Introduction: Let’s continue last week’s exploration of our
“retirement” in heaven – a glorious place where we have unlimited
time and resources. We have our ticket and we know we should be
careful to avoid showing up at the wrong event. We are living a life
reflecting God’s love to us and anticipating our life in heaven. Now
Jesus comes! Let’s dive into our Bible and learn more of the details
of what happens next!

  1. Resurrection!

    1. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. What is being described
      here? (The Second Coming of Jesus.)

      1. This text does not mention those who do not go to
        heaven. Why is that? Will everyone go to heaven?

    2. Read Revelation 20:5. How many resurrections are there?
      (More than one! These texts tell us that there are two
      resurrections. The Second Coming of Jesus represents the
      first resurrection – that of the righteous. The second is
      the resurrection of the wicked. Hint: you want to be part
      of the first resurrection!)

    3. Read Revelation 19:11-16, Revelation 14:14-20 and
      Revelation 6:15-17. Is this what you are waiting for? Last
      week we discussed the great joy we experience being caught
      up in the air to meet Jesus. What are we reading about in
      these texts? (In the Second Coming, Jesus gathers the
      righteous, both the dead and living, and then He destroys
      the wicked who are alive.)

    4. Read Revelation 19:17-21. What happens to the enemies of
      God at the Second Coming? (This is further evidence that
      they are destroyed.)

      1. Are you happy to see this? (How many books and movies
        have we seen where the “good guys” are being pursued
        and threatened by the “bad guys,” and then suddenly
        the hero arrives to save the good guys and get rid of
        the bad guys? This suggests that the righteous are
        in serious trouble just before the Second Coming.
        Jesus, our Hero, comes with the cavalry and saves us!
        Such joy! Such relief!)

      2. At the same time, this strikes me as being odd. If
        Jesus is coming as a thief in the night (1
        Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Peter 3:10), how is it that
        Jesus has an enemy army waiting to attack Him? (What
        if this army is really gathered to destroy the saints
        on earth, and our Lord comes to save us? The problem
        is that the text says that they are “gathered to make
        war against [Jesus].” Revelation 12:17 tells us that
        the dragon is waging war against the saints. Making
        war on God’s followers might be considered to be
        making war on Jesus.)

  2. First Stop: Heaven

    1. Read Revelation 20:1-3. What is the term of Satan’s
      sentence? (One thousand years!)

      1. Who does Satan have to deceive? (No one. All of the
        wicked are dead.)

    2. Read Revelation 20:4-5. Where have the righteous gone? (To
      heaven. We have a “big picture” here that at the Second
      Coming, the righteous are taken to heaven, and the wicked
      are killed.)

    3. Read Revelation 20:11-14. What is the basis for the
      judgment? Does it vary based on whether you are saved or
      not saved? (This is very important. Those who are lost are
      judged by their works. Those who are saved have their
      names in the Book of Life. This is grace! When you
      repent and rely on Jesus, your name is written in the Book
      of Life. If you rely on your own works for salvation, you
      will be judged by them!)

      1. What are the righteous doing in heaven? (Read 1
        Corinthians 6:2. The verses in Revelation, coupled
        with Paul’s comment here, suggest that the righteous
        spend at least part of their one thousand years
        looking over the judgment made on the lost.)

        1. Why would God have them do this? (God is
          transparent in His judgment. God wants us to be
          comfortable with His decision. He wants us to
          know that He is more than fair. Imagine if one
          of our loved ones is lost. God wants us to
          agree with Him on the judgment.)

          1. What other reasons can you think of for
            allowing us to confirm God’s judgment?
            (Eternal life needs to be sin-free. We
            need to be forever convinced of the error
            of sin.)

  3. Second Stop: Earth Made New

    1. Read Revelation 21:1-4. After the thousand years, where do
      the righteous move next? (The New Jerusalem comes down to
      earth. This should be an easy move, because they are
      moving my New Jerusalem City condo at the same time! I
      should not have to pack, but perhaps I’ll have to remove
      the pictures on the wall.)

    2. Read Revelation 20:5 and Revelation 20:7-9. Look carefully
      at Revelation 20:9. What city is this? What does this
      reveal? (The second resurrection of the wicked occurs
      after the one thousand years. The wicked are raised to
      life. Satan is released. They surround the New Jerusalem
      in one last desperate attempt to win the battle between
      good and evil.)

      1. Let’s give this some serious thought. First, what
        does this tell us about Satan? He has had one
        thousand years to contemplate his sins. What should
        he have concluded? (This shows that Satan is an
        impossible case. He is the hardened opponent of

      2. The wicked are already dead. Why would Jesus raise
        them to life just to kill them again? (Consider again
        the saints who have friends and family who were not
        saved. We saw first that Jesus allows the saints to
        review the record, and draw their own conclusions
        about His judgment. Imagine how that judgment is
        reinforced when the friends and family who are lost
        try to attack the New Jerusalem? They try to attack
        the saints.)

      3. What does this say about the lost? What does this say
        about our Lord? (It shows us that our Lord is more
        than fair. He cares about our opinion of His

    3. Read Revelation 20:10. What is Satan’s ultimate destiny?

      1. How does the rebellion in Revelation 20:9 work out
        for the wicked? (Fire comes down from heaven and
        destroys them.)

    4. Read Revelation 21:1. What is the most notable feature of
      the earth made new? (It has no sea.)

      1. Why eliminate the sea? (Ocean covers 71% of the
        surface of the earth. I think the continents will
        expand to cover the place where the ocean used to be.
        This will allow a greater population.)

    5. Read Revelation 21:2-3. Why move us back to this old (new)
      globe? Why does God move His throne here? (This is the
      scene of God’s great victory over sin. This is the
      epicenter of the battle.)

      1. Will we recognize places on the earth? (I think so.
        If God were changing everything, why mention only the
        fate of the sea? Why call it the “new earth” – using
        part of the old name? Just as we will be new and
        improved, but still recognizable (see Matthew 8:11, 1
        Corinthians 13:12), so I think that the earth will be
        new, improved and still recognizable.)

    6. Read Revelation 21:3-4. What does God do for us? (He wipes
      away every tear!)

      1. When bad things happen to us on earth, does God care?
        (His end-game is to take away all mourning, crying
        and pain! That is God’s goal.)

    7. Read Revelation 22:1-5. What does this suggest about life
      in the earth made new? ( Genesis 1:26 tells us that we were
      made in the image and likeness of God. The logical
      conclusion is that our new body in a new earth have “image
      and likeness” similarities to our current body on the old
      earth. We will see trees, rivers, crops, fruit, leaves and
      light in the New Jerusalem. Think about how the first
      kind of crank phones are similar to our current smart
      phones. A crank phone user would be astonished by a smart
      phone, but it would not take too long to understand the
      similarities. I think this illustrates, in a crude way,
      the nature of the new earth.)

    8. Friend, how about you? Would you like to spend eternity
      in a vastly improved earth? Would you like to be free from
      all worry about family and friends? I think the choice is
      clear. We have an enemy who, even after one thousand years
      of contemplation, wants to destroy God and destroy us.
      Those who follow Satan have the same goal. The choice is
      obvious. Why not make it right now?

  4. Next week: We begin a study about the significance of our
    belief in the Creation. This is an incredibly important study,
    so come along!