Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Flood, the Death Penalty, and the End of the World Youth Bible Study

Brief: Sin has a punishment, but we have hope.
(Printable Student Sheet available for Patreon supporters or with a purchase of Created.)
Needed: nothing
Scripture: Genesis 9:5-17; John 8:1-11; 2 Peter 3:10-13

Genesis 9:5-6: And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. 6Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.”

 What does God say should happen to someone who kills another human being? (They should be killed as a punishment.)

Why does God demand this punishment?

It is fitting to have such a punishment because of the special status humans have. Humans have been made in the image of God. To kill an image-bearer of God is an insult to God. Just like destroying a United States flag is disrespectful to the United States.

If God here demands people to be killed for killing other people, why do you think some Christians view capital punishment (the death penalty) as wrong?

John 8:1-11: but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

At dawn He appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around Him, and He sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing Him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger. When they kept on questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Some Christians think the death penalty is wrong because Jesus refused to put this woman to death when the law said that she should be. But there’s an important difference here. This woman was going to be stoned by a mob of people. She wasn’t going to have a trial. The authorities weren’t the ones punishing her. If the authorities had arrested and tried her and found her guilty, Jesus might not have objected to the death penalty.

If we’re going to have a death penalty, it needs to be carried out by the proper authorities.

Genesis 9:8-17: Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between Me and all life on the earth.”

In these verses, what does God promise not to do ever again? (He promises not to destroy the world with a flood again.)

Does this mean that God will never again destroy the world? (No.)

2 Peter 3:10-13: But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

The Bible tells us that God will one day destroy the world. Then, it will not be with a flood. It will be with fire.

What will happen after the fire? (God will make a new heavens and a new earth.)

It will be the place “where righteousness dwells.” All the Christians who were resurrected or who were alive when Jesus returned will never die again. They’ll live on the new earth with God. It will be what this Earth was supposed to be before sin entered the world. It will be perfect, as God intended.

What does Peter tell us we’re supposed to do while we wait for that to happen?

We’re to live holy and godly lives. We’re to serve God by being different from the world that’s going to be destroyed. 

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This lesson is included in my book, Created: Youth Bible Studies on Genesis 1-11 and the Book of Job.
Created: Youth Bible Studies on Genesis 1-11 and the Book of Job: Perfect for Youth Sunday School Lessons by [Wilson, Rev. Stephen R.]
Kindle $3.99, Print $6.99

Find more youth lessons on my Free Youth Ministry Helps page!



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