death & eternal life

He Who Loves His Life Will Lose It (John 12:17-41)

With his death approaching, Jesus uses two puzzling figures of speech to explain both how He would die, and why He had to die. In the course of doing that, He reveals a great mystery that applies also to us: a seed must die in order to produce a great harvest. Jesus then goes on to quote from Isaiah, revealing a wonderful window into the divinity and pre-existence of the Son of God.

More from the Good Shepherd (John 10:22-30)

Given that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, what does this mean for our own lives, given we are to walk as Jesus walked and imitate His character? This lesson examines Jesus’, Paul’s, and Peter’s expectations for us as shepherds, whether of our family or our local church, and addresses the gap between the Biblical role of shepherd/elder/overseer and the reality in many churches today. Our lesson also takes a fascinating look at the history of the Feast of Dedication (in which Jesus participates in John 10). We conclude by tackling Jesus’ statement “no one can snatch you out of My hand”, which has been used by many to teach unconditional eternal security (“once saved, always saved”).

Before Abraham Was (John 8:51-59)

At the end of John 8 Jesus makes several remarkable statements for which the Jews take up stones to kill him.  In addition to calling the Jews liars, Jesus says "if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death", that "Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad" and "before Abraham was, I am."  What do these statements mean? And why did they prompt the Jews to try to stone Jesus? The answers to these questions reveal much about Jesus' identity as God's Son, His divinity, His power over death, and His purpose for coming to earth — all of which should shape our understanding of Him, strengthen our faith and sharpen our priorities.

The Exodus Map, a Parable of the Christian Life

[PDF of Lesson notes to be posted shortly]

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Hidden in plain view, in the famous story of the Exodus from Egypt, we find a detailed map of the Christian journey of faith. The connection is suggested in one of the psalms, but revealed by insights from three books in the New Testament and by early Christians. This is an unforgettable, faith-building lesson that sheds light on a number of foundational teachings: on sin, eternal security, baptism, Satan and the goal of our faith.

Elisha, Pt. 6: Naaman, Gehazi, and the Floating Ax Head (2 Kings 5:17-6:7)

PDF of Lesson Outline

We pick up where we left off with the story of Naaman's healing, which some Christians through the centuries have viewed as a foreshadowing of baptism.  We discuss one aspect of baptism, the power over death and the hope of eternal life.  We then look at the story of Gehazi, who falls into the sins of greed and deceit, and provides a warning to us to embrace a Godly view of wealth and possessions.  Finally, we look at the story of the lost ax head.  

Elisha, Pt. 3: Three Kings and a Widow (2 Kings 3:1-4:1-7)

We pick up on part three of a series on the life of Elisha. The story of Elisha offers so much for us to learn. In this lesson, Elisha saves three kings (and Israel) from death, then turns and rescues a nameless widow and her sons. These stories reveal much about the heart of God and His role as both Savior and Redeemer.  

This lesson was shared in a private setting and not recorded. The notes are offered for your encouragement and study!  

Link to Lesson Outline

Previous recorded lessons (and outlines) on Elisha:

Elisha Part 1: Background and Call

Elisha Part 2: Healed Waters and a Bear Attack

The Fall of Man, Cain & Abel (Genesis 3:6-4:16)

These passages of Scripture lay the foundation for the entire Biblical story describing the relationship of God and mankind. Here we learn of the Fall, the sin of Adam, Eve, and Satan, and the consequences of such sin. These passages include Scripture often quoted in the New Testament....

1 Corinthians 15 (pt 1) - The Resurrection of the Dead

After addressing many issues in the church in Corinth, Paul turns to one last problem, that some Christians in the church did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Paul spends an entire chapter explaining the centrality of the resurrection to the Christian faith, including what raised from the dead means and why it matters so much.  

While the resurrection of the dead is one of the elementary teachings of the Christian faith (Hebrews 6:1-2), this foundational teaching is misunderstood by many Christians. Paul's stirring and strong defense of the bodily resurrection of Christ and his followers provides us today with the confidence and courage to live as Christ lived, and to be steadfast and immovable in our work for the Lord. This lesson covers an overview of the chapter with its key themes, with the next lesson providing a deeper look at parts of the chapter. 

For further study:

Prophecies of the Resurrection

1 Corinthians 9:24-10:13 - Making It All the Way to the End: Lessons from the Desert

In this passage of Scripture, Paul warns the Corinthians of sins that can destroy their relationship with God and disqualify them from the ultimate prize of eternal life.  Paul uses four examples, including the story of the Israelites escaping from Egypt and wandering through the desert, to teach us to persevere to the end. Paul's instruction gives us hope to overcome temptation and endure hardship, in order to win the ultimate prize of being with God forever.