NBC Sunday School Manual For August 28, 2022 :Topic – No Substitute
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
Sunday August 28, 2022
TOPIC: NO SUBSTITUTE
Background & Lesson Scripture: Revelation 22:10-21
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophesy of this book; If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophesy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book Revelation 22:18-19
Objectives: By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
I. Discuss God’s promise for the righteous according to the passage;
II. Identify the group of people Jesus addressed as dogs;
III. Show appreciation to God for the invitation to be a part of the new creation.
“Everything that has a beginning must definitely have an end” says an old proverb. We have an insightful statement from King David’s beloved son, Solomon, the man full of wisdom. He said, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
(Ecclesiastes 7:8). Indeed, the end is better for God’s people because the Lord has promised rewards for His people. God’s thinking is never that the end justifies the means, but rather, as Oswald Chambers points out, “The end explains.”
The whole book of Revelation is John’s vision when he was in the Island of Patmos. The vision was in stages that addresses different subject matters. The final statement in the last few verses of chapter 22 affirm John’s declaration of the truth of what he has written in the book as revealed to him by the angel. In the sternest terms, he warns against tempering with the words revealed by the angel of God either by addition or subtraction. However, he made it clear that not everyone will enter the New City as it is indicated throughout the narratives. John clarifies those who will be allowed to enter and who will not and gives a warning for all. The focus of today’s lesson explains the conclusion of the entire message of John. It serves as a reminder that in God’s coming kingdom, everyone will be rewarded appropriately and no one will be substituted for another.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. The Promise of a Reward. Revelation 22:10-13
John’s experience with the angel who revealed to him events that was to come was amazing. Little wonder John fell at the angel’s feet in worship. The angel however warned that the prophetic words of the book should not be kept in secret. The warning was necessitated by the fact that the events and happenings will take place soon. This is followed by series of warnings and affirmations. In verse 11 he said, “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” Then the promise of a reward is announced in verse 12. He said, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” Without doubt, this is an encouragement to believers to continue in their faithful labour without relenting and to the unbelievers the need for repentance. Of course, verse 13 reveals the identity and authority of Christ as the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. This declaration further puts a seal of authentication to the words heard from the angel and written by John.
God’s Word is accurate in content. The warning not to add or subtract from the revelations became necessary because from the Old Testament time, divinely inspired documents and books go with a curse for those who may yield to the temptation of adding or removing from the text (Deuteronomy 4:2). Nevertheless, God’s promise for the righteous and obedient is His reward as it is clearly stated in verse 12. Jesus also affirms His coming to reward His faithful servants according to the measure of their actions and deeds (Matthew 16:27). Unfortunately, some people have continuously rebelled against God and this may continue until Jesus’ second coming. Jesus promised that His reward is for the good and evil alike according to what we have done. The fact that He will come at an unexpected time should serve as a warning for believers not to be caught unaware. This should also serve as enough reinforcement for believers to be more committed to His service without wavering.
1. Discuss the implication of verse 12 to believers.
2. What is the meaning and significance of the titles of Jesus given in this passage?
B. Blessings and Curses Revelation 22:14-17
This part of John’s revelation was the pronouncement of blessings on the righteous and curses on the unrighteous. Having declared His authority as the Alpha and Omega, Jesus pronounced blessings on the righteous, those who have washed their robes clean. He said they have possessed the right to eat from the fruit of the Tree of Life as well as go through the gates into the city. Some manuscripts refer to these groups of people as those who kept God’s commandments. In contrasts, evildoers will be exiled outside the city. The dogs are those who practice magic, arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and those who love and practices falsehood (v.15
The word “dogs” as it is used in the New Testament refers to spiritual scavengers and predators who undermine the faith of others (Matthew 7:6; 2 Peter 2:22), and unwilling to appreciate the value of spiritual truths. Again, Jesus affirmed the authenticity of His true identity as the one who sent the angel with the message to the church. He said, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning star”. Jesus being the Root and the Offspring of David suggests that He is the source of David’s family. According to verse 17, Jesus gave an invitation to all who are willing to accept the offer of the free gift of the Water of Life. Similarly, through Prophet Isaiah, God called everyone to come eat and drink of God’s gift without price (Isaiah 55:1).
Although Christ came and died for all so that we might gain eternal life (John 3:16), but only those who wash their robes clean will enter the New City and eat the fruit of the Tree of Life (v. 2). By implication, only those, whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, will inherit the kingdom, which has been prepared for believers (Revelation 21:27; 3:4). They are qualified to partake of the free gift of the Water of Life, which is God’s gift of adoption (John 4:10). The wicked will be shut out of the city forever because of their evil deeds. Besides, Jesus’ description as the Root and Offspring of David means that the words in the book points to Him. Truly, He is the fulfilment and He alone is the Saviour. Therefore, believers should endeavour to live a righteous lifestyle so that they will have the right to enjoy eternity with God forever. It also gives opportunity for sinners to repent and enjoy the same promise with the righteous.
1. Apart from the blessings stated in the passage for those who washed their robes clean, state other benefits that await believers when Christ shall come in His glory.
2. In ver 16, Jesus confirmed that He sent His angels to announce the message to the Church.
What are some lessons Christians can learn from the message today?
C. Final Warning. Revelation 22:18-21
As John concludes his message, he gave a solemn and final warning to everyone who hears the
prophetic words of the book. The warning is in two categories: He warned against those who will add anything to the prophetic message of the book. He declared that God will add to their punishment the plagues described in the book. Although the warnings in verse 18 seems to be applied to John’s vision, but the warning not to add to or subtract from God’s Word is also found in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6). Those who will whether literarily or by way of false interpretations (2Peter 3:14-16), take anything away from the prophetic words of the book were also warned. He said, “God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in the book.” It means the forfeiture of the glorious promises for those who have washed their robes and walked faithfully with God. The phrase, “I Come quickly” is repeated three times in this chapter (vv. 7, 12, 20). It signifies the imminence of Jesus’ coming. In fact, it was Jesus’ last parting words to His waiting bride (the church), before He went to His Father.
The concluding section of the book of Revelation as a whole is a necessary warning to believers in Christ. It is admonition to be faithful in telling God’s Word. We are to avoid the temptation of eliminating or the misinterpretation of whatever portions of Scripture we seem not to like or understand. According to the passage, there is danger in interpreting the Scriptures to suit our selfish desires. Rather, we should allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in the correct interpretation of His Word because there is no substitute for it. This is the only sure way to escape the punishment as stated in verses 18 and 19.
1. Is the warning in verses 18-19 limited to the book of Revelation or does it apply to the whole Scriptures?
2. Explain why it is difficult for people to accept the good message of the gospel especially these days?
Commitment: Based on today’s lesson, make a personal commitment to share the good news of the saving power of Jesus to someone who has not accepted Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
▪︎Pray for and visit someone to share the message of the second coming of Jesus Christ. It could be a friend, family member, colleague, or your Sunday school class member, whom you have not seen in a long time. Share your experience briefly next week.
1. Ask that you will not fall off from faith
2. Pray that you will partake of blessings of God and not curses
3. Pray for grace to finish well in the race of faith
Take Home: Write down three lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson.
REVIEW: We are grateful to God for the opportunity to study God’s Word throughout this month and to be more acquainted with the great hope of the Saints as revealed to John through an angel. I know for sure that we have been blessed and encouraged through the beautiful lessons: Therefore: ▪︎ What preparation do you intend to make in order to enter into the New City as a believer?
▪︎ What new lessons did you learn about the great hope of the Saints?
▪︎ What new insight did you get about the significance of church decoration?
▪︎ How do you intend to the respond to God’s promise of the gift of the River of Life?