Read for This Week’s Study: Luke 18:1-8; Matthew 24:1-25:46; 1 Cor. 15:12-19; Eccles. 8:14; Eccles. 12:13-14; Rev. 21:1-5; Rev. 22:1-5.
Memory Text: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58, NKJV).
Jesus announced the kingdom of God as a present reality that we can be part of today. He sent His disciples to make the same announcement and to enact His kingdom through preaching the gospel and by serving others; that is, by giving as freely as they had received (see Matt. 10:5-8).
But Jesus was also clear that His kingdom was a different kind of kingdom—“not of this world” (John 18:36, NIV)—and yet to come in full. By His incarnation, ministry, death, and resurrection, the kingdom of God was inaugurated, but Jesus also looked forward to a time when His kingdom would fully replace the kingdoms of this world, and God’s reign would be made complete.
By definition, Adventists—those who await this coming and this kingdom—are people of hope. But this hope is not only about a future new world. While hope looks to the future, hope transforms the present now. With such hope, we live in the present as we expect to in the future, and we begin working to make a difference now in ways that fit with how we expect the world will one day be.