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Lesson 13: How to Prepare for a Home in Heaven

In our last lesson we learned some things about the heavenly home Jesus has gone to prepare for His people. This lesson is a very important one, because in it we will learn what God expects of those who will live in that beautiful place.

What Shall I do?

1. What important question did a certain young ruler ask Jesus one day? Luke 18:18.

"And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

Note: In answering his question, Jesus pointed the young man to the Ten Commandments. This shows that obedience to Godís law is a very important part of our salvation.

2. How did the young man answer Jesus? Luke 18:21.

"And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up."

3. What did Jesus then tell this rich young ruler that he must do? Luke 18:22.

"Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me."

Note: The young man was very sincere in believing that He had kept all the commandments, but he did not know his own heart. Anything that is more important to us than Jesus, and that we have put before Him, becomes our god. Jesus knew that this young manís worldly possessions were more important to him than going to heaven. To show him what was really in his heart, Jesus told him to sell everything he had and to come follow Him. Our works cannot buy a place in heaven, but it must be more important than anything in this world to us.

4. What is the way like that leads to eternal life? Matthew 7:13, 14.

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Mt Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

Note: If people could have the things they want in this world and Jesus too, many would be ready to accept Him. However, between the world and those who follow Jesus, there is to be a very real difference. The gate that is straight and narrow means that we have to take off our pride and self and worldly baggage to squeeze through there.

5. Where must all one day stand? Romans 14:10.

"But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."

6. In view of the judgment, what is our duty? Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."

Note: To Ďfearí God means that He has our highest thought, respect and obedience.

7. How many kinds of laws did God give to Israel at Sinai? 2 Kings 21:8.

"Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them."

Note: There is a text in Daniel that also refers to Godís law, and to the Law of Moses. "Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy [Godís] law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him." Daniel 9:11. Both of these texts refer to the two lawsóthe Law of God, or the Ten Commandments: and the Law of Moses, or the laws of ceremonials, and ordinances. It is important that we keep these two laws separate in our minds.

8. Who wrote the ceremonial law, and where was it placed? Deuteronomy 31:24Ė26.

"And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee."

Note: Moses, as he received instructions from God on Mount Sinai, wrote these things down in a book. These laws and ordinances were called the ceremonial law and were placed in the side of the ark. The ark was a sacred chest which was kept in the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary. There was a shelf or pocket attached to the side of this sacred ark, in which the ceremonial laws, or Law of Moses was kept.

This Law of Moses explained to the people how they were to conduct their religious services. The Law of Moses also contained government regulations for the kingdom of Israel and instructions for the yearly holy days which they were to observe. These yearly holy days were sometimes referred to as annual sabbaths. See Leviticus 23. These offerings, ceremonies, and yearly sabbaths all pointed forward to the cross of Jesus and His sacrifice for sinner.

These religious rituals all pointed forward to Jesus and His work for our salvation. They were what we call a shadow, or type, of the things to come. We all know what a shadow is. While the shadow isnít the real object, we can tell something about an object by the shadow it makes, just so with the ceremonial services. These services could not of themselves bring salvation, but in following them, the people could learn something about Jesus and His work for our salvation. By doing them, the people showed their faith for salvation in the promise that someday a Saviour would come.

9. When did the law of offerings and ceremonies come to an end? Colossians 2:14,16, 17.

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."

Note: These verses make it clear that the ceremonies, the meat and drink offerings, and those yearly sabbaths that were a shadow of future events, came to an end at the cross. Since these ceremonies and ordinances pointed forward to Jesus, they naturally came to an end when He died on the cross.

The Ten-Commandment Law

10. Who wrote the Ten Commandments? Exodus 32:15, 16.

"And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables."

11. Where was this law kept? 1 Kings 8:9.

"There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt."

Note: So important were the Ten Commandments that God did not entrust any man with the work of writing them. To show how permanent they were, God wrote them in one of the hardest substances we know ofóstone.

12. What did Jesus say about changing Godís Ten Commandment law? Matthew 5:19.

"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:"

Note: This means they would not be in heaven.

13. What does Jesus say about those who keep those commandments and teach others to do so? Matthew 5:19.

"But whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

14. When someone asked Jesus the secret to having eternal life, what did Jesus tell him to do? Matthew 19:17.

"And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."

15. Are we saved by keeping the law? Romans 3:23, 28.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."

16. If we are not saved by obeying the law, why is obedience important? Romans 6:16.

"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"

Note: This is the reason why obedience is so important. It isnít that we earn salvation by it, but we show whether we belong to Jesus or not.

Saving Grace and the Ten Commandments

17. What is sin? 1 John 3:4.

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

Note: The only way we can know what sin is, is by the Ten Commandment Law. In this way the law is like a mirror. You can look in a mirror and find out that your face is dirty. Looking in the mirror, however, win never clean away the dirt, it only shows you the dirt that is there. Godís law shows us how we should act. By our actions we show if we belong to Jesus, or if we are still a slave to Satan.

18. What does the Bible say about those who say they know Jesus but refuse to keep His commandments? 1 John 2:4.

"He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

Note: The law that says, "Thou shalt not steal," wasnít just meant for the people of Israel. It was not just the children of Israel who were to honor their parents. In fact, the whole purpose of the commandments is for our protection and happiness. The commands of God, when followed, are like a fence around us, protecting us from harm.

19. How are we saved? Ephesians 2:8.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."

Note: Only Jesusí blood can save us and pay the penalty for the Law we already have broken. We are saved by grace, which is mercy that we do not deserve. It is Godís gift to each one of us.

20. How did Jesus say we show our love to Him? John 14:15.

"If ye love me, keep my commandments."

21. Besides forgiving us, what does God promise to do for each one of us when we confess our sins to Him? 1 John 1:9.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Note: The law shows us our sin, but just as the mirror cannot clean the dirty face, the law cannot save us. However the law will show us our sinfulness. Once we see our sinfulness, we realize our great need for Jesusí blood which is able to wash away all the guilt of sin.

22. What does Paul say about the Law? Romans 7:12.

"Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good."

Jesus, Our Example

23. With Jesus abiding in our hearts, whose life will our life be like? 1 John 2:6.

"He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked."

24. What does Peter tell us about Jesus life? 1 Peter 2:21, 22.

"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth."

25. What is the attitude of the natural mind to Godís law? Romans 8:7.

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

26. Whose mind does the Christian have? 1 Corinthians 2:16.

"For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."

Note: A man once said: "I wish Jesus had told us right out what is expected of us: one, two, three, four, five, like that, then we would know just exactly what is right and what is wrong."

The minister answered: "Thatís exactly what Jesus has done; He has given us the Ten Commandments list of ten rules which He expects us to follow." And yet so many people refuse to follow all these commandments, or try to persuade themselves that the commandments, at least in part are done away with. As by Jesus power we keep His commandments, our lives are happier and we have much less trouble.

Are you ready to live with Jesus in heaven? Is there anything in your life that shouldnít be, and that you donít want to give up? Think about it and pray that God will help you to give your all to Him that you too might have His blessing now and eternal life when He returns.

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