Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

John B. Youngberg

Second Advisor

Millie U. Youngberg

Third Advisor

Nancy J. Carbonell

Abstract

Problem. The reading of Eph 5:25-27 shows that Christ will marry the church in a state of holiness and blamelessness. Family life on earth must follow the model of the love of Jesus for the church. But there are no guides, seminars, or studies that combine marital life and preparation for Christ's second coming.

Method. This dissertation developed a seminar that emphasized the belief in the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as accepted by the Apostolic Church. Such belief affects all aspects of the Christian life and particularly the family lifestyle. The seminar tied together eschatology and family life in a way that shows that Christ can return at any time to marry the church, His bride, in a state of holiness and blamelessness. Each church and family member must be in that perfect state in order to go to heaven with Christ in that day. A questionnaire was also developed to test the effect of the seminar. The Philadelphia Haitian Seventh-day Adventist Church of Boston formed one group to which were applied a pretest and a posttest.

Results. On the basis of fifty-three respondents who filled out the questionnaires and the final evaluation form, it was found that the idea of an eschatological family was well appreciated. In the beginning it seemed awkward to want to tie eschatology and family life together, but at the end of the seminar it made sense to participants. The love of Jesus and the need to prepare for His second coming or for the eschatological wedding served as the basic motivation for the Adventist family member. The respondents appreciated the brotherly love of the church although it needs to be developed even more. The felt need of the church is prayer and fasting to consolidate family ties and prepare for Christ's second coming.

Conclusion. The respondents recognized that seminars like this one are needed not only for the Philadelphia Church but also for all churches and on a regular basis, probably once a quarter. This seminar can be repeated in different countries and among different ethnic groups to establish its generalizability. It can also be enhanced by using slides or other visual aids in addition to the transparencies.

Subject Area

Church work with married people--Seventh-day Adventists, Second Advent, Andrews University--Dissertations--Church work with married people--Seventh-day Adventists.

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