6: Laying up Treasures in Heaven-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School class, February 11, 2023.

Main Theme: The Bible shows us how to store our treasurers in heaven and reap an eternal reward.

Read in Class: Mark 8:36-37 and Matthew 6:19-21. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: What words of warning and encouragement do we find in these passages?

Apply: How can we make sure we don’t lose our soul while chasing worldly gains? How can we invest ourselves in the kingdom of God?

Share: Your friend asks, “If our treasurers in heaven are golden streets and mansions doesn’t that make us just as materialistic as those who are materialistic here on earth? Do you agree with your friend? How do you respond?

Read in Class: Genesis 12:1-3 and Hebrews 11:8-13. Define the common thread of these passages.

Study: How are all of the families of earth blessed through Abraham? What did Abraham do to make sure he could be a part of this blessing? What example here is given to us?

Apply: Read 2 Corinthians 4:18. How should the message of this verse impact the kind of spiritual decisions that we make? How did both Moses and Abraham follow that same principle?

Share: Your friend has been teaching in an elementary school in a troubled neighborhood. After one year she is ready to quit as she says, “With all things working against these kids it’s a losing battle.” How do you respond to your friend.

Read in Class: Genesis 13:10-12 and Genesis 18:20-33. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: What rational factors could have led Lot to make the decision that he did? What did God tell Abraham was the reason for His visit to earth? What was Abraham’s response to the news that God was planning to destroy these wicked cities?

Apply: How can the message in Mark 8:36-37 help prevent us from making the same mistakes Lot made?

Share: Your young Adventist friend has been offered a scholarship at a prestigious university playing football on Sabbath afternoons. He realizes he will have to compromise, but does not want to pass up on such a “miraculous” opportunity. What do you share with your young friend?

Read in Class: Hebrews 11:24-29. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: Think about what Moses left behind and what he had to face instead. Try to look at it from his position, before he made the choice. What was he leaving, and what was he choosing to accept by leaving?

Apply: From a worldly perspective, Moses should have stayed in Egypt. However, as Christians, we have been given a view of reality that takes us way beyond this world. When we are tempted by the world, how can we keep the big picture always before us? Why is it so important that we do so?

Share: Can you think of someone who could use a word of encouragement or even warning from this week’s lesson? How can you plan to share it with them this week?

2: Death in a Sinful World-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School class Sabbath, October 8, 2022.

Main Theme: Adam’s fall made us all sinful. Jesus’ perfect life and death brought salvation to all.

Read in Class: Romans 5:12, Romans 5:19 and Romans 6:23. Discuss the common thread of these passages.

Study: What are the consequences of sin? How did Jesus solve the sin problem?

Apply: What have we personally learned about the consequences of sin from our own sinful acts?

Share: Your friend says it is not fair that we were born into a sinful world by no choice of our own. How do you answer your friend? How did Jesus make it fair? How did Jesus undo all the damage Adam caused? See We are Saved by His Life.

Read in Class: Genesis 3:1-7. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: In what ways was “You will not surely die” a lie?

Apply: the serpent had absolutely now power other than the power of persuasion. How can we defend ourselves against these lies and persuasions when we are tempted?

Share: Your friend says that the Bible contradicts the norms of society in so many ways, its hard to believe that the Bible is even relevant in today’s society. What are some ways the Bible contradicts our current society and how do we know we can trust the Bible to be right?

Read in Class: Genesis 3:8-15. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What are the consequences of sin found in this passage? What was God’s solution? Where do we find a Savior in this passage?

Apply: What can we learn from the consequences of our sins and the results of our actions? Why do some not seem to receive consequences for their sins?

Share: Your friend states that if people do horrible things and God just forgives them then no justice is served. It doesn’t seem fair for them to get away with these horrible sins. What do you tell your friend? See Forgiveness is not Saying it is Okay.

Read in Class: Genesis 3:16-21. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What hope do we find in this passage for all of us?

Apply: What did the animal skins do for Adam and Eve that gave them hope and encouragement in their lives? 

Share: Can you think of someone who needs to hear about God’s plan of salvation? Can you share it with them this week?

13: Christ in the Crucible-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School Class on Sabbath, September 24, 2022.

Main Theme: Jesus loved us so much He was willing to say goodbye to life forever if that’s what it to save us. Our appreciate for His amazing love makes it possible for us to love the way He loves.

Read in Class: Matthew 27:45-51. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What made Jesus ask His Father why He was forsaking Him? What made Jesus think He was forsaken? See Agape in the Crucible.

Apply: Considering how deeply Christ suffered on the cross, what exactly makes sin so offensive to you?

Share: Your friend asks you how the cross of Christ has changed your life? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Luke 2:7, 22-24, and Matthew 2:13-18. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: What do we see in these verses that gives us an indication of the kind of life Jesus faced from the start?

Apply: In what ways can you identify with Jesus’ childhood? How does what He endured as a child give you hope? See the chapter, As a Child, in Desire of Ages.

Share: Your friend asks you why God allowed innocent babies to be destroyed by Herod? How could the birth of Jesus possibly bring peace and goodwill towards the poor grieving parents? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Luke 4:21-30. What is the main idea of this passage?

Study: How does this passage help us understand the suffering and rejection Jesus faced on earth?

Apply: What can you learn from Christ that can help you better cope with the pain of rejection? What does His example show you? How can you apply it to your own life?

Share: Your friend tells you it is not practical for God to expect us to loved people who do not love us in return. What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:33-36, and Luke 22:41-44. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: What do we learn from these passages about how Christ suffered in Gethsemane?

Apply: Dwell upon what was happening to Jesus in Gethsemane. Already the sins of the world were starting to fall upon Him. Try to imagine what that must have been like. No human being has ever been called to go through anything like this before or since. What does this tell us about God’s love for us? What hope can you draw from this for yourself?

Share: What is the most important thing you have learned while studying the Sabbath School lesson in the last 13 weeks?

10: Meekness in the Crucible-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School class, Sabbath September 3, 2022.

Main Theme: Meekness makes us a witness and example even in our crucibles.

Read in Class: Exodus 32:1-14. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What role is Moses playing here, and why does he ask God not to destroy Israel?

Apply: Think about the people around you who you think are the least deserving of grace. How can you, with meekness and selfless humility, be a revelation of God’s grace to them?

Share: Your friends seem to think that the pastor is doing a good job when he is making them all happy, but he is doing a poor job when he upsets everyone. How might you use the example of Aaron in this story to help illustrate how we should and should not judge our pastors?

Read in Class: Matthew 5:43-48. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: Jesus calls us to love and pray for our enemies. What example from nature does Jesus give us there that helps us understand why we should love our enemies? What’s the point He is teaching us?

Apply: When you look at your “enemies,” what do you normally see — the pearl or the dirt around it?

Share: Your friend says he can never forgive his enemies because of what they have done to him. He feels like forgiveness is just sweeping it under the rug. How can you assure your friend forgiveness is not just sweeping it under the rug? See Forgiveness is not saying it is okay.

Read in Class: 1 Peter 2:18-25. Discuss the key point of this passage.

Study: Peter is offering some surprising advice to slaves. He describes how Jesus responded to unjust and painful treatment and suggests to them that He has left them “an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Pet. 2:21, NKJV). What principles of meekness and humility in the crucible can we learn from Jesus’ example, as expressed here by Peter?

Apply: How do you deal with situations in which you have been treated unfairly? How can you better apply some of the principles looked at here today to your own life? See Let God be the One to pay you Back.

Share: Your friend asks you to what extent should we get involved in social justice issues? Was Jesus involved in social justice issues? How do you answer your friend?

Read in Class: Psalm 62:1-8. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What seems to be the background for this psalm? What points is David making? What spiritual principles can you learn from what he is saying? Most important, how can you learn to apply these principles to your own life?

Apply: How immune are you to the reproaches and barbs of others? Most likely not that immune, right? How can you cleave to the Lord and anchor your sense of self-worth on the One who loves you so much that He died for your sins, and thus help protect yourself against the slights of others?

Share: Can you think of someone this week who may be going through a crucible who you may encourage?

7: Indestructible Hope-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School class, Sabbath August 13, 2022.

Main Theme: Understanding God’s love gives us hope in our crucible.

Read in Class: Habakkuk 1:1-4. What did Habakkuk face?

Study: How does the introduction to the promised destruction of Babylon in Habakkuk 2:2-3 give hope?

Apply: Read Habakkuk 3:16-19. What does Habakkuk identify as his reasons for hope? What is the hope of God’s people as we wait for the last prophetic scenes to unfold? How can you make this hope your own?

Share: Your friend tells you they feel just like Habakkuk, when he said there was no justice. The court system is a joke and the wicked get away with everything, and the righteous suffer. What do you answer your friend?

Read in Class: Isaiah 41:8-14. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What reasons for hope can you identify for people waiting eagerly for future deliverance? How does this promise help us as we wait for our exile on earth to end?

Apply: How does knowing that the God of this universe is close enough to hold your hand, change the way that you live? How does it change how you cope with your crucible?

Share: Your friend asks, “what if those who are against us claim the promise of Isaiah 41:8-14? What if our enemies believe we are the ones in verse 12 who will become nonexistent? How do we know if this is really talking about us? How do you answer your friend?

Read in Class: Jeremiah 29:1-14. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What specific sources of hope are provided in verses, 4,7, and 10?

Apply: Read Jeremiah 29:11-14, saying your name after the word you, as if God is making these promises to you personally. Apply these promises for yourself in whatever your present struggles might be.

Share: Your friend points out that the promise in Jeremiah 29:11 was given to the Jews. Your friend asks why the same people who claim the promises in the Old Testament turn around and say the commandments in the Old Testament were only for the Jews? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Hebrews 12:1-13. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: In verses 5-13, what is our source of discipline? What should be our response to discipline? What is the goal of discipline?

Apply: Read through Hebrews 12:1-13 again. Make a list of all the reasons you can identify with as grounds for hope. How have you experienced this hope in your own times of spiritual “education”?

Share: Do you have a sharable testimony on how it has gone the last week or so when you have reached out to encourage a friend with a thought from the recent lessons?

10: Jacob- Israel-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School Class June 4.

Main Theme: God fulfills His promises despite our mistakes.

Read Together: Genesis 32:22-31 and Hosea 12:3-4. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: What is the spiritual significance of this amazing story?

Apply: What has been your own experience as far as wrestling with God goes? What does it mean to do that, and why is it at times important that we have this kind of experience?

Share: A friend asks you, “If salvation is free, why did Jacob have to struggle with God to overcome?” What do you tell your friend? See also 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

Read Together: Genesis 33. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What connection is there between Jacob’s experience of seeing the face of God at Peniel and Jacob’s experience of seeing the face of his brother? What is the implication of this connection in regard to our relationship with God and our relationship with our “brothers,” whoever they may be?

Apply: What have you learned about grace by how others (besides the Lord) have forgiven you?

Share: Even though Jacob cheated Esau, God blessed Esau so much that when Jacob offered to repay him, Esau told Jacob he did not need anything from him. How has God blessed you even when others have cheated you? See Let God pay you Back.

Read Together: Genesis 34. Summarize this story.

Study: What happened to upset his plans for a peaceful existence?

Apply: Over and over we see deceit and deception, as well as acts of kindness and grace, in these accounts. What does this tell us about human nature?

Share: Your child asks, you, “This story is pretty gross! Why is it in the Bible?” What do you tell your child?

Read Together: Genesis 35. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What lessons can we take about true worship from what happened here?

Apply: What are subtle ways that idolatry can find its way into our hearts, and what can we do about it?

Share: Without mentioning any names to the class, can you think of a family in your church or community who could use some extra prayers this week? Can you remember to pray for this family during the week?

10: Jesus Opens the way Through the Veil-Sabbath School Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School class, Sabbath, March 5, 2022.

Main Theme: The book of Hebrews shows us how Jesus is working on our behalf in the heavenly sanctuary.

Read Together: Hebrews 9:24. What is the main idea of this passage?

Study:  According to this passage, what was the purpose of Jesus’ ascension to heaven?

Apply: Why should the reality of what Christ has done, not only on the cross but what He is doing now in heaven, give us assurance of salvation?

Share: Your friend shares that she thinks there is no real sanctuary in heaven. Christ is the actual sanctuary. How would you answer your friend’s claims?

Read Together: Leviticus 10:1-3, and Leviticus 16:1-2. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: What warning do we have in these passages?

Apply: Matthew 27:51 tells us the veil of the earthly sanctuary was torn apart when Jesus was crucified. In Hebrews 4:14-16 it tells us to come boldly before the throne of grace in time of need. How does this veil being removed give you confidence to enter the presence of God today?

Share: Your friend asks you, if Jesus was God why weren’t people destroyed when they saw Him walk the earth, just like the Israelites were destroyed if the approached God on Sinai or the temple? How do you answer your friend? Hint: Hebrews 10:19-20.

Read Together: Hebrews 10:19-22. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What invitation do we have in this passage?

Apply: What accusations could Satan make against you before God, if He were allowed? Though he is a liar, how much would he have to lie about you in order to seek your condemnation? What’s your only hope?

Share: Your friend asks, “What does it mean to be able to enter into the holiest through the veil through His flesh and blood by a new and living way? And what does it mean to have our hearts sprinkled and our bodies washed?” How do you answer your friend?

Read Together: Hebrews 12:22-24. What is the main idea of this passage?

Study: In what sense have we arrived at heavenly Jerusalem into the presence of God? See Ephesians 2:5-6 and Colossians 3:1.

Apply: How can we learn to make the promise of eternal life real to us now, amid a world so full of pain and suffering? What answer can you give to those who say that this is all just a fantasy to help us feel better about our life here and now?

Share: Your friend asks you how you know your name is registered in heaven? How do you answer your friend?

The precious Saviour will send help just when we need it. The way to heaven is consecrated by His footprints. Every thorn that wounds our feet has wounded His. Every cross that we are called to bear, He has borne before us. The Lord permits conflicts, to prepare the soul for peace.–The Great Controversy, p. 633. (1888)

01: “Living in a 24/7 Society” Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

01: “Living in a 24/7 Society” Sabbath School Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath July 3.

Key Thought: God invites us to a physical as well as spiritual rest in Him.

  1. Have volunteers read Genesis 2:1-3 and Exodus 20:11.

A. Ask the class to share the main idea of these passages.

B. Why did God create a rest day before anyone was tired? Was God tired? What kind of a rest did He take?

C. Personal Application: Does Sabbath rest include both physical and mental rest? In other words do you worry about paying bills and plan work appointments for the week ahead on the Sabbath? Exactly what kind of a rest is God inviting us to each Sabbath?

D: Case Study: A friend asks you what’s the difference between resting on Sabbath or Sunday? What difference does it make so long as you rest? What do you tell your friend from the Bible?

2. Have a volunteer read Jeremiah 45:1-5.

A. Ask the class to share what the main thought of this passage.

B. How does God respond to Baruch’s aches and pains?

C. Personal Application: How does one find rest and peace even when everything seem to be going wrong?

D. Case Study: A single mother tells you she is so discouraged because she tries to raise her children in the Lord but it seems her ex-husband and his family undo everything she has done. It’s an uphill battle going nowhere. How can you encourage this single mother?

3. Have a volunteer read Mark 6:30-32

A. Ask the class to share the main idea of this passage.

B. What does this passage tell us about Jesus understanding our need for rest?

C. Personal Application: What restful or recreational activities do you find refresh you spiritually as well as physically?

D. Case Study: A fellow church member complains that the pastor was talking about taking his kids to a ballgame the other night. The church member feels that the pastor should have been out working trying to save souls and this is no time for games. How does this make you feel and what do you tell your fellow church member?

4. Have a volunteer read Genesis 4:1-17.

A. Ask the class to share the main idea of this passage.

B. Why was Cain a restless wanderer (Vs. 12 NIV)? Did God make him that way or was it because of his own actions?

C. Personal Application: How do we find rest for our sin weary souls? See Matthew 11:28-30.

D. Case Study: Is there someone you know who has been tired and stressed out lately? How can you encourage them this week or even give them a break?