Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, gives special Year-End Greeting

News December 21, 2018

Warm greetings to each one of you during this very special time of the year when the world remembers the Savior’s birth. Even though, it most probably was not at this time, we still remember this wonderful, beautiful event.

While the Bible doesn’t tell us exactly when Jesus was born, it assures us that He was born in Bethlehem, the city of David. Prophecy predicted this centuries earlier when, through inspiration, the prophet Micah wrote:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”

What a marvelous prediction in Micah, chapter 5, verse 2.

This is amazing to think about—that God, the Creator of the universe, humbled himself and became a human being, born as a helpless babe to a young mother, raised in a humble home, spent most of His earthly life working in a carpenter’s shop, and then for three-and-a-half years wandered from place to place, teaching, preaching, healing, and bringing hope to countless people before being rejected by the very ones He came to save. He suffered the most humiliating, excruciating death possible and was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb.

Why? Why did He choose to do this? Why did He choose to come to Earth, this tiny speck of a planet, as a human being, to live and to die, knowing that He would be “despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 56:3)?

There is only one answer—love. Love for you, love for me. Love for the entire world. For you see, the Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8 — “God is love.”

And we know that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” a beautiful promise from John 3, verse 16.

The truth is, without God, we have no hope, no future. Again, from the Scripture, Romans 6:23—“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus—our only hope. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

And because He knew this, because He knew we would be lost forever without Him, He came to this earth more than 2,000 years ago because He couldn’t bear to spend eternity without us. 

We read in the beautiful book, The Desire of Ages, p. 25, that “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “’With His stripes we are healed.’” 

Praise God that He died, and rose, and is even now at the right hand of God interceding for us (Romans 8:34).

During this time of gift giving, I want to remember that if you haven’t already done so, and I want you to think about it carefully, that you will accept Jesus—who wrapped Himself up in the package of humanity—100 percent divine, 100 percent human—we can’t comprehend it, but what a miracle! He gave Himself to you, and to me, as an incredible gift of life, and love, and eternal life!

And if you have already accepted Jesus as your Savior, won’t you share this gift with someone else today?

As we read in Scripture, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Marvelous words from Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6.

May that peace be yours, not only at the end of the year, and not only at the beginning of the year, but throughout the year of 2019, as we look forward, in the near future, to the second advent, and Jesus’ soon coming.  

Let’s pray together.

“Father in heaven, we thank you for these marvelous reminders in Scripture of your love for each of us, and for the plan that was made in heaven so many years ago before the creation of this world—that Jesus would come in the form of a human being, and that He would live a perfect life. That He would die for us. That He would walk with us. That He would rise again. That He would intercede for us in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary as our High Priest, and that He will come back to take us home at His Second Advent. So Lord, we commit ourselves now into Your care and ask that You will help us to share this marvelous truth with others—that Jesus is coming soon! We praise Your name for that wonderful promise. Thank You! In Christ’s name we ask it, amen.