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Opening Question: “What shall we make of the biblical statement that there was once war in heaven?”

The lessons this quarter focus on a grand theme that has been well-known in the SDA community from its very beginning. The name most often given to this grand theme is “The Great Controversy,” or, more fully, “The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan.” This name speaks of a conflict that can be traced from before the Creation story all the way to the time when the Kingdom of God is finally fully established. It tells the story, From Eden lost to Eden restored.

We should observe that grand thematic stories like the one we will review this quarter are found all over the place in human experience. Truth is, if we want to make any sense of our living, we need to have a viable story that we can use to answer the major questions in life, one of which has to do with the existence of evil and suffering. These kinds of grand narratives provide a context for our lives that enable us to figure out who we are, what lies behind us, and what is yet to come in the future. These stories give us reference points for our living that enable us to steer our lives and make our decisions with an ultimate goal in mind. They allow us to live beyond our circumstances, to have a vision that guides us that is not tied only to the reality we are experiencing. Such stories often give us reasons to hope when we might otherwise be overtaken by despair.

The story of the great controversy in the Bible is a truly fascinating one, a vastly panoramic one, one that gives us at least a glimpse of the grand plan God has for this troubled world.

Please note that this set of lessons is a commentary on the official lesson quarterly that is produced by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. It is not intended to be a replication or replacement of that document.

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