BIBLE STUDY – SUNDAY, AUGUST 9, 2015 (Jonah 1:1-17, Romans 10:1-15; Luke 10: 1-20)
AIM: To examine what the church should be doing as it waits for the Lord’s return and agree on practical steps it should take, recognizing the urgency of the time
Jesus in Luke 19:12- 19, gave the parable of a “man of noble birth” who went to a distant country to be appointed king, to describe God’s expectation of the Church as it waits for Christ’s second coming. In verse 13, the man summoned ten of his servants, and gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back’ (or “occupy till I come” – KJV). Unlike the parable of the talents that Jesus gave later in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 25:14-30), where different talents were given, in this parable everyone received the same amount. Many Bible commentators likened this amount to the one life God has given to us all to invest in the life of others, wining them over to His kingdom till He returns to rule the earth. We all have the privilege of sharing the Gospel, representing Christ to the world and the privilege of prayers and to bear fruits for the kingdom.
God has sent us to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19) but some of us are behaving like Jonah who believed the sins of the people of Nineveh were too great and God should just punish them rather than sending him to go and warn them. He was afraid that if he goes to warn them of God’s impending punishment upon them, they would repent and God, being merciful, will forgive them so he decided to hide God’s message to the people and take a flight from His presence. There are the others who have tied their lives to the pursuits of the world refusing to invest it to profit the Kingdom of God, who desires not the death of sinners but that they should repent and be saved (Ezekiel 18:32). The commitment we give to sharing God’s message to others and the lives we have been able to bring to Christ through our ministration and character determines how profitable we are as servants of God.
When Jesus sent 70 other disciples out ahead of Him and they obeyed, carrying nothing with them and not being afraid of the wolves they would encounter, they came back with testimonies of the power in the name of Jesus Christ. Satan is under the feet of the church if she can trust, obey and abide in our Lord Jesus Christ. The world is going astray and in our time we hear of so many abominable things. Many are pursuing righteousness from their own point of view but not keying into God’s righteousness. They have turned God’s word upside down under the guise of human rights. Many out of unbelief cannot call on the name of the Lord to be saved because we have not preached to them. Christ expectation and command to the church is to occupy till He comes.
In this study we shall discuss the things we have left undone, which the church should be doing that we may occupy till our Lord returns.
Questions for Discussion
- What is your understanding of the term “the waiting Church” and what should it be doing while waiting. How does the concept of a “waiting church” affect individual Christians?
- Jesus told the disciples in John 10:2b “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest”. What harvest is Jesus referring to and how will God send labourers into His harvest? What classes of Christians do you consider as those that have been sent? (See also Romans 10:14-15a)
- In what ways do you see the church behaving like Jonah today? Do we see a Jonah in us, especially in the way we condemn and write off those that could be saved?
- Are demons still falling to the name of Jesus Christ through the ministration of the Church? Any experience to share?
The waiting church is to occupy until Jesus returns, preaching God’s word and contending for our faith. We are the church but the question is “are we occupying”? When the master comes shall we receive any reward? Romans 13:12 warns of the urgency of the time. It says “the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light;”
Memory Verse: Romans 10:14 (NRSV)
But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?