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Sabbath School Lessons on The Role of the Church in the Community
About the Author
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 41 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: How Shall We Wait? *
Introduction: Do you sometimes worry about whether Jesus is really
coming again? In a court of law, "gold standard" evidence is when
your opponent admits a fact is true. In Matthew 8:29 two demons
(fallen angels) first admit that Jesus is the "Son of God" and then
ask "have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?"
Fallen angels know God has an appointed time when Jesus will return
and bring an end to sin. Let's jump into our study and discover what
the Bible says we should be doing while we wait!
- Peter on Trust
- Read 2 Peter 3:2-3. On what is Peter basing his
statements? (On what the prophets and Jesus have said.)
- What can we expect in the last days? (People who will
scoff at the message of the Bible and scoff at us.)
- Why do you think they scoff? Is it because the Bible
is inherently untrustworthy? (No. They want to do
their own will and not be constrained by the Bible.)
- Read 2 Peter 3:4. Wait a minute. Here is some hard
evidence to use as a basis to doubt - everything has
remained the same since the beginning of the world. Do you
- Read 2 Peter 3:5-6. How have things changed? (Peter says
water was part of the creation of the world and it was the
agent for the destruction caused by the flood.)
- Do the scoffers know this? (Yes. "They deliberately
- Do we still have the same kind of scoffers?
(Yes! How many scientists acknowledge a world-wide flood?)
- What did God use to create the world and cause the
flood? (His word!)
- Read 2 Peter 3:7. What does it mean that "by the same word
the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire?" (I
think "word" is used in two ways. First, the word of God
promised the final destruction. Second, God is powerful
enough that He merely speaks the fire into action.)
- Peter is making a logical argument here in support of the
coming judgment. What is it? (God destroyed the earth once
- and He did it by merely speaking. God can easily destroy
the earth again.)
- Read 2 Peter 3:8-9. Peter directly addresses the issue of
delay. Why has God delayed? (God is patient with humans in
the hope they will turn to Him. God has a different
perspective on time.)
- Read 2 Peter 3:10. Peter reaffirms that Jesus will come a
second time and destroy the old heavens and earth. What
idea does Peter inject when he says that Jesus will come
"like a thief?"
- Peter on Waiting
- Read 2 Peter 3:11-12. Is this the answer you would have
given to Peter's question? I think the answer "alert and
jumpy" makes more sense than "holy and godly." Why holy
- Read 2 Peter 3:13-14. The new earth is the "home of
righteousness." Therefore we should work to be righteous
- isn't that what Peter is saying?
- Read 2 Peter 3:15-16. Now we know why Peter has
righteousness by faith wrong, he has a hard time
- Or, are we "ignorant and unstable people" who are
distorting Paul's message of righteousness by faith?
- Read 2 Peter 3:17. What error concerns Peter? (Those who
believe in no law.)
- How can a dependence on righteousness by works ever
be a "secure position?"
- Re-read 2 Peter 3:11-12. Does Peter say that we need to
live holy and godly lives in order to be saved? (No! He
says that right living will "speed" the time of Jesus'
Second Coming. If God's goal to have "everyone come to
repentance" ( 2 Peter 3:9), is our goal, it makes sense to
set a right example by living holy and godly lives.)
- Read 2 Peter 3:18. What does Peter say about grace? (That
we should grow in it and in our knowledge of Jesus. It
turns out that Peter is giving a message of grace without
tossing out the practical importance of right living.)
- Jesus on Waiting
- Read Matthew 24:36. How does the fact that we do not know
the day of Jesus' return impact what we should be doing
- Read Matthew 24:37-41. Will the world help us to know when
the end is near? (The world goes on as usual.)
- Read Matthew 24:42-44. This is the second time we see this
"thief" reference. What does it mean to "keep watch?" If
Jesus is coming anyway, why watch? (The thief reference
shows us what Jesus means. He is telling us to be alert
and ready for His coming at all times.)
- Read Matthew 24:45-46. What is the work of the faithful
and wise servant? (To give "food" to those in the
- What do you think is meant by the term "food?" Is it
- Read John 4:34. When Jesus says that finishing the work of
God is His "food," what do you think He means?
- Why is food a good analogy? (Food gives us energy.
What energizes Jesus is doing God's will. The work of
the wise and faithful servant is energizing others to
do God's will.)
- Read John 4:35. When Jesus speaks of "harvest," what do
you think He means? (Sharing the gospel with those who
want to hear it.)
- When should we do this work of harvest? (Right now.
No need to wait.)
- When someone accepts the gospel, does that energize
- Read John 4:36-38. Have you ever been discouraged when you
were not able to convert someone? What information does
this text contain that is encouraging? (It is enough to be
part of the process of conversion. We don't need to take
responsibility for the entire process. What we do to share
the gospel may bear fruit later with the efforts of
- John on Waiting
- Read Revelation 14:6-7. Are angels going to do our work
for us? (God always works with us. This gives us advice on
how we can work while waiting.)
- What is our message? (God created everything. He is
entitled to worship and praise and honor. There is an
urgency to this because the time of judgment has
- Read Revelation 14:8. What do you think is Babylon? (Read
Isaiah 21:9. Babylon represents the worship of false gods.
Adultery/fornication is unfaithfulness to God. The
reference to "maddening wine" shows that unfaithfulness to
God makes no logical sense. Thus, the message is that the
enemies of God are defeated!)
- How would you put these two messages together? (Our
Creator God defeated sin. The time for judgment is here!
All humans need to join forces with the God who is
- Read Revelation 14:9-12. "Patient endurance" is not an
exciting term. Previously, we discussed how our work of
sharing the gospel gives us energy. Why is this an
appropriate picture now? (The message is to continue our
work. The end is near, so continue the work of sharing the
- Look again at Revelation 14:10-11. What role does
this information play in our end-time message? (We
make a mistake when we fail to mention the coming
judgment. After all, what does judgment mean? Our
decisions have consequences!)
- Read Revelation 21:1-4. What is the positive message of
the Second Coming? (We will live with God in this fabulous
place where we no longer have pain, mourning, sadness or
death. These "old order" problems have passed away! Praise
- Friend, will you choose God now? While you wait will you
share the gospel message? Why not ask the Holy Spirit to
guide you into your special role in end-time work?
- Next week we start a new series on the book of Job.
* Copr. 2016, 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.