NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR AUGUST 21, 2022 : TOPIC – THE RIVER OF LIFE
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
Sunday, August 21, 2022
THE RIVER OF LIFE
Background & Lesson Scripture: Revelation22:1-7
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1
Objectives: By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
I. Explain the significance of the Water of Life;
II. Highlight steps to take to accept God’s offer of abundant life;
III. Share with the class their preparation for the second coming of Christ
The importance of water to the body has made people conclude that ‘Water is Life. As a result, safe and quality drinking water is an essential aspect of human health. It has been scientifically proven that the average requirement of water for human consumption per day is 2.5 litres. This volume is necessary because the body need water to regulate its temperature and maintain good health generally. All the aforementioned points to the fact that water is a necessity of life. Interestingly, it is quite affordable and available for all. Just as water is a necessity for human survival, it is also a symbol of spiritual and emotional cleansing. Last week, we discussed John’s vision of the New Jerusalem and its beauty.
Today, we shall be discussing about the ‘Living Water’ that flowed from beneath the temple in the New Jerusalem. The “River of Life” or the river of Living Water introduces the new creation of God as distinct from the old. The New City will be characterised by the river that flows directly from the throne of God. The message is that our new abode will place us directly the presence of God in such a way that there will be no lack of anything that is needed to sustain life. It is the very presence of God, who is Life Himself.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. The River of the Water of Life Revelation 22:1-2
As John concludes his vision about the New Jerusalem and the new earth, the angel also showed him the river of the Water of Life. It was a unique experience to see the water sparkling like crystal and coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb (v.1). According to John’s description in verses 1-2, the river is, “sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the broad street of the city. The tree of life was on both sides of the river, bearing 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month.
The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations.” leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations implies that God’s mercy extends to every nation, tribe and race. In fact, other apocalyptic writers such as Ezekiel, Joel, and Zechariah made reference to the fountain or river, which flows, out of the Lord’s house. It sweetens the salty water of the Dead Sea. Jesus also used this same imagery with the Samaritan woman in John chapter 4verse 7 to 14. Therefore, the Tree of Life and the River of Life are both symbols of eternal life, which Jesus Christ saw a river The fact that the brings.
The description of the River of Life is similar to the words of Prophet Ezekiel who producing its fruit every month. flowing from beneath the temple in the restored Jerusalem. On both sides of the river, there were “all kinds of trees for food” whose leaves are for healing” (Ezekiel 47:12). It is interesting to know that the leaves of the Tree of Life are specifically for the healing “of all nations” as it is mentioned in today’s passage (Revelation 22:26). The implication is that there is divine provision for everyone. No situation is beyond God’s providential care. He can be relied upon at every moment to provide for our needs including healing of all kinds such as marital, parental, career, psychological and otherwise. In addition, the availability of the fruits from the Tree of Life fulfils the promise made to the faithful (church) in Revelation 2:7.
1. What does the Water of Life symbolise?
2. How does a person receive Christ’s offer of abundant life?
B. The Nature of the Throne of God. Revelation 22:3-5
These verses describe vividly the distinctive nature of the throne of God. Noteworthy in the city is the negative characteristic of the curse of sin, which began in Genesis chapter 3 verses 14 to 19. However, this will no longer be and the people will live in safety because there will be no more threat of destruction (cf. Zechariah 14:11). Nevertheless, the statement “nothing cursed will be found in the city anymore” (v.3) can be interpreted in two folds: as a warning for those who are rebellious against God as well as an assurance that the faithful who will dwell in the New Jerusalem will be free from any evil influence. Subsequently, the passage summarises the nature of the city. For instance:
▪︎ The throne of God and of the Lamb will be there in the city.
▪︎ His servant will worship Him without barrier.
▪︎ They will see His face and their names will be written on their foreheads.
▪︎They will be no night because God will be their light.
▪︎ They will rule as kings forever. It may also mean that believers will share in the eternal Kingdom of Christ, our Lord that has no end. Surely, this is great comfort for believers.
The summary of the passage is that the New Jerusalem will no longer be inhabited by anyone under God’s curse like in the Garden of Eden when God placed a curse on the serpent for deceiving Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:14). This implies that those who engage in all manner of sinful desires have been declared unfit and unacceptable (Galatians 5:21-22), and will not dwell in the new abode. However, because Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:10, 13), we will surely have direct access to God’s throne. This will be possible because the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city (v.3). Besides, we will have the unique privilege of worshipping God faceto-face (1John 3:2).
1. Describe the nature of the throne of God? (vv.3-4)
2. What attitude is expected of believers anticipating to enter the new heaven?
C. The Promise of His Coming. Revelation 22:6-7
As John’s vision finally came to an end, the angel spoke emphatically about the authenticity of the words. He said, “These words are true and can be trusted” The reason being that God Himself has given His Spirit to the prophets and sent His angel to reveal to His servants the events that must happen soon (v.6). Jesus Himself announced His coming. He also pronounced His blessing on those who will obey the prophetic words in the book (v.7). He said, “I am coming soon” which indicates the urgency and imminence of His second coming to judge and reward His people. The expression suggests that the fulfilment of the vision is sure to take place soon and will not be delayed.
Jesus’ second coming is a comforting picture of peace and final triumph for the faithful, especially those who are experiencing great tribulation and persecution at the present. It also serves as warning to unbelievers to repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. Even though we do not know the precise time of His coming, believers should be firm in their faith until Christ comes to be partakers of His blessings as He has promised. Regrettably, some believers still doubt the promise of Christ’s second coming thus John repeated His words of re-assurance in verse 6 saying, “These words are faithful and true” (Revelation 19:9; 21:5). The words are truth and can be trusted. They cannot be compared with the words of man that are sometimes in futility. So, the assurance of His coming especially with His reward should spur Christians to live lives of obedience to His word and will in order to enjoy His blessings and reward.
1. Discuss the significance of Jesus’ second coming.
2. What is the nature of Jesus’ reward when He comes?
Commitment: Based on today’s lesson, make a commitment to your church to be more dedicated to God’s work as you prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
▪︎ Let some members share with the class their preparation for the second coming of Jesus Christ. They should also sing Baptist hymn 481 – “Shall We Gather at the River”. ”
▪︎Pair yourself in twos and pray for one another in the class
▪︎ Pray for your Pastor(s) in the Church
▪︎ The class should join their hands together and pray for the Church, Conference and Convention
Take Home: Write down three lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson.