Introduction: Our last series of lessons taught us why we can be
assured of our salvation. This quarter we uncover why we can be
certain about the Second Coming of Jesus. Since some Christians do
not believe in a Second Coming, let’s jump right into our first study
in this new series!


    1. Read Genesis 1:26-28. What do you think motivated God to
      create us?

      1. Do you find any clue in the fact that He made us in
        His image?

      2. Do you find any clue in the fact that He made us
        rulers over the creation?

      3. What do you think His goal was for us?

    2. Read Genesis 3:8-10. Do you think God regularly walked in
      the Garden of Eden?

      1. If so, why? (We normally choose friends who are “like
        us.” These texts point to a God who wanted to have a
        friendship, a relationship with man. He made man like
        Him in many ways. He gave man free choice. He came
        down to visit with man as the greater Ruler to a
        lesser ruler.)

    3. Read Jeremiah 3:18-20. What kind of relationship did God
      seek with His people in these verses? (He wants us to be
      family. This is just one text of many in the Bible where God
      uses the illustration of a family. He variously calls us His
      bride and His sons and daughters.)

    4. God’s original purpose in creating was to make friends and


    1. Let’s read on in Genesis 3. Read Genesis 3:11-15, 22-23. Why
      did God drive Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden?

      1. Now that man had knowledge about sin, didn’t that make
        them “more complete” companions?

        1. What was the “big problem” anyway? (It was a test
          of loyalty, a test of selfishness. They chose to
          disobey God in a way that preferred man over God
          (see Genesis 3:5-6).)

        2. Have you ever had a friend or family member who
          consistently preferred himself (herself) over
          others? Tell me about the future of those kinds
          of relationships?

        3. Consider Jesus’ life and death. To what extent
          did He prefer others over Himself?

        4. Is selfishness the central test of fellowship
          with God?


    1. Read John 17:3. Why is knowing God eternal life? How does
      that work? (If selfishness is such a grave problem, then the
      best antidote is to understand that our God was willing to
      engage in the ultimate act of unselfishness – to die a
      painful death for us.)

      1. What is the best way to “know” God?

        1. How do you get to know friends or family better?

    2. Read Romans 13:8-11. How is love the fulfillment of the
      commands not to covet, commit adultery, murder or theft?
      (Coveting is wanting something someone else has, and
      adultery, murder and theft are taking something someone else

      1. Compare love with selfishness? (It is the opposite.)

      2. Can you see why selfishness was the “test” at the

      3. Notice v. 10 says “love does no harm.” It that a
        complete definition of love?

    3. Read 1 John 4:8-11. Why is love, a lack of selfishness, the
      key to restoring fellowship with God? (Because God is like

    4. Read 1 John 4:16-17. When John says “love is made complete
      among us,” what does he mean? (God loves us. If we love our
      fellow man, that completes the circle of love.)

      1. Does love give us an assurance of the Second Coming?
        If so, how? (This text tells us we can have confidence
        “on the day of judgment.” This confidence stems from
        love. The very fact of a day of judgment suggests a
        “love reward” for those who pass judgment. What more
        appropriate reward than to get back to God’s original
        fellowship plan?)

    5. Read 1 John 4:20-21. Does this make sense to you? Do you
      know people who you could love a lot more if you had never
      met them?

      1. Be honest with me. Do you find it easy to love others?

      2. If you do not find it easy to love others, does that
        mean you should be worried about the judgment and the
        Second Coming?

    6. Read Romans 5:8-9. Who loved first? (Jesus.)

      1. Does that mean we need not have a minimum “love level”
        to be saved? ( 2 Corinthians 9:10, 15 tells us Christ’s
        righteousness is a “gift” and He will “enlarge the
        harvest of your righteousness.” Righteousness sounds
        like farming crops. It grows with time. God gives us
        love, we respond with a growing love.)

    7. Read Ephesians 2:8-10. If you find it hard to love all
      others, when does the love for our fellow man come? (This
      text reinforces the idea that salvation is a gift, but that
      we are created to do good works in response.)

    8. The fellowship that was broken through selfishness, is
      “fixed” by God’s act of unselfishness. What is our
      obligation to “fix” selfishness around us by unselfish acts?

      1. Have you ever seen that happen? Seen someone “fix” an
        unhappy situation by unselfish love?

    9. The “Life-Application Approach” section of the “teacher’s
      helps” of our lesson has a very interesting series of three
      questions you should consider:

      1. Can one believe without doing?

      2. Can one do without believing?

      3. Can one believe and do without loving?


    1. We discussed earlier how love for our fellow man will cause
      us to keep the commandments which require us to respect the
      rights of others. How about those commandments that direct
      our relationship with God — does love also cause us to keep
      them too? (Read John 14:15. We saw that sin was selfishness
      and love was giving up ourselves for others. Surely that
      concept embraces giving up ourselves for God. This is the
      “Eden test” that comes to us every day. Will we obey God or
      will we obey the call to self-centeredness.)

    2. This week I read a letter by a fellow that I have admired
      for his writing and his spiritual leadership. He was
      discussing one of the Ten Commandments, the fourth, and he
      said that he no longer considered it to be binding. My
      reaction was “Why shouldn’t I obey what God says? Can you
      think of a reason? (We have to make practical decisions on
      how we live. If God tells me to do something, what reason do
      I have to do what I prefer over what God prefers? The reason
      would be selfishness – the opposite of love.)

    3. Friend, God created us to have fellowship with Him. We
      broke the relationship, by being selfish, and He re-established the relationship by absolute unselfishness. God
      obviously wants to fellowship with us in the future as He
      did in Eden. Will you agree? Will you respond to God with
      unselfish love?

  5. Next week: The Authority of the Bible and the Second Coming.