Friday, January 4, 2013

Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth

Further Study: “The work of creation can never be explained by science. What science can explain the mystery of life? “The theory that God did not create matter when He brought the world into existence is without foundation. In the formation of our world, God was not indebted to pre-existing matter. On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, are not only the work of His hand; they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.”-Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, pp. 258, 259. “Just how God accomplished the work of creation he has never revealed to men; human science cannot search out the secrets of the Most High. His creative power is as incomprehensible as his existence.”-Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 113.

Discussion Questions

  1. In class, discuss your answer to Sunday’s final question.
  2. Science talks about what it calls “anthropic coincidences” (from the Greek word anthropos for “man”), the incredibly fine-tuned balance of forces in nature that make it possible for human life to exist. Notice, though, the built-in bias revealed in the word coincidences. If you don’t believe in God, you have to attribute these amazing balances to mere coincidence. Why is the belief that these balances were the product of a Creator God a more reasonable explanation than to simply call them “coincidences”?
  3. Consider the love of the Creator as He formed Adam and Eve and provided them with a beautiful garden home, knowing that He Himself would suffer and die on Calvary at the hands of the race He was creating. What do we learn about God’s love from the decision that He made to go ahead with the creation anyway?
  4. How does the “Big Bang” theory compare with the Creation statement in Genesis 1:1? Might the “Big Bang” be a description of the way in which the universe came into existence at God’s Word? What issues or problems do you see in this idea? Why would it be dangerous to link our theology to any scientific theory, especially when science so often changes?
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A pastor in a difficult, mostly non-Christian country was studying with a
young man who had shown an interest in knowing about Jesus. Things were going well until the boy’s father returned home from prison, where he had been serving a sentence for murder.
At first the young man’s father was impressed with the changes he saw in his son. But when he learned that his son had been studying with a Christian, he became furious. He felt he had to save his son from the dangerous ideas Christians have.
The father tried talking to his son. When that didn’t work, he yelled, then he beat his son. But the young man refused to give up his new faith in Christ. His father knew if he kept on beating his son, he would soon kill him. And what good would that do?
Then the father had an idea. He would kill the pastor instead. It would be worth another prison sentence to save his son from the Christians’ heresy.
The father staked out the pastor’s house and learned his schedule. He sharpened his long knife. When the time was right, he drove to the pastor’s house, waited for him to get into his car, and then blocked the pastor’s driveway with his own car. When the pastor got out of his car to see what the problem was, the angry father grabbed him and forced him into his own car.
The pastor recognized the man and guessed why he had attacked him. The pastor tried to share some Bible verses with the man, but the man yelled at him as he reached for his knife. Suddenly the man’s hand froze midair; his arm went numb, and he couldn’t move it.
The pastor calmly continued sharing scripture with the man until his attacker began to weep.
A few months later the father was baptized. As the members publically welcomed him into the church, he asked for the microphone. “I have a gift for the pastor,” he said. Carefully he unwrapped the long, sharp knife and said, “This is the sword I was going to use to kill you. But you have a longer, stronger, sharper sword-a two-edged one, which is the Word of God. That sword killed the old man in me. I am now a new man. Praise God!”
Your mission offerings help reach people for Christ in some of the most difficult regions of the world. Thank you for your support.
Homer Trecartin is president of the Greater Middle East Union Mission.

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