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Sunday: Loyalty to God and His Word — 10 Comments

  1. The lesson author emphasises the question:

    What will enable us to stand in the final crisis?

    My response is, "What will enable us to withstand the current crisis?" The issue is that there is a tendency to think of crises as something that will happen in the future and disregard what is happening now.

    I have mentioned before, France's dependence on the Maginot Line of defence in World War II. It was impregnable. There were trenches and gun placements to ensure the cavalry would be shot to pieces before they had advanced 10 paces. Unfortunately for France, the German tanks could not easily get to the Maginot Line so they did it the easy way. They came in through the Belgium flatlands where there was no defense and the war was over for France before they knew it.

    For us, the final crisis is now and in warfare terms, we are pointing our guns at a distant future target while Satan has found our unguarded flank. I remember taking a Sabbath School class on last-day events 30 years ago for a group of senior high school students. I asked them what they thought was the most important sign that Jesus was coming again. With little hesitation, they all said, "Sunday Laws". Thirty years ago, Sunday trading was a rarity in Australia. Today weekend trading is even more popular than weekday trading. And in that time, secularism, consumerism and apathy have taken their toll on those who were looking forward to Sunday Laws as a sign of Jesus coming. Satan has got around the edges of our Spiritual Maginot Line.

    I am not saying that Sunday Laws will not come. I want to emphasise that we need to appreciate that there is a battle for our minds now and for many of us, this is the final crisis.

    I find the Gospels are a fertile ground for learning how to fight the battle now. True there are a couple of chapters on the end-times, but there are a lot more chapters on surviving as citizens of the Kingdom of God in the present. It is probably cliche but if we prepare for the present, God will take care of the future.

    • I totally agree with you Maurice, that our biggest battle is now not the future. There is a lot of work to be done on our mentality to reflect Christ in this present time. I heard it over and over and I am seeing it in my church, we can hardly tell the difference between the church and the world, and that is a result of not being converted. How can we run with the horseman if we cannot keep up with the footman? We must be sanctified by the truth and live a life now that is Christlike, because if we lived a sanctified life we don’t need to worry about what is to come.

    • Brother, Maurice Ashton, by reading the Bible and studying from it day by day, in our current time, we are drawing from the always gushing fountain of fresh truths for today's living, our day to day issues or "current crisis" (whatever they may be) as well as for the future crisis which will not be even close or compared to what we are living today.
      We are still living into a relatively time of peace, we have some freedom to prepare still, not running to save our lives yet or experiencing the merciless time of spiritual, economical war yet, so by reading the Word of God today, because it is a lamp to our feet (today and for the future) and a light to our path (today and in to the future) as well, we are building strong spiritual muscles today to be always prepared for whatever the magnitude of attack from the enemy we may encounter at any time.
      What I gather from today's lesson, the author's message, is that, we should be reading the Bible to be better prepared, he didn't say we got to read the Bible in the future, he is saying we got to read the Bible, of course: TODAY, not in the future; before you go to war you got to be trained to increase your chances of survival, in the mean time, whatever training you are acquiring currently will help, and that's when diligence comes in place.
      I am not so sure of the purpose of your comments but I feel we don't have to dissect everything, every word of any author when we know they are not intending to state what you are discussing.

  2. Prepare, prepare, prepare, for Christ second coming. Matthew 24:44. By living a Christian life, we are preparing for Christ coming. Growing in Christ is a preparation for His return.

    In preparation for Christ return our victory is not gained without much earnest prayer, and without the humbling of ourself at every step. Our will is not to be forced into co-operation with Devine agencies, rather it must be voluntarily submitted...Our will must be placed on the side of God's will...If we are willing to be made willing, God will acomplish the work for us, even casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ...
    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Philippians 2:13.
    Thoughts From Mount of Blessings page 142.1

    Eric, Phil, Esther, and Rachel on this weeks Hit the Mark, seem to back me up on this.

    Several years back an Adventist pastor was asked, what will you be doing when Christ comes, he said, "Out in my garden with hoe in hand and water hose in hand tending to my tomato plants and summer squash.

    Well the sun is now down in my local, so I am going out and water my tomatoes and lemon cucumbers. Have a good week you all.

  3. "What will enable us to stand in the final crisis" I remember leaving school try to get a job as a young man, the recurring question was do you have any EXPERIENCE?? The answer was always no!I had just left school with no experience,
    My biggest fear set in,how am I going to get this experience that all these companies are asking for!! This was one of the first crisis for me.
    All the information I received in school/college did not add up to experience for the job market. I then had to seek out how to get the experience the job require. Only to discover that experience is a life long journey! So early in my Christian Walk
    I realized that my daily walk with Christ in knowing Him personally will provide the experience I need for any crisis so that the final crisis should be or would be victorious for us now, as we get the victory little crisis now.
    "Revelation 22 v 12 and,behold,I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.May God grant us his children the experience now for his kingdom now!!

  4. I feel ultimately it is a relationship with God that gets us through, though the Word is very important to nurture that relationship. But if we're honest, we know that each one of us has had different opportunities to be "fortified with the Word". I don't believe that the last convert, who perhaps had little time to really read the Bible, will be lost because of that. But knowledge does have a lot of value.

    Ultimately, taking time in God's word (or not), reveals the quality of our connection with God. However, let's face it, the people studying the Sabbath School lesson are the ones who are likely already studying God's word. They probably don't need the warning. How we can get those who don't spend time with God to shift focus is a harder challenge.

    • It is important to read any commentary of Sunday laws in the late 1800s acknowledging the context. During this period, Sunday Blue Laws were a contentious issue. On the one hand, churches wanted to uphold the religious beliefs about Sabbath (Sunday) observance and enacted laws restricting commercial and entertainment activity on Sundays. (If you want to see what they were like, visit some of the Pacific Island nations such as Tonga where such laws are still very much in evidence.

      On the other hand, in the USA the increasing migrant population with different religious practices often challenged these laws. Significantly, business owners - particularly migrants - pushed back against these laws. There was also pressure in the larger cities for leisure activities in public parks and sports fields.

      Much of the Seventh-day Adventist literature of the time saw these Blue Laws as a potential restriction on Sabbath (Saturday) keeping and opposed them. There was some church opposition to Adventists who were seen as siding with the commercial and leisure interests against the holiness of Sunday.

      Sunday laws remained a fairly contentious issue well into the twentieth century and some have never been rescinded although seldom acted upon.

      In Australia, restrictions on Sunday trading remained in force well into the 1980s in some states. But they were never used to force Sunday worship or to restrict Sabbath (Saturday) worship.

      Note, I am providing this comment to contextualise the 19th Century Sunday laws. I am not predicting what will happen in the future.

      • I don't know how it is in Australia, but in North America, few, if any Sunday laws were formally done away with. They are "on the books," only needing a particular impetus to come back in force. And, after COVID, we know how fast things can happen.

        In the meantime, God commissioned us to "Go and teach!" That's not effective unless we also live the gospel, but both Christ's example and the commission He gave us indicate that the "go tell/teach" part is important. (Matt 28:19, 20)

        My husband just spent part of the afternoon giving out copies of The Great Controversy and a health magazine in our neighborhood (while I was working on behind-the-scenes Sabbath School stuff). He was very well received. I believe that in the context of what is happening in our society, people are looking for answers. NOW is the time to go tell! The commission is for all, not just for preachers.

        • Sunday laws are not great - I'm not in favor of them by any means, but ordinary blue laws are not an issue for persecution even if they are enforced. We do not have to work on Sunday. I believe even Ellen White suggested that instead of defying the authorities on Sunday, Adventists should do missionary work. It would be inconvenient to not be able to operate a business on Sunday, but we would survive.

          There are two things that will cause problems that lead to persecution - being forced to worship on Sunday and/or being forbidden from worshipping on Sabbath. As of now, there are no laws that allow for either. I certainly believe they will come, though perhaps not as we imagine. However, obsessing about Sunday laws that restrict commerce seems counter productive. Those laws are not going to be the laws that fulfill Revelation 13. There will be much "bigger guns" used.


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