Want to learn more about The Gospel, the Investigation and
Judgment? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 14-part series.
What is most important to you right now? What do you
need to fix or do this week? Sometimes we get so caught up in our own
little world we forget about the fact that we live in a larger
context. There is a controversy between good and evil sweeping all
around us. We are just a little cog in a great and unfolding plan for
the defeat of evil. Let’s jump into the Bible and learn more!
“Judgment.” Here is a word on which opinions differ. If
we are talking about someone else who has done something to harm us,
well, judgment is a very good thing. On the other hand, if we are
talking about our own judgment, we shrink from that. Many people who
want to be sure wicked people are judged here, deny that God will
have a final judgment. Our fear of judgment arises from our fear
that we will not “pass” whatever standard is imposed. If God has a
judgment, what is His standard for “passing?” Let’s jump into the
Bible to see what it has to say about this most important topic!
Last week we discussed the final judgment and how we
need to take it seriously. One reason we don’t take it seriously is
that “judgment” gets lost in reality. What is happening all around
us every day is real. We have no doubt about it. The “pleasures of
sin” (Hebrews 11:25) are real, if short-lived. How can we know the
final judgment is real? What reason do we have to trust that God has
set a time for my judgment and yours? Let’s dive into a central
prophetic chapter of the Bible to prove to ourselves that God’s word
about judgment is as real as what happened to you this week!
Last week we studied a fabulous dream given to King
Nebuchadnezzar. In our study of Daniel this week, we have another
dream, but one that was given directly to Daniel. Just like
Nebuchadnezzer last week, Daniel is extremely troubled by his dream –
particularly the part about the terrifying carnivore beast with huge
iron teeth. Let’s jump into his dream and keep our eyes open for
Daniel dreams he is strolling by the water when
suddenly he is face to face with a powerful sheep with two big horns
– and no one is there to rescue him. It turns out his dream is not so
much about danger, or adventure, but rather about the future. Let’s
jump into Daniel’s dream and see what we can learn about the future!
Daniel is now an old man. He has been a captive and a
foreigner for most of his life. His fondest hope has been to have his
country and God’s sanctuary rebuilt so that the Jewish people could
go home and properly worship God again. With that background, let’s
jump into our study of Daniel 9!
Last week, after studying Daniel’s prayer that his
people to be returned to their home and their sanctuary rebuilt, we
learned that Gabriel came immediately to give Daniel an answer. An
answer straight from the throne of God! We could not help it – we
“peeked” ahead a few verses to see what Gabriel had to tell Daniel.
This week we will revisit those same verses and then try to
understand what they mean. Let’s dive in!
Last week we studied one of the most important
prophecies of the Bible. We learned, from Daniel 9:22-27, that the
specific dates of the coming of Jesus the Messiah were revealed
hundreds of years in advance through Gabriel’s message to Daniel. As
far as I am concerned, this is the most important message of Daniel.
God reveals to His people not only the details of the sweep of
history, He reveals the timing of the coming of His Son. Of course,
we learned a number of other important things as well. We learned
that the sanctuary will be rebuilt and then destroyed again. We
learned that the gospel will go from being a message directed to the
Jews to a message for all of us today. There are, however, a few
“loose ends.” (Aren’t there always?) One unresolved question is the
meaning of the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14. Let’s dig into Daniel to
see what other secrets God has revealed to us today!
Do you hate to wait? My wife is a teacher, and I
decided to go with her to a national teachers’ convention last week.
We arrived at the airport very early in the morning, and I was
shocked to see the airport jammed with travelers – and on Sunday
even. As I was heading towards the “self-service” check-in machines
that I always use, an airline employee told us to go stand in this
huge line. We did what we were told. As I surveyed the line, I had
some doubts about making it on time to our plane. I decided to
depend on my own judgment instead of the direction of the airline
employee. I left my wife in line, and in less than five minutes had
both of our boarding passes issued by a self-service check-in
machine. We were soon on our way. Poor Daniel, in his case we have
decided that what is stated in days, really means years! Are we like
the airline employee, needlessly creating delay? Let’s jump in and
look at this issue again this week!
How important are opinion polls? If you agree with the
majority, it gives you some comfort that you are right and the rest
of the world is basically “right thinking.” On the other hand, if
you are in the minority you think, “What is wrong with those people?”
I doubt that many people who have formed a strong opinion on a
subject are swayed by opinion polls showing that the majority
disagree. This week we are going to be in the minority: we are
studying and arguing what is a minority position today on Daniel 7
and 8. Let’s jump into the controversy!
If you are reading this, it means that you are
still with me in this study, even though it has been hard
work to trudge through some of the details of Daniel’s
prophecies. Last week I promised you that we would discover
this week why it makes any difference, as a practical
matter, whether the “Little Horn” of Daniel 7 & 8 is
Antiochus or Rome. Why should we care as Christians? What
does it matter to modern people? Let’s jump in and discover
why this issue brings us to the heart of the gospel and the
proof of your faith!
In our last lesson we learned that salvation by grace
alone was the important issue in whether the “Little Horn” was
Antiochus Epiphanes or Rome. It turned out that “1844” is an issue of
righteousness by faith: we have a Mediator in the Heavenly sanctuary
who has given His life and offers His blood on behalf of our sins.
Why do we need a mediator? Doesn’t God the Father love us? Isn’t He
taking everyone to heaven with Him? Let’s dive in and find out why
we need Jesus as our mediator!
For the last two weeks we have been pounding away on
the theme that “Antiochus v. 1844” is question of works versus
righteousness by faith when it comes to our salvation. If the
sanctuary in question is the one in heaven instead of the one on
earth, if the Daniel 7 & 8 picture of the choice between Jesus and
the “Little Horn” is a matter of grace versus works in the final
judgment, then we need to ask ourselves: is righteousness by faith a
solid Bible-based doctrine? Or, is it just some hopeful “pipe-dream”
of lazy Christians? What, really, is the standard for the judgment?
Let’s jump into the Bible and find out!
We come to our last lesson in the “1844 series.” What
have we learned? We learned that God revealed to Daniel (and all
believers) how world events would play out through the end of human
history. God shared the timing of the coming of Jesus. God shared how
the gospel would be a message for everyone. God shared that He has an
end-time judgment, and the standard for that judgment is
righteousness by a meaningful faith. Do we want the world to end in
judgment? Do you want to be judged? Let’s finish up this series by
diving into the topic of whether we want what God has revealed!