Think on These Things: My testimony

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I am a Seventh-day Adventist because it is all about Jesus!

I was baptized and married in the Anglican church. After marriage we emigrated to Canada in 1966 and I studied with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. Coming from an engineering background, I wanted proof. I studied deeply to see what they claimed was true and concluded that it was not.

One group said that the text had to be interpreted — “The Bible says this, but it means that!” The other said that The Book of Mormon was the only true authority. I did not agree with either.

Then I met a Seventh-day Adventist and I ridiculed him for worshipping on the “wrong” day.

Together we were working for 40 hours non-stop on a plant startup. He was the engineer and I the technologist. He vanished one Friday evening and did not come back until after it got dark Saturday night. I was tired and not amused. And called him all the names under the sun.

He asked, “Ian, do you believe that God has a message for all in the Bible, or by a church, or by the pope?” and I answered, “God speaks through the Bible.”

He gave me some Bible texts and told me to let the Bible explain itself. I went home and got my JW Bible and studied them all. When I was finished I was totally persuaded that Jesus was the answer, and that He had given the world a day for worship — the seventh-day Sabbath, as a memorial of creation and redemption. And for all time. And, that if you were going to follow the Bible, then you would worship on the day of God’s choosing — the Sabbath. But I did not care.

One evening I was reading through the book of James and became totally convicted that I was a sinner and needed a Saviour. I had not murdered anyone but I had stolen and so was guilty of breaking the Ten Commandments, which God says is sin. (1 John 3:4)

I accepted Jesus as my Saviour and under the new covenant He wrote His laws in my heart and mind and thus brought my life into harmony with God’s ways as described by His law, the Ten Commandments — as a direct result of my salvation experience.

I realized that “Christ came not into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” Jesus, Creator and Redeemer, said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” And we show that relationship by obedience to His word.

Now, some 44 years later. I am so glad that Jesus loved me so much that He was willing to die for my sin and to give me the assurance that He is the Creator and my Redeemer. That is why I remain a Seventh-day Adventist. And He extends the same invitation to all.

Ian Cotton is the retired pastor of the Creston Seventh-day Adventist Church.