5: Dealing With Debt-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School class February 4, 2023.

Main Theme: God can help us out of debt so we can be good stewards.

Read in Class: Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 12. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What is God’s ideal for His children regarding debt? How can they attain this ideal? And though this context is very different from ours, what principles can we take away from this context and apply to our own now?

Apply: Read Matthew 6:24 and 1 Timothy 6:6-9. What is said here that all of us need to heed? What do these words mean to you, and in what ways can you better follow what the Word is teaching us here?

Share: Your friend says she is overwhelmed with debt. She knows she has made mistakes and corrected them, but the debt is too great and she does not believe she will ever be debt free again. How do you respond to your friend? How could 2 Kings 6:1-6 help?

Read in Class: Proverbs 22:7. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study:  In what sense are we under bondage to the lender?

Apply: “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ ” (Heb. 13:5, NKJV). How could applying these words greatly help people avoid getting into debt?

Share: Your friend says that it is impossible to avoid debt. Who can pay cash for a car or brand new home? How do you respond to your friend?

Read in Class: Proverbs 6:1-5, Proverbs 17:18 and Proverbs 22:26. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: What is the message here?

Apply: Read Proverbs 28:20 and 1 Timothy 6:9-10. How can you avoid being greedy for riches? How are you learning to be content like Paul mentions in 1 Timothy 6:6?

Share: Your friend asks you to cosign for him so he can finally buy a home, as his entire family has been living in a small apartment. How do you respond to your friend?

Read in Class: Deuteronomy 15:1-5. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What did the Lord require of His people as revealed in these verses?

Apply: If you have lent people money, how honest and fair and kind are you in your dealings with them? How would you fare before God when you have to answer for those dealings? (See Eccles. 12:14)

Share: This week can you think of a student who may be behind on his or her tuition or even lunch bill? How can you help them out this week?

4: Offerings for Jesus-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath school class, January 28, 2023.

Main Theme: We worship God by using all our time and resources for God.

Read in Class: Deuteronomy 16:7. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What criterion does God give as a basis for the amount of our offerings?

Apply: What do your offerings and your attitude about giving them say about your relationship with God?

Share: Your friend says he only returns tithes but cannot give offerings because tithe is all he can afford to do. Anything else is just asking too much. What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: 1 Chronicles 16:29 and Psalm 96:8-9. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: How do we apply these principles to our own worship experience?

Apply:  What is your experience with returning tithes and offerings as a part of worship? How does it impact your relationship with God?

Share: Your friend says, “God never said anything about offerings being required, but only as an expression of thanksgiving based on our increase. God doesn’t need my money. He can finish the work without all the expensive programs the church makes up to increase their income and finances.” How would you respond to your friend?

Read in Class: Mark 12:41-44 and Acts 10:1-4. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: What is the message of these stories, and how can we apply it to our own worship experience?

Apply: What action was noted in heaven by the Roman that prompted a visit from heaven? Share your thoughts.

Share: Your friend asks in what ways did the poor woman give more than they all? What do you tell your friend? Think about all the people who have given what little they can throughout the years, because of this woman’s story. Could all of that add up to more than the rich gave that day?

Read in Class: Mark 14:1-9. What is the main theme of this passage?

Study: Who were the main characters at Simon’s feast? What was the value of Mary’s gift? Why did she anoint Jesus at this time?

Apply: Why is sacrificial giving as important for the givers as for the recipients? 

Share: Are there any specific needs in the church that your Sabbath school class could raise money to contribute towards?

2: God’s Covenants With us-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt, For Sabbath School Class January 14, 2023.

Main Theme: Our responses to God’s promises determines if they are fulfilled for us.

Read in Class: 1 John 5:13, Matthew 10:22 and 2 Peter 1:10-11. Define the common thread in these passages.

Study: How do these passages say we receive the gift of salvation?

Apply: Though salvation is an unmerited gift, what’s the difference between those who accept the gift and those who don’t? What does accepting this gift require that we do?

Share: Your friend tells you she believes on once saved always saved. She believes there is no way a saved person can lose salvation. Using Scripture, what do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What great blessings are promised the people? But what must they do to receive them?

Apply: What does it mean for us, today, to “hearken diligently” to what God tells us to do?

Share: Your friend tells you the book of Deuteronomy is in the Old Testament. We don’t have to obey, only believe. What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Proverbs 3:9-10 and Malachi 3:10-11. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: What are the promises and the obligations found in these verses?

Apply: What does your tithing (or lack thereof) say about your own spirituality and relationship to God?

Share: Your friend says there is no way he can tithe and feed his family. He says God understands He can’t afford to tithe. What do you tell your friend? How could 1 Kings 17:8-16 help, Especially verse 13?

Read in Class: 2 Chronicles 7:14. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What are the “ifs” and “thens” of God’s proposal here?

Apply: What does it mean to “heal their land?” In what ways do we need healing today?

Share: Can you think of a friend or family member who is struggling with making a full commitment to Christ? Besides praying for them, is there any way you could speak a word of encouragement to them this week?

1: Part of God’s Family-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School Class, January 7, 2023.

Main Theme: Being a part of God’s family is both a privilege and a responsibility.

Read in Class; Psalm 50:10-12 and Psalm 24:1. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: What’s the message here, and what should this truth mean to us and how we relate to whatever we possess?

Apply: “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this?” (1 Chron. 29:14, NKJV). What beautiful principles are expressed in these words, and how do they reflect what our attitude toward God should be and our attitude toward what we possess?

Share: Your friend tells you the story about a great swarm of locusts devouring several farmer’s crops. At the town square one farmer complains to another farmer. The other farmer responds, “If God wants His locusts eating His crops that’s His business.” What did the other farmer mean by that? Do you agree with the other farmer?

Read in Class: Psalm 23:1, Psalm 37:25 and Philippians 4:19. What is the common thread in these passages?

Study: What do these verses say about God’s provision for our daily needs?

Apply: How has God taken care of your daily needs? Do any examples stand out in your mind about how He has provided for you?

Share: Your friend tells you they never bring anything to fellowship lunch at church because they know God will provide. They also tell you they never give to the local church budget because the church will always be there with or without their offerings. What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Deuteronomy 6:5 and Matthew 22:37. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: What does this mean, and how do we do it?

Apply: How have been blessed both temporally and spiritually by loving God?

Share: Your friend says she does not need to keep the commandments. She only needs to love God. How do you respond to your friend?

Read in Class: Matthew 6:19-21. What is the main idea of this passage?

Study: What crucial truths is Jesus speaking here?

Apply: What have you been doing in the last month that reveals where your heart is? 

Share: Can you think of someone this week who is need of food, clothing or other resources? How can you help them in a practical way this week?

14: All Things New- Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School class, December 31, 2022.

Main Theme: One day our hope of eternal life on the new earth will become reality.

Read in Class: Isaiah 65:17-25; Isaiah 66:22, 23; 2 Peter 3:13; and Revelation 21:1-5. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: What is the ultimate message of these passages?

Apply: Many secular writers, without the hope of eternity as presented in Scripture, have lamented the meaninglessness of human existence. Though they are wrong about the future, why is it hard to argue with their point about the meaninglessness of life without a future hope?

Share: You friend asks, what we will be doing in heaven all eternity? Won’t it get boring? What things will be similar to our lives now? What will be different? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class:  Revelation 7:9-15 with Revelation 21:3, 22. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: How can we harmonize the description of the great multitude of the redeemed serving God “day and night in His temple” (Rev. 7:15, NKJV) with the statement that John “saw no temple” in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:22, NKJV)?

Apply: Revelation 21:3 reads: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God” (NKJV). These verses reflect numerous other passages (Jer. 32:38, Ezek. 37:27, Zech. 8:8, Heb. 8:10). What does it mean for us now, still here on earth, that God will be our God, and we will be His people? How do we live out this amazing truth now?

Share: Your friend asks, Isn’t God already with us now? In what ways is God already with us? How will it be different in the new earth? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class:  Matthew 5:8; 1 John 3:2, 3; and Revelation 22:3, 4. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: What do these passages tell us about the supreme privilege of seeing God?

Apply: Read 1 Peter 1:22. How does this text reveal to us the link between obedience and purification? What is it about obedience that purifies us? How, specifically, does Peter say our obedience will be made manifest?

Share: Your friend’s child asks you, if God is real why can’t we see Him? What do you tell your friend’s child?

Read in Class:  Isaiah 25:8, Revelation 7:17, and Revelation 21:4. What is the common thread in these passages?

Study: What comfort and hope can these passages bring us amid the trials and suffering of this present world?

Apply: Who hasn’t felt the unfair ravages of human existence here? Especially in those bad times, how can we learn to trust, and to the degree possible, rejoice in God’s goodness and love?

Share: Can you think of someone who would be encouraged by some things found in this week’s lesson. How can you plan to share it with them this week?

13: The Judging Process-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School class, Sabbath, December 24, 2022.

Main Theme:  The pre-advent judgment, the millennial judgment, and the executive judgment ends with the vindication of the righteous.

Read in Class: Daniel 7:9-14, Matthew 22:1-14, Revelation 11:1, 18-19, Revelation 14:6-7. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: How do these passages shed light on the notion of a pre-advent investigative judgment in the heavenly courtroom? What is the significance of such a judgment?

Apply: How should our knowledge of a judgment in heaven impact how we live here on earth?

Share: Your friend says there is no need for God to have an investigative judgment since He already knows everything. What is there for him to investigate? How do you answer your friend? Hint: in Genesis 3:9-11 God is performing an investigation and asking questions He already knows the answers to.

Read in Class: 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 and Revelation 20:4-6, 11-13. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: Why should the saints participate in the millennial judgment? Is God offering transparency and accountability?

Apply: What does it teach us about the character of God that before any of the sleeping lost are resurrected to face the second death, the saved will be involved in the judging process, and no one will be punished until we, too, see the justice and fairness of God?

Share: Your friend says that everyone will be given a second change during the thousand years. What do you say to your friend? See also The Millennium in Light of the Cross.

Read in Class: 2 Peter 2:4-6 and 2 Peter 3:10-13. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: How do these texts help us understand the nature of the final executive judgment? How do they imply the idea of the completion of judgment as opposed to its going on forever, which would be a perversion of justice and not an expression of it?

Apply: What does the Cross itself teach us about what God was willing to do in order to save everyone who would be saved?

Share: Your friend asks how we can hasten the coming of Jesus? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Revelation 21:1-8 and Revelation 22:14. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: What is the hope and reward of the righteous? What is the second death of the wicked?

Apply: What is your only hope in the judgment? How do you know you will be saved? See Salvation in Light of the Cross.

Share: What hope you gained from the lessons this quarter? What is your main takeaway?

12: The Biblical World View-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School Class, Sabbath, December 17, 2022.

Main Theme: As final events unfold we must hold fast to the Truth we have in Jesus and the hope that He gives us.

Read in Class: Luke 2;52 and Matthew 4:23. What common thread do we find in these passages?

Study: What four dimensions of growth do we find in Luke 2:52. What three dimensions of Jesus’ ministry do we find in Matthew 4:23?

Apply: In contrasting ourselves to Jesus, we could easily be discouraged by the difference. How, then, does focusing on the Cross and what it means protect us from being disheartened by what we see in ourselves compared to what we see in Jesus?

Share: Your friend says our church needs to stop having seminars on money management and divorce recovery and just focus on the three angels message? In light of Luke 2:52 and Matthew 4:23, how would you respond to your friend?

Read in Class: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and 1 Corinthians 10:31. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study:  How can the understanding that our bodies are “the temple of God” and “the temple of the Holy Spirit” positively influence our lifestyle?

Apply: Read 3 John 1:1-2. How does this help you understand the relationship between your physical health and your spiritual health? Does one affect the other? If so, how?

Share: Your friend asks you what things contribute to our physical and spiritual health besides what we eat and drink? What do you tell your friend? See also Health in Light of the Cross.

Read in Class: 1 Corinthians 2:16, Psalm 24:3-4, Romans 12:2, Philippians 4:8, and Colossians 3:2. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: What does it mean to have the “mind of Christ”?

Apply: magine what your life would be like if you could stop even sinful thoughts. How different would your life be? What is the only potential way to have this be your experience?

Share: Your friend says that if we have the mind of Christ we will never be tempted? Do you agree or disagree with your friend? What do you tell your friend? See also Matthew 26:39 and Hebrews 4:15.

Read in Class: 2 Peter 3:14 and 1 John 3:1-3. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: What difference do you see between preparing ourselves for the Second Coming and being ready for that glorious event?

Apply: How can we be ready today for the coming of Jesus?

Share: Your friend asks you how he can know if he is ready for Jesus to come? What do you tell your friend? See also The Gospel Presentation.

11: End-Time Deceptions Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School Class on Sabbath, December 10, 2022.

Main Theme: A proper understanding in Scripture will keep us safe from end-time deceptions.

Read in Class: Matthew 7:21-27. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: In light of Jesus’ own words, what does it mean to build our spiritual house “on the rock” and to build it “on the sand”?

Apply: How can we fight the very human tendency to let our emotions and desires cause us to do things contrary to the Word of God?

Share: Your friend says, “Romans 10:13 tells us all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. It does not matter if we keep the Sabbath or obey the Bible. All we have to do is call on the name of the Lord to be saved now.” How do you answer your friend?

Read in Class: Mark 5:41-43 and John 11:40-44. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: Do any of these passages mention the resurrected people being conscious while they were dead?

Apply: How fascinating that NDEs often now come with the imprimatur of “science.” What does this teach us about how careful we need to be even of things that science supposedly “proves”?

Share: Your friend says while he momentarily died on the operating table he was hovering over the doctors and nurses who were working on him. He says he experienced for himself consciousness while being dead. What do you tell your friend? For hints see Death in Light of the Cross and Every Word of God Proves True.

Read in Class: 1 Samuel 28:3-25. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What spiritual lessons against any supposed communication with the dead can be drawn from Saul’s experience with the woman medium at Endor?

Apply: How often, under stress, do we do things that we know are wrong? Why are faith, prayer, and obedience to the Word of God our only sure defense against our own selves?

Share: Your friend says that when he was a child he was lost in the woods and his dead grandfather miraculously appeared and led him safely home and then disappeared. What do you tell your friend? For hints see Did King Saul Talk to Samuel After he Died?

Read in Class: 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 and Ephesians 6:10-18. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: What should be our safeguards against such demonic deceptions?

Apply: What does it mean to put on the “whole armor of God?” In a day-by-day practical sense, how do we do this in every area of our lives, not just in dealing with end-time deceptions?

Share: Can you think of a friend who would be edified by something in this week’s Bible study? How can you share it with them this week?

10: The Fire of Hell-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School Class, Sabbath December 3, 2022.

Main Theme: We will look at some un-Biblical theories about life after death as well as what the Bible teaches about life after death.

Read in Class: Mark 9::42-48 and Isaiah 66:24. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: How do you understand the expression “their worm does not die?” Click here for a hint.

Apply: In the end, we are either totally saved or totally lost. There is no middle ground. We can have either eternal life or will face eternal destruction. What choices do you have to make today? How should this reality — eternal life or eternal destruction — impact those choices?

Share: Your friend says we all are going to spend eternity somewhere, either in heaven or hell. How do you answer your friend? Click here for hints.

Read in Class: Malachi 4:1 and Jude 7. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: How can these passages help us better understand the notion of “eternal fire” or the idea, as Jesus had expressed it, that the lost will be in “everlasting fire” (Matt. 18:8) or in a “fire that shall never be quenched”? (Mark 9:43, NKJV). Remember a camp fire can disintegrate a marshmallow and keep on burning. Just because the fire continues to burn does not mean the marshmallow still exists.

Apply: As unfortunate as the fires of hell are, what does the truth about hell reveal to us about God’s love, especially in contrast to the idea of eternal torment?

Share: Your friend says that the Bible says the wicked will burn forever so that must mean that they will be alive and burning through all eternity. How would Exodus 21:6 help your friend understand the meaning of the word “forever, simply meanimg for the duration or until you die?

Read in Class: Ecclesiastes 9:10, Ezekiel 18:20-22,and Hebrews 9:27. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: How do these passages refute the theory of purgatory?

Apply: What do errors like purgatory or eternal torment teach us about the importance of doctrine? Why is what we believe of importance, and not just in whom we believe?

Share: Your friend says that we may not be able to buy our way into heaven but if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds our works can get us into heaven. What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Acts 2:29, 34-35 and 1 Corinthians 15:16-18. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study:  How do these passages shed light on the state of the dead and those awaiting resurrection?

Apply: What are ways in which you could help people understand that the idea that the dead are asleep in the ground is really “good news,” in the sense that they truly are at rest and know no pain and suffering?

Share: Your friend who said we will all spend eternity in heaven or hell is still confused, thinking the soul is immortal, and we all have eternal life either in heaven or in hell. How could you use 1 John 5:3-12 and 1 Timothy 5:15-16 to show your friend that only those who accept the gift of salvation have eternal life?

9: Contrary Passages?-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School Class, Sabbath, November 26, 2022.

Main Theme: When properly understood, seemingly contrary passages are not so contrary after all.

Read in Class: Luke 16:19-31. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: How do we know this story is not a literal description of the afterlife? For hints click here.

Apply: “But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead’” (Luke 16:31, NKJV). What message from Jesus’ powerful words should we take for ourselves regarding the authority of the Bible and how we respond to it?

Read in Class: Luke 23:43, John 20:17, and John 14:1-3. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: How should the promise to the repentant thief on the cross be understood in light of Jesus’ words to Mary Magdalene and His promise to His disciples? For hints click here.

Apply: Read the story of the repentant thief (Luke 23:39-43), who, despite his sin, despite the fact that he had nothing to offer God, was promised eternal life by Christ. How does this story powerfully reveal the great truth of salvation by faith alone? In what ways are we just like that thief? In what ways do we differ?

Read in Class: Philippians 1:21-24 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: When did Paul expect to be “with Christ” (Phil. 1:23) and “with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17)? For hints click here.

Apply: Particularly in hard times, who hasn’t thought about how nice it would be to close your eyes in death and, the next thing you know, “be with Christ”? How does this thought help us understand what Paul was saying in Philippians?

Read in Class: 1 Peter 3:13-20. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: How did Christ preach “to the spirits in prison … in the days of Noah”? (See also Gen. 4:10.) For hints click here.

Apply: The flood was present truth in Noah’s day, what Bible truths especially apply to us today?

Read in Class: Revelation 6:9-11. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: How can the “souls” of the dead martyrs cry “under the altar”?

From Difficult Texts Made Simple:

This is obviously a symbolic verse. In order to be taken literally not only would the souls be in heaven but they all would be under an altar. Also they would be pleading for vengeance for being in heaven. This simply is not realistic. We know from our reading of the entire scriptures that the dead are just that-dead. Even this passage says that they must rest a while yet, implying they are not literally in heaven now, but their cause has come before the altar and before God. This was the case when Abel was killed by Cain. God said, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” Genesis 4:10 

Abel’s blood did not literally grow lips and cry, but his cause came before God. So in the fifth seal of Revelation we see that God has not forgotten His faithful martyrs but has heard their cause even as He did Abel’s. After all, why would they be crying for God to avenge the ones who killed them and put them in the presence of God? What an insult to God this would be.

Apply: Who (especially of those who have been victims of injustice) hasn’t cried out for justice, which has not yet come? Why must we, by faith, trust that ultimately the justice so lacking in this world will nevertheless come? What comfort can you draw from this wonderful promise?

Share: Can you think of someone who could benefit from a proper understanding of the passages we studied this week? How can you share your understanding of these passages with someone in a way that will give them encouragement?