Lesson for November 28th, 2015
Jeremiah shows how truth and error contend for people’s hearts and minds—and that even a message of grace can be false.
Post-It notes, printouts of scam emails from your Junk folder, a counterfeit bill detection pen, paper money of various denominations, whiteboard, colored markers, pens, writing paper
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- On a Post-It note, write something about yourself (true or false) and stick the note to your forehead. Read each other’s notes and say whether you think they’re true or false. Discuss how hard or easy you think it would be for you to live a lie.
- Give each member a scam email printout. Read them out loud and discuss how you know they’re bogus.
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- Check several bills with the counterfeit bill detection pen (those that the facilitator supplies and others from among the group). How does it feel to know for sure that your money is genuine? What would you do if you discovered a counterfeit bill in the group? How can you tell if a spiritual message is true or false? What do you do with false messages?
- Thought Questions
- I’m sure he fought against the idea of never having a family, since Hosea was given the opposite directive.
- By now Jeremiah was numb to normal human emotions, so it was no big deal.
- Jeremiah understood that the more human attachments he had, the greater his sense of loss would be when his loved ones died—or when they abandoned him as Gomer did Hosea.
- It’s unrealistic for God to tell anyone to ignore his or her emotions.
- Even though Jeremiah understood these instructions intellectually and obeyed them, he must have suffered internally.
Read Jeremiah 27:1-18. Why did God use actual yokes to illustrate the prophecy to the various kings?
- A visual illustration is easier to remember than a verbal one.
- The kings would see that these messengers must be serious to go through all that trouble.
- This illustration showed the utter depths to which they would fall—from the heights of kingly glory to the humiliation of being beasts of burden.
- God wanted to impress upon the messengers the magnitude of these prophecies.
- God wanted to get the attention of all the people who would see them building and wearing the yokes, to make them wonder why they did this.
- God is more loving now than then.
- With today’s understanding of health and physics, we can explain away supernatural events, so this would just be considered a coincidence.
- This was an extreme situation that demanded an extreme response.
- It may happen; we just don’t recognize it when it does.
- God was patient with them then and is still patient with us now, letting human events run their course before stepping in.
In 2 Timothy 4:3-4, Paul describes a future condition. Are we seeing this fulfilled today?
- Not yet, but it’s getting there.
- We reached it decades ago, and I don’t understand why God doesn’t step in and end this now.
- People like this have always existed, so this is nothing new.
- This situation is escalating rapidly, and things are moving quickly toward Christ’s second coming.
- I can’t be concerned with verses 3 and 4; verses 2 and 5 are more important for us today.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: Create two drawings on the whiteboard, one illustrating the message of Jeremiah 27:2-8 and one depicting Jeremiah 28:1-4, 10-11. Which message is easier for people to accept? Could Jeremiah’s message have been made more palatable for the people to receive? Should it have been?
- Option 2: A friend posts on Facebook that “all religions are equally valid and will lead to heaven.” What comment would you make under this posting?
- Option 3: When was the last time your church presented a prophecy seminar for the community? If you could plan one, think back to previous seminars you’ve attended and decide what you will include and what you will omit. How would you design it so that it would be true to Scripture and be something you’d feel comfortable inviting your friends to attend?
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Privately consider how carefully you follow sound doctrine. Does your pride ever keep you from accepting a hard message? What will you do about that?
- Have you ever shared a spiritual message that you now know to be false? Have you corrected it with those with whom you shared the false message? If not, prayerfully think about how you can do that.