Sabbath, June 21, 2008
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matthew 5:43-44.
1. What should continue among Christians without ceasing?
Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.
“No matter how high the profession, he whose heart is not filled with love for God and his fellow men is not a true disciple of Christ. Though he should possess great faith and have power even to work miracles, yet without love his faith would be worthless. He might display great liberality; but should he, from some other motive than genuine love, bestow all his goods to feed the poor, the act would not commend him to the favor of God. In his zeal he might even meet a martyr’s death, yet if not actuated by love, he would be regarded by God as a deluded enthusiast or an ambitious hypocrite.”—Acts of the Apostles, pp. 318, 319.
2. Why is it important for Christians to practice hospitality?
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
“Paul exhorts the Hebrews: ‘Let brotherly love continue.’ Do not flatter yourselves that there is a time when this exhortation will not be needed; when brotherly love may cease. He continues: ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ Please read Matthew 25:31 and onward. Read it, brethren, the next time you take the Bible at your morning or evening family devotions. The good works performed by those who are to be welcomed to the kingdom were done to Christ in the person of His suffering people. Those who had done these good works did not see that they had done anything for Christ. They had done no more than their duty to suffering humanity. Those on the left hand could not see that they had abused Christ in neglecting the wants of His people. But they had neglected to do for Jesus in the person of His saints, and for this neglect they were to go away into everlasting punishment. And one definite point of their neglect is thus stated: ‘I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in.’”—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, pp. 679, 680.
3. Whom should Christians always keep in remembrance?
Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
4. What human relation should always be kept honorable?
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
5. What will happen to fornicators and adulterers? Revelation 21:8. Why?
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
“The ideas of courtship have their foundation in erroneous ideas concerning marriage. They follow impulse and blind passion. The courtship is carried on in a spirit of flirtation. The parties frequently violate the rules of modesty and reserve and are guilty of indiscretion, if they do not break the law of God. The high, noble, lofty design of God in the institution of marriage is not discerned; therefore the purest affections of the heart, the noblest traits of character are not developed.
“Not one word should be spoken, not one action performed, that you would not be willing the holy angels should look upon and register in the books above. You should have an eye single to the glory of God. The heart should have only pure, sanctified affection, worthy of the followers of Jesus Christ, exalted in its nature, and more heavenly than earthly. Anything different from this is debasing, degrading in courtship; and marriage cannot be holy and honorable in the sight of a pure and holy God, unless it is after the exalted Scriptural principle.”—The Adventist Home, p. 55.
“After the creation of Adam every living creature was brought before him to receive its name; he saw that to each had been given a companion, but among them ‘there was not found an help meet for him.’ Among all the creatures that God had made on the earth, there was not one equal to man. And God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.’ Man was not made to dwell in solitude; he was to be a social being. Without companionship the beautiful scenes and delightful employments of Eden would have failed to yield perfect happiness. Even communion with angels could not have satisfied his desire for sympathy and companionship. There was none of the same nature to love and to be loved.
“God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided ‘an help meet for him’–a helper corresponding to him–one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self, showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation. ‘For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it.’ Ephesians 5:29. ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one.’” – Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 46.
“God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. ‘Marriage is honourable’; it was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is one of the two institutions that, after the fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise. When the divine principles are recognized and obeyed in this relation, marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the race, it provides for man’s social needs, it elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature.” – The Adventist Home, pp. 25, 26.
6. With what should every Christian be content?
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
“Christ did not tell His disciples that their work would be easy. He showed them the vast confederacy of evil arrayed against them. They would have to fight ‘against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ Ephesians 6:12. But they would not be left to fight alone. He assured them that He would be with them; and that if they would go forth in faith, they should move under the shield of Omnipotence. He bade them be brave and strong; for One mightier than angels would be in their ranks–the General of the armies of heaven. He made full provision for the prosecution of their work and took upon Himself the responsibility of its success. So long as they obeyed His word, and worked in connection with Him, they could not fail. Go to all nations, He bade them. Go to the farthest part of the habitable globe and be assured that My presence will be with you even there. Labor in faith and confidence; for the time will never come when I will forsake you. I will be with you always, helping you to perform your duty, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, sustaining you, giving you success in speaking words that shall draw the attention of others to heaven.”—Acts of the Apostles, p. 29.
7. In whom should be our trust?
Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 118:6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
“None should be allowed to pursue a course of study that will weaken their faith in the truth or in the Lord’s power, or diminish their respect for a life of holiness. I would warn the students not to advance one step in these lines, not even upon the advice of their instructors or men in positions of authority, unless they have first sought God individually with their hearts thrown open to the influences of the Holy Spirit and have obtained His counsel concerning the contemplated course of study. Let every unholy ambition be blotted out. Let every selfish desire to distinguish yourselves be set aside; let every suggestion from humanity be taken to God, and trust in the guidance of His Spirit….
“Do not commit yourselves to the keeping of men, but say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will seek His counsel; I will be a doer of His will.’ All the advantages you may have cannot be a blessing to you, neither can the highest education qualify you to become a channel of light, unless you have the co-operation of the divine Spirit. It is as impossible for us to receive qualifications from men, without the divine enlightenment, as it was for the gods of Egypt to deliver those who trusted in them.” – Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 411.