By E.H. “Jack” Sequeira
This book presents what I consider to be Scripture’s essential teaching about the gospel. Seventh-day Adventists have emphasized the three angels’ messages, the very heart of which is “the everlasting gospel” to be proclaimed “to every nation, tribe, language, and people” [Revelation 14:6]. But before we can proclaim this gospel, we must understand clearly what it is — its promise and its power. The implications of this gospel are almost beyond belief, both in the measure of God’s love and in His ability to change us. Yet it must become a living reality in our lives.
Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” [Matthew 24:14]. Yet after almost 2,000 years, we must confess that God’s people have miserably failed to demonstrate the gospel, this mighty power revealed in Jesus Christ that can deliver us completely from the tyranny of sin and self. We live in the “perilous times” Paul predicted for the last days. Men and women have become “lovers of themselves, ... having a form of godliness, but denying its power” [2 Timothy 3:2,5]. The church today desperately needs revival (a renewed appreciation of truth) and reformation (a change in behavior). The starting point must be a clear understanding of Jesus and His gospel. This alone will bring sincere repentance and, in turn, open the way for the Holy Spirit to be poured out as at Pentecost.
This book presents the plan of salvation in a new light and, therefore, will require the reader to put aside all preconceived ideas in order to appreciate its message. As Jesus declared to the disciples of John the Baptist, new wine cannot be put into old bottles [see Matthew 9:17].
For 400 years, Protestant Christianity has been divided into two camps regarding salvation. The first, Calvinism, confesses that Christ actually saved human beings on the cross, but that this salvation is limited only to the elect, those whom God has predetermined to be saved. The second view, Arminianism, holds that, on the cross, Christ obtained salvation for all humanity, but that this salvation is only a provision; a person must believe and repent for the provision to become a reality. Both these views are only conditional good news.
I believe that neither camp presents the full truth about salvation. I believe that the Bible teaches that God actually and unconditionally saved all humanity at the cross so that we are justified and reconciled to God by that act [see Romans 5:10, 18; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19]. I believe that the only reason anyone will be lost is because he or she willfully and persistently rejects God’s gift of salvation in Christ [see John 3:18, 36]. This is what constitutes the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14, the everlasting gospel that must be preached to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people before the end comes.
That is the purpose of this book.
This book is not for the casual reader. It is not designed to be read so much as studied. Its full value will come as you study it alongside the Bible. As you read each chapter, turn to the texts that are cited; read them for yourself, in more than one translation, if possible. Then the truth as it is in Jesus will come to you directly from God’s Word.
In studying the truth of the gospel, you will discover much that contraadicts human reasoning. This is because God’s Word is not a philosophy but a divine revelation. Reason is important, but we must never substitute reason for revelation. Consider the following texts:
Also, the gospel contradicts our human reason because we are all sinners and continue to fall short of God’s glory [see Romans 3:23]. Because of Adam’s fall, all humanity is in slavery to sin and hopeless lost apart from God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ. That is why the natural mind can never receive divine truth without the convicting work of the Holy Spirit [see 1 Corinthians 2:14].
I claim no originality for the ideas given in this book. I have tried to present what God has graciously revealed to me through my own study of the Word and through the writings of Spirit-filled individuals past and present. All truth comes from God, and He reveals it in various ways to different persons for the benefit of the total body of Christ.
To all who love the Lord dearly, I send out this book with the earnest prayer that “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” [John 8:32].