Lesson 8

Choose Life

(Deuteronomy 30, Romans 6, James 1, Genesis 2 & 3)
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Introduction: George Barna recently released a survey of the Millennial generation. These are people in their twenties and thirties. The results are very discouraging. Only 35% claim to believe in the God of the Bible. Forty-one percent don’t know if God exists, don’t care whether He exists, or don’t believe that He exists. Seventy-four percent believe that all religions are of equal value. Of those 18-24 years of age, only 2% believe in a Biblical world view! Interestingly, only 5% said their life was great and they did not need to change. If you asked them to “choose life” would you be talking about the same thing? Probably not. A major problem is that these young people seem to be uneducated regarding the Bible (and perhaps many other things.) Let’s see if the Bible contains any help with educating people on the issue of “choosing life?”

  1.         Knowing the Commands

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 30:11-13. How easy is it to know God’s commands? (This says that it is not hard. God’s commands are readily available so that we have no excuse for not knowing them.)

  1.         Why do you think that American young people are so uneducated about God’s commands? What would you suggest that we should do to help them believe that knowing God’s commands is important? (Remember that only 5% of Millennials think that their life is great. The argument that obeying God makes your life better is important.)

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 30:14. How is the word of God near to us? How is it in our mouth and our heart?

  1.         Could this be true for the Millennials? (Read Romans 10:6-8. The older generations need to make this true by proclaiming God’s word.)

  1.         Choosing Life

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 30:15. What is set before us that determines whether we will live or die, be good or evil?

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 30:16-18. How does this answer the prior question? (God’s commandments make all the difference.  If we obey them, we “live and multiply.”  If we disobey them, we “shall not live long” and “will surely perish.”)

  1.         How would you suggest that we approach young people with this truth? (There are all sorts of books and people who have a few simple rules for improving life. The idea that adopting a few important changes to improve your life is a current concept. We should take advantage of that.)

  1.         What gets in the way of such a campaign? (Misunderstanding the purpose of the Ten Commandments. This is a theme I keep hammering in these lessons. God did not give humans the Ten Commandments to justify killing us, He gave them to us to make our lives better. Preaching that they make life better, and at the same time preaching salvation through Jesus alone, helps to make the overall message clearer.)

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 30:19. Is this same choice set before all people?

  1.         How many people do not understand that they are making this choice?

  1.         Add Deuteronomy 30:20.  Read Deuteronomy 30:19-20. What, exactly, is God promising to us if we obey and hold fast to Him? (That it will give us and our offspring life. We will live longer.)

  1.         Notice that “life” and “length of days” seem to be two different things. What do you conclude from this? (This is not only a promise of living longer, it is a promise to live better. I also believe God is thinking of eternal life.)

  1.         The text talks about dwelling in the land given to Abraham. Does that mean this promise is not for us? (It had a specific application to those who Moses was addressing, but these are also timeless values.)

  1.         Read Romans 6:15-16. Is there a middle ground when it comes to choosing life or death?

  1.         Note that verse 16 appears to be saying that obedience leads to “righteousness” rather than merely a better life.  What do you think? Have I been misdirecting you?

  1.         Read Romans 6:17-21. These verses speak of shame, death, sanctification, and at the end of sanctification, eternal life. Is this further proof that the Ten Commandments were not given only to make our lives better? (The benefit of keeping the Ten Commandments is not simply that our lives are improved, but that we are better people. We are more like our Lord.)

  1.         Read Romans 6:22-23. What does this say about earning eternal life (or eternal death)? (It says that eternal life is a “free gift of God ... in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  This vindicates what I have been arguing - eternal life is a gift, it is not earned by our obedience. Not accepting the gift is the reason for the loss of eternal life. However, these verses show that obedience to God is important to an improved life for us, and for those around us.)

  1.         Read James 1:23-24. This suggests looking “intently” at the law. What should logically happen if we look intently? (We don’t walk away. Instead, studying the law causes us to realize that we need to make changes in our life.)

  1.         Read James 1:25. What is the result of carefully studying the law and making the changes that we see need to be made? (Once again, it tells us that we will be blessed.)

  1.         Two Trees

  1.         Read Genesis 2:8-9. What two trees are “in the midst of the garden?” (The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the tree of life.)

  1.         Why would God place the two trees close to each other?

  1.         Read Genesis 3:22-24. Were humans created to live eternally? (It appears not. They had to continue to eat of the tree of life to continue to live.)

  1.         Read Revelation 22:2. What do we find in the New Jerusalem? (Another tree of life.)

  1.         Why is it there? (So that we can be healed and live forever.)

  1.         Let’s talk about this. What does the failure of Adam and Eve to obey God teach us in the simple matter of refraining from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?(They were created perfect. They had no inclination towards evil. They did not face a difficult test. They were neither tempted all the time nor were they tempted in many areas. I think the lesson is that we are fools if we think that we can live without sinning. Jesus was sent to save us for this very reason.)

  1.         What lesson do you draw from the fact that the choice of Adam and Eve made such a huge difference in their futures?

  1.         What lesson do you draw from the fact that eternal life turned on continuing to eat from one tree in the garden? (This is all a matter of choice. It reaffirms that making the correct decisions, decisions that are consistent with the Ten Commandments, have a substantial impact on our future.)

  1.         What barriers do young people face in learning these lessons? (They don’t believe the Creation account. They don’t believe in the God of the Bible.)

  1.         Friend, we need to examine our self first. Are we determined, by the power of the Holy Spirit to make the right choices? Are we convinced these make a difference in our quality of life? Once we get our priorities straight, what can we do to teach the young people about the importance of these choices? Will you spend time considering these questions about choosing life?

  1.         Next week: Turn Their Hearts.

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Lessons on Deuteronomy

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