November 26, 2017 – Bible Doctrine # 13 – Last Things

Survey of Bible Doctrine, Week 13 – The Doctrine of Last Things

OUTLINE OF THE LESSON:

The Bible’s Teachings on the End of Life

  • Death – Hebrews 9:27; Romans 5:12
  • Heaven – Revelation 21:21-23, 27; 2 Corinthians 5:8
  • Hell – Mark 9:42-48; Luke 16:19-24

The Bible’s Teachings on the End of Time

  • The Return of Jesus Christ – Acts 1:11
    1. The Rapture – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
    2. The Second Coming – Revelation 19:11-16
  • The Millennium – Revelation 20:1-6
  • Final Judgments – 2 Timothy 4:1
    1. The Judgment Seat of Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:10
    2. The Great White Throne Judgment – Revelation 20:11-15

Lesson Date: November 26, 2017

Focal Scripture Passage: Mark 9:42-48; Luke 16:19-24; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:12; 2 Corinthians 5:8, 10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 2 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-6, 11-15; 21:21-23, 27

AIM: To lead students to discover the Bible’s teachings about death and end times, and to encourage unsaved students to accept Jesus Christ and saved students to serve Him more faithfully in light of the certainty of judgment.

 

Before class: Get enough copies of the lesson outline handout for your anticipated attendance. If you choose to do the group work described below make copies of the group assignment sheets for your groups. Write the following questions on the marker board or chalkboard: “What Happens After We Die?” and “How Will This World End?

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the two questions written on the board. Read the questions. Tell the class that throughout history mankind has wrestled with those two great questions.

Explain that people have many different opinions about those two questions. In fact, if you were to randomly ask 20 people those two questions you would likely get 20 different answers.

  • Concerning what happens when we die, some believe in complete annihilation (no existence at all after death), some believe everyone goes to heaven, and others believe in reincarnation (returning to earth as a new creature many successive times). Some people believe they can contact the spirits of their dead relatives and friends.
  • Concerning how the world will end, some believe we will destroy ourselves with pollution or through nuclear war, some think we will use up all the earth’s natural resources and starve to death, and others believe things will get better and better until we achieve a paradise here on earth.

Tell the class there are many different beliefs in America today about what happens after death and how the world will end.

Remind the students that we began this Survey of Bible Doctrine with one overriding question: “What does the Bible say?” If we believe the Bible to be the true and accurate Word of God, then we don’t have to theorize or conjecture about the future. We can look to the Bible with absolute assurance that the answer we receive is correct. Tell the class in today’s lesson we will discover what the Bible says about “What Happens After We Die?” and “How Will This World End?” Give each student a copy of the lesson outline handout.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Central Truth):

  1. Review.
    • Tell the students this is the last lesson in our study of a “Survey of Bible Doctrine.”
    • Review the first eleven lessons by reading the lesson titles found on page 3 of the Sunday School Member Quarterly.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (angels and demons).
    • Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (Eph. 6:12).
  2. Group Assignments.
    • Divide the class into two groups. Because of the large amount of scripture to be covered, group work will be helpful. If your class is large, don’t hesitate to duplicate the groups.
    • Give each group a group assignment sheet.
    • Ask the groups to read their scripture passages first, and then discuss what they have found.
    • Tell them they have about 7-8 minutes to do their work. Allow the groups to work.
    • If you choose not to use the group assignments, then lead the class through each scripture in the lesson outline.
  3. What Happens After We Die?
    • Regain the attention of the class. Ask Group One to be prepared to share what they have learned with the rest of the class.
    • DEATH
      • Read Hebrews 9:27; and Romans 5:12.
      • Ask Group One to tell what they discovered about death (everyone will die; physical death occurs only once; death entered the human race because of sin).
    • HEAVEN
      • Read Revelation 21:21-23, 27; and 2 Corinthians 5:8.
      • Ask Group One to tell what they discovered about heaven (it is a perfect place of happiness and bliss, totally removed from sin; it is reserved for those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life; it is where the redeemed go immediately when they die).
    • HELL
      • Read Mark 9:42-48; and Luke 16:19-24.
      • Ask Group One to tell what they discovered about hell (it is a terrible place of eternal torment; people there are tormented with flames; there is no escape).
    • Summarize the Bible’s teachings about “What Happens After We Die?
      • Death is certain.
      • The instant a Christian dies, he or she is ushered into eternal bliss in heaven.
      • The instant an unsaved person dies, he or she is sent into eternal torment in hell.
  4. How Will This World End?
    • Ask Group Two to be prepared to share what they have learned with the rest of the class. Refer the class to the timeline of “End Time Events” found on page 52 of the Sunday School Member Quarterly. This will help them understand the order of events.
    • THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST
      • Read Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; and Revelation 19:11-16.
      • Ask Group Two to tell what they discovered about Christ’s return (His return is absolutely certain; Jesus will come first to take His church out of this world, meeting them in the air in what we call the Rapture of the church; Jesus will return after the Great Tribulation to bodily rule and reign on the earth).
    • THE MILLENNIUM
      • Read Revelation 20:1-6.
      • Ask Group Two to tell what they discovered about the Millennium (when Jesus returns after the Great Tribulation, Satan will be bound and Jesus will reign for 1,000 years over the entire earth from His throne in Jerusalem).
    • FINAL JUDGMENTS
      • Read 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Corinthians 5:10; and Revelation 20:11-15.
      • Tell the class final judgment is an absolute certainty – everyone will face God’s judgment.
      • Ask Group Two to tell what they learned about the Judgment Seat of Christ (all Christians will one day appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ; nothing done prior to salvation will be reviewed, but the believer will receive or lose rewards based on his or her behavior from salvation until physical death; salvation is not in question at the Judgment Seat of Christ because all of those present are saved and will spend eternity with Jesus in Heaven).
      • Ask Group Two to tell what they discovered about the Great White Throne Judgment (all unsaved persons will one day appear before the Great White Throne Judgment, at which time they will be judged for all of the things they did while they were living; every one of them will be thrown into the Lake of Fire; salvation is not in question at the Great White Throne Judgment because all of those present are lost and will be condemned to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire).
    • Summarize the Bible’s teachings on the end of time.
      • Jesus will rapture His church out of the world, followed by the seven-year Tribulation.
      • The Tribulation will end with the Battle of Armageddon, after which Satan and his forces will be bound.
      • Jesus will reign on the earth for 1,000 years, after which Satan will be loosed, lead another rebellion, and then be cast into the Lake of Fire where he will remain forever.
      • Judgment is certain, whether one is saved or lost.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Summarize the lesson by reminding the class that death is certain and after death every person goes immediately to either heaven or hell. Heaven is a wonderful place in the presence of the Lord, but hell is a terrible place of eternal torment. There is no third option. In the end times, Jesus will snatch out His church, plunge the world into a terrible Tribulation period, and then return to judge the world. Ultimately, every follower of Jesus Christ will spend eternity with Him, while everyone who rejects Jesus will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternal torment.

Stress the fact that Jesus Christ is the pivotal person of all eternity. Those who know Him have good things to look forward to, while those who don’t have pain and torment in their future. What we do with Jesus Christ is a serious matter.

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask: “Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? If not, you are headed for hell, the judgment of God, and an eternity in the Lake of Fire. Would you like to be saved today? If so, confess your sin to God and place your trust for eternity in Jesus Christ. If you sincerely want Him, Christ will save you right now.”

Ask: “If you are a Christian, do you realize that one day you will face the Judgment Seat of Christ, where all of your works since salvation will be judged? Are you living for Jesus today as you should? If not, repent of your sins and ask Jesus Christ to help you live for Him every day of your life from now on.”

Lead a closing prayer, thanking God for the wonderful future awaiting those who belong to Him.

 

CONCLUSION: Offer to speak privately after class to anyone who might have questions about salvation. Tell the students this is the last lesson of our survey of Bible doctrine. Be sure everyone has a copy of the Sunday School Member Quarterly for the winter quarter study of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. We begin that study next Sunday. Encourage everyone to begin using the Daily Bible Reading Guide in the new quarterly tomorrow.

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