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Sabbath School

Major Themes in 1 and 2 Peter

The First and Second Epistles of Peter were written for practical purposes. Whereas the First Epistle of Peter deals with the persecution of the believers, the Second Epistle deals with false teachers. What is interesting is that Peter dealt with both challenges in theological terms. The persecution of the believers helped Peter to meditate on the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. The false teachers encouraged Peter to address the idea that false teachers are not going to escape the judgment.

The Day of the Lord

This week’s Sabbath School lesson focuses on the entire third chapter of Second Peter and contains much instruction for those waiting for the Second Advent.  It addresses several real problems with the delay of His Coming, both from the perspective of a believer and non-believer.

Beware of Wolves Disguised as Sheep

Vernon Howell was a charming young man. A born-again Christian searching for the truth, he stumbled across a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church and was soon converted. Seeking to know God, he devoured the Bible, memorized immense portions of it, and frequently offered eloquent Bible studies that would last for several hours. Endowed with a charismatic voice and a handsome face framed by curly locks of hair, he frequently played the guitar and sang at worship services. Friendly and likable, he was a talented handyman who was adept at fixing things and helping out others.

Prophecy and Scripture

Idiosyncrasy is defined by Dictionary.com as “a characteristic, habit, mannerism, or the like, that is peculiar to an individual.” It could be well said that “idiosyncrasy” was in loud and colorful display at this last week’s Billboard Music Awards. During the program, various artists such as Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Celine Dion, and Cher showcased their music.

Be Who You Are

Who am I?  This is one of the most important questions a person can ask. Developing a sense of identity is perhaps the most important task of adolescence. Satan works hard to destroy a positive sense of identity in God’s children by exposing them at a young age to messages that convey that their lovability is dependent upon their performance or that their value and worth are evaluated by what they do rather than who they are. Can you list twenty positive adjectives to describe yourself?

Jesus in the Last Sermon...

Drawn by the sound of a violent wind, God-fearing Jews from Cappadocia, Pontus, and the Roman province of Asia stood in a multinational crowd and heard a message from Galileans in their own languages. Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:12). At the end of weeks that included a shameful denial, a death, a resurrection, a restoration, and now the flames of the Holy Spirit, Peter stood up and introduced listeners to Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah.

Servant Leadership

The church needs leaders who will not only lead but also function as nurturers and overseers. Humility should characterize their lives so that they can function as examples of true leaders rather than as dictators.  Elders of the church are called to manifest this spirit of service; youth, in turn, are called to submit to this kind of leadership. Servant leadership takes its vision from the Word of God and, at the same time, provides every opportunity for members to exercise their own spiritual gifts in pursuit of the gospel commission.

Watching “Watchers” Watch Where Jesus Went . . . and Why

Some biblical passages have appropriately earned the reputation of straining the capacity of interpreters to understand and apply them. One such section in the first Letter of Peter to the “exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1:1 NRSV) can be found in 3:14-22. Teachers and preachers have scratched their collective heads for generations, attempting to articulate clearly what these words must have meant to the people who first heard them . . . and then what they might mean to us. And, what difference it makes.

Living for God

In his first epistle, Peter discusses the universal sinfulness of man and how the cross of Christ resolves the problem of sin. Christ’s power to change the hearts of believers is the focus of the writer. Making one’s conversion effective and living for God involves the suffering of the flesh. The life that is expected of the believer after he gives himself to Christ demands no easy journey. The constant barrage by the enemy and the natural pull of sinful flesh necessitates that church members fortify their soul temples with the life-giving Spirit of Christ.

1 Peter and Social Relationships

I’m an Australian-born, Anglo-Irish, white male of a secular background.[1] I have no reason to regret any of these characteristics as none of them were by my conscious choice. Nevertheless, on occasions I’ve felt embarrassed and even ashamed of some of these features. On my way to Britain, in late 1968, to attend university, I stopped for several days in South Africa. I was confronted with apartheid in its extreme form.

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