by Adventist Review staff, courtesy Adventist Review / photo credit: San Suvankham

God’s plan and longing desire is for His followers to go into all the cities to teach, preach, and heal in His name, said Seventh-day Adventist church president Ted N.C. Wilson. His remarks were part of his annual Sabbath address to the members of the world church’s Executive Committee, during the worship service at the denomination’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, on Oct. 7.

Based on the Bible story of the prophet Jonah, whom God called to evangelize the populous ancient city of Nineveh, Wilson called on every member to consider focusing every effort to reach the large urban centers of the world.

“Christ’s laborers are still few in the large cities of the world,” said Wilson. “God is pleading with us to reach these massive secular fortresses with the life-giving message of the Gospel.”

Building on Jonah’s analogy, Wilson said that while many members have taken seriously God’s call to reach the cities, many have “sailed to Tarshish instead.” Tarshish is the faraway city Jonah sailed to in order to run away from God’s call. “Have we given lip service and only superficial attention to the great task of reaching millions in the metropolitan centers of the world?” Wilson asked. “Have we truly challenged our members to reach out to others?”

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