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Lesson 12: Last Things: Jesus and the Saved *

Introduction: How much time do you spend dreaming about having enough money so that you can stop working? If you are older, do you dream about what you would do in retirement? At some point in my life, I realized that I was dreaming too low. Instead of dreaming about what I might do here on earth if I had unlimited time and money, why not dream instead about what it will be like in heaven? There you truly have unlimited time. What about the ticket to enter heaven? Would you act differently if you thought that heaven was your retirement? This week let's jump in and find out what the Bible has to say about end times.

  1. The Sanctuary Ticket Booth

    1. Read Hebrews 8:1-3. Why does the priest need to have something to offer? (This refers to the Old Testament sanctuary service, in which an animal was killed(offered)because of the sin of a human.)

      1. Where is the sanctuary referred to in this text? (In heaven!)

    2. Read Hebrews 8:4-5. How long has the sanctuary in heaven existed? (At least before the one built by Moses. The sanctuary on earth was patterned after an existing sanctuary in heaven.)

    3. Read Hebrews 8:6. Who is the Mediator, the High Priest, in the heavenly sanctuary? (Jesus.)

    4. Review the texts we have just read. What do you think is going on? (The earthly sanctuary service illustrated God's solution to our sin problem. It is a poor representation of the sanctuary in heaven where Jesus is mediating on our behalf to solve our sin problem.)

    5. Read Hebrews 7:23-25. What is the result of Jesus' mediation? (He completely saves us from sin! He is our permanent mediator.)

    6. Read Hebrews 7:26-28. Why are we talking about the perfection of the priest? I never read that the priests in the sanctuary had to be perfect - and the Old Testament contains many stories about those who were not. (Jesus is different. Not only is He our High Priest, but He "offered Himself" as the "holy, blameless, pure" sacrifice.)

      1. If you have any lingering doubts about grace, what part did obeying the law have in either of these sanctuary systems? (In both systems, sin was forgiven by blood - the death of a substitute. You cannot avoid the death penalty by obedience. You can only avoid the death penalty by substituting the life of the sacrifice.)

      2. How sufficient is Jesus' sacrifice on behalf of our sins? (Verse 26 - "Such a high priest meets our need.")

    7. Let's contemplate this a moment. Jesus takes away our sins, and He is working on this right now on your behalf. What obligation do you have? (If someone is saving my life, I feel an enormous obligation towards that person. Can we just sit in our pew when Jesus is doing so much for us?)

    8. Read Acts 3:19-21. How do you obtain your ticket to heaven? (Repent and turn to Jesus, your High Priest in heaven. Jesus covers our sins. He mediates on our behalf.)

      1. When can we use our ticket to heaven? (A time is coming when God will "restore everything.")

  2. The Portal to Heaven

    1. How many times have you had a ticket to some event, and not been sure of the location? Let's read John 14:2-5. What worries Thomas?

      1. Do you have the problem voiced by Thomas? Are you concerned that you might be unclear on the directions to heaven? You might not show up at the right place at the right time?

    2. Read Matthew 24:23-25. Do we have a wrong event possibility with the Second Coming of Jesus? (Absolutely! Jesus says, "I warned you.")

    3. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4. What is the first landmark for the Second Coming of Jesus? (That "the man of lawlessness" will impersonate Jesus!)

      1. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12. How will the impersonator seek to deceive us?

        1. Has this happened yet? (Not in my opinion. First, the impersonator is a sign of the Second Coming being close. Second, I've never heard of anyone doing these kinds of miracles, signs and wonders on a world stage.)

        2. How can we protect ourselves against this deception? (There is a very interesting bit of information here. Those who are deceived want to be deceived. They are not in love with the true Jesus.)

    4. Read Matthew 24:26-27 and Matthew 24:30-31. What are the markers of the true Second Coming? (This is an event in the sky, not the earth. If we are told that Jesus is somewhere on earth, we can automatically know that person is an impersonator.)

    5. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. What other markers should we look for in the true Second Coming? How can we be sure we try to use our ticket at the right event? (Again, this is a world-wide sky event. Even more impressive, we will join Jesus in the sky. Even more impressive than that, the dead will join Jesus in the sky! You might go to the wrong event, but you cannot get lost going to this one!)

      1. If you know your Bible, how easy is it to be sure you are at the right event? (It seems so obvious, but Jesus did warn us about deception.)

  3. Loving God

    1. The last two weeks we discussed why the law is a self-help book to better living. We learned about the law of benefits. Read John 14:15. Haven't we learned that "if you love yourself" you should obey the law? (We have - and the Bible clearly teaches that. But, it is not the entire story.)

    2. Read Matthew 22:37-40. How many parties are being loved here? (Love for oneself, love for our neighbor and love for God.)

      1. What sense does it make to have these three loves in your life? Why are they part of the law? (God gave us a law that blesses us. He then died over the law to allow us to obtain a ticket to eternal life with Him. The normal heart would reflect love back. It would share God's love.)

    3. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8. As we await the Second Coming, what are our marching orders? We have our ticket to heaven in our pocket, what do we do as we wait? (We exhibit faith in God, and love to God, our neighbor and our self. We have hope in that ticket in our pocket.)

    4. Let's revisit Acts 3:19-20. This tells us that ticket-holders have a time of "refreshing" before Jesus returns. What is this? Showers, shaves and perfume for everyone?

    5. Read Joel 2:28-31. What is the "great and dreadful day of the Lord?" (The Second Coming.)

      1. What precedes the Second Coming? (The Holy Spirit being poured out in power!)

      2. Who is the recipient of this power? (All of us. No age or gender differences. No cultural or racial differences.)

      3. What, then, should power the faith, love and hope of the ticket-holders as they await Jesus' Second Coming? (The Holy Spirit.)

    6. Friend, you have the ticket (or at least the means to get one), you have the directions to the Second Coming, you have the knowledge of what Jesus is doing for you now: what are you doing for Jesus as you await heaven? Will you pray for the Holy Spirit to give you great power so that your faith, your love and your hope inspire those around you?

  4. Next week: When All Things Become New!
* Copr. 2012, 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.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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