‘We Are in a Race Much Greater than Indy 500’

Revelation of Hope series in Indianapolis closes with calls to commit to God’s people.

Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review
‘We Are in a Race Much Greater than Indy 500’
[Photo: Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review]

A full day of spiritual messages, praise and worship, and baptisms crowned the one-week Revelation of Hope evangelistic series in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, on May 28, 2022. 

On a cloudless and mild spring Saturday, after days of rain, hundreds flocked to the Warren Performing Arts Center to listen to main speaker and General Conference president Ted N. C. Wilson and host Mark Finley discuss what history reveals about God’s unfolding truth, the wonderful promise of Jesus’ coming, and the promise of heaven.

It was also a special weekend for the city of Indianapolis, as an estimated throng of 300,000 people filled hotels, bars, and restaurants in anticipation of the May 29 Indy 500, one of the top auto racing events in the world. The event was back for the first time since 2019, after being interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the city was in celebration mode.

In his morning message, Wilson emphasized that Bible-believing Christians are getting ready for an infinitely more important celebration. “We are in a race much greater than the Indy 500,” he said. “We are on our way to heaven!”

Throughout the day, five interspersed baptismal ceremonies marked the commitment of people who decided to accept God’s truth as it is revealed in the Bible. They are now members of Adventist congregations across the city and beyond, adding to an estimated 100 baptisms after various outreach and evangelistic initiatives in the past couple of months. Baptisms included a grandmother and her granddaughter, who decided to get baptized together, a couple of newlyweds, a man who returned to the Lord after 15 years away, and several others.

The day also included special music items by a choir that sang in the Mizo language, and another praise group that sang in Spanish. “Imagine what heaven will be like,” Wilson said in commending the praise music, “when people from every nation and language can meet to praise our God.”

The Promise of His Coming

Highlights of the day were three major biblical presentations, one by Finley and two by Wilson.

In the first, Finley discussed what the Bible book of Revelation says about the second coming of Jesus. The link between the book of Revelation and Jesus is natural, he said, because “the central theme of Revelation is Jesus.” Within that context, Finley said, we can be comforted in the promise of His coming. “We long for that day when the sad saga of death will be over,” he said.

To be ready to receive the Lord and wait for Him with open arms, we must wait for Him and not give up. “It will be worth waiting,” he said. “Whatever trial you go through, whatever difficulty you go through, it’s going to be worth it, when Jesus Christ comes again.”

Lessons from Christian History

In the second biblical presentation, Wilson reviewed how prophecy in Revelation connects with events in history, especially as regards the Christian church. “Satan’s master strategy was to influence powerful church leaders to unite with powerful state leaders,” Wilson reminded his audience. “This led the Christian church to move away from God’s truth as it is revealed in the Bible, and a dark period followed.”

Against that background, God worked through various special messengers or people groups across the ages, not only to keep His truth alive but to gradually restore it to its fullness. Among others, Wilson mentioned the Waldenses, Huss, Luther, and Calvin.

Wilson also emphasized the progressive nature of God’s revelation. He quoted Pilgrim pastor John Robinson, who, when giving his blessing to a group of Puritans that was leaving for America, told them, “If God should reveal anything to you by any other instrument of His, be as ready to receive it as ever you were to receive any truth of my ministry; for I am very confident the Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth out of His holy Word.”

And so it has been, Wilson explained, until the present time. “We are living in a time when God will call all humanity, all over the globe, back to worship Him in a pure way, turning people back to the true worship of God. God will call all of us to the truth of the Bible,” he said.

What Heaven Will Be Like

In the closing presentation, Wilson went back once more to the Bible, this time to review what the Bible says about heaven. “There are so many conflicting ideas about it,” he said, mentioning that for some people, it is a state of mind or an outdated belief. “But the Bible tells us what heaven will be like, even if it also says that we can’t fully apprehend the things that God has prepared for those who love Him,” Wilson said.

Heaven is a real place, where those saved by faith in Jesus will thrive and will live with Him forever, Wilson said. And Heaven’s goal is to get as many people in as possible, he emphasized.

A final altar call saw people walk to the front, some with relatives and friends, to commit or recommit to God. Before praying for those who made their decision, Wilson emphasized the pivotal importance of the moment. “No doubt about it, you have made the most important decision you’ll ever make,” he said.

Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review