Heaven, Education and Eternal Learning

Heaven, Education and Eternal Learning

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:9
Date: 12/26/2020  Lesson: 13
We are promised that we will be given an understanding of things that, for now, remain hidden to us. What a wonderful hope, too, that once we do see and understand things that now seem so difficult, we will have nothing but praise for God!

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The Day of the Lord Magazine - Paper or PDF Download
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Jëan Ross: Good morning, friends. We'd like to welcome all of you to "Sabbath School Study Hour," coming to you from the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. I'd like to welcome our online members and our friends who are joining us across the country and, literally, around the world, part of our extended Sabbath School Study Hour class, and so warm welcome to all of you.

We'd also like to remind you of some of our free offers that we have. In particular, we have a very special free offer. It's entitled "The Day of the Lord." This is not something that we can offer every week, but this is, sort of, one of our premium gifts, and we'd like to make this available to you. If you'd like to receive this magazine, just you can receive the free offer by calling the number 866-788-3966 and ask for offer number 825. And we'll be able to get that in the mail and send it to you. Or you can receive a digital download of this great gift. And if you'd like to do that, text the code "SH108" to the number 40544, and you'll be able to get a digital download of our free offer entitled "The Day of the Lord."

Now, our lesson today is the final in our series dealing with the subject of education, lesson number 13 entitled "Heaven, Education, and Eternal Learning." And we'll be getting to that in just a few moments, but before we get to our lesson study I'd like to invite Kayla and Sterling Cornwell. They're going to be bringing us a special musical item at this time.

♪♪♪

♪ I wish I could have

been there in the fields ♪

♪ with the shepherds. ♪

♪ Wish I sat upon the

camels bringing gifts. ♪

♪ I wish I could

have been there. ♪

♪ Wish we grew up together. ♪

♪ Wish our mamas talked and

laughed as we would play. ♪

♪ I was born 2,000

years too late, ♪

♪ but the same

child reigns today. ♪

♪ And like the wise

men, I will follow. ♪

♪ Like the shepherds,

I will go. ♪

♪ Like Mary, I will answer. ♪

♪ Like Joseph, I will know. ♪

♪ Like the baby in a manger,

may my heart be ever pure. ♪

♪ Like the angels, may

I spread the Word. ♪

♪ I wish I could have

been there ♪

♪ on that road to Golgotha. ♪

♪ Wish I carried on the

cross You couldn't bear. ♪

♪ I wish I could

have been there, ♪

♪ but You carry the ages, ♪

♪ and Your grace and strength

and peace are still the same. ♪

♪ I'm not there in that

manger where You lay, ♪

♪ but my heart can be

Your home today. ♪

♪ And like the wise

men, I will follow. ♪

♪ Like the shepherds,

I will go. ♪

♪ Like Mary, I will answer. ♪

♪ Like Joseph, I will know. ♪

♪ Like the baby in a manger,

may my heart be ever pure. ♪

♪ Like the angels, may

I spread the Word. ♪

♪ O hark, the herald

angels sing. ♪

♪ There's joy to the world. ♪

♪ There is peace on

Earth, goodwill to men. ♪

♪ I will stand up

with the angels. ♪

♪ I will sing His

praises loud. ♪

♪ I will share the news,

share the good news. ♪

♪ Like the wise men,

I will follow. ♪

♪ Like the shepherds,

I will go. ♪

♪ Like Mary, I will answer. ♪

♪ Like Joseph, I will know. ♪

♪ Like the baby in a manger,

may my heart be ever pure. ♪

♪ Like the angels, may

I spread the Word. ♪

♪ I wish I could

have been there, ♪

♪ but You carry the ages, ♪

♪ and Your grace and strength

and peace are still the same. ♪♪

Jëan: Let us bow our heads for prayer. Dear Father in heaven, what a joy to be able to enter into Your presence on this Your special day, a day that You have set aside for true education, coming to know You more as our personal Savior, our Friend, our Creator. And Lord, as we turn our attention to Your Word and the important subject of learning that You want to teach us, Father, we pray that Your Spirit would come and guide us, lead us into clearer, full understanding of the lessons that we find in the Bible. Be with our teacher today, for we ask this in Jesus's name, amen.

Our lesson this morning is going to be brought to us by Pastor Carlos. He is our--as many of you know, he's our AFCOE director here at Amazing Facts, and he will be teaching this morning. Thank you, Pastor Carlos.

Carlos Muñoz: Maranatha, Happy Sabbath, my loved ones. How's everybody doing? It's exciting to be here, amen? It's an exciting times we're living in, and so I'm excited to be here and sharing "Sabbath School" with you, so let's have a word of prayer before we begin. Heavenly Father, we thank You again for just this privilege and the honor that You have given us to honor You, to worship You, to give You praise and glory for being our God, for creating us, redeeming us, sanctifying us, and for preparing us to dwell in Your presence again. So, as we come together, Father, to share this last lesson in the quarterly, we ask that Your Spirit guide us and impress these wonderful truths in our hearts so that we can live by them. We ask and beg these things in Jesus's name, amen. Amen.

So, today is the last lesson on this quarterly on education. It's interesting because I did the intro, the first lesson, and I'm closing the scene out, but I'm also excited about the next one that's coming up on the book of Isaiah, amen? And so, we're on lesson number 13, and the title is "Heaven, Education, and Eternal Learning." Now, that should get us excited, because the topic is about the new heavens and the new earth, amen? The topic is about what else are we going to be learning after this is over with? And so, our memory text is 1 Corinthians chapter 2, verse 9, saying, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man," or woman, "the things which God had prepared for those who love Him," amen?

That verse should pique our curiosity. That verse should get us to think and wonder about what does God have in store for us. What is God holding back, right? What is He ready to share with us? And I say this because in the lesson it talks about the concept and the understanding of everlasting, right? What is going to happen, right? And sometimes in life we don't think about that, especially the world. The world gets so caught up, so preoccupied, and our priorities are so out of sync because we're worried about the cares, right? The daily cares, which don't get me wrong.

Those things are important, but sometimes the world doesn't stop to focus and think about the most important things, the things that really have to do with the reason why we're here. How did we get here, right? What is the purpose for us to be here? Morality, right? What is right or wrong, and the afterlife. But it's interesting because as we've gone-- been going through this situation in this year, COVID has really been a shaking for the world, right? COVID has really put the world at its knees. And despite sometimes we're off focus, we're focusing on the things that are temporal, we're focusing on the things that sometimes are not relevant to our eternal life, those things have been put into context during this time, right?

We talk about loss of life, whether it be because of the COVID situation, whether it be because of suicide, right? We find about so many people committing suicide, so many people depressed because they're isolated. I mean, we're learning to appreciate fellowship, right? We're learning to appreciate that time, that quality time, that we spend with others. We're talking about mental, emotional, even physical health, right?

I know as I'm getting older I'm starting to-- my body does not react in the same way it used to be, and so I know you're going through the same thing, because that's just part of the way of life. And sometimes we like to just not pay attention to those things, but this is-- these are signs, right? God is permitting these things to grab our attention. Sometimes we focus so much on our work, on our jobs, on our businesses. Some of those things have been completely wiped out with this situation. People have lost everything. They put their whole life, their whole effort, their resources into building a business, and they've lost it all. Relationships are strained, or lack of relationships because of all of these restrictions, right? Our jobs, our 401(k)s, our investments, our bank accounts, accounts, homes, titles, honors. All of these things, all of a sudden, have mean nothing, and this is just a small glimpse, a small taste of what is happening.

And the question is, why? Why is God letting and permitting these things to happen? And my loved ones, it's because He's trying to grab our attention. He's trying to wake us up to pay attention. Stop paying attention to the temporal, limited things of this earth and pay attention to what He's trying to get us to focus on, which is everlasting life, the gift, the promise that we will dwell in His presence for all eternity if we choose and give Him the chance.

Is everybody with me? And so, interestingly, some are doing better than others with the situation. And you know why? Throughout all this situation that we've been going through, you see that there are people that still have peace, and that's because they've learned to trust in the Lord. Despite tribulations, despite trials, despite the loss, people are learning to trust in the Lord. People are learning to depend on God and say, "You know what? I cannot continue to depend on my degrees, or my job. No, I have to learn to depend solely on God, because all of it can be taken away in a matter of nothing," from something we do not even see has shaken this world to the core, and so this is God's message to us, trying to get us to focus.

I know on my side, before this situation hit, I was on the road seven years. Seven years, six years in a row straight on the road, preaching, traveling the world, and I'm, like-- all of a sudden, it all stopped. And I'm like, "God, what happened," right? I felt weird, and it was God telling me, "You need to take some time to rest, recuperate, restore the energy again. Go back to the core, the foundation, because sometimes you're so--" especially people that dedicate their lives to ministry, we're so caught up sometimes we forget about going back to the basics, the fundamentals of what built that relationship. And so, all of this, as we're going through these things, we should be asking ourselves, "God, what is this purpose, and what are You expecting from me during this time? What is the message You're trying to tell me? How is it that You want me to be ready," amen? And so, sometimes even as Christians we think we know about the afterlife. We think we know about what's coming.

I want to share with you-- open your Bibles with me, please, to John chapter 11. I think this is a fascinating thing. As I was studying through the lesson and I was reading, this story came to me. It's the story of Lazarus. John chapter 11. We're talking about everlasting life, right? We're talking about the immortal things. John chapter 11, and go with me, please, to verse number 21. John chapter 11, verse number 21, and look at what it says here in verse number 21. It says, "Now Martha said to the Lord Jesus, 'Lord, if You have been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.'"

Do we have that same faith? Do we know that God is going to answer our prayers? Amen. Of course. But then, it continues to say, "Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.' And Martha said to Him, 'I know that he will rise again in the Resurrection at the last day.'" Did Martha know about the Resurrection? Yes, she did. Do you and I know about the Resurrection? Yes. Do we preach it? Do we teach it? But do we understand it? Because the next verse is the key. "Jesus said to her, 'I am the Resurrection, the life. And he who believes in Me, though they may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this,'" amen?

Notice, Martha had a good understanding on the doctrine of the Resurrection, on the doctrine of everlasting life, but she missed out on the fact that who is the one that gives everlasting life? It's Jesus Christ. Who is the one that gives eternal immortality? It's Jesus Christ. And sometimes, again, we get so caught up with the doctrines and the teachings that we forget that the doctrines and the teachings are all founded on Christ, amen? And that's what we should be sharing with the world. That's what we should be focusing on. They knew about the Resurrection, but not that Jesus was the Resurrection, that He was the life.

And there was a quote. I'm going to quote from the quarterly lesson, a sentence that really grabbed my attention in regards to this, and it said, "Eternal life makes so much sense in the light of the cross, and in the light of the cross nothing else makes sense but eternal life." When you hear this, it makes sense, right? It makes sense to us. What has drawn us into the gospel? What has drawn us into the message?

I don't know about you, but I didn't believe in God. I didn't care about God. And when I heard about this message of eternal life, it made sense. Nobody wants to die. Why are we fighting? Why are we striving so hard to avoid death, right, on so many different levels? It's because God has put in the human heart eternity. And so, when we're confronted with infinite-- with finite life, when we're confronted with limited life, we think, "That doesn't make sense." And that's why you have in the world people are struggling, striving, trying to find a purpose, a meaning in life, and they find it in all the wrong places and doing all the wrong things with all the wrong people, and not knowing that Jesus is the Resurrection. Jesus is the one that is going to show us the pathway back into the presence of the Father, amen?

And so, why prioritize in the finite when the infinite is so much more appealing and being offered by Jesus Christ both as our Lamb and as our high priest, amen? Because when He was on the cross with those arms open, you know what He was saying? He says, "I want to live with you forever. I want to be with you forever. And when I become high priest, I'm going to do everything divinely possible to help you to get there," amen? That's what I want. And so, despite this, despite this wonderful gospel that we have, some people, even when they're presented with it, say eternal life-- and it mentioned that in the lesson, too. "What? That's a horrible thought," it says, right? "Seventy to eighty years here are bad enough. Who'd want to stretch this out forever?" That would be what? That would be hell. And that's where you and I have in our hands the most powerful resource to be able to share hope, to be able to share with people what our message is. What are we here for?

Join me, please, in Revelation chapter 21. Revelation chapter 21, because maybe somebody is watching right now. Maybe somebody is thinking the same thing. I know that through this time God has been using-- the enemy has been trying to separate us, but at the same time God has been using this time to reach out to others. I feel that the gospel has spread out like no other time before. Revelation, now, millions of people saw that. Who says amen?

People are listening. People are watching. They're looking for a reason. They're trying to understand, and the world has no answers. The experts, the governments, all of these-- the PhDs, they still don't know, right? There's still so much uncertainty, and there's only one place that we can find certainty, and it is in the what? In the Word of God, amen? And that's what we're here for. That's what we're here to be beacons of hope, beacons of light, just as Jesus Christ was to the world. Revelation chapter 21.

I get so excited when I read this, because these are my favorite verses in the Bible. It says, "Now I saw," what? "A new heavens and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had," what? "Had passed away." My loved ones, that should give us a sense-- a new earth, doesn't that sound nice? Doesn't that have a good ring to it? There's going to be a what? A new earth. I don't say new heaven or I didn't include it because, you know, that's out there. Just look at this earth. There is something terribly wrong. And to see here the term there's a new earth, that means there's going to be something better than what it is. Who would want to continue to live on this earth for the rest of eternity? Well, nobody, right? Pain and suffering and torture, and God has a promise to us in the end, and He's saying, "I offer a new earth." Ooh, that should get us excited, right? Everybody likes new things, right? "Ooh, I got a new car." Or "I got a new home," or whatever it is. Imagine a new earth where what?

Let's continue to read. Let's jump to verse number 3. "And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He," God, "will dwell with them," with us, "and they shall be His people. And God Himself will be with them and be their God,'" amen? Dwelling in the presence of God, and then, verse number 4, "And God will wipe away some tears--" "All tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying," no more COVID, no more cancer, no more suicide, no more rape, no more murder, no more having to wake up at 5 o'clock in the morning.

This is great news, my loved ones! This is the gospel. You will not find this anywhere else in the world! The world is desperate to hear this, and we have it right here, and this is what God is trying to tell us, my loved ones. And look at what it says in verse number 5. "But then He who sat on the throne--" I'm sorry. "There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Who says amen to that? Verse 5, "Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.'" How many things? How many things? All things new. "And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are,'" what? "They're true and faithful." They're true and faithful because they're founded on Jesus, who is the true and faithful witness.

If Jesus says it, we can believe it. If the Word of God says it, we know it's going to happen, because every--almost 95% of all prophecies have been fulfilled, just as God said. And we know that what's left is always-- also going to happen, amen? And it says in verse number 6, "And He said to me, 'It is done!'" Now He's putting a stamp of approval on this message. "For I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. And I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to those who," what? "To those who thirst."

Remember the woman at the well in John chapter 4? She was thirsting, right? She was thirsting not for physical water but she was not even aware she was thirsting for spiritual water, spiritual life that can only come through the Holy Spirit. And Jesus came to her, and He met her where she was, and He told her, "I have something that will feed you forever." And this is the verse that He said, "I have something that you will not find anywhere in the world," and that's what you and I are supposed to be presenting to the world. It's a hope. It's a foundation. It's a promise that they will not find anywhere, and she was yearning for that. And you know what Jesus did? He ministered to her needs. She was yearning for what? For compassion, for love, for respect, for recognition, for somebody to treat her as a human being, and that's how Jesus won her over. And He says that same spirit that you-- that is working in your heart, that is going to give you eternal life. That is going to prepare you. And what happened to her? She was rejoiced with knowing the message of salvation, amen?

There were some very interesting, thought-provoking questions at the end of that first lesson on Monday, and I want to share it with you because I like them. Sometimes we tend to jump over the questions. I like to read through the questions in the "Sabbath School" quarterly because they-- sometimes they're very thought provoking, and this is what it says: "What does it take to be part of this new existence? How do we get there? How can we be sure we're going to be part of it? What things in our life, if any, could stand in the way of our being part of what God has promised us through Jesus?"

Some of these questions are questions that people ask, that we should be ready to answer, but some of these questions we can't even answer ourselves. And this is what Paul says: examine yourself. Test yourself every day. "Lord, am I living according to Your will? Lord, am I really following, or am I a lukewarm Christian? Am I truly fulfilling the purpose that You have for me, or am I thinking I am and I'm horribly deceived? I'm deceiving myself, Lord." These are things that we should be constantly asking, and so what is the evidence that we are preparing for these things? Because that's the question it says there. What, if any, could stand in the way of our part of being part of what God has promised us through Jesus Christ? And I say that a great evidence that we are preparing for the new heavens and the new earth--because sometimes we focus so much about getting there, we forget how to prepare to get there, right?

Doesn't that happen with you sometimes? It happens with me every once in a while. I'm so excited about something. When I realize it's time to start, I forget I didn't get ready. And I would say that the perfect evidence that we are preparing is that we're witnessing and there's a burden in our hearts to share these wonderful truths with others. Is there a burden in your heart? Does this drive you when you meet people across-- when you come across people to share these wonderful truths, knowing how the world is? If it's not, my loved ones, then we need to come to the cross, amen? We need to go back to the foundations. We need to go back on our knees, and that's why the memory text is so amazing, because that's what we should be offering. "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God had prepared for those," that what? That verse should entice. It elicit somebody wanting to study the Bible with us, wanting to know more, right?

And so, it's an interesting because it says in the study-- 2 Corinthians chapter 4, verse 17 and 18. I'll read this quote, because this is a beautiful response to what we're looking at. It says, "For this momentary affliction is preparing us for," what? "For an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparisons," amen? This should be our response to the world. This should be our response to what the world is searching for. "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are," what? "Are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

So, it's through the temporal, finite things that we can see the eternal. Like what, what are you talking about? I'll give you an example. We've been here for almost 6,000 years, and we think so highly of what we have accomplished and what we are, right? But really think about this. The last time a human being landed on the moon-- the first time a human being landed on the moon was 1969. It's over 50 years ago, and we still haven't passed the moon. With all the technological advances, with all the PhDs, with all the--we still have not crossed the barrier of the moon. We thought, when we saw that in-- I wasn't around, but when you saw that in 1969, "Whoo!" We hit the moon in 19-- that was 50 years ago. "Oh, we're going to be in Venus by the time the 2000s hit."

We think we're going to be like the Jetsons flying around in flying cars, right? And here we are, why? God's restraining power for us to stop contemplating that which we don't understand and start to understand why we are here and what the existence and purpose we have for. Brain function, we're oblivious, science, to the comprehension of how the brain functions. Despite all the technological advances, we still have no idea. And I remember when I was little I thought my-- I thought I used to be in charge, and I would be told, "You think you're in charge of your life? You think you're a big macho man? Go ahead, try stop your nails from growing. Try stop your hair from growing. You're so in charge."

We are nothing. We are in charge of nothing. We think we are, why? Because we're focusing on the temporal things. We're focusing on what's around us, and we lose track of what? On the eternal blessings, on the message that God is trying to show us and share us through the things that we cannot see, the unknown. It should marvel us, right? Our own planet, you know, that every day still today scientists discover new life, whether it be plant life, insects, like the deep sea. We really don't know what's at the deep sea.

I was recently watching a documentary, "Natural Geographic," and they-- for the first time they had gone down with a light, and they started-- they were, "Ooh." They were blown away with the things that they were seeing. We have no idea. We are powerless--if you notice this also, we are powerless to control and sustain the natural world from collapsing. Despite all we know, we still-- we still are not ready for what the earth is bringing, and we know it's going to get worse and worse and worse. And that's just not even talking about the unknown universe, the unseen universe, right?

You know, it's interesting because we live on one planet, one planet in one solar system, with one sun, or star, in one galaxy, in which our one galaxy there are billions and billions and billions and billions of stars, or suns, and planets, and solar systems. And we live in one constellation of galaxies, which are billions and billions and billions and billions and billions of galaxies in a constellation of galaxies, and there are billion and billion and billion and billion, infinite, of galaxy constellations. Try to put that in your head, and we're looking-- focused on this.

Are you catching what I'm trying to say? Astronomy says that the universe is growing. And pay attention to this. The universe is growing, and God ceased to create. Imagine when He starts creating again. This is amazing. It should blow our minds, the infinite knowledge, the infinite marvels of the universe of God. And so, imagine God creating forever. And then, you go into the creation-science-evolution debate, right? And as I mentioned, I've shared with you before I did not believe in God, and what made me to believe in God-- you know what it was? It was science. It was science, because I saw these things that I'm sharing with you, and I marveled at them. "This cannot happen some--" I was not even a believer in God, and I did not even believe in evolution, because it didn't make sense. "This is all some random thing with no purpose." That's not even how it works here. Ecosystems, our body, everything is intertwined. It's holistic in all nature. How is it possible? But sadly, the evolution-- and not just the theory of evolution, but also the philosophical implications of evolution, the psychological implications of evolution. Survival of the fittest, this attitude, right, that was permeated, and we see it.

Oh, my loved ones, this to me is a no-brainer, and I'm just sharing with you little tickles of the glimpses of the glory of God, amen? And so, the question is why are we still so reluctant to give total surrender and consecration to the infinite one that created all these things? Who do we still focus, prioritize, and hold on to that which is and will perish, when God has and is giving us a taste of eternity? Are we going to miss out on eternity for a few, quick passing moments of pleasure, of pride, and intellectual arrogance? I say it's ludicrous, and I'll share with you.

To me, it's absurd, is the word. It's absurd that I would put in jeopardy my eternal life with God in the New Jerusalem, in the new heavens and the new earth, for some temporal pleasures here on Earth. It makes no sense. Just the weight, the magnitude of it should make us think, "Why even play with it," right? Why? But God lets these things happen. He lets us hit rock bottom so that we know that we can look up. It's not that God wants us to hit rock bottom, but He lets us. And I'm glad He let it happen to me, because, if not, I might not have been-- I might not be standing here today. He lets it happen so that I can focus and see there's no answers on this earth. I've looked. I found it--under every rock, and there's nothing that supports it, and that's when we start to look at the promise of redemption, the plan of salvation, the everlasting gospel, my loved ones.

What is that? Three pillars: God promised He was going to forgive us, God promised He was going to make us holy, and God promised He was going to give us a new earth, where there was going to be no more pain and suffering, and eliminate sin, amen? Forgiveness of sins, give us victory over sin, and eliminate sin for the rest of eternity. That's the gospel, my loved ones. That's the full everlasting gospel that God is. Is there a greater hope than that, than the gospel?

You see, but people don't see the side of the gospel. They don't see this last part of the gospel that we're talking about, and you know why? Because the first impression they get of Christianity isn't a good one. They don't get to read the end of the story because the cover is ineffective, and you and I are the cover of that book. They don't get to know about this blessing, because why? Because we have been ineffective, because we're more religious than we are disciples, and God is waiting for us to reveal His glory.

You and I were not created here to be condemned. You and I were created-- God permitted you and my existence so that we can give Him glory, so that the rest of the world can see the God that we serve, and we can reveal these wonderful truths to them, and they can be blown away just like we're blown away, amen? So, how and why would they want to know the end of the story if the cover of the book is flawed, self-centered, and distorted itself? And sometimes not even our own family members want to listen to our story. They can't get back-- they can't get past the first chapter because they don't like what they're seeing.

If it hurts, don't worry. It doesn't bother me that it hurts a little bit, because that's what the purpose is. That's the Laodicean message. Get over yourself, right? Look at Christ. Surrender to Christ. Stop trying to find your own righteousness and lift up your own righteousness, and only live and surrender to the God of the universe, and let His righteousness completely cover us, amen?

And that leads us, then, to the ending of this lesson, which focuses on that great teacher, who should still have a student-- we should still have a student mindset, because that will be our experience forever. We will be students forever. You know, some people think that I love to talk, and I really don't. I know I talk a lot, but you know what I really like to do? I really like to listen. I really like to learn.

I remember when I was starting off in the church. I would love to sit down and listen to sermons, and I would listen to sermons on YouTube, and I would write down everything. And then, when God started to put me to preach, I'm like, "I don't want to preach, God. I want to sit down. I want to listen." But He says, "No, now it's your time to teach. Now I want you to share these things that you're learning." And I still rejoice it's-- now, especially with COVID, but before that I was preaching six, seven days a week, Sabbath three and four times. I was not being able to spend that time where I would sit down and just soak it in, and God has given me this time of rest, amen, to ooh and listen again and reenergize, why? Because I believe we're seeing the end of times, my loved ones, in this life.

God is giving us glimpses of what's coming, and He's giving us as a warning so that we can prepare. Nobody can--has any excuse. "Oh, I didn't know." Did you not see COVID? Do I need to have a bigger event to wake you up? And yet worse things are coming. This is nothing. And if our faith is shaking now, if our faith is not solid now, imagine what happens when bigger things come. This is God telling us, "Surrender." I'm going to tell you what the biggest struggle is for a Christian.

Our biggest struggle is learning to completely surrender, learning to completely consecrate our life. That's our biggest struggle. We like to give some. We like to give in some. "O God, I gave You this. I gave You my time on the Sabbath. I gave You my tithes and offerings. Oh, I gave You this. I read my 'Sabbath School' lesson." No, God wants it all.

If I would have told my wife, "Honey, I'm going to be your husband Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, but Saturday and Sunday, ooh, I'm off," you think she would have said, "Oh, I like that deal"? No, she's like, "I want it all, or I don't want anything." And that's what Christ wants. He's waiting, not for Him. It's for our own good, and he's waiting, my loved ones, and that's why in the lesson it has Zechariah chapter 13, verse 6. "And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thy hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my--"

See, there are going to be people in heaven that never heard about Jesus Christ, but they responded to the call of the Holy Spirit, people that maybe the gospel never reached them. But they will be there because the Spirit touched them, and they responded to that call, amen? And when they get to heaven, they're going to know and recognize that the reason they're there is because of Jesus.

The reason every single human being is going to be in heaven is because of Jesus, and for the rest of eternity that's what we're going to be learning about, amen? We're going to be standing there. And some people say, "But what is the guarantee that affliction will not rise up again? How can we be so sure?" And when we look at the scars on the hands, on the feet, on the side, on the forehead of Jesus from what He paid, there would be no doubt what the cost of sin is.

And another reason is our own experience. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to get out of here, right? At the same time, we have to be careful with that mindset, because we might be so focused on the end result we forget on the, on the way. Sometimes we focus on the end, and we forget about the means to the end. Which is what? Which is living a righteous life through Jesus Christ, amen?

And so, our own experience-- we are going to be-- that's why there's not-- did you notice in Revelation chapter 22, if you've read it? The tree of life is going to be there, but not the tree of knowledge of good and evil. You know why? Because we know. Now we know what it means to disobey God. Now we know what are the results of saying, "You know what, God? I got this." That's what Adam and Eve said, right? "You know what, God? Thank you for creating me. Thank you for giving us this beautiful planet, God. Thank you for giving me this beautiful woman." "Thank you for giving me this beautiful macho man," right, Eve. "But you know what? From this moment on, we don't need You sitting on the throne anymore. We got it from here."

My loved ones, and that's where we are today. Really, nothing has changed. "We don't need You, God, to tell us and to declare what is right or wrong. We can do it on our own." That's postmodern thought in Genesis chapter 3. Nothing has changed, and even among us, sadly, because some of us say, "Amen, hallelujah, praise the Lord." But when the Bible says, "Don't do this, or do this," you're like, "Uh, I don't know about that. I'm not too comfortable with that. I'll leave that for other people." This is not broken down in sections for some people and for other people. That's why there's not a youth gospel. You ever notice that? Because there's one gospel. It's for everybody.

The key is living the gospel. That's the key. And when we live the gospel, everything else will fall in line. Doesn't mean it's going to be perfect, but it will be in line, amen? And so, for the rest of eternity, my loved ones, we are going to be-- now, get excited about this. We're going to be reconciled and back with our loved ones, right? Those that we have lost. We're going to be back with them again, and this time there's going to be no separation like, "No, I can't go visit my grandma. I can't go visit my mom and dad because of traveling restrictions, and I don't want to get them sick." None of that anymore.

We're going to be exploring the infinite universe. For six days of the week, we're going to be exploring. That's what we're going to do for the rest of eternity, travel and explore the universe. That should get you excited. And every seventh day we shall return to worship and give glory, says Isaiah 66, to Him who has given everything to us, amen?

But the most important thing, my loved one, is that we're going to be sitting at the feet of Jesus. Remember the story of Martha and Mary in Luke chapter 10? What was wrong? Martha just said--we just read. Oh, she knew about the Resurrection. Was Martha a good Christian? Yeah, she was. She knew her Bible. She knew her 27 fundamental doctrines. Twenty-eight, I'm sorry. She knew them, right? She knew her prophecy. She knew the 2,300-day prophecy. She knew those things, but what was the difference? She was so worried in service and so preoccupied that she forgot that the most important thing was to be at the feet of Jesus, where her sister was. And she was scolding her.

We need to be like Mary. It's not wrong to want to work for the Lord, praise the Lord. But the foundation, the principle that should lead everything is that we're having that daily intimate relationship with Christ at His feet. And He will prepare us for the work that we have to do during the day or the rest of the way, amen?

Can you imagine having Bible study with Jesus for the rest of eternity? That's just the tipping point. I can imagine sitting there, and Jesus says, "Hey, you remember the story about the leper?" "Yeah." "I'm going to show you something," and He's just going through the story. And we're like, "Whoa. We didn't--how did we not catch that?" Six thousand years here, and we didn't catch that. It's going to be amazing as He opens up the wonderful marvels of Scripture.

And as I said, that's just the beginning. He's going to show us all the rest of eternity. My loved ones, I've been reading the Bible every day for 12 years since I became a Christian, and it still doesn't get old. So, when you think, "What am I going to be doing for the rest of eternity?" don't worry about it. It's going to be what eyes have never seen, what ears have never heard, and what mind has never conceived is what God has for all of us, amen? That means it's going to be a hundred million times better than what Adam and Eve saw before sin.

Should get excited about that! This is what God has, and we're so worried on, "Oh, my car, oh, my little home, oh." Don't get me wrong. Those things, those temporal things, are important, but that should not be-- what drives us is to what? Is to know that not only we'll be in the presence of God, but know that we have an opportunity here on Earth to prepare and to help prepare others for that great moment. That should be what drives us and pushes us, amen? To know deeper and deeper as we go through eternity, we will be going deeper and deeper into the character of God, the love of God, the mercy of God, the grace of God for us and all of the universe, amen?

Traveling and knowing the infinite mind of God will be our eternal classroom, and I get excited about that because, as I said, I just love to learn. But this should be our experience now. This should be what we should be striving for now. If we're not now at the feet of Jesus, if we're not now striving to want to understand and know His will better now, then heaven is not going to be any fun for us. This is what should be what drives us every morning when we wake up. And you probably say "I don't have that." I know. I didn't either. But Jesus says, "Ask, and you shall receive. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and the door shall be opened."

There's no excuse. He says, "Just come, and I will show you great and wonderful things that you did not know about." It's all there. It's not rocket science, but let's not forget, as we close, the focus, the goal of this quarterly on education, and I'll read it from the book "Education," chapter number 1, page 15, verse--paragraph 2. What is the purpose of education? "To restore in man the image of his Maker. To bring him back to the perfection in which he was created. To promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized.” This was to be the work of redemption, and this, my loved ones, "is the object of education and the great object of life," amen?

Let's close with Revelation chapter 22. Revelation chapter 22. What is education if the focus of education is not to teach others, to teach our children, to teach our students, to teach our church, to teach the people that we're giving Bible studies to, to teach those that are around us that God has a plan for them? And the plan is that we can dwell in the presence of God again. That is the plan of salvation. What's impeding that? Sin. And where is the problem of sin solved? In the sanctuary. The sanctuary breaks down the steps that God is going through so that He can restore us back into His presence. And what is the condition? There's only one condition, one very explicit, clear condition to be able to dwell back in the presence of God. And you know what that is? To have the mind of Christ, the character of Christ, because when Christ comes-- it says in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verse 51 forward that this corruptible will become incorruptible.

Nobody said amen. You should get excited! I can't wait to get rid of this! It's not like it used to be, this corruptible! Notice, He's not coming to change our character or our mind. That has to be transformed now, and He's giving us a chance and opportunity because that is the one explicit requirement to dwell in the presence of God again. Do we have everything we need to obtain that and achieve it? Oh, yes, we do. We have the Word. We have the Spirit, amen?

Look at what it says in Revelation chapter 22. "And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. And in the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore,'' how many fruits? "Twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month." That's why it says in Isaiah chapter 66, verse 22, 23, it says that from new moon to new moon, or from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship on the Sabbath day, amen? Why every month or every new moon? Because every month we will be eating of the tree of life. I get excited for you. A new fruit every month for the rest of eternity, and you thought mangoes were great. They're my favorites and kiwis-- imagine this: God is going to be sharing His immortality through the tree of life, sharing it with us, and that is the great gift that will be given to those that love and honor Him, amen?

And it says in verse number 3, "And there shall be no more curse," amen? The earth is also yearning from the curse of sin. The earth is also yearning. It says that the earth is also wanting to be restored. Imagine that the earth is wanting to be restored, and we're not--sometimes. "But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him." And then, look what it says in verse 4. "And they shall see His face," and pay attention to this, "and His name shall be on their foreheads."

In other words, the name on their foreheads is that those that will be there are those that have the mind of Christ, those that have the faith of Christ, those that have learned on this Earth to completely and totally depend on God and surrender completely and let God finish the work that He wants to do in me and the work that He wants to do through me. I'll repeat it again. God has not brought you forth and me forth-- He has not let us to come to existence to condemn us. God is doing this because He wants us to give Him glory. He wants to show that His promises are faithful He wants to show that He has a purpose and a meaning for you.

And this--I don't know if there's a greater message in the gospel than this part right here of God wanting to dwell again in our presence and be with us face to face. That's the God that I serve, a God that is yearning and desiring to be with all of us together. And He's yearning and desiring that you also have that same burning desire so that you can go out and say, "God, I want to be a witness to you. I want to show the world the God that I serve." I want to show the world that what we have on this earth is nothing, because what eyes have never seen, what ears have never heard, and what mind has never conceived is what God has prepared for those that love him, amen?

And so, as we finish, my loved ones, I hope-- it is my desire that you have learned through this lesson that we are all teachers and students also. God says, "Go out and teach them the things that I have taught you. Teach them. Share with them." You and me are the instruments of God to get this gospel out to a dying, suffering, desperate world that has no hope and no meaning. You and I are the ones. We're the cover of the book. The book is Jesus, but they don't see Jesus yet. They see us first most of the times. Do they want to read the end of the book? It all depends if they like the cover of the book, right? But once they start opening the book and they start reading it, they're not going to want to let go, because there's no other place where you find these promises, these blessings.

It's amazing, my loved ones, and that's what God has called you and me to do, amen? And so, I hope you've enjoyed this quarterly lesson. I think it's been a fascinating study, brought us back to the earth, of knowing the importance, the responsibility that we have to share these wonderful truths. And so, before we close, before I have a word of prayer, I want to remind you we have our free offer. It's "The Day of the Lord." For those that are watching, our free offer, "The Day of the Lord," and you can text to SH1008. To that number you can text "40544." You can see it on the screen now: Free offer number 825. You can call 186-788-3966, or 1-866-STUDY-MORE. There it is, and remember this is only in the U.S. for mailing, but you can receive a digital copy also if you text the code "SH108" to the number 40544, amen?

Let's have a word of prayer to close. Father, we thank You again because You are amazing. You're wonderful. Your love, Your patience, Your mercy, and all of this is perfectly reflected through Your Son, Jesus Christ. We ask, Father, that these lessons that we have learned do not stay forgotten as time goes on, but that they can be sealed in our hearts and in our minds to show that You are our great teacher. That we should every day be at Your feet learning, but, then, we go out, and we go share others. There's only one way that this gospel is going to be preached, and it's when the perfect character of Christ is reproduced in us. Then we shall be true and faithful witnesses.

Thank You, Father, for all the warnings and all the things that are happening in this world that tell us that the end is near and help us to prioritize and to focus on the most important thing, which is total surrender and consecration and to give You glory and honor to this world, so that we are prepared, and so that we can help prepare others. Thank You for this opportunity, Father, and we ask this in the precious name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Happy Sabbath, everyone, and God bless.

Announcer: Don't forget to request today's life-changing free resource. Not only can you receive this free gift in the mail, you can download a digital copy straight to your computer or mobile device. To get your digital copy of today's free gift, simply text the key word on your screen to 40544, or visit the web address shown on your screen, and be sure to select the digital download option on the request page. It's now easier than ever for you to study God's Word with Amazing Facts wherever and whenever you want and, most important, to share it with others.

Announcer: Amazing facts, changed lives.

Charlie Green: I had a lot of pressure as a pastor's kid to perform. They're not allowed to make the same mistakes as everyone else. Not only are people looking at you but they're judging your father according to what they see in you. After a while, you get tired of carrying that load as a child. By the time it got time for me to leave home, I was pretty much finished with all that. I wasn't good enough, and I didn't belong in there, so when I left home I went to the world at a dead run. You know, I partied and went to work and, you know, was living my life as the way I wanted to, and I just wanted to be left alone.

One day, I was driving my motorcycle with some buddies of mine. All of a sudden, I had oil running everywhere, all up and down my arm and across my legs and rippling down the tank in the wind, and loaded it up on a trailer and sent it to the shop to have it fixed. So, I went to pick it up, and the mechanic came out, and he said, "You know," he said, "we got your front end rebuilt." He said, "That wasn't the bad part." He said, "The bad part was the only thing holding the front tire on was the weight of the motorcycle," so all I would have had to have done was accelerate quickly and front tire would have came off. And it got my attention and got me to thinking.

You know, you hear a lot of people talking about, you know, the relationship that they have with Jesus and all that, and I didn't even know what that was supposed to look like. It began to work on my mind. I think God was beginning to speak to me. I believe that you can say I may be a poster child for the shepherd-lost sheep story, because I wasn't looking for God, and I didn't really care. But He cared about me, and He came and got me.

Announcer: Together, we have spread the gospel much farther than ever before. Thank you for your support.

Doug Batchelor: Friends, are you afraid of heights? If so, you might want to look away right now. One of the most famous attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area is the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. While this world-famous bridge was named as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, few people know the story of the brave men who were involved in its construction and also known as the Halfway to Hell Club.

Designed by a group of visionary engineers, at 4,200 feet from end to end, the Golden Gate Bridge was at one time the longest suspension bridge in the world. During its construction from 1933 to 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge had one of the best safety construction records of any project during that time. Keep in mind they would factor in and calculate that one man would die for every million dollars that was spent, so with a budget of $35 million they knew that loss of life would be unacceptable.

This is why the chief engineer, Joseph B. Strauss, was absolutely adamant about using the most rigorous safety precautions that had ever been used in bridge building. He had a local manufacturer of safety equipment design special headgear that he insisted be worn on every job. This became the prototype for the modern hardhat, worn for the first time ever, but the safety precautions went even further.

Strauss provided a special hand and face cream to protect their skin from the cold, biting wind and glare-free goggles to protect their eyes. In addition, they also ate a special diet to help ward off dizziness when they were working at those epic heights, but the most conspicuous safety precaution was a gigantic net that was suspended from end to end under the entire construction area of the Golden Gate Bridge. In fact, during construction this net saved the lives of 19 men, who later became known as the Halfway to Hell Club.

Now, you need to keep in mind these were some of the most dangerous construction conditions you can imagine. The wind was constantly blowing. They were walking around on iron that sometimes had ice from the freezing fog. In places, they were over 700 feet above the icy waters, yet the men, coming from all walks of life, were willing to take these risks because it was during the Great Depression, and they would get paid up to $11 a day, which was a fortune back then. One of the other benefits of the net was they discovered that the men were much more courageous even though they were walking high on those slippery surfaces, because they knew there was a mechanism to protect them if they should fall. This gave them the confidence and the courage to press on and get the bridge built in record time.

You know, friends, as Christians we have a great work to do. The Bible tells us that we get to participate with Jesus in building a bridge that connects heaven and earth, and there are dangers along the way. The devil would like to paralyze us with fear that we might fall or make a mistake, but we know that Jesus has provided a safety net for us, and we don't have to be afraid. We can press on with confidence because of promises in the book of Jude verse 24: He is able to keep us from falling, but sometimes we make mistakes. Still don't be discouraged, friends. If you read in 1 John chapter 2, verse 1, the Bible says if we fall, if we sin, we have an advocate with the Father: Jesus Christ, so let's press on together and build that bridge with Christ.

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