Friday, November 25, 2016

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday November 27, 2016

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FROM BEGINNING TO END
(The ultimate happy ending)
(Revelation 22:8-21)

   After hearing all of the wonderful things that the angel had told him in verses 1-7 concerning the New Jerusalem, the Apostle John errantly fell down to his knees to worship him, but again, the angel cautioned against such actions telling John, “No! Don’t worship me. I am a servant of GOD just like you and your brothers, the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this scroll”. “Worship only GOD!” he told John.
    In the book of Daniel, in chapter 12, verse 9, the Prophet Daniel is instructed by GOD to “seal up” his prophesy until the time of the end. In contrast, here in Revelation 22:10, the Apostle John is instructed, “…. not to seal up” these prophetic words you have written, because the time of their fulfillment is near. So let everyone continue doing what they are doing. Let the ones who are doing wrong continue to do wrong; the ones that are vile continue to be vile; the ones who are good continue to be good; and the ones who are holy continue to live in holiness, because I, the LORD AM coming soon with rewards to repay everyone according to their deeds”. The LORD further states, “I AM the ALPHA and the OMEGA, the FIRST and the LAST, the BEGINNING and the END”.
    In the exhortation of verse 11, GOD is not condoning evil, but rather, the divine intent of this verse is to point out the fact that, if people do not heed the prophesy in this book of Revelation, they are only left with the choice of continuing in their own wickedness. By contrast, those who do right will likely continue to do right, as GOD expects no earth-shattering changes in the conduct of mankind, good, or evil, in the near future. However, let it be known to all that their choices will not govern when JESUS will return to judge all people, and to end all days, as man now knows them.
    In verse 14 we find the final of the seven beatitudes that are found in the book of Revelation; “Blessed are those who wash their robes so they can enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the “Tree of Life”. This is simply a phrase that describes the righteous and their acts of obedience to CHRIST’s commandments. They are those mentioned in verses 11b and c, who, started out guilty, but, through their acceptance of CHRIST, have been washed clean by HIS sacrificial blood.
    However, in contrast, those mentioned in verses 11a and b are the ones who will refuse to give up their acts of immorality, and therefore, will forever be characterized by their evil ways and practices, and will be judged in the end according to their evil deeds. They are the unholy people who currently dwell outside of CHRIST, and love to live the lie of immorality that satan has successfully spun in this world.
    And so, we are now left with this very real scenario that currently grips humanity to its core; “The SPIRIT” (the HOLY SPIRIT), and “the Bride” (the true Christian Church that is only found in the hearts of people who truly love GOD) say “come”. Unfortunately, “the lure of this world” and “satan” says the same. The HOLY SPIRIT in us will always seek to compel us toward CHRIST JESUS, but again, unfortunately, the “sin nature” in us will always try and tug us back toward the “world”. The battle that wages on inside of each of us, between “the reason to do right” and “the passion to want to do wrong”, stays with us, long after we accept the gift of salvation. However, through our new-found strength in CHRIST, we can successfully “overcome” the “gravitational pull of this world”, just as JESUS did, and find our place in the “ultimate happy ending” that has been prepared for us by GOD, since the foundation of this world. That place that Luke, Paul, and other New Testament writers call, in the Greek, “paridiso” (par-id-i-so), but we call, “the kingdom of Heaven”.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
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