Guests: and

Key Passages:

Isa. 58:1-14 — The Sabbath and the true fast.
Rev. 14:6-12 — The three angels’ messages.
Eph. 2:19-22 — Christ the foundation holds the house together
2 Peter 1:5-11 — Peter’s ladder: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, love.
2 Cor. 5:16-21 — Called to be ambassadors for Christ.
Eph. 5:15-17 — Be wise, not foolish, for the days are evil.
Eph. 6:10-18 — The armor of God: belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes for the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit, i.e. God’s Word.

Discussion Questions:

1. Christians with an apocalyptic heritage may be tempted to appeal to the trauma of the last days as a motivation for getting ready. Could the organization of Matthew 24-25 be an antidote against such a temptation, i.e. the signs of the end are overlaid with an emphasis on Jesus’ return as a “surprise”?
2. If we knew that the end really was near (instead of being potentially near), what difference would that make in the life of the Christian?
3. Given the Adventist tradition of linking the final crisis with the Sabbath-Sunday conflict, what can we learn from a comparison of Isaiah 58 with Revelation 13? The perversion described in Isaiah has to do with lack of social justice and social outreach; the perversion in Revelation 13 has to do with coercive use of authority. Is it possible that these principles could be worked out in a variety of ways in different parts of the world?
4. If Christians are to serve as ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20), what kind of behavior would that suggest as we reach out into the world? Does an ambassador concentrate on naming the sins of the people or on portraying the sponsoring country in the best possible light?
5. Ephesians 2:11-22 shows that Christ came to break down barriers between people, specifically between Jews and Gentiles. If Christ is the foundation of such a “building,” how can Christians model a peace-making effort in preparation for God’s new kingdom?

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