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Sermon Outline

God’s Mission My Mission

Motivation and Preparation for Mission

Lesson #6 for November 11, 2023

Scriptures:Luke 24:1-12;36-49;Acts 1:12-26; 2:1-41; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Corinthians 11:1.

  1. How could the Jews of Jesus day have recognized that He was God?

Luke 24:44: Then he said to them, “These are the very things I told you about while I was still with you: everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets, and the Psalms had to come true.”—American Bible Society. (1992). The Holy Bible: The Good News Translation* (2nd ed.,Luke 24:44). New York: American Bible Society [abbreviated as Good News Bible].†‡

  1. This verse is proof from the New Testament that the three sections of the Old Testament recognized by the Jewish people were already recognized in the days of Jesus. The Law of Moses includes the five books of Moses. The writings of the prophets include most of the historical books and what we call prophets. The Psalms section which is called Psalms because Psalms is the first and largest book in that section includes most of the poetic books and the minor prophets. For some reason that I do not understand, the book of Daniel in Hebrew Bibles is placed in that third section. Perhaps, it is because a careful reading of the prophecies of Daniel says that the Messiah would come 490 years after 457 c. (the seventy-week prophecy) which points exactly to the life and mission of Jesus Christ which they have rejected. Ancient Jewish rules forbid most people to read Daniel.

Philippians 1:15-18: 15 Of course some of them preach Christ because they are jealous and quarrelsome, but others from genuine goodwill. 16These do so from love, because they know that God has given me the work of defending the gospel. 17The others do not proclaim Christ sincerely, but from a spirit of selfish ambition; they think that they will make more trouble for me while I am in prison.

18 It does not matter! I am happy about it—so long as Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives. And I will continue to be happy.—Good News Bible.*

  1. In our day, is it still true that some people are preaching Christ for good reasons and others for wrong reasons like making money?
  2. In this lesson, we will study some of the motivations which impacted the early church, and we will consider how those motivations might have meaning for us.
  3. Never before or since Jesus Christ did it has there been a case in which someone arose from the dead using their own power. How did that impact the first people who witnessed the results of that resurrection and its implications?

Luke 24:1-12: 1 Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the entrance to the tomb, 3so they went in; but they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4They stood there puzzled about this, when suddenly two men in bright shining clothes stood by them. 5Full of fear, the women bowed down to the ground, as the men said to them, “Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? 6He is not here; he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and three days later rise to life.’ ”

8 Then the women remembered his words, 9returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven disciples and all the rest. 10The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; they and the other women with them told these things to the apostles. 11But the apostles thought that what the women said was nonsense, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; he bent down and saw the linen wrappings but nothing else. Then he went back home amazed at what had happened.—Good News Bible.* [What would you have done?]

  1. Try to imagine yourself with each of the groups mentioned in this passage. What were the women thinking as they went to the tomb? How did the women respond when they saw two men dressed in white, telling them about Jesus? What were all those people who were hiding in the upper room thinking as they received the message from the women?
  2. The women obviously hastened to tell the others of what they had found. Can you think of some reasons why those who heard from the women had questions? They had been mourning the death of Jesus for more than 36 hours. No doubt, they wondered how could this information from the women possibly be true?
  3. Do we believe that we have the good news and that we understand it? What better reason could there be for sharing it? Do you love the opportunities you have for sharing these moments of excitement with friends?
  4. Review the story of the walk of those two followers of Jesus as they talked with Him from the vicinity of Jerusalem to Emmaus on that Sunday evening. (Luke 24:13-35) Don’t you wish you had a recording of that conversation? It may have been the most important conversation ever to take place. If you look carefully at the sermons that were given by the disciples later, it may be that they followed the same pattern that Jesus followed when speaking to those two walking to Emmaus.
  5. However, there are questions about what Jesus said to the disciples in the upper room.

Luke 24:45-49: 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, “This is what is written: the Messiah must suffer and must rise from death three days later, 47and in his name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you.”—Good News Bible.*

  1. Where are these words found in the Old Testament that we have available today? Or, were there some inspired writings that have been lost?
  2. The statements in Luke suggest that, at first, the disciples did not believe because of fear. What does that mean? Later, they could not believe because of joy! Was it really just fear that led them to disbelieve the women? Or, was the news so amazing that they could hardly take it in? How often does Someone raise Himself from the dead? Or, were they just questioning the statements because they came from women?

[From the writings of Ellen G. White=EGW:] When the voice of the mighty angel was heard at Christ’s tomb, saying, Thy Father calls Thee, the Saviour [sic] came forth from the grave by the life that was in Himself. Now was proved the truth of His words, “I lay down My life, that I might take it again.... I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” Now was fulfilled the prophecy He had spoken to the priests and rulers, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”John 10:17, 18; 2:19.—Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages* 785.2.†‡ [Jesus proved His divinity!]

  1. Think of the evidence that Jesus provided that He was real and that He was alive. Would that have been convincing for you? The scars in the hands? The scars in the feet? The ability to eat cooked fish? Did He look different in any way on that occasion?
  2. Imagine that you are among the group of disciples or followers that heard those first words of Jesus that evening. Would you have been able to sleep that night? What would you have talked about with your fellow believers?
  3. How much do you think their ideas of what they were going to do with their lives changed as a result of that discussion? What does it mean when it says, “He opened their understanding”? (Luke 24:45) Did He somehow clarify to them some of the issues in the great controversy so that they began to realize the universe-wide scope of the issues that were involved? Were they beginning to see that the mission included more than just the country of Israel? CompareLuke 18:31-34.

[EGW:] But the plan of redemption had a yet broader and deeper purpose than the salvation of man. It was not for this alone that Christ came to the earth; it was not merely that the inhabitants of this little world might regard the law of God as it should be regarded; but it was to vindicate the character of God before the universe. To this result of His great sacrifice—its influence upon the intelligences of other worlds, as well as upon man—the Saviour [sic] looked forward when just before His crucifixion He said: “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto Me.”John 12:31, 32. The act of Christ in dying for the salvation of man would not only make heaven accessible to men, but before all the universe it would justify God and His Son in their dealing with the rebellion of Satan. It would establish the perpetuity of the law of God and would reveal the nature and the results of sin.—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets* 68.2-69.0 (1890).†‡ [Compare Reflecting Christ 50.3-4 (1985) in which the word men is inserted (as in the KJV) in the quoting ofJohn 12:32.]

  1. Is it possible that having spent all of that time with Jesus, they still did not understand the major issues in the conflict between God and Satan? Did that opening of their minds mean that a miracle took place? Or, did He explain things so that they could grasp the full reality of what He said?
  2. How well-grounded do you think you are in understanding the Bible? Can you explain Seventh-day Adventist beliefs about the prophecies that point to Christ? Both His first coming and/or His second coming?
  3. Notice from the quotation above what God was trying to accomplish by the life and death of Jesus. By observing the story of Jesus, we come face to face with the great controversy. The issue is this: We have a choice. If we choose to live a life as much as possible like the life of Jesus, depending on the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we will be healed and saved and enter into eternal life. However, if we do not choose to learn from the life of Jesus, we will die the death that He died, separated from His Father, the only Source of life available in this universe; and then, we will die that dreadful, awful death that He died as a result of His separation from His Father, the death that the Bible calls the second death. If we die that second death, we will perish eternally.

[EGW:] The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour [sic] in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt. [What physical pain did Jesus have?]

Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour [sic] could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages* 753.1-2.†‡

  1. Every time we commit a sin, we are choosing to separate ourselves from God.

Isaiah 59:2: It is because of your sins that he doesn’t hear you. It is your sins that separate you from God when you try to worship him.—Good News Bible.*

  1. Do we feel the awful sense of sin separating us from the Father as Jesus did?

Luke 24:49-53: 49 “And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you.”

50 Then he led them out of the city as far as Bethany, where he raised his hands and blessed them. 51As he was blessing them, he departed from them and was taken up into heaven. 52They worshipped him and went back into Jerusalem, filled with great joy, 53and spent all their time in the Temple giving thanks to God.—Good News Bible.*

  1. Remember that the Sanhedrin was in charge of everything that happened in the temple. Do you think they were excited to hear that the followers of Jesus were telling people in the temple court that the Jewish leaders had killed the Messiah, but that three days later He arose from the dead and was in heaven? Don’t forget that the Sadducees did not even believe that resurrections were possible!

Acts 1:4-8: 4And when they came together, he gave them this order: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised. 5John baptized with water, but in a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 When the apostles met together with Jesus, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time give the Kingdom back to Israel?” [Were they thinking?]

7 Jesus said to them, “The times and occasions are set by my Father’s own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be. 8But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”—Good News Bible.*†‡

  1. Try to imagine yourself among that group of approximately 120 followers of Jesus in the following weeks. What did they do? And why? Why do you think Mary the mother of Jesus and His brothers suddenly became a part of the group? There were also several women included. (SeeLuke 8:1-3.)
  2. How do you think they decided on the disciple who would take Judas’s place? Notice that they said he must be one of the men who were in our group during the whole time that the Lord Jesus traveled about with them, beginning from the time John preached his message of baptism until the day Jesus was taken up to heaven. (Acts 1:21-22)
  3. After choosing a replacement disciple, what did they do next? Presumably, they remembered clearly the message of Jesus that they were to begin their work in Jerusalem, then to move to Judea and Samaria, and finally, to the ends of the earth. It must have seemed like an impossible task. Surely, they prayed together frequently and discussed what they needed to do next.
  4. And while we wait for the second coming of Jesus, what preparation do we need to be making? The author of Hebrews suggested that we need to meet together frequently to encourage one another. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  5. The next major thing that took place after the ascension of Jesus was the Pentecost “event.” We do not know exactly where the Pentecost experience took place. Apparently, it was inside of someone’s house, perhaps in the upper room where Jesus had met with them. Peter gave a brief sermon during which he said that “this Jesus, whom you crucified, is the one that God has made Lord and Messiah!” (Acts 2:36) Were there Pharisees among them?

Acts 2:38-39: 38 Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit. 39For God’s promise was made to you and your children, and to all who are far away—all whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”—Good News Bible.*

  1. As a result, nearly 3000 people officially joined the fellowship that day.
  2. It is important to notice that they were given the incredible ability to speak other languages not for any financial benefit or just because it would be nice, but rather, because they were expected to carry the message to the ends of the earth. Does that message still ring true?

[EGW:] “There were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.” During the dispersion the Jews had been scattered to almost every part of the inhabited world, and in their exile they had learned to speak various languages. Many of these Jews were on this occasion in Jerusalem, attending the religious festivals then in progress. Every known tongue was represented by those assembled. This diversity of languages would have been a great hindrance to the proclamation of the gospel; God therefore in a miraculous manner supplied the deficiency of the apostles. The Holy Spirit did for them that which they could not have accomplished for themselves in a lifetime. They could now proclaim the truths of the gospel abroad, speaking with accuracy the languages of those for whom they were laboring. This miraculous gift was a strong evidence to the world that their commission bore the signet of Heaven. From this time forth the language of the disciples was pure, simple, and accurate, whether they spoke in their native tongue or in a foreign language.—Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles* 39.2-40.0.†‡

  1. Do you think there were many among the crowd who cried: “Crucify him, crucify him” who later, were very sorry for what they had done and chose to become faithful followers? (SeeActs 6:7; 15:5.) Think of the experience of Paul who at first persecuted Christians! There will always be some who will go with the crowd—one minute shouting for the crucifixion of Jesus—and later, requesting for forgiveness for their sins. What do you think? If God was willing to forgive those, even some of whom had been among the crowds crying: “Crucify him, crucify him,” wouldn’t He be willing to forgive us?
  2. It is interesting to note that in addition to being able to speak all those different languages, the disciples were given the power to perform many miracles and wonders. (Acts 2:43) Surely, that attracted a lot of attention. We know of only two or three of those miracles; (Acts 5:15; 19:12) but, there must have been many more.

[From the Bible study guide=BSG:] Meanwhile, a core function of the early Christian church was discipleship. As new members were added, they were discipled in three ways. First, they continued to be taught by the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship. The words “doctrine” and “fellowship” in this text literally mean “instruction” and “partnership.” The apostles’ preaching confronted incorrect beliefs and offered new explanations for what people were seeing and experiencing. But it didn’t teach them how to live out that new truth in their lives. Rather, the application of truth to one’s life happened in relationship as part of the group. New believers were carefully and intentionally discipled through direct teaching, as well as through participation in the daily lives of the other believers, all under the supervision and leadership of the spiritually mature and grounded apostles.

It is poor preaching that tells people what to do but not how to do it. However, even if one reads how-to books or listens to sermons that explain how to do things, there is no substitute for seeing people doing it and then imitating them. Paul knew this and instructed his followers to imitate him as he had imitated Jesus (1 Cor. 11:1). When others can see you and the reality of your experience with Christ, it will impact them, as well.?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Thursday, November 9.†‡§

1 Corinthians 11:1: Imitate me, then, just as I imitate Christ.—Good News Bible.*

[BSG:] Challenge: Think of someone in your life who you wish was a believer. Pray every day for him or her to have a personal experience with Jesus.

Challenge Up: Whom are you discipling and leading into a relationship with Jesus? Look for ways to bring him or her into fellowship with other believers.?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Thursday, November 9.†‡

  1. What kind of motivation should we have for sharing the good news about God? If it is not based on our own personal experience, it is probably misguided.

[EGW:] Our life is to be bound up with the life of Christ; we are to draw constantly from Him, partaking of Him, the living Bread that came down from heaven, drawing from a fountain ever fresh, ever giving forth its abundant treasures. If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we would talk with a friend. He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Often there will come to us a sweet joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. Often our hearts will burn within us as He draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. When this is in truth the experience of the Christian, there is seen in his life a simplicity, a humility, meekness, and lowliness of heart, that show to all with whom he associates that he has been with Jesus and learned of Him.—Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons* 129.3-130.0.†‡

[EGW:] There can be no growth or fruitfulness in the life that is centered in self. If you have accepted Christ as a personal Savior, you are to forget yourself, and try to help others. Talk of the love of Christ, tell [others of His self-sacrificing death in their behalf].... As you receive the Spirit of Christ—the Spirit of unselfish love and labor for others—you will grow and bring forth fruit.... Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen, your love be made perfect.—Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons* 67.3-68.0.†‡

  1. How do you think the truth about God will finally be taken to all the countries of the world? Clearly, each one of us will not be able to go there in person.

[EGW:] The prosperity of the home work depends largely, under God, upon the reflex influence of the evangelical work done in countries afar off.—Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church,* vol. 6, 27.5.

[BSG:] The Adventist Church’s top statistician, David Trim, has statistically verified [Ellen] White’s assertion [in the above quotation].?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 79.

  1. If someone were to ask you right now what motivation you have for spreading the gospel to the world, what would your answer be? And what preparation are you making as a result of that motivation? Don’t we believe that the charges given by Jesus to His disciples as recorded inMatthew 28:18-20; John 14:15-31; andJohn 20:21-22 still apply to us, His followers?
  2. Let us never forget that God’s ultimate goal is to restore the universe to the harmonious condition in which the whole universe existed before the rebellion of Lucifer/Satan. That is the thread of unity that weaves its way from Genesis to Revelation. And why does God ask you personally to be involved? Wouldn’t the spread of the gospel be more effective if God sent angels to do it instead of human beings? Or, does God realize that we need to be involved for our own benefit?
  3. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a unique set of doctrines and teachings. Let us review some of those.

[BSG:] Jesus Is the Unique Source of Life and Salvation, and People Need to Know About Him.

  • John 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life” (NIV). [The Bible study guide also listsActs 4:12 and1 John 5:12.]?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* [abbreviated as Teachers Guide*] 81.‡§

John 3:36: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not have life, but will remain under God’s punishment.—Good News Bible.*

Acts 4:12: “Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us.”—Good News Bible.*

1 John 5:12: Whoever has the Son has this life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.—Good News Bible.*

[BSG:] Jesus Is the Divine Son of God.

Jesus does not claim to be only a good teacher (like other religious leaders) or a great leader (like Moses or David) or some kind of half-god or lesser god (as we find in other religions). No other major religion claims divinity for its founder.

  • Jesus claims full divinity—that is, equality with God (John 8:58, 59; John 10:30–33).?Teachers Guide*†‡§

John 8:58-59: 58 “I am telling you the truth,” Jesus replied. “Before Abraham was born, ‘I Am’.” [sic]

59 Then they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.—Good News Bible.*†‡

John 10:30-33: 30 “The Father and I are one.”

31 Then the people again picked up stones to throw at him. 32Jesus said to them, “I have done many good deeds in your presence which the Father gave me to do; for which one of these do you want to stone me?”

33 They replied, “We do not want to stone you because of any good deeds, but because of your blasphemy! You are only a man, but you are trying to make yourself God!”—Good News Bible.*

  • [BSG:] Jesus’ disciples also proclaimed His divinity fearlessly (Matt. 16:14–16). The proof that they gave for their claims was the Resurrection (1 Cor. 15:14–20). If God raised Jesus, what Jesus said, therefore, must be true.?Teachers Guide*†‡§

Matthew 16:14-16: 14 “Some say John the Baptist,” they answered. “Others say Elijah, while others say Jeremiah or some other prophet.”

15 “What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”—Good News Bible.*

  1. Jesus proved His divinity by rising from the dead in His own power when His Father called Him. Only God could do that.

[EGW:] When the voice of the mighty angel was heard at Christ’s tomb, saying, Thy Father calls Thee, the Saviour came forth from the grave by the life that was in Himself. Now was proved the truth of His words, “I lay down My life, that I might take it again.... I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” Now was fulfilled the prophecy He had spoken to the priests and rulers, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”John 10:17, 18; 2:19.—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages* 785.2.†‡

  1. Continuing with the unique set of doctrines and teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as listed in the Bible study guide:

[BSG:] Jesus Offers a Unique Salvation—Salvation by Grace Through Faith.?Teachers Guide* 81.‡§

Ephesians 2:8-9: 8–9For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it.—Good News Bible.*

[BSG:] No other world religion has such a salvation. Other religions indeed may set high standards, promote ethical behavior, tout health laws, extol a lofty philosophy, or produce nice people. But these religions also believe that people can save themselves by what they do! The foundation of these non-Christian religions is that salvation comes by works.?Teachers Guide* 81.†‡§

[BSG:] Jesus Offers a Universal Salvation—All-Inclusive and Exclusive.?Teachers Guide* 81.‡§

John 3:16: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.”—Good News Bible.*

[BSG:] The offer of salvation includes everyone in the world. The truth is that God wants all people to hear the message—the good news that God offers a free salvation based on this unique Jesus. In the Great Commission, Jesus makes it clear that we can have a part in sharing this good news with others.

If someone were to ask you why you are a Seventh-day Adventist and what motivates you for mission, what would you say? How does the uniqueness and singularity of the Seventh-day Adventist message motivate us for mission to the world?

Though most of the individual beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists are shared by some Christians, the full “package” of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs is unique among Christian groups. Here are three convictions that guide what we believe and how we are motivated, are prepared, and see our mission.?Teachers Guide* 81-82.†‡

[BSG:] Conviction 1: Jesus is coming back a second time—this coming is visible, literal, and imminent (soon). Before Adventism got started, most Christians either did not believe in a literal coming or de-emphasized it. Many of these Christians were postmillennialists. Postmillennialists believed that there would be a millennium, or 1,000 years, of peace and prosperity, and then Jesus would come. What people looked for and labored for was this millennium, not the Second Coming. Seventh-day Adventists believe, based on the Bible, that the real hope of the world is not an earthly millennium but the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) of Jesus’ second coming….

  • Seventh-day Adventists accept and proclaim the promises of the Second Coming (John 14:1–3;Rev. 22:7, 12, 20).?Teachers Guide*†‡§

John 14:1-3: “Do not be worried and upset,” Jesus told them. “Believe in God and believe also in me. 2There are many rooms in my Father’s house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I would not tell you this if it were not so. 3And after I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself, so that you will be where I am.”—Good News Bible.*

Revelation 22:7,12,20: 7 “Listen!” says Jesus. “I am coming soon! Happy are those who obey the prophetic words in this book!”…

12 “Listen!” says Jesus. “I am coming soon! I will bring my rewards with me, to give to each one according to what he has done.”…

20 He who gives his testimony to all this says, “Yes indeed! I am coming soon!”—Good News Bible.*

  • [BSG:] This coming is literal (Acts 1:11).?Teachers Guide*†‡§

Acts 1:11: And said, “Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven.”—Good News Bible.*

  • [BSG:] The Second Coming is portrayed as visible (Matt. 24:30,Rev. 1:7).?Teachers Guide*†‡§

Matthew 24:30: “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky; and all the peoples of earth will weep as they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”—Good News Bible.*

Revelation 1:7: Look, he is coming on the clouds! Everyone will see him, including those who pierced him. All peoples on earth will mourn over him. So shall it be!—Good News Bible.* [Those clouds are not clouds of moisture, but rather, clouds of angels!]

  • [BSG:] All signs point to a near, soon, imminent coming. Jesus, again and again, used the word “soon” (Rev. 22:7, 12, 20; Matt. 24:4–28;Luke 21:7–28).
  • God’s people will see Jesus (John 14:3) and will be with Him forever (1 Thess. 4:17).?Teachers Guide*†‡§

John 14:3: “And after I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself, so that you will be where I am.”—Good News Bible.*

1 Thessalonians 4:17: Then we who are living at that time will be gathered up along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.—Good News Bible.*

  • [BSG:] The dead will be raised (1 Thess. 4:13–16), and believers will receive immortality (1 Cor. 15:53).?Teachers Guide*†‡§
  1. We believe that all signs point to a near, soon, imminent coming. Jesus, again and again, used the word soon. (Revelation 22:7,12,20; Matthew 24:4-28;Luke 21:7-28)
  2. We believe that God’s people will see Jesus (John 14:3) and will be with Him forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
  3. We believe the dead will be raised, (1 Thessalonians 4:13-16) and believers will receive immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:53)
  4. At that time, tears, mourning, and death will be abolished. (Revelation 21:3-4)

[BSG:] This message is important for our mission today, as many need to hear the good news of the blessed hope. The biggest challenge we face, however, is the non-Christian world. Millions, if not billions, of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and adherents of traditional religions have never heard of this hope. We must tell them. Jesus wants them to hear about His coming.?Teachers Guide* 82.†‡

  1. The teachers Bible study guide also states “Conviction 2.”

[BSG:] Conviction 2: God calls believers to loving obedience and serious discipleship. In light of Jesus’ coming, we need to make serious preparation.

Faithful, obedient discipleship is important. Adventists always have believed that Jesus is our Savior. We have always emphasized that true faith is manifested in making Jesus also Lord. People saved by Jesus should gladly make Him Lord and in gratitude follow Him. We believe that both the gospel and God’s law are vital and go together harmoniously like the two oars of a boat. The law leads us to Christ and serves as our standard. Jesus releases us from the law’s condemnation, and His Spirit writes the law on our hearts. For this reason, Adventists:

  • Support the whole Ten Commandments, including the neglected Sabbath fourth commandment, believing that Jesus gave it at Creation (Gen. 2:2), reiterated it in the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:8–11), and reinforced it during His ministry (Mark 2:27).
  • Believe the Sabbath is a powerful symbol of God’s creative power (Gen. 2 2,Exod. 20:8–11), saving grace (Exod. 20:2,Deut. 5:12–15), and the final rest of redemption in heaven (Heb. 4:1–11, especially verse 9).
  • Accept the Lordship of Christ in all areas of life, including marriage and family, dress, recreation, diet, and so on (Eph. 5:21–6:4; Phil. 4:8, 9; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 1 Tim. 2:8–10).

In a world where disregard for any standards of morality and decency abound, Adventist Christianity should promote a holy life. In a world where hurry and haste lead to high levels of stress, Christians under the Lordship of Christ can find joy and rest in the Sabbath. They should demonstrate in their lives both the saving power and the Lordship of Jesus.?Teachers Guide* 82-83.†‡§

  1. The teachers Bible study guide also discusses “Conviction 3.”

[BSG:] Conviction 3: God restores in believers the wholeness of life in Christ. Christians do not go to heaven as disembodied souls. The Second Coming restores all of life. Believers should prepare for the Second Coming as whole people. God wants to restore us as whole people. Salvation involves every part of life and being. Jesus wants us to live full and complete lives. InJohn 10:10, He says, “ ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ ” (NIV). Our motivation and preparation for mission is needed more than ever in a world that is sick, addicted, and living in ignorance, a world desperately in need of the message of Jesus who cares for, and ministers to, all parts of our life. A dying world needs the hope of new life lived to its fullness by God’s grace and power.?Teachers Guide* 83.†‡§

John 10:10: “The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.”—Good News Bible.*

  1. How much commitment of time and how much motivation and preparation are we involved in to prepare for the second coming? How much needless time is wasted? Are we actually, in fact, getting ready for His second coming?

©2023, Kenneth Hart, MD, MA, MPH. Permission is hereby granted for any noncommercial use of these materials. Free distribution of all or of a portion of this material such as to a Bible study class is encouraged. *Electronic version. Bold type is added. Brackets and content in brackets are added. §Italic type is in the source.                                                                                             Email: info@theox.org

Last Modified: November 1, 2023