Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--2nd Quarter 2016--Peter and the Rock  (Read 9692 times)

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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--2nd Quarter 2016--Peter and the Rock
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2016, 07:18:35 PM »
We may not know how Peter felt about the experience regarding the temple tax, but would it not be better for us to let God give us answers, rather than, like Peter, presume we know how God will act in a given situation? It seems that learning our humble dependence upon God is an experience that is gained best by beholding Jesus--and seeing that we have nothing of ourselves in which to trust.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--2nd Quarter 2016--Peter and the Rock
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2016, 08:46:01 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean! 

What a blessing to read how God is leading you as you study the Sabbath School lesson. There is safety in a multitude of counselors. I look forward to reading what God is revealing to others who study the lesson from around the world. There is a change taking place in the church that many do not see. But, as we share with each other, it will be a witness that this change is taking place in preparation for the soon coming of Jesus!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--2nd Quarter 2016--Peter and the Rock
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2016, 08:57:06 AM »
Friday May 20


Further Thought: The story of how Jesus has Peter pull the money, the exact amount needed, out of the mouth of the first fish Peter catches is extraordinary, so extraordinary that some scholars have tried to argue it away. It was just a “bit of a folk-tale,” a cute story to make a point, nothing more. Of course, that’s a totally inadequate solution (it’s no solution at all, in fact). Sure, in contrast to the other kind of miracles—for example, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, feeding the hungry—this one is of a different nature altogether. In the Bible, too, we do have the floating axe head (2 Kings 6:2-7) and the wet fleece on the dry ground and the dry fleece on the wet ground (Judg. 6:36-40); so, it’s not of a nature totally unknown in Scripture. Why didn’t Jesus simply hand Peter the money and tell him to pay it rather than perform such an amazing feat in order to solve what was a relatively small problem? The text doesn’t say. However, as the lesson said, it does show us the incredible power of God, which should not be surprising to us. After all, we see evidence of His incredible power all the time. Our mere existence, much less than that of the visible cosmos, is an amazing manifestation of the power of our God. If God could do this, a specific coin in a specific fish’s mouth was nothing. Though written in a different context, Paul’s point is so well taken: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Rom. 11:33). The account in Matthew is just one more manifestation of this truth.

The issue at hand was not "a relatively small problem." The nation of Israel was soon to put to death the Son of God. Anything that would lead the people away from understanding Jesus was the Son of God was a major problem. This is why Jesus did what He did, so the people would know He was the Son of God. As such He did not have to pay the tax. In His wisdom, he averted the controversy and revealed who He was.

And when we speak of His miracles, take a fresh look at the Lord's Supper. There you will find the greatest of all miracles. When the disciples came into that upper room they were vying for the highest place. None were in a converted state. None would wash Jesus' dirty feet. It was "below" them to do so. Self was alive and well. But, the power of God's grace to transform the life was revealed that night. After He washed their dirty feet (grace), each was willing to concede the highest place to another, except for Judas who refused to allow God's grace to transform Him. The conversion of a sinner is the greatest miracle Christ can do. And, it is His desire to convert you and me, every day! Only we can stand in His way.


Discussion Questions:

    Peter’s struggle to submit his will to God is our struggle, as well. A powerful metaphor of this struggle can be found in Malachi 1, where God asks the Jews to bring only their best animals for sacrifice. “ye brought [that which was] torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.” (Mal. 1:13). Why would God care what kind of sacrifices we bring to Him? Because He wants us to entrust Him with what we most want to hold onto. What things in your life do you find yourself clutching onto the most? How can you release these things to the Lord?

Amen! This is the all important question. What must I do to be saved? The author here has pointed out that we must do something. We must trust Jesus. How can we give up our idols that stand between us and God? How can we entrust all we have and all we are to Christ? It is a mystery to many that we need to do something, and it is another mystery as to how we can be changed. Jesus answered both of these mysteries when a leader in Israel came to Him under cover of darkness.

Nicodemus was in a Laodicean condition when he came to Jesus. He did not know he was in a lost condition. He thought he was a "good" man. But, Jesus told him otherwise. Jesus right at the very beginning of the conversation told him he needed to be born again, that he did not have salvation. And, Jesus did not leave Nicodemus without a knowledge of how to go about gaining this experience. The knowledge He imparted to Nicodemus is just as much needed for us today.

When we come to understand we do not possess salvation, then how is it we can come to the point of giving up our precious idols? What must we do to be saved is the most important question we can ask. What is the answer?


    Think about the way Jesus handled the situation with the temple tax. Rather than exacerbate the situation, He let it rest. What does this teach us about the day-to-day conflicts we might find ourselves in? How do you know when it’s time to speak and when it’s time to be silent?

As so often is the case, the lesson asks some very important questions, but does not provide the answer. In Sabbath School classes around the world, the question will come up, but sadly, the answer may not be given. And, in some cases, there will be wrong answers shared. This is important enough that an answer ought to be shared. Some of our readers are in the far east, so they will already be worshiping on the Sabbath. But, for many of us, we are not yet to the Sabbath Day (morning).  So, I will not answer the question, but will leave it in hopes another will provide the answer.

How can we know when we ought to speak or remain quiet?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--2nd Quarter 2016--Peter and the Rock
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2016, 08:26:57 PM »
Friday May 20

Discussion Questions:

    Peter’s struggle to submit his will to God is our struggle, as well. A powerful metaphor of this struggle can be found in Malachi 1, where God asks the Jews to bring only their best animals for sacrifice. “ye brought [that which was] torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.” (Mal. 1:13). Why would God care what kind of sacrifices we bring to Him? Because He wants us to entrust Him with what we most want to hold onto. What things in your life do you find yourself clutching onto the most? How can you release these things to the Lord?

Amen! This is the all important question. What must I do to be saved? The author here has pointed out that we must do something. We must trust Jesus. How can we give up our idols that stand between us and God? How can we entrust all we have and all we are to Christ? It is a mystery to many that we need to do something, and it is another mystery as to how we can be changed. Jesus answered both of these mysteries when a leader in Israel came to Him under cover of darkness.

Nicodemus was in a Laodicean condition when he came to Jesus. He did not know he was in a lost condition. He thought he was a "good" man. But, Jesus told him otherwise. Jesus right at the very beginning of the conversation told him he needed to be born again, that he did not have salvation. And, Jesus did not leave Nicodemus without a knowledge of how to go about gaining this experience. The knowledge He imparted to Nicodemus is just as much needed for us today.

When we come to understand we do not possess salvation, then how is it we can come to the point of giving up our precious idols? What must we do to be saved is the most important question we can ask. What is the answer?


    Think about the way Jesus handled the situation with the temple tax. Rather than exacerbate the situation, He let it rest. What does this teach us about the day-to-day conflicts we might find ourselves in? How do you know when it’s time to speak and when it’s time to be silent?

As so often is the case, the lesson asks some very important questions, but does not provide the answer. In Sabbath School classes around the world, the question will come up, but sadly, the answer may not be given. And, in some cases, there will be wrong answers shared. This is important enough that an answer ought to be shared. Some of our readers are in the far east, so they will already be worshiping on the Sabbath. But, for many of us, we are not yet to the Sabbath Day (morning).  So, I will not answer the question, but will leave it in hopes another will provide the answer.

How can we know when we ought to speak or remain quiet?


I am so blessed to be a pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, God's remnant movement of Bible prophecy. And as the lesson study asks these questions, and as you, Richard, also explore them in this Christ-centered forum, I am stirred by the Holy Spirit to answer:

The answer to both questions is that we need Jesus, and that we need to daily behold the loveliness of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We need to spend time with the Savior of the world who promises to change us. The things I once loved (the things of the world, rock music, and things that glorify self) are now hateful to me because I have surrendered entirely to Jesus.

But when I came into the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I was unconverted. I came in the church in a "Laodicean" condition--I would go to rock concerts and then attend worship on Sabbath morning. My name was "on the books" of the church, but my life contradicted my profession. Through the experience of beholding the loveliness of Jesus (a dear young man when I canvassed in 2008 shared with me about the love of Christ, the 1888 message, and how I needed to daily spend time beholding His character) led me to see that I was lost, that I had been lost while I thought I was saved, and that God was calling me to repentance. What did I do? I was rebaptized! I believe that God has many Seventh-day Adventists right now that need to be rebaptized--and that is because they were buried alive--much like I was (that is, the heart was unconverted, but the baptism was still administered).

I see these questions as an amazing opportunity to share how Jesus has been changing my own life. I came into the church unconverted, and there were times when I was converted but I would break that connection with Christ and go to my idols. Now I see my constant need of Jesus. He has given me a new heart. He has filled my life with all the fruits of the Spirit so that not one will be missing (that is really a promise of God's grace so long as we abide in Him). I am choosing to behold Jesus' loveliness each day as I read the gospels and the beautiful biography of Jesus' life--the Desire of Ages, and I am so blessed to be able to share on this site in the forum for the Desire of Ages. I love Jesus, and the only way I can know when to speak or when to be silent, the only way I can overcome any sin or temptation is always the same answer: I am constantly in need of Jesus, and only He can give me heart-obedience, only He can give me the words to speak, and only He has a love that is strong enough to break the spell of this world's entrancing allurements. Only Jesus--the Jesus Christ revealed in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy--the Jesus Christ who has come to abide in my heart. He is the answer, He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and I can do no good thing apart from Him.

All glory to God. I am not my own, and I only want to do the things that please Him. If you agree, will you post and share how Jesus is transforming your life? What have you found in your experience as you have surrendered all to Him? How has His love given you opportunities to speak or be silent at just the right time? We need not have a sermon every Sabbath--but we need to have a living testimony of what Jesus is doing in our lives. Will you share what Jesus is doing in your life in light of the questions that have been posed in this week's final lesson? Jesus is coming soon--and He wants you to be one of His living witnesses! Happy Sabbath!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--2nd Quarter 2016--Peter and the Rock
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2016, 09:16:43 PM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  Only Jesus knows when it is best for us to speak and when we ought to be quiet. We lack an understanding of where the heart is of the ones listening. There is a way which may seem right to us, but the end thereof may lead to death.

It is late, but then it is never too late to share a testimony or how God has led us in the past.

I met a lady who was a member of a Baptist Church. She asked where I was from and I told her. She asked if I would speak to her ex-husband who had been removed from the Baptist Church because he had no grounds to divorce his wife. I said I would pray about it. I often visited the town in which they both lived and knew some of the policemen. Her ex was a local cop. As I prayed about the situation, I was impressed that I must go not to the sinner, but to the church and reprove them for not ministering to this lost sheep. None had gone to him since he was removed from the church. It was their place, not mine to help the poor man.

I thought if I went to their Sunday School I could share with some in the class. It worked out well. I had opportunity in the small class to explain it was their responsibility to go to the sinner and labor with him. That God did not recognize his divorce. They understood and repented of not having done so. They said they would follow up with him. As I was thanking God for the opportunity and a quick resolution, God had other things in mind. He impressed me I was to go into the church service. I thought that strange since the congregation in many churches do not have opportunity to address the church. The impression was very strong, and even though I did not want to go into the church service, I did.

It was very interesting to hear the pastor preach a sermon that was addressing the very subject I was there for. The responsibility to labor with unrepentant sinners. Now, in answer to the question posed by the author of today's lesson. Do I speak up or remain quiet? I knew why I was there. I knew I must address the church. I had confirmation of the Holy Spirit's still small voice when I heard the message coming from the pastor. But, do I interrupt the preacher? I had never done such a thing. Or do I remain quiet?  I sat there on the edge of the pew, perplexed.

Then the pastor spoke such words that applied to why I was there, I could not but speak. As I started to stand up, the Holy Spirit impressed me not to speak. This went on a number of times where I was getting stressed because I was getting two messages, speak, no sit.  :(  So, I sat there waiting until I knew I was to speak. I waited on the Lord.

I was sitting in an isle seat about four rows back from the front. Then a most amazing thing happened. The pastor who had been on the platform the whole time, stepped down and walked down the isle as he was preaching and stopped right in front of me. He spoke words that allowed to quietly say to him, "that is why I am here, may I address your congregation?" He said "yes".

If we are completely surrendered, if we are willing to do all God asks of us, then He will take care of communicating what He wants us to do and when He wants us to do it.

Have you heard that "still small voice" speaking to you? If not, then ask God to help you hear Him. Spend that quiet time prayerfully contemplating the life of Christ. It is then the Holy Spirit will speak in a manner you will understand.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--2nd Quarter 2016--Peter and the Rock
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2016, 05:26:19 AM »
How has His love given you opportunities to speak or be silent at just the right time? We need not have a sermon every Sabbath--but we need to have a living testimony of what Jesus is doing in our lives.

I think maybe I've shared this in one of the testimony areas but since I'm unsure and since pastor Sean asked here I will share here also.

Back a couple of years I was planning a fall weekend hike in a near by National Forest to see the fall colors. But during the week leading up I started to think that maybe I just wouldn't go. For some reason I lost the enthusiasm that I normally have for hikes. But just a couple a of days before I was to leave, if I were going, I started to get this impression that I really should go even though I didn't feel like it. I'll be honest at first I wasn't sure where the impression was coming from because normally it wouldn't take any promptings at all to get me to go on a weekend hike so I thought maybe I was just trying to talk myself back into going but as time got closer I felt stronger impressions that I should go. So I went.

I got there late Friday afternoon hiked in a couple of miles and set up camp. Sabbath morning was a glorious one but chilly one. Sun was out shining on the fall leaves. I ate breakfast and broke camp and started to hike a little earlier than I normally do. Then I ran into a couple a very obviously happy couple. I thought to myself, "am I suppose to speak with them?"  As I started conversation with them I discovered they were a Christian couple of another faith. Together we talked about how great God was to give us such a wonderful morning and I found out that they were out training for a thru hike of the AT. These people were not why I was there.

I went for a large portion of the rest of Sabbath wondering why I was there even though I was now thoroughly enjoying the hike like I normally do. Then as I turned a corner I saw a young man down by a river. I don't normally turn out of my way to meet people when I'm out in the wilderness as most people, like me, are there for the solitude. However, for some reason this felt like something I was suppose to do.

I walked up to him and engaged in small talk and then I discovered why I was there. There were some very almost impossible things about our meeting that confirmed things for me. As we got to talking I discovered this young man was in the middle of a situation in his life. We talked a while and he shared some big decisions that he was trying to make and was leaning in one direction. If you know me at all I by nature do not like to make waves but I found myself sharing some things and trying get him to understand why his decision may not be the best. I didn't urge my thoughts on him as I didn't want to turn him off but I knew he needed to look at other possibilities. So we talked a bit longer as he broke camp.

We decided to hike a while together and after a couple of miles he turned off the path to do some fishing and I continued on my way. I do not know if I'll ever know the outcome of our meeting this side of heaven but it was a blessing to go and share. This is not the only divine appointment I've had on the trail but for other reasons it has left a stronger impression than some of the others.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--2nd Quarter 2016--Peter and the Rock
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2016, 07:16:24 AM »
Amen, Jim. Thank you for sharing your experience of hearing that "still small voice" which directs our path. God's Word will not return void. The truth you shared that morning was not something you knew you were going to do, but God knew it. You often did not speak to others on the trail, but you knew when you must speak, and speak you did.

I know some are fearful of such things. They think it to be trusting in feeling, not in God's Word. But, they are wrong. They have not read the Bible to understand how God leads those who love Him and keep His commandments. You were following Scripture by speaking when you did. There are three Persons in the godhead. It is the Holy Spirit that speaks to our minds. He opens the truth to us. We ought never open the Bible without first praying for the Holy Spirit to show us the truth we need.

Here is a passage from the Book of Job that reveals the working of the Holy Spirit in answer to our lessons question about knowing when to speak.

32:1   So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he [was] righteous in his own eyes. 
 32:2   Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God. 
 32:3   Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and [yet] had condemned Job. 
 32:4   Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they [were] elder than he. 
 32:5   When Elihu saw that [there was] no answer in the mouth of [these] three men, then his wrath was kindled. 
 32:6   And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I [am] young, and ye [are] very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not show you mine opinion. 
 32:7   I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. 
 32:8   But [there is] a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. 
 32:9   Great men are not [always] wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. 
 32:10   Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will show mine opinion. 
 32:11   Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say. 
 32:12   Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, [there was] none of you that convinced Job, [or] that answered his words: 
 32:13   Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man. 
 32:14   Now he hath not directed [his] words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches. 
 32:15   They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking. 
 32:16   When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, [and] answered no more;) 
 32:17   [I said], I will answer also my part, I also will show mine opinion. 
 32:18   For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. 
 32:19   Behold, my belly [is] as wine [which] hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. 
 32:20   I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer. 
 32:21   Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. 
 32:22   For I know not to give flattering titles; [in so doing] my maker would soon take me away. 


Some "teach" that Elihu was arrogant, that Job was not self righteous. They have not Spiritual discernment. Elihu was being led by the Holy Spirit to speak. He explains it very clearly. And all who teach such things are poor Bible students also. They either did not read the rest of the Book or they read simple truth and did not understand. They ought to have prayed for the Holy Spirit to help them understand.

Here we read that what Elihu said was confirmed by God, Job was self righteous.  Thus, it was the third person of the godhead that was impressing Elihu to speak.

 38:1   Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 
 38:2   Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

 40:1   Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, 
 40:2   Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct [him]? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. 
 40:3   Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 
 40:4   Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. 
 40:5   Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. 
 40:6   Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 
 40:7   Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 
 40:8   Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? 


Elihu was not a prophet, he was a young man who was in a converted state when he reproved Job and his three friends. He could not keep quiet any longer. That "still, small voice" became so strong that he must be refreshed by letting the truth come out. "For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer."

Yes, when converted, "there is a Spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." It is the Holy Spirit. He comes into the heart when we make a full surrender of self. He empowers us to keep God's law of love. He leads us in the path that Jesus followed. All of fruits of the Spirit come into the life when He comes, not one is missing. And, if we have not His Spirit dwelling in our hearts, we are none of His. Read this in Romans chapter eight, verse nine.

Today, we may have God's Spirit in our hearts. That still small voice is speaking to many today who are in the "valley of decision". Jesus stands at the door of the heart knocking. The Spirit wants in. Invite Him in! If you don't, then you do not love Him enough. Spend a thoughtful hour each day getting to know Him. His love is drawing, and if we do not resist it, we shall be saved. It is a promise that by beholding His character of love, we shall be changed into His image (character). Read this precious promise in 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Have a blessed Sabbath dear friends!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ejclark

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--2nd Quarter 2016--Peter and the Rock
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2016, 07:46:04 AM »
Friday May 20



Discussion Questions:

    Think about the way Jesus handled the situation with the temple tax. Rather than exacerbate the situation, He let it rest. What does this teach us about the day-to-day conflicts we might find ourselves in? How do you know when it’s time to speak and when it’s time to be silent?

As so often is the case, the lesson asks some very important questions, but does not provide the answer. In Sabbath School classes around the world, the question will come up, but sadly, the answer may not be given. And, in some cases, there will be wrong answers shared. This is important enough that an answer ought to be shared. Some of our readers are in the far east, so they will already be worshiping on the Sabbath. But, for many of us, we are not yet to the Sabbath Day (morning).  So, I will not answer the question, but will leave it in hopes another will provide the answer.

How can we know when we ought to speak or remain quiet?

Though it's true Jesus didn't exacerbate the situation, He did not let it rest. He showed Peter that his response to the one collecting the tax was a wrong response, then provided the tax in a miraculous way to show how Jesus himself was exempt from the tax. Something else stated wrong, in Thursday's lesson, Jesus was exempt from the temple tax, but the disciples were not.

So when do we know when it's time to speak up to set the record of truth straight? When we know for certain we have the correct response and can deliver the response with power and yet humility and love.

Mrs. White says that when we don't speak up for the truth we then condone the error by our silence.

A little over a year ago, we had a man and wife who taught Sabbath School lesson frequently begin interjecting teachings of the 1888 Message into the lessons. I didn't know they believed in this apostate teaching nor was I familiar with it. But when they started teaching error I knew it was wrong but I didn't know exactly how or how to respond, so I kept quiet. And then I studied and searched to find the truths of the matter. Shortly there after when error was taught I was prepared and educated with a correct response to set the record straight.

God does not hold us accountable when we don't know the information of truth needed to respond to error. And the Holy Spirit won't impress us to speak up. But He will impress us to become educated and prepared for a future response. And if we do know the truth to set the record straight but shouldn't speak, the Holy Spirit won't impress us to remember that needed truth.

However, there are times we need to be very careful. A number of times I've heard things taught that weren't quite right, but kept silent so as not to add any more confusion. Most people are so extremely shallow in their spiritual understanding that trying to unravel a truth mixed with error only causes more confusion. I hate it when Satan does that. It's times like that though that we should be silent and wait for a better opportunity when decension and confusion can be avoided and God better glorified.