We can throw away our bucket list, for this earth is not our last chance at all!
We don’t have to sail the isles of Greece, see the penguins of Antarctica,
or parachute from an airplane before we die (in case that is your heart’s desire) –
we’ll experience it all, only better, at the “renewal of all things.”
Grasping this life that awaits us will loosen our grasp on this world,
helping us set our affections on things above,
where our real life is hidden with Christ in God.
We don’t have to spend these precious days chasing things under the sun,
for it will all be there, only better,
and we will be so thankful we lived for what truly mattered.
This week we are to look at the New Heaven and New Earth through
the window of Isaiah 65.
How this view will blow to pieces the thought that heaven will be boring!
I know you will be encouraged at how tangible, how amazing,
the new heaven and earth will be!
Let’s look together through the window of Isaiah 65!
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. How do you feel about bucket lists? Explain.
Monday: No More Sorrow, Only Joy
We studied this passage last week in my Bible study where I’m testing The Jesus Who Surprises. There were two really interesting comments from women on Isaiah 65:17. Ruth Ann said she an aunt who used this verse to say we won’t recognize anybody in heaven — we won’t remember them. But indeed, that is not what it is saying in context. I’d like you to tell me what you think it means before I share another woman’s remark.
3. Read Isaiah 65:17-20
A. What promise does God begin with that you have seen before in our study?
B. What do you think it means when He says “the former things will not be remembered or come to mind?”
C. Describe the relationship between Jerusalem (God’s people) and God.
D. What will you no longer hear in this new heaven and new earth?
E. What will never happen that has happened in this world, according to verse 20a. Why?
Patti, a woman who has simply come alive in our study, said that in regard to “the former things will not be remembered or come to mind,” she felt that, in context, was talking about the hurts that led to weeping and cries of distress. She said, “I have been able to forgive some great hurts, but I have trouble not keeping them from coming to mind. But one day they will be gone.” I loved that, for I think we all can identify with that. I also think memories of war, betrayal, treachery, and all sorrow will be gone. One of the reasons we will be able to dwell so peacefully with believers who hurt us is that we will not remember and all sin will be taken from them. Your thoughts?
Tuesday: Family Life!
After Steve died, I was having dinner with Kathy Troccoli who has been single all of her life. When I told her how eager my children and I were to be with Steve again in the new earth, she seemed troubled. Finally she explained that it had been hard for her to be single and childless on earth, and now, I was telling her, that sorrow was going to continue eternally? I would walk off happily ever after with Steve and our children and she would still be alone? No! For one thing, Jesus told us there would be no marriage in heaven, and yet, here in Isaiah we definitely have a picture of family life, of community. I think of all the lives Kathy has impacted, all her spiritual children, and I know she won’t be alone. None of us will be, though we can’t know exactly what it will be like, Isaiah gives us this window into real joy in community. As the vibrant Italian Kathy is, she’s going to love the fact that there are vineyards (and wine!) and our meals will be better than the best Italian restaurants! I picture us sitting outside around the table, the weather perfect, lanterns in the trees, enjoying a view of the most beautiful vineyards, and loving, laughing, and yes, learning from one another and Jesus! Somehow, He will be there with us.
4. Read Isaiah 65:21-24
A. How is this picture in verse 21 different than floating about in clouds and playing harps?
B. We will still be working, but what will be different about work according to verse 22?
C. There will still be “offspring” but what will be different about these offspring?
D. How quickly will God respond to any need according to verse 24?
Wednesday: Animal Life!
5. Read Isaiah 65:25 and describe animal life in the new heaven and new earth.
Some think this refers to the Millennium, but Eric Alexander, in this week’s sermon, thinks it is the New Heaven and New Earth. It’s a great sermon and I hope you’ll listen and share your notes.
Thursday-Friday Sermon: Eric Alexander on Isaiah 65:17-25: The Restoration of All Things
6. Share your notes and comments
7. What is your take-a-way and why?
4. Read Isaiah 65:21-24
A. How is this picture in verse 21 different than floating around in clouds and playing harps? We will live in houses we build and enjoy fruit from our own vineyards.
B. We will still be working, but what will be different about work according to verse 22? Invaders won’t take our houses and confiscate our vineyards. We’ll live as long as trees and have time to enjoy the work of our hands.
C. There will still be “offspring” but what will be different about these offspring? They will be blessed rather than doomed to misfortune.
D. How quickly will God respond to any need according to verse 24? He’ll answer before they even call Him. While they’re still talking about their needs, He’ll go ahead and answer their prayers.
5. Read Isaiah 65:25 and describe animal life in the new heaven and new earth. The wolf and lamb will feed together, the lion will eat hay but snakes will eat dust.