Sunday, December 20, 2020

Revelation Twenty Questions

 1. Who is “the revelation” from, and who is it to?  Who is the Book of Revelation from, and who is it to?

2. John sees a vision of seven stars and seven lampstands (Revelation 1:12-16).  What does Revelation 1:20 say these images represent?  Does this mean that other elements may convey symbolic meaning?

3. Does each of the seven churches who John writes to receive both praise and criticism from Jesus?  Which ones are the exception?

4. The four living creatures of Revelation 4 are like a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle, with six wings and covered with eyes.  If not an actual physical description, what might these characteristics represent?

5. Who is the One on the throne in Revelation 4:11?  For what reason do the 24 elders proclaim that He is worthy? 

6. Who is the only One found worthy to take the scroll in Revelation 5? What two animals are referred to in Romans 5:5-6?

7. In the new song of Revelation 5:9-10, for what reason is the Lamb declared to be worthy?

8. What are the colors of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in Revelation 6:1-8, and what do each of them represent?

9. Who are the ones in the multitude wearing white robes (Revelation 7:9-17)?  How many people are there?  What is their reward?  

10. After the 7 seals, another series of 7 takes place. What is it?  Instead of a fourth of the earth (6:8), what proportion is affected this time?

11. Where does it appear the events of Revelation 11:1-14 take place?

12. Who is the dragon?  Can you cite a scripture that tells us directly?

13. The Sea Beast of Revelation 13 is often thought to be the Antichrist, while the Earth Beast is called the False Prophet.  What would an “unholy Trinity” like this tell us about Satan?

14. What are the consequences of not receiving the mark of the Beast (13:16-18)?  What are the consequences of receiving it (14:9-12)?

15. A final cycle of 7 begins in Revelation 15-16.  What is it this time?

16. Revelation 17 provides a vision of a prostitute sitting on the beast.  Who do you think she may represent?

17. What happens to “Babylon” in Revelation 18?  Who is listed as being saddened at her fate in 18:9-20? 

18. What is the fate of the beast and false prophet (Revelation 19:19-21)?  What is the eventual fate of the dragon (Revelation 20:7-10)?

19. What excites you the most about the vision of a new heaven and a new earth we see in Revelation 21 and 22?

20. Is Revelation just about the end, its words only for those living in the last days?  Or does it contain a message for its first hearers and subsequent generations of Christians?  If so, what is that message?

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

I & II Peter, I, II & III John, and Jude Twenty Questions

 1. In I Peter 1, what things does the apostle describe as “imperishable” and “perishable” (note: your translation may use different terms)?

2. I Peter 2:4 speaks of Christ being the “living Stone” - chosen by whom and rejected by whom?

3. What is Peter’s advice on how Christians should relate to human authorities like emperors and governors (I Peter 2:13-17)?

4. What is the difference between a woman’s outward adornment and her inner beauty?

5. What does Peter have to say about suffering for doing good (I Peter 2:19-23, I Peter 3:14, and I Peter 3:17-18)? 

6. Have you ever been insulted or have you otherwise suffered for being a Christian (I Peter 4:12-16)? 

7. How is Peter’s advice to elders to be shepherds (I Peter 5:1-4) reflective of Jesus’ last conversation with him in the Gospel of John?

8. What event from the Gospels is Peter describing in II Peter 1:16-18?

9. What lesson does Peter say that the experiences of Noah and Lot teach us about God (II Peter 2:4-10)?  

10. What does II Peter 3:8-9 teach us about waiting for the last days?

11. According to I John 1:8-10, what is the most successful strategy in dealing with our sin: denial or confession?

12. What characteristic marks the difference between living in the light or living in the darkness (I John 2:9-11)?

13. How should we reconcile John 3:16 with I John 2:15 in regards to “loving the world”?

14. I John speaks of “antichrists.”  What is the definition of an “antichrist” (I John 2:22)?

15. In what ways does I John 3:16-18 say we should love our brothers and sisters?

16. How does John recommend that we test the spirits in I John 4:1-3?

17. I John 4:16 says “God is love.”  What is the difference, if any, between “God is love” and “Love is God”?

18. What do you see in II John that sounds similar to I John?

19. What does John say gives him the greatest joy in III John 4?

20. Who or what is Jude warning the Church about in Jude 3-19?

NOTE: We will not have Bible Study on Sunday, December 27, 2020.  We will conclude our "Twenty Questions" study over Revelation on Sunday, January 3, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Hebrews and James Twenty Questions

1. In Hebrews 1, who does the author say that Jesus is better than?

2. In a letter written to the Hebrews, would you expect to find a lot of references to Old Testament scripture, concepts, and people?  Are your expectations met?

3. What is our relationship to Jesus, according to Hebrews 2:10-11?  

4. According to Hebrews 3:1-6, how does Jesus compare to Moses?

5. When is the right time for repentance and getting right with the Lord, according to Hebrews 3:7, 3:13, 3:15, and 4:7? 

6. Which is scripturally correct? A) Jesus was not tempted.  B) Jesus was tempted but did not sin.  C) Jesus was tempted and sinned. 

7. Who is our great high priest?  What does a high priest do, according to Hebrews 5:1?

8. Can you reconcile Hebrews 6:4-8 and Hebrews 10:26-30 with a belief that Christians cannot lose their salvation?  How would you do so?

9. Hebrews speaks of the priestly order of Melchizedek.  We don’t know much about him (Genesis 14:18-20).  What does the author of Hebrews say about Melchizedek, and how does that relate to Jesus?  

10. According to Hebrews 7:23-28, what makes Jesus the best high priest?

11. Hebrews 8 compares the old covenant with the new one.  Which is better?

12. How did Christ enter the heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 9:11-14)?

13. What was the mission of Christ’s first coming, and what will be the mission of His second coming (Hebrews 9:28)?

14. Can the blood of bulls and goats take away sin?  What takes away our sin as followers of Jesus (Hebrews 10:10, 10:12, 10:19-20)?

15. Hebrews 11 lists some champions of the Old Testament.  Through what did they accomplish great things or endure severe trials?

16. According to Hebrews 12:4-15, should you be discouraged to receive discipline from the Lord?  Why or why not?

17. Do James and Paul have an argument about faith and works?  Compare James 2:14-26 with Romans 4.  How do you resolve the tension between their points of view?

18. What do the examples of a bit, a rudder, and a fire in James 3 teach us about the tongue?

19. According to James 4:7-8, what happens when we resist the devil?  What happens when we draw near to God?

20. Which two Bible heroes does James cite as examples of patience in suffering and the power of prayer?

Monday, November 30, 2020

I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon Twenty Questions

1. According to I Thessalonians 1:5, with what did the word of God come to the Thessalonians?

2. What does Paul say in I Thessalonians 4 will happen to dead Christians?

3. What does the phrase “like a thief in the night” have to do with the return of Christ?  What kind of images does that phrase conjure?

4. According to I Thessalonians 5:16-18, what three actions may be reliably considered the will of God?  How are you practicing them?

5. What do we know about “the man of lawlessness” of II Thessalonians 2?  What role does he play in the Day of the Lord?

6. What was Paul’s rule concerning those unwilling to work? 

7. In what way do you think Paul’s handwriting was unique, serving as his trademark (II Thessalonians 3:17)?

8. According to I Timothy 1, who did Paul consider to be the worst sinner?  Do you think he was right?  

9. How should we reconcile what Paul says about women in church in I Timothy 2 (as well as their salvation through childbearing) with modern practice?  Was he wrong?  Are we wrong?  Is the Bible wrong?

10. What do you think is the most important qualification for an elder or an oversee in I Timothy 3:1-7?

11. According to I Timothy 4:11-16, what advice did Paul have for Timothy to overcome his youthfulness in his ministry?

12. What does Paul say is a root of all kinds of evil?  Have you ever heard him misquoted about this?

13. According to Paul in I Timothy 6:17-19, how should the rich and successful in this world live?

14. What earlier faith experiences did Timothy have, both in his family and from Paul, based on II Timothy 1 and II Timothy 3:15?

15. How does II Timothy 2:2 reveal that Paul is thinking of the future?

16. What does Paul foresee the last days will be like, in II Timothy 3?

17. What claims does Paul make of scripture in II Timothy 3:16-17?

18. In II Timothy 4:1-8 what does Paul charge Timothy to do, and for what reasons?

19. How many times do forms of words like “teach”/”exhort”/”speak” appear in your translation of Titus 2?

20. What was the relationship between Philemon and Onesimus?  What did Paul want it to be?

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians Twenty Questions

 1. According to Galatians 1, from where did Paul receive the gospel?

2. Which justifies?  The works of the law or faith in Jesus Christ?  Find a scripture citation from Galatians 2 to support your answer.

3. If Galatians 3:28 is true, should there be one rule or standard for men and a different one for women in the Body of Christ?

4. What lesson does Hagar and Sarah provide for the Church?

5. What are the differences between the “acts of the flesh” (5:19-21) and the “fruit of the Spirit” (5:22-24)?

6. Can you find two clues from Galatians (in chapters 4 and 6) that indicate Paul may have had a problem with his eyesight? 

7. What is Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church in Ephesians 1?

8. What is our identity and purpose, according to Ephesians 2:10?

9. What is Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church in Ephesians 3?

10. What is the problem of the Gentiles, according to Ephesians 4:17-19?

11. How high is the standard set in Ephesians 5:1-5 for Christian believers?

12. In Ephesians 5, what does Paul call wives to do?  What does he call husbands to do?

13. Memorization Challenge!  What are the six pieces of the armor of God in Ephesians 6?

14. How would you explain what Paul means by his expression “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” in Philippians 1:21?

15. What about Jesus does Paul want us to imitate in Philippians 2?

16. What qualities of Paul does he now rate “garbage” (Philippians 3:8) in comparison to knowing Christ?  What attributes of yours do you consider to be likewise trash next to your relationship with Jesus?

17. What is Paul’s “secret” of contentment in Philippians 4:12?

18. What do you consider to be Paul’s most startling claim about Jesus in Colossians 1:15-20?

19. What spiritual clothing is a Christian supposed to “take off” and “put on”, according to Colossians 3:5-14?

20. Does Colossians 4:16 hint that there is a “lost book of the Bible”?  Imagine, for a moment, that such a letter of Paul’s was unearthed today.  What would such a discovery mean for the Church?   

Monday, November 16, 2020

II Corinthians Twenty Questions

 1. When you write a letter to someone, how do you start it?  In what standard way does Paul begin this letter (and his other letters)?

2. How many times do variations of the word “comfort” appear in your translation in II Corinthians 1:3-7?

3. What is Paul saying with all the “yes” and “no” talk in 1:15-22?

4. What do you think it means that Paul and his companions simultaneously bring the aroma of life and of death in 2:14-17?

5. How does Paul contrast the old ministry of the law with the new ministry of the Spirit in II Corinthians 3:7-18?

6. II Corinthians 4:7 speaks of “treasure in jars of clay.”  What is the treasure?  What are the clay jars? 

7. What is the interplay between the life of the apostle and the death of Jesus, as well as the death of the apostle and the life of Jesus, as described in II Corinthians 4:8-12?

8. What terms does Paul use to describe our earthly body and our heavenly body in II Corinthians 5:1-4?

9. According to II Corinthians 5:17, what is true for those who are in Christ?

10. What is our role as Christ’s ambassadors?  What is our message to the world?

11. What does Paul say in II Corinthians 6:14-18 about unions between Christians and nonChristians?  Is this consistent or inconsistent with Jesus being “a friend of sinners”?

12. What is the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow, as Paul describes them in II Corinthians 7:10?

13. Based on II Corinthians 8:1-7, how did the Macedonians demonstrate their generosity?

14. Have you ever observed the truth of the proverb, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously?”

15. Why do you think God loves a “cheerful” giver?  How can you personally give more cheerfully?

16. What is Paul’s mood/tone toward the Corinthians in chapter 10?

17. Have you ever heard of another Jesus or different Spirit/gospel than the one preached to you, as Paul discusses in II Corinthians 11:4?

18. As you consider all that Paul went through as recounted in II Corinthians 11:22-33, how do such sufferings give him credibility?

19. What do you suppose Paul’s “thorn” in II Corinthians 12:7 may have been?  What was God’s answer each time he prayed for it to be removed?

20. When you write a letter to someone, how do you end it?  In what standard way does Paul close this letter (and his other letters)?   

Monday, November 9, 2020

I Corinthians Twenty Questions

 1. How would you describe the first problem that Paul addresses in I Corinthians 1:10-12?  Have you seen a church struggle with this?

2. How does Paul say God’s foolishness compares with man’s wisdom in 1:25?  How does God’s weakness compare with man’s strength?

3. According to 2:14, can a person without the Spirit accept and/or understand spiritual things?  Have you seen this truth for yourself?

4. In I Corinthians 3:5-17, Paul employs two metaphors: a field and a building.  How does he say that spiritual growth is like these things?

5. What was an apostle’s life like, as depicted in I Corinthians 4:9-13?

6. What church discipline does Paul advise in I Corinthians 5:1-2 regarding a case of sexual immorality? 

7. Why doesn’t Paul apply Jesus’ teaching of “judge not” in I Corinthians 5:9-13?  Why is there a difference between associating with sinners inside the Church and those outside?

8. What are some things wrong with Christians suing one another in court in I Corinthians 6:1-8?  What does Paul recommend instead?

9. Which sinners are kept out of the kingdom in I Corinthians 6:9-10?  Does Paul have hope for those who used to commit such acts?

10. According to Paul in I Corinthian 6:18-20, what is a Christian’s body and who really owns it?

11. Under what limited conditions in I Corinthians 7:5 does Paul say it is acceptable for Christian spouses to NOT have sex?

12. According to Paul, is it always wrong to eat food offered in the pagan temples?  When does it become wrong?

13. Why does Paul endeavor to contort himself to various states (as one living under the law, not under the law, weak, etc.) in I Corinthians 9:19-23?  What does this suggest about the importance of his goal?

14. According to 10:6-10, what kind of sins did the Israelites commit in the wilderness, and how are they an example to us to do better?

15. What kinds of errors were the Corinthians making in their practice of the Lord’s Supper, as described in I Corinthians 11:17-34? 

16. What metaphor in I Corinthians 12:12-31 does Paul employ to explain why God doesn’t just give us all the same spiritual gift?

17. Which specific description of love in I Corinthians 13 do you personally find it most difficult to practice?  Easiest?

18. In I Corinthians 14, how do the gifts of prophecy and tongues compare?  What is the role of the gift of interpretation of tongues?

19. Do Paul’s words in I Corinthians 14:34-38 leave any room for women teachers or preachers?  How can we determine if this is an absolute, universal law, or one that is culturally and contextually dependent?  (For instance, do we practice I Corinthians 11:2-16?) 

20. How would you engage a person who professes to be a Christian, but doesn’t believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ?  How can I Corinthians 15:12-34 help you in this?