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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from the Epistles of Peter (II)

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Lesson 11 Sabbath, September 14, 2024

Extra Time for a Purpose

MEMORY TEXT: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

“When we, with all the redeemed, shall stand upon the sea of glass, with harps of gold and crowns of glory, and before us the immensity of eternity, then we shall see how short was the waiting period of probation.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 485.

Suggested Reading:   Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 183-199

Sunday September 8


a. What do scoffers often cite as an excuse for their doubts—and how does this attitude affect even many awaiting the Lord? 2 Peter 3:4; Isaiah 56:12.

“The love of the world has so occupied our thoughts that our eyes are not turned upward, but downward to the earth. We are hurrying about, engaging with zeal and earnestness in different enterprises, but God is forgotten, and the heavenly treasure is not valued. We are not in a waiting, watching position. The love of the world and the deceitfulness of riches eclipse our faith, and we do not long for, and love, the appearing of our Saviour. We try too hard to take care of self ourselves. We are uneasy and greatly lack a firm trust in God. Many worry and work, contrive and plan, fearing they may suffer need. They cannot afford time to pray or to attend religious meetings and, in their care for themselves, leave no chance for God to care for them. And the Lord does not do much for them, for they give Him no opportunity. They do too much for themselves, and believe and trust in God too little.

“The love of the world has a terrible hold upon the people whom the Lord has commanded to watch and pray always, lest coming suddenly He find them sleeping.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 195, 196.

Monday September 9


a. Explain how scoffing too often occurs even among professed Advent believers. Matthew 24:48–51; Proverbs 26:20–22; Romans 1:29–32.

“The evil servant says in his heart, ‘My lord delayeth his coming.’ He does not say that Christ will not come. He does not scoff at the idea of His second coming. But in his heart and by his actions and words he declares that the Lord’s coming is delayed. He banishes from the minds of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. They are confirmed in their worldliness and stupor. Earthly passions, corrupt thoughts, take possession of the mind. The evil servant eats and drinks with the drunken, unites with the world in pleasure seeking. He smites his fellow servants, accusing and condemning those who are faithful to their Master.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 635.

b. How are we to stand in contrast to those who consider Christ’s return to be far off into the distant future? Colossians 3:1–4.

“While the attention of worldlings is turned to various enterprises, ours should be to the heavens; our faith should reach further and further into the glorious mysteries of the heavenly treasure, drawing the precious, divine rays of light from the heavenly sanctuary to shine in our hearts, as they shine upon the face of Jesus. The scoffers mock the waiting, watching ones, and inquire: ‘Where is the promise of His coming? You have been disappointed. Engage now with us, and you will prosper in worldly things. Get gain, get money, and be honored of the world.’ The waiting ones look upward and answer: ‘We are watching.’ And by turning from earthly pleasure and worldly fame, and from the deceitfulness of riches, they show themselves to be in that position. By watching they become strong; they overcome sloth and selfishness and love of ease. Affliction’s fire kindles upon them, and the waiting time seems long. They sometimes grieve, and faith falters; but they rally again, overcome their fears and doubts, and while their eyes are directed heavenward, say to their adversaries: ‘I am watching, I am waiting the return of my Lord. I will glory in tribulation, in affliction, in necessities.’ ”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 194, 195.

Tuesday September 10


a. What very important event in world history is often casually overlooked? Genesis 6:5–8; 7:23; 2 Peter 3:5, 6.

“Before the destruction of the old world by a flood, there were talented men, men who possessed skill and knowledge. But they became corrupt in their imagination, because they left God out of their plans and councils. They were wise to do what God had never told them to do, wise to do evil. The Lord saw that this example would be deleterious to those who should afterwards be born, and He took the matter in hand. For one hundred twenty years He sent them warnings through His servant Noah. But they used the probation so graciously granted them in ridiculing Noah. They caricatured him and criticized him. They laughed at him for his peculiar earnestness and intense feeling in regard to the judgments which he declared God would surely fulfill. They talked of science and of the laws controlling nature. Then they held a carnival over the words of Noah, calling him a crazy fanatic. God’s patience was exhausted.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1090.

b. What is ultimately awaiting this planet? 2 Peter 3:7; Psalms 11:6; 59:13.

“The bowels of the earth were the Lord’s arsenal, from which He drew forth the weapons He employed in the destruction of the old world. Waters in the bowels of the earth gushed forth, and united with the waters from Heaven, to accomplish the work of destruction. Since the flood, God has used both water and fire in the earth as his agents to destroy wicked cities.”—Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 82.

“The whole work of the father of lies is recorded in the statute books of heaven, and those who lend themselves to the service of Satan, to put forth and present to men the lies of Satan by precept and practice, will receive according to their deeds. Root and branch will be destroyed by the fires of the last days. Satan, the great general of apostasy, is the root, and all his workers, who teach his lies in regard to the law of God, are the branches.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 4, p. 1184.

Wednesday September 11


a. To give God’s children trust in His promises and hope for eternity, how is the limitless scope of our Creator summarized? Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8.

“The heritage that God has promised to His people is not in this world. Abraham had no possession in the earth, ‘no, not so much as to set his foot on.’ Acts 7:5. He possessed great substance, and he used it to the glory of God and the good of his fellow men; but he did not look upon this world as his home. The Lord had called him to leave his idolatrous countrymen, with the promise of the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession; yet neither he nor his son nor his son’s son received it. When Abraham desired a burial place for his dead, he had to buy it of the Canaanites. His sole possession in the Land of Promise was that rock-hewn tomb in the cave of Machpelah.

“But the word of God had not failed; neither did it meet its final accomplishment in the occupation of Canaan by the Jewish people. ‘To Abraham and his seed were the promises made.’ Galatians 3:16. Abraham himself was to share the inheritance. The fulfillment of God’s promise may seem to be long delayed—for ‘one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day’ (2 Peter 3:8); it may appear to tarry; but at the appointed time ‘it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ Habakkuk 2:3.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 169, 170.

b. What must we realize about Christ’s return? 2 Peter 3:9; Nahum 1:3.

“The long-suffering of God is wonderful. Long does justice wait while mercy pleads with the sinner. . . .

“The world has become bold in transgression of God’s law. Because of His long forbearance, men have trampled upon His authority. They have strengthened one another in oppression and cruelty toward His heritage, saying, ‘How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the Most High?’ Psalm 73:11. But there is a line beyond which they cannot pass. The time is near when they will have reached the prescribed limit. Even now they have almost exceeded the bounds of the long-suffering of God, the limits of His grace, the limits of His mercy. The Lord will interpose to vindicate His own honor, to deliver His people, and to repress the swellings of unrighteousness.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 177, 178.

Thursday September 12


a. Why can we be very thankful for God’s longsuffering? Psalm 86: 12–15.

“The Lord is willing to help us, to strengthen and bless us; but we must pass through the refining process until all the impurities in our character are burned away. Every member of the church will be subjected to the furnace, not to consume, but to purify.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 485.

“Do not look to men nor hang your hopes upon them, feeling that they are infallible; but look to Jesus constantly. Say nothing that would cast a reproach upon our faith. Confess your secret sins alone before your God. Acknowledge your heart wanderings to Him who knows perfectly how to treat your case. If you have wronged your neighbor, acknowledge to him your sin and show fruit of the same by making restitution. Then claim the blessing. Come to God just as you are, and let Him heal all your infirmities. Press your case to the throne of grace; let the work be thorough. Be sincere in dealing with God and your own soul. If you come to Him with a heart truly contrite, He will give you the victory. Then you may bear a sweet testimony of freedom, showing forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. He will not misapprehend or misjudge you. Your fellow men cannot absolve you from sin or cleanse you from iniquity. Jesus is the only one who can give you peace. He loved you and gave Himself for you. His great heart of love is ‘touched with the feeling of our infirmities?’ What sins are too great for Him to pardon? what soul too dark and sin-oppressed for Him to save? He is gracious, not looking for merit in us, but of His own boundless goodness healing our backslidings and loving us freely, while we are yet sinners. He is ‘slow to anger, and of great kindness;’ ‘long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ ”—Ibid., p. 649.

Friday September 13


1. What aspects of the world may be distracting me away from God?

2. How may I be guilty of smiting my fellow servants, spiritually speaking?

3. Why should I develop a keen awareness of the coming judgment by fire?

4. Explain the inheritance of Abraham and his children (Galatians 3:29).

5. Why should I be grateful for this little extra time—and how shall I use it?

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