We believe that when a person decides to live like Christ, one way of demonstrating this great decision is to follow the example of Jesus and be baptized. Since He was submerged completely under water – we do the same thing. Remember…if it’s good enough for Christ than it’ll probably work for you and me too.
Oh…one other thing on baptism. We don’t baptize our babies. We let them grow up a little bit and make that decision on their own. Instead, we dedicate our infants and their parents to God and spend a lot of time in prayer for them!
At Living Stone we are always asking questions and then searching the Bible for answers. One thing that comes up from time to time is: what happens when a person dies? This is a difficult question to answer. One that virtually every culture in world history has taken a crack at solving. We lean towards the description given in 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul describes death as something similar to “sleep”. Now admittedly we don’t know exactly how to define this “sleep”. But we are pretty certain it doesn’t mean that we all go straight to heaven when we die. Logically that just doesn’t make sense to us for the following reasons:
- If we went straight to heaven, isn’t that basically like being resurrected from the dead? The Bible seems to reserve resurrection as something unique and special chronicling Christ’s victory over death. Therefore the idea that – following death – everyone is essentially resurrected (or goes straight to heaven) steals some of the true power of what really happened on the cross.
- In John 11 you can read about Jesus bringing His friend Lazarus back to life (Lazarus had been dead for about 4 days). Even though Jesus uses “sleep” (gr. koimao) to describe death, there’s something else in that story that we find interesting. If Lazarus had died and gone straight to heaven (where the party is); wouldn’t it have been cruel of Jesus to bring Him back here to earth (where the party isn’t)? Essentially saying “Sorry friend…false alarm. You need to come back to the place where sickness, sin, and death still exist”. That would be totally out of character for a God who desires to bless us, not curse us.
- Before Jesus ascended to heaven He told the disciples that He was leaving to prepare a place for them; and that He would someday return and take us all to that place (John 14:1-4). Since we believe He was telling the truth, it wouldn’t make sense for Him to return if most of us were already in heaven! Living Stone believes 1 Corinthians 15 teaches that Christ will return for both the living and the dead (or asleep) in Christ.
Well there you have it, just a few of our core beliefs. We didn’t cover it all. But instead of continuing with a “list”, we encourage you to read and study Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 2, and 1 John 4. We believe the concepts written in those biblical chapters are indeed present throughout all the rest of scripture (from Genesis to Revelation). They are foundational concepts for Living Stone.
We hope the previous statements have allowed you to get to know us just a little better. But the reality is we could never write anything that would capture the entire picture of the Living Stone. For that experience – we encourage you to join us in person sometime. We know we don’t have all the answers and trust that we can learn a lot from you. We look forward to calling you our friend.
If you would like to read more about what the Seventh-day Adventist denomination believes; the following link will take you to the official website for the North American Division. http://www.nadadventist.org/article/17/about-our-church/what-we-believe.