BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 20, Day 5: Romans 11:35-36

Summary of passage:  God has given all things to us and we can never repay Him.  No one has ever given God anything.  He needs nothing.  He’s God!

Questions:

12)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Everything.  This planet.  All we need to survive on this planet.  A capacity to survive (our minds).  Everything on this planet.  Rule over this planet and the plants and animals created.  Everything is from Him.  Life and breath.  Our place in time.  God has given us his son to die for us so that we’ll have eternal life.  Respond with gratefulness, praise, humility, a heart to do His will, a desire to not waste my life on earthly pursuits but on heavenly treasures.  The greatest response is to do His will.  Keep Him at the center of all you do and you’ll succeed.

13)  Nothing.  All He asks is our praise of Him.

14)  This thought creeps in when you live a life of entitlement.  When you think people or even God owes you for something.  This life is a gift and treat it as such.  No one owes you anything.  God gave us life.  He owes us nothing.  It is us who owe him everything.

15)  We were created (along with this universe) to praise Him.  To live for Him.  To give Him the glory.  As the creator of the universe, God is the only one who can give us anything.

16)  For His glory, honor, and power.  God’s ultimate plan is for man to be redeemed and inhabit the earth with Jesus at the End Times–to spend all of eternity worshipping Him–through the blood of His Son.

Conclusions:  Another good lesson on how we are God’s and how we only exist through Him.  Hence, He deserves all of our praise and exaltation.  Imagine our daily lives if we remembered our existence is only because of Him.  How this would change the world!

End Notes: [Same as Yesterday’s]

Paul is reflecting upon God’s overarching plan for the ages and all of mankind.  Paul realizes and states here how God’s ways are beyond men and we have no hope of figuring out His plan for the future.  God’s wisdom and knowledge are beyond him.

The quotations from Isaiah 40:13 and Job 41:11 emphasize both God’s wisdom and sovereign conduct; no one can make God their debtor.

You’ll never be able to repay God for all He’s done for you.  His is a debt only Jesus can clear.

The plan is God’s.  Only He can accomplish this plan.  All for God’s glory, honor, and pleasure.

The fact that Paul can’t figure out God makes him glorify God all the more. When we understand some of the greatness of God, we worship Him all the more passionately.

Conclusions to Lesson 20:  This is the BSF I know and love.  Great study, questions, and reflection on some powerful verses in the Bible.  We got to study the fundamentals of the Bible (why we were created) and our role in the world.  A lesson we all need every few months to remind us we deserve nothing, God owes us nothing, and everything is from Him and through Him and to Him.  Keep it up, BSF!

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 20, Day 5: Revelation 16:15-21

Summary of passage:  Jesus will come like a thief and will bless those who are ready.  The kings will gather at Armageddon.  The seventh angel pours out his bowl, completing the judgments.  Jerusalem (“the great city”) splits, other nations’ cities collapse, Babylon disappears, mountains and islands vanish, and huge hailstones fall from the sky.  Still, God is cursed by unbelievers who refuse to turn to Him amidst this calamity.

Questions:

12a)  Jesus

b)  The seventh bowl unleashes total devastation upon earth and its inhabitants:  Jerusalem (“the great city”) splits, other nations’ cities collapse, Babylon disappears, mountains and islands vanish, and huge hailstones fall from the sky.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I have experienced a tornado.  We’ve all probably heard of tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions (Pompeii anyone?), tornados, hail storms, etc.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It means that God will make it so overwhelmingly obvious that this is the End Times that those who don’t turn to Him are not to be saved.

13a)  Be ready for Jesus could come at any moment.

b)  The clothes are our garments of salvation and righteousness.  Romans says they are Jesus as well as Galatians.  Christ is our clothes.  Therefore, to remain clothes means to stay true to Jesus.

See Ephesians 4:20-24 as well.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This relates to Lesson 19 Day 5 Question 13.  Because God loves us so much, He corrects us and judges us.  Because He does love us so much, He brings justice and vengeance against His people.  Sin and disobedience deserve God’s wrath.  Otherwise, how else would we know right from wrong?  What would stop us from murdering anyone who angers us?  God sets the laws and He enforces them.  That is the definition of love–just like as a parent we do to our children–out of love.

Conclusions:  I wonder how people can be so stupid in what is obvious happenings from the One, True God.  Sickness and sorrow, pain and poverty, disease and despair do not lead to God.  They strengthen believers who suffer such hardships.  Those whose hearts are hard will remain so.

I love how we clothe ourselves with Jesus.  What a beautiful image!

Questions were so-so.  Would have liked to have explored Armageddon more.  Hopefully we will as we read more about it.

End Notes:  Jesus speaks to us and we see this elsewhere in the Bible (Matthew 24:42-44; Luke 12:35-40; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3) and is always directed to believers, not to the world.  This could refer to the Rapture or the Second Coming, depending on whether you think Christians will be here for the Tribulation or not.

Note the Third Beatitude of Revelation in verse 15.  Awesome amidst all this mayhem and destruction we are still blessed!  God is so, so amazing!

In Hebrew, Armageddon is Har-Megiddo with Har meaning mountain and Megiddo meaning valley.  Is this an actual place or merely symbolic?

Well, Megiddo is in an actual place located in northern Israel (See Map HERE) frequently associated with decisive battles.  It is about 14 by 20 miles long.

Armageddon has been the site of many military struggles throughout Israel’s history.  Deborah over Sisera (Judges 5:19); Gideon over the Midianites (Judges 7); Pharaoh over Josiah (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chronicles 35:22).

Some historians say more wars have been fought here than in any other location in the world.  Over 200 battles have been fought in the region, from 1468 B.C. (with Pharaoh Tuthmosis III) to 1917 (with Lord Allenby of the British).  This is just RECORDED history–battles that we know of.  No telling how many skirmishes and unrecorded battles there have been.  Thus, it is an appropriate symbol/location for the final battle of the world between good and evil.

Answer:  It is best to see the place as literal, as the region of Megiddo and the valley of Esdraelon (“God sorrows”). Revelation 16:14, 17:14 and 19:19 described an organized battle that must center somewhere, even if it extends much further.

“Naked” in verse 15 means put on one’s own covering instead of God’s (Genesis 3:7; Isaiah 64:6).

Note this judgment is poured out in the AIR as opposed to the earth.  This could reference Satan himself (Ephesians 2:2).

We’ve seen earthquakes many times in Revelation.  We see it in Hebrews 12:26 as well.

Babylon will be re-visited in depth in Revelation 17 & 18.  Just note Babylon received both kinds of Greek word anger (thymus & orge).  Not good for Babylon.

We’ve seen hail as a tool of judgment before as well:  Egypt (Exodus 9:24), the Canaanites (Joshua 10:11), apostate Israel (Isaiah 28:2), and Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38:22).  This is an appropriate ending to the judgments considering that God has made blasphemy punishable by stoning (Leviticus 24:11-16).

This is the end of the Tribulation judgments. (“It is done!”)

Conclusions to Revelation 16:  We must remember Satan and his lackeys are always lingering, ready to strike and deceive God’s people.  They are made immortal through worship.  We must be ready at all times!  No nation ever thought they’d fall.  Yet every empire throughout history has–except one:  Israel–God’s people who have persisted to this day and the Bible says will persist to the end.

Revelation is a “great” chapter (or synonyms and various translations thereby):  (Revelation 16:1, 9, 12, 14, 17, 18, 19, 21).  Everything about God is great!

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 20, Day 5: 2 Corinthians 6-7

Summary of passage:  2 Corinthians 6:  Paul writing to the Corinthians.  He describes his life of a servant of God:  endurance in troubles, hardships, and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments, and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience, and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left hand; through glory and dishonor; bad report and good report; genuine and impostors; known and unknown, dying and alive; beaten but not killed; sorrowful yet always rejoicing; poor yet rich; having nothing yet possessing everything.

Open your hearts to this.

Paul warns to not be yoked with unbelievers.  We are the temple of God and unbelievers have the potential to defile that.  We are to try to be as holy as possible and unbelievers can bring unholiness into our lives.

2 Corinthians 7:  Paul tells the Corinthians he has great joy in them and asks them to make room for him in their hearts.  Paul had conflicts galore in Macedonia but God comforted him with the arrival of Titus who bore news from the Corinthians that indicated they had repented of their behavior, they longed for Paul, and they were joyful.

Paul caused them sorrow but their sorrow led to repentance so Paul has no regrets.  Godly sorrow produces earnestness, eagerness to do right, and a longing to see justice done.

Titus was happy from his visit to the Corinthians as he was treated well, upholding Paul’s confidence in them.

Questions:

13a)  Beatings, imprisonments, riots, hard work, sleepless nights, hunger, endurance, troubles, hardships, distresses

b)  Purity, understanding, patience, kindness, Holy Spirit, sincere love, truthful speech, power of God, weapons of righteousness

c)  Glory and dishonor; bad report and good report; genuine and impostors; known and unknown; dying and alive; beaten but not killed; sorrowful and always rejoicing; poor and making many rich; having nothing and possessing everything

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m said this before but comparing our lives to the life Paul led is stretching it a bit.  2000 years separates us.  Most of us have not been and will never be beaten, imprisoned, involved in riots, etc.  So I am answering this question speaking just on how I deal with the “hardships” in my life compared to the way Paul did (even though my hardships cannot compare to Paul’s).

I need to be better at all of it.  Patience, kindness, sincere love, wielding weapons of righteousness, always rejoicing, etc.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Paul is happy no matter the troubles of hardships because he sees what God is doing in his life and others’.  He sees the joys and the rewards of his work and sufferings.  He follows God at every turn and is never let down.  Lives are changed and Paul rejoices in that.

I think if we follow God at every turn we can have his joy as well.

Conclusions:  My favorite parts were what BSF did not ask about:  the warning to not be yoked with unbelievers, which I take for myself as to be wary when partnering with them in business, life (through marriage), causes, or anything that would cause you to stray or sin or cause harm to others or cause others to not walk the Way.

We need to live in the world but not be of the world.  We need to be careful that culture and society do not unduly influence us.  We need to walk God’s path for our lives and not society’s.

2 Corinthians 7:10:  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.

I like to think of my sorrow as “godly”.  It somehow dulls the pain a bit.  And if we are truly repentant we will have no regrets.  If you still have regrets, you haven’t fully given it to the Lord and need to repent again.  Godly sorrow produces in us the desire and vow to never do it again, the anger when we do something stupid, and the drive to do better next time.