We’ve learned that the New Heaven and the New Earth
is not some ethereal place in the sky where we float,
but tangible, exciting, and beautiful,
like the best of earth.
We will have resurrected bodies that can be recognized,
that can be touched, and can eat — like that of our Lord’s.
We will be with God and we will be His people.
He will rejoice in us, and we in Him.
There will be a sense of community, of family,
and we will fellowship around the table,
loving the Lord and one another.
There will be an animal kingdom, but they will not be at war with humans
or one another. Our own Sharon took this photo.
John Eldredge spoke of the scene after Jesus resurrection when he made a fire on the beach, and said, I think we will experience things like this with him in the new heaven and the new earth. It will be ordinary and yet so extraordinary.
This is our final week on heaven, and there is much we have not explored, but I want to delve into the sometimes troubling idea of degrees of happiness in heaven, of rewards. John Piper says the best thing he has read on that is a short essay from Jonathan Edwards which you will have a chance to read or hear.
You will also hear from a panel from The Gospel Coalition on heaven.
1. How does your view of heaven impact your life now?
Monday: The Kingdom of Heaven
2. When John the Baptist heralded Jesus, what did he say in Matthew 3:2?
The Kingdom of Heaven is here in seedling form, and even when we pray the Lord’s prayer, we are praying for its fulfillment. The New Heaven and New Earth will be run very differently than the way men run this world. It will be the kind of “upside down Kingdom” we see in the Sermon on the Mount. But though we see through a glass darkly, it does seem the way we live here, now, on earth, plays a part in the role we will have in the Kingdom of Heaven. Consider some of these passages.
3. What is the exhortation from our Lord in Matthew 6:19-21?
Tuesday: Essay from Jonathan Edwards
You can either read or listen to this essay and then comment:
John Piper reading aloud the essay by Jonathan Edwards: (You may have to copy and paste the links, as I was having trouble with them.)
Or you can read it here:
4. Share your notes and comments on Edward’s Essay here.
Wednesday: The Parable of the Talents
Jesus told many parables about The Kingdom of Heaven, and in them we see that what we do during our time on earth matters, concerning the Kingdom of Heaven. Let us consider the Parable of the Talents
5. Read Matthew 25:14-30
A. Describe the difference between the first two servants and the third.
B. How did the third servant view his master, according to verse 24?
C. What happened to each of these servants? How can we know that the third servant did not actually know the Lord?
6. A similar parable is in Luke 19:11-27. What would you say is the main point of each of these parables?
7. As you ponder life now, the talents you have, the responsibilities you have been given, how do you think you could be a faithful servant right now, right here, with the time you have left?
Thursday: A Panel on Heaven from The Gospel Coalition
There is so much more on heaven I could share with you, but here is a panel from three men who have studied heaven diligently. It’s short. Watch and share your notes and comments.
8. Share your notes and comments.
Friday: Input for Dee
I am asking God for wisdom concerning the blog/Bible study. Interest has waned, and I want to use my talents as wisely as possible. I’d love your input. One thought I have had is to just do three studies: Summer, Advent, and Lent. I could leave an open forum for prayer or suggest a discussion topic. I could stop all together, though I would miss you! Truly I covet your prayers and any input you have for me. We’ve had over 500 studies together and many of you are dear, dear friends. Let me know your thoughts, desires, criticisms. All are welcome!
10. What is your take-a-way from this series on heaven?