We were called by God for a special mission: to take the hope of Christ’s second coming to the world. This is our birth certificate, which is recorded in Revelation 10. However, to fulfill this mission, we need to reach the people where they are. The fact that people are more and more concentrated in large urban centers, facilitates our mission. If on one hand these urban centers and metropolitan areas secularize people, on the other they make our access easier. Additionally, living in these locations cause people to need more attention, be insecure, confused, and lonely, this in turn increases our responsibility to present the Bible truths that save, nurture, provide refuge, and bring hope. This is our greatest challenge today! Pastor Mark Finley often states, “Jesus loves the cities because that’s where people are, and Jesus loves people.”

There is no doubt that open hearts in need of receiving the message are to be found in all places and we should reach them. Small towns, little villages and rural communities also have those in need of the message. But the large cities, especially, present unprecedented challenges and opportunities. We need to witness to all, in large and small locations, but the urban regions need special attention.

More than a century ago, Ellen White had already presented this challenge, “Who are carrying a burden for the large cities?” (Testimony Treasures, vol. 3, p. 333). The answer also came from the same prophetic inspiration, “The time has come when, as never before, Seventh-day Adventists are to arise and shine, because their light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon them” (Letter 296, 1904).

The prophetic time is before us as God is motivating the Seventh-day Adventist Church throughout the world to make an impact on the urban centers. This is also our opportunity to expand our focus in the extensive cities in each division through a special integrated evangelism endeavor to establish continual activities and permanent results. Therefore, together with the worldwide church, we can advance boldly so that there is no more delay and we can see Jesus Christ returning soon in the clouds of heaven. After all, “We are in the waiting time. But this period is not to be spent in abstract devotion. Waiting, watching, and vigilant working are to be combined” (Christian Service, p. 85).

The mission is in our hands, the people have already “gathered” in the large urban centers, and the signs indicate that the time will be brief. Why wait? For those who have the great hope, the call is clear, “In preparation for the coming of our Lord, we are to do a large work in the great cities. We have a solemn testimony to bear in these great centers” (Last Day Events, p.118).