June 23 – 29, 2002
MEMORY VERSE: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23.
INTRODUCTION: “The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. From the first intimation of hope in the sentence pronounced in Eden to that last glorious promise of the Revelation, ‘They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads’ (Revelation 22:4), the burden of every book and every passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wondrous theme,—man’s uplifting,—the power of God, ‘which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57.
“He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study. He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God’s Word.” Education, 125, 126.
SUGGESTED READING: Education, 301–309.
What was the first promise made to man by God that there would be possibility for victory over sin? Genesis 3:15.
NOTE: “Through the long centuries of ‘trouble and darkness’ and ‘dimness of anguish’ (Isaiah 8:22) marking the history of mankind from the day our first parents lost their Eden home, to the time the Son of God appeared as the Saviour of sinners, the hope of the fallen race was centered in the coming of a Deliverer to free men and women from the bondage of sin and the grave.
“The first intimation of such a hope was given to Adam and Eve in the sentence pronounced upon the serpent in Eden. . . . [Genesis 3:15 quoted.]
“As the guilty pair listened to these words, they were inspired with hope; for in the prophecy concerning the breaking of Satan’s power they discerned a promise of deliverance from the ruin wrought through transgression.” Prophets and Kings, 681, 682.
When is it time to prepare for eternity? Hebrews 3:15; 4:7.
NOTE: “Oh, that now, while it is called today, you would turn to the Lord! Your every deed is making you either better or worse. If your actions are on Satan’s side, they leave behind them an influence that continues to work its baleful results. Only the pure, the clean, and the holy can enter the city of God, ‘Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts,’ but turn to the Lord, that the path you travel may not leave desolation in its track.” The Adventist Home, 358.
Of what kind of harvest are we assured? Galatians 6:7, 8.
NOTE: “The harvest of life is character, and it is this that determines destiny, both for this life and for the life to come.
“The harvest is a reproduction of the seed sown. Every seed yields fruits after its kind. So it is with the traits of character we cherish. Selfishness, self-love, self-esteem, self-indulgence, reproduce themselves, and the end is wretchedness and ruin. . . . Love, sympathy, and kindness yield fruitage of blessing, a harvest that is imperishable. In the harvest the seed is multiplied. A single grain of wheat, increased by repeated sowings, would cover a whole land with golden sheaves. So widespread may be the influence of a single life, of even a single act.” Reflecting Christ, 341.
What does the Bible say will be the reward of the wicked? Malachi 4:1.
NOTE: “God does not desire the destruction of any. ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?’ Ezekiel 33:11. Throughout the period of probationary time His Spirit is entreating men to accept the gift of life. It is only those who reject His pleading that will be left to perish. God has declared that sin must be destroyed as an evil ruinous to the universe. Those who cling to sin will perish in its destruction.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 123.
What promise is made to the righteous? 1 John 2:25; 5:11–13.
NOTE: “Fellow pilgrim, we are still amid the shadows and turmoil of earthly activities; but soon our Saviour is to appear to bring deliverance and rest. Let us by faith behold the blessed hereafter as pictured by the hand of God. He who died for the sins of the world is opening wide the gates of Paradise to all who believe on Him. Soon the battle will have been fought, the victory won. Soon we shall see Him in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. And in His presence the trials and sufferings of this life will seem as nothingness. The former things ‘shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.’ ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.’ ‘Israel shall be saved . . . with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.’” God’s Amazing Grace, 372.
What kind of plans does God have for the saved? Psalms 31:19; 73:1.
NOTE: “All the treasures of the universe will be open to the study of God’s redeemed. Unfettered by mortality, they wing their tireless flight to worlds afar—worlds that thrilled with sorrow at the spectacle of human woe and rang with songs of gladness at the tidings of a ransomed soul. With unutterable delight the children of earth enter into the joy and the wisdom of unfallen beings. They share the treasures of knowledge and understanding gained through ages upon ages in contemplation of God’s handiwork. With undimmed vision they gaze upon the glory of creation—suns and stars and systems, all in their appointed order circling the throne of Deity. Upon all things, from the least to the greatest, the Creator’s name is written, and in all are the riches of His power displayed.” The Great Controversy, 677.
What experiences of this world will never again be repeated in heaven? Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24; 60:18.
NOTE: “We are homeward bound. He who loved us so much as to die for us hath builded for us a city. The New Jerusalem is our place of rest. There will be no sadness in the city of God. No wail of sorrow, no dirge of crushed hopes and buried affections, will evermore be heard. Soon the garments of heaviness will be changed for the wedding garment. Soon we shall witness the coronation of our King. Those whose lives have been hidden with Christ, those who on this earth have fought the good fight of faith, will shine forth with the Redeemer’s glory in the kingdom of God.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 287.
What are we told about the music in Heaven? Psalm 87:7; Isaiah 24:14; Revelation 14:2, 3.
NOTE: “There will be music there, and song, such music and song as, save in the visions of God, no mortal ear has heard or mind conceived.” Education, 307.
What are some of the activities in which the saved will engage? Isaiah 65:21–25.
NOTE: “There every power will be developed, every capability increased. The grandest enterprises will be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations will be reached, the highest ambitions realized. And still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of body and mind and soul.” Education, 307.
What mysteries of God will be revealed to the redeemed? 1 Corinthians 13:12.
NOTE: “Then much will be revealed in explanation of matters upon which God now keeps silence because we have not gathered up and appreciated that which has been made known of the eternal mysteries. The ways of Providence will be made clear; the mysteries of grace through Christ will be unfolded. That which the mind can not now grasp, which is hard to be understood, will be explained. We shall see order in that which has seemed unexplainable; wisdom in everything withheld; goodness and gracious mercy in everything imparted. Truth will be unfolded to the mind free from obscurity, in a single line, and its brightness will be endurable. The heart will be made to sing for joy. Controversies will be forever ended, and all difficulties will be solved.” Signs of the Times, March 25, 1897.
What will be the one reminder of sin in heaven? Zechariah 13:6.
NOTE: “One reminder alone remains: our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of His crucifixion. Upon His wounded head, upon His side, His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought. Says the prophet, beholding Christ in His glory, ‘He had bright beams coming out of His side: and there was the hiding of His power.
“The cross of Christ will be the science and the song of the redeemed through all eternity.” The Faith I Live By, 361.
What are we told about the grandeur of heaven? Revelation 21:1–5.
NOTE: “There, immortal minds will contemplate with never-failing delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love. There will be no cruel, deceiving foe to tempt to forgetfulness of God. Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the energies. There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and soul and body. . . .
“As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise.
“‘And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.’ Revelation 5:13.
“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” The Great Controversy, 677, 678.
By Ruth Grosboll