Back to top

Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from the Epistles of Peter (II)

 <<    >> 
Lesson 12 Sabbath, September 21, 2024

What Kind of People?

MEMORY TEXT: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11).

“The exchange we make in the denial of selfish desires and inclinations is an exchange of the worthless and transitory for the precious and enduring. This is not sacrifice, but infinite gain. . . . Whatever Christ asks us to renounce, He offers in its stead something better.”—Education, p. 296.

Suggested Readings:   Early Writings, pp. 52-54
  The Great Controversy, pp. 662-673

Sunday September 15


a. How is the final executive judgment depicted? 2 Peter 3:10.

“The new heavens, and the new earth, (Revelation 21:1. Isaiah 65:17. 2 Peter 3:13.) will not appear, till after the wicked dead are raised, and destroyed, at the end of the 1000 years. I saw that Satan was ‘loosed out of his prison,’ at the end of the 1000 years, just at the time the wicked dead were raised; and that Satan deceived them by making them believe that they could take the holy city from the saints. The wicked all marched up around the ‘camp of the saints,’ with Satan at their head; and when they were ready to make an effort to take the city, the Almighty breathed from His high throne, on the city, a breath of devouring fire, which came down on them, and burnt them up, ‘root and branch.’

“And I saw, that as Christ is the Vine, and His children the branches: so Satan is the ‘root’, and his children are the ‘branches;’ and at the final destruction of ‘Gog and Magog,’ the whole wicked host will be burnt up, ‘root and branch,’ and cease to exist.”—A Word to the Little Flock, pp. 11, 12.

Monday September 16


a. How did Old Testament prophets foresee the final destruction of evil and the purification of the earth? Isaiah 34:8–10; Ezekiel 28:16–19.

“Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10. The earth’s surface seems one molten mass—a vast, seething lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men—‘the day of the Lord’s vengeance.’ . . .

“The wicked receive their recompense in the earth. Proverbs 11:31. They ‘shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Malachi 4:1. Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days. All are punished ‘according to their deeds.’ The sins of the righteous having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only for his own rebellion, but for all the sins which he has caused God’s people to commit. His punishment is to be far greater than that of those whom he has deceived. After all have perished who fell by his deceptions, he is still to live and suffer on. In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch—Satan the root, his followers the branches. The full penalty of the law has been visited; the demands of justice have been met; and heaven and earth, beholding, declare the righteousness of Jehovah.”—The Great Controversy, pp. 672, 673.

b. Describe the beauty of God’s next step. Revelation 20:7–10, 15; 21:1, 2.

“When God finally purifies the earth, it will appear like a boundless lake of fire. As God preserved the ark amid the commotions of the flood, because it contained eight righteous persons, He will preserve the New Jerusalem, containing the faithful of all ages, from righteous Abel down to the last saint which lived. Although the whole earth, with the exception of that portion where the city rests, will be wrapped in a sea of liquid fire, yet the city is preserved as was the ark, by a miracle of Almighty power. It stands unharmed amid the devouring elements.”—Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, pp. 87, 88.

Tuesday September 17


a. What should the final, ultimate reality to come upon the earth’s inhabitants cause us to consider? Psalm 139:23, 24; 2 Peter 3:11.

“When the truth has a sanctifying influence upon our hearts and lives, we can render to God acceptable service and can glorify Him upon the earth, being partakers of the divine nature and having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

“Oh, how many will be found unready when the Master shall come to reckon with His servants! Many have meager ideas of what constitutes a Christian. Self-righteousness will then be of no avail. Only those can stand the test who shall be found having on the righteousness of Christ, who are imbued with His spirit, and walk even as He walked, in purity of heart and life. The conversation must be holy, and then the words will be seasoned with grace.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 317, 318.

b. Explain the deeper consecration we urgently need. 1 John 2:6.

“Every soul who truly believes the truth will have corresponding works. All will be earnest and solemn, and unwearied in their efforts to win souls to Christ. If the truth is first planted deep in their own souls, then they will seek to plant it in the hearts of others. The truth is kept altogether too much in the outer court. Bring it into the inner temple of the soul, enthrone it in the heart, and let it control the life. The word of God should be studied and obeyed, then the heart will find rest and peace and joy, and the aspirations will tend heavenward; but when truth is kept apart from the life, in the outer court, the heart is not warmed with the glowing fire of God’s goodness.

“The religion of Jesus is, by many, reserved for certain days, or certain occasions, and at other times is laid aside and neglected. The abiding principle of truth is not merely for a few hours on the Sabbath, or for a few acts of charity, but it is to be brought into the heart, refining and sanctifying the character. If there is a moment when man is safe without this special light and strength from heaven, then he may dispense with the truth of God. The Bible, God’s pure, holy word, must be his counselor and guide, the controlling power of his life. It gives forth its lessons to us if we will take them to heart.”—Ibid., vol. 5, p. 547.

Wednesday September 18


a. Describe God’s plan for His people—and how half-hearted ones focusing on this world react to that plan and those seeking to live by it. Titus 2:11–14; Deuteronomy 26:18.

“The time has come when a large portion of those who once rejoiced and shouted aloud for joy in view of the immediate coming of the Lord, are on the ground of the churches and the world who once derided them for believing that Jesus was coming, and circulated all manner of falsehoods to raise prejudice against them and destroy their influence. Now, if any one longs after the living God, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and God gives him to feel His power, and satisfies his longing soul by shedding abroad His love in his heart, and if he glorifies God by praising Him, he is, by these professed believers in the soon coming of the Lord, often considered deluded, and charged with being mesmerized or having some wicked spirit.

“Many of these professed Christians dress, talk, and act like the world, and the only thing by which they may be known is their profession. Though they profess to be looking for Christ, their conversation is not in heaven, but on worldly things. ‘What manner of persons’ ought those to be ‘in all holy conversation and godliness,’ who profess to be ‘looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.’ 2 Peter 3:11, 12. ‘Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.’ 1 John 3:3. But it is evident that many who bear the name of Adventist study more to decorate their bodies and to appear well in the eyes of the world than they do to learn from the Word of God how they may be approved of Him.”—Early Writings, p. 108.

b. In contrast, what is to be our focus? 2 Corinthians 4:18.

“Forever cease your murmurings in regard to this poor life, but let your soul’s burden be, how to secure the better life than this, a title to the mansions prepared for those who are true and faithful to the end. If you make a mistake here, everything is lost. If you devote your lifetime to securing earthly treasures, and lose the heavenly, you will find that you have made a terrible mistake. You cannot have both worlds.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 706.

Thursday September 19


a. How are we warned against blind trust in the human frailty of leaders and other close associates who may err? Isaiah 3:11, 12; Amos 2:4; 4:12.

“There are those who, though thought to be serving God, are fast becoming girded about with infidelity. To them crooked paths seem straight; they are living in continual violation of God’s truth; corrupt principles are interwoven into their life practice, and wherever they go they sow seeds of evil. In the place of leading others to Christ their influence causes them to question and doubt.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 281.

“Beware of those who preach to others the word of life but do not themselves cherish the spirit of humility and self-denial which it inculcates. Such men cannot be depended on in a crisis. They disregard the voice of God as readily as did Saul, and like him many stand ready to justify their course. When rebuked by the Lord through His prophet, Saul stoutly asserted that he had obeyed the voice of God; but the bleating sheep and lowing oxen testified that he had not. In the same manner do many today assert their loyalty to God, but their concerts and other pleasure gatherings, their worldly associations, their glorifying of self, and their eager desire for popularity all testify that they have not obeyed His voice. ‘As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.’

“That is a high standard which the gospel sets before us. The consistent Christian is not only a new but a noble creature in Christ Jesus. He is an unfailing light to show others the way to heaven and to God. He who is drawing his life from Christ will have no desire for the frivolous, unsatisfying enjoyments of the world.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 88.

Friday September 20


1. Explain the biblical truth of what is commonly referred to as hellfire.

2. What miracle does God perform amid those unquenchable flames?

3. How can my Christian experience deepen, and why is this necessary?

4. Explain the perils of leaning on a fleshly arm in regard to salvation.

5. What steps should I personally take to focus more intently on eternity?

 <<    >>