Like a Roaring Lion
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 2 Lesson 7 Thursday
So we have already discussed the context of Peter’s writing – he wrote against the backdrop of persecution. The lesson says, “The great controversy theme wasn’t just abstract theology to his readers; they were experiencing it for reals, up close and personal, in a way that most of us have not, at least for now.”
There was no doubt a war going on for the hearts and minds of those new Christian converts, just as there is a war going on today for our hearts and minds.
Revelation 12:7-9 talks about how that war started and the origin of evil:
7 There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought using truth and love against the lies and deceptions of the dragon, but the dragon and his angels fought back against the truth, spreading more lies about God and Jesus, his Son. 8 But his lies were not strong enough, and they lost their place of esteem and respect in heaven: 9 The great dragon–the ancient serpent called the devil or Satan that leads the entire world away from God and his methods of love– was cast out of the hearts, minds and affections of the loyal beings in heaven. He and his angels were cast to the earth–the only place in the universe where beings still believe his lies about God.”
The end of the second paragraph says,
“Yet, the good news is that the devil will ultimately be destroyed in the end.”
Is that really the good news?
What is implied in that statement?
We are living in enemy territory. Lions are stealthy, they stalk their prey by keeping hidden until the sudden last-minute attack. Watch a little NatGeo Wild if you are unsure. Lions might toy with their prey, but they have one goal in mind. Satan is subtle, and stealthy, and wise. He knows our weaknesses – maybe better than we do – and he knows the best ways to exploit them. We might not be aware of the danger unless we remain alert, clear minded, and self-controlled. We are also told to “resist him, standing firm in the faith” and he will flee.
What steps can we take to be alert, clear minded, and self-controlled?
Sin damages, sin destroys, and the devil doesn’t want to just cause you or your loved ones pain, heartache, or make you cry. He wants nothing less than to destroy you, and destroy as many of God’s children as he can. Yes, the devil is real. The battle is real, our sufferings are real. But the “God of all grace” has overcome the world…has defeated him who holds the power of death – the devil. So whatever we are suffering, if we remain faithful – even unto death – victory is assured.
Discussion question: How would you answer the claim that Satan is not real but just a symbol of the evil found in human nature?
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