Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2017
Texts: Acts 4:12, Psalm 87:4-6, John 10:16, John 14:6, Rom. 1:18, Romans 2:12-16
For some time now, countless pictures, facts, and heart-rending stories about the Syrian refugees have come to our attention. As more individuals seek refuge, the questions seem to mount. Where will they go? Should they be allowed to enter a country without following the normal protocol? Who is going to end up paying for them? Will this affect me?1
While this type of questioning seems to voice the concerns of some, others have approached the situation with an entirely different set of queries. Instead of being concerned about the impact on themselves, they have asked how they can help. How quickly can these people, these families, be brought into countries and helped in establishing normalcy in their daily living? Some people express concerns that echo fear of how the situation could potentially affect their own well-being, while others voice concern for those who have been displaced. One such story is told of a bride and groom who decided to forgo their own wedding feast and instead serve meals to 4,000 refugees. They saw an opportunity to share—to make a difference for others—and seized it. That picture of a bride in her wedding gown and groom in his formal attire serving hungry refugees brought home the message that individuals can find ways to help.2,3
In our Sabbath School lesson this week, we deal with some difficult questions about salvation. Has everyone who has ever lived heard the Good News of Jesus? Can one be saved without submitting oneself to Jesus, even though they never heard the Gospel message?
While we may feel very certain about how we accepted Jesus and chose to accept the gift of salvation, the question becomes a little more problematic when we attempt to answer it for others—especially those with whom we cannot sit down and converse. We do have some advice telling us that some have followed God’s voice and leading even though they did not realize from where that voice came. Throughout this week’s Bible texts, the theme rings clear that we are all sinners, that God loves all of us even though we are, and that Jesus’ death on the cross is sufficient to cover all our sins. Along with that gift, we are reminded by Paul in1 Corinthians 9:22-23, that we are not only given the opportunity to accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness, but that we are given the opportunity to share it with others.
Perhaps a good question to ask might be, “How can I help to spread this amazing message of love, forgiveness, and eternity to those around our world?”
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