The God of This World
Sabbath School Lesson 2018 Quarter 1 Lesson 1 Sunday
The lesson asks us to read 1st John 2:16,17:
16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. NKJV
What does this mean?
What is the root motive or principle in the world? Selfishness, which is motivated primarily by fear…where did this fear and selfishness come from?
How did fear and selfishness get into humanity?
Have you struggled with fear and selfishness? Did you choose to have these motivations and feelings?
Adam and Eve were created in God’s image with the ability to have children in their image. They were created with the ability to choose and change themselves based on their choices, thus when they chose to break trust they changed themselves and infected themselves with fear and selfishness, and all of us are born with biology infected in this way.
1st John is telling us that this infection has three primary avenues, sensualism, materialism and egotism. This means some people are born genetically more vulnerable to temptations of the senses, addictions, sexual temptations, others more toward arrogance, pride, ego, and others more toward greed, wealth, accumulation of stuff—but all three have at their root, selfishness.
Why will the methods of the world pass away?
Because they are out of harmony with how life is built to operate and cannot continue to exist—it would be like saying the grass that is not watered will whither and die.
Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; like green plants they will soon die away. Psalms 37:1,2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
Read last paragraph,
“When Christ came to the earth, humanity seemed to be fast reaching its lowest point. The very foundations of society were undermined. Life had become false and artificial. . . . Throughout the world all systems of religion were losing their hold on mind and soul. Disgusted with fable and falsehood, seeking to drown thought, men turned to infidelity and materialism. Leaving eternity out of their reckoning, they lived for the present.” – Ellen G. White, Education, pp. 74, 75..”
Why were systems of religion losing their hold on people’s minds?
Because they taught fable and falsehood—what about today? Are religions losing hold on people’s minds? Why? Because they teach fable and falsehoods—any examples?
- God’s kingdom is like human kingdoms
- God’s justice looks like human justice
- God’s law functions like human law
- Salvation is a legal process
- Jesus died to pay a legal penalty
- God will use His power to inflict suffering and death upon the unrepentant
- God will torture people in hell for eternity
- Sin doesn’t harm people God does for sin
- The Bible must be read literally
- One must be baptized in certain water, in certain places, with certain words, by certain people with certain certificates of authority, in a certain way in order to be saved
What do such beliefs result in? In the belief in a god who cannot be trusted, a theology of arbitrariness that contradicts laws of nature and real life experiences, and thus causes people to reject religion and God.
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