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Sabbath School Lessons on The Wonder of Jesus
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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 38 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 13: His Return as King and Friend *
Introduction: What is next for the believer? Last week we learned how
we can have confidence in our salvation. What does salvation do for
us? We are not going to dwell on this point, but salvation lets us
avoid hell. The edge of the "Great Dismal Swamp" is not too far from
where I work and the swamp is currently on fire. Smoke blankets
everything. The whole area smells like wood burning or a barbeque.
Coming inside from the smoke and turning my thoughts to the future
for believers reminded me of that we are avoiding hell. What is the
positive side of things? What will heaven be like? That is worthy of
extended discussion. Let's dive into the Bible and find out!
- The Great Divide
- Read Matthew 25:31-33. What does this teach us about
whether there is a final judgment for humans?
- Will every human be saved?
- Read Matthew 25:34-40. What troubles you about these
verses? (What troubles me is that the judgment seems
purely based on human works, when last week we learned
that it was based on our acceptance of Jesus' works. I'm
also troubled with the suggestion that the saved are Bible
illiterates! If they had studied the Bible, they would
have read about this dialog and know the answer to their
- What do you think that these verses are really
teaching? (That those who are saved have a
transformation of their hearts where they naturally
do good works. They are not self-conscious of their
good works. Otherwise, they would respond, "You bet
we did. And, don't forget all the other good works
we did." I think this proves the truth of Hebrews
10:16, a text we studied last week. Part of our
salvation is that God writes His law in our hearts
- Read Matthew 25:41-43. What is the downside of the final
judgment? (The worst part is where God says "Depart from
Me." I never want to hear those words! The devil and his
angels are active agents of rebellion. If I am lost, I
will get at least a part of what they get.)
- Is this view of a judgment and hope of heaven only a New
Testament teaching? (No. Read Daniel 12:2-3.)
- The Perfect Change
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-14. What is the guarantee given
to believers of being resurrected to eternal life? (That
Jesus was resurrected.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-52. When will believers be
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:35. Our prior text said that "we
will all be changed." When we are resurrected, what kind
of body will we have? What kind of place will heaven be?
What will things be like? Have you ever asked yourself
those questions? What are your thoughts?
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:36. Is the Bible saying that it
is foolish to contemplate these things? (No. It says
it is foolish not to understand this point. It is
something we can grasp!)
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:37-41. What does Jesus suggest
about the way we will look in our resurrected body?
(He says we will not look like birds or fish or
stars. God distinguishes these things now and He will
distinguish them when we are resurrected.)
- What do you think is meant by the "seed?" Does
this suggest that you will not look anything
like what you used to look like? (Jesus says we
do not have to worry about getting our old body
back. The old plant dies and is gone. But, a
seed that carries all of the genetic information
of the old plant re-emerges as the new plant.)
- Does the new plant look like the old
- What does that suggest about the way you
will appear in your resurrected body?
(First, it assures us we will have a body.
Second, we will look like humans and not
like birds or frogs or stars.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 49. In what ways will
our body be better and different? (It will be
perfect. We will be like Jesus.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. What event do you think is
forecast by the phrase "when perfection comes?" (The
Second Coming of Jesus. The resurrection. Love is present
on this earth and will be present in heaven. Love will
remain when the "imperfect" disappears. The concept is
that what is good remains, what is imperfect is gone.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:11-12. The difference between earth
and heaven is illustrated by the difference between a
child and an adult. What does that suggest about heaven?
(It suggests that the good things we know on earth will
exist in a much advanced form in heaven.)
- Will our friends and relatives be able to recognize
us in heaven? When we are this new "plant," will we
look enough like the old to be recognized? (I think
so. Verse 12 refers to a poor mirror and then says "I
shall know fully, even as I am fully known." This
suggests people will know you!)
- Read Luke 24:13-16. This is after Jesus'
resurrection. Did Jesus look like He used to
look? (Yes. The two disciples had to be
supernaturally "kept from recognizing Him.")
- Read Luke 9:29-31. How does this suggest that
Moses looked? (He was recognizable as a man.
Indeed, he looked as much like a man as did
Elijah - who never died, but was translated to
- The Perfect Place
- Read Revelation 19:11-13. This rider is named the "Word of
God." Who is He? ( John 1:1-14. This is Jesus!)
- Read Revelation 19:14-16. Where is Jesus and His army
heading? (For earth! The following verses in this chapter
and in Revelation 20 discuss a great battle that ends with
the destruction of the wicked.)
- Read Revelation 21:1-2. After sin and evil are judged and
destroyed, what happens to the earth? (We have a "new
heaven and new earth.")
- Read Revelation 21:3-4. Where does God dwell? In heaven?
(Friend, our earth made new is the future dwelling place
for God and for us.)
- How will this new earth be different from the old
earth we know? (There will be no death, mourning,
crying or pain.)
- Think back on the verses that we have just read. We have a
"new Jerusalem" and a "new earth" with no sea. What does
that suggest about whether we will recognize our
surroundings? (The reference to things we know on earth,
like "Jerusalem" and "earth" suggest that we will
recognized the earth. Telling us that there will be "no
sea" implies that the rest of the familiar features of the
earth will be there.)
- Read Revelation 21:10-14. What will we have in the earth
made new? (Mountains!)
- What kind of city is the New Jerusalem? (It has a
wall and gates. That suggests it looks like
something we will recognize.)
- What does this description tell us about our
heavenly bodies? (It suggests that we have real
bodies because spirits would have no use for
walls or gates.)
- Friend, imagine living in the earth made new in the same
place you now live. Now imagine that everything that is
wrong and unpleasant where you live is gone. Imagine that
everything that is wrong and unpleasant with you is gone.
Now imagine that you have all the time to do whatever it
is you would like to do. Travel to new and perfect places.
Learn what you would like to learn. Build what you would
like to build. Have the relationships with the heroes of
the Bible which you would like to have. Live in the
presence of Jesus. Will you confess your sins and give
your heart to Jesus today? If you will, all these things
(and much more than you can imagine) will be in your
- Next week: We start a new series entitled "Agents of Hope: God's
* Copr. 2008, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.