Brexit Sets Stage for Major Evangelistic Series in London

3ABN and the South England Conference begin a two-week series on Saturday.

Brexit Sets Stage for Major Evangelistic Series in London

Something unusual is happening in London amid two seemingly unconnected events.

People are showing an unprecedented interest in the Seventh-day Adventist health message after a series of church-organized fairs, and public uncertainty is running high following Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union.

The unexpected result: fertile ground for a major evangelistic series titled “The Right Time, The Right Message,” which opens Saturday evening after a year of planning by the U.S.-based Three Angels Broadcasting Network in partnership with the local Adventist Church, organizers said.

“History has demonstrated that people have been won to Jesus Christ when they are in transition or when there is a crisis,” said Emmanuel Osei, acting president of the church’s South England Conference, whose territory includes London. “Europe is in a crisis. The world is in crisis.”

He said Brexit, as Britain’s decision to leave the EU is known, affirms biblical prophecy in Daniel 2:43 that no kingdom will succeed in uniting the world under a single power in the last days of Earth’s history.

“Brexit has given us an opportunity to help our neighbors turn to this ancient prophecy and see its relevance and fulfillment,” Osei told the
Adventist Review.

The Sept. 3-17 evangelistic series is being held in 11 London churches and led by speakers and musicians from 3ABN and the church’s South England Conference. The daily meetings, which start from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. local time, depending on the venue, are being livestreamed at the website 3ABN will broadcast the main meeting led by John Lomacang, its director of world evangelism, on Sept. 5-20 following a two-day delay.

3ABN founder and president Danny Shelton said he had no idea that the people of London would be so ready to hear the gospel when 3ABN’s board prayerfully decided in July 2015 to organize its first international evangelistic series in years.

“That’s how our God works,” Shelton said Friday. “This is confirmation that this evangelistic series has been ordained by the Lord. God says, ‘Before we call, I will answer,’ and that’s what He’s done.”

Local church members have been laying the ground for the evangelistic meetings with a series of health fairs in churches and other venues across the South England Conference. Osei said he had been astonished by the eagerness of church members to reach out to friends and neighbors to attend the Health Fest weekend events — and by the response of attendees.

“For the first time in my 30 years of pastoral experience I have seen a shift in attitude by members being willing to encourage their friends to attend and listen to our health message,” he said. “There was no inhibition on the part of members or visitors alike to get involved and participate in the activities of the day. They willingly asked questions and were appreciative of what the church had to offer. It was as though members were moved with holy boldness as they related the Bible’s health message as the solutions to some of the diseases we encounter today.”

He expressed hope that the enthusiasm would spill over to the evangelistic campaign.

“Because of Brexit there are some who are now in transition,” Osei said. “They feel disappointed and let down by the decision taken by our politicians, and some have decided to move out of Britain. In transition, one is open to discussion and thus this creates an excellent opportunity to discuss the conclusion of the prophecy of Daniel 2, pointing people to the kingdom of God that will destroy all other world kingdoms and last forever.”

The evangelistic campaign seeks to proclaim the three angels’ message of Jesus’ soon coming from Revelation 14:6-12 and to bring revival and reformation to the local churches, organizers said. It was not immediately clear how many people might attend the nightly meetings or how many decisions might be made for baptism.

“We plant the seed and trust God to bring the harvest,” said Shelton, who will not lead any meetings after recent vocal chord surgery but may sing.

Evangelism, the lifeblood of Adventism since its origins in the mid-1800s, has taken on new urgency over the past few years as church members around the world step up efforts to share the message of Jesus’ return. A three-week evangelistic campaign in Rwanda last May resulted in an unprecedented 100,777 baptisms. More than 30,000 people were baptized after an evangelistic series in Zimbabwe in May 2015. Another campaign is scheduled for Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine in February 2017. The campaigns have been backed by the active involvement of local church members, similar to that seen in London.

3ABN’s last international campaign took place in India and was organized with Maranatha Volunteers International about a decade ago. 3ABN also worked with evangelist John Carter in Russia in 1992.

“As we were praying last year, with our 3ABN board members and fellow co-workers, we were strongly impressed that it was the time to get involved in international evangelism again,” Shelton said. “Time is short, Jesus is coming soon, and 3ABN wants to be involved in a direct way with winning souls on the ground level.”

Organizers initially planned to hold one large meeting centered around a single speaker but later opted for multiple sites to make it easier for people to attend.

Philip Wesley, a speaker at one of the 11 London sites and pastor of the New Dimension Seventh-day Adventist Church and Triumphant Tabernacle Mission in Brooklyn, New York, said he was eager to see where God would lead during the meetings.

“I see the Holy Spirit moving upon the face of England and causing a shift in attitude and action,” he said. “God is doing something amazing and I’m excited to be a part of it.”