Living The Advent Hope
THIRD QUARTER 2019
SABBATH SCHOOL INSIGHT #11
SEPTEMBER 14, 2019
“LIVING THE ADVENT HOPE”
Today’s lesson, “Living the Advent Hope” is important as have been all the other lessons. On page 145 of the Teacher’s Quarterly, we are challenged, “to live each day with a burning hope for God’s coming kingdom while bringing those kingdom values to bear in our lives and the lives of those whom we serve. …We empathize with the prophetic cry for a hastened return of Christ in His kingdom. While we wait for the kingdom of glory, we are reminded of the opportunities for ministry right now, as we let Christ live out His life within us.” I agree with all of this except for a sad reality. We are not supposed to still be here, and empathizing with the prophetic cry may not be enough. Hear these words from Ellen White:
We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel; but for Christ's sake, His people should not add sin to sin by charging God with the consequence of their own wrong course of action.”—.
As time, has gone on, many tragedies have devastated our planet, from wars to natural disasters like hurricane Dorian wreaking havoc in the Bahamas, to immense hatred that we see occurring and increasing here in our own country and abroad and politicians unable to lead, or leading poorly and our cry is that of Habakkuk, “O Lord, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save.” Habakkuk 1:2. Or John the Revelator in Revelation 6:10, “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
Indeed, the word of God tells us that the whole of creation groans.
“19For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God…. 21because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now”. Romans 8:19, 21 and 22.
Our world is a vast lazar house, a scene of misery that we dare not allow even our thoughts to dwell upon. Did we realize it as it is, the burden would be too terrible. Yet God feels it all. In order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and He has put it in our power, through co-operation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” .”
There stood the young Galilean, bearing no earthly honor or royal badge. Surrounding Him were priests in their rich apparel, rulers with robes and badges significant of their exalted station, and scribes with scrolls in their hands, to which they made frequent reference. Jesus stood calmly before them, with the dignity of a king. As one invested with the authority of heaven, He looked unflinchingly upon His adversaries, who had rejected and despised His teachings, and who thirsted for His life. They had assailed Him in great numbers, but their schemes to ensnare and condemn Him had been in vain. Challenge after challenge He had met, presenting the pure, bright truth in contrast to the darkness and errors of the priests and Pharisees. He had set before these leaders their real condition, and the retribution sure to follow persistence in their evil deeds. The warning had been faithfully given. DA 610
Now He retreats to the Mount of Olives with His disciples, and the question on their hearts as would be on our hearts is, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3. Jesus is standing in the shadow of the cross and everything He says will be full of meaning for the disciples and us! He gives much instruction and tucked amongst all His teaching is a verse that has been dear to the heart of every Adventist, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14. At least two things are noteworthy in this verse upon which we will focus for the rest of this insight. First, He says “this gospel”. It’s not just any gospel but “this gospel.” It is not just a question of quantity, but of quality. It must be different. This gospel is complete, mature, and powerful enough to bring on the end of the age. The Seventh Day Adventist church has been called out from amongst God’s people with a prophetic message. A message powerful enough to bring on the end. How do we know this? The message is the Three Angel’s messages. If we look in Revelation 14 where these messages are found, we will see that immediately following the proclamation of these messages we have verses 14 and 15: “14Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. 15And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
When the Three Angel’s Messages are proclaimed as a witness, it is the “this gospel” spoken of in Matthew that brings on the end of the age. Well what is the Three Angel’s message?
“The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.” TM 91, 92.
“Christ identifies His interest with that of suffering humanity. He reproved His own nation for their wrong treatment of their fellow-men. The neglect or abuse of the weakest, the most erring believers He speaks of as rendered to Himself. The favors shown them are accredited as bestowed upon Himself. He has not left us in darkness concerning our duty, but often repeats the same lessons through different figures and in different lights. He carries the actors forward to the last great day, and declares that the treatment given to the very least of His brethren is commended or condemned as if done to Himself. He says, “Ye did it unto Me,” or, “Ye did it not unto Me.” .
“The tender sympathies of our Saviour were aroused for fallen and suffering humanity. If you would be His followers, you must cultivate compassion and sympathy. Indifference to human woes must give place to lively interest in the sufferings of others. The widow, the orphan, the sick, and the dying will always need help. Here is an opportunity to proclaim the gospel—to hold up Jesus, the hope and consolation of all men.”
“Love to man is the earthward manifestation of the love of God. It was to implant this love, to make us children of one family, that the King of glory became one with us. And when His parting words are fulfilled, “Love one another, as I have loved you” (); when we love the world as He has loved it, then for us His mission is accomplished. We are fitted for heaven; for we have heaven in our hearts.” DA 641.
The opening sentence from the Ministry of Healing p.17 is compelling: “Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied servant of man's necessity. He “took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses,” that He might minister to every need of humanity. .
One day injustice, oppression and suffering will vanish and Revelation 21:1-5 will be a reality.
“1Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”5Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
Blessings – Lyndi Schwartz