Study > Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath School Lesson

SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13-4th Quarter 2023--The End of God’s Mission

(1/2) > >>

Richard Myers:
4th Quarter  Lesson 13                                                                                                                           Dec 23 - Dec 29

The End of God’s Mission

Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon

Richard Myers:
Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study

Revelation 1:1-7 ; 1 Peter 2:9 ; Revelation 14:6-12 ; Luke 11:23 ; 1 Timothy 2:4 ; Revelation 21:1-4 .

    Memory Text: "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"  2 Peter 3:11-12

The book of Revelation fills the mind with scenes of the end. The epicenter of the book deals with the cosmic conflict between Christ and Satan. Satan has lost his legal hold over the earth, and now he pursues those who remain loyal to God. The book climaxes with Jesus’ return to deliver His children, both the living righteous and those faithful ones who have died since the fall of Adam and Eve. The book shows us, too, the destruction of Satan and the wicked by fire, and Jesus’ establishment of His eternal kingdom on the earth made new.

Amen!  And it is very sad that many do not understand that when the Bible says all shall receive according to what was done in the flesh means that there is punishment for each and every sin, and that punishment is by fire. We know that the unfaithful will not burn for eternity, but there is such a thing as fire and brimstone. The punishment by fire will be exact, not too much and not too little. God is just.

Students of Revelation enthusiastically explore and seek to identify the predicted signs and events that mark church history from the first century to our day in the end of time. They are right to do so, too.

It is such a blessing to know what is going to happen in the future. "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John." Rev. 1:1.. We are not told all, but God tells us a lot of what is about to happen and even into the future when by God's grace we will live in a world without sin. When all is said and done, sin will not arise a second time.
However, in this quarter’s final lesson, we will see that Revelation is a missionary book focused on a missionary God who is calling us to be a missionary church. Our calling to proclaim “present truth” to the world will exist right up until everyone has made the choice for or against God.

*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, December 30.

Richard Myers:
Sunday December 24
Revelation: God’s Last-Day Mission

The opening lines of Revelation indicate to the reader that this book is focused on God’s mission.

Read Revelation 1:1-7 .

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

In what ways do you see evidence that Revelation is focused on God’s mission in the last days?

After revealing in the first verses that Jesus is the source and focus of Revelation, Revelation 1:4-5 alludes to all Three Members of the Godhead, who are working unitedly to save human beings. The Father is the eternal one who was and is and is to come. The Holy Spirit, who is working powerfully among the first-century churches, is named. Then John recalls the status of Jesus Christ—the “faithful witness,” “the firstborn of the dead” (Revelation 1:5 , NRSV), who possesses legal ownership of this planet. Satan’s attempt to use this earth to establish his kingdom is ruined. In addition to God’s victory over Satan, our Creator’s shed blood washes away our guilt and shame.

Read Revelation 1:6 ; 1 Peter 2:9 . What do the titles for the redeemed in these verses signify?

The focus of God’s mission is not simply to drag perishing people to safety. God’s salvation offers a new and honorable status, because God’s image is restored in us. The redeemed become royalty (kings) because we are blood-related to the King of the universe through Jesus’ shed blood. Now, as royal family members, we join the mission of the royal family in the salvation of other human beings. This makes us priests! Christ had constituted His church a “kingdom” and its individual members “priests.” To be a member of the kingdom is to be a priest.

And today you are a king!! What does this mean, to be a king in God's army?

In Revelation 1:7 , we find the urgency of mission: Jesus is coming, and the nations will mourn because they are lost. God longs after those who are estranged from Him.

The book of Revelation opens, then, with God’s mission for human beings.

Not only have we been created by God, but we have been redeemed by Him, and at such an amazing cost, too. Why should this truth give us so much hope, no matter our present situation?

Having suffered for the sins of the whole world, we know He is faithful unto the end. If God be for us, who can be against us! Rom. 8:31.

Richard Myers:
Monday   December 25
The Three Angels’ Messages and Mission

The book of Revelation gives us a powerful and graphic representation of the great controversy theme, perhaps most dramatically depicted in Revelation 12:12 : “ ‘Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time’ ” (NKJV). It’s hard to imagine how anyone can understand anything in Scripture apart from the great controversy motif, which will climax in the last days.

Read Revelation 14:6-12 .

6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

What is depicted here, and what have these verses to do with our mission and message?

The last warning message to be given to a world soon to perish begins with the gospel message. We are not only to give the message, but live it as a witness of the power of God's grace to transform sinners into saints.

Central to mission, God’s mission, is the message, God’s message: the gospel. The message, in a real sense, is the mission. The world needs to be warned about what is coming upon it, and every person will be forced to make a choice, a choice either for life or for death.

“ ‘He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters’ ” (Luke 11:23 ).

What is Jesus saying here that deals so directly with our mission?

The three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:1-20 form the core, the heart, of what we as Seventh-day Adventists have been called to proclaim to the world. Central to it, foundational to it, are two themes: “the everlasting gospel” (Revelation 14:6 ) and the worship of the Creator. These two themes appear in this depiction of the saints: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12 ). No matter what else we do—all the good that we do in helping people—we must never lose sight of our special calling and mission, which is to proclaim to a lost world the hope found in the “everlasting gospel,” as well as to warn the world of what will one day come upon it.

“ ‘He who is not with Me is against Me’ ” (Luke 11:23 ). How do you understand what Jesus is saying to us here? Why should these words cause us to examine where our hearts really are?

There is no middle ground. We cannot serve two masters. If we are not truly converted, then we are aligned with Satan and at enmity with God.

Richard Myers:
Tuesday December  26
The Final Crisis

Jesus said to His disciples and to us: “ ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20 ). This is the Great Commission, and in many ways the three angels’ messages, with a call to “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6 ), is simply the “present truth” (2 Peter 1:12 ) expression of the Great Commission.

Read 1 John 4:8 ; 2 Peter 3:9 ; 1 Timothy 2:4 ; Genesis 12:3 . Why does every group of people matter to God?

Christ’s love is for all humanity, with no people group excluded. Contrary to the theology that teaches that Christ died only for a predestined elite, the Bible is clear that Christ’s death was for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, or any other factor. If you are a human being, Christ died for you. Period. The only question remaining for anyone is, How do you respond to His death?

He suffered for every sins of every person! What does this mean? Why did the sinner prior to the cross lay his hands upon the head of the sacrificial lamb confessing his sin? This is fundamental to the religion we profess to believe. It was to teach the sinner that only through the suffering and death of Christ, could he be saved. Christ took upon Himself those confessed sins and thus He would suffer instead of the repentant sinner. He was made sin for us.

When Jesus returns, there will be only two overt camps: those who have submitted to the authority of Satan through religious and political institutions as shown in Revelation 13:1-18 and 17, and those who have fully submitted to Jesus Christ, whose faith is made manifest by their keeping “the commandments of God” (Revelation 14:12 ).

Since the beginning, human beings have had evidence of who God is and of His way of righteousness and love (Romans 1:18-21 ). Therefore, all human beings from ages past will be judged based on how they cooperated with God and how they lived—regardless of how much they did or didn’t understand (Romans 2:11-16 ).

But in this time of the end, there is a growing polarization, and no longer will freedom of conscience be respected. People will be pressed to align themselves with Satan’s party. It is urgent that the gospel be proclaimed and the serious news about Satan’s strategies be exposed. And that is exactly what the three angels’ messages, and our mission, are all about.

Dwell on the fact that Christ has died for you personally. What could possibly make you think that anything you have done, no matter how bad, could not have been sufficiently paid for by the death of Christ on the cross?

Satan successfully deceived Israel. And, so it is today. Many have been so deceived that they do not understand how much God love them. Few understand that the sinner will burn until every sin has been paid for. Not knowing this, they do not know how much Jesus suffered for them. Why do we not teach this, that all might understand God's love for each and every son?


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version