in our lifetimes; however, most church members can’t reach all the world so we give money to General Conference World Missions and to media ministries. The problem is that many local churches and members forget their own local territory! 

We tend to hope that TV and Internet ministries will reach them. While TV and Internet ministries are important and should be supported, we must understand that these programs have a “hit or miss” quality. We can’t give evidence that they reach 1% of the people in our territory, much less 10%. Even if they reached 30%, we can see that they cannot replace basic grassroots methods of sharing the truth in a local church’s territory. So, how can we be sure that we are reaching everyone in our church territory? Our instructions are to “Carry the word to every man’s door.” (Review & Herald July 10, 1883) Jesus isn’t waiting for the pope or for that great earthquake. Jesus is waiting for His people to actually obey the gospel commission in their own area of direct responsibility. For Sacramento Central it’s 82,317 residences.

What does the Spirit of Prophecy say? “Truth must be spoken, in leaflets and pamphlets, and these must be scattered like the leaves of autumn.” (Testimonies to the Church, vol. 9, p. 231) Does only one leaf fall per yard? Isn’t it clear that God expects His church to do far more literature distribution than most of us have ever seen? “More than one thousand will soon be converted in one day, most of whom will trace their first convictions to the reading of our publications.” (Colporteur Ministry, p. 151) 

Literature distribution will prove to be of the greatest value in the end; however, for this to come true, God’s people must get the literature out to the masses. (It’s still the least expensive way to actually reach every home!)

“If there is one work more important than another, it is that of getting our publications before the public, thus leading them to search the Scriptures.” (Testimonies to the Church, vol. 4, p. 390).

“The living preacher and the silent messenger [published word] are both required for the accomplishment of the great work before us.” (Review & Herald January 4, 1880)

“Preaching is a small part of the work to be done for the salvation of souls. The ministers may do their part, but they can never perform the work that the church should do.” (Testimonies to the Church, vol. 4, p. 69).

“It is not the Lord’s purpose that ministers should be left to do the greatest part of the work of sowing the seeds of truth.” (Testimonies to the Church, vol. 7, p. 21). 

The above quotations are true because door-to-door distribution (or saturation mailings) of literature is the only way to actually be sure that truth has made it to every home. We must ask ourselves, can we finish the work without a commitment to mass distribution of printed truth?

This coming Sabbath at 2 PM “Light Sacramento!” begins, with the goal in mind to reach these 82,317 homes. There will be three choices:

• Those who specifically would like to find Bible study interests through surveys will work with our Bible instructor, JeAnn Davis. They will be working in the Arden-Arcade area.

• Another choice will be to continue with the distribution of glow tracts and door hangers about the various services offered by our church. There are some neighborhoods not far from the church that need to be visited. 

• The third choice will be distributing a brochure on the state of the dead and the resurrection at the second coming. We will target the 7,000 homes of the 95817 zip code area just below interstate 50 and east of 99 (near the UC Davis Med Center). 

Pastor Dana will have maps and supplies ready for you to go. Please join us in reaching our territory for Christ. You’ll be blessed!

 Fred Dana, Associate Pastor 

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 HAPPENING THIS WEEK (May 22 to 27)

Click on the Calendar to find out what's happening at Central this week.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Click on the Church to see what events are on the horizon at Central. You'll be so glad you decided to stay informed. 

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FAMILY MATTERS

Join us on our Operation Joash journey and be a "repairer of the breach." Click on the image to learn more.

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Central Happenings is published by the Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, 6045 Camellia Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95819 www.saccentral.org

Sacramento Central Staff: Chris Buttery, Senior Pastor; Mike Thompsons, Associate; Fred Dana, Associate; Michael Butler, Youth/Young Adult; JeAnn Davis, Bible Instructor

Central Happenings: Chris Buttery, Editor; Chrystal White, Copy Editor/Distributor