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Bible Study: March 8, 2015

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.

Bible Passage: Zephaniah 1:1-11

Discussion Questions: What motivates some people to live as though no one will ever hold them accountable for their actions?

Food for thought:

People live as if they will never be held accountable for their actions. Examples range from world leaders who abuse their power, to drug lords, to the neighborhood bully lurking for his next victim. Each one seems to act as if the rules apply to everyone else but them, apparently making their own rules that benefit themselves the most.

Attempts by people to shirk responsibility for their wrongdoing and to blame others have been going on a long time, since the beginning of time. In the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed Eve for his sin. Eve then blamed the serpent for hers. But let’s not be too quick to point a finger at the first humans for our own wrongdoing. While Adam and Eve might have been the first to try to dodge accountability, we’ve all followed in their straying footsteps to some degree. From everyday folks to heads of state, from common crooks to elite athletes, from people in Bible times to people today, too often we live as though no one will ever hold us accountable for our actions.

The prophet Zephaniah warned about a time of judgment known as the Day of the Lord. The concept was well established within Old Testament prophecy. It was comparable to the second coming of Christ in the New Testament. Despite warnings of earlier prophets about the universal nature of the Day of the Lord, popular opinion held it would be a time when the Lord punished Israel’s enemies. However, Zephaniah declared that the focal point of God’s judgment would be against Judah.

While the context of Zephaniah was Judah’s apostasy in the 7th century B.C., Zephaniah’s teaching on the great Day of the Lord remains strongly relevant in the 21st century A.D. God still abhors sin and His judgment against sin is certain. A time of final judgment still looms in the future. The only preparation an individual can make for this event is to depend on God’s grace, and place one’s faith solely in Christ.

Explore the Bible

Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at www.LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.

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