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Lesson: The Purpose of the Christian Life

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SCRIPTURE READING: Hebrews 12

GOLDEN TEXT: 2 Peter 3:18

1. Did the writer of Hebrews compare the Christian life to running a race? Who is the author and finisher of our faith that sits at the right hand of God? Hebrews 12:1-2. What is the Christian to strive against? Hebrews 12:4. Should a Christian despise the chastening of the Lord? Hebrews 12:5. If you endure chastening from God, then how will God deal with you? Hebrews 12:7. What does chastening yield? Hebrews 12:11. What is a Christian to pursue with all people? Hebrews 12:14. Where is a Christianís name registered? Hebrews 12:23.

2. What does the apostle Peter say that a Christian is to grow in? 2 Peter 3:18.

3. What is the purpose for which Jesus was sent? Luke 4:43. What was the gospel that Jesus came preaching? Mark 1:14-15. Where was the gospel to be preached? Mark 13:10, 16:15.

4. Does a Christian have a holy calling according to Godís own purpose? Is a Christian to be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord and His gospel? 2 Tim 1:8-12. Are Christians who love God called according to His purpose? Rom. 8:28-30. Is it Godís purpose for Christians to preach the "gospel of the Kingdom of God" to the world and to make disciples, to teach them and to baptize them? Matthew 24:14, 28:19-20.

Note: The gospel of the "Kingdom of God" is referring to Godís literal government being established upon the earth when Jesus Christ returns as "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev. 19:16). Jesus and the saints will rule for a 1,000 years. It will be a millennium of world peace, prosperity, good health, a land of "milk and honey."

5. Will the saints rule with Jesus Christ on the earth? Revelation 5:10.

6. In order to rule with Christ through the millennium, is there any overcoming, and enduring required through this life? Revelation 2:26-27, 3:21.

7. For those saved in this dispensation, is not just acceptance of Christ ALONE enough, as so many teach? Or is some DOING also necessary? Matthew 7:21.

8. Is it possible to profess Christ as Savior, and worship Him, honoring Him with words of testimony in meeting, and still be unsaved and worshiping in vain? Mark 7:6-8. Must the Christian GROW in grace, and in knowledge, thus showing gain and progress in his Christian life, in order to be saved and become a king or a priest in the Kingdom? II Peter 3:18. Must he endure to the end? Matthew 24:13.

9. What must the Christian do, in order to be cleansed of sin, sanctified, and made holy so as to qualify for the responsibility of a position as priest or king in the Kingdom? I John 1:9. What else? Romans 12:1. Our bodies are to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. If we present them to Christ, will He come in to this temple? Revelation 3:20, and Ephesians 3:17.

10. Before we surrendered, repented and received Him, through His Spirit within, were we clean and pure? Romans 3:23. When He comes inside, will He clean house? Ephesians 5:26. Must our own self-will be crucified, and submissive, in order to permit Him to cleanse us? Romans 6:6, and Galatians 2:20.

NOTE: A crucified man is not necessarily a dead man, but is nailed up to a tree where he cannot spring down as he would like. Thus we present our bodies not a DEAD, but a LIVING sacrifice -- crucified, yet alive -- submissive to HIS will.

11. When we thus submit to God, and Jesus our High Priest takes possession inside, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, what is our relationship to God? Isaiah 64:8. As God then cleans out the spiritual dirt in our hearts and lives, cleanses, purifies, and molds our lives into an altogether different vessel as a potter would the clay, must we undergo some chastening at His hands? Hebrews 12:5. Is this a sign of God's LOVE? Verse 6.

12. What should we remember when we suffer persecution at the hands of other people? John 15:20 and II Timothy 3:12. Must we also suffer tribulation? Acts 14:22. What is God's purpose in permitting all this trial and test, persecution, tribulation, and chastening? Hebrews 12:11.

13. When Jesus returns to set up the Kingdom, will we who are now being saved, and entrusted with the spiritual "pounds" be called to accounting? Luke 19:12, 15. Will the one who GROWS in grace and knowledge, and in overcoming tenfold receive a greater responsibility in the Kingdom than one who gained only five? Verses 16-19. What will happen to the professing Christian who tells about the day when he "got saved," but has not grown spiritually, or been fitted or prepared by His Christian life for Kingdom responsibility? Verses 20, 24.

14. What, beside utter surrender, must the Christian do DAILY, in order to overcome, grow in grace and knowledge, endure unto the end, and fit himself for a position of responsibility in the Kingdom? II Timothy 2:15; I Thess. 5:17. Shouldnít Christians assemble together on Godís Holy Sabbath each week worshiping God and exhorting one another? Hebrews 10:25; 4:9; Exodus 20:8-12.

NOTE: The PURPOSE of the Christian life is to prepare and train men and women for positions of RESPONSIBILITY in the Kingdom of God. In this millennial Kingdom, Christ will rule the nations of earth as "King of Kings." Then He will put down all false religions and false preachers, and be "Lord of lords." The Saints shall possess the Kingdom and rule with Christ when the Kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ (Rev. 11:15).

 


Scriptures


SCRIPTURE READING: Hebrews 12.

(Heb 12 NKJV) "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, {2} looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Discipline of God

{3} For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. {4} You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. {5} And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; {6} For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." {7} If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? {8} But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. {9} Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? {10} For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. {11} Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Renew Your Spiritual Vitality

{12} Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, {13} and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. {14} Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: {15} looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; {16} lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. {17} For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

The Glorious Company

{18} For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, {19} and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. {20} (For they could not endure what was commanded: "And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow." {21} And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.") {22} But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, {23} to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, {24} to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

Hear the Heavenly Voice

{25} See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, {26} whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." {27} Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. {28} Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. {29} For our God is a consuming fire."


GOLDEN TEXT: Revelation 5:9-10.

(2 Pet 3:18 NKJV) "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen."


(Luke 4:43 NKJV) "but He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.""

 

(Mark 1:14-15 NKJV) "Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, {15} and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.""

 

(Mark 13:10 NKJV) ""And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations."

 

(Mark 16:15 NKJV) "And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

Not Ashamed of the Gospel

(2 Tim 1:8-12 NKJV) "Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, {9} who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, {10} but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, {11} to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. {12} For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day."

 

(Rom 8:28-30 NKJV) "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. {29} For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. {30} Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."

 

(Mat 24:14 NKJV) ""And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

 

(Mat 28:19-20 NKJV) ""Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, {20} "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen."

 

(Rev 19:16 NKJV) "And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."

 

(Rev 5:10 NKJV) "And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.""

 

(Rev 2:26-27 NKJV) ""And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations; {27} 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'; as I also have received from My Father;"

 

(Rev 3:21 NKJV) ""To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."

 

(Mat 7:21 NKJV) ""Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

(Mark 7:6-8 NKJV) "He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. {7} And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' {8} "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men; the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.""

 

(2 Pet 3:18 NKJV) "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen."

 

(Mat 24:13 NKJV) ""But he who endures to the end shall be saved."

 

(1 John 1:9 NKJV) "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

 

(Rom 12:1 NKJV) "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."

 

(Rev 3:20 NKJV) ""Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."

 

(Eph 3:17 NKJV) "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,"

 

(Rom 3:23 NKJV) "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

(Eph 5:26 NKJV) "that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,"

 

(Rom 6:6 NKJV) "knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin."

 

(Gal 2:20 NKJV) ""I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

(Isa 64:8 NKJV) "But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand."

 

(Heb 12:5-6 NKJV) "And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; {6} For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.""

 

(John 15:20 NKJV) ""Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also."

 

(2 Tim 3:12 NKJV) "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."

 

(Acts 14:22 NKJV) "strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.""

(Heb 12:11 NKJV) "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

 

(Luke 19:12 NKJV) "Therefore He said: "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return."

 

(Luke 19:15 NKJV) ""And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading."

 

(Luke 19:16-19 NKJV) ""Then came the first, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.' {17} "And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.' {18} "And the second came, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned five minas.' {19} "Likewise he said to him, 'You also be over five cities.'"

 

(Luke 19:20 NKJV) ""Then another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief."

 

(Luke 19:24 NKJV) ""And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.'"

(2 Tim 2:15 NKJV) "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

 

(1 Th 5:17 NKJV) "pray without ceasing,"

 

(Heb 10:25 NKJV) "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."

 

(Heb 4:9 NIV) "There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;"

 

(Exo 20:8-12 NKJV) ""Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. {9} Six days you shall labor and do all your work, {10} but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. {11} For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. {12} "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you."