316 - Part 1 - John 3:16

July 7

Ice Breaker: Do you have a favorite fictional or nonfictional rescue story?

Read Hebrews 13:8
“God doesn’t take summers off”.  God has work to do every day of our lives, and we take EVERY Sunday seriously.  Discuss in light of Hebrews 13:8.
1.     On Sunday, Pastor Mike asked us to do the following for this summer’s series:
a.     Make church attendance a priority when you’re in town.
b.    Attend the whole service.  Why is this important?
c.     Make the sermon time as distraction free as possible.  Why is this important?
Read John 3:16.
2.     What is the one word “theme” that Pastor Mike used to summarize this verse.
Operation Thunderbolt summary:
Operation Thunderbolt was a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by commandos of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on July 4, 1976.   A week earlier, on 27 June, an Air France plane with 248 passengers was hijacked, by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Revolutionary Cells, and flown to Entebbe, near Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The local government supported the hijackers and dictator Idi Amin personally welcomed the terrorists. The hijackers separated the Israelis and Jews from the larger group and forced them into another room.  That afternoon, 47 non-Israeli hostages were released.   The next day, 101 more non-Israeli hostages were allowed to leave on board an Air France aircraft. More than 100 Israeli and Jewish passengers, along with the non-Jewish pilot Captain Bacos, remained as hostages and were threatened with death.
The IDF acted on intelligence provided by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. The hijackers threatened to kill the hostages if their prisoner release demands were not met. This threat led to the planning of the rescue operation.
The operation took place at night. Israeli transport planes carried 100 commandos over 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to Uganda for the rescue operation. The operation, which took a week of planning, lasted 90 minutes. 102 hostages were rescued. Five Israeli commandos were wounded and one, the commander, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, was killed. All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed, and thirty Soviet-built MiG-17s and MiG-21s of Uganda's air force were destroyed.

3.     In “Operation Thunderbolt”, soldiers were sent into enemy territory.  Read John 3:16.  In what way did God send His Son into enemy territory?

4.     How did sin hijack humanity? (Refer to Genesis 3)

5.     We are all born hostages to sin.  How does this affect our:
a.     Freedom
b.    Lives
c.     Eternity
i.     Sin always leads to death.  Discuss.

6.     Sometimes we take matters into our own hands and try to free ourselves.  What are some common ways people try to be free without God?

7.     The Ten Commandments reveal our need for rescue.  Discuss.

8.     What price did Jesus pay to set us free?

9.     What does His resurrection mean to you and I?

10.  According to the Bible, what is the appropriate response for those who have been radically rescued?

11.  What institution did Jesus found?  What was his plan in founding the church?

12.  Since the church is God’s plan to rescue those held hostage by sin, discuss our part in this mission in light of the following Southside Church core values.
a.     Found people find people
b.    Saved people serve
c.     God’s people give
Operation Thunderbolt was a temporary solution. Jesus saves not only our lives but our eternities.  Discuss in light of Revelations 21: 1-4.

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