Welcome to this week's Group Study! This winter we're doing an 8-week block starting January 17 running through the week of March 7.
Start your time with a Check-in (about 15 minutes)
inductive bible study (30-40 minutes)
Open your Bibles and begin with a prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to help you read God's word. Read the passage out loud once together and then silently once more on your own, noting your observations and questions. Then take a few minutes to share your observations and questions together.
Key Scripture: Luke 21:5-19
21:5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”
7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”
10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.13 And so you will bear testimony to me.14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.17 Everyone will hate you because of me.18 But not a hair of your head will perish.19 Stand firm, and you will win life.
Take some time to answer a key question you've raised as a group and think through how the issues you've explored apply to your lives.
Take a moment after your Bible study to watch this video:
DISCUSSION (about 20 minutes):
Here are some questions to consider
1) (from the video) The End Times or This Present Age refers to the period between Jesus' first and second coming. How does this understanding shape the way we live our lives? Does it affect the way we spend our money, raise our kids or spend our leisure time?
2) How often do you live with the understanding that the Christian life will be one of suffering, hardship and persecution?
3) How does knowing the road ahead prepare us to stand firm?
4) What are the biggest challenges in the call to "stand firm, and you will win life"?
Close with a time of prayer.