Thursday, July 18 2024 - 1:01 PM

Sharing Scripture — June 22, 2024

Earth’s Closing Events

 

For use: June 16 – 22, 2024
Texts: John 8:32; Ezekiel 20:12, 20; Revelation 7:1-2; Revelation 14:1; Joel 2:21-24; Hosea 6:3; James 5:7-8; Revelation 18:1-4

For 25 years, the International Space Station (ISS) has gracefully orbited 250 miles above the Earth. In six years, however, its journey will come to an end. NASA plans to send the ISS plunging into the ocean in late 2030.

NASA first developed the concept for the ISS in the 1980s, and that technology is long-since obsolete. “I kind of see this as like an automobile,” reports Phil McCalister, director of NASA’s Commercial Space Division. “When we bought that automobile in 1999, it was state of the art. And it has been great. But it’s getting older. It’s getting harder to find spare parts. The maintenance for that is becoming a larger issue.”

NASA looked at various options to decommission the ISS, including reusing some parts in a future space station. Since the current station won’t be compatible with new technology, that idea didn’t generate any interest (though they may return some smaller items to display in museums).

With NASA stepping away from managing low-earth orbit vehicles, private enterprises will take over that mission—Axiom Space, Voyager Space, and Blue Origin all vie for the contract to build the next space station. NASA will then turn their attention to deep-space exploration. Missions to the moon, Mars, and beyond will now take center stage.

As the current ISS era winds down, a new era of space exploration will begin.

Bible prophecy reveals to us that this current era of human history is also winding down, leading to a new, eternal chapter for God’s people in the kingdom. James, the brother of Jesus, reminds us in the meantime to “Be patient… until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” (James 5:7-8)

While we wait patiently for Christ’s return, this is a good time to review the final events for this phase of Earth’s history, and what it means for us personally. Scripture reveals that in the end days, many will outright reject the weekly Sabbath. However, Scripture directs us to worship the Creator, and one of the best ways to demonstrate our devotion to our creator God is by remembering the weekly Sabbath.

As the lines are drawn between those who receive the seal of God, and others who accept the mark of the beast, we must determine now who, or what, we will worship.

No matter what alarming ordeals are happening all around us, the best preparation for persevering through Earth’s closing events is to place our focus on Jesus, and keep patiently worshiping our Creator.

For Reflection

 

Connecting: Life is a continuous cycle of endings and new beginnings: school graduations lead to new job opportunities; relationships sometimes end and new ones replace them; and in families loved ones eventually pass away while newborn babies arrive. What is a meaningful life transition that you’ve experienced?

Sharing: Revelation 18:1-4 envisions a gathering call for God’s people to come out of false worship into true Creator-worship. How should we best relate to those who respond to this call?

  1. We should always be humble, realizing that we ourselves can always improve our own worship practices
  2. It will be great to see people finally admit that we have the truth
  3. There are multitudes who follow Jesus to the best of their knowledge, and we can learn something about fidelity to God from them
  4. We should never judge the spiritual experience of another person
  5. I need to search my own heart and discover if I have a bit of the beast in me
  6. Other:

Applying: If you had the opportunity to develop a Last-day Events outreach seminar, what are the basic teachings you would want to cover? Are there any aspects of the seminars you’ve attended in the past that cause you to cringe? How could you change the approach to some of these topics to be more seeker-sensitive?

Valuing: How attuned are you to Bible prophecy and last-day events topics? Is this even on your radar these days? Even though you may have a good grasp on these teachings, now is a good time to refresh your understanding of these subjects. You can peruse your local church library for resources, or ask your pastor for suggestions on the current research that is available.

~ Chuck Burkeen


Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

 

I rushed through the parking lot towards the entrance of my church, sopping-wet hair bouncing off my back as I chided myself for running late; I guess squeezing in that last-minute shower before our team meeting wasn’t the best idea I ever had. It left me with no time to dry my hair, no time to apply any makeup. I looked a total mess.

So much to do, so little time. But, I was there, I reminded myself.

My pace tempered as I entered the church’s conference room, eyes scanning for an empty chair and finding one next to a couple dressed to perfection, sporting perfectly coiffed hair, sipping water from tumblers that cost 9 times that of my clearance-rack tee.

I tried to melt into my seat and go unnoticed, a hard thing to achieve as the last arrival.

It wasn’t until after the meeting had concluded that I could evaluate the situation with clearer vision.

We both had every right to be there. It makes no difference to God if I’m in a $5 tee or a $500 blouse. We were there for God, to learn how we could better reflect the love of Christ to our local community.

A heart devoted to Jesus is all that matters.

 

Stefani Leeper | Content Coordinator

The Center for Creative Ministry is fully recognized by the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church; it is also a 501c3 nonprofit organization which makes donations tax deductible in the U.S.

 

© 2017 - 2024 Center for Creative Ministry. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *