The Adventist's doctrine of soul sleep has become an uncanny and somewhat spooky self-prophecy.
For the last two thousand years, each Sunday Christians have proclaimed the Apostle's and Nicene Creed that states that Christ "shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end."
The yearly season of Advent reminded believers of not only the first but second coming of Christ. Christians have always taught of this great apocalypse. Amidst the millennial fever of 19th-century America, date setting was a national religious trend, not just among Millerites, as most Adventist are taught. That same prophetic cry of "Jesus is coming soon and He told me the date" has remnants among the Harold Campings of our day.
Yet Adventists believe that have been the sole voice out there still believing in a literal Second Coming. The only difference is that they have been preaching for about 180 years that it was imminent.
Adventists live life in this imminent last-days perspective that isolates them from reality. While they scan the radar for any possible Sunday laws or Sabbath infringements anywhere in the world--awaiting their own persecution, what disappears off their screen are the Christians who are being tortured and martyred for their beliefs all that time around the world.
Some, because of their prophetess' visions recorded in the book Great Controversy, have a paranoia and fear of other Christians deceiving them. So they hunker down and reject the world as the devil's arena, awaiting the black helicopters and gas chambers secretly being built for the SDA holocaust. (Many SDAs actually believe this...)
Seventh-day Adventist doctrine encloses upon a person's perspective and until the believer only to sees what is within its little sphere. It rejects this threatening world of Catholicism and Apostate Protestantism. All the world is sad and dreary.... their little flock is the only safe place.
Their Investigative Judgement doctrine, if accepted as written, can lead one into terrible despair about one's unknown or unforgiven sins. Many think their eternal destiny in hell is always just one bad thought away, one sip of coffee or wine, one bite of shrimp or pork, one sabbath-breaking moment away. For many traditional Adventists, this is their gospel, and it is frightening.
When Adventists communities are discovered, Christians will find spiritual ghost towns: nice people in a haze of historical and biblical distortion. The religious version of the invasion of the body snatchers can be seen in every Adventist church. For Satan has lulled them into a trance, a deception of what is truth. They look to a deceased female visionary to interpret scripture for them and they publish bibles to keep their adherents always within their dark fantasy of theology.
Their flesh is walking but their souls are asleep. Their prophetic doctrine has manifested itself and they have been snatched into soul sleep.
The only remedy for this is to understand the true gospel. Truth is a light in this dark gray world. When Adventists understand it is He who gave HIS life once and for all, gifting us a New Covenant in His blood for all those who believe, not just those who keep Sabbath they will begin to emerge from this stupor of deception.
But I do not believe that our discussions are enough to revive and animate their sleeping souls. We must be Christ to them, through love and self-sacrifice. When our fervent prayers and humble love is poured out for them, their fears will soften, their ears will hear, and their eyes will open.
Let us pray and live Christ, that our Adventist family and friends may awaken from their soul sleep.