- Turning hearts in the end time. As we close our three-month consideration of preparing for the end time, does this week’s lesson puts the heavy burden of spreading the good news of salvation directly on us last-day Seventh-day Adventists? The last book of the Bible before the arrival of the baby Jesus makes a mighty promise to you and to me. Malachi the prophet paints a picture of families in peace in Malachi 4:5-6. What is that picture? Talk about this in your class: Even as Bible-believing Christians, are we ready–and able–to use last-day events to encourage us that Jesus is coming very soon, and all He wants is our hearts fully dedicated to Him? Would you agree that sometimes it is easier to believe than to obey? Which comes first–a restored relationship with God or a restored relationship with our families?
- Family reunion. The name of which prophet means “Jehovah is my God?” Why is that designation so revealing of our final assignment as God’s people on earth? In this lesson, we go back to the touching story of a woman in dire straits. How bad is her condition? After working miracle after miracle to provide sufficient food to keep the woman and her son alive, he dies. How does God construct yet another miracle, this one involving her precious son? Does God ever allow lives to be saved today to help bring mothers and pastors like Elijah into a close, redeeming relationship with Jesus? Share examples with the class. Have you ever known someone who seemed to accept every Bible teaching but even so goes through a passive, lukewarm Christian experience? How can something so hollow and so destructive happen? What can we do to keep friends and fellow Christians from falling into a case of permanent lethargy?
- Turning hearts at the altar. Mount Carmel with Elijah–what an experience this was! Try to imagine what it was like to be on one side or the other as the prophets of Baal stood in defiance against God’s true worshippers. Would you agree that the noisiest most rousing event you or I have ever witnessed is nothing compared with this display? What does this demonstration of power by evil worshippers reveal about the challenges you and I may encounter in our homes? Does the comment in the lesson guide that we human beings cannot turn the tide and thus bring salvation to our hearts puzzle you? If not, why not? What assurance do we have in these troubled days from the record of what happened on that fateful day on Mount Carmel? Can you and I do anything to lead our families to a state of worship and redemption by studying, visualizing, and praying about the impact these days of this amazing Mount Carmel event?
- Turning hearts at the Jordan. How is the Jordan River related to God’s call to obedience? In what way (or ways) is the Elijah message of such great importance to us last-day Christians looking forward to the coming Christ? How important was John’s picture of Jesus as the Lamb of God in preparing us for the coming of Christ? John had strong impressions about the evil of sin. What do you think John felt was especially wrong about sin? How were John the beloved disciple and John the Baptist alike and how different? How would you welcome John the Baptist into your home? What would he find especially enjoyable there? What are some practical ways we can help make our homes glow like beacon lights because of the presence of the spirit of God within us?
- Turning hearts in the last days. Only we–you and I who have made the commitment to follow Jesus in every possible way–can have the joy of participating in the final proclamation. How do we as Seventh-day Adventists see ourselves as people with the urgent message of John the Baptist in these troubling days? How can Christian families show their neighbors and other family members our special commitment to following Jesus every day of our lives? Do you ever dream of a massive pouring out of the Bible’s message of salvation just before Jesus comes to take us home? What role can your family play in this final proclamation? Have you done everything you can, everything God leads you to do, in order to awaken in the hearts of your children and other family members a deep longing to live with Jesus forever? As we close these thirteen precious weeks considering what our families mean to God, let’s pray for guidance to lead our families by example and teaching to a close and harmonious life with Jesus.