I barely remember my several years as a teenager being a part of the Youth Sabbath School at the Walla Walla Seventh-day Adventist Church. But a few things that I do remember include the young and earnest youth leader, the bright fabric on the pews, and how I often used to sit in or near the back every Sabbath that my family attended.
Leading Question: How does one know which of the seven churches of Revelation offers the closest match to our own experience?
For this week’s lesson on the seven churches in Revelation, the official study guide states that “we shall study them from the perspective of the original recipients.” Such an approach may leave some readers unsatisfied since Adventists traditionally have used the historicist approach for both Daniel and Revelation. Thus they plot all events on a historical line to the end of time.
This week’s Sabbath School study focuses on the apostle Paul’s distinctive contribution to the theme of the Great Controversy. In Paul’s writings this theme, like all other themes, are viewed in the light of the apostle’s main emphasis on Christ and His ultimate victory in providing salvation to the world.
There can be few episodes in earth’s history more illustrative of the Great Controversy’s working out in human affairs than the repeated bloody persecutions of the early Church. The stories of heroic fortitude and commitment shown by the early Christian martyrs inspired the believers of their own time and literally has inspired (and continues to inspire) Christians for two thousand years.
This quarter’s Sabbath School lesson is on the Great Controversy—that most distinctive of Adventist doctrines. According to the late Herb Douglass, it is the fundamental organizing principle of all Seventh-day Adventist theology, the conceptual keystone of our entire doctrinal edifice. It has also been trumpeted as an original Adventist contribution to Christian theology—the one truly Adventist metanarrative in the whole package of Christian beliefs debated, developed and hammered out over the last two thousand years.