January 9, 2016

‘Unfolding End-Time Events Are a Cause for Discussion, Not Fear’

, South Pacific Adventist Record

The author of the new Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide said readers should look at it as a discussion of how to deal with daily life rather than a fearful look at end-time events.

The study guide, “Rebellion and Redemption,” is based on the great controversy between Christ and Satan that ends with Christ’s Second Coming — the cornerstone message of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.David Tasker, author of “Rebellion and Redemption” and a senior lecturer at Avondale College. (SPD)

It appears to be a relevant message to revisit, with recent worldwide events such as acts of terrorism and natural disasters providing further evidence of the soon coming of Jesus.

But author David Tasker, senior theology lecturer at Australia’s Avondale College of Higher Education, said church members need to approach the great controversy as “a discussion that affects our daily lives rather than seeing it as scary events during the end of time.”

It was with this mindset that he put together the lessons for the Sabbath School lesson study, choosing to focus on stories from Scripture rather than on theological studies.

“We need to be sure of our relationship with Him, and that He is big enough to face our biggest perplexities and fears,” Tasker said. “The best way to achieve that is to recount the stories of the biblical heroes of faith who were people just like us, facing difficulties mostly bigger than we will ever have to face. Yet they maintained their faith in the God who delivered them.

“What really matters is knowing that ‘if God is for us, who can be against us?’” he said, citing Romans 8:31.

Tasker, a former South Pacific Division field secretary who has overseen the division’s Biblical Research Committee in recent years, worked on the Sabbath School lessons for more than two years and spent two years developing a companion book for the study guide.

“I was invited to write the lessons mid-2010 during my last year of teaching at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines,” Tasker said. “It was an exciting challenge to revisit the topic of the great controversy.”

The study guide “Rebellion and Redemption” was introduced to the church’s 18.5 million church members around the world on Sabbath, Dec. 26 and runs through March 25. The study guide can be read in multiple languages online or downloaded via an app on iTunes and Google Play. Printed editions can be found in local Adventist churches and Adventist bookstores.

Click HERE to download the lessons.