Heather, Cindy, Rich and Fara’s Baptism Pictures and Stories

The Homosassa Seventh-day Adventist church was celebrating with all of heaven this last Resurrection weekend, with four baptisms.

Heather and her family came to the Homosassa Seventh-day Adventist church several months ago, and soon Heather asked for Bible studies and baptism. Heather and her family joined our Wednesday afternoon Bible study group, and Heather asked some very thoughtful questions as she expressed her desire to know what the Bible says about what is right and wrong, as she wants to make sure that her life is pleasing to Jesus, who loves her and died for her. Heather is very active in her local social organizations where she shares the love of Jesus with her community.

Mark, our food pantry leader met a very special friend Cindy, who decided to find out for herself exactly what the Bible teaches. Cindy studied with Mark, myself and other church family members as she enjoyes learning all that she can. Cindy writes,

“I was raised in a Christian household (16 years of “all-girls school”), where my parents took me to
church every weekend to instill in me a sense of morality and values. I was introduced to Jesus at a
young age, but I didn’t have a personal relationship with Him. As I grew older, religion stopped being
a significant part of my life, and I found it hard to distinguish between right and wrong. I fell into a life
of sin and temptation, which led to turmoil and misery.
It wasn’t until later that I realized the error of my ways and that I was not living according to God’s
will. I turned away from sinful relationships and instead turned to God to better my life. In doing so,
God led me to wonderful people who helped me discover an even greater purpose, and I am
blessed to know Jesus as my Savior.
Through my relationship with Him, I have found joy, peace, and love, and I have been blessed with a
wonderful God-centered relationship, supportive friends and family, a great job, and a sense of
purpose. While I still experience challenges and difficulties, my focus is on serving God and living a
life that honors Him. I believe that Christ died for my sins and that through His grace and
forgiveness, I am saved. I am now ready to publicly declare my faith.” -Cindy Nichols

Rich had been studying the Bible on his own, and found the Sabbath along with many other Bible truths. Rich found the Homosassa Seventh-day Adventist church online and called me, saying that he wanted to be baptized. Immediately I began studying the Bible with him, and his wife, Farah joined us as well, and was baptized along with Rich this last Sabbath.

After the baptism all four were given their own baptism certificates along with a gift book, The Desire of Ages, the classic on the life of Jesus.

“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Acts 22:16

If you would like to follow Jesus by being baptized, I would love to help you prepare for baptism. You can contact me at william.earnhardt@floridaconference.com I would love to hear from you!

7: Unto the Least of These-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Photo by Timur Weber on Pexels.com

Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School Class February 18, 2023.

Main Theme:  Because we are managers of God’s business, helping the poor is not just an option. It is following the example of Jesus and obeying His commands.

Read in Class: Leviticus 23:22 and Deuteronomy15:11. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: However different the context may be from our lives today, what principles should we take away from these verses?

Apply: How should the gospel, the idea that Christ died for everyone, impact how we treat everyone, regardless of who they are?

Share: Your friend says we should not be helping the poor, because they are just lazy. How do you respond to your friend?

Read in Class: Matthew 19:16-22. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What did Jesus mean when He said to him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matt. 19:21)?

Apply: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:35-37). What does it mean to lose your life for the sake of the gospel?

Share: Your friend asks, “Does Jesus expect everyone who follows Him to give up all they have?” How do you respond to your friend? What have you given up to follow Jesus? How can we surrender our goods and resources to Jesus even while they stay in our own possession?

Read in Class: Luke 19:1-10. Discuss the main idead of this passage.

Study:  What were the differences between this rich man’s experience with Jesus and that of the rich young ruler?

Apply: Most adults don’t climb trees, but Zacchaeus was willing to sacrifice his pride in order to see Jesus. Zacchaeus also quickly sacrificed his pride by repenting so quickly and freely. What can we learn from his example? How does being humble like Zacchaeus help us become better stewards of God’s money and resources?

Share: Your friend asks, why Zacchaeus gave so much to the poor when he was converted? Isn’t salvation free? What did his paying back those he defrauded and giving to the poor have to do with his salvation?

Read in Class: Job 1:8 and Job 29:12-16. Discuss the common thread of these passages.

Study: How was Job described by God Himself? What is depicted here that gives us even more insight into the secret of Job’s character?

Apply: Read Isaiah 58:6-8. How can we take these ancient words and apply them to ourselves today?

Share: We are all going through difficult times these days, but can you class think of someone who may be going through an extraordinarily difficult time financially? Can your class take up a collection and help this person or family out financially without ever mentioning it outside of class?

13: The Judging Process-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School class, Sabbath, December 24, 2022.

Main Theme:  The pre-advent judgment, the millennial judgment, and the executive judgment ends with the vindication of the righteous.

Read in Class: Daniel 7:9-14, Matthew 22:1-14, Revelation 11:1, 18-19, Revelation 14:6-7. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: How do these passages shed light on the notion of a pre-advent investigative judgment in the heavenly courtroom? What is the significance of such a judgment?

Apply: How should our knowledge of a judgment in heaven impact how we live here on earth?

Share: Your friend says there is no need for God to have an investigative judgment since He already knows everything. What is there for him to investigate? How do you answer your friend? Hint: in Genesis 3:9-11 God is performing an investigation and asking questions He already knows the answers to.

Read in Class: 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 and Revelation 20:4-6, 11-13. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: Why should the saints participate in the millennial judgment? Is God offering transparency and accountability?

Apply: What does it teach us about the character of God that before any of the sleeping lost are resurrected to face the second death, the saved will be involved in the judging process, and no one will be punished until we, too, see the justice and fairness of God?

Share: Your friend says that everyone will be given a second change during the thousand years. What do you say to your friend? See also The Millennium in Light of the Cross.

Read in Class: 2 Peter 2:4-6 and 2 Peter 3:10-13. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: How do these texts help us understand the nature of the final executive judgment? How do they imply the idea of the completion of judgment as opposed to its going on forever, which would be a perversion of justice and not an expression of it?

Apply: What does the Cross itself teach us about what God was willing to do in order to save everyone who would be saved?

Share: Your friend asks how we can hasten the coming of Jesus? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Revelation 21:1-8 and Revelation 22:14. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: What is the hope and reward of the righteous? What is the second death of the wicked?

Apply: What is your only hope in the judgment? How do you know you will be saved? See Salvation in Light of the Cross.

Share: What hope you gained from the lessons this quarter? What is your main takeaway?

Jarvis’ Baptism Pictures and Stories

The Homosassa Adventist Church family was very happy when Jarvis first started visiting our church. He had met a lady friend who was a Seventh-day Adventist and he wanted to learn more about the Bible teachings the Adventist Church followed. Sadly as Jarvis and I continued our Bible studies, his lady friend passed away. Jarvis was saddened but encouraged by the new hope he had found in the resurrection. Jarvis was determined to continue studying the Bible with me and the other members of the Homosassa Adventist Church. On October the 8th of 2022, Jarvis was baptized.

And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. Galatians 3:27 NLT
After the baptism we presented Jarvis with his baptism certificate and welcomed him into our church membership, though he was already a part of our church family!
This Sabbath as well as having Jarvis’ baptism we also celebrated communion. Wally, one of our elders had the privilege of washing Jarvis’ feet as Jarvis participated in his first ordinance of humility and communion service with his new Homosassa Adventist church family. We enjoyed a joyous Sabbath with Jarvis from beginning to end!
Don’t let the sun go down on your life without experiencing the joy and hope of salvation which Jarvis now has. If you would like to give your life to Jesus, because He gave His life for you, I would love to help you make this step. You can contact me at william.earnhardt@floridaconference.com