Welcome to the website of the Anaheim Seventh-day Adventist Church. If you are looking for a place to worship, we would be honored to have you join us. We are very close to Disneyland and the surrounding hotels.
We are located at 900 Sunkist St., Anaheim, CA 92806. Our main worship service is on Saturdays at 11:00 AM. We also offer Sabbath School classes for all ages beginning at 9:30 AM. In addition we offer a Spanish speaking Sabbath School and Devotional service that begins at 9:00 AM. You can go here to see recent bulletins from our worship services.
Our office hours are Tuesday – Thursday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. For more information, you may contact us us via phone at 714.635.0991, or via email at email@example.com.
Mid-Week Pastor’s Update
September 20, 2017
“We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52 NKJV
Because of an early-morning commitment I had earlier this week, I had to set my phone alarm to wake-up at about 5:30 a.m. (as opposed to the usual 6:45 or so that my kids generally get me up). In addition, I got to bed late because of something else that took me longer than expected. The result was getting startled awake in the dark by my alarm, disoriented and then remembering/realizing, and then having to begin getting ready in the dark, while the rest of the family slept.
What was strange, though, in my perception of waking up, was that I felt like I was jolted awake out of nothingness; not out of a dream, or out of a 5-ish hour rest, but just: there was just black, and then *boom!* I was awake.
I assume the feeling will be something similar (though much grander) for those who are resurrected when Christ returns. Faithful people who have died from all centuries, from all cultures, and from all life experiences will be awakened together “with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
And they will be wakened from… what? Nothing: no perception of the time they have been unconscious. No dreams, or brain-waves, or anything: just nothingness to *boom!* suddenly awake, beholding glory!
How strange it will be that those who have died from centuries past will think that they are still in their contemporary time and age. I’m sure many of the faithful from the early church times will be amazed that it’s taken over 2,000 years for scripture’s promises to be completed! And what about us? Should we die before Jesus comes, how surprised would we be if we learned, after the fact, that the earth lasted through the year 3,000, or 5,000, or 10,000? Yet it would still feel like Jesus came in our own time. “Like the blink of an eye” as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:52.
An interesting consequence of this will be that when we converse with faithful resurrected folks of ages past, and ask them about their memories of those times and places and events*, they will (at first) recall them as though recent. So we will get much more detail than historical records, or the Bible itself gives us. How interesting it will be to learn new details of times and ages past! And to hear from their own mouths how authentic faith-life played out in various situations and cultural conditions.
In Revelation 22:20, Jesus says “Surely I am coming quickly”, and that has been a problem for Christianity. Why hasn’t He come yet? 2 Peter 3:8-9 gives us a clue as to the reason for the Lord’s ‘delay’, but another way to think about Jesus’ promise is this: to those who first heard those words from Christ in the first century, how long does it take for his coming? With their death and resurrection seeming instant, to them it’s as if he comes in the first century. For those who clung to that truth in the Middle ages, but died due to, say, a plague or a war, how soon does Christ come to them? From their perception, as if in their century. So each generation only has to wait one lifetime for Jesus’ words to come true**. And for people living in a certain generation (likely ours?) it will come true literally in our contemporary time period.
There are huge benefits for all of us being ushered into God’s Kingdom at the same time (Hebrews 11:39-40): first of all, it will be much more epic than the general Christian view of people trickling into heaven as they die here on earth. But even more than that is this: we will all experience the glory of beholding God and heaven contemporarily. We will be with Isaac and Jacob, and Isaiah, and Steven, and so many others, all having lived similar amounts of time, beholding the glory of the Lord and the splendors of the Kingdom together. They will likely be as curious about our times and society, and how faith played-out in our culture, as we will be of theirs. It will be an incredible time of sharing, of discovery, and of rejoicing in God’s saving power for all who have believed throughout earth’s history.
We could even tell Bible characters about newer Bible stories that happened after their deaths! Imagine telling Abel, Noah, Isaac, and others about the Exodus, about Israel’s rise and later fall, and about the particularities of Jesus’ ministry and the spreading of the Gospel throughout the first centuries of the Christian church. They will simply be amazed! And we will marvel anew at God’s goodness through it all as well.
It is a thrill to imagine. And nothing: no sin or vice on this earth is worth clinging to, if it means missing out on that greatest of adventures.
And, for so many, it will all start with a startling, awakening call from Jesus himself! (John 5:28-29). I look forward to experiencing it, and pray that we all will be included in beholding the wonderful sight. Let’s all pray for God to hold us strong until that day.
God bless you all,
Pastor Mark Tatum
* Jesus said in Matthew 8:11 that “many shall come from east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of heaven.” I hope to do that with these and many other Biblical and historical characters!
** And, for those who die tragically due to accident or illness before their natural time, Christ’s coming is perceived as, indeed, very soon!