Sabbath School Summary
By Elder Dr Masimba Mavaza
Memory Text: Deuteronomy 30:19 ‘I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.’
Always, it’s a sad story: a young person, in this case a 22-year-old woman, diagnosed with a deadly disease. Brain tumor. Even with all the marvels of modern medicine, nothing could be done until the inevitable. But this young woman, “Sandy,” didn’t want to die.
So, she had a plan. After she died, her head would be put in a deep freeze, into a vat of liquid nitrogen, in hopes of preserving her brain cells. And there it would wait, fifty years, one hundred years, a thousand years, until sometime in the future, when technology had advanced enough so that her brain, composed of neural connections, could then be uploaded into a computer. And yes, Sandy could “live” on, maybe even forever.
Sad story, not just because a young person was going to die but because of where she put her hope of life. Like most people, Sandy wanted life, wanted to live. But she chose a path that, in the end, surely won’t work.
SABBATH: In the age of modern medicine, some are selling the idea of living eternally through the use of liquid nitrogen. Cryonicists say that it’s wrong to refer to a dead body as a corpse. Instead, the dead is just “deanimated.” Sandy who had cancer had a plan to also preserve her brain in this liquid after death believing that future technology will revive her. Eternal life is only in God (the Giver).
SUNDAY: Adam & Eve, the leaves & rocks didn’t choose to come into existence. Such is our case. What God offers is the choice to remain in existence—to choose eternal life in Him. Eden had the “tree of life” which could prolong life. When Adam sinned, the pair lost access to the tree. From onset, man had two choices; eternal life or eternal death (Gen. 2:8, 9, 15-17, 3:22, 23, GC, p. 532,533, Rev. 2:7, 22:2, 14).
MONDAY: We work for God or for Satan. Either we’re wholeheartedly Christians or none at all. There’s no middle ground—we are hot or cold. Man has always had only two choices. Those who are willing to make any sacrifice for eternal life will have it (John 3:16, Gen. 7:22, 23,Rom. 6:23, 8:6, 1 John 5:12, Matt. 7:24-27). At the end of the great controversy, sin & sinners will be destroyed (2 Thess. 1:9).
TUESDAY: The long discourse in Deuteronomy about the result of disobeying God ends with a message of grace. All repentant sinners would be saved. Though the Israel may go into exile, God will restore the nation. God has always be plain with man; we’re to choose good over evil if we’re to have eternal life (Deut. 30:15-20). Sin brings death, evil, & curses. Use the gift of free will wisely.
WEDNESDAY: God offers grace but not cheap grace. Christ died for us. We have a sacrifice to make to earn God’s grace. We shall find everything worth dying for if we want eternal life. No task will be too hard for us (Deut. 30:1-10). God’s promises to Israel would do the nation no good if they sinned against Him. We’re to love God back for His love (Deut. 30:11-14, COL, p. 333, Rom. 10:16-10).
THURSDAY: God doesn’t accept partial obedience. He is a jealous God. We either worship Him who brings life or other gods which brings evil & death. Worship was key in God’s covenant with Israel. Unlike other nations, Israel was the only nation who worshipped the true God (Deut. 32:39, 4:19, 8:19, 11:16, 30:17, 4:24, 5:9, 6:15). God won’t force us to worship Him like the beast (Rev. 13:1-15; 14:6-12).
FRIDAY: We cannot alter our DNA, but the power of choice is ours. Daily, out of willful choice we make a decision to serve God or Satan; to be saved or lost. God has not predestined some to be saved or lost. The gift of freewill comes with the sacred duty of choosing blessings or curses. Sin leads to eternal death not eternal torment. God bids us to choose life not death (Rom. 6:23, Deut. 30:15).
—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 544.
Cryonicists- People who argue that modern technology will one day bring them back from the dead if they preserve their brain in liquid nitrogen.
GC- The Great Controversy
COL- Christ’s Object Lessons
DNA- It carries details on how a living thing will look & function.
SUNDAY- The Tree Of Life
MONDAY- No Middle Ground
TUESDAY- Life And Good, Death And Evil, Blessings and Curses
WEDNESDAY- Not Too Hard For You
THURSDAY- A Question Of Worship
📌 In class, talk more about the idea presented in Tuesday’s study, about whether it is God who directly brings punishment here and now for disobedience or whether it comes as a law-like consequence of the acts of disobedience. Or might it be both? Might there be cases where it is one or the other? How do we understand this topic?
📌 What do the texts we looked at in the Ellen White statement today teach us about the power of God available to us to overcome sin?
📌 Read Romans 10:1-10, where Paul quotes from Deuteronomy 30:11-14 as he expounds on salvation by faith in Jesus in contrast to seeking salvation and righteousness through the law. Why do you think he used these verses from Deuteronomy? Pay special attention to Romans 10:10: “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (NKJV). What point is Paul making?