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Lesson 11 September 7-13

Living the Advent Hope

Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 11--3rd Quarter 2019--Living the Advent Hope
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2019, 01:16:41 PM »
Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Luke 18:1-8; Matthew 24-25; 1 Cor. 15:12-19; Eccles. 8:14; 12:13, 14; Rev. 21:1-5; 22:1-5.

Memory Text: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Jesus announced the kingdom of God as a present reality that we can be part of today. He sent His disciples to make the same announcement and to enact His kingdom through preaching the gospel and by serving others; that is, by giving as freely as they had received (see Matt. 10:5-8).

But Jesus was also clear that His kingdom was a different kind of kingdom—“not of this world” (John 18:36)—and yet to come in full. By His incarnation, ministry, death, and resurrection, the kingdom of God was inaugurated, but Jesus also looked forward to a time when His kingdom would fully replace the kingdoms of this world, and God’s reign would be made complete.

By definition, Seventh-day Adventists—those who await this coming and this kingdom—are people of hope. But this hope is not only about a future new world. While hope looks to the future, hope transforms the present now. With such hope, we live in the present as we expect to in the future, and we begin working to make a difference now in ways that fit with how we expect the world will one day be.

Amen!  When we become a part of His kingdom, we act like we will in heaven. If we do not change our character while on this Earth, we will not be heaven.  Too straight? No. The truth must be made plain that the deceived might awaken to their lost condition. If we want to help the poor, then preach the gospel. Tell of the power of grace to transform sinners into When we love Jesus supremely, when we fully surrender the whole heart to Christ, then the Holy Spirit will take possession of the heart and we shall be new creatures reflecting the character of God. The heart will be pure and holy even though we still live in fallen flesh. As Paul said, we are to keep the body (flesh) under. Only when abiding in Christ and filled with the Spirit can we do this.

Let us not flatter ourselves that we are the children of God, when our lack of Christ’s love is made manifest by our indifference to the souls for whom he died. “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the Devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another....We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

A spirit of careless indifference toward our brethren has been coming into our churches, and the religion of many has become cold, selfish, loveless Phariseeism. The True Counselor has spoken words of the utmost importance to all our souls,—“Thou hast left thy first love.” What a loss is this! “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works.” O, how many have failed to grow up into Christ, their living head! Instead of growing up into Christ, they have grown away from Christ, and have nourished the elements of character that have been like those of Satan. These characteristics of evil excluded Satan from the royal courts above, and they will exclude you from the family of God, “except thou repent.” Your heart must be softened and made susceptible to the influence of the Spirit of God, that you may grow up into a spiritual temple in Christ. The saints on earth must love as Christ loved, or they will not be saints in heaven. If your sympathies have become dried up, turn to God, humble your proud heart before him, fall on the Rock and be broken, and then Christ will mold you after his own similitude, and make you a vessel unto honor.

Those who do not represent Christ, are like sign-boards that cannot be read; and many who are in prominent positions are pointing the wrong way, or giving no light as to which is the road to the kingdom of God. Let the sign-board be ever so rough, the letters ever so plain, if they can be read, the traveller may find the right way. Let every one in our ranks, professing the name of Christ, see to it that he is not misguiding souls. Many are becoming confused, and losing all confidence in Christ, because those who claim to be Christians are not following the light of the word, but rather are swayed by their impulses, and guided by their own notions. The souls of many are hungering and thirsting to know the way to heaven. Let it be made plain through a representation of the character of Christ. Your cold hard-heartedness is misleading souls, and turning their steps into the way of ruin. Put on Christ, and walk in love as dear children. “Learn of me,” says the Great Teacher; “for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.“: We should guide the souls of men, not in our way, but in the new and living way which Christ consecrated with his own blood. In this way we may “run, and not be weary;” “walk, and not faint;” we may go on from strength to strength, from light to greater light, till the beams of the Sun of Righteousness illuminate all the chambers of the mind and heart. As the light is diffused, given to others, greater light will come. The reason why the churches sit in darkness and have no light, is that they have not given light, they have not been as a city set upon a hill, that cannot be hid. O that all would cultivate love for souls, and deny inclination! Then the love of Christ would burn in the heart, and souls for whom he died would rejoice in the revealed mercy of God.  Review and Herald,  February 10, 1891.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, September 14.
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 11--3rd Quarter 2019--Living the Advent Hope
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2019, 01:40:41 PM »
Sunday         September 8

“How Long, O LORD?”

Throughout the Bible’s story, there is a repeated call from God’s people—particularly those experiencing slavery, exile, oppression, poverty, or other injustice or tragedy—for God to intervene. The slaves in Egypt, the Israelites in Babylon, and many others called out to God to see and hear their suffering and to right these wrongs. And the Bible offers significant examples of God’s actions to rescue and restore His people, at times even taking revenge on their oppressors and enemies.

But these rescues were usually short-lived, and the various prophets continued to point forward to a final intervention, when God would put an end to evil and lift up the downtrodden. At the same time, these prophets continued the cry, “How long, O LORD?” For example, the angel of the LORD asked about the exile of the Israelites, “LORD Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy”? (Zech. 1:12, NIV).

The psalms are full of laments about the apparent prosperity and good fortune of the wicked while the righteous are abused, exploited, and poor. The psalmist repeatedly calls on God to intervene, trusting that the world is not presently ordered in the way God created it or desires it, and taking up the cry of the prophets and oppressed. “How long, O LORD?” (see, for example, Ps. 94:3-7).

In a sense, injustice is more difficult to endure among those who believe in a just God who desires justice for all His people. The people of God will always have a sense of impatience about evil in the world—and God’s seeming inaction is another source of impatience. Thus, the sometimes harsh questions of the prophets: “How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?” (Hab. 1:2, NIV).

A similar cry is taken up in the New Testament, where even creation itself is portrayed as groaning for God to rescue and re-create (see Rom. 8:19-22). In Revelation 6:10, this cry—“How long, O LORD?”—is taken up on behalf of those who have been martyred for their faith in God. But it is the same cry, calling on God to intervene on behalf of His oppressed and persecuted people.

Read Luke 18:1-8.

 18:1   And he spake a parable unto them [to this end], that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 
 18:2   Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 
 18:3   And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 
 18:4   And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 
 18:5   Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 
 18:6   And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 
 18:7   And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 
 18:8   I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? 

What is Jesus saying about God’s response to the repeated cries and prayers of His people for Him to act in their behalf? How is this linked to the need for faith?

Apparently the delay in Christ's second coming which will put an  end to suffering and death is due to the lack of faith in the church. Why has not God put an end to suffering and death? Why had not Jesus returned? It is because He has not prepared a people to receive Him. Who are those people? It is the Baptists nor the Catholics, but us. Jesus would have come long ago if we had responded to His grace. But, we have not yet allowed Christ to have a people who keep His commandments and can go through a time of trouble such as never was. When we ask "how long?" Jesus responds "How long do I have to wait on you to give me your whole heart so I can transform you?"

The suffering has gone on for more than the 40 years that the Jews wandered in the wilderness. Why are we so dull of mind to understand Jesus is waiting on us? Why WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, ISIS, and the conflicts in the Middle East? Ask yourself why you do not submit your whole heart to Christ and you have the answer.

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 11--3rd Quarter 2019--Living the Advent Hope
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2019, 02:01:55 PM »
Monday        September 9

A Certain Kind of Hope

Religion has often been criticized for a tendency to draw believers away from life here and now toward some better afterlife. The criticism is that the focus on another realm becomes a form of sanctified escapism and renders the believer of less benefit to the world and to society. At times, believers have left themselves open to such criticism, sometimes even cultivating, preaching, and practicing these kinds of attitudes.

I don't think so. True Christians want to share Christ with the world. Those who are not filled with the Holy Spirit may teach such things, but not those who know Jesus intimately. Those who are filled with the Spirit will be in the world, but not of the world.

And, too, we have terrible examples of those in power telling the poor and oppressed to just accept their sad lot now because, when Jesus returns, all will be made right.

Yes, our world is a fallen, broken, and tragic place—and there is nothing wrong or misplaced in longing for the time when God will set the world right; when He will bring an end to injustice, pain, and sorrow; and when He will replace the current disorder with His glorious and righteous kingdom. After all, without that hope, without that promise, we really have no hope at all.

In His sermon on the end of the world (see Matthew 24 and 25), Jesus spent the first half of His discourse detailing the need for escape, even getting to the point of saying that “if those days had not been cut short, no one would survive” (Matt. 24:22, NIV). But this is more an introduction to His explanation of the significance of these promises of God. To focus solely—or even primarily—on the “escape” aspect of the Christian hope for the future is to miss some of the deeper points Jesus was making.

Read Matthew 24 and 25. What are the most important points from your reading of this sermon of Jesus? How would you summarize Jesus’ instructions for how we are to live as we wait for His return?

Jesus is our pattern. We are to follow His example. We are to reflect His character. How can this be attained? What does the Bible say? But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18.

What we believe about the future has important implications for how we live now. A healthy reliance on the promises of God about His future for our world should be the catalyst for energetic engagement, the spark for a life that is rich and deep and makes a difference to others.

How can and should the hope and promise of Jesus’ return impact how we live now, especially in the context of helping those in need?

We see so much crime in the world today. Why? Because religion has failed. Even in America, we are losing our freedoms. We are no longer a Protestant nation. The murder rate in America's large cities reveals how far society has fallen. In San Francisco, there are hundreds of car break-ins daily. Drugs are rampant on the streets of large American cities. The Bible is hated by many in America today. Laws are anti-Bible and its principles have been discarded. Murder, thefts, homosexuality, and hate are seen everywhere.

When one picks up a gun, a knife, or a car and kills innocent people, what happens? At times (rare) killers are put to death. But, often this is no longer the case. If Bible principles were followed there would be far less killing. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." Genesis 9:6. But, today the universities have been teaching the opposite of Bible truth. The truth of today's society is found in Scripture. "And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he [that] departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw [it], and it displeased him that there was no judgment." Isaiah 59:14,15. This would be "social justice." But, we do not hear this truth coming even from our churches.

When we see evil, we understand it is the nature of man with no help from others to make him what he is. But, we do not hear that God can change man. No, society today does not want to hear about God, they place the blame on others, not the criminal. Amazing to hear this from professing Christians.
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 11--3rd Quarter 2019--Living the Advent Hope
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2019, 02:19:28 PM »
Tuesday        September 10

Resurrection Hope

The Christian hope in the second coming of Jesus is not just about looking forward to a bright future. For the early Christians, the bodily resurrection of Jesus gave the promise of His return a solid reality. If He could come back from the dead—which they had witnessed for themselves—He would surely come back to complete the project of removing sin and its effects and renewing the world (see 1 Cor. 15:22, 23).

For the apostle Paul, the resurrection was the key element of the Advent hope. He was prepared to stake the credibility of everything he preached on this crowning miracle in the story of Jesus: “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain” (1 Cor. 15:17). Think about his words here and how important the resurrection of Christ is to all that we hope for.

Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. How would you explain to an interested nonbeliever why the truth of the resurrection is so pivotal to Christian hope?

Witnessing the resurrected Jesus transformed the first disciples.

No. Grace transformed the first disciples just as it is the only power that can transform anyone. One cannot be a saint without seeing God's grace.  Pharaoh witnessed miracles also, but it did not change his heart. How many witnessed dead come to life and were not converted? Even the Jewish leaders realized Jesus was raised from the dead, but it did not transform them.

As we have seen, Jesus had previously sent them out to announce and enact the kingdom of God (see Matt. 10:5-8), but Jesus’ death shattered their courage and smashed their hopes. Their later commission (see Matt. 28:18-20), given by the resurrected Jesus and powered by the coming of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:1-4), set them on the path of changing the world and living out the kingdom that Jesus had established.

They saw the Old Testament had revealed the nature of their Messiah and they realized they had the truth in front of them.

Freed from the power and fear of death, the early believers lived and shared courageously in the name of Jesus (see, for example, 1 Cor. 15:30, 31). The evil that brings death is the same evil that brings suffering, injustice, poverty, and oppression in all their forms. Yet, because of Jesus and His victory over death, all of this will one day end. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26).

In the end, no matter whom we help now, they will all eventually die anyway. What does this harsh truth teach us about how important it is to let others know of the hope they can find in the death and resurrection of Jesus?

Not all of the saints will die. There will be living saints upon this Earth when Jesus returns shortly. If we were living in the days of Moses, it would not be so important to understand this. Unless we understand where Jesus and what He is doing, it will hard to benefit from His work. What is Jesus doing? He is preparing a people to live through a time of trouble such as never was without a Mediator. They will not sin nor will they die. This is in our day, not way off in the future. We delay His coming until we cooperate in this work. Some who we bring to Christ may be a part of this group. From what we see in the church today, most will not be ready to live without a Mediator unless they are brought to repentance.
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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  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 11--3rd Quarter 2019--Living the Advent Hope
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2019, 02:49:50 PM »
Wednesday         September 11

Judgment Hope

Read Ecclesiastes 8:14.

There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just [men], unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked [men], to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also [is] vanity. 

In what ways do you see the stark and powerful reality of what is written here?

We do not believe in once saved always saved. We believe that one must be fully surrendered to be saved. When one takes his eyes off of Jesus, he cannot stand. He will fall. We need Jesus all the time in order to not be vain.

While suffering, oppression, and tragedy are hard enough to bear in their own right, the injury or insult is harder still if it appears to be meaningless or unnoticed. The possible meaninglessness of sorrow is heavier than its initial burden. A world without record or final justice is the ultimate in cruel absurdity. No wonder atheist writers in the twentieth century lamented about what they believed was the “absurdity” of the human condition. With no hope of justice, no hope of judgment, no hope of things being made right, ours would indeed be an absurd world.

This is indeed what we have today. Evil is called good, and good is called evil. He is a she and even some are neither, but its. Anarchy reigns. Justice is fallen in the streets. Equity cannot enter and he who departs from iniquity makes himself a prey.

But the cry of Ecclesiastes 8:14 is not the end of the story. At the end of his protests, Solomon takes a sudden turn. In the midst of his laments about meaninglessness, he says, essentially: Hold on a minute, God is going to judge, so everything is not meaningless; in fact, now everything and everyone matters.

Read Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.

 12:13   Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. 
 12:14   For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil. 

What does this tell us about just how important all that we do here is?

There is an investigative judgment taking place today where every man's character shall be revealed. All of our works and even secrets things that only God knows will be used to judge all who professed to serve God. If we have not obeyed from the heart all we know to be commanded by God, we shall not enter heaven and will be executed by fire with eternal death. The best thing we can for others is to lead to understand this and share with them how this can be averted.

The hope of judgment comes down to what one believes about the core nature of God, life, and the world in which we live. As we have seen, the Bible insists that we live in a world that God created and loves, but a world that has gone wrong and in which God is working toward His plan for re-creation, all through the life and death of Jesus. God’s judgment is a key part of His setting our world right. For those on the receiving end of so many of the world’s wrongs—those who have been marginalized, brutalized, oppressed, and exploited—the promise of judgment is surely good news.

Not really. Just because one has been treated unfairly does not mean he will escape the death sentence pronounced upon all who come into this world. Unless they repent of their sins and are recreated in God's character, they shall be executed by fire and not see the new Earth.

What does it mean to you to know that, one day, and in ways we can’t imagine, the justice that we so much long for now will finally come? How can we draw hope from this promise?

We do want justice, but more than this, we ought to pray for those who will one day be executed by fire unless they are converted. What do we want more, justice or mercy? We leave the revenge up to God. On the other hand, if we can stop a murder by killing the one who just murdered innocent children, then let us find a way to stop the killing, even if it means killing the evil one. Do you long for justice? What if you happened upon a mass murder scene in which the killer is still killing? If his car was close by and there were guns in the car, would you pick up one and stop the killing by killing the killer? Or would you leave justice up to God when you could have put an end to the killing of innocent children?  Mercy has its end.
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 11--3rd Quarter 2019--Living the Advent Hope
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2019, 03:28:15 PM »
Thursday         September 12

No More Tears or Pain

Read Revelation 21:1-5, 22:1-5 and spend some time trying to imagine what life will be like as described here. Why is it difficult to imagine life without sin, death, pain, and tears?

The Bible’s descriptions of our life after sin are unquestionably wonderful and glorious and no doubt barely represent what is awaiting us. Even in these verses, the descriptions are almost as much about what won’t be there as what will be. When this world is all we have known, it can be hard to imagine life without pain and suffering, death and fear, injustice and poverty.

Not only is there no more of these things, but this description adds a personal touch: “He shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 21:4). In the context of those who have been saved, God’s compassion for those who have suffered throughout human history reaches a climax in this single sentence. Not only does He bring an end to their suffering, but He personally wipes away their tears.

Battered and scarred by a life of sin and a world of injustice and tragedy, we can see in the book of Revelation hints at a process of healing for all of us who have been victims of sin in many different ways. Describing the tree of life, John explains that “the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2, NIV). Again, God shows His understanding of, and compassion for, what it has meant to be human, to feel, experience, witness, and even participate in the evil of this world. His plan for re-creating our world includes restoring and healing each of us.

Until then, we seek to be all that we can in Christ, doing our part, as faltering and small as our parts might be, to minister to those around us who need what we have to offer. Whatever it is—kind words, a warm meal, medical help, dental work, clothing, counseling—whatever we can do we should be doing with the kind self-abnegating, self-denying, self-sacrificing love that Jesus manifested when He was here.

"as faltering and small as our parts might be." Leading someone to Christ so they can have love, joy, and peace is no small matter. It means eternal life. Christ would have died for just one soul. We are left here on this planet that we might do what God has asked of us, to be His witnesses and His helpers to save souls. Recreation takes place here, not in the future world. Unless one is recreated here, he will not be glorified when Jesus comes. We are privileged to help Christ bring to fallen humans "complete restoration; He came to give them health and peace and perfection of character."

"Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied servant of man’s necessity. He “took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses,” that He might minister to every need of humanity. Matthew 8:17. The burden of disease and wretchedness and sin He came to remove. It was His mission to bring to men complete restoration; He came to give them health and peace and perfection of character."  Ministry of Healing, pg 17.

Of course, the world is still going to get worse and worse, despite our best efforts. Jesus knew that; yet, this truth didn’t stop Him from ministering to others, and it shouldn’t stop us, either.

Many are called but few choose to be transformed in character. They think it too much of a sacrifice.
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

  • Servant
  • Posts: 40479
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 11--3rd Quarter 2019--Living the Advent Hope
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2019, 03:46:53 PM »
Friday         September 13

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “Called to Reach a Higher Standard”, pp. 309-322, in The Acts of the Apostles; “Desolation of the Earth”, pp. 653-661, in The Great Controversy.

“When the voice of God turns the captivity of His people, there is a terrible awakening of those who have lost all in the great conflict of life. While probation continued they were blinded by Satan’s deceptions, and they justified their course of sin. The rich prided themselves upon their superiority to those who were less favored; but they had obtained their riches by violation of the law of God. They had neglected to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to deal justly, and to love mercy … They have sold their souls for earthly riches and enjoyments, and have not sought to become rich toward God. The result is, their lives are a failure; their pleasures are now turned to gall, their treasures to corruption”. – Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 654.

Amen!! Some will be punished more than others. Those who had high positions in the church of God will be most accountable. From the same page in Great Controversy we read:

The minister who has sacrificed truth to gain the favor of men now discerns the character and influence of his teachings. It is apparent that the omniscient eye was following him as he stood in the desk, as he walked the streets, as he mingled with men in the various scenes of life. Every emotion of the soul, every line written, every word uttered, every act that led men to rest in a refuge of falsehood, has been scattering seed; and now, in the wretched, lost souls around him, he beholds the harvest.

Saith the Lord: “They have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” “With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.” Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:22.

“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! ... Behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings.” “Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for your days for slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; ... and the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.” Jeremiah 23:1, 2; 25:34, 35, margin.
Ministers and people see that they have not sustained the right relation to God. They see that they have rebelled against the Author of all just and righteous law. The setting aside of the divine precepts gave rise to thousands of springs of evil, discord, hatred, iniquity, until the earth became one vast field of strife, one sink of corruption. This is the view that now appears to those who rejected truth and chose to cherish error. No language can express the longing which the disobedient and disloyal feel for that which they have lost forever—eternal life. Men whom the world has worshiped for their talents and eloquence now see these things in their true light. They realize what they have forfeited by transgression, and they fall at the feet of those whose fidelity they have despised and derided, and confess that God has loved them.  GC 654, 655.

Justice for the lost souls will be had. As we sorrow today over the false teachings, we do what we can because we know souls are being led away from Christ thinking they are rich and increased with goods, not knowing they are miserable, wretched, poor, blind, and naked.

“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love”. – Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 678.

Amen! Sin will then never again arise!

Discussion Questions:

    Explain how what you have studied this week demonstrates that life, here and now, matters. Compare this with the belief some hold that we need not worry about this life and this world because God will destroy it all and start again. How can we be careful, too, not to use this truth of the promise of new existence to neglect those in need (after all, in the end, God will make it all right)? Even worse, how can we make sure we don’t become one of those who have used this truth to exploit others?

How about the failure to speak the truth that most will not be on the new Earth because they did not learn to cease sinning. "Lord, Lord, they cry." Such a deception has come into the churches.

    The Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Bible prophecy expects evil, trouble, and suffering to increase as we get nearer to the return of Jesus. When such things happen we often refer to Matthew 24. How should we view these tragedies in light of Matthew 25?

Summary: Our God will not allow evil to continue forever. The Bible’s great hope is the return of Jesus to bring an end to evil, to heal injustice and create a new world as it was meant to be. Built on the resurrection of Jesus, this hope transforms today and gives courage to our service for God and others as we wait for His return.

Only those who were made saints on this Earth will be on the New Earth. It is not only our privilege, but our duty to help others be converted and remain converted so they can experience eternal life with Jesus. And as for my suffering and the injustice I have suffered, I count it as nothing. I know that all things work for my good and God's glory as I abide in Christ. Even if there were no New Earth, I have been great blessed by God in this world, no matter all the injustice.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.