Further Study: “Those who today teach unpopular truths need not be discouraged if at times they meet with no more favorable reception, even from those who claim to be Christians, than did Paul and his fellow workers from the people among whom they labored. The messengers of the cross must arm themselves with watchfulness and prayer, and move forward with faith and courage, working always in the name of Jesus.”—Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 230.
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“If, in the closing scenes of this earth’s history, those to whom testing truths are proclaimed would follow the example of the Bereans, searching the Scriptures daily, and comparing with God’s word the messages brought them, there would today be a large number loyal to the precepts of God’s law, where now there are comparatively few. . . .
“All will be judged according to the light that has been given. The Lord sends forth His ambassadors with a message of salvation, and those who hear He will hold responsible for the way in which they treat the words of His servants. Those who are sincerely seeking for truth will make a careful investigation, in the light of God’s word, of the doctrines presented to them.”—Page 232.
- In the context of the last paragraph of Monday’s study, discuss in class the implication of the following statement: “There is need of a more thorough preparation on the part of candidates for baptism. . . . The principles of the Christian life should be made plain to those who have newly come to the truth.”—Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pages 91, 92.
- Dwell more on Wednesday’s final question. How can we as a church show the same understanding Paul had of cultural differences and the same willingness to meet the people where they are without compromising the gospel or our own religious identity?
- Read Acts 17:32-34. What can we learn from the three responses that met Paul’s message in Athens? “(1) Some mocked. They were amused by the passionate earnestness of this strange Jew. It is possible to make a jest of life; but those who do so will find that what began as comedy must end in tragedy. (2) Some put off their decision. The most dangerous of all days is when a man discovers how easy it is to talk about tomorrow. (3) Some believed. The wise man knows that only the fool will reject God’s offer.”—William Barclay, The Acts of the Apostles, rev. ed. (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976), p. 133.
- Paul actually quoted a pagan writer (Acts 17:28) in order to make his point with the Athenians. What should that tell us about how, at times, using sources like this could be of value? What dangers are there, as well?