Timothy was sitting in a fifth grade general science class at an Adventist school when a thought struck him like a bolt from the blue. He waved his hand at the teacher.
“Did you say that God created the world in seven days?”
“That’s what the Bible tells us.”
“Well, I don’t think He could do that.”
“Because there’s too much in the world. Fish and birds and bugs and worms and snakes. Plus the human body. And all the animals and plants and trees and clouds. Nobody could make this world in seven days. Not even God.”
“I think you’re forgetting something, Timothy. With God, all things are possible. Do you believe that?”
“I guess so. But hardly anybody believes God made this whole world in one week. My friends at home sure don’t.”
“You know what you need, Timothy?”
“A bigger God. A God as big as the universe. A God who knows more than all the people in the world. A God so powerful He can speak and create just like that.”
“I don’t understand how He does that,” Timothy said.
“You don’t have to. “Just hold on to Jesus, and some day He’ll explain it all and answer all your questions about how He created the world. All of them.”
Questions for discussing The Sabbath and Worship (click to see the lesson online)
1. Key Thought: agnostic. Do you shiver when you heard the word “agnostic”? Why? The word simply means “without knowledge.” When it comes to the details of Creation, does the Bible give us a complete account of everything that happened? Given our small brains and inadequate skills of comprehension, should we be dismayed that we don’t know everything? Wouldn’t it be honest sometimes to admit we’re agnostic about many aspects of God’s great Creation? Can we admit our agnostic state and still cling to Jesus?
2. The Sabbath. Do most people understand why Adventists worship on the seventh day? What do they think about this “strange” belief of ours? How does their attitude toward the Sabbath as the seventh day impact their evaluation of who we are and what we believe? Do people who worship faithfully on Sunday think that we Sabbath-keepers have drifted away from God? How can we help people see the beauty of the seventh day Sabbath? How can we show how the Sabbath is closely related to our redemption? Is it possible to present the Sabbath without appearing haughty? How?
3. Sabbath as celebration. When God completed the sixth day of creation, did He rest because He was tired? Are you comfortable using the word “celebration” to describe the Sabbath? Why or why not? What do you think was the most significant “thing” God created during creation week? What do we have to celebrate on Sabbath now? Can even those who are ill or crippled enjoy a Sabbath blessing? Should those of us who are hearty try to share something to celebrate with those who cannot worship with us?
4. Freedom from slavery. Have you ever compared the Sabbath commandment of Exodus 20:8-11 with the one in Deuteronomy 5:12? Which means more to you: the emphasis on keeping the Sabbath to remember the rescue of the Children of Israel from Egypt or the admonishing to keep the Sabbath in order to remember Creation week? What about the Israelites during their wilderness journey: Which reason for keeping the Sabbath holy would have greater appeal for them? Does the repetition of the Sabbath commandment with a different reason trouble you? If not, why not?
5. The law and sanctification. What does the word “sanctification” mean to you? Is sanctification a requirement for salvation? Or is salvation a requirement for sanctification? Have you ever known a holy, sanctified person? Why is there so much confusion about the process of sanctification? Have you heard people question what sanctification means that makes it different from salvation by works? Have you ever obeyed a law or a commandment and were glad because you did? Does God intend for obedience to Him to result in joy? How can that be? True or false: We can never be ready for eternal life until we reach a state of perfection.
6. Sabbath’s benefits. Why is the word “Sabbath” as used in the Bible so often linked to the concept of rest? What are some of aspects of Sabbath rest that you appreciate most? How important is a Sabbath-like rest in our lives through eternity? Will we be worn out with work we’re doing in heaven and need to rest? Or will “rest” have a different meaning in a sinless world? On earth as it is now, does the ultimate meaning of rest include slumber? Is it possible to sleep too much on Sabbath? How much is too much? How can you tell? What are some ways we can rest emotionally on Sabbath?
7. The need to worship. Coming as it does every seven days, what can the Sabbath tell us about the importance of habit in serving God? What can we do on Sabbath to develop a deep experience of worshipping one God and praising His creative and redeeming gifts? Do thoughts of work and life’s worries ever pester you on a Sabbath day? Is that sin?
8. Creation and redemption. Your lesson refers to “delusions” about Creation. What might some of those delusions be? How does our salvation relate to a clear understanding of Creation? Can we be saved without any idea of how God created the world and the people and beings on it? Does Satan seem to believe if he can destroy the Sabbath he can destroy God’s people? Is that a fair assumption? What can we learn about Creation that can strengthen the bonds between us on our Lord?
Have a blessed Sabbath!