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?
The Homosassa Adventist Church family was very happy when Jarvis first started visiting our church. He had met a lady friend who was a Seventh-day Adventist and he wanted to learn more about the Bible teachings the Adventist Church followed. Sadly as Jarvis and I continued our Bible studies, his lady friend passed away. Jarvis was saddened but encouraged by the new hope he had found in the resurrection. Jarvis was determined to continue studying the Bible with me and the other members of the Homosassa Adventist Church. On October the 8th of 2022, Jarvis was baptized.
You may download a printable copy of In Light Of The Cross Bible Study Guides -NLT here.
Listen to a live presentation of this study here.
Brief overview: Salvation from death and sin is a free gift from God. It is not earned. It is a free gift courtesy of God’s love and grace. See John 3:16, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:1-10, 2 Timothy 1:9.
Why it is important to know the truth about salvation?
In pagan religions man makes the sacrifices to obtain the pleasure and acceptance of his “god”. Some pagan tribes have offered up human sacrifices just to make sure the sun would rise the next day. They also brought gifts for their “gods” hoping to gain their love and blessing. In Christianity it is the exact opposite. Our God sacrifices Himself on the Cross to obtain not His but our pleasure and acceptance. While we were the guilty ones He did not wait for us to bring a gift or peace offering, but made Himself the peace offering.
Revelation 12 tells us of a war in heaven. Not with machine guns and tanks, but a war of the minds. Isaiah 14 tells us Satan wanted God’s seat to the point where he was willing to kill God Himself to get it. He convinced a third of the angels that it would be in the best interest of the Universe if he was in control rather than God. Satan came to this earth and in Genesis 3 convinced Eve and thus mankind that he was more interested in our welfare than God was. For years a great controversy has raged over who has our best interest in mind.
Why understanding salvation in light of the cross is important:
The Cross settles the controversy of who has our best interest in mind once and for all. At the Cross we see the true character of both God and Satan. While we see Satan manipulating men to kill God, we see a tyrant who is willing to kill anyone who gets in his way of being number one. In contrast we see a God who is willing to give His life to save the world. The Cross shows who is really interested in our welfare and who is just using us as pawns for his own selfish purposes.
While Satan pretended to be on our side and acting in our best interest we see what he is really up to. We can also see the God whom Satan claimed did not really care about us is actually at peace with us and on our side!
Further study on Salvation
If Jesus were to come today would you be saved?
I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13 NLT
God wants us to know we are saved. He does not want us wondering or hoping, but knowing that we have eternal life. We have done nothing to earn this, but then again, what did the angels do to earn their place in heaven? Nothing! They were just created there. Before and after sin and the cross, life has always been a free gift and always will be.
If you were to stand before God and He asked you why He should allow you into His kingdom what would you say?
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
I like to share that if I was asked that question, I would just point to Jesus and say “Ask Him?” Jesus would then explain that He was treated the way I deserve to be treated so I may be treated the way He deserves to be treated.
“Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.” Desire of Ages, page 25
Why do I need grace?
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23 NLT
What are the wages of sin?
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NLT
I like to share right here that the wages of sin is not eternal torment in hell.John 3:16 says those who believe “shall not perish” instead of “shall not betormented for all eternity.”
What is sin? Important to know since sin causes death.
Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.
Note: Good news is that it is not a sin to be human or tempted. It is a sin to willfully and knowingly break God’s law. Obviously the law is still in effect. If there were no law I could not break God’s law and sin, and therefore I would not need grace. The fact that I need grace shows there is still a law.
How does God deal with the fact that I don’t have a prefect life to offer?
For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. Romans 5:10 NLT
Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19 NLT
I am not only saved by His death. I am also saved by His life! His life stands in the place of my life. Again, Jesus was treated as we deserve so we can be treated as he deserves.
Jesus takes our sins and gives us His righteousness.
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT
Note: Jesus took the punishment for my sins in which He had no share, so that I may have the reward of His righteousness in which I had no share. Jesus was treated the way I deserve to be treated so I may be treated the way He deserves to be treated.
Jesus gives us eternal life and then helps us to hate the sins we now love and to love the good things we now hate.
He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NLT
You may download a printable copy of In Light Of The Cross Bible Study Guides- NLT here.
Listen to a podcast of this presentation here.
Brief overview: The Scriptures are inspired by God to lead us into a relationship with Him that will give us eternal salvation in heaven and a prosperous life here on earth. See 2 Timothy 3:15-16, John 20:31.
Why it is important to know the truth about the Scriptures:
Years ago I lived on a ranch helping out occasionally with the horses. The ranch had a very nice swimming pool just up the road from the mobile home where I lived. One evening I invited a family to go swimming. As we walked back on that road towards my home it was dark and a big juicy spider had made a web between the trees on each side of the road. Fortunately we had a flashlight that exposed the spider right before we walked into it. The children were terrified of the spider and walked around the trees to avoid this “monster.” When we returned to the house, I shared with the family Psalms 119:105, “Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” I shared with them that just as our flashlight saved us from the spider’s web, God’s Word saves us from Satan’s webs. It is because of Satan’s webs that so many different beliefs and doctrines abound about the Bible. Satan has done his best to confuse people’s understanding of the Bible: not so our understanding of doctrine will be confused, for Satan knows we are not saved by doctrine but by God’s love and grace. Satan has worked hard to corrupt our understanding of God’s love and grace for he knows that is where salvation comes from and he does not want us to be saved. We needn’t worry. The same Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible is the Same Holy Spirit that will teach it to us, if we just ask.
Why understanding the Scriptures in the light of the cross is important:
Many people ignore the Bible and many of those who do read it, read it only out of curiosity as a fairy tail book or some science fiction novel. The Bible is more than just prophecy or ancient stories. It is a love letter from God Himself. The Bible helps us develop a loving relationship with our God who showed us on the cross that He loves us more than He loves life itself. See John 20:31 and 2 Timothy 3:15.
For Further Studies on the Scriptures
What is the origin of the Bible?
Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.2 Peter 1:20-21 NLT
What does Jesus call God’s word?
Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. John 17:17 NLT
How much of the Bible is inspired?
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
Note: The Scriptures, and not family or church tradition tell us what is right or wrong.
What is the word of God to be to us?
Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 NLT
Note: God does not give us the Bible just to be a control freak or tyrant, anymore than the authors of a recipe book write in order to be control freaks or tyrants. The writers of the recipe know what it takes for their creation to turn out right, and God knows what it takes of our lives to turn out right.
What is the reason the Bible was written?
But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. John 20:31 NLT
How are we to study the Scriptures?
He tells us everything over and over- one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there! Isaiah 28:10 NLT
Note: Our Bible beliefs or doctrines, come from comparing what the entire Bible says on the subject in order to get the big picture, instead of just getting our doctrine from one verse. For example, Ecclesiastes 12:7 tells us the Spirit returns to God when we die, so many think that we go to heaven when we die. But if we take “a little here, and a little there,” we see in Job 27:3 that the spirit is simply our breath. So the big picture tells us our breath goes back to God, but nothing conscience returns to God till after the resurrection mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. There is more on this in the study about “Death in Light of the Cross.”
What do some do with God’s word?
speaking of these things in all of his [Paul] letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction. 2 Peter 3:16 NLT
What must we never do?
- 1:20 Or is a matter of one’s own interpretation.(Footnote Supplied from the New Living Translation.)
Note: We must let the Bible interpret itself and not make up our own interpretation.
Who will guide us in Bible Study?
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13 NLT
How often should we study the Bible?
And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. Acts 17:11 NLT
Note: The people of Berea searched the Scriptures every day, and did not just take Paul and Silas’ word for everything, but looked to the Scriptures for their source of truth. Again, we follow family and church traditions only as far as they go along with Scripture. Is it your desire to order your life in harmony with the Scriptures instead of the traditions of man?
You may download a printable copy of In Light Of The Cross Bible Study Guides- NLT here.
Listen to a podcast presentation of this topic here.
Love and Obedience
Brief Overview: The great principles of God’s law are embodied in the Ten Commandments and exemplified in the life of Christ. They express God’s love, will, and purposes concerning human conduct and relationships and are binding upon all people in every age. These precepts are the basis of God’s covenant with His people and the standard in God’s judgment. Through the agency of the Holy Spirit they point out sin and awaken a sense of need for a Savior. Salvation is all of grace and not of works, but its fruitage is obedience to the Commandments. This obedience develops Christian character and results in a sense of well-being. It is an evidence of our love for the Lord and our concern for our fellow men. (Ex. 20:1-17; Ps. 40:7, 8; Matt. 22:36-40; Deut. 28:1-14;Matt. 5:17-20; Heb. 8:8-10; John 15:7-10; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 John 5:3; Rom. 8:3, 4;Ps. 19:7-14.)
Why it is important to know the truth about love and obedience: The obedience of faith demonstrates the power of Christ to transform lives, and therefore strengthens Christian witness.
Why it is important to know the truth about love and obedience in light of the cross: “It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour’s matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary’s cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him.” –Desire of Ages, Page 480.
Further study on Love and Obedience
What are God’s people to walk in?
How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded. I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning. 2 John 1:4-6 NLT
What warning is given about some Christians?
They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! 2 Timothy 3:5 NLT
What will some last day Christians do?
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT
How are we saved?
So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.Romans 3:28 NLT
Does faith abolish the law?
Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.Romans 3:31
Faith without works is what?
So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? James 2:17-20 NLT
Note: If a child who can’t swim has faith in their father they will jump in the pool when the father says, “jump in and I will catch you.” If the child does not have faith in their father, they will not obey. Likewise we show our faith by our good deeds and obedience. I will not lie on my tax returns because I have faith God will provide for me. I obey Him because I have faith. If I disobey Him, that shows Him I don’t really have faith.
How does faith work?
What is important is faith expressing itself in love. Galatians 5:6 NLT
faith which worketh by love. Galatians 5:6 KJV
Is more required than “lip service”?
So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. Ezekiel 33:31 NLT
Who is fooled and who is blessed?
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:22-25 NLT
Who receives salvation?
In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. Hebrews 5:9 NLT
What did Jesus say we must do?
Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:16-17 NLT
What happens if we break even one commandment?
For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.”So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. James 2:10-12 NLT
Who are the wise and who are the foolish?
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws. ’Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” Matthew 7:21-27 NLT
What does Jesus say?
“If you love me, obey my commandments. John 14:15 NLT