1. Good news. Do you ever consider how the visions Daniel saw compared with the movies and videos and amazing cinematography of our day? How did Daniel describe what he saw so that others could understand the sequence of events that would bring ‘good news’ to succeeding generations? Imagine you were Daniel and this was your vision. How does the sequence of events in Daniel’s visions provide ‘good news’ for you? Who are the ‘people of the saints of the Highest One’, as seen in Daniel 7:27? Can you identify with this group? If so, why? or how?
2. The judgment was set. Are you old enough to remember the fear we used to feel when we thought about the investigative judgment? Did you believe that any time now your name might come up and when it did, if you had not been found perfect and free from every sin, it was curtains for you? How did it make you feel to believe that your destiny may have already been determined, and you’d never have another chance to turn things around? Or when you wondered why God had to do so much investigating—as if He didn’t know our hearts already? What is the good news of the pre-Advent judgment? Hint: It is really good news!
3. Before the judgment. Why are we wearing filthy garments when we stand before God at the judgment? Can we justify our condition? Can we respond to Satan’s accusations? What can we do to get out of those dirty clothes and into more respectable clothing? Is this image perhaps a picture of our condition before we repent of our sins and give our hearts wholly to God? Or are we sinful regardless as we stand in the judgment? In either case, is there a cure for our condition?
4. Timing. Does knowing that the “Lord knows those that are His” help in your determination to be on His side in the judgment? See John 10:27 How does this belief (knowing we are His) help us believe in the assurance of our salvation when thinking about the judgment? Considering the earthly kingdoms around us, are we looking forward to the time when their power will come to an end? How do you think the judgment will affect the fate of the nations of the earth? Since judgment usually takes place after an event or activity, what takes place before the judgment?
5. The Judgment Ends. What happens when the judgment ends? Your lesson guide gives four events beginning with the coronation of the Son of Man. Does this list bring up thoughts of a giant orchestra or choir sounding through the universe when the battle with sin finally ends? Or do you think about a reverent silence instead? God could have chosen a swifter and more direct way to eliminate sin. Instead, He shows Himself to be absolutely fair in every detail. How can we show Him our gratitude for His way of ruling?
6 Safe to Save. How does the powerful image of the Ancient of Days and the Son of man working together to control the fate of the nations give you assurance to face judgment with joy? Are you “safe to save”? If so, what has God done in your life to show the universe that you are indeed one of His? Your lesson guide states that “The judgment is not the time when God decides to accept or reject us; …it is the time when God finalizes our choice…revealed by our works.” Discuss.