Introduction: This week we come to the last lesson of our
quarter’s study on Creation. We turn our attention to the
earth recreated, the earth made new. Now that is an
exciting thought, so let’s jump into our study!
- THE FUTURE HOME
- How many of you spend a significant amount of time
thinking about the future? (When I was young, I
would think about being older and having more
money and more status. Now that I am older, I
think about a semi-retirement where I travel the
country in a converted bus (or some other RV) and
litigate a few religious liberty cases and hold
seminars or evangelistic series.)
- Does the future always seem more desirable
than the present?
- Is it human nature to dream about the future?
- When you think about the future, do you
envision yourself in heaven? (I sometimes
wonder why I spend so much time thinking about
the details of a bus conversion when I should
be thinking about interplanetary travel!)
- Let’s look at a text about this. Read Revelation
21:1-4. Is our future in heaven?
- If you say, “yes,” why is the New Jerusalem
(v.2) “coming down out of heaven?” (These
verses clearly indicate that at some point we
return to an earth made new. God then brings
His holy city, the New Jerusalem, down to
earth so that He can live with us!)
- Would that make the new earth the “center
of the universe?”
- How special will it be to reside at the
“center of the universe?”
- What are the “perks” of having God
as our neighbor?
- Why would God want to move into our
neighborhood? (I think it has to do with
His successful battle against sin. The
one rebel outpost in the universe now
becomes His home.)
- What, in particular, do you look forward to in
the earth made new? (Verse 4 tells us that
fear will be gone. We will not have to worry
about the loss of a loved one, or personal
sickness because all pain, crying and death
are gone. Pain and suffering will no longer be
“the order” of things.)
- Read Revelation 21:10-12, 18-21. Imagine this for
a moment, and tell me if you can think of anything
here, anything you have seen, that compares to
- In Luke 9:58 Jesus said that He had no home
here. In Isaiah 53:2 we are told that when
Jesus lived on earth He did not have any
beauty or majesty that would attract us to
Him. His standard of living, in general,
seemed to be low. He was not grand looking or
grand appearing. Why the great contrast
between the earth made new and Jesus’
- Read Revelation 22:1-2. What do you find unusual
about this tree?
- What is the source of the river of life?
- Will you be able to eat from the tree of life?
(Yes! Revelation 2:7 says that we have “the
right” to eat from it!)
- Can you picture this in your mind? In the middle
of the New Jerusalem is the throne of God. A main
street, of pure gold (Rev. 22:2 & 21:18), leads to
the throne. In the middle of this street of gold
is the crystal clear river of life. On both sides
of the river this enormous tree is growing that
has a new crop every month. Its leaves and fruit
- Why does the New Jerusalem have a wall? (It cannot
be for protection from enemies for Revelation
21:25 tells us that the gates are never shut.)
- Our lesson refers (Sunday) to the “imagery” of
what God has in store for us and the teacher’s
comments refer to the Biblical presentation being
“sometimes symbolic.” Is this description real or
is this symbolic? (I do not think it is symbolic.
The precious stones and metals that are described
are still precious today. If there is any attempt
at symbolism, it is an effort to tell us that what
is in store for us is the very best that we can
- FUTURE RELATIONSHIPS
- What kind of relationships do you think we will
have in the earth made new?
- Will we have to be worried about being mugged?
- Will everyone be helpful and considerate?
- Will another Cain be lurking?
- I always thought it was interesting that whenever
my parents or their friends discussed a potential
retirement home, they invariably mentioned the
proximity of a hospital!
- If we do not have to worry about a nearby
hospital in the earth made new, why does
Revelation 22:2 say that the leaves of the
tree of life “are for the healing of the
- What other “healing” could occur at this
tree? (We read about Christians of
various nationalities and tribes
disliking each other, to say nothing
about actually attacking each other. The
tree of life is a natural gathering
place. Perhaps John means that at the
tree we will rub shoulders with
“different” people and get to understand
- Let’s read some other texts on relationships in
the earth made new. Read Isaiah 11:9. What kind
of attitude does this suggest?
- If the world today had a better knowledge
of God, would there be less destruction
- How important does this text in
Isaiah suggest is the knowledge of
God in solving today’s social
- How would you go about
increasing the knowledge of God?
- Read Revelation 22:4. What kind of attitude is
suggested by the term “His name will be on
their foreheads?” (The head is the source of
thinking. It means that the people agree with
- Read Luke 20:34-36. Why is it in the earth made
new we will not marry? (Because we are “God’s
- Does this text (and context) mean that we will
not remain married in heaven even if we are
- Didn’t God show us in Eden ( Genesis 2:18-24) that marriage is His ideal situation?
- If it is the ideal, why would it not
exist in heaven? (Luke 20 is a difficult
and discouraging text for those who are
happily married. I like being married to
my wife. I want to remain married in
heaven. God’s ideal in Eden was marriage.
I think the key to this is Genesis 2:24.
This tells us that in marriage the
primary relationship changes from the
parent to the spouse. Jesus tells us in
Luke 20:36 that our primary relationship
will be with our Father in heaven. I do
not think this precludes marriage (and
Jesus does not say it does), but I think
it alters the primary relationship.
Consider to what degree Adam sinned
because he considered his relationship
with Eve to be primary.)
- FUTURE WORK
- What do you expect you will be doing in the earth
made new? Will you be sitting on a cloud, playing
a harp ( Revelation 5:8)?
- Does that idea even appeal to you? (Not to me!
I could enjoy playing a harp, but do not want
to sit around playing one for eternity.)
- Read Matthew 5:12. This says that in heaven you
will be rewarded. What kind of reward do you think
you will get? What kind of rewards does God offer?
- What kinds of things do you think would be a
reward for you? If I said to you, “I want to
reward you,” what would you suggest?
- Matthew 6:20 tells us to store up our
treasures in heaven and not on earth. Will we
have treasures in the earth made new? What
kind can we store up now?
- What reward is revealed in Luke 22:29-30?
(This is also a good answer to the “perks”
question I asked you before.)
- Read Isaiah 65:22-24. This is generally
accepted as a description of heaven or the
earth made new. Which of these activities do
you find most appealing?
- If Adam and Eve had work in pre-sin Eden,
does it make sense that we will have work
in the earth made new?
- Is it fair or helpful to talk about heaven in
terms of what we know? ( 1 Corinthians 2:9
tells us that we have not seen, heard or can
even imagine what God has prepared for us.)
- Friend, God has a wonderful reward in store for
you. Will you accept it? Will you make a
commitment to walk with God so that you can be
- Next Week: We start a new quarter on the “Church in
Today’s World.” Our lesson title for next week is “We
Are a Family.”