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Relevant Bible Lessons
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Sanctuary or Auditorium?

A sore that has “festered” for years seems to have become more than an annoyance. In the past, various remedies have been presented and tried. Religious poultices, ointments, wraps and band-aids have been administered. What is the cause of the sore? It basically stems from the question, “Is the sanctuary sacred or is it merely an auditorium for the use of ministry?”

The annoyance that aggravates the question for some is when they see children running through the sanctuary chasing each other after the service, teens wearing earplugs connected to their smartphones during the service, and others doing their homework during the service. Yes, it is a matter of proper training regarding what is appropriate. And yes, it is a general matter of respect for the property of others. But the feelings of many go deeper than that. It is about whether this is God’s house and what can take place at His house. It appears that in most cases the inducement for this matter of concern is centered on children.

The debate continues. Sanctuary or Auditorium? Is the sanctuary too holy to allow for a crying baby, a running child, or teens who whisper and pass notes. Is it sacrilegious to move the chairs out of the room where you worshiped God on Sunday so that your basketball team can practice during the week? Is it sacrilegious to use the room where you sang, prayed, and heard the Word of God expounded on Sunday as an area for the women to have their weekly exercise classes? Should it be a Sanctuary dedicated only for worship to God on one or two days a week, or should it be an auditorium that is used daily throughout the week?

Lesson Objective: By the end of this lesson the student will have better understanding of the proper use of the place of worship.
Thank you for reading the introduction to this lesson. To download your copy of the complete lesson (including ready to teach lesson material, a more complete exposition of the news item, general discussion questions, a list of sources, scriptures with exposition and discussion questions, and reproducible student handouts) click on the following link:

http://www.relevantbiblelessons.com/product/sanctuary-or-auditorium/

If you wish to see other lessons on current news issues discussed from a biblical perspective you will enjoy visiting
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Hallucination, or A Word from God?

Andrew Scull, in his recent book “Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine,” suggests that many of the biblical prophets may have been mentally insane. He said, “If you look at the of the Old Testament prophets, the answer is hard to disentangle. Many parts of their lives are seen as mad or possibly possessed, and only over time do some of them get reinterpreted as inspired.”

Is it as Andrew Scull postulates? Were the Old Testament prophets hallucinating when they made their prophetic utterances? Was Paul describing a hallucination when he said, “2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.” (2 Cor 12:2) When John received his revelation vision on the isle of Patmos and said, “10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea,” was he having a hallucination?

What about the church member who says, “God told me.” Did He? How do we know that this church member is not trying to manipulate the rest of the members with this secret “message” from God? What about the man who stands up during the church service and says, “I have a word from the Lord.” Does he, or is he an arrogant church member trying to impress the members with his super-spirituality? What about the woman who speaks up and says, “I have the gift of interpretation.” Does she, or does she make up her “interpretation” as she speaks?

It is important for us to know if and when we are hearing God speak to us. In this lesson we will endeavor to discover what God wants us to understand about this matter as we search His Word.

Lesson Objective: By the end of this lesson the student will know how to determine someone claiming to have a message from God is being honest.

Thank you for reading the introduction to this lesson. To download your copy of the complete lesson (including ready to teach lesson material, discussion questions, a list of sources, and reproducible student handouts) click on the following link:

http://www.relevantbiblelessons.com/product/hallucination-or-a-word-from-god/
Hallucination, or A Word from God?
Hallucination, or A Word from God?
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Devil Clubs

Your little Johnny may have another option at school soon. In addition to the Chess Club, Science Club, Cub Scouts, and Good News Club, he will be able to choose the After School Satan Club.

Nine states have been targeted as start up ventures for the new After School Satan Clubs. They are Utah, New York, Massachusetts, Arizona, Minnesota, Louisiana and Florida. Doug Mesner, a.k.a. Lucian Greaves, the head of the Satanic Temple, an American political activist and “religious” organization based in New York City stated that the group doesn’t actually promote devil worship, instead it eschews any sort of belief in a supernatural being, supporting “scientific rationality” instead. The planned curriculum for the After School Satan Clubs includes “healthful snacks,” “creative learning activities,” “a science lesson,” “puzzle solving” and “an art project.” They plan to have club meetings once a month. Each young participant will be issued an official membership card. In order to participate the children will be required to bring a signed parental permission slip.

Even if you do not permit little Johnny to attend these "club" meetings, how will the "residual" influence affect him? Should little Johnny be exposed to the potential evil that this advance might suggest? What should the biblical, Christian response be to this advance? Is there some way that Christian parents can use this to their advantage in reaching their community for Christ?

In this lesson we will look at a news item regarding the formation of Devil Clubs in our public schools. We will notice how the Satanic Temple has used the Supreme Court decision of 2001 which allows religious clubs to meet in after school activities as a means of advancing their own atheistic agenda in our schools. We will then look at what the Word of God has to say which should guide our response as Christians to this and similar advances of Satan in his endeavor to invade the lives of unsuspecting people.

Lesson Objective: By the end of the lesson the student will see the impending danger to the minds and spirits of children in our public school systems and will have some biblical guidelines for making a proper Christian response to the challenge.

http://www.relevantbiblelessons.com/product/devil-clubs/
Devil Clubs
Devil Clubs
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American Idol

American Idols abound in our society.  Baseball players, basketball players, football players, soccer players, ice hockey players, comedians, musicians, movie stars, and entertainers have their followers.  People regularly pay their offerings  in order to have the privilege to worship their idol for an hour or two.  People pledge their allegiance to their idol, put posters of their idol’s likeness on the walls of their homes, have special services on the radio and television where they extol the greatness of their idol, and wear various types of apparel to announce their loyalty to their special idol. 

The name for the popular television program was proper, for it clearly defined the purpose and desire of the American people.  They want idols.  Not one idol but many idols.  Now the program has completed its final season.  This, however,  does not end the saga of the American Idol.  People still have a void in their heart that craves to be filled.  They still have an unsatisfied hunger that is not satisfied.   People still have an inner desire to fall down to worship someone or something.  

In this lesson, we will discuss this inner desire of the human heart.  We will look at numerous scriptures where people expressed this hunger and we will consider the biblical response.

Lesson Objective:  By the end of this lesson the student will understand the dangers of idolatry.  He/she will recognize Satan’s deceptive attempts to divert worship from God to himself.

Thank you for reading the introduction to this lesson.  To download your copy of the complete lesson (including ready to teach lesson material, discussion questions, a list of sources, and reproducible student handouts) click on the following link:

http://www.relevantbiblelessons.com/product/american-idol/
American Idol
American Idol
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Home Invasion – The Spiritual Issue

Home invasion is alarming and is something that home owners should be prepared to face.  Even more alarming are the invasions that take place in our home daily that are overlooked.   We should guard ourselves as much as possible against the possibility of property loss and physical damage.  More importantly we should be prepared to defend our homes against spiritual invasion.  Satan unrelentingly attacks our spouses and our children.  He does this in many ways.   Being aware of his methods and knowing how to face these insidious onslaughts is of paramount importance.  

Lesson Objective:  By the end of this lesson the student will be reminded of the unrelenting attack on the minds and spirits of his/her family members and will be better prepared to combat these Satan invasions on his/her home.

Thank you for reading the introduction to this lesson.  To download your copy of the complete lesson (including ready to teach lesson material, discussion questions, a list of sources, and reproducible student handouts) click on the following link:

 http://www.relevantbiblelessons.com/product/home-invasion-the-spiritual-issue/
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Home Invasion - The Moral Issue

We have all considered the possibility.  Some have experienced it.  

Home invasion . . . what do you do?  If someone tries to break into your home what do you do?  Do you try to overpower them?  Do you run and hide?  Do you only call the authorities?  Do you use lethal force?  What is legal?  What is biblical?

It will be well to have these questions answered before you discover that some stranger is prowling through your house.  In this lesson we will discuss a news item concerning a family in Edmonds, WA, who faced this issue.  Then we will look at the Word of God for answers concerning the Christian's response.

Lesson Objective:  By the end of the lesson the students should feel confident about the Biblical guidelines concerning the protection of their home and their families.

Thank you for reading the introduction to this lesson.  To download your copy of the complete lesson (including ready to teach lesson material, discussion questions, a list of sources, and reproducible student handouts) click on the following link:

http://www.relevantbiblelessons.com/product/home-invasion-the-moral-issue/
Home Invasion – The Moral Issue
Home Invasion – The Moral Issue
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The Christian and Same-Sex Marriage

American Christians have served God in the safety of an artificial cocoon. We have heard of atrocities in other lands. We have sent our money and other forms of aide to assist our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. We have even said a few prayers in their behalf. Few real dangers have ever threatened our religious freedoms. Gradually, however, a subtle shift has taken place in our nation. Our culture has gradually been eroded by various actions in government as well as private life.

The Scopes Trial put the THEORY of evolution, with the sanction of science in our textbooks. Creationism was at the same time laughed out of the classroom. The Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade, made it legal to murder unborn babies. A parent of a child in school petitioned the courts to stop the school from exposing their child to prayer in school and reading the Bible in school. The court took the phrase from the first amendment which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting free exercise thereof” to mean that the church and the state were to be totally separate. In doing this they took a statement by Thomas Jefferson out of context. The language of “church and state” or to quote Jefferson, of the “wall of separation” developed when he was writing to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut who were trying to develop a state religion. He said, “You cannot do that.” This is the reason for this amendment—so that the government cannot mandate what our religion will be. It does not say that the church and state should be separate… no prayer in public schools, no Christmas nativities on courthouse lawns, etc. What it is saying is that the government cannot make its people be Roman Catholics, or Baptists, or Holiness, or any other brand. It is also saying that it cannot keep people who want to worship God from doing so as they please. After the June 17, 1963 ruling, the Wall Street Journal commented that atheism was now "the one belief to which the state's power will extend its protection." These are three landmark cases that changed the meaning of the First Amendment as it was previously understood and practiced in America.

Because of the June 26th Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage, Christians once again have been knocked to their knees. The court which only has the power to interpret the Constitution has usurped authority from the legislative branch and is now making its own laws.

Because of the realization that we are gradually losing something that we took for granted, many Christians are alarmed. Many are angry. We feel threatened. Our tendency is to argue and strike back. But, now is the time for us to turn to God and His Word for guidance. We must be careful to guard our relationship with God, our character, and our spirit. In this time of societal turmoil Christians must avoid the danger of a damaged spirit, a diminished influence and a distracted mission. We must be focused on pleasing God.

In this lesson we will look at a news item regarding the Supreme Court’s recent decision to permit same-sex marriages in all of the states. We will notice how the court stretched the 14th Amendment out of shape to get it to fit a definition that would please a vocal and aggressive lobby group.

The purpose of this lesson is not to prove that same-sex marriage is wrong for our culture or that it violates biblical precept and principle. The purpose of this lesson is to search the scriptures to find direction for a biblical response that displays Christlikeness in attitude and action.

Lesson Objective:  By the end of the lesson the student will see the importance of facing opposition as a Christian who wishes to glorify God while taking care not to damaged his/her spirit,  diminished his/her influence or become distracted from his/her mission.

Thank you for reading the introduction to this lesson.  To download your copy of the complete lesson (including ready to teach lesson material, discussion questions, a list of sources, and reproducible student handouts) click on the following link:

http://www.relevantbiblelessons.com/product/the-christian-and-same-sex-marriage/
The Christian and Same-Sex Marriage
The Christian and Same-Sex Marriage
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Ten Recommendations

You may not be aware of it, but if you are driving down the highway in Missouri, you are not allowed to have an uncaged bear in your car.  What is really outrageous, however, is that when parking in Orlando, Florida, you have to put the same amount of money in the parking meter for your elephant as you would for a car.  

You who study these lessons probably won’t have trouble with this, but I should mention as well that in Illinois, it illegal to give your pet a lighted cigar.  You might want to be careful in Normal, Oklahoma, because there it is illegal to tease your dog by making ugly faces.

Many people across our nation no longer have a respect for the Lord’s Day.   Salem, West Virginia, however, is different.  There, it is against the law to eat candy less than an hour and a half before church service. There are a few other areas of our fair country that also haven’t forgotten the meaning of setting apart one day each week as special. For example:  it is illegal to eat ice cream at a counter on Sunday in Winona Lake, Wisconsin.  In Kansas you can’t order a slice of cherry pie a la mode to go with your meal at the local restaurant.  There are several other states were marbles, dominoes and yo-yos are not allowed to be used on Sundays.

There is a Texas law that is especially important.  It states, “When two railroad trains meet at a crossing, each shall stop and neither shall proceed until the other has passed.”  Equal precautions have been taken in Memphis, Tennessee, where women can't drive a car unless there is a man with a red flag in front of the car warning the other people on the road. 

Yes, these are laws that are on the books in the United States of America.  We might smirk, sneer, or chuckle as we consider how irrelevant these laws are.  At times it is important to revisit the law books and bring things up to date.  Some think that should be done with ten laws that God gave thousands of years ago on a mountain peak in the desert.

In this lesson, we will consider a news article regarding an Oklahoma State Supreme Court ruling that was passed recently demanding that a monument of the Ten Commandments be removed from the Oklahoma State Capitol grounds.  Then we will explore God’s Word to determine if the Ten Commandments are relevant today and what a Christian’s response should be to the Oklahoma court ruling.  

Lesson Objective:  By the end of the lesson  the students will have a better understanding of what portions of Scripture apply to us in our present age.

Thank you for reading the introduction to this lesson.  To download your copy of the complete lesson (including ready to teach lesson material, discussion questions, a list of sources, and reproducible student handouts) click on the following link:

http://www.relevantbiblelessons.com/product/ten-recommendations/
Ten Recommendations?
Ten Recommendations?
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Does God ever Give Up on Us?

Exasperated?  Disheartened?  Discouraged?  Have you tried your best to win your family member, your friend, or your neighbor to the Lord, only to have the door of opportunity slammed in your face again?  Has God given up on them?  Is it time to give up on them and move on to others who may be more responsive?

Proverbs 29:1 says, “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Another version phrases it a little bit different.   “A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy”.  When does a person, a city, a country, the world come to this point?  When will God say, “That’s enough.  My patience has worn out?”

The news account for this lesson was taken from an email message June 8, 2015 from Liberty Relief International as part of their fundraising effort for their ministry.  It was titled, “Miracle in the Middle East.” The account tells of a terrorist, who convicted of his sinfulness, was converted to Christianity.  This is an example of one of the least expected to find Christ, who was not abandoned by God.  In the lesson, we will be examining Scriptures where it seems that God turned His back on individuals, cities, and nations and "gave up on them."  So, does "for God so loved the world" have an expiration date?   Are there some cases where God does give up on people?  The Bible has the answer to this and other questions that will be considered.

Lesson Objective:  By the end of the lesson the student should understand how our decisions are related to divine wrath and divine blessing.

Thank you for reading the introduction to this lesson.  To download your copy of the complete lesson (including ready to teach lesson material, discussion questions, a list of sources, and reproducible student handouts) click on the following link:

http://www.relevantbiblelessons.com/product/does-god-ever-give-up-on-us/
Does God ever Give Up on Us?
Does God ever Give Up on Us?
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Becoming gods

“Immortals” - Theseus is a mortal man chosen by Zeus to lead the fight against the ruthless King Hyperion, who is on a rampage across Greece to obtain a weapon that can destroy humanity.

 “Zuul the Gatekeeper of Gozer in Ghostbusters” - a demigod and minion of Gozer, The Destructor.  It was worshiped by the Mesopotamians, Sumerians and Hittites in 6000 BC, along with Gozer.

 “Hercules” – Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.

“Thor” – The powerful but arrogant god Thor is cast out of Asgard to live amongst humans in Midgard (Earth), where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

 “Wrath of the Titans” – Perseus braves the treacherous underworld to rescue his father, Zeus, captured by his son, Ares, and brother Hades who unleash the ancient Titans upon the world.

“Immortal – Ad Vitam” - In the distant future, Earth is occupied by ancient gods and genetically altered humans. When a god is sentenced to death he seeks a new human host and a woman to bear his child.

What do these summaries have in common?  They are all movies about gods.  People seem to be fascinated with gods.   Not mentioned is the series of Star War movies.  “One of the prominent elements of Star Wars is the "Force", an omnipresent energy that can be harnessed by those with that ability, known as Force-sensitives. It is described in the first produced film as "an energy field created by all living things [that] surrounds us, penetrates us, [and] binds the galaxy together."[7] The Force allows users to perform various supernatural feats (such as telekinesis, clairvoyance, precognition, and mind control) and can amplify certain physical traits, such as speed and reflexes; these abilities vary between characters and can be improved through training. While the Force can be used for good, it has a dark side that, when pursued, imbues users with hatred, aggression, and malevolence.” (wikipedia / wiki/ Star_Wars)

An Israeli historian, Yuval Noah Harari, has just published a book called Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind which has been translated into 30 languages.  He states that within 200 years human beings will gradually merge with technology and become cyborgs.  He says that whether by genetic engineering or technology, our programmed dissatisfaction will guide us into a biological manipulated or genetic-engineered evolution that will result in a part organic part non-organic god-like being.

Why are people so enamored by the idea of gods, battles between gods, and the possibility of human beings being either part god or gods in human form?  This lesson will discuss this and many other questions as we look to the Bible for answers.

Lesson Objective:  By the end of the lesson biblical the student should understand the subtle danger of self-worship.  The student will be reminded of who God is and who the student is.   

Thank you for reading the introduction to this lesson.  To download your copy of the complete lesson (including ready to teach lesson material, discussion questions, a list of sources, and reproducible student handouts) click on the following link:

http://www.relevantbiblelessons.com/30434/becoming-gods/
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