Sabbath School Lesson Review 2017 Quarter 2 Lesson 9
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 2 Lesson 9 Friday
When we talk about the state of the dead, that’s really not the thing we’re concerned about. We have good news about that. They’ll awaken the next minute. The doctrine of the state of the dead is the doctrine of the nature of man. Man is mortal, he can die. The devil’s lie is man is immortal. That’s the basis for his worst charge against God, that God will torture us for eternity.
Our souls are immortal so what else can he do? So that doctrine is not just the state of the dead. The doctrine of the nature of man has been used by the adversary to put God in the worst possible light. And it’s had this most diabolical effect, even religious people; most religious people believe the soul is immortal. And that’s why most religious people who believe that God cannot save the wicked and therefore must send them to some unpleasant place, have to, because of their belief in the immortality of the soul, believe in some kind of a hell.
And therefore most religious people worship a God who says, “You either love me and obey me, or I will punish you for eternity.” They’re stuck with that because of their error about the nature of man. It’s not just the state of the dead, you see, it’s a very important doctrine.
But to some of us, the cross is great good news. Yes it is true that sinners will die, but we have no need to be afraid of God; and He died to prove it. And this message has great power to win to repentance and to trust. Paul was so proud of this good news. Look at his understanding of it in the last verses. 1 Corinthians 1:17, 18:
For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel [What is the Gospel, the good news, about]. And not with eloquent wisdom lest the cross of Christ [that’s the Gospel], be emptied of its power [This good news has great power]. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (RSV)
Now compare with that Romans 1:16, that very famous righteousness by faith verse:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel [this good news]: it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith . . . [wherein lies the power?] for in it [something is revealed] the righteousness of God is revealed. (RSV)
The good news is that God is not the unrighteous kind of person his enemies have made him out to be. And it’s so wonderful to see all through the Bible that even before the cross God had good friends who trusted him, always to do the right thing, the merciful thing, and they were proud to know him and proud to speak about him to others.
Look at Jeremiah 9:24: “Let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the Lord.” (NIV)
Jeremiah was able to repeat those words with feeling long before the cross. But now such confidence in God has been confirmed by the way Jesus suffered and died. And among God’s friends whether angels or men this meaning of the cross will have power to hold God’s great family together in loyalty and in peace forever.
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