"So what's different in Adventism?" She narrowed her eyes as she asked the question. I was having breakfast with the Norwegian guests. We spoke about the upcoming election, America and various other issues that Norwegians like to discuss with Americans. Then suddenly one lady popped up with the question.
"I've heard about the Sabbath, but what else do you believe that is different than Lutheranism?" I began sharing a few different things that we believe, praying all the time that I say the right things, pointing out the truth, yet not bulldozing her over with doctrine. Presently she stated "I think that the Old Testament is a bunch of junk" (she actually used some more pointed words, that I am not going to repeat). "The God of the Old Testament was vengeful, unforgiving, and killed everyone."
Wow, she brought in a whole new aspect, but I jumped at the chance to explain my God to her.
I have read through the Bible several times, and it seems that the more I read through it, the more I see that the God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New. I shared with her Bible verse after Bible verse in the Old Testament showing that God is a loving God. I explained that God had blessed the Israelites over and over again, but they would not heed God. They would prefer to go down their own course and disregard God's love for them. By straying away from Him, they would often fall into the hands of their enemies, but as soon as they cried to God, and turned away from sin, He would save them. I related the story of Hosea and Gomer, and how Hosea bought Gomer back to him, even though she had wronged him terribly. This is exactly the way that God loves His people. He was willing to die Himself that we could understand how much He loved us.
This is the real message of Seventh-day Adventists. God loves us tremendously, so much in fact that His Son was willing to die for us, that we might believe in Him and be saved. Praise the Lord for His goodness towards us, and that He shows us a true picture of Him in both Testaments, as a loving, forgiving God.