The Great Controversy

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Introduction: How many people have trouble believing in a good and all-powerful God because terrible evil exists? How many individuals reject God because of an awful thing that happened to a friend or family member? When I visited a church in California and taught the Sabbath lesson, a member asked me to come to lunch to talk about God with some friends who had questions. Their story was that their parents and children were all killed in a car crash. What did I have to say about that? Let's dive into our study to see what the Bible has to teach us about the origin of evil!...

On Easter weekend I began writing this lesson. Such unfathomable love God has shown us! Recall that last week we studied the war in heaven and the conflict between God and Satan over the allegiance of Adam and Eve? How was Satan doing at that time against God? We discussed that Satan was doing pretty well. He convinced a third of the angels and both humans to follow him. If you were God, what would you do? Would you power through this problem by destroying Satan and his followers? Or, would you sacrifice Yourself? Astonishing to the human mind is that God decided to sacrifice Himself. Thus, God staked out love as His weapon. Let's jump into our study of the Bible and learn more!...

Do you remember hearing stories of Christian heroes who were told to deny Christ or die? Have you put yourself in the story? It would be terrible to be killed. But what a nice, clear, choice - right? No debate about the correct thing to do. Just the question of whether you have the commitment. While I recall tough choices I've made where the alternatives were clear, most of life comes at me in colors of gray. The question is whether something is really wrong? Is it sin? What we need is more light. What we need is the willingness to step into the light. That is our study this week. Let's dive into our exploration of the Bible!...

Are you afraid to acknowledge your Christian beliefs at work or in public? To my knowledge, no one in the United States has recently been killed for being a Christian. Generally, terrible situations like that exist outside North America. Because I teach Labor Law, I know that "industrial capital punishment" refers to being fired from your job. Are people in the United States being fired because of their Christian faith? Absolutely! A case is going on right now where a Christian was fired because he wrote that it was an "abomination" for the homosexual lobby to highjack the rainbow, God's symbol that He will never again destroy the world with water. The employee did not realize his statement would be seen by other employees. Situations like that make Christians in my country worry about standing up for the truth. What does the Bible say about standing up for truth and how we should go about it? Let's dive into our study and learn more!...

How do you understand the title, "Faith against all odds?" Is faith a gamble? When a person considers whether to believe in God, is belief unlikely? If you understand the title of our lesson in that way, that is not our study for this week. Instead I believe what Paul wrote in Romans 1, if you do not believe in God you are not thinking clearly. Unfortunately, clear thinkers have historically faced difficulty when living and sharing in a secular society. Last week we discussed how to share the gospel with others. This week we turn more fully to the topic of what we should believe and share. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible!...

One of the most unusual prophecies in the Bible is the Revelation 11 prediction about the "two witnesses" who are involved in astonishing displays of power. Revelation 11 tells us, "Fire pours from their mouth" to destroy opponents. "They have power to shut the sky," turn water to blood, and create all sorts of plagues! Then they get killed. But, wait, they come to life again! Who are these guys? We begin to get the idea that they might not be "guys" or people at all because they witness for over a thousand years! Let's dive into our study of the Bible to discover what I think is the most reasonable understanding of the two witnesses of Revelation 11!...

This past week we had graduation ceremonies at Regent University School of Law. One of the things I love about working with young people is the hope they have about the future. The future also creates uncertainty. What if things go wrong? They face the challenges of passing the bar exam and obtaining a job that fits their goals. As Christians, our ultimate hope is in the Second Coming of Jesus. What would you say about a group of Christians who were serious students of the Bible, and who interpreted prophecy to indicate that Jesus was coming again at a certain time? They had hope, but Jesus did not come. Where does misplaced hope fit into the controversy between good and evil? Let's dive into our study of the Bible to discover what lessons God has for us!...

Last week, we discussed the 2,300 day prophecy. Part of that prophecy has been proven to be extremely accurate, but the end of it, as understood by William Miller, turned out to be absolutely wrong. Miller and friends believed it predicted the end of the world in 1844. Had I been alive then, I would have agreed with Miller's Bible calculations. What if he had his calculations right, but was wrong about the event? What if Daniel 8:14 should be read precisely as it is written, so that when it says "the sanctuary shall be cleansed [or restored to its rightful state]," it means the sanctuary and not the earth? An obvious problem for that conclusion is that the Second Temple sanctuary was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Surely it cannot be cleansed after it is destroyed. Another mystery! Let's dive into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn!...