Friday, August 14
Further Study: According to Matthew, Jesus foretold that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come: (Matt. 24:14, NIV). At the same time, the Scriptures make another point clear: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36). Note also Jesus’ words; “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority” (Acts. 1:7, NIV).
Thus, while the good news of the gospel has been preached and Is being preached as never before, and while we believe that Chris’s coming is soon, we must not get caught up in dates and speculating about dates. “We are not to be engrossed with speculations in regard to the times and the seasons which God has not revealed. Jesus has told his disciples to ‘watch,’ but not for definite time. His followers are to be in the position of those who are listening for the orders of their Captain; they are to watch, wait, pray, and work, as they approach the time for the coming of the Lord.” – Ellen G. White, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, March, 22. 1892.
Discussion Questions :
1. Despite the clear teaching on not setting dates for Christ’ return, hardly a year goes by before we hear something in the news about some group of Christians setting a date for Chris’s return. Why do you think people insist on doing this, other than as a good fundraising technique? (After all, if Jesus is coming on June 19 of next year [or fill in any date you want], then what good is your money now?) Why is it so bad for the Christian witness in the world when these dates, year after year, are shown to be false?
2. Think of the obstacles the early believers faced in the first few years of mission, especially considering that they were so small in number. What are some of the obstacles we face in mission today? What can we learn from the success of the early church that can help us do what we have been so clearly called to do?