what do you think?
Read the following Bible passages to find out the functions of the church organization:
1 John 1:3, 6, 7:
Matthew 28:19, 20:
did you know?
The Bible reveals the characteristics of God’s endtime church?
It has a worldwide message to proclaim (see Matthew 24:14; Revelation 14:6; 10:11).
It teaches that we are living in the time of judgment (see Revelation 14:7).
It proclaims Jesus’ soon return (see Matthew 24:30, 31; Revelation 1:7; 22:20).
It calls people to keep God’s commandments (see John 14:15; Revelation 14:12).
It teaches habits of healthy living (see 1 Corinthians 10:31).
It upholds the worship of the Creator on the seventh-day Sabbath (see Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8, 11; Revelation 4:11; 14:7).
It is founded on the Holy Scriptures as its creed and supreme authority (see 2 Timothy 3:16).
It warns against any human authority that is contrary to the truth found in the Word of God (see Revelation 14:9, 10).
It teaches that death is a peaceful rest until the resurrection at Jesus’ return (see Revelation 14:13). —Adapted from Mark Finley, What the Bible Says About, pp. 368-377.
INTO THE STORY
“After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days. Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
“And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, ‘Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!’
“Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.’
“So the Jews answered and said to Him, ‘What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ Then the Jews said, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’
“But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
“Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
OUT OF THE STORY
How was Jesus, by cleansing the Temple, announcing His mission?
What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19)?
Why was Jesus so concerned for His Father’s house?
How are you treating your physical body, knowing that in a spiritual sense it is a Temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? (See 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.)
Of what desires and unholy thoughts do you have to get rid to make room for the Holy Spirit in your heart?
Why do you think Jesus was distressed when He saw the Most Holy Place turned into a place of business and profit?
Define the word “reverence.”
List a number of ways you can be involved in restoring and maintaining the true spirit of worship and reverence that should characterize each worship service, program, and function in your local church:
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
“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” (Hebrews 12:28).
“You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:30).
“By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4).
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).
“In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin—from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul” (Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 161).
Read 1 Peter 2:9.
God would have us hold different standards, morals, ethics, and habits from those of the world. “The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. [And] . . . we are called out from the world” (Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs, The Church).
What does it mean to you that God calls you to be part of “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people”?
What do you do to “proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”?
Remember that on Sabbath, March 18, is Global Youth Day. Plan to participate in a community service project with other young people.
Read Psalm 104.
When you realize how big God is in contrast to how small we are, we should realize that the things of this world don’t matter much. Remember that God is your Creator and He created you in His own image. Realize that such a great love should call for reverence. Go about your day trying to think of different ways in which you could show your reverence, respect, and love for God. Remember, everything in your life, whether insignificant or monumental, means something to God. You may think the little things you do don’t make a difference, but they do. God sees all things; He sees your small sacrifices as well as your large ones. Remember that if God can set the earth on its foundations, He can surely hear every little prayer and see every secret thing. He will never forget you.
Read Colossians 1:17, 18.
In the Temple Jesus showed His anger in His attempt to get the people to understand that all the sacrifices were pointing to His sacrifice on the cross. How can this story make us more aware of how we should show reverence to our Creator and Savior?
Read 1 Corinthians 1:2.
God knows where each choice you make is going to lead you, even if it seems innocent and worthy. Always remember that in every choice we make, we are temples of God’s Spirit, and God should be present. Don’t think that praying over the little things won’t make a difference. Before taking any steps forward, pray and seek God’s will. Write down ways you can be involved in Global Youth Day to make a difference in your community as you seek to honor God:
Read Deuteronomy 15:10, 11.
Remember that many people in this world have lost much and suffer immensely. Some don’t have enough food to eat and/or can’t even afford to put clothes on their backs. In our society, many of us may not be considered rich compared to many famous people, yet if we were to visit some of these countries, we would be seen as having the wealth of kings and queens. What are some ways you can share, on Global Youth Day, March 18, the blessings you enjoy with those less fortunate?
Read Malachi 3:8-12.
There have been stories about hardworking, honest people who after gaining wealth get greedy, materialistic, and lacking compassion toward others!
How can tithing and giving away money to charity and other causes help to prevent money from ruining people morally? How can you help support the ministries of your local church as well as overseas missions by paying a faithful tithe and offerings from all your income (i.e., from the allowances or monetary gifts you receive if you do not have an income yet)?
Read 1 Peter 1:16-23.
God calls us to live holy and godly lives. What does this mean to you?
Jesus redeemed you not with perishable riches but by sacrificing His own life that you may live eternally. What is your response to such immense love? How do your priorities reflect how much God’s kingdom means to you? Who rules the Temple of your mind, soul, and body?
How can you fulfill your responsibility toward God and show your gratitude for all that He has done for you by serving others in your community? Remember that tomorrow is Global Youth Day. List specific ways you will contribute with other youth from your local church:
Plan to take an active part in carrying out these plans. May God bless your noble efforts as you reach out to others for Jesus!