SEC Evangelism Expo 2019
18th January 2019
The 'Death of Christianity in the UK' marked the headlines of Psychology Today. Words met with relish by the secular and astonishment from the Christian. The poll stated a steady decline of those professing the Christian faith as well as church attendees.
The Spectator took these statistics further with a projection that 2067 will mark the end of British Christianity. An indicator that either the Great Commission of Matthew 28: 16-20, hasn't been implemented or that the British exemplify the Parable of the Sower, "When anyone hears the message about the Kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart." (Matthew 13:19)
The Evangelism Expo on Sunday 6 January provided an opportune time to assess the situation and instruct members on how to respond. The call drew one thousand people to Newbold College of Higher Education where keynote speaker, Pastor Louis Torres reiterated Jesus' call to action. Using English history as the backdrop for his sermon, Torres charted the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Robert Devereaux, 2nd Earl of Essex, where according to Torres, in spite of being thirty three years his senior they partook in a short-lived courtship. Eventually her beau instigated a coup d'état swiftly leading to him being held prisoner at the Tower of London. The crux of the story came moments after his beheading. After delivering the news, the Queen promptly enquired of her aide "did he read my letter?", only to receive the response that the letter had been sent but not delivered.
Thus, the theme 'the undelivered message' became the focal point of the sermon, a reminder that the body of Christ, too, can fail as message bearers. In part admonishment, part encouragement he compared the growing membership of Jehovah's Witnesses in the UK, the only denomination formed at a similar time frame to Seventh-day Adventists where their current 125 000 members dwarfs our 38 000.
Torres stated that in spite of their incorrect message they have a drive to share it. He furthered this by stating "as individuals we only know the message because of someone who brought it to us and our families. If undelivered someone's salvation is at stake."
Met with applause, congregants also heard of those throughout the South England region actively working to ensure the British public heard the Gospel. ADRA spokeswoman, Catherine Boldeau commended nine churches including Sydenham, Bristol Central and many others for cumulatively raising over £15,000.
Following Torres' heartfelt sermon, the audience dispersed for the workshop section. Maintaining the evangelistic call to action, directors from the South England Conference spent the morning and afternoon educating people in their area of expertise.Pastor Louis Torres' presentation can be viewed here: http://adventist.org.uk/sec/departments/president