NBC Sunday School Manual For November 7, 2021 : Topic – All People Praise God
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
ALL PEOPLE PRAISE GOD
Devotional Reading: Revelation 7:9-17
Background Scripture reading: Revelation 7:9-17
Lesson Scripture reading: Revelation 7:9-17
Golden Text: These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:l4b
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
i. Explain how God’s salvation and justice for all people inspire praise and worship;
ii. Enumerate the significance of praising God in unity;
iii. Resolve to respond to God’s love with joy and exaltation.
From time immemorial, God has always spoken to His people in diverse ways like dreams, visions, through His Word, people and sometimes through circumstances. Like the case of John, the author of the book of Revelation, God gave him series of revelations to show him what must happen very soon or in the future (Revelation 1:1). Interestingly, the visions were in stages and John accurately recorded all that he saw. Particularly, chapter 7 of the book documents John’s vision of the enormous crowd from every race, that no one could, count worshipping God. These were those who have come safely through the terrible persecution caused by a human leader who wanted to take the place of God.
The book of Revelation was probably written during the reign of Domitian, the Roman emperor who reigned from AD 81 to 96. The book may, therefore, have be written during the last decade of the first century of the Christian era. Domitian was the first Roman emperor to proclaim himself God. As wicked as he was, he persecuted those who refused to worship him as god. The intensity of the suffering of the Christians led the author to write the book with the assurance that history will end in victory for Christ and God’s faithful people will have peace. The focus of today’s lesson is John’s vision of the enormous crowd that worshipped God in heaven.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A The Great Crowd Worship God Revelation 7:9-12
John, the author of Revelation constantly emphasises the closeness of the end of time during which the powers of evil will be let loose (Revelation 2:16; 3:11). God gave John the revelation to show His servants what must happen very soon. Ultimately,
Jesus made these truths known to John by sending an angel to him in a vision (Revelation 1:2-3). According to the passage, the vision was about the enormous crowd that no one could count. The gathering includes people of different races, tribes, nations and languages. The passage further describes them as standing in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes with palm branches in their hands (v. 9). The robe, an important piece of clothing in the Bible, signifies not only outward clothing, but reveals who the person is and what his status is. In that revelation, believers wore the white robe of purity, and carried palm branches as signs of victory and joy following war. They cried out in a loud voice saying, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (v. 10) Standing ground the throne were the elders and the four living credtures. They bowed down before the throne and worshipped God deing, “Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thdnksgiving, honour, power, and might belong to our God for ever and ever! Amen.” (v. 12) Obviously, the twenty-four elders are the some elders who were dressed in white, wedring crowns of glory and sitting on the twenty-four thrones (Revelation 4:4).
However, some Bible commentators described them as the twenty-four groups of Levites in 1 Chronicles 25 verses 9 to 13.
It should be noted that the image of being dressed in or white robe dppedrs often in Reveldtion. It refers to those whose lives have been purified by the sacrificial death of Christ and who have remained fdithful when the church wos under severe persecution. In other words, they are believers who were persecuted for their faith when the emperor unledshed wor, famine and diseases on them because of his dmbitions (Revelation 621-11). Based on the worship experience of the people, it can be deduced thdt one of the best ways to respond to God’s salvation and justice is for alll people to praise and worship God in truth and in Spirit. Though they were being severely persecuted, yet in unity, they gathered to worship God for His ultimate victory in establishing a kingdom of justice and peace for those who have remained faithful. The significance of corporate worship cannot be overemphasised. The cord of unity is strengthened and there is encouragement to remain steadfast in faith, despite the persecution. This should serve as guarantee
Christians who are being persecuted today to remain united in faith, worship God in truth and in spirit because He will surely give victory.
Discussion Time 1
1. Discuss the possibility of corporate worship in the midst of persecution in a hostile world.
2. What can be done to put an end to the persecution Christians, especially in age?
B. God’s Promise to the Faithful Revelation 7:13-17
In the passage, dialogue ensued between John and one of the elders who stood before the throne. “Who are these people dressed in white robes, and where do they come from?” said one of the elders to John. John reveals that he does not know but that the elder does (v. 13). Verses l4 and 15 contain a comprehensive description of the people who dressed in white robes. They are those who survived the terrible persecution that befell the church. Piecing the images together in this book the implication is that these are Christians who have died for their faithfulness to Christ. They have washed their robes and made them white with the blood of the Lamb. Consequently, the blood of the Lamb had cleansed and qualified them to stand before the throne of God serving Him day and night in the temple (the Jewish worship centre). Moreover, God promised the following:
-▪︎To protect them from evil with His presence;
.▪︎ To shield them from hunger or thirst and from the scorching heat of the sun;
-▪︎To be their Shepherd and guide them to springs of life
giving water (a land of abundance)
-▪︎To wipe away their tears.
The passage clearly explains the benefits that await those who are persecuted but yet they did not compromise their faith. This is enough encouragement for those who are being persecuted not to give up because their endurance shall be greatly rewarded as God had promised. In the same vein, Prophet Isaiah echoed a message of comfort and restoration for the people of Jerusalem. God promised that they will never be hungry or thirsty, neither will the sun and desert heat hurt them because they will be led by the One (God) who loves them (Isaiah 49:10). Christians should be reminded that the promises listed above are not exclusively for believers in the days of John but for everyone who will endure persecution to the end without compromise. God is aware of the suffering of His people and the fact that it seems there is no immediate solution does not mean that He is indifferent. He is faithful to His promises; therefore, at the appointed time, He will restore His people and they will respond in praise to Him.
Discussion Time 2
i.What should be Christian’s
attitude to persecution based on God’s promises?
2. Discuss whot qualifies people to stand before the throne of God, according to verses 14 and 15.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity
i. The church can organise a day of prayer and fasting for Christians who are being persecuted all over the world.
ii. Class members should sing Baptist Hymnal 359 “I’ll Live for Him” solemnly.
-▪︎ God has created all peoples to worship Him.
-▪︎Corporate worship strengthens the bond of
.▪︎ God is worthy of our praise because salvation only comes from Him.
. ▪︎There is reward for those who will not compromise their faith in times of persecution.
. ▪︎The persecuted should be encouraged.