S T O R Y
“Today we studied the second law of thermodynamics,” Robert said at mealtime.
“You’re getting a lot of knowledge in your head. What is the second law of thermodynamics?” Dad said.
“Um, I’m not sure, Dad. It’s about something called time’s arrow, so we know how things change over time.”
“Can you tell me how an arrow tells us about change?”
“Sure, Dad. If you take a lot of pictures of the same person or mountain or rock and you live long enough, you would see it change. Let’s say it’s a dead rabbit. Take a picture every week and if nothing eats it, the rabbit eventually looks like garbage and then dirt. That’s the time arrow from a dead rabbit to dirt. You can always tell what is older by how much it has changed. The more rot and destruction, the more time has gone by.”
Dad smiled. “And does the law of thermodynamics apply everywhere?”
“Um, I don’t know, Dad. I don’t think it applies to mebecause I keep growing stronger and learning more.”
“That wasting away we’re talking about is called entropy. Do you think God created entropy?”
“I don’t think so. It’s just there.”
“You know what I think?”
“I think God can turn entropy or decay into life and growth and that when we go to heaven we’ll see lots of evidence of His power to resurrect and revive and change us into beings who won’t get tired, won’t get sick and will be around animals and plants that have the same abilities.”
“And the Second Law of Thermodynamics will be repealed.”
“We’ll see, won’t we?”
1. Key thought. Does God have power over the Second Law of Thermodynamics? Are the results of decay and deterioration always harmful? What about the vultures that clear dead meat from the roads? Is that a good service? Do you think there will be vultures gobbling up the carcasses of animals and birds in the New Earth? If not, what will happen to them? What about our sinful hearts? Does spiritual entropy ever rule in our hearts? In our churches? In our relationship with Christ? How can that happen? Do you think there’s a cure for spiritual deterioration?
2. Christ as clothing. At the end of this thirteen-week study of the imagery of clothing in the Bible, do you have trouble-or is it a blessing-to think of Jesus as clothing that we put on? How many times in your life have you clothed yourself in Christ’s righteousness? Or does the clothing come directly from the presence of God to your spiritual being? What is the result of being clothed in Christ’s righteousness? Are you perfect then? Does sin seem abhorrent? Can you fall from grace while you’re wearing the garment of righteousness? Since Jesus has promised to forgive us, does it matter how often we sin or how far we stray? Can we put on that special robe any time we need to? Why or why not?
3. Clothing that works. Have you ever worn a brace or had a body part wrapped in cloth tape? Was it uncomfortable? Why did you keep wearing it? Or did you? How does the robe of righteousness straighten our spiritual snarls? Is it ever possible to be wrapped in God’s spirit of righteousness and not know it? Once you have the Sabbath and the other key doctrines of the church incorporated into your life, do you still need to rely on the clothing of Christianity to make the transition from world to Christ complete? Why? Is a sin-free life a requirement for salvation? Why or why not?
4. Regeneration. Does the seemingly inevitable presence of entropy conflict with the eternal presence of a Creative God? If so, does that conflict bother you? Or are you comforted by the ability of God to bypass the Second Law of Thermodynamics in your spiritual life? Do you remember your baptism? Did you feel something in your heart? If you were very young, were you convinced that God had made you new? Or did you even have a sense of your sinfulness? What about now? How are your human behaviors related to being a Christian?
5. The image of God. Does it thrill you to think of sinful, filthy human beings standing before their Creator changed into clean, happy, and holy Christians? Do you want to be like Jesus? Or is that a useless prayer, considering how far you’ll always be from His ultimate holiness? Or is a standard that is worth striving for? The lesson states that we’ll be physically changed at the resurrection. Do you look forward to that?Do you know a person with limited abilities and long for the day that person will be equipped with abundance strength and capabilities? How do you think Jesus feels about that day?
6. A dwelling. Can you think of the shoes and socks and other clothes you wear as a “house” you live in? As long as it’s yours, do you prefer your clothing to any alternative? What about your physical body? Are you a person who feels pain every day? Do you long for the absence of all pain and discomfort? Would you gladly trade your body in for a newly created one? How often do we think about death and dying? What are some more optimistic themes to bring to mind while enduring the troubling aspects of life? Do you think anyone is going to complain in the New Earth about the way they look or the clothing they have to wear? What should our thinking be now while we’re waiting for that day?
7. No more sin. Do you ever get sick through and through of sin? Whether it’s a huge financial scandal, a series of gruesome murders, or a case of horrific child abuse, does your heart cringe? What do you think when sin is glorified? How do you respond to smart remarks about how much fun sin is? Does your heart long for that day when there will be no more sin? None. Nobody will hurt anybody. When we’ll be wearing holy garments that won’t be destroyed? Do we have to wait until the resurrection
to enjoy the pleasures of living without sin? Or can we learn to hate all aspects of sin in our hearts before then? How?
Have a Happy Sabbath!