Dear Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement family around the world,
May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with each one of you.
We have all been following the development of the coronavirus pandemic in the last few days as it has reached almost every part of the world. As a church, we want to promote good health among all our members and those with whom we come into contact.
Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to advise our church family members to do their best to prevent contamination and to avoid spreading it to others.
As Reformers we must continue living the health reform revealed to us and improve our nutrition, sleeping, exercise, hygiene and all health-related habits. Once we do our part, we can be at peace, trusting that the Lord our God will take care of us and will not let anything happen to us that is not according to His will.
Who causes this kind of pestilence?
“Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls…It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer. But the Christian world have shown contempt for the law of Jehovah; and the Lord will do just what He has declared that He would--He will withdraw His blessings from the earth and remove His protecting care from those who are rebelling against His law and teaching and forcing others to do the same.
“While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. "The earth mourneth and fadeth away," "the haughty people . . . do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." Isaiah 24:4, 5.” GC 589
Turn Fearful Hearts to the Father
Though for many it is a time of fear, we can lift up our heads and rejoice in the fact that our redemption is closer than ever:
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:27, 28.
When people are living in such uncertainty about the future, we can use this opportunity to tell them that the Solution to our world’s problems and to any personal problem we may be facing is coming soon. Jesus is the solution to all problems, and He is about to fulfil His promise of returning to this world and taking those who have lived with Him to a world much better than this one. He will soon take us home!
The coming of Jesus and the establishment of His righteous kingdom is at hand.
Regarding gatherings in our churches, we encourage members to continue meeting normally with the exception of cases where reasonable concern prevents this (where those more vulnerable and more prone to suffer or even die in case of contracting this virus are present) or in places where authorities have forbidden gatherings due to the risk of spreading the disease.
As always, we must obey authorities as instruments of God as far as it is not contrary to our obedience to Him. (Romans 13:1, Acts 5:29.)
Following instructions to prevent disease is our Christian duty.
Not gathering together when done to avoid putting ourselves and others at risk should not be considered lack of faith. We are supposed to take the best possible care of the temple of God. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19.
On the contrary, if there are clear risks and we unnecessarily expose ourselves, it becomes presumption. “And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Luke 4:12.
Let us be faithful to our Heavenly Father, and if it is His will, He can keep us from this evil.
In case God has a different plan for any of you, and you have tested positive for the virus, remember God cares for you and He is the Great Physician. He loves you and will carry you in His loving arms to go through the trial you may have to face.
May God in His mercy and grace give us discernment and power to do His will and glorify His name in all circumstances.
Your brother in the Blessed Hope, Eli Tenorio.