Sabbath School Lesson for June 22-28, 2024

Overview of Lesson 13, The Triumph of God’s Love

Memory Verse: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ ” Revelation 21:3, 4 NKJV

Sometimes we forget that the most appealing thing about heaven is that it brings us so close to our victorious God, whose strong, steadfast love has made it possible to be there. Having mansions, beautiful gardens, tame wildlife to entertain us, and the most delectable cuisine to feast upon is nothing, compared with the joy of being friends with the Creator of the universe on such a deep, personal level.

Dwelling with him and being His people in that glorious atmosphere also means that pain, sorrow, and death will be eliminated from our lives forever. Our past difficulties will have melted away from our minds to the extent that they no longer cause us crying or distress of any kind. Jesus Himself will wipe away our tears with His tender hands that still bear the scars of His sacrifice for us.

The whole purpose of studying about closing events in the book of Revelation is to give us hope and a tiny glimpse of such a marvelous future and what it will mean for all of God’s creatures.

Read chapters 39-42 of The Great Controversy for more hope and inspiration about this week’s topic.

  • Sunday: Hope in the Time of Trouble–How will we be shielded from it?
  • Monday: Hope in Jesus’ Soon Return–Why do we cling to this “blessed hope”?
  • Tuesday: The Millennium on Earth–What does Satan do during the millennium?
  • Wednesday: Judgment in the Millennium–What will we be doing during the millennium?
  • Thursday: Two Eternities–Why will the entire universe rejoice over both destinies of man (salvation of the righteous and destruction of the wicked)

Sunday: Hope in the Time of Trouble

Most people feel like they’ve had enough trouble during their own lifetime, but the seven last plagues that fall just prior to Christ’s return will be something more dreadful than we’ve ever experienced before on this planet (Daniel 12:1). Remembering the plagues that fell on Egypt during Moses’ day gives us a small idea of how terrible it will be in the future. Surely, the plagues described in Revelation 16 will be dreadful indeed.

Jesus gave us two reasons not to fear these disastrous events though. He said first in Matthew 24:22 that for our sakes those troubled days at the end will be shortened. And just before He left His disciples to go to heaven, He promised that He, through the Holy Spirit, would be with them and us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). At the end of Revelation we find that not only will Jesus come, but He’ll come quickly, and His grace is always with His children; that would mean even through the dreaded plagues (Revelation 22:20, 21).

Our hope, therefore, extends beyond our desire for the Second Coming and the resurrection of our loved ones. The faith and hope needed to get us through the predicted time of trouble has also been promised and is greatly appreciated by God’s people.

Bible Verses:

  • Revelation 22:11, 12, Daniel 12:1, 2, and Jeremiah 30:5-7

Why do you think probation will be closed, when our final destiny is determined, just before the last plagues fall and Jesus comes again?

  • Philippians 4:3, Revelation 13:8, 20:12, 15, and 22:19

Who are the ones whose names are in the Book of Life, and why is this Book mentioned so many times in Revelation when talking about our final judgment?

  • 1 John 3:1-3 and Revelation 3:10-12

What will our lives be like now, if our names are in the Book of Life?

  • Psalm 27:5 and 91:1-11

How are we protected now and especially during the time of trouble?

Monday: Hope in Jesus’ Soon Return

Ever since Jesus’ resurrection and return to heaven in the clouds, His disciples have longed for His promised return. This is truly the desire of all ages: for the final conflict between Christ and Satan to be over. We are confident in His victory over our adversary, the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10).

It’s been estimated that one in 25 verses in the New Testament talks about the return of Jesus. Surely one of the most beloved passages in the Bible about our hope for the Second Coming  comes from the Lord Himself in John 14:1-3. He says confidently that He will come, and Paul assures us that we can be ready for Him (Titus 2:11-14). Both messages are comforting to hear.

There will be a marked difference in the reaction of people when Jesus does return, however. Many will want to hide from Him (as Adam and Eve did in the Garden), and others will be overjoyed and thankful for the event. Will we be filled with fear and guilt, or with joy and peace when that time comes? The choice is ours,

Bible Verses:

  • John 14:1-3 and Titus 2:11-14

What is most comforting to you in these verses?

  • Revelation 6:15-17, 19:7, and Isaiah 25:8, 9

Why do people react so differently to the Second Coming when it actually happens?

Tuesday: The Millennium on Earth

When Revelation 20:1-3 tells us about a “bottomless pit” that the devil is bound and cast into, many people think of an actual hole in the ground, a subterranean cavern of some kind where Satan will spend a thousand years.

However, the word for this bottomless pit, or “abyss”, is the same word used in talking about the formation of the earth in the beginning. Genesis describes how the earth was “without form, and void” before God created life here. That means it was a dark, desolate place.

With all the righteous in heaven for the thousand-year period, and the wicked all slain from the brightness of Christ’s return (Jeremiah 25:33), there will be no one for Satan and his angels to tempt. The prophet Jeremiah described this deserted planet as being “without form, and void” because all its cities are broken down (Jeremiah 4:23-26).

Not only will the universe have a thousand years to witness the tragic effects of sin, but the devil and his followers will have plenty of time to contemplate their role in the devastation their rebellion has caused people on earth.

Bible Verses:

  • Revelation 20:1-3

In God’s overall plan of salvation, what role does the millennium play  for Satan and his angels?

  • Jeremiah 4:23-26 and 25:33

How did Jeremiah envision the earth as a “bottomless pit” during the millennium?

Wednesday: Judgment in the Millennium

Satan is bound by circumstances beyond his control during the millennium. But what about the righteous who have triumphantly been brought to heaven at the Second Coming? We know they will be praising God and thanking Him for their deliverance throughout eternity. Why are a thousand years set apart for them though?

Revelation 20:4-6, in addition to 1 Corinthians 6:3, indicates that all God’s creatures will be included in the judgment process. It’s all part of God’s plan to deal with sin in a fair and just manner. As jurors in a criminal trial, the whole universe will be given the opportunity to examine and question the decisions God has made regarding evildoers.

This transparent judicial process takes place for the unfallen angels during the pre-investigative judgment, and during the millennium for God’s faithful, redeemed human beings. This time period is necessary because God is also on trial before the universe. He must prove to all His creatures that He is as loving and just as He claims to be.

The millennium will also prepare us for the destruction of the wicked that occurs at its end. Isaiah 28:21 refers to that destruction as God’s strange, unusual, or foreign act. All will understand by the end of the thousand years that total annihilation of the wicked by fire is the only fair and certain way to end the sin problem.

Bible Verses:

  • Revelation 20:4-6

Why are righteous human beings considered both priests and kings in God’s heavenly kingdom?

  • Revelation 20:7-9

What happens to Satan and the unrighteous after the millennium?

  • Revelation 20:8, 3, and 21:2

Who are Gog and Magog referring to? Who will Satan try to deceive? And who will be there to witness it?

Thursday: Two Eternities

Everyone is going to have their time in court before the judgment seat of God. All the unrighteous dead will have their resurrection and punishment after the millennium. After a failed attempt to take the Holy City which comes down from heaven to earth, fire rains down from God and devours them completely for all eternity, we are told in Revelation 20:11-15.

Just before their second death, however, Philippians 2:10, 11 affirms that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. For the wicked, this will be a tortuous moment indeed. They see before them the shining New Jerusalem just within their grasp, but lost forever because of their stubborn, foolish choice to follow Satan and his angels.

Strangely enough, the good news will not just be the salvation of the righteous, but the fact that evil is gone forever. The finality of the punishment of Satan and his followers is good news as well. We will know longer be troubled by sin, with all the pain and suffering that comes with it. God is not the eternal torturer, as some Christians see Him. The two eternities, eternal life and eternal death, are both carried out with God’s abundant justice and mercy.

Bible Verses:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:10, 11, and Revelation 20:11-15

Why must there be a time of judgment for both the righteous and the wicked? Why can’t the unrighteous just stay in their graves?

  • Psalm 37:20, Malachi 4:1, and Revelation 20:14, 21:8

How do we know that the punishment of the wicked will be death and not eternal torment?

Friday: Final Thoughts

It’s hard for us to understand why God has allowed sin to exist for so many thousands of years. But, truthfully, no human being is suffering for more than his or her own lifetime. That merciful thought gives us perspective and perhaps more willingness to trust our omniscient God to end the sin problem, and even our individual lives, in a grace-filled, timely manner.

He has the whole universe to consider. All of His created beings must be convinced that God is everything He says He is, which is perfectly wise, loving and just.

When we get to heaven, our immortal minds will have an eternity to “contemplate with never-failing delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love.” ~The Great Controversy”, p. 675 “From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” ~The Great Controversy”, p. 678

To help us understand even more why studying Revelation is important in our present world, see

Next Week: starting new quarter, “The Book of Mark”, Lesson 1: The Beginning of the Gospel

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