04: God of Grace and Judgment – Thought Starters
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Green Question Marks

The world totters on the brink of moral collapse.1

The Judge of All is about to pass judgment on those who have refused to acknowledge Him as their Leader Eternal.
“Is there anyone else,” He calls out, “anyone else who wants to be free from the burden of sin?”
A few people struggle towards Him. The rest slink away.
“Not fair!” roars the enemy. “Condemn all or condemn none!”
“I won’t do that,” the Judge of All replies. “All who come to Me will be saved.”

The enemy [...]

04: God of Grace and Judgment – Teaching Plan
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gless04

Key Thought: Justice demands the death penalty for our sins. Yet grace through the suffering of Christ on our behalf delivers us from death if we accept it.

[Teaching Plan for "The God of Grace and Judgment" January 25, 2012]

1. Have a volunteer read Ecclesiastes 12:13,14.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What does it mean to fear God? Are we to be afraid of God and the [...]

Thursday: The Hour of His Judgment
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GoodSalt.com-lwjas0254

“Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known”(Matt. 10:26).1

Looking around at the world, we shouldn’t have a problem understanding the idea of judgment and condemnation. One doesn’t have to be a believing Christian to realize that something is radically wrong with humanity. Who can’t see what a royal mess, even disaster, we’ve made of things? Maybe we cry so hard at birth because, instinctively, we know what’s [...]

Wednesday: Condemnation and Grace
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lifeboat_niv

Most everyone is familiar with John 3:16. What comes after, though, helps flesh it out and explain it even better.

Read John 3:17–21. What does it say about judgment? About grace? How do these verses reveal to us how grace and judgment work together? 

The word translated “condemn” in verse 17 is also translated in some versions as “judge.” Clearly, though, the context is that of condemnation, because God has made it clear in numerous other places that the world will be judged.

Two themes appear in [...]

Tuesday: The Flood
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GoodSalt.com-prcas4705

Critics of the Bible make a big deal of the fact that other ancient civilizations had their own flood stories. They argue that the Bible story isn’t unique, original, or even true but is merely a copy of some previous myth or legend.1

On the other hand, those who believe that the Bible is the Word of God see these stories as a confirmation of the reality of the Flood. The Flood happened, and Genesis gives the inspired account of it. [...]

Monday: Judgment and Grace in Eden
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Sin of Adam and Eve

Think about this: before sin, there was no need of grace because there was nothing to forgive, nothing to pardon, nothing to cover. It’s the same with judgment. Before sin, there was nothing to judge, nothing to condemn, nothing to be punished. Both grace and judgment arise, at least in a human context, only because of humanity’s sin.1

Read Genesis 3, the account of the Fall. In what ways are both themes, that of judgment and grace, revealed?

Satan succeeded in bringing sin [...]

Sunday: Judgment Day
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

The theme of judgment, divine judgment, runs through the entire Bible. And contrary to common beliefs, judgment is not contrary to salvation or to the gospel. Indeed, both themes are woven together in Scripture from Genesis through Revelation.1

And no wonder. Judgment and salvation reflect twin aspects of God’s character: His justice and grace. Thus, we should not pit the idea of judgment against the idea of salvation any more than we should pit the idea of God’s justice against His [...]

Mulligans and Grace
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treasure-island-golf-024c

Friday’s section of “The God of Grace and Judgment” asks the question, “What’s the deadly spiritual trap of thinking that because we’re saved by grace, it doesn’t matter what we do? How can you protect yourself against falling into that deception?”

On the golf course we have another word for grace. It is called a “mulligan.” After you make a terrible shot, your partner may offer you a mulligan. You take another shot and the first shot does not count. It’s [...]

Sabbath: The God of Grace and Judgment
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gless04

Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Cor. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Genesis 3, 6; John 3:17–21; Rev. 14:6, 7.

Memory Text:

“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

Key Thought: God’s judgment is as pervasive in the Bible as is the theme of salvation; in fact, the two teachings are intricately entwined.

A soldier stood next to an old man about to be executed. He was guilty of being the “wrong” race and religion, nothing more. [...]

By His Stripes
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Carrying the Cross

Marilyn Sewell, a Unitarian minister, made the following statement while interviewing Christopher Hitchens, a well-known atheist:

“The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the Scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement 1 (that Jesus died for our sins, for example).”2

Wait! What? How is that possible? I mean, either you believe that Jesus died for your sins and you’re a [...]

Further Study: God as Redeemer
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future_study

“Oh, how inefficient, how incapable I am of expressing the things which burn in my soul in reference to the mission of Christ! . . . I know not how to speak or trace with pen the large subject of the atoning sacrifice. I know not how to present subjects in the living power in which they stand before me. I tremble for fear lest I shall belittle the great plan of salvation by cheap words.”—Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 3, p. [...]

Inside Story: Hope and a Future
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gis03

Alexander Grinev

I was a typical Soviet youth—ambitious and skeptical. When the Soviet Union broke up, I opened my own business.

One day Natasha, my wife, met a woman who invited us to evangelistic meetings sponsored by Adventists. I had heard of Adventists and believed that they were honest people. So when Natasha came home from the first meeting excited about what she heard, I agreed to go to the meetings with her.

As I listened to the speaker, my youthful skepticism melted [...]