- Blind Guides. Here is a picture of lapis luzili.
What significance can we place on this beautiful gem in the offering of the covenant between God and His people? (See the lesson guide.) How astonished do you think the top leaders of the new nation were to behold God? How did they respond? How long did their loyalty to God endure? Why did so many of them “miss the point” and fall away from God’s plan for them? Is the same “falling away” still marking God’s people? What can we do about it?
2. Signs of the End. Let’s go to Matthew 24, a dramatic portrayal of last-day events. The picture is one of turmoil and destruction, hunger and persecution. Why didn’t God decide to make the time of the end one of joyful fulfillment? Can you imagine a time when people who love Jesus will be hated? How can hate drive love away? Why will we be in such a hurry that there won’t even be time to pack a suitcase for the escape from punishment for being faithful to God? What is the ultimate reward for those who persevere and hold on even more tightly to God and His promises? What can you and I do today to prepare for this time?
3. The Demise of Jerusalem. Imagine having your membership in a lovely church only to see that building chopped to pieces and buried in a pit while you watch, horrified. How does Matthew 24 compare the destruction of the world at the Second Coming to the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D.? Have you ever heard a sermon on fleeing from trouble at the end of time? Would your fellow members appreciate such a message? Were God’s people wiped out at this time or saved from destruction? Why? Discuss.
4. The Second Coming of Jesus. Have you ever encountered a person who claimed to be Jesus? What should be your response if a person with such a claim comes to your town or neighborhood? What about sermons we hear today that leave God’s Word out of the description of times to come? As a result, what are some false ideas people have about the Second Coming? What texts would you use to establish your belief in a literal coming of Christ? What do the trumpets sounding at the Second Coming tell us? Are you eager? afraid? Choose this day.
5. Keeping Watch. Our Adventist forefathers were so eager for Jesus to come that they studied and studied until they came up with a date for the Second Coming, in 1844. Of course He didn’t come, but the Adventist church studied and studied and has grown from a few thousand trembling members to nearly 20 million, and we still proclaim, “Jesus is coming soon!” We don’t set dates any more, but preach that He will come. Are you eager for that day? How can we inspire friends, relatives, neighbors, and others to anticipate the Second Coming of Jesus with joy?