Bible Study Guides – Parables of the Master Teacher – The Rich Man and Lazarus

August 25, 2019 – August 31, 2019

Key Text

“And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 260–271.


“Those who are poor in this world’s goods, yet who trust in God and are patient in suffering, will one day be exalted above those who now hold the highest positions the world can give but who have not surrendered their life to God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 260.



  • What parable illustrates the truth that a person’s future is fixed at death according to his or her manner of life? Explain the difference between the two men, and tell the lesson we can learn. Luke 16:19–21.

Note: “In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Christ shows that in this life men decide their eternal destiny. … If men waste their opportunities in self-pleasing, they cut themselves off from everlasting life. No after-probation will be granted them. By their own choice they have fixed an impassable gulf between them and their God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 260.

  • What eventually happened to both the beggar and the rich man? Luke 16:22.

Note: “The poor man had suffered day by day, but he had patiently and quietly endured. In the course of time he died and was buried. There was no one to mourn for him; but by his patience in suffering he had witnessed for Christ, he had endured the test of his faith, and at his death he is represented as being carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 262.



  • Though erroneous, what belief held by many of His hearers did Jesus use to teach important truths? In the destiny of the rich man, what truth was Jesus teaching? Luke 16:23, 24.

Note: “In this parable Christ was meeting the people on their own ground. The doctrine of a conscious state of existence between death and the resurrection was held by many of those who were listening to Christ’s words. The Saviour knew of their ideas, and He framed His parable so as to inculcate important truths through these preconceived opinions. He held up before His hearers a mirror wherein they might see themselves in their true relation to God. He used the prevailing opinion to convey the idea He wished to make prominent to all—that no man is valued for his possessions; for all he has belongs to him only as lent by the Lord. A misuse of these gifts will place him below the poorest and most afflicted man who loves God and trusts in Him.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 263.

  • What does the Bible teach in regard to the state of the body and soul in death? Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6; Psalm 146:2–4; John 11:11.

Note: “My mind had often been disturbed by its efforts to reconcile the immediate reward or punishment of the dead with the undoubted fact of a future resurrection and judgment. If at death the soul entered upon eternal happiness or misery, where was the need of a resurrection of the poor moldering body?

“But this new and beautiful faith taught me the reason why inspired writers had dwelt so much upon the resurrection of the body; it was because the entire being was slumbering in the grave. I could now clearly perceive the fallacy of our former position on this question.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 49, 50.

  • What is the response of the figurative Abraham to the appeal of the rich man? Luke 16:25.

Note: “What are the sufferings of this present life, compared with the final eternal weight of glory?” The Signs of the Times, December 10, 1885.



  • What additional difficulty was stated by Abraham in this illustrative conversation? Luke 16:26.

Note: “It is a solemn thing to die, but a far more solemn thing to live. Every thought and word and deed of our lives will meet us again. What we make of ourselves in probationary time, that we must remain to all eternity. Death brings dissolution to the body, but makes no change in the character. The coming of Christ does not change our characters; it only fixes them forever beyond all change.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 466.

  • What concern hitherto unheeded is voiced by the rich man? Luke 16:27, 28. Has God left anything undone in providing for our salvation?

Note: “When the rich man solicited additional evidence for his brothers, he was plainly told that should this evidence be given, they would not be persuaded. His request cast a reflection on God. It was as if the rich man had said, If you had more thoroughly warned me, I should not now be here. Abraham in his answer to this request is represented as saying, Your brothers have been sufficiently warned. Light has been given them, but they would not see; truth has been presented to them, but they would not hear.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 264, 265.

“When God gave Christ to our world, He gave in this one gift all the treasures of heaven. He held back nothing. He can do no more than He has done to bring men to repentance. He has no means held in reserve for their salvation.” The Review and Herald, September 17, 1901.

  • As we view the condition of this world today, what sobering thoughts should we consider? James 4:14; 2 Corinthians 6:2.

Note: “He [God] bears with men until the last resource for leading them to repentance is exhausted. But there are limits to His forbearance.” The Review and Herald, September 17, 1901.

“Come now, while mercy lingers; come with confession, come with contrition of soul, and God will abundantly pardon. Do not dare to slight another opportunity.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 353.



  • What testimony did the Jewish nation first refuse, and what further evidence did Jesus say they would ignore? Luke 16:29–31; John 5:46, 47.

Note: “ ‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead’ (Luke 16:31). These words were proved true in the history of the Jewish nation. Christ’s last and crowning miracle was the raising of Lazarus of Bethany, after he had been dead four days. The Jews were given this wonderful evidence of the Saviour’s divinity, but they rejected it. Lazarus rose from the dead and bore his testimony before them, but they hardened their hearts against all evidence, and even sought to take his life (John 12:9–11).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 265.

  • What spiritual blessings were given to the Jews? Romans 9:3–5. What were many of them guilty of doing with their blessings? Luke 12:21.

Note: “When Christ gave the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, there were many in the Jewish nation in the pitiable condition of the rich man, using the Lord’s goods for selfish gratification, preparing themselves to hear the sentence, ‘Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting’ (Daniel 5:27). The rich man was favored with every temporal and spiritual blessing, but he refused to cooperate with God in the use of these blessings.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 267.

  • How can we be in danger of making the same mistake? Proverbs 14:31; Zechariah 7:10.

Note: “If God gives us much of this world’s goods, it is not that we may selfishly hoard them, or that we may crave for more, but that we may freely impart to those not so richly blessed. Nothing so refreshes the spirit as giving gladly and willingly of the blessings God has so freely given us. The life of the soul is revived by the sight of the good thus accomplished, and by a sense that a conscientious use has been made of the Lord’s goods.” The Review and Herald, May 27, 1902.

“The same spirit of sacrifice which purchased salvation for us will dwell in the hearts of all who become partakers of the heavenly gift.” Lift Him Up, 278.



  • What self-satisfied confidence was held by God’s favored people in the time of Christ? John 8:33. When did they understand His warning?

Note: “When calamity came upon Jerusalem, when starvation and suffering of every kind came upon the people, they remembered these words of Christ and understood the parable. They had brought their suffering upon themselves by their neglect to let their God-given light shine forth to the world.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 269.

  • What similar deception affects the Laodiceans? Revelation 3:16, 17.

Note: “Today there is a class in our world who are self-righteous. They are not gluttons, they are not drunkards, they are not infidels; but they desire to live for themselves, not for God. He is not in their thoughts; therefore they are classed with unbelievers. Were it possible for them to enter the gates of the city of God, they could have no right to the tree of life, for when God’s commandments were laid before them with all their binding claims they said, No. They have not served God here; therefore they would not serve Him hereafter. They could not live in His presence, and they would feel that any place was preferable to heaven.

“To learn of Christ means to receive His grace, which is His character. But those who do not appreciate and utilize the precious opportunities and sacred influences granted them on earth, are not fitted to take part in the pure devotion of heaven.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 270, 271.



1     What lesson was taught in this parable about the lives of the two men?

2    How did the reply of Abraham reveal the rich man’s problem?

3    What did the request of the rich man concerning his brothers imply?

4    What does this parable teach about present opportunities?

5    Self-righteous church members are not infidels. Why then are they classed with unbelievers?


© 2018, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.


Bible Study Guides – Parables of the Master Teacher – Without a Wedding Garment

August 18, 2019 – August 24, 2019

Key Text

“And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless” (Matthew 22:12).

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 307–319.


“The parable of the wedding garment opens before us a lesson of the highest consequence. By the marriage is represented the union of humanity with divinity; the wedding garment represents the character which all must possess who shall be accounted fit guests for the wedding.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 307.



  • In the parable of the wedding garment, by whose authority is the invitation sent forth? What is the response? Matthew 22:2, 3.
  • How was the king’s invitation treated the second time? Matthew 22:4–6.

Note: “In this parable [of the wedding garment], as in that of the great supper, are illustrated the gospel invitation, its rejection by the Jewish people, and the call of mercy to the Gentiles. But on the part of those who reject the invitation, this parable brings to view a deeper insult and a more dreadful punishment. The call to the feast is a king’s invitation. It proceeds from one who is vested with power to command. It confers high honor. Yet the honor is unappreciated. The king’s authority is despised.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 307.

  • What did the king now command to be done to those who had despised his invitation? Matthew 22:7.



  • Who was then invited to the marriage feast? Matthew 22:8–10. What does this call tell us about those who accept the gospel invitation? Matthew 7:21; James 1:22; John 3:5.

Note: “The class first bidden could not afford, they thought, to sacrifice any worldly advantage for the sake of attending the king’s banquet. And of those who accepted the invitation, there were some who thought only of benefiting themselves. They came to share the provisions of the feast, but had no desire to honor the king.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 309.

“We must not be overwhelmed because good and bad are gathered into the church. Judas was numbered among the disciples. He had every advantage a man could have; but although he heard the truth, and listened to the principles so plainly laid down, Christ knew that he did not receive the truth. He did not eat the truth. It did not become part of himself. His old habits constantly asserted themselves. But Christ did not take forcible means to cut Judas away from the disciples.

“There is a time coming when those who have joined the church, but have not joined Christ, will be manifest.” The Review and Herald, February 7, 1899.

  • What happened when the king came in to the feast to inspect the guests? Matthew 22:11.

Note: “For every guest at the feast there had been provided a wedding garment. This garment was a gift from the king. By wearing it the guests showed their respect for the giver of the feast. But one man was clothed in his common citizen dress. … The garment provided for him at great cost he disdained to wear. Thus he insulted his lord.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 309.

  • What did the king say to the man who was without a wedding garment? Matthew 22:12–14.

Note: “Many hear the invitation of mercy, are tested and proved; but few are sealed with the seal of the living God. Few will humble themselves as a little child, that they may enter the kingdom of heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 50.



  • What is represented by the examination of the guests? Daniel 7:9, 10.

Note: “By the king’s examination of the guests at the feast is represented a work of judgment. The guests at the gospel feast are those who profess to serve God, those whose names are written in the book of life. But not all who profess to be Christians are true disciples. Before the final reward is given, it must be decided who are fitted to share the inheritance of the righteous. This decision must be made prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven; for when He comes, His reward is with Him, ‘to give every man according as his work shall be’ (Revelation 22:12). Before His coming, then, the character of every man’s work will have been determined, and to every one of Christ’s followers the reward will have been apportioned according to his deeds.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 310.

  • As this parable clearly has reference to the ongoing investigative judgment, what is represented by the invitation of the king? Revelation 3:20, 21. What do many say by their actions? Verse 17.

Note: “The man who came to the feast without a wedding garment represents the condition of many in our world today. They profess to be Christians, and lay claim to the blessings and privileges of the gospel; yet they feel no need of a transformation of character. They have never felt true repentance for sin. They do not realize their need of Christ or exercise faith in Him. They have not overcome their hereditary or cultivated tendencies to wrongdoing. Yet they think that they are good enough in themselves, and they rest upon their own merits instead of trusting in Christ. Hearers of the Word, they come to the banquet, but they have not put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 315.

“Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God or through His messengers is a knock at the door of the heart. It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, the disposition to open becomes weaker. The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of life, and of the great eternity beyond.” The Desire of Ages, 489, 490.



  • What constitutes the wedding garment which all must have if they want to have a part in the marriage feast in heaven? Revelation 19:7, 8.

Note: “By the wedding garment in the parable is represented the pure, spotless character which Christ’s true followers will possess. … It is the righteousness of Christ, His own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to all who receive Him as their personal Saviour. …

“This robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has in it not one thread of human devising. Christ in His humanity wrought out a perfect character, and this character He offers to impart to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 310, 311.

  • How do we obtain a righteous character? Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 5:6.

Note: “When a soul receives Christ, he receives power to live the life of Christ.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 314.

“Not by painful struggles or wearisome toil, not by gift or sacrifice, is righteousness obtained; but it is freely given to every soul who hungers and thirsts to receive it.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 18.

  • What does righteousness involve? 1John 3:7, 24; John 15:5.

 Note: “Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged. Our characters are revealed by what we do. The works show whether the faith is genuine. …

“We may believe that the name of Jesus is the only name under heaven whereby man may be saved, and yet we may not through faith make Him our personal Saviour. It is not enough to believe the theory of truth. It is not enough to make a profession of faith in Christ and have our names registered on the church roll. ‘He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.’ ‘Hereby we do know that we know Him if we keep His commandments’ (1 John 3:24; 2:3). This is the genuine evidence of conversion. Whatever our profession, it amounts to nothing unless Christ is revealed in works of righteousness.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312, 313.



  • Describe the glorious experience of those who accept Christ’s offer as recorded in Revelation 3:18. Revelation 19:8, 9.

Note: “The spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, faithful children of God. The despised remnant are clothed in glorious apparel, nevermore to be defiled by the corruptions of the world. Their names are retained in the Lamb’s book of life, enrolled among the faithful of all ages. … These [faithful ones] are they that stand upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, having the Father’s name written in their foreheads. They sing the new song before the throne, that song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand which were redeemed from the earth.” Prophets and Kings, 591.

  • What experience of Christ, while He was on this earth, is possible for us to have today? Psalm 40:8; John 15:10.

Note: “By His [Christ’s] perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.



1     How can we honor our King as He invites us to unite our humanity with His divinity?

2    How are we sometimes like those who accepted the king’s invitation but had the wrong motive?

3    How does Jesus knock at the door of the heart, and what does He desire?

4    What is symbolized by the wedding garment, and how do we know if we are wearing it?

5    What does it mean to be clothed with Christ’s righteousness?

Bible Study Guides – Parables of the Master Teacher – The Fig Tree

August 11, 2019 – August 17, 2019

Key Text

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5).

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 212–218.


“The Lord wills not that any man shall perish, but that all shall come to Him and be saved. But instead of His loving-kindness softening and subduing the soul, many of the objects of His love and mercy are encouraged to more obstinate resistance. O, that men would remember that there is a limit to the forbearance of God!” The Review and Herald, December 7, 1897.



  • What event, that had just taken place in Jerusalem, was a motive for the presentation of the parable of the fig tree? Luke 13:1.

Note: “The hearers told Jesus of an event which had just caused great excitement. Some of the measures of Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea, had given offense to the people. There had been a popular tumult in Jerusalem, and Pilate had attempted to quell this by violence. On one occasion his soldiers had even invaded the precincts of the temple, and had cut down some Galilean pilgrims in the very act of slaying their sacrifices.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 212, 213.

  • What shows that the Jews regarded misfortune as a punishment for sin? Luke 13:2, 4.

Note: “The Jews regarded calamity as a judgment on account of the sufferer’s sin, and those who told of this act of violence did so with secret satisfaction. In their view their own good fortune proved them to be much better, and therefore more favored by God, than were these Galileans.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 213.



  • What warning and appeal did Jesus make in connection with His answer? Luke 13:3–5.

Note: “As Jesus talked with the disciples and the multitude, He looked forward with prophetic glance and saw Jerusalem besieged with armies. He heard the tramp of the aliens marching against the chosen city and saw the thousands upon thousands perishing in the siege. Many of the Jews were, like those Galileans, slain in the temple courts, in the very act of offering sacrifice. The calamities that had fallen upon individuals were warnings from God to a nation equally guilty. ‘Except ye repent,’ said Jesus, ‘ye shall all likewise perish’ (Luke 13:5). For a little time the day of probation lingered for them. There was still time for them to know the things that belonged to their peace.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 213, 214.

  • In His teachings, what did Jesus link with the warning of judgment? Luke 9:56; John 3:17.

Note: “Christ in His teaching linked with the warning of judgment the invitation of mercy.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 212.

  • What appeal does God make to us today? Ezekiel 18:31; 33:11.

Note: “Regeneration is the only path by which we can reach the holy city. It is narrow and the gate by which we enter is strait, but along it we are to lead men and women and children, teaching them that in order to be saved, they must have a new heart and a new spirit. The old hereditary traits of character are to be overcome. The natural desires of the soul must be changed. All deception, all falsifying, all evil-speaking must be put away. The new life, which makes men and women Christlike, is to be lived. We are, as it were, to swim against the current of evil.” This Day With God, 108.

“The Lord seeks to save, not to destroy. He delights in the rescue of sinners. ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked’ (Ezekiel 33:11). By warnings and entreaties He calls the wayward to cease from their evil-doing and to turn to Him and live.” Prophets and Kings, 105.



  • To confirm His warning and appeal, what parable did Jesus tell His hearers? Luke 13:6, 7. In what sense was the unfruitful fig tree a fit representation of the Jewish nation? Hosea 10:1.

Note: “The people of Christ’s day made a greater show of piety than did the Jews of earlier ages, but they were even more destitute of the sweet graces of the Spirit of God. …

“God in His Son had been seeking fruit, and had found none. Israel was a cumberer of the ground. Its very existence was a curse; for it filled the place in the vineyard that a fruitful tree might fill. It robbed the world of the blessings that God designed to give. The Israelites had misrepresented God among the nations. They were not merely useless, but a decided hindrance. To a great degree their religion was misleading, and wrought ruin instead of salvation.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 215.

  • What shows that the blame for their failure lay at their own doors? Acts 7:51–53.
  • How can we also be like the unfruitful fig tree? John 15:4, 5.

Note: “Like the pretentious fig tree, we may be covered with leaves but be destitute of fruit. While we know that the truth we hold is as firm as the everlasting hills, how many of us are ready to settle down upon the theory of that truth, without having evidence that Christ is in them, and they in Christ? How many are content to pass on from day to day without experiencing its sanctifying influence upon the heart, which leads to good works. …

“We should not only take hold of the truth, but let it take hold of us; and thus have the truth in us and we in the truth. And if this is the case, our lives and characters will reveal the fact that the truth is accomplishing something for us; that it is sanctifying us, and is giving us a moral fitness for the society of heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. The truth we hold is from heaven; and when that religion finds a lodgement in the heart, it commences its work of refining and purifying.” The Signs of the Times, May 9, 1878.



  • How did the dresser of the vineyard plead with the owner? Luke 13:8.
  •  What parallel can be drawn between the days before the destruction of Jerusalem and the days before the end of human history? 2 Peter 3:9, 10.

 Note: “O the precious longsuffering of our merciful Saviour! O that each of the dear youth would appreciate the value of the soul that has been purchased at infinite cost on Calvary! O that each one would place a proper estimate upon the capabilities that have been given him of God! Through Christ you may climb the ladder of progress, and bring every power under the control of Jesus. … In spirit, in thought, in word, and in action, you may make manifest that you are moved by the Spirit of Christ, and your life may wield a power of influence over others.

“We are living in altogether too solemn a period of the world’s history to be careless and negligent. … You must pray, believe, and obey. In your own strength you can do nothing; but in the grace of Jesus Christ, you can employ your powers in such a way as to bring the greatest good to your own soul, and the greatest blessing to the souls of others. Lay hold of Jesus, and you will diligently work the works of Christ, and will finally receive the eternal reward.” Sons and Daughters of God, 118.

  • How did Jesus, in conclusion, show that they themselves as a nation had to decide their own fate? Luke 13:9.

Note: “Jesus did not in the parable tell the result of the gardener’s work. At that point His story was cut short. Its conclusion rested with the generation that heard His words. To them the solemn warning was given. ‘If not, then after that thou shalt cut it down’ (Luke 13:9). Upon them it depended whether the irrevocable words should be spoken. The day of wrath was near. In the calamities that had already befallen Israel, the owner of the vineyard was mercifully forewarning them of the destruction of the unfruitful tree.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 216.



  • What warning should believers in the threefold message take from this parable? What efforts is the Lord still making in our behalf? Isaiah 27:2–4; Hosea 11:8, first part.

 Note: “The warning sounds down along the line to us in this generation. Are you, O careless heart, a fruitless tree in the Lord’s vineyard? Shall the words of doom erelong be spoken of you? How long have you received His gifts? How long has He watched and waited for a return of love? Planted in His vineyard, under the watchful care of the gardener, what privileges are yours! How often has the tender gospel message thrilled your heart! You have taken the name of Christ, you are outwardly a member of the church which is His body, and yet you are conscious of no living connection with the great heart of love. The tide of His life does not flow through you. The sweet graces of His character, ‘the fruits of the Spirit,’ are not seen in your life.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 216.

  • What sentence must finally be passed upon those who do not respond to God’s care and labor for them? Hosea 4:17; Revelation 3:16.

Note: “The heart that does not respond to divine agencies becomes hardened until it is no longer susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit. Then it is that the word is spoken, ‘Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?’ (Luke 13:7).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 218.



1     Why did the Jews speak of calamity with secret satisfaction?

2    How must we change in order to be regenerated, fruitful trees in God’s garden?

3    When we fail to bear fruit in our life, how does this affect the world around us? What reflection does this have upon our religion?

4    How does the manner in which we use the powers given to us by God affect the fruit we bear in our life?

5    Even though we may be a member of the church, how can we be a fruitless tree in the Lord’s vineyard?

Bible Study Guides – Parables of the Master Teacher – The Prodigal Son

August 4, 2019 – August 10, 2019

Key Text

“For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:24).

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 198–211.


“The love of the Father toward a fallen race is unfathomable, indescribable, without a parallel.” God’s Amazing Grace, 79.



  • Although parables often have several applications, to what special class does the parable of the prodigal son apply? Luke 15:1, 2.

Note: “In the parable of the prodigal son is presented the Lord’s dealing with those who have once known the Father’s love, but who have allowed the tempter to lead them captive at his will.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 198.

  • When tempted by the world, what request did the younger son make, and what did the father do? Luke 15:11, 12.
  • What was the result of the younger son’s foolish ideas of freedom? Luke 15:13, 14; Jeremiah 17:5, 6. What may we learn from this story about selfishness?

Note: “Whatever the appearance may be, every life centered in self is squandered. Whoever attempts to live apart from God is wasting his substance. He is squandering the precious years, squandering the powers of mind and heart and soul, and working to make himself bankrupt for eternity. The man who separates from God that he may serve himself, is the slave of mammon.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 200, 201.



  • What situation developed, and what did this once well-nurtured young man have to do? Luke 15:15, 16.

Note: “A great famine arises, he [the young man of the parable] begins to be in want, and he joins himself to a citizen of the country, who sends him into the field to feed swine. To a Jew this was the most menial and degrading of employments. The youth who has boasted of his liberty, now finds himself a slave. He is in the worst of bondage—‘holden with the cords of his sins’ (Proverbs 5:22.) The glitter and tinsel that enticed him have disappeared, and he feels the burden of his chain.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 200.

  • As a result of his painful and humiliating experience, how did the prodigal son respond to the power of the Holy Spirit? Luke 15:17–19.

Note: “The young man turns from the swine herds and the husks, and sets his face toward home. Trembling with weakness and faint from hunger, he presses eagerly on his way. He has no covering to conceal his rags; but his misery has conquered pride, and he hurries on to beg a servant’s place where he was once a child.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 202, 203.

  • What lessons does Solomon give us after spending most of his life chasing happiness in wealth and worldly pleasure? Ecclesiastes 2:4–12, 17, 18.

Note: “By his own bitter experience, Solomon learned the emptiness of a life that seeks in earthly things its highest good. He erected altars to heathen gods, only to learn how vain is their promise of rest to the soul.

“In his later years, turning wearied and thirsting from earth’s broken cisterns, Solomon returned to drink at the fountain of life. The history of his wasted years, with their lessons of warning, he by the Spirit of inspiration recorded for after generations. And thus, although the seed of his sowing was reaped by his people in harvests of evil, the lifework of Solomon was not wholly lost. For him at last the discipline of suffering accomplished its work.” Education, 153, 154.



  • As the prodigal son put his faith into action, what did he find out as he neared home? Luke 15:20, 21.

Note: “In his restless youth the prodigal looked upon his father as stern and severe. How different his conception of him now!” Christ’s Object Lessons, 204.

  • How did the father demonstrate the love and interest that he had always felt for his erring son? Luke 15:22–24.

Note: “The father will permit no contemptuous eye to mock at his son’s misery and tatters. He takes from his own shoulders the broad, rich mantle, and wraps it around the son’s wasted form, and the youth sobs out his repentance, saying, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son’ (Luke 15:21). The father holds him close to his side, and brings him home. No opportunity is given him to ask a servant’s place. He is a son, who shall be honored with the best the house affords, and whom the waiting men and women shall respect and serve.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 203, 204.

  • How great is the joy of our heavenly Father when a lost soul returns to Him today? Zephaniah 3:17. What command will He give? Zechariah 3:4, 5.

Note: “Through it [the plan of redemption] the sinner is forgiven his sins, and will be finally received into heaven—not as a forgiven culprit pardoned and released from captivity, yet looked upon with suspicion and not admitted to friendship and trust; but welcomed as a child, and taken back into fullest confidence. …

“We are saved because God loves the purchase of the blood of Christ; and not only will He pardon the repentant sinner, not only will He permit him to enter heaven, but He, the Father of mercies, will wait at the very gates of heaven to welcome us, to give us an abundant entrance to the mansions of the blest.” The Review and Herald, September 21, 1886.



  • What is the attitude of the heavenly host when a sinner returns to God? Luke 15:7.

Note: “Fallen man is to learn that our Heavenly Father cannot be satisfied until His love embraces the repentant sinner, transformed through the merits of the spotless Lamb of God.” God’s Amazing Grace, 99.

  • How deep is the love of God for man, and what does it lead Him to do? Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16; 12:32.

Note: “While the sinner is yet far from the Father’s house, wasting his substance in a strange country, the Father’s heart is yearning over him; and every longing awakened in the soul to return to God is but the tender pleading of His Spirit, wooing, entreating, drawing the wanderer to his Father’s heart of love.

“With the rich promises of the Bible before you, can you give place to doubt? Can you believe that when the poor sinner longs to return, longs to forsake his sins, the Lord sternly withholds him from coming to His feet in repentance? Away with such thoughts! Nothing can hurt your own soul more than to entertain such a conception of our heavenly Father. He hates sin, but He loves the sinner, and He gave Himself in the person of Christ, that all who would might be saved and have eternal blessedness in the kingdom of glory.” Steps to Christ, 54.

  • How does God desire us to manifest this love in our own life today? 1 John 4:20, 21.

Note: “When the heavenly principle of eternal love fills the heart, it will flow out to others, not merely because favors are received of them, but because love is the principle of action and modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and elevates and ennobles the affections. This love is not contracted so as merely to include ‘me and mine,’ but is as broad as the world and as high as heaven, and is in harmony with that of the angel workers. This love cherished in the soul sweetens the entire life and sheds a refining influence on all around.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 223, 224.



  • What was of most concern to the self-justifying elder son? Luke 15:29, 30. What class of people does he represent?

Note: “By the elder son were represented the unrepenting Jews of Christ’s day, and also the Pharisees in every age, who look with contempt upon those whom they regard as publicans and sinners. Because they themselves have not gone to great excesses in vice, they are filled with self-righteousness. … Like the elder son in the parable, they had enjoyed special privileges from God. They claimed to be sons in God’s house, but they had the spirit of the hireling. They were working, not from love, but from hope of reward.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 209.

  • What was the father’s appeal to the elder brother? Luke 15:31, 32.

Note: “In the parable the father’s remonstrance with the elder son was Heaven’s tender appeal to the Pharisees. ‘All that I have is thine’ (Luke 15:31)—not as wages, but as a gift. Like the prodigal, you can receive it only as the unmerited bestowal of the Father’s love.

“Self-righteousness not only leads men to misrepresent God, but makes them coldhearted and critical toward their brethren. The elder son, in his selfishness and jealousy, stood ready to watch his brother, to criticize every action, and to accuse him for the least deficiency. He would detect every mistake, and make the most of every wrong act. Thus he would seek to justify his own unforgiving spirit. Many today are doing the same thing. While the soul is making its very first struggles against a flood of temptations, they stand by, stubborn, self-willed, complaining, accusing.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 209, 210.



1     What lesson is given by the parable of the prodigal son?

2    How is a life of sin in reality a life of bondage?

3    How does God receive the sinner that returns to Him?

4    How does the Father draw the sinner to Himself?

5    How can we be like the elder son in this parable?

Bible Study Guides – Parables of the Master Teacher – The Publican and the Pharisee

July 28, 2019 – August 3, 2019

Key Text

“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 150–163.


“There is nothing so offensive to God or so dangerous to the human soul as pride and self-sufficiency. Of all sins it is the most hopeless, the most incurable.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 154.



  • What was the purpose of Jesus in giving the parable of the two worshipers? Luke 18:9.

Note: “We must have a knowledge of ourselves, a knowledge that will result in contrition, before we can find pardon and peace. … It is only he who knows himself to be a sinner that Christ can save. … We must know our real condition, or we shall not feel our need of Christ’s help. We must understand our danger, or we shall not flee to the refuge. We must feel the pain of our wounds, or we should not desire healing.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 158.

  • Describe the two men mentioned in the parable. Luke 18:10–13.

Note: “The Pharisee and the publican represent two great classes into which those who come to worship God are divided. Their first two representatives are found in the first two children that were born into the world. Cain thought himself righteous, and he came to God with a thank offering only. He made no confession of sin, and acknowledged no need of mercy. But Abel came with the blood that pointed to the Lamb of God. He came as a sinner, confessing himself lost; his only hope was the unmerited love of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 152.



  • What did Jesus conclude about the two men who worshipped in the temple? Luke 18:14, first part.

Note: “In order to be justified, the sinner must have that faith that appropriates the merits of Christ to his own soul. We read that the devils ‘believe, and tremble’ (James 2:19), but their belief does not bring them justification, neither will the belief of those who give a merely intellectual assent to the truths of the Bible bring them the benefits of salvation. This belief fails of reaching the vital point, for the truth does not engage the heart or transform the character.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 191, 192.

  • What did the Pharisee fail to see about himself? Romans 3:10–12; How can we make the same mistake?

Note: “The Pharisee goes up to the temple to worship, not because he feels that he is a sinner in need of pardon, but because he thinks himself righteous and hopes to win commendation. His worship he regards as an act of merit that will recommend him to God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 150.

“Many are deceived concerning the condition of their hearts. They do not realize that the natural heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. They wrap themselves about with their own righteousness, and are satisfied in reaching their own human standard of character; but how fatally they fail when they do not reach the divine standard, and of themselves they cannot meet the requirements of God.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 320.

  • What general principle does Jesus teach us from this parable? Luke 18:14, second part; 1 Peter 5:6; James 4:10.

Note: “Humble yourselves, brethren. When you do this, it is possible for holy angels to communicate with you, and place you on vantage ground. Then your experience, instead of being faulty, will be filled with happiness.” This Day With God, 35.

“God grants no pardon to him whose penitence produces no humility.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 938.



  • How does God view the attitude of the publican? Psalm 51:17; 102:17.

Note: “Fasting or prayer that is actuated by a self-justifying spirit is an abomination in the sight of God. The solemn assembly for worship, the round of religious ceremonies, the external humiliation, the imposing sacrifice, proclaim that the doer of these things regards himself as righteous, and as entitled to heaven; but it is all a deception. Our own works can never purchase salvation. …

“Man must be emptied of self before he can be, in the fullest sense, a believer in Jesus. When self is renounced, then the Lord can make man a new creature.” The Desire of Ages, 280.

  • What experience, like the publican, do we need in order to have pardon and peace? 1 John 1:9; Jeremiah 3:13.

Note: “It is not only at the beginning of the Christian life that this renunciation of self is to be made. At every advance step heavenward it is to be renewed. All our good works are dependent on a power outside of ourselves. Therefore there needs to be a continual reaching out of the heart after God, a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the soul before Him. Only by constant renunciation of self and dependence on Christ can we walk safely.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 159, 160.

  • What was different about the prayer of the publican? Jeremiah 29:12, 13.

Note: “There are two kinds of prayer—the prayer of form and the prayer of faith. The repetition of set, customary phrases when the heart feels no need of God, is formal prayer. … We should be extremely careful in all our prayers to speak the wants of the heart and to say only what we mean. All the flowery words at our command are not equivalent to one holy desire. The most eloquent prayers are but vain repetitions if they do not express the true sentiments of the heart. But the prayer that comes from an earnest heart, when the simple wants of the soul are expressed just as we would ask an earthly friend for a favor, expecting that it would be granted—this is the prayer of faith.” My Life Today, 19.



  • What is the danger for those who do not acknowledge that they are sinners? Revelation 3:16, 17; Luke 5:31, 32.

Note: “He who falls into some of the grosser sins may feel a sense of his shame and poverty and his need of the grace of Christ; but pride feels no need, and so it closes the heart against Christ and the infinite blessings He came to give.” Steps to Christ, 30.

“I am commissioned now to say to our brethren, Humble yourselves, and confess your sins, else God will humble you. The message to the Laodicean church comes home to those who do not apply it to themselves.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 99.

  • What often goes hand in hand with this type of spiritual pride? Psalm 12:3. What danger is involved here? Proverbs 26:28, last part; 29:5.

Note: “We need to shun everything that would encourage pride and self-sufficiency; therefore we should beware of giving or receiving flattery or praise. It is Satan’s work to flatter. He deals in flattery as well as in accusing and condemnation. Thus he seeks to work the ruin of the soul. Those who give praise to men are used by Satan as his agents. Let the workers for Christ direct every word of praise away from themselves. Let self be put out of sight. Christ alone is to be exalted.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 161, 162.

  • Although he was once a proud leader in Israel, how did Paul’s experience change? Philippians 3:6–9; Romans 7:9; Galatians 6:14.

Note: “Judged by the letter of the law as men apply it to the outward life, he [Paul] had abstained from sin; but when he looked into the depths of its holy precepts, and saw himself as God saw him, he bowed in humiliation and confessed his guilt.” Steps to Christ, 29, 30.

“The nearer we come to Jesus, the more clearly we behold the purity and greatness of His character, the less we shall feel like exalting self. The contrast between our characters and His will lead to humiliation of soul and deep heart searching. The more we love Jesus, the more entirely will self be humbled and forgotten.” The Upward Look, 46.



  • How did Jesus show humility in His own life? Philippians 2:5–11.

Note: “The Son of man humbled Himself to become the servant of God. He submitted to abasement and self-sacrifice, even to death, to give freedom and life, and a place in His kingdom to those who believe on Him. He gave His life as a ransom for many. This should be enough to make those who are continually seeking to be first and striving for the supremacy, ashamed of their course.” This Day With God, 356.

  • What does Christ then require of us? Luke 9:23. What blessings are promised to the humble? Luke 18:14, second part; 1 Peter 5:6; James 4:10.

Note: “Those who believe in Christ and walk humbly with Him, … who watch to see what they can do to help and bless and strengthen the souls of others, cooperate with the angels who minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. Jesus gives them grace, and wisdom, and righteousness, making them a blessing to all with whom they are brought in contact. The more humble they are in their own estimation, the more blessings they receive from God, because receiving does not exalt them. They make a right use of their blessings, for they receive to impart.

“The ministering angels receive instruction from the throne of God to cooperate with human instrumentalities. They receive the grace of Christ, to give it to human beings.” This Day With God, 356.



1     Why can Christ only save those who know that they are sinners?

2    Why do you come to church?

3    How should we pray?

4    How can we overcome spiritual pride?

5    Why does God entrust His blessings to the humble?

Recipe – Delicious Raw Cereal


1 cup regular oats

1 cup water

½ cup raisins or other dried fruit

1 tasty grated apple (with peelings)

¼ cup raw almonds, slivered

3 Tbsp. honey


Mix all together, adding water last. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir in the morning and eat! Berries, bananas, or other fruit in season can be added for extra flavor before eating. Enjoy!

Food – Peeled Apple?

I am amazed when I see people peel an apple before eating it. Some just do not like the texture or the taste of the peelings but that is where much of the nourishment is. Just remember that you are not getting all an apple has to offer by peeling off the skin. Here are some very powerful reasons to never remove the skin again.

“The skin packs most of the fiber. A medium apple with the skin contains 4.4 grams of fiber. Without the skin, you’re only getting 2.1 grams, not even enough to qualify it as a “good source of fiber” (the cutoff is 3 grams).

“The skin also packs most of the vitamins. That same medium apple with skin packs 8.4 milligrams of vitamin C and 98 international units (IU) of vitamin A. Ditch the skin and that falls to 6.4 milligrams of vitamin C and 61 IU of vitamin A.

“Apples can ease breathing problems — but only if you eat the skin. The compound responsible is called quercetin, and it’s found mostly in the peel. One study found that people who eat five or more apples each week have better lung function thanks to quercetin’s effects, reported.

“Quercetin also protects your memory. The antioxidant seems to fight off tissue damage in the brain linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative problems — at least in rats, according to a 2004 study.

“A skin-on apple a day keeps spare pounds away. The peel is also home to ursolic acid, an important compound in the obesity-fighting ability of apples. Ursolic acid seems to increase muscle and brown fat, which increases calorie burn, thereby lowering obesity risk, at least in mice, according to a 2012 study.”


Delicious Raw Cereal


1 cup regular oats

1 cup water

½ cup raisins or other dried fruit

1 tasty grated apple (with peelings)

¼ cup raw almonds, slivered

3 Tbsp. honey



Mix all together, adding water last. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir in the morning and eat! Berries, bananas, or other fruit in season can be added for extra flavor before eating. Enjoy!

Health – BDNF – Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor

We’ve all come to accept the notion that our brains will continue to shrink as we age. And nowhere is this decline more impactful than in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center.

Researchers measuring the size of the hippocampus using MRI scans demonstrate a clear correlation between shrinkage of the hippocampus and declining cognitive function.

Challenging the status quo notion that loss of hippocampal function is inevitable is new and exciting research showing that we have the potential to actually grow new cells in this vitally important area of the brain, expanding the hippocampus in size and enhancing memory function.

The growth of new cells in the brain, neurogenesis, is enhanced under the influence of a specific protein called BDNF. And while there is no pharmaceutical approach to increasing BDNF, animal research has long recognized that aerobic exercise causes a robust increase in BDNF levels and as a consequence, increases both the growth of new cells in the hippocampus as well as increase in memory.

But while the animal research has long confirmed the relationship between aerobic exercise and the growth of new brain cells, this relationship has been only recently demonstrated to occur in humans.

Neuroscientist Kirk Erikson and his research team at the University of Pittsburg publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science studied a group of 120 adults over a one year span.

Half the group was given a stretching program to perform 3 times each week while the other half engaged in 3 days of aerobics.

After one year, the two groups were evaluated looking at three parameters. First, using MRI scans, the change in size of the hippocampus was calculated. Second, serum measurements before and after the trial were measured. And finally, the study actually measured memory function at the beginning and end of the trial.

The results were breathtaking. While the group doing the stretching program manifested a decline in memory, hippocampal size and BDNF levels, the aerobics group showed not only improvement in memory, but actually an increase in the size of the hippocampus accompanied by an increase in their blood levels of BDNF. The authors concluded: “These results clearly indicate that aerobic exercise is neuroprotective and that starting an exercise regimen later in life is not futile for either enhancing cognition or augmenting brain volume.” Simply stated, this landmark research demonstrated that aerobic exercise increases the growth of new stem cells in the human brain, and these stem cells mature to become fully functioning neurons.

The important role of BDNF in preserving brain function was the subject of a landmark report in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association. In the report, researchers showed that blood levels of BDNF almost perfectly predict future risk for declining brain function as long as 10 years in the future.

The results of these studies have huge implications. Multiple studies have now confirmed the fact that aerobic exercise can turn on the genetic machinery to manufacture BDNF, the brain’s “growth hormone,” creating new stem cells that become fully functioning neurons in the brain’s memory center and actually improving memory. Despite the lack of any pharmaceutical development to enhance this process, you have direct control of your BDNF levels and thus the fate of your brain.

You can increase your BDNF levels and enhance the growth of new brain cells and memory. Here’s how:

Engage in regular aerobic exercise. I recommend 20 minutes per day, 6 days each week. A good target heart rate is around 180 minus your age. Your specific target rate will depend on your level of fitness as well as medications you may be taking. That said, it’s always a good idea to check with a healthcare practitioner before engaging in a new exercise program.

The omega-3, DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), like aerobic exercise, has been shown to activate the genes that turn on BDNF production. So take a supplement that contains DHA. DHA is available in … algae-derived (suitable for vegetarians) products. … My recommendation is a dosage of DHA of around 800mg daily.

Curcumin, the main active ingredient in the spice turmeric, is currently the subject of intense scientific inquiry, especially as it relates to the brain. But curcumin isn’t new to medical research as it has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for thousands of years. Curcumin is known to possess a variety of biochemical properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial activities. But most exciting, as it relates to the brain, extensive research confirms that in humans, consumption of curcumin is associated with a significant rise in BDNF levels.

In a recent report in Food and Nutrition Sciences, researchers demonstrated how whole coffee fruit concentrate (WCFC) affected BDNF levels in humans. The study involved 20 young adults (25-35 years) who were asked to consume whole coffee fruit concentrate powder followed by blood evaluations of their BDNF levels. Remarkably, BDNF levels actually doubled in those individuals taking the whole coffee fruit concentrate in comparison to those who were given coffee or a placebo.

In another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers administered a single 100mg dose of whole coffee fruit extract to a group of volunteers and observed a 143% increase in their blood values of BDNF. WCFC is a patented extract of whole coffee fruit from the common coffee bean, Coffea arabica. It contains chemicals called procyanidins which are known to protect brain cells, as well as a unique profile of polyphenols that may well relate to its ability to raise BDNF so dramatically.

Again, BDNF is powerfully influential in determining your brain’s destiny, so these new scientific reports showing the dramatic rise in BDNF with whole coffee fruit concentrate is very exciting, especially for me as a neuroscientist.

Extracts from Extraordinary Health, vol. 32, 2018, David Perlmutter, M.D. (America’s Brain Health Expert, Board-certified Neurologist, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and expert in the Human Microbiome.)

Studies have proven we can increase BDNF levels and enhance the growth of new brain cells and memory by engaging in regular aerobic exercise, incorporating omega 3s, curcumin and whole coffee fruit in the diet. But nothing will strengthen the intellect more than the study of the Bible. “The Bible is the best book in the world for giving intellectual culture. Its study taxes the mind, strengthens the memory, and sharpens the intellect … .”  Gospel Workers, 100. “The mind will enlarge if it is employed in tracing out the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture, and spiritual things with spiritual. There is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than the study of the Scriptures. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible.” Christian Education, 58.

Question & Answer – What is the Bible meaning of leaven and meal?

“Another parable spake He unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (Matthew 13:33).

“When leaven is introduced into meal, it penetrates to every part, till an entire change takes place. So it is with the work of the Holy Spirit upon the human heart. The truth received and believed introduces new rules, new principles of action into the life. A new standard of character is set up—the life of Christ. Those who thus receive the truth depend on Christ, and they receive more and still more strength, and greater and still greater light. Daily they expel from their hearts vanity, selfishness, self-righteousness.

“As they receive the spirit of Christ, light shines from them in clear, distinct rays. They have a solemn sense of eternal realities. There is a renewal of the entire mind and heart. As the leaven introduced into the meal leavened the whole, so the leaven of truth, if introduced into the heart, will absorb to itself all the properties of soul, body, and spirit. …

“Transformation of heart means an entire change of the entire man. ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,’ Christ declared (John 3:3). This change of heart is unseen; for it is an inward work, and yet, it is seen, because it works outward from within.

“Has the leaven of truth been at work in your heart? Has it absorbed the whole heart, the whole affections by its sanctifying power? …

“Our first work is with our own hearts. The true principles of reform should be practiced. The heart must be converted and sanctified else we have no connection with Christ. While our hearts are divided, we shall never, never be fitted for usefulness in this life or for the future life. As intelligent beings, we need to sit down and think whether we are really seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. The very best thing we can do is to think soberly and candidly whether we desire to put forth the effort necessary to obtain the Christian hope and secure the Christian’s heaven. If through the grace of Christ we decide that we do, the next question is: What is there that I must cut away from my life in order that I shall not stumble?” This Day With God, 48.

Keys to the Storehouse – A Discordant Note

I really struggled when I first became a Christian. Yes, I was raised in the Catholic school system for many years thinking that I was a Christian and that I was not going to hell because I was a member of the church. I received the shock of all shocks when I started studying the Bible with an acquaintance and found that there was no ever-burning hell and there was more to salvation than going to church on Sundays. But beyond that was the realization that I was sinful according to the Bible. What you need to understand is that I had a lot of self! I was good—I thought! I was not a sinner—I thought!

We may all “profess” to be Christians, but there are some things that will reflect in our hearts and lives that help us to understand where we are in our Christian walk. What are some of the attributes of an unrenewed heart?

“In his sinless state, man held joyful communion with Him [God] ‘in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Colossians 2:3). But after his sin, he could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God. Such is still the condition of the unrenewed heart.

  • It is not in harmony with God, and
  • finds no joy in communion with Him.
  • The sinner could not be happy in God’s presence;
  • he would shrink from the companionship of holy beings.
  • Could he be permitted to enter heaven, it would have no joy for him.
  • The spirit of unselfish love that reigns there—every heart responding to the heart of Infinite Love—would touch no answering chord in his soul.
  • His thoughts, his interests, his motives, would be alien to those that actuate the sinless dwellers there.
  • He would be a discordant note in the melody of heaven.” Steps to Christ, 17.

I found that I really was a “discordant note” among Christians because I was so much of the world. I gave my heart to the Lord and an amazing transformation then took place. Have you searched your heart lately? Does it fit into heavenly places or is it more at home in this world? Is your heart renewed or un-renewed? Your heart is either one or the other!

Make a heart commitment right now and quell the discordant note.


Heavenly Father:  Thank You for the gift of a new heart, a renewed heart that You proffer to each one of us. I do not want to be a discordant note, or to shrink from the companionship of angels or of Christian brethren because I have not accepted that new heart. I thank You for the joy of being able to sit quietly in heavenly places here on earth and for the prospect of being admitted into heaven at Your coming. Amen.