Series Code: 15ASIC
Program Code: 15ASIC000008A
00:19 Good evening ASI...
00:22 lots of active young people...
00:25 well, you know why I am here,
00:29 I just want to
00:32 have your undivided attention for a moment.
00:34 Since the beginning of the Convention
00:37 we've attempted to share with you
00:40 10 of the 42 projects that are in your booklet
00:44 to give you a sense of
00:46 the kind of effort...
00:48 and the commitment that people are making
00:50 to reach our world for Jesus Christ.
00:53 There are 42 projects... in your booklet it says 41,
00:57 you remember... I mentioned that we have an additional one
01:01 "The Creation Project"
01:02 for 40,000 dollars added to the list.
01:05 What I'd like you to do is... when you go back to your room
01:12 I want you to pray
01:14 over the projects that are in this booklet,
01:17 now, if you're like me,
01:19 you'll want to take out the envelope that is inside
01:22 and fill it out so that you can be prepared
01:26 so that it's all neatly taken care of,
01:28 you would make your commitment
01:30 and then you don't have to worry about it anymore
01:32 but I'm going to ask you to do me a favor,
01:34 if you are so inclined,
01:37 you can go ahead and fill out the demographic information
01:39 but I would like you to wait on the commitment
01:43 and pray and ask for the Lord to impress you
01:47 as to what you really should do,
01:49 "Lord, how do you want me to be used to finish your work?"
01:55 Not to hasten your work... to finish it...
01:59 because we want Jesus to come soon... right now...
02:04 and how can I make that happen?
02:06 In order to prepare your hearts for that prayer,
02:10 we asked our Speaker to share something that
02:14 we believe would be thought provoking,
02:16 inspiring for you
02:18 and would bring you to a point of conviction
02:21 about what you can do with your life, with your tools,
02:24 and with your resources to finish the work.
02:27 David Kim and his wife, Grace,
02:31 their son, Solomon, and daughter, Claire,
02:36 live in Philadelphia.
02:37 David is a Corporate Executive
02:42 in Financial Services
02:44 but prefers to think of himself as a Bible Worker...
02:47 a Bible Worker who is fortunate enough
02:50 to have God use the Company to pay him
02:54 so that everybody wins.
02:56 David has spoken around the Country
02:59 sharing a message focused on reaching the well-educated,
03:04 worldly... wealthy...
03:06 through a ministry that he co-founded
03:08 "The Nicodemus Society. "
03:11 Now he shared just a little bit with me
03:14 about what he was going to share with us
03:17 and I know that we will all be blessed
03:20 but challenged to think about what it is...
03:25 where we are... in our station in life
03:28 as far as our relationship with Jesus
03:31 and then as far as the
03:33 "Offering in Action" is concerned,
03:34 then where we are...
03:36 what are we doing with those resources that we have,
03:40 in order to show what our commitment to Jesus Christ is.
03:44 After the special music,
03:47 the next voice that you will hear is that of David Kim.
03:51 Debbie leaving the stage.
04:01 "Go Ye" Piano playing...
04:05 Piano playing...
04:09 The Lord has really called us to boldly take His cross
04:14 to spread the gospel everywhere no matter what the cost
04:20 Proclaim the love of Jesus so everyone may know
04:25 the grace of God the gift of His love
04:30 and we should be sure...
04:36 Go ye... go ye... in the name of Jesus Christ,
04:41 Take the gospel everywhere make the sacrifice
04:47 Jerusalem... Judea... all the ends of the earth must know...
04:52 Share the hope of every man Christ and Christ alone...
04:59 Shine the light in darkness...
05:06 piano playing...
05:12 God calls us to be faithful
05:15 To work and share in joy...
05:18 To sow the precious seed of faith and share the living Word
05:23 So tell about salvation and make redemption known
05:29 to all the world... with all of your heart
05:34 arise... and we go...
05:39 piano playing...
05:47 Go ye... go ye... in the name of Jesus Christ
05:52 Take the gospel everywhere make the sacrifice
05:58 Jerusalem... Judea... all the ends of the earth must know
06:03 Shine the hope of every man Christ and Christ alone...
06:08 Shine the light in darkness let the message go...
06:17 Piano music...
06:19 Go ye into the world...
06:27 the gospel says... go...
06:35 Audience: Amen...
06:38 Audience clapping...
06:44 Good evening and happy Sabbath ASI...
06:47 Audience: Good evening...
06:50 David: Good evening... Audience: Good evening...
06:52 David: Happy Sabbath Audience: Happy Sabbath
06:54 It is a wonderful, amazing and God-given privilege
06:59 to be with you this Sabbath evening to share my testimony.
07:02 You see, despite growing up in the church...
07:06 I was only heart-converted seven years ago
07:10 and my very first ASI Conference was shortly after that...
07:16 just five years ago in 2010 in Orlando
07:20 and if you had told me back then
07:24 that I would be standing on this stage,
07:28 this Sabbath evening... to share my testimony,
07:30 I would have thought that you were crazy
07:33 but this is evidence...
07:37 this is evidence of the mercy and grace
07:40 and transforming power of the Lord our God,
07:44 and it is... and it shows us
07:48 that there is hope for everyone
07:50 even those who grow up in the church
07:54 but before I get ahead of myself and steal my own thunder,
08:01 would you please pray with me?
08:03 Lord God, our Father in heaven,
08:09 hallowed be your name
08:11 you're so merciful to us and you love us so,
08:16 Lord, I pray, this Sabbath evening,
08:19 the Sabbath day... you have set apart
08:23 that the Holy Spirit would be with us,
08:27 would be upon me, your humble servant
08:30 and that You and only You would be glorified,
08:34 and Lord I pray that each individual here in this room
08:38 and whoever is watching on 3abn
08:41 would also receive the Holy Spirit
08:44 and that the Holy Spirit would give each individual
08:48 hearing and comprehension but not merely comprehension
08:52 but conviction... conviction of that message
08:57 which you want each individual to hear,
09:00 I pray this in the powerful and precious name
09:04 of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, amen.
09:08 I'm a son of Korean immigrants,
09:15 I'm an elder brother,
09:16 I'm a husband, I'm a father,
09:19 I'm a former professional Cellist
09:22 and I'm a Corporate Executive
09:24 yet, as important and defining
09:27 each of these facts are for my identity,
09:29 the most important and most defining factor in my life
09:34 is that I'm a survivor of the chronic and deadly disease,
09:38 millions around the world have this disease,
09:43 it runs in families and is passed on through heredity
09:48 it is a silent killer there's no known cure
09:55 for this condition
09:56 absent a literal miracle from the Lord Himself,
10:01 I am a survivor of Congenital Christianity.
10:07 Congenital Christianity is a spiritual condition
10:15 which in some ways resembles true
10:17 Seventh-day Adventist Christianity
10:20 but which is... at its core... superficial
10:23 and lacks in authentic saving relationship with God.
10:26 To make sure that we share a common understanding
10:30 of this condition, I'd like to share with you
10:34 a... non-exhaustive list of symptoms,
10:36 are you ready for the symptoms?
10:39 You're ready?
10:41 Would you like to know what they are?
10:43 Audience: Yes...
10:45 Very well, One...
10:47 you avoid talking about your faith
10:50 because you don't want to have to explain what you believe
10:53 because you're a little bit embarrassed by it.
10:59 you know that Saturday is the Sabbath
11:03 but come on... it's just a day... right?
11:11 you've heard that we have distinctive Biblical beliefs
11:16 about death, hell and the Sanctuary
11:20 but you're not quite sure what they are
11:23 or why they even matter.
11:27 you hear people talking about the "Spirit of Prophecy"
11:32 but you're ambivalent about it
11:35 even though you've never actually read any of the books.
11:43 those beasts on the Prophecy Seminar flyer look strange
11:48 and bizarre to you
11:49 and you've got no clue
11:51 what it all means.
11:56 you think that mega-church down the street
11:59 is way more fun, way more interesting,
12:02 they've got great programs, they've got a great band,
12:06 they've got coffee, they've got doughnuts,
12:09 you think that mega-church down the street
12:11 is way more interesting
12:12 but you feel a little guilty that you think that.
12:20 you abstain from all unclean meats
12:24 except for pepperoni, bacon and shrimp
12:28 because they taste so good
12:30 and you abstain from all alcohol
12:34 well, except for a little bit of beer and wine
12:39 but just socially... just socially...
12:41 well... and the hard stuff...
12:44 only when mixed with orange juice or cranberry juice
12:48 because then you can't taste it and it's got vitamins.
12:56 you dutifully wait until after sundown
13:00 on Saturday evening before you head to the multiplex
13:06 to see "Twilight" in IMAX 3D...
13:13 you go out to lunch after Sabbath church service
13:17 because surely God would not want you to starve
13:20 and what they got at potluck
13:23 isn't nearly as tasty as those garlic breadsticks
13:26 and Ten...
13:30 this is the last one...
13:32 you go to church most weeks
13:34 because you want your kids to have exposure
13:37 even though you don't personally have
13:40 any investment in the faith.
13:41 These are just examples...
13:44 but they should give you an idea
13:46 of what we're talking about,
13:47 does any of this sound familiar?
13:49 Does any of this sound familiar?
13:51 Of course, not you, this is ASI...
13:54 this is the remnant of the remnant...
13:57 of course, not you, but perhaps a friend
14:01 or a family member or a fellow church member,
14:04 well, I have good news and I have bad news
14:08 which would you like first?
14:09 Sounds like the bad news which is wonderful
14:13 because that's the way I wrote this.
14:15 Thank you...
14:17 The bad news is...
14:20 untreated Congenital Christianity
14:22 leads to eternal death on hundred percent of the time.
14:27 The bad news is that while the disease is passed down
14:32 the cure is not,
14:33 you cannot be saved by your parents' faith
14:35 and the bad news is that you must affirmatively
14:41 choose to be cured,
14:42 this won't just get better on its own,
14:45 that's the bad news
14:47 but who wants the good news?
14:50 Amen... the good news is that there is a cure
14:53 and I stand before you today as living proof
14:57 I testify to you that I have been cured
15:01 by the love of Jesus and the power of the everlasting gospel.
15:05 Audience: Amen.
15:06 The good news is that if God can save a wretch like me,
15:08 He can surely save you
15:10 and the good news is that it's not too late,
15:13 it's not too late for you even if you've been suffering
15:17 under the lukewarm malaise of Congenital Christianity
15:21 for years or even decades, it is not too late for you,
15:23 God can still reach down from His throne and touch your heart
15:27 and turn it from a heart of stone into a heart of flesh,
15:29 I know that He can do this for you because He did it for me.
15:32 My story begins three generations ago
15:38 in the early 1900s when my great-grandfather
15:41 was the second ever ordained
15:44 Seventh-day Adventist Pastor in Korea...
15:46 second ever...
15:49 his son... my grandfather,
15:52 also entered the pastoral ministry
15:54 and he went on to become the first native Korean
15:58 to serve as President of the Korean Union Conference,
16:02 his son... my father,
16:06 did not enter the pastoral ministry
16:09 but he went to Adventist schools all his life
16:12 until Medical School at which point
16:15 he scored number one in the entire Country
16:19 on the Medical Board Exams that year
16:20 all the while... skipping class on Saturdays
16:24 to observe the Sabbath in a Country
16:25 which required going to classes on Saturdays
16:28 and that's where I come in
16:32 because I was just four-months old
16:35 when my father and mother came to this Country
16:38 with two suitcases and a baby
16:40 to pursue his Residency in Boston.
16:43 So, while I'm a 1.5-generation Korean-American immigrant,
16:49 I'm a fourth-generation Seventh-day Adventist,
16:52 the faith has been passed down to me
16:55 from its earliest days in Korea and while many blessings come
16:59 with this heritage in the Faith,
17:02 this history also brings with it
17:05 a pre-disposition to Congenital Christianity.
17:09 My earliest spiritual memory goes back
17:12 to when I was just four-years old,
17:15 I would come downstairs early on Sunday mornings
17:18 to watch television while my parents slept.
17:22 It didn't take me long to notice that it seemed
17:25 every channel I turned to every Sunday morning
17:29 was broadcasting a church service
17:32 and I was completely perplexed by it
17:35 even at that age,
17:37 I knew that Saturday is the Sabbath,
17:39 this continued for some time until finally I decided
17:44 that I would get to the bottom of this...
17:46 that I would go ask my mother
17:48 and so I remember walking into the kitchen...
17:52 walking into the kitchen
17:54 where my mother was doing the dishes
17:56 and I asked her, "Amma... " which means "mommy" in Korean,
18:02 I asked her,
18:04 "Amma, why are all these people going to church on Sunday...
18:07 don't they know that Saturday is the Sabbath?"
18:10 Before I tell you what she said, I need to set some context.
18:16 My mother is a Godly Woman, she's a Prayer Warrior,
18:21 a Bible Worker and Church Planter
18:22 in Korean Immigrant Community,
18:24 I thank the Lord for my mother's faith
18:26 but at this time... at the time of this story...
18:30 she was in a different place spiritually.
18:34 So, getting back to the story, I asked her,
18:37 "Amma, why are all these people going to the church on Sunday,
18:40 don't they know that Saturday is the Sabbath?"
18:42 And without missing a beat,
18:44 while she was washing the dishes,
18:46 she said, "I don't know... " and left it at that.
18:50 I don't know why she said, "I don't know... "
18:55 perhaps she was too busy, she was a young mother
18:59 of a four-year-old and a two-year-old boy.
19:02 That's a pretty busy gig...
19:04 while your husband is working
19:06 over a 100 hours a week at the hospital.
19:09 That's a busy time so perhaps she was too busy,
19:12 maybe she didn't know what to say,
19:15 maybe she didn't know how to explain it
19:17 or maybe she thought that even if she explained it,
19:19 that I wouldn't understand.
19:21 I don't know why she said that but what I do remember...
19:25 that I walked away from that conversation
19:27 completely confused and scratching my head.
19:30 This is why the Lord in His divine wisdom
19:33 commanded us in Deuteronomy chapter 6 verses 6 and 7,
19:38 "And these words which I command you today
19:41 shall be in your heart.
19:42 You shall teach them diligently to your children,
19:45 and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
19:48 when you walk by the way,
19:50 when you lie down and when you rise up"
19:52 which is "Bible language" for all the time.
19:55 If you leave your children confused,
19:59 even when they're in Beginners or Kindergarten or Primary,
20:02 you increase their risk of Congenital Christianity,
20:05 you might think that they're too young
20:07 to understand or to care but they are paying attention
20:10 much more than you know and you have the opportunity
20:13 to provide them the vaccine of a strongly, Biblical,
20:16 age-appropriate foundation
20:18 or leave them dangerously exposed
20:20 on the shifting sands of confusion.
20:25 The ensuing years of my childhood and adolescence
20:28 read like a textbook case of Congenital Christianity,
20:31 in the Sixth Grade,
20:32 I was pulled out of our local Seventh-day Adventist School
20:36 for two reasons,
20:37 the first reason... was the excessive PDAs
20:41 on the part of the High School kids at the Co-Ed Academy
20:45 we're not talking about Personal Digital Assistance,
20:49 iPhones were not the problem,
20:50 the problem was Public Displays of Affection
20:54 and it had gotten to a point
20:57 where my parents no longer felt comfortable
20:59 having their Sixth-Grade
21:01 and Fourth-Grade sons attending that school...
21:04 that Adventist School.
21:05 The second reason was the academics...
21:09 I was getting bored in the classroom
21:12 and I needed more challenge
21:14 and so, in the Sixth Grade through High School,
21:20 I was in the Public Schools
21:21 which was actually quite good for me academically
21:23 but my faith was under assault from all sides continually.
21:28 Specifically, my faith was under assault from the curriculum,
21:31 the extracurriculars and the peer pressure.
21:34 We'll talk about all three, first the curriculum...
21:37 the curriculum was 100 percent secular and humanistic.
21:41 From Biology to English Literature,
21:43 I was exposed to the breadth of world views
21:46 where humanism was exalted and God was torn down.
21:50 Now don't get me wrong,
21:53 I have a passion for witnessing
21:56 to the wealthy, worldly and well educated
21:57 or the W threes of our Society,
22:00 as missionaries to these groups,
22:02 we need to be able to speak their language
22:04 and understand their culture
22:05 but exposure to these world views... can be dangerous
22:09 if you're not strongly, firmly grounded
22:12 in the reality of God and the truth of His Word,
22:15 "By beholding you become changed"
22:18 and if all you are beholding...
22:20 is Darwin, Kant, Rousseau and Richard Dawkins
22:23 and you're not beholding
22:24 Moses, Daniel, John, Paul and the others...
22:28 then you will be changed.
22:30 At a minimum, you set yourself up for confusion
22:33 and more likely you set yourself up for Apostasy
22:37 or even Atheism,
22:38 so that was the curriculum
22:43 but beyond the curriculum were the extracurricular activities
22:47 and whether sports or clubs or arts or academics,
22:50 it seemed like everything conflicted with the Sabbath
22:53 and my unconverted heart struggled greatly
22:57 with these conflicts
22:59 because I wanted to achieve great things in the world,
23:02 and I thought that my success depended
23:05 on the validation of the world
23:07 rather than relying on the mighty right arm of the Lord,
23:10 in my case... I was gaining success as a Cellist,
23:14 I was one of the best in the State of California
23:17 and I was considering a career
23:20 in music performance... in Cello performance,
23:22 a key part of establishing a track record in music
23:26 is the competition circuit
23:29 but time after time after time,
23:31 I had to decline participation due to the Sabbath
23:35 and this struggle was excruciating in my teenage mind
23:40 and the struggle was compounded by the fact
23:42 that individuals in our very own Seventh-day Adventist Church
23:45 would encourage me to compete.
23:48 There was a sweet older woman,
23:51 she was a pillar of our local church
23:54 and a strong supporter of the local music scene,
23:57 she knew of my talent as well as my struggles,
24:00 I'll never forget one Sabbath afternoon
24:02 after the church service, when she took me aside
24:04 and she told me that it would be okay
24:07 if I competed on the Sabbath... it would be fine
24:09 if I competed on the Sabbath for two reasons,
24:12 One: Because I would be playing good classical music,
24:17 and that's a whole 'nother sermon
24:21 but friends, I will tell you this,
24:24 just because it sounds classical does not make it good.
24:28 So that was the first reason.
24:32 The second reason was that she said that
24:35 I would be glorifying God with my talent,
24:37 I'm convinced that she meant well,
24:40 I believe that she meant well
24:42 but this well-intentioned church member
24:44 was causing even more confusion for me
24:47 and setting me up for compromise
24:49 and ultimately full-blown Congenital Christianity,
24:52 we would do well to recall Jesus' words
24:55 in Matthew chapter 18 verse 6,
24:57 "Whoever causes one of these little ones
25:00 who believes in me to sin,
25:01 it would be better for him or her
25:04 if a millstone were hung around her neck,
25:07 and she were drowned in the depths of the sea. "
25:10 Friends, you don't have to be blood-related to someone
25:16 to inflame their Congenital Christianity,
25:19 you can even be a well-intentioned church member
25:21 but be careful
25:23 because you might make yourself a contributing factor
25:27 in someone else's Congenital Christianity,
25:29 and Lord have mercy on you if you do this
25:32 so we've talked about the curriculum
25:35 and how it created conflict in my heart,
25:38 we've talked about the extracurricular...
25:41 the extracurriculars... and how those created conflict
25:45 but the third and the most powerful force
25:48 assaulting my faith during my formative years
25:51 was the peer pressure.
25:52 Beginning in the Sixth Grade... through my peers,
25:55 I was exposed to the range of filth and wickedness
25:59 that we, unfortunately, consider
26:00 a normal part of growing up.
26:02 Between the school bus, the sleepover, the field trip,
26:07 the cafeteria, the popular media
26:09 and various and sundry settings, wherever I turned,
26:13 Satan was there to teach me what things are desirable,
26:16 what things are pleasurable,
26:19 what things are required for social standing,
26:22 what things are required for emotional fulfillment,
26:25 what things are required for physical gratification
26:28 and what things are required ultimately for happiness,
26:32 I'm being a little bit delicate here
26:35 because this is a "G" rated sermon
26:38 but I hope you understand what I mean.
26:42 In fact, from all I can gather from the news and media,
26:46 it is even worse today.
26:47 Seems like every day there's another sensational
26:52 salacious news story about what some young people did,
26:56 who they did it to, when, where and how often
27:01 in the Locker Room, in the Dorm Room,
27:05 in the Frat House, on Facebook
27:08 or Snapchat, with a Webcam or a Cell phone,
27:12 of course there are exceptions
27:16 but for every person
27:18 who has managed to navigate the peer pressure,
27:20 and emerge unscathed...
27:22 an untold multiple of that number...
27:24 see, hear, touch, taste and inhale substances,
27:28 images, media, and have myriad experiences
27:32 which leave deep, mental, emotional and physical scars
27:35 which will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
27:39 There may be some of you right here in this hall,
27:42 there may be some of you watching on 3abn
27:45 who know exactly what I am talking about,
27:47 you've been there, you've done that
27:51 and you walk through life bearing the guilt and shame
27:55 and fear of what you've been through.
27:58 Satan uses these experiences and these emotions
28:03 to make you wonder if God is even there
28:04 and if He is there if He cares
28:08 or if He cares... if He is even capable
28:12 of delivering you from this body of death,
28:15 Satan infiltrates your thinking
28:19 and makes you... drives you to the point
28:22 where you would even wish that God did not exist
28:25 where you would kill God in your own mind
28:28 because if God does exist as the Bible describes
28:32 and if He is as pure and righteous and holy and just
28:35 as the Bible says He is,
28:37 then you would be destined for nothing other than eternal loss
28:40 and so you choose to kill God in your own mind
28:42 and adopt that point of view.
28:44 It was with this mindset
28:49 that I limped my way through High School.
28:52 All the guilt... shame and confusion
28:56 hidden behind a facade of perfect grades
29:00 and musical accolades
29:02 and admission to world-class schools
29:05 like Stanford University and the Eastman School of Music,
29:08 I was chasing the world
29:12 and doing extremely well by its standards
29:15 but all the while I was ambivalent toward God,
29:19 I was resentful towards His Church
29:22 and I had no idea what to believe,
29:24 I was completely, spiritually... ungrounded,
29:27 cast adrift in a sea of worldliness and secularism.
29:31 Against this backdrop,
29:33 I went off to Eastman...
29:35 to Eastman School of Music and like any Freshman,
29:37 I was looking for a sense of belonging and affiliation
29:41 and one of the places that I looked for this
29:43 was the Local Chapter
29:45 of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.
29:47 Of course there wasn't an Adventist Group on campus
29:52 I didn't really mind because as far as I knew...
29:55 as far as I understood,
29:56 other than Sabbath-keeping, there really wasn't a difference
30:00 I will never forget the first Bible Study that I attended,
30:03 there were about ten of us there
30:06 it was led by a Senior, a French Horn player
30:08 his name was Drew
30:10 and to get started
30:12 we all went around and introduced ourselves,
30:15 name, where you're from, what you're studying
30:17 and a little bit about your spiritual background.
30:20 So when it came to my turn, a dialog ensued,
30:23 that went a little something like this,
30:26 "Hi, my name is David Kim,
30:28 I'm from San Luis Obispo, California
30:31 and I'm here studying Cello performance
30:33 and my spiritual background is...
30:36 is Seventh-day Adventist. "
30:37 So Drew says to me,
30:40 "Ha, Seventh-day Adventist... that's interesting...
30:43 how did you become Seventh-day Adventist?"
30:45 And I said to Drew,
30:49 "Well, my family is Seventh-day Adventist,
30:51 I grew up in the Church
30:53 and I also think it's pretty clear from the Bible
30:56 that Saturday, the seventh day, is the day of worship,"
31:00 and Drew says to me,
31:03 "Ha, is that right?
31:05 Well, what about Colossians 2:16?"
31:08 And I looked at him with a blank look on my face
31:15 and I said, "You mean John 3:16?"
31:17 "No, Colossians 2:16."
31:20 "You're going to have to help me out with that Drew
31:22 because I have no idea what that verse says. "
31:24 And he said, "Come on...
31:25 let's read it together, let's all read it together. "
31:28 If fact, get out your Bibles, let's read it together.
31:30 That was an invitation by-the-way.
31:35 So, I had grown up in the church,
31:38 I played swords... growing up,
31:41 I knew that Colossians was in the New Testament,
31:45 in fact, I had an acronym for it,
31:46 Go Eat Popcorn... Galatians, Ephesians,
31:51 Philippians, Colossians,
31:54 so I knew exactly where to find Colossians.
31:56 Colossians 2:16, you should follow along...
31:59 join me, Colossians 2:16...
32:02 and I got there and Drew said, "All right go ahead...
32:08 go ahead... read this for us... "
32:10 and I walked right into his trap... Colossians 2:16...
32:15 "So let no one judge you in food or in drink,
32:19 or regarding a festival, or a new moon,
32:26 or... "
32:28 what does your Bible say?
32:33 "Sabbaths... " my Bible says Sabbaths too...
32:36 Drew says to me, "Right... you guys...
32:44 by being so focused on keeping the Sabbath,
32:46 you're just being legalists, Jesus freed us from the Law. "
32:50 I will never forget that moment,
32:55 I felt mortified as I read those words,
32:58 I had never seen that verse in my life,
33:01 and I had no clue what to think,
33:02 you'd think that someone who grew up in our church
33:05 who had this past... this history that I did...
33:08 in the Seventh-day Adventist Church,
33:10 you would think that someone like me
33:12 would understand the difference between Ceremonial Sabbaths
33:14 and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment
33:16 and if you don't understand what I just said,
33:18 you need to talk to your pastor
33:19 or one of the ministries back there in the Exhibit Hall,
33:23 I'm sure someone would be willing to explain this to you
33:26 but as you just heard,
33:30 I did not receive instruction in the home
33:32 and so, I felt confused, betrayed and humiliated,
33:38 I never went back to that Bible Study
33:41 and I stopped going to church,
33:43 my Congenital Christianity had metastasized
33:47 and while I never gave up on the idea of God,
33:50 I had no idea who he was, I had no idea what to think
33:54 which church was the right one, I was spiritually bewildered
33:57 and I checked out of church completely.
33:59 The next 14 years were a blur,
34:01 I was in hot pursuit
34:03 of worldly success and I was succeeding.
34:05 Over that period of time I earned
34:08 Bachelor's and Master's degrees
34:10 in Cello performance from top music schools
34:12 with honors and scholarships,
34:13 I had performed all over the world
34:15 in prestigious venues under world-class Conductors
34:20 and Orchestras,
34:21 I switched careers and I went to get my MBA
34:24 at one of the leading programs in the world,
34:26 I worked at some of the most prestigious companies
34:31 in all of Capitalism
34:32 and on the personal front, I married my beautiful wife
34:38 and had two lovely children.
34:40 I thought I had achieved the American dream,
34:42 while my house did not have a white picket fence,
34:46 I did have a solar-heated swimming pool.
34:49 And given the choice... I will take the pool.
34:52 Over the years, the Lord had drawn me back into the church,
34:58 I met and married my wife in the church
35:00 when I lived in Chicago,
35:02 I even was serving as an Elder in California
35:05 when we moved out there, but my heart was not converted,
35:09 I was still just as confused about our message... as ever...
35:12 my theology and lifestyle were a mess,
35:15 I was prideful, covetous and ambitious for worldly things
35:19 God and church were something I did for my children
35:22 just in case it was true
35:24 but I was consumed with the world.
35:29 To top it all off,
35:31 I had been diagnosed
35:33 with a rare degenerative bone condition in both of my hips,
35:36 over the course of ten years,
35:38 I suffered through four unsuccessful surgeries
35:41 and I walked with some combination of crutches,
35:44 canes and pain...
35:46 as you can see this evening, I no longer have these,
35:51 praise the Lord... but at that time as far as I could tell,
35:55 God had left me alone to deal with this on my own
35:59 and I was angry at Him.
36:00 Yet through all of this, God was trying to reach me.
36:03 There'd be times at church
36:05 when I would hear something in a song or a testimony
36:08 or in a sermon and my heart would be touched
36:10 and my eyes would fill with tears
36:13 but I would quickly wipe them away
36:15 as inconspicuously as possible
36:17 so that no one would see what had happened.
36:20 In these moments I knew that the Holy Spirit
36:23 was trying to reach me
36:24 but I refused to yield to His promptings,
36:27 I was still too proud, too angry,
36:29 too consumed with the world,
36:31 and I didn't know God... much less trust Him,
36:33 I didn't understand the Bible and its message,
36:36 it didn't make any sense to me, I was Congenitally Christian
36:40 but my heart was unconverted
36:42 within the spiritual context I was sitting in a Board Meeting,
36:45 yes, I was an Elder sitting on the Church Board.
36:48 It was spring of 2008
36:52 and we're talking about putting on our first Evangelistic Series
36:56 in over a decade, and the pastor was exhorting...
36:59 explaining to all the Board Members
37:02 the importance of every member
37:03 attending all the meetings in order to support...
37:06 and as he was talking
37:08 there was something...
37:10 an internal monologue going through my mind
37:12 and it went a little something like this.
37:15 "So, what I hear you saying is that
37:19 you want me to come to church
37:22 five nights a week for five weeks?"
37:24 Audience: laughing...
37:28 "Who has time for that? I'm much too busy at work
37:32 who has time for that?
37:34 All right, I'll come on the weekends,
37:37 You know... Friday nights... or something...
37:39 I'll come on the weekends, well...
37:40 I'll come on the Sabbath parts of the weekend...
37:42 You know, Friday evening through Sabbath,
37:45 well... I'll definitely come on Saturday
37:53 because I'd be there anyway,
37:55 but five nights a week for five...
37:57 who has time... okay... I got it...
38:00 I'll tell you what... I'll write a check
38:03 I'm happy to write a check to support the meetings
38:07 but I'm not going to come...
38:09 at least not five nights a week... "
38:11 little did I know that God had other plans for me.
38:15 Come November,
38:18 instead of being busy at work,
38:20 I'd been told that I need to find a new job
38:22 which came as a total shock to me
38:24 because everything was going well,
38:26 but I... like many others... had been caught in the undertow
38:30 of the global financial crisis
38:32 so the bad news was that I had to look for a new job
38:37 during one of the worst financial crises
38:39 in the history of Capitalism
38:41 but the good news was that
38:43 I had plenty of time to attend the meetings
38:47 and I thank the Lord for that opportunity
38:50 to hear our gospel message in a systematic way
38:54 as the Evangelist, Brother Taj Pacleb,
38:58 amen... as Brother Taj...
39:05 unfolded the gospel message in a systematic way
39:09 night after night, step by step,
39:11 I could see for the very first time
39:14 the logic, coherence and reliability
39:17 of the Bible and the gospel message.
39:19 For the first time I could cut through
39:22 all the clichés and assumptions
39:23 that are tied up in our Christian faith
39:25 and I could see that the Bible can be trusted,
39:28 I could see, yeah... I should get an amen...
39:30 Audience: Amen...
39:32 I could see, for the first time,
39:34 why an all-powerful and all-loving God
39:37 would allow evil and suffering to exist for a season...
39:41 any amens for that? Audience: Amen...
39:45 I could see...
39:46 I could understand the physics of salvation,
39:49 who Jesus was, why He had to die
39:50 and what He had to do with me,
39:53 I could see that God has shown us
39:56 everything that we need
39:57 to get from here to the second coming
40:00 through all eternity in His prophetic Word
40:02 if we would only read it,
40:04 and I could see that all the do's and don'ts
40:08 associated with God... His Law
40:11 and even things like the Health Message,
40:12 are not because God is picky and arbitrary and mean
40:15 but because He is preparing us for a literal eternity
40:18 where we will live in His direct presence.
40:21 Audience: Amen...
40:23 I could see for the first time that God was real
40:25 and He was real to me because for the first time
40:28 He made perfect sense.
40:30 I'll never forget how I felt, sitting there in that hall,
40:35 looking up at the PowerPoint
40:37 and realizing... for the very first time...
40:40 that the 70-week Prophecy of Daniel chapter 9
40:43 perfectly foretold the beginning of Christ's ministry
40:46 in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar
40:48 and again, if you don't understand
40:51 what I just said, please, go talk to your pastor.
40:54 I had two immediate thoughts,
40:57 my first thought was, "Wow! this is really true... "
41:01 and my second thought was,
41:03 "Well, if this is true, I'd better do something about it"
41:06 and my life has never been the same.
41:09 Audience: Amen...
41:10 The Lord put me on the road to recovery
41:12 and I haven't looked back.
41:13 The next month was GYC in San Jose
41:16 and I took that opportunity
41:18 to be a local Bus Guide for the Outreach.
41:20 It was a small step... but it was a big step for me
41:23 because I had never done anything
41:25 evangelistic in my entire life
41:26 but I thought I can handle being a local Bus Guide
41:28 because as some of you may know,
41:30 in the Outreach at GYC,
41:31 the local Bus Guide stays on the bus
41:34 so I thought I can handle that and indeed I did,
41:40 after that, I survived
41:43 and so I started to look for other witnessing
41:44 and training opportunities,
41:46 I attended AFCOE To-Go, Amazing Facts four-day Program
41:49 where I learned how to give personal Bible Studies,
41:52 and I also accompanied my Church's Bible Worker,
41:56 I praise the Lord for Bible Workers,
41:58 I accompanied my Church's Bible Worker
42:01 to follow-up leads from GYC.
42:03 On the job-search front, God was faithful,
42:05 in the middle of the worst economic crisis
42:08 and the worst job market in over a generation,
42:10 the Lord provided me... not just one...
42:12 not just two... not just three...
42:16 not just four... not just five...
42:20 but six excellent job opportunities...
42:23 one of which
42:24 brought me to the Philadelphia area where I live today
42:27 and as I embarked on a new job and a new place
42:30 where I didn't know anybody, it's almost if...
42:33 as if the Lord gave me a clean-sheet opportunity
42:36 to start my life again
42:38 and I purposed in my heart that I would be faithful to Him
42:42 in all dimensions of my life, professional and personal
42:45 to bring my authentic faith to everything I do each day
42:48 and it has made all the difference.
42:50 I have a regular devotional life
42:52 on a level of depth and consistency
42:53 that I've never had before,
42:55 in particular, I am praying more than I ever have before,
42:58 when I was suffering from Congenital Christianity,
43:01 I would struggle to pray more than two or three minutes a day
43:04 and that includes time... praying for my food
43:06 but now that I'm walking with the Lord
43:11 and my walk has deepened,
43:13 it has built up my prayer life
43:14 to be 20 to 30 minutes or more everyday
43:16 I'm praying without ceasing as I go through my meetings
43:19 and interactions with the people in my life.
43:21 The Lord is teaching me how to praise Him
43:24 like David did in the Psalms.
43:26 The Lord is teaching me how to confess specific sins
43:29 so that every day... daily...
43:31 I confront the darkness of my own heart
43:33 and realize anew how much I need Jesus,
43:35 the Lord is teaching me how he's giving me victory over sin
43:38 there are sins I used to have to confess all the time
43:40 which, by His grace,
43:42 I rarely... or don't even have to confess anymore
43:45 because God is changing my heart.
43:46 There are other sins that I had to confess all the time
43:50 which I still have to confess all the time
43:52 but the Lord teaches me what things are most deeply seated
43:56 in my heart and how much I need Him.
43:57 The Lord is teaching me how to pray for others,
44:00 intercessory prayer,
44:01 takes us out of our own selfishness
44:03 and puts us in the Garden of Gethsemane
44:04 where Jesus prayed for you and me,
44:06 the Lord is teaching me how to have spiritual conversations
44:10 with those around me,
44:11 He's teaching me how to approach these conversations
44:14 in a very natural and easy way.
44:15 I've been having a dozen or more of these spiritual conversations
44:18 with the people on my sphere of influence on a weekly basis.
44:21 The Lord is teaching me how to turn these conversations
44:24 into personal Bible Studies.
44:26 Over the last few years the Lord has given me the privilege
44:29 of studying with a wide range of backgrounds
44:31 and educational and spiritual backgrounds
44:33 I'm studying with Atheists and Agnostics,
44:35 Buddhists... Evangelicals...
44:37 Doctors, Lawyers, MBAs, PhDs and many others
44:42 as a result of these experiences
44:46 I have co-founded: The Nicodemus Society,
44:48 a ministry focused on witnessing
44:51 to the wealthy, worldly and well-educated...
44:53 or the W3s of our culture.
44:55 The Lord has given me opportunities
44:57 to go all over the Country giving Seminars,
45:00 teaching people, how to reach
45:02 what the Spirit of Prophecy calls this "neglected class"
45:06 if you'd like to learn more about this,
45:09 please come visit us, Exhibit Booth number 231
45:14 or you can visit us at our website
45:17 Nicodemussociety. org
45:20 we'd love to talk with you,
45:23 that's the end of the commercial.
45:24 The Lord is teaching me about my family life,
45:28 I used to rush out the door in the morning
45:32 before the kids were up and stumble back in through the door
45:35 after they were asleep,
45:36 today we gather for morning prayer
45:38 and for evening family worship.
45:40 The Lord is teaching me how to love my wife
45:43 as Christ loves the Church
45:45 being willing to give myself for her
45:47 and treating her as a member of my own body.
45:49 God is so merciful and good, I'm so thankful to Him
45:52 that He got a hold of my heart
45:54 while my children were still young.
45:55 By His grace, my Congenital Christianity
45:58 will end with me, amen.
46:02 I'm by no means perfect but I'm better than I used to be
46:06 and by the grace of God...
46:08 I'll be more like Jesus everyday.
46:09 Day by day from faith to faith and from glory to glory.
46:15 So what about you?
46:19 What about you?
46:23 Are you suffering from Congenital Christianity?
46:28 Is your religious life... your spiritual life,
46:33 dry, barren, formulaic?
46:37 Do you feel as if your path in Christianity
46:42 was passed down from you, pre-determined from you
46:45 by a genealogical heritage
46:48 from your parents or your grandparents.
46:51 Or perhaps you came later to the Faith
46:53 but you've lost your first love?
46:55 I have good news for you,
46:59 because you too have the opportunity
47:01 indeed you have the obligation
47:03 to make your own decision for Christ,
47:05 to make your own decision for revival,
47:08 you cannot be saved by your parents' faith,
47:10 you cannot be saved by your husband's or your wife's faith,
47:15 you cannot be saved by your graduating class,
47:18 that Adventist School can give you a degree,
47:20 but it cannot grant you salvation,
47:22 the choice is up to you,
47:24 the cure is readily available to you
47:27 Jesus is waiting for you, He is at the door,
47:31 He wants to come in...
47:33 He wants to destroy that Congenital Christianity
47:36 coursing through your veins
47:37 and replace it with His saving blood.
47:40 Jesus knows your heart, He knows your confusion,
47:45 your hurt, your guilt, your shame,
47:48 He knows your resentment, He knows all these things,
47:52 He knows everything about you and He still wants you.
47:55 You felt Him tugging at your heart,
48:00 you felt the desire
48:03 to respond to His precious gift,
48:05 if only you could believe, if only you could see past
48:10 whatever barrier,
48:11 whatever burden is blocking you from your Savior,
48:15 if only you could believe that Jesus could reach down
48:18 and touch your heart and make it new...
48:21 make all things new.
48:25 Brothers and Sisters,
48:28 I have three very specific appeals
48:32 to make to you this evening,
48:34 these are not general, Corporate appeals,
48:37 these are not a layup,
48:39 these are specific, personal appeals
48:45 from God to you.
48:47 My first appeal is this, if you can relate...
48:51 identify with this Congenital Christianity experience
48:56 that I've just shared with you,
48:57 please raise your hand where you are right now,
48:59 raise your hand,
49:01 raise it high and keep it up... keep it up...
49:03 raise your hand if you can relate
49:05 to the Congenital Christianity that I've described here,
49:08 praise the Lord,
49:09 praise the Lord for each and every one of you,
49:11 acknowledging that you identify and understand
49:13 Congenital Christianity.
49:15 My second appeal is this,
49:16 for those of you who just raised your hand,
49:19 if you are suffering from Congenital Christianity today,
49:24 if you are suffering from Congenital Christianity today
49:29 and you want to confess before God
49:32 that you're suffering from it today,
49:34 then I would ask you, I would invite you,
49:36 I would implore you to stand where you are... at your seat...
49:39 right now... stand to confess to the Lord
49:43 that you suffer from Congenital Christianity today,
49:46 I saw a lot of hands go up,
49:48 some of you... and praise the Lord...
49:51 praise the Lord, you are confessing before God
49:54 that you suffer from Congenital Christianity today,
49:58 praise the Lord and remain standing.
50:02 My third appeal is this,
50:06 for those of you who have acknowledged
50:10 before heaven and earth
50:11 that you suffer from Congenital Christianity today,
50:15 if you want to be free,
50:19 if you want to say to the Lord,
50:21 "I want to be free of this deadly disease,"
50:24 then I invite you,
50:26 I implore you to come to the front
50:28 for a special prayer of consecration and confession
50:33 if you... if you have Congenital Christianity today,
50:38 but you want to be healed, come to the front,
50:41 the Lord sees you standing,
50:43 you've already confessed to Him
50:45 that you suffer from Congenital Christianity today,
50:47 why would you want to stay in that state?
50:50 Why would you want to stay? Come to the front,
50:54 praise the Lord, press in, press in,
50:56 we need more room,
50:57 if you're suffering from Congenital Christianity today,
51:01 I still see some of you, you are standing,
51:03 you've already confessed
51:04 that you suffer from Congenital Christianity
51:06 yet, can you not say today that you want to be cured?
51:10 Don't you want the cure today? Praise the Lord,
51:13 come to the front, press in, we need more room,
51:18 there's plenty of time, please I implore you
51:23 on behalf of Christ,
51:24 if you're suffering from Congenital Christianity today
51:29 come to the front, keep coming,
51:32 there's still more... keep coming...
51:33 make room... praise God...
51:37 God sees your decision and honors it
51:42 let us pray...
51:46 "Lord God, our Father, you are so merciful to us
51:52 you see us before you confessing our Congenital Christianity,
51:59 some of us may have been in this disease for a year
52:02 or two or ten or twenty...
52:04 but it doesn't matter because this evening...
52:07 this Sabbath evening... each and every one of us
52:10 has confessed before you
52:12 not only that we suffer from Congenital Christianity,
52:15 but we want to be cured today and Lord I pray
52:19 that this would not be merely a response
52:21 to an appeal, but Lord, that this would be the first day
52:24 of this... of every individual's eternal life,
52:27 that this would be the first day
52:31 of their revival and reformation,
52:32 Lord, that you would look down upon them
52:36 in mercy and touch their hearts
52:37 and turn from a heart of stone
52:39 to a heart of flesh and we know that you can do this...
52:42 we know that you can do this.
52:44 Lord there are some here who did not stand
52:49 and I pray that it's because
52:51 they do not suffer from Congenital Christianity
52:54 and if that is the case, I praise God for that,
52:56 I praise God for that because that is what you want for us
53:01 to be fully sold out for you,
53:03 but Lord there may be some,
53:05 there may be some who even now, perhaps,
53:09 they raised their hand,
53:11 perhaps they stood but they did not come forward,
53:13 Lord, even now, I would say,
53:17 I would ask, I would implore that the Holy Spirit
53:19 would not leave that person alone
53:22 until they make a decision for you,
53:24 whether it's tonight or some other time,
53:26 do not leave that person alone,
53:28 Lord, you didn't leave me alone, don't leave that person alone...
53:34 Lord, we love you, we praise you,
53:40 Lord, each and every person here has a different path
53:44 but Lord we count on you to be the Author and the Finisher
53:50 of our faith
53:51 and I pray that every person here
53:53 would take this declaration before heaven and earth
53:58 go back to their homes, go back to their churches,
54:02 and start walking with you on a daily basis,
54:05 praying, reading the Word, getting to know Jesus,
54:10 and developing that love relationship with Him...
54:15 Lord, let it not end tonight, but let it go on into eternity
54:23 we pray this in the powerful and precious
54:27 and holy transforming name
54:29 of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, amen.
54:33 You may return to your seats.
54:37 Audience returning to their seats.
54:43 Wasn't that a powerful message?
54:49 Audience: Amen...
54:50 Yes and I appreciate that I've seen so many people come up
54:53 and I assume the sincerity in your heart is real
54:57 and this is what we hope to achieve when we come to ASI,
55:01 we want the Lord to touch our hearts
55:03 and we want to go home with something different,
55:06 we want to be changed by what the Lord has to say
55:09 and I'm here to remind you that tomorrow morning,
55:11 Pastor Ted Wilson will be here and he'll be speaking to us
55:15 at the 11 o'clock service,
55:16 I want to encourage you to be here
55:18 to hear what he has to say and to encourage him on
55:22 as he encourages us as well.
55:24 I have a little announcement
55:26 that I would like to make at this time
55:28 and I was wondering if I'd ever have a chance to do it,
55:30 there are three young ladies that are here
55:33 who came to Pathway to Health...
55:35 Pathways to Health... was that right?
55:39 And they came to help all the way from Arkansas
55:43 and now they're stranded...
55:44 they need 545 dollars to get home,
55:47 now, the least we can do is pray for them
55:50 and we will do that and the most we can do is
55:53 help them to get there so if you'll contact me anytime
55:56 if you want to help these young ladies
55:58 here we are.
56:01 And so, it is true, what I said
56:04 that when they heard the message that David Kim
56:07 would share,
56:08 that it would be thought-provoking
56:10 and help them to think about...
56:12 if... they have given their all to Jesus...
56:14 Frank: Amen...
56:16 And again, as you leave this place,
56:19 we ask you to be thoughtful and prayerful
56:21 about how you demonstrate that commitment to Jesus
56:26 as we consider the offering for tomorrow.
56:30 Frank, you know it's... quite daunting...
56:34 we come every year
56:35 and we know that this is what this is...
56:37 is partially... what it's about...
56:39 it really is about a matter of the heart...
56:41 Frank: Amen...
56:43 But it is about our commitment to service
56:46 and what can we do again to finish the work.
56:49 So please be prayerful about what God wants you to do
56:53 for the offering tomorrow to support
56:54 all of these very worthy projects.
56:56 As you leave this place, we would invite you, of course,
57:00 to stop by the Booths and visit these ministries...
57:04 many of them have Booths here
57:05 and take them in and enjoy the Sabbath fellowship...
57:09 give them support, ask some questions,
57:13 take some things from what they have to offer
57:15 so they can feel supported by us
57:17 and we will be blessed,
57:19 we look forward till tomorrow,
57:21 for the message that Elder Wilson will have,
57:23 and for the additional testimonies
57:24 that we have yet in store for you.
57:26 Thank you Debbie
57:28 and if I can just add one little word here,
57:31 and I guess it's going to be something like a commercial
57:33 but I will be speaking also, tomorrow night
57:35 and I'm hoping...
57:37 because this is my last opportunity
57:38 to address you as the President of ASI,
57:40 I'm hoping that you can be here
57:42 and... and I'm going to do the best I can with God's help,
57:47 by His Holy Spirit, to address a need that I think,
57:50 I think... we so dearly need to address as a people...
57:56 oh Lord, help us... what do you say?
57:58 Debbie: Amen. Frank: God bless you all.
57:59 Debbie: God bless you, happy Sabbath.
58:01 ASI, Spokane, Washington.