[Thought questions for Our Prophetic Message December 11, 2013]
1. “I saw another angel.” What do the messages of the three angels of Revelation have in common? Or are their messages distinct and different? How do the angels communicate their urgent messages with believers on Planet Earth? Would you rather see them flying in the sky shouting the message? Or broadcasting from a celestial Powerpoint or hand-held device placed in each hand? What are some advantages of the channels the angels choose to convey important information to God’s people? Can we still “see” the angels as clearly at John did?
2. Disappointed. Have you noticed that we’re usually most disappointed after we’ve been expecting something great? What was the expectation of the people who “ate” the book symbolically, as John did? Is it possible that the correct interpretation of the 2300 days by the Millerites would have changed the events that followed? How can our understanding of this prophecy strengthen our faith? Following the bitterness, why do you think John was commanded to prophecy again? How is that command being fulfilled? In keeping with our sanctuary connection to the Day of Atonement, does the cleansing of the sanctuary and the coming of Christ along with His work in the heavenly sanctuary become a part of our ‘prophesying again’?
3. Fear God. What if we wrote, “Be afraid of God” instead of “Fear God”? Is the meaning the same? In your Christian life, have you ever been afraid, even terrified, about coming events before Jesus returns? When you open the door to your church on Sabbath morning, do you sense a feeling of awe and respect? Or do you wave at your friends and chat about how your business, your family, or your health are doing? Is it wrong to be cheerful and happy when you meet fellow members? Is it possible to “fear God” with a song in your heart and a smile on your face? Is it wrong to preach a gospel of “fear” to those who aren’t even thinking about preparing to meet God?
4. Wrath. Why is Satan so angry? (Rev. 11:17,18 and Rev. 12:17) God’s wrath is against the wicked. Why? Whose judgment is it–yours, mine, or God’s? How can we be sure who we are worshiping? See Rev. 14:7 What is the result of the cries of the persecuted, oppressed, or martyred believers at the judgment? The faithful are promised a reward. What reward are you expecting at the judgment? See also 2 Cor. 5:10. How will the universe respond to the vindication of God’s character? How can knowing you are on the side of the righteous Judge comfort you today and save you from terror of the judgment? Why must evil be utterly destroyed rather than eternally locked up somewhere?
5. Worship the Creator. Will everybody at the end worship either the Creator or the evil one? Which is easier to do? Why? On what pretense will people led by the evil one attempt to destroy God’s followers? How could such a loving, caring group of Christians arouse the anger of fallen men and lead them to hate us? Are you ever attracted by the logic of the evolutionists? Have you ever seen the Grand Canyon, for example, explained as an obvious result of evolution? What about the Ten Commandments? What is the connection between the Commandments and Creation? Is that connection a cause for rejoicing?
6. Patience. Babylon was a symbol for Rome in New Testament times. How would you describe Babylon as seen in the world we live in today? The admonition is to leave Babylon and join the faithful. Is this a physical leaving or a separation of another type? Why should one leave? Is it possible to be a Christian and still reside in Babylon? Choose an event in the life of Christ that shows His patience, loyalty and obedience to His Father as He lived among believers and non-believers? Considering the condition of our world, today, would you say keeping His commandments is something we can do on our own? Why or why not?
7. Warning. Is it worth the scorn we will receive when we send the book, The Great Controversy, to thousands and thousands of people? A warning is intended to cause more good than harm. Some believe we should demonstrate our love for others before we send this warning message. How do we present this message to our children so they will also share in the good news of the judgment? How can we look to the world of nature to illustrate the beauty of worshiping God? What are the spiritual dangers of using this message to frighten and gain compliance from those to whom we present the three angel’s messages? How can we incorporate the great love of the Savior and His ultimate desire for all to be saved with the reality of the final judgment?