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gerald grable
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Friday September 14

 

Further Study: “On this occasion, Paul and his companions formally presented to the leaders of the work at Jerusalem the contributions forwarded by the Gentile churches for the support of the poor among their Jewish brethren. …

 

“These freewill offerings betokened the loyalty of the Gentile converts to the organized work of God throughout the world and should have been received by all with grateful acknowledgment, yet it was apparent to Paul and his companions that even among those before whom they now stood were some who were unable to appreciate the spirit of brotherly love that had prompted the gifts.”—Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 399, 400.

 

“Had the leaders in the church fully surrendered their feeling of bitterness toward the apostle, and accepted him as one specially called of God to bear the gospel to the Gentiles, the Lord would have spared him to them. God had not ordained that Paul’s labors should so soon end, but He did not work a miracle to counteract the train of circumstances to which the course of the leaders in the church at Jerusalem had given rise.

 

“The same spirit is still leading to the same results. A neglect to appreciate and improve the provisions of divine grace has deprived the church of many a blessing. How often would the Lord have prolonged the work of some faithful minister, had his labors been appreciated! But if the church permits the enemy of souls to pervert the understanding, so that they misrepresent and misinterpret the words and acts of the servant of Christ; if they allow themselves to stand in his way and hinder his usefulness, the Lord sometimes removes from them the blessing which He gave. … ”

 

“After the hands are folded upon the pulseless breast, when the voice of warning and encouragement is silent, then the obdurate may be aroused to see and prize the blessings they have cast from them. Their death may accomplish that which their life has failed to do.”—Pages 417, 418.

Discussion Questions:

 

By going to Jerusalem despite knowing he would not be welcome, Paul put the interests of the church above his own personal interests. To what extent should we follow his example?

What can we learn from Paul’s compromise in Jerusalem? How can we be politically correct without surrendering the principles we live by? Or can we?

Church unity is always so important. How can we learn to work together, unified, even when we have different views of things?

 

Inside Story~

Claiming 100 Baptisms

 

By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission

 

Kiyong Kwon had 20 church members when he planted his first church in South Korea. The 20 had followed him from his old church, but Kiyong longed for new members.

 

A young man showed up at the church’s first Sabbath service. It was his first visit to a church of any kind.

 

“Why did you come to this small church?” Kiyong asked.

 

“I just don’t have any luck”, the guest replied. “But someone told me that if I went to a new church, it would bring me luck.”

 

Kiyong offered Bible studies, and the young man was baptized.

 

But Kiyong wanted more members. One day, he prayed from morning to evening, “Please give me people. Give me souls to fill this church.”

 

The next day, a neighbor stopped Kiyong. “Yesterday, I felt like going to church”, she said. “Please take me to your church.”

 

The day after that, Kiyong got a phone call. “My sister is an Adventist who has wanted me to go to church for 10 years, but I have never gone”, the caller said. “But now I feel like going.”

 

Kiyong studied the Bible with both women, and both were baptized.

 

“God sent so many people this way”, Kiyong said.

 

More than 40 people were baptized that first year. A year later, when the 98th person was baptized, Kiyong prayed for 100 baptisms. He then remembered a woman whom he hadn’t seen in three years. He found her running a children’s art school, and he visited her with flowers.

 

“You should be that 100th person to be baptized at my church”, he told her.

 

When the woman agreed, Kiyong informed her that she needed Bible studies first and to expect him at her home the next evening. “Make sure your husband is there, too”, he said.

 

After Kiyong left, the woman called her husband and said, “Elder Kwon will come to our house tomorrow to teach us the Bible.”

 

Her husband, a devout Buddhist and a business owner, recently had decided to learn English and had purchased several English-language books, including a Bible. He had been struggling to read the Bible in his office. So, he prayed, “If You are the real God, send someone to teach me the Bible.”

 

At that moment, his wife called and announced, “Elder Kwon will come to our house tomorrow to teach us the Bible.”

 

“Her husband was shocked beyond words”, Kiyong said.

 

The next day, Kiyong found the married couple and their adult children eagerly waiting to study the Bible. The whole family was baptized.

 

Kiyong Kwon, 56, left, has planted three churches in South Korea. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help plant the first Adventist church in Sejong, South Korea. Read more about Kiyong last week and next week.

 

Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. email: info@adventistmission.org website: www.adventistmission.org

 

All Rights Reserved. No part of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide may be edited, altered, modified, adapted, translated, reproduced, or published by any person or entity without prior written authorization from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.


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