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Sabbath: Light Shines in the Darkness — 17 Comments

  1. Interestingly, Jesus often used light as a metaphor for the Gospel. In science, everything that we know about the rest of the universe comes to us through light. While we all like the visual images that giant telescopes provide of distant space objects such as stars, planets, nebulae, and galaxies, the real work of these instruments lies in the spectrometers that separate and analyse the photons as they arrive from different sources.

    For instance, we have a fairly accurate understanding of the sun's composition, Jupiter's atmosphere and the interstellar dust of distant nebulae. We can also tell how fast these objects are going, relative to the Earth and how far they are from us.

    Darkness on the other hand contains no information at all. It is simply the absence of light. It is fairly hard to maintain darkness in the presence of light and one needs to go to a lot of trouble to keep light out, (Speaking from the experience of a photographer from the days when film was king!)

    The Gospel fills the void of darkness, banishing the absence of information.

    Just a thought to begin this week's study.

    • Maurice the last sentence 'The Gospel fills the void of darkness, banishing the absence of information' I just add a response, please give your thoughts if you don't mind.

      The statement you’re referring to seems to be more of a metaphorical or spiritual interpretation rather than a factual claim that can be objectively evaluated.

      The term “Gospel” typically refers to the teachings of Jesus Christ as recorded in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. When people say “The Gospel fills the void of darkness,” they are often expressing a personal belief that the teachings of the Gospel can provide guidance, hope, and understanding in times of uncertainty or “darkness.”

      As for “banishing the absence of information,” this could be interpreted as the Gospel providing answers to existential questions or moral dilemmas that people might struggle with.

      However, it’s important to note that interpretations of religious texts can vary greatly among individuals and cultures. What one person finds enlightening and fulfilling might not resonate the same way with someone else. Therefore, the “factualness” of this statement can be quite subjective and largely depends on personal beliefs and experiences.

      In a strictly scientific sense, facts are typically understood as claims that can be proven true or false based on empirical evidence or logical reasoning. In this context, metaphysical or spiritual claims are often considered outside the realm of factual discourse because they tend to deal with matters that are not easily measurable or observable.

      So, while the statement might hold significant truth and meaning for some individuals based on their personal beliefs and experiences, it might not be considered “factual” in a strict scientific or empirical sense. It’s a complex interplay between personal belief, spiritual faith, and empirical evidence.

        • Maurice, I understood you that way; it was not a scientific statement. But Ronald raises a missiological point to say it might be perceived differently by the significantly different 'other.' Thank you both of you for sharing.
          Jesus: I am the Light of the world John 8:12
          John 1:1-3:In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was with God in the beginning.
          3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
          John 1:14: And the Word became flesh

          Jesus Himself is the Gospel; the Light; The Word

          • While there is some truth in what you are saying, that does not mean I leave my scientific reasoning behind because of my faith. My relationship between faith and reason has many nuances and it would take a long time to describe. I like C A Coulson's statement, "Either God is in the whole of nature with no gaps, or he is not there at all"... He wasn't talking about Pantheism but rather the partership between :Science and Christian Belief" in his book of the same name.

  2. Jesus said, when He the Spirit of Truth comes,He will guide you into all Truth, He will Teach you all Things.
    I am giving the Lord thanks for this.

  3. My brethren, God calls upon you as His followers to walk in the light. You need to be alarmed. Sin is among us, and it is not seen to be exceedingly sinful. The senses of many are benumbed by the indulgence of appetite and by familiarity with sin. We need to advance nearer heaven.
    AH 401.5

  4. In today's (Sabbath) lesson it mentions that scores of people were baptized, but since there was inadequate instruction, error crept into the church. Is it possible that the same thing can happen in the Adventist church where the areas of greatest growth might be where instruction is the least? You are ready to be baptized into Jesus Christ as soon as you accept Him as your Savior, nothing more needs to be added. You are immediately a Christian, but are you ready at that point to be an Adventist Christian. I wonder.

    • It is possible that the same thing is happening in the church today but we need to ensure that the teaching of God's Word continues with the new Believers. The bibles says today if ye hear his voice harden not your heart' so once they accept Jesus Christ as their lord and Saviour, we can baptise them but they must continue to receive teaching as newborn babes.

      • If we think of joining the church as indoctrination maybe we are missing a significant part of what we are on about. When I think of what we believe (ie the 27 or 28 fundamentals - I've lost count) it only takes up a very small part of what it means to be a Christian. Jesus's interaction with the Pharisees and scribes is informative. They knew their doctrines to the nth degree and could defend them with vigour. Yet, how many times does Jesus call them hypocrites?

        Perhaps the issue is not whether the convert knows enough stuff to join the church, but whether we who consider ourselves converted understand what it means to live in Christ. The pictures of the judgement we read in the Bible are not about how much we know, but how we relate to God and one another.

    • I feel that as a church we have not always emphasized discipleship and mentoring people. We need to bring new believers into our lives and show them what the Christian life is like. I suspect we've lost some people because we haven't done this.

      We also need to really emphasize a relationship with Jesus. Some (not all but some) of the people who join the church are drawn to prophetic interpretations, but I'm not sure they always develop a relationship with Jesus that will take them through. This is even more of a challenge today in the Western world. In the past in North America, people who became Adventist were already Christian or at least well-acquainted with the basics of Christianity. Many people today are not. For this reason, I feel we need more than one day on Jesus in our traditional evangelistic series (and not just a lesson on the 70 weeks and Jesus fulfilling them).

    • Yes, Roger, it is possible. Coming from such places, we have now introduced the nurturing process of 'post-baptismal' class in order to address that. Thank you for your concern

  5. In a world where there is so much darkness, we are called to be light.

    The question is, how serious are we taking this God given responsibility??

  6. 2 Thess. 2:9-12
    The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, sings, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish. They did not receive the LOVE of the Truth that they might be saved.
    And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all my be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness

    I glean from this Scripture passage that it is possible to know about the Truth without loving the Truth. Yes, God's Light shines in the dankness”, though unless the believer receives the Holy Spirit to infuse God's Love of Him and His Word into our heart and mind, we cannot ‘stay loyal to God’s revealed will in Scripture and unflinchingly stay for the truth of His Word under pressure placed on us, either overtly or subtly.’

    It is not ‘I’ that stands strong during times of tribulations. During those most desperate times for the living soul, God's Glory is manifested/revealed by those standing strong in the face of their enemies. Flesh counts for nothing; it cannot do anything on its own.

  7. Our commission is laid out for us in the bible, which says that we are to make disciples of all men and women. It says that we should do it by preaching and teaching them to observe all things that Jesus taught us. Jesus is the word, so we get our instructions from the word, the bible.

    The bible also teaches us in Romans 12:1-3 NKJV‬ that we should......."present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God,.....And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." This is the quintessential point of righteousness. It is being transformed in nature from carnal to spiritual "by the Holy Spirit." However, this will only happen to us if we "hunger and thirst" for it, as Jesus said in Matt 5:6.

    The problem with this, as it relates to converts to our church, is that only people who are having this experience themselves, could lead others to it. What I mean by this is that people who have that personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, will allow the Spirit to use them to truly win others to Christ. So it will not be the individual that gets the praise and the glory, but it will go to the Holy Spirit. This leaves no room for individual boasting about "how many souls I have won."


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