Conclusion: Living in Light of the End

When you get to know and love people, it is a natural tendency to avoid conflict in your dealings with them. But while it may be convenient to do so, Adventist Christian communities can never abandon God’s ideals because we look forward to God’s eschatological restoration of the ideal in a glorious garden city, the New Jerusalem (Rev 22:1-5; Rom 8:19-25). While the ideal is not always achieved in Christian communities, we are called to display the ideal to the degree possible in anticipation of the new earth and the new humanity exhibited in the resurrected body of Jesus Christ (Rom 6:3-14; 2 Cor 5:15; Eph 2:3-7). Adventist Christian communities seek to uphold the ideal, while treating all who fall short of that ideal, whether by nature or by choice, as if they were the living embodiment of Jesus Christ in our midst. “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me (Matt 25:40, NKJV).” As long as human probation remains open, God does not abandon those He loves (Ezek 16:1-64; John 21:15-17), neither should we. I invite all who read these words to be faithful in loving others the way Christ has loved us (John 13:34).