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Third Quarter 2015 July–September)
COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF LUKE
Week 13: September 19–25
COMMENTARY ON MUST THE WHOLE WORLD HEAR?
Following is a combined commentary on the material included in the Bible Study Guide with references as necessary to the supplemental passages included in the E. G. White Notes for the Sabbath School Lessons.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all biblical quotes are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
The introductory remarks of this lesson states “…. throughout the ages, millions have died without knowing the biblical plan of salvation” as if a fact in evidence. This opening paragraph also constructs the question of how will God deal with the billions who have not known him. Also, the lesson asks if there is salvation outside of someone’s knowing the plan of salvation.
The Word of God says,
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV).
The point is this: anyone can hypothesize a scenario that’s not found in Scripture, and worse, they can try to hold God accountable for what doesn’t seem right. Note some Scriptural references on this subject:
“Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4-6 ESV)
“Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.” (1 Peter 1:10-11 ESV)
“The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” (Psalms 14:2-3 ESV)
Continuing under the heading “Universalism and Pluralism”, the writer/s of the lesson construct more hypotheticals and assumptions. This assertion is stated at the end of the first paragraph, “Hence we can see how one false doctrine (eternal torment) leads to another (universalism).” Since the Lord Jesus was the chiefest expositor of the doctrine of eternal torment, then this statement necessarily means that Christ is a universalist. Really?? What a wild concept of imagination.
And how does the proposition that some might be saved outside of a gospel knowledge correlate with Ellen G. White’s statement quoted under the section “Sinners in Need of Grace” stating, “The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men”? If Adventism is God’s agency for saving mankind,it’s no wonder that the president of the Adventist organization publicly blamed Adventist members for Christ’s not coming yet, saying that they just haven’t done their job of witnessing.
In the section “The Mission Call”, the discussion question asks, “How does the proclamation of the three angels messages of Revelation 14:6-12 fit in with the Great Commission?” A more careful reading of Rev. 14 reveals that there are six, not just three angels in Rev. 14.
In the Teachers Comments section we find an alarming declaration, “God views as righteous those who obey the law, not those who hear the law”. Seriously?! Have the writers abandoned part of the Bible? Romans, Galatians and even John? God views as righteous those who believe in Christ. See Rom. 3 and Gal. 3.
In the Teachers Comments in Step 3 the lesson authors finally reveal their underlying assumption: the Adventist church is responsible for God’s larger mission to the world. This assumption was verified publicly when the president Ted Wilson openly blamed the church for Christ’s not having come yet—an assertion he made after quoting Biblical references that assure that the Word of God cannot fail.