APR. 30: HOW DO WE REMEMBER?

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 26:17-30

The subject of the lesson asks the disciples then, as well as those of us living now, “How Do We Remember?” The extended version of that question, of course, is “how do we remember” this man Christ who will soon be crucified, risen, and ascended?

The story begins with Matthew telling us the time frame in which this took place was “the first day of the feast of unleavened bread” (Matthew 26:17). The disciples came to Jesus to ask Him where He wanted them to prepare for this Passover feast. His instructions were for them to go into the city and find a man and tell him that the Master says His time has come, and that He wants to keep the Passover with His disciples. Minimal instructions to be sure, but the disciples did as they were instructed and the Passover was made ready. [Read more…]

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APR. 23: WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 24:36-51

Ah, the future! That’s the great known and unknown. I had a conversation with a man recently who had celebrated his 94th birthday the day before. His eyes twinkled as he told me about what he had planned to do in the future. That’s what I call positive thinking! I don’t know if he will live to complete his projects but he was certainly excited about his future. [Read more…]

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APR. 16: WHERE IS JESUS?

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 28:1-15

Well, this is certainly an interesting subject. We have discussed several things about Jesus in our study this quarter, but I’ll have to admit that I had no idea we would be looking at the present residence of Jesus!  However, on further study, I believe it will be quite interesting!

Of course we know Christ was first of all with His Father before creation, in creation, after creation, and from creation until that moment when He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. He spent nine months in gestation, and then He was born that night in Bethlehem of Judea on that first Christmas morn. He spent approximately 33 years in a human body here on this earth before He was crucified. He was placed in a borrowed tomb one late afternoon on Friday until sometime Sunday morning, at which time He got up, rid Himself of His grave clothes, rolled the huge stone away, and marched victoriously out of the grave! And that’s the story before us for our lesson today. [Read more…]

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APR. 9: OFFERED TO ALL

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 22:1-14

In lesson six from Matthew 22 Jesus tells a parable about a king who is preparing a wedding feast for his son. The preparation goes well until we get to the invitations. The father of the groom is the king, and we would think when the invitations went out those who were invited would respond very enthusiastically with an affirmative, “Sure, we’ll be honored to be there!”

To the king’s surprise when the responses began to come in he is flooded with “Thanks, but no thanks, we will not be able to attend your son’s wedding.” Can we imagine what a hurt this was to the king? After all, he was the king and everyone ought to respond by saying, “My dear king, with pleasure we accept your most gracious invitation to the wedding of your son.” [Read more…]

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APR. 2: IF I REJECT JESUS?

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 21:33-45

Today’s lesson from Matthew 21:33-45 has the very important subject, “If I Reject Jesus?” The parable in modern language proceeds to tell the story about a man (God) who owned a vineyard, of which he was very proud. He prepared, fertilized the ground, and planted the seeds. Then he was called away on a business trip. When harvest time came he hired overseers (Jewish leaders) to oversee the harvest. They hired some slaves (the prophets of the Old Testament), but the overseers beat and killed the slaves! They hired other slaves and they also killed them! [Read more…]

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MAR. 26: MORE THAN A PROPHET?

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 21:1-11

Our text for this fourth lesson in a series of 13 is the first 11 verses of Matthew 21, and the subject is “More than a Prophet?”  As we study the world’s religions we find that many of them acknowledge Christ as a great prophet. Judaism, Islam, and several others admit that Christ was a great prophet and have admiration and respect for Him. But those of us who know Him and claim Him as Savior know that He is more, far more than just a great prophet. We know He is Jesus Christ, Son of the living God. We know Him as our Lord and Savior.  [Read more…]

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MAR. 19: WHAT IS REQUIRED?

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 19:16-26

Our lesson title does not tell us what the “what” is talking about.  That is, what is required for what?  However, as we begin studying the text we soon discover that the “what” is discussing what is required to be saved. Verse 16 tells us that a man approaches Jesus and asks Him the question, “Good Master, what good thing must I do, that I may have eternal life?” Ah, that’s what the “what” wants to know. Let us examine the answer Jesus gives this man. [Read more…]

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MAR. 12: IS JESUS FULLY GOD?

By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 17:1-13

Our text in Matthew 17 begins with the words that introduce to us one of the most wonderful and most inspirational events in the whole New Testament. This event in the life of Jesus happens after He has had many, many opportunities of teaching. He uses in these teaching periods probably His most favorite teaching tool which, of course, was telling parables. He also has worked several miracles, among which is the healing of the centurion’s servant, Jairus’ daughter.  Many who were blind had received their sight. During this interim period Jesus had also called His disciples and sent them forth to preach and to heal.   [Read more…]

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MAR. 5: WHO IS JESUS?

By Charles Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 16:13-28

Since all of our lessons are taken from the Gospel of Matthew we need to look briefly at this man who wrote the book. The name Matthew means “gift from God.” Matthew, of course, was a Jew, and he identifies himself in Matthew 10:3 as “Matthew the tax collector.” On first blush it seems somewhat incongruous to us that a tax collector would choose to refer to himself as a tax collector of the Roman government.  [Read more…]

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FEB. 26: REDEEMED AND SECURE

By Mark Proctor
Pastor, Highland Park Baptist Church, Columbia

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Ruth 3:8-13; 4:13-17

I love the story of the traveler who pulled his car into a gas station in Kentucky and asked the attendant how far it was to Glasgow.  “28,465 miles,” was the reply.  “I didn’t mean Glasgow, Scotland.  I meant Glasgow, Kentucky!”  “So did I” said the attendant.  “In the direction you’re headed, it’s 28,465 miles.  If  you’ll turn around and go the other direction, it’s only 11 miles!”  The Bible teaches a more serious version of this story: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12 ESV). [Read more…]

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