Sermon delivered August 8, 1998

by Pastor Donald J Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Quotations from the Bible are from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

Add Life to Your Years

Today we talk about another unique belief of Seventh-day Adventists: The Simple Lifestyle. Healthful living. III John 2- Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

God wants His Children to be healthy and live a happy life. For decades Adventists have lived and promoted a unique life style.

However in the past few years it seems that the world is quickly catching up. There are thousands of new vegetarians for instance, every week. On the other hand some of our dear folk (shame on them) are slipping the other way.

It is time to cultivate health instead of treating disease. Anyway, It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a disease we can afford, so let's strive to be healthy. Take care of yourself. A prune is just a plum that did not take care of itself.

Exodus 15:26- He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you."

Guess how many simple little aspirin tablets Americans take each year? - - 33,000,000,000 -- Reader's Digest Book of Facts. Christians ought to be healthier! Of course Miracle drugs are nothing new; Moses had two tablets that could cure the world's evils. They will prevent aids and a host of other ills! Why do Seventh-day Adventists practice good health habits? To protect the command center of our body temple which is the dwelling place of the Spirit of Christ. And to accomplish more for Jesus.

I Corinthians 10:31- So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Adam and Eve fell on the matter of appetite. Today all too many of us continue the trend they began by digging our personal grave with our spoon and fork. As a result of good Adventist health habits, recent research shows that we are much less likely than the general public to have almost any major disease known in the world today. Also, we outlive the average American by a whooping 7 to 10 years!

Seventh-day Adventists follow eight well known laws of good health: pure air, moderate exposure to sunshine, wholesome food, pure water, proper rest, regular exercise, total abstinence of that which is harmful, and trust in God.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (temperance). Against such things there is no law.

Adventists get sick less. Germs attack the weakest part of the body. Maybe that's the reason for so many head colds. If I had my way, I would make health catching instead of disease. But alas that is reserved for the earth made new.

Adventists do not use tobacco. Smokers die early. We miss them of course, but did you know that this actually cuts costs to Social Security and pension plans? - (Dennis Zimmerman, a Congressional Research Service economist) Don't tell anybody, but Adventists cost the government a lot of money because we live so long.

You would think everyone would quit today. Few do. But "Each day an estimated 3,000 children begin smoking, which puts them at risk for cardiovascular disease, the nation's No. 1 killer," says AHA president Dr. James Moller. Ultimately, many of these children will join the 417,000 people who die each year of tobacco-related deaths.

Experiments show that artery blockages often begin forming in childhood. (Tim Friend, USA Today, p. 10, 1-17-94) 1 Cor 6:19,20- Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Adam and Eve ate the best food. They did not eat flesh food or highly refined food. Let's eat the best foods. The very best are the foods that come straight from the garden. Fresh, alive, and wholesome!

Do Adventists ever get sick? Yes. Do some get dreaded deceases? Of course. Let me say something here to those who have lived their life to the very best of their ability, and still lose their health.

A Christian named, Dan Richardson, lost his battle with cancer. This poem was distributed at his memorial service:

   Cancer is so limited... 
   It cannot cripple love, 
   It cannot shatter hope, 
   It cannot corrode faith, 
   It cannot eat away peace, 
   It cannot destroy confidence, 
   It cannot kill friendship, 
   It cannot shut out memories, 
   It cannot silence courage, 
   It cannot invade the soul, 
   It cannot reduce eternal life, 
   It cannot quench the Spirit, 
   It cannot lessen the power of the resurrection. 

2 Cor 4:16-18, 5:1- Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

Will you have a birthday in the next 12 months? That greatly depends on your lifestyle.

Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said: Of all people that ever turned 65 in the U.S., half of them are still alive. We expect by the year 2020 we will have 100,000 people who are 100 years old here in America. These old people are going to be healthier. The next generation's elderly are the joggers, swimmers, dieters, and low-cholesterol people. They're the ones that have yogurt and salads for lunch. They use oat bran and avoid unfit food.

GOD'S PLAN for His people:

Psalm 92:12-14 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, God intends for Christians to live longer and better here on this earth. I want to stay fresh and healthy to further the cause of Jesus Christ my Saviour. When I retire, I would rather have energy to do a Maranatha project. No one wants to languish in a rest home.

In his ten years on the PGA Tour, Paul Azinger won 11 tournaments, including the 1993 PGA Championship. But after that triumph, the robust golf pro was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. Chemotherapy treatments followed, leaving Azinger sometimes vomiting and "dry heaving" for 20 minutes of every hour.

He said: "Now I know when you're 33 you're not bullet-proof. I'm as vulnerable as the next guy. None of us is promised tomorrow, so we need to live every day to the fullest. My hope and security are in Christ, and today I'm grateful for even the smallest blessings -- for a roof over my head, for food in my stomach, that I can smell, that my hair is going to grow back. Those are things I took for granted, but never again."

1 Cor 3:16,17- Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? ....for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

If you habitually follow all eight of the laws of health you will enjoy about the same physical well-being as people up to 30 years younger than those who do not adhere to them.

   Fear less, and hope more; 
   Eat less, and chew more; 
   Whine less, breathe more; 
   Enjoy the light, and live more; 
   Fret less, and  Rest more;
   Hurt less, and  Exercise more;
   Suffer less, and  Drink more;
   Avoid the bad, enjoy life more.  

Adventists totally avoid Alcohol in any of its forms. Today, some 3.5 million American teenagers are alcoholics. Many become alcoholics from the very first time they sample it. You never know how it will affect you. Of course you realize that even a small drink causes shrinkage of the Frontal Lobes of the Brain which is our Moral command post. Drinking eventually kills families, marriages, and happiness.

Alcohol was not a part of God's original plan.

Here is something: Did you know this??? -- Studies have shown that as alcohol intake increases church attendance decreases. (American Journal of Public Health, January, 1986, p. 69.)

Adventists do not avoid alcohol or tobacco to attain salvation. We refrain from harmful things because we love our Saviour and want to present our body temple as a place for Him to dwell.

             To be healthy----- 
eat lightly,                  breathe deeply, 
live simply,                act carefully, 
smile cheerfully,       and worship deeply.  

Romans 12:1,2- Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world... Christians come out of a different mold. We operate on a unique paradigm. Adventist Christians don't even look like others. The simple lifestyle affects our dress and actions. Simple but attractive clothing is worn while expensive ointments such as gold and pearls are avoided. (I Timothy 2:9-10)

Romans 12:2B- transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

A boy stood observing Holman's famous picture of Jesus knocking on the door. The boy had a question: "Did Jesus get in?" His daddy said: "Well, I don't think He did." The boy said: "Why? Didn't they hear Him knocking?" Dad: "Maybe not." The boy said: "Maybe they were living down in the cellar."

It may be that some of us are living down deep in the cellar of life. In the very lowest levels of gratification and worldliness. It is high time that we get out of the spiritual basement because Jesus coming is soon. Sooner than you think Jesus will be knocking on your door. Let Him in. Accept Him as part of your family. Jesus seeks and saves if we will but open the door. But how can we open it if we are living in the cellar of life.

I want Jesus living fully in my heart! I want to dodge any activity that lowers my ability to pray and understand God's holy word... Any Thing that will shorten my life and thus my witness for Jesus. The end of all things is about to happen. Let's be committed, faithful Christians. When we all get to heaven what a wonderful day that will be. Let's all get there. Jesus is your passport.

Opening Hymn: 340
Scripture: Romans 12:1-2
Closing Hymn: 633   When we all get to heaven 


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