Lesson 12

Jesus let himself be crucified so all the scriptures about his death could be fulfilled. Knowing there had to be a sacrifice made to cover humanity’s sins, Jesus willingly made that sacrifice in our stead. Rising back to life, Jesus demonstrated what humanity can look forward to. His followers will be resurrected to eternal life when he returns for them while the rest of humanity will be resurrected as mortals when their turn comes. Knowing the plan of salvation and proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom of God is the work of those who follow Jesus. God desires that everyone from all places and times should be saved. Those who stay true now to their calling are blessed and holy, they will be resurrected first when Jesus returns. The rest of the dead are resurrected later on when their time comes. Rejecting Jesus and salvation, some of them will experience the second death. Do you help others know Jesus and his plans by word or deed? Is one better than the other?

1 Corinthians 15:22-23 New American Bible (Revised Edition)
22 For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, 23 but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ;

Revelation 20:5-6 New King James Version
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

Isaiah 26:19 King James Version
19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 New Life Version
18 All this comes from God. He is the One Who brought us to Himself when we hated Him. He did this through Christ. Then He gave us the work of bringing others to Him. 19 God was in Christ. He was working through Christ to bring the whole world back to Himself. God no longer held men’s sins against them. And He gave us the work of telling and showing men this. 20 We are Christ’s missionaries. God is speaking to you through us. We are speaking for Christ and we ask you from our hearts to turn from your sins and come to God. 21 Christ never sinned but God put our sin on Him. Then we are made right with God because of what Christ has done for us.

Revelation 21:8 Disciples’ Literal New Testament
8 But for the cowardly ones, and unbelieving ones, and ones having been abominable, and murderers, and sexually-immoral ones, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the liars— their part will be in the lake burning with fire and sulphur, which is the second death”.

Lesson 26

Codifying his personal belief into laws, punishable by death, Constantine demanded that Christians not Judaize their faith by keeping the Sabbath or any of God’s other holy days. Blaming the Jews for killing Jesus, Emperor Constantine set the Roman Empire down a Christian path of his own making. Happy to have the favor of the Roman Government on their side for a change, few early Christians were in a position to dispute Constantine’s changes even if they did not fully agree with him. Understanding the sacrifice of Jesus established a new covenant with God based on faith and not sacrifice, those early Christians did not have to keep a Sabbath day of rest or the holy days to be forgiven of their sins. Christians today live with the same freedom of faith. Teaching that the new worship days ordained by Constantine are from Bible scripture and that Christians need to keep them is biblically and historically inaccurate. Believing these new days must be kept does not let you live in the freedom Jesus brought his followers. Christians are free to worship Jesus in freedom on any day they choose. Christian shepards should lead their flocks to honest pastures so the followers can live in the truth as the Holy Spirit guides them. Those followers will know the truth by following the word of God in all aspects of life.

Acts 20:25-32 International Children’s Bible
25 “And now, I know that none of you will ever see me again. All the time I was with you, I was preaching the kingdom of God. 26 So today I can tell you one thing that I am sure of: If any of you should be lost, I am not responsible. 27 This is because I have told you everything God wants you to know. 28 Be careful for yourselves and for all the people God has given you. The Holy Spirit gave you the work of caring for this flock. You must be like shepherds to the church of God. This is the church that God bought with his own death. 29 I know that after I leave, some men will come like wild wolves and try to destroy the flock. 30 Also, men from your own group will rise up and twist the truth. They will lead away followers after them. 31 So be careful! Always remember this: For three years I never stopped warning each of you. I taught you night and day. I often cried over you. 32 “Now I am putting you in the care of God and the message about his grace. That message is able to give you strength, and it will give you the blessings that God has for all his holy people.

  Paul taught the message of the Kingdom of God. The same message Jesus taught and left his disciples to teach. In order to teach that message to others we need to know what the Kingdom of God entails, how to be part of it, how it arrives and the blessings it can bring to humanity. Understanding how the holy days reveal the salvation plan of God will help us teach the coming Kingdom of God to others. What do you know about the Kingdom of God? How do you tell others about it? What hope do you give to those who are not interested in your message about God or Jesus?