Please help me think about how helpful the study of the “‘Change’ of the Law,” which focuses on the Sabbath issue, is in preparing for the End Time. [1. In Preparation for the End Time, the sixth lesson focuses on “the Law” – specifically the “‘Change’ of the Law.” Perhaps how “helpful” this is will depend on how we relate to it and what our experience in life is.]
It seems to me that the lesson focuses on the Ten Commandments as “the Law.” So I’d like us to think whether we will we prepared for the end time if we do the following:
1. Worship no other gods.
2. Make no idols or other likenesses of God.
3. Don’t swear.
4. Keep the seventh day, rather than the first day.
5. Don’t murder anyone.
6. Treat parents well.
7. Don’t cheat on our spouses.
8. Don’t shoplift or otherwise steal.
9. Don’t lie about our neighbors.
10. Don’t covet.
Now here’s another question to consider: Did most of the Pharisees keep those 10 rules, as far as they understood them? How did they treat Christ, the Majesty of Heaven? And why were they upset enough with Him to treat Him that way?
Let’s consider some of the things Christ taught:
- Mark 12:29 “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
- By way of illustration, Jesus also told a parable involving sheep and goats.
John 13:35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Did Christ ever say that people will recognize that we are His disciples by our keeping of the seventh day instead of the Sabbath? Why or why not? If not, what is the significance of the Sabbath? (IOW, how does it relate to what Christ actually taught.) [2. This is not an invitation to post a Bible study proving that Saturday is the Sabbath. Please consider how the Sabbath teaching relates to the love commandment.]
I’m also wondering how much our thinking and practice might be like that of the Pharisees. What does it mean, for instance, to love others as Jesus loved us? What does it mean in the family, including pets? In our work environment? In our church? What does it mean when a young mother is left alone with a child and no means of support when her husband leaves her in protest over her attending an Adventist church? What does it mean when a young man, a church member with his own business, is injured so he cannot run his business, has no insurance, and he was the sole support for the family? [4. By the way, these examples are real situations I have observed and been involved with.]
Should the church, as an organization led by the church board, also demonstrate love as Jesus loved? If so, what would that mean when a young mother is left alone with a child and no means of support when her husband leaves her in protest over her attending an Adventist church? What does it mean when a young man with his own business is injured so he cannot run his business, and he was the sole support for the family? (Yes, I know the last questions are the same as the ones in the previous paragraph. The difference is that, in the first instance, I’m asking how we should behave as individuals. In the second, I’m asking how should the church behave as a local congregation. )
Is “preparation for the end time” any different from preparation to meet Jesus when we die? Is the proper preparation different now than it was 200 years ago? Why or why not?
How is the issue of loving as Jesus loved related to Christ ministering in the heavenly sanctuary?
Just like Peter, I’d like “to stir up your pure minds” (2 Peter 3:1) and am looking forward to your input.