What is distinctive about Seventh-day Adventists?
Adventists have much in common with all Christians, including the important truths that salvation is only through Jesus Christ, and that the Bible is God’s inspired revelation.
For Adventists, these things are central and important. They come at the top of list in our ‘core beliefs’. Yet there is a package of beliefs that equally makes Adventists distinctive, perhaps unique.
These include celebrating our origin with the Creator God, in our observance of the Seventh-day Sabbath, and the beauty of the world as intended. Throughout our lives we anticipate in hope the return of Jesus Christ (the advent) as promised throughout the gospels.
This is summarised in our name: ‘Seventh-day Adventist‘.
We are grateful for the invitation of Jesus, “Come to me and rest”. Spiritual and physical rest is something God introduced right from Creation, and is highlighted as a privilege within the Ten Commandments. Adventists see resting on the seventh-day as a picture of the eternal rest that God promises for His people.
In taking the Sabbath emphasis of the Bible at its face value, Adventists worship from sunset Friday until sunset Saturday. We spend time in worship, relax with family and friends, and often spend time in nature. Adventists often use the time purposefully visiting or helping neighbours and friends. [Find out more on the joy of the Sabbath by watching two programmes, “Celebrating the Sabbath“, and “Rest“]
We rejoice in the hope that was brought to the world through the first Advent of Jesus Christ. As God become man, fully human yet fully divine, the Jesus revealed in the Gospels gives us the clearest picture of God’s immense love for us.
That love is not just a past promise, but a present reality and a future hope. Adventists strongly believe that Jesus is coming again. Consistently promised throughout the New Testament, we believe His Second Advent will be literal, personal, visible, and world-wide.
Adventists love the Bible – all 66 books. In studying the prophetic books, especially those of Daniel and Revelation, we have come to better understand the cosmic conflict between Christ and Satan. These books give hope, showing Christ as the victor – even in times of difficulty and suffering.
The prophecies of the Bible speak to our time, but we also value the fact that God can also speak with us in our time. We see that in the writings of one of the co-founders of our church, Ellen Gould White. Her books, such as ‘Steps to Christ’, ‘The Desire of Ages’, and ‘The Great Controversy’, have helped many people on their faith journey, pointing people toward the Bible and the Christ of the Bible. The Adventist Discovery Centre offers a number of free Bible Courses on understanding prophecy – particularly the books of Daniel and Revelation.
If you meet an Adventist you will often meet a smiling happy person. That is because we believe God is interested in every part of our lives, social, physical and spiritual. Research shows that those following the Adventist lifestyle tend to live a longer, healthier life. This is partly due to belonging to a caring faith community, partly due to many members enjoying a predominantly plant-based diet, and partly from avoiding alcohol, tobacco and non-prescription drugs.
The interest in caring and health also means you will find many church members working in the caring professions. You may well find church members providing healthy food samples and various health checks at community fairs, in your high street or park, or perhaps at a county shows.