The subject of Christian education has been examined at least six times in the nearly 100 years of publication of the Sabbath Bible Lessons. Students and teachers may find interest in the online publication archives where these lessons can still be studied, from the years 1946, 1952, 1969, 1986, 1990, and 2008.
This lesson does not seek to cover the same ground as lessons studied in the past. Instead, it seeks to capture the essence of education as it relates to the times in which we live today, leading up to the completion of the work of preaching the gospel in all the world.
Generations have come and gone since the day when Jesus gave the promise, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3). The work of sharing the gospel and preparing for the return of Jesus has been going forward. One day He will finally return, and the generation alive at His coming will be the last.
Since the beginning of the Advent movement it has been the hope of believers that they would be among the “last generation.” Yet the Lord has tarried still. It is evident that there remains a work to be done, both within the church and outside of it. For, “when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come” (Mark 4:29). “When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own”(Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 69).
True education is defined as “the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come” (Education, p. 13). Certainly, because this preparation is yet to be completed within all of us, it should be our earnest study to understand true education.
Over a century ago, this solemn challenge was given to the church: “Now, as never before, we need to understand the true science of education. If we fail to understand this, we shall never have a place in the kingdom of God”(The Christian Educator, August 1, 1897).
May we today heed the challenge, answer the call, and complete the work of education in the last generation.
The General Conference Sabbath School Department