Here's the booklet for our October focus on Heaven. (You can find the small group Bible Talk discussions below.)
Celebrate Heaven Quiz for your Family Devotional Lesson
Notes from "What Is the Place Called Heaven Going to be Like?" (8 October)
▾ What Will Heaven Be Like?
▾ The Present Heaven and Future Heaven
▾ This World is not our home? Not really.
• Redeemed humans will be God’s unchallenged, delegate rulers of the New Earth. God will come down and live with them forever deepening their relationships, as the glory of God permeates every aspect of the new creation.
• We will reign over a resurrected, centered on a resurrected Earth, with a resurrected Jerusalem as its capital city.
• We will eat, drink, work, worship, learn, travel, and experience many of things that we do now.
• Isaiah 65:17-25 (note how we will work, build, live) See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.
• Isaiah 66:22 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure.
• Romans 8:19–23 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
▾ Will Heaven (the New Earth) Be an Actual Place?
▾ It’s a Renewal of a very familiar place
• Matthew 19:28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
• 2 Peter 3:5–13 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
▾ What Will Heaven Be Like?
▾ Heaven is a City, a Country, a Paradise Restored!
• Hebrews 11:10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
• Hebrews 11:16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
• Hebrews 13:14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
• Revelation 21, Revelation 22. The Garden of Eden. And God saw that it was good!
Notes from What Will We BE in Heaven? (15 October)
There Will Be a Bodily Resurrection
Predicted by Christ and the Apostles
- Philippians 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
- John 20:24–29 (NIV) Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
- 1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
- Acts 10:41 (NIV) He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
- 1 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV) By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.
- 2 Corinthians 4:14 (NIV) because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.
- John 2:19–21 (NIV) Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
- Romans 10:9 (NIV) If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
"Soma" or Body is Described as Powerful, Imperishable, Immortal, Spiritual and Glorious
- 1 Corinthians 15:35–53 (NIV) But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. 42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. 50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
- Matthew 22:23-33 (Contrast "Angel" with Seraphim, Cherubim, and "Wheels" or "Throne" of Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel 2)
Notes from What Will We DO in Heaven? (22 October)
- Isaiah 65
Notes from What Will We KNOW in Heaven? (29 October)
Will Time No Longer Exist?
* Revelation 8:1 “silence in heaven for about half an hour”
* 2 Peter 3:8 “with the LORD”
* Revelaiton 6:9-11 “How Long?” “wait a little longer."
* Will We Know Everything?
* 1Corinthians 13:12 We will see things with clarity.
* 1 Peter 1:12 (NIV) It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
Angels long to know more
* Matthew 24:36 (NIV) “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
* Will We Remember What Happened on Earth?
* Rev 6:9-11 Martyrs in heaven clearly remember at least some of what happened on Earth.
* Luke 16:25 (NIV) “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
Why will we need to be comforted if we don’t remember.
* We will need to give an account of our lives lived here on Earth.
* 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NIV) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
* Matthew 12:36 (NIV) But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
* John 20:24-29 Christ’s nail scarred hands will remind of us our need for grace.
* Can Those in the Present Heaven Seen What’s Happening on Earth?
* YES. At least to some degree. But Lazarus in Luke 16:19-25 was blissfully ignorant of the events outside of heaven.
* Again, Rev 6:9-11
* When Babylon is brought down, an angel points to what is happening on earth and says. “Rejoice over her, O heaven. Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets. God has judged her for the way she treated you.” Revelation 18:20
* If People in Heaven Are Aware of Bad Things on Earth, How Can It Really Be Heaven?
* Angels see the torment of hell, but it doesn’t diminish their joy in God’s presence. Revelation 14:10 (NIV) they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
* Our happiness in heaven will not be based on ignorance but on perspective.
* Will We Be United With and Recognize Our Loved Ones?
* 1 Thessalonians 4:14–18 (NIV) For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
* Matthew 17:3–4 (NIV) Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
* The disciples recognized Moses and Elijah even though they couldn’t have known what they looked like.
* Will There Be Marriage And Family in Heaven?
* Matthew 22:30 (NIV) At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.
* This does not mean that the deep relationships between married couples will end.
* Ephesians 5:23-32. Deb and I should rejoice that we will finally be in a perfect a marriage - together as we are in Christ.
* You may not have yet met your best friend that you will ever have!