Introduction: How can we have a series of lessons on hope without
studying the hope of Jesus’ return? Of course, we cannot! This week
and next we turn our attention to the hope Jesus gives us and the
hope of His Second Coming. Let’s dive in!

  1. Last Minute Instructions on Hope

    1. Read Acts 1:1-3. When is this 40 day period? At what
      point in Jesus’ life does it occur? (This is after Jesus’
      crucifixion and resurrection. It is Jesus’ extended
      farewell to His disciples.)

    2. Why did Jesus take so much time to say goodbye? (Verse 3
      is the key: Jesus wanted the disciples to have no doubt
      that He was alive. He wanted them to be absolutely sure
      He had been resurrected. He also wanted them to be sure
      they understood “the kingdom of God.”)

      1. What does it mean (v. 2)that Jesus was giving
        instructions “through the Holy Spirit” during this
        time? (It appears Jesus and the Holy Spirit were
        working together to aid the disciples in
        understanding their work. Jesus wanted them to be
        comfortable with their new teacher, the Holy Spirit.)

    3. Read Acts 1:6. After all this instruction about (v.3) “the
      Kingdom of God” and the future, what was the hope of the
      disciples? (That Jesus would restore the Kingdom of Israel
      – that He would set up an earthly power with them as His
      chief lieutenants.)

      1. What kind of grade would you give the disciples if
        you were their teacher?

      2. What would you have said to the disciples, if you
        were Jesus, about their hope? (If I were Jesus, I
        would have commented about how I hoped they would: a)
        Start listening better; and, b)Stop acting so stupid.
        Of course, that is just one reason why I’m not

    4. Read Acts 1:7-8. What did Jesus say instead? How does He
      deal with the disciples’ false hope? (He does nothing that
      I would have done. Instead, He takes their misguided hope
      and re-channels it into practical actions for the
      immediate future. While Jesus never did create a super-kingdom in Israel to overthrow the Romans, He will
      ultimately establish His kingdom on earth. Revelation

      1. What do you think clarified the hope of the
        disciples? (The Holy Spirit.)

      1. What will help clarify your hope?

  1. Reinforcing the Hope of the Second Coming

    1. Read Acts 1:9. The way I understand this text, Jesus just
      drifted up and away. I feel quite certain that Jesus did
      not float all the way to heaven. If I’m right, why did
      Jesus appear to go to heaven in this way? Why not use a
      “beam me up Scotty” thing like in Star Trek? Why not just
      dematerialize? (I think Jesus wanted the disciples to have
      a clear understanding that He was going to heaven, and not
      just disappearing. This was a practical way to convey that

    2. Read Acts 1:10-11. Do you think the angels’ question is
      stupid? Is it possible the angels heard the disciples’
      last question to Jesus and decided that they would start
      out with the obvious? Is it just an “ice-breaker?” Or,
      is there more to this question than appears on the
      surface? (The angels obviously knew why the disciples were
      looking up. I think they were saying, “Look, you don’t
      need to keep looking up to hope to see Him come back down.
      He will come back. You can move on to the more important
      matter of being ready.”)

      1. What important hope do you find in the statement
        “this same Jesus” will come back in the “same way?”
        (The same Jesus that showed love and compassion to us
        will be the Lord that returns to take us to heaven
        with Him. Telling us Jesus is coming back in the
        “same way” (drifting down from the clouds) gives us
        an insight into the way our hope will be fulfilled at
        Jesus’ Second Coming.)

        1. Our lesson points out (Monday)that many do not
          believe that Jesus will return again because
          this belief cannot be scientifically tested. Was
          Jesus addressing that very point by the way He
          ascended to heaven? (Certainly, for His
          disciples He was. If you can drift up, it would
          certainly seem you could drift down more easily!
          When I fly, getting up is the thing I hope
          about. I have no doubt that we will ultimately
          come down in some fashion.)

  2. The Hope of Glory

    1. Read Romans 5:1-2. What is the hope of the glory of God?

      1. Does it have something to do with faith and grace?

      2. What role does Jesus play in this hope of the glory
        of God? (Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are able to
        “stand” in grace. Having grace from God gives us
        hope that we will be with Him in glory. This is a
        promise of heaven.)

      3. What does this hope in Jesus give us? (It gives us
        (v.1) “peace with God” and (v.2) a cause for

    2. Read Romans 5:3-4. Notice this list of bad things. Do bad
      things end up in hope? Why does this string of things end
      up in hope?

      1. Do you find this to be true in your life – that
        suffering causes you to hope? (It seems to say that
        the good thing about bad things is that they sharpen
        our hope if we remain faithful.)

    3. Read Romans 5:6-8. What special hope does this give to
      you? (This shows us how much God loves us. The text
      suggests that no man would do what God did. Jesus died for
      us when we were sinners. He did not wait until we became
      good or righteous.)

      1. Do you know someone who stays away from church
        because they are not “good enough?” What does this
        text say to them?

    4. Read Romans 8:32. Romans 5:7-8 told us God’s sacrifice for
      us is remarkable. What does Romans 8:32 add to that
      thought? (Not only is Jesus’ sacrifice for us remarkable,
      but it shows that He loves us more than anything! This
      means God will not withhold any good thing from us.)

    5. Read Romans 8:33-34. Who is it that brings charges against
      us? Who condemns us? ( Revelation 12:10 tells us our
      accuser has been “hurled down.” Revelation 12:9 identified
      the party hurled down as the dragon or Satan.)

      1. What happens to your hope when people condemn you and
        bring charges against you?

      2. Who wins in the controversy between Jesus and Satan?
        (The “hurled down” text gives us a hint – Jesus wins.
        The charges and accusations against us go the same
        way as the accuser.)

        1. Why does Jesus win for us? (Notice that Romans
          8:34 tells us our Intercessor has the ear of
          God. He is at the right hand of the Father.
          Jesus lived, died, was resurrected, and now He
          has a special place by the Father where He puts
          in a good word for us. That is cause for hope!)

      3. What qualifies Jesus to be our Intercessor? (Not only
        that Jesus died for us, but He also was raised to

    6. Read Romans 8:35. It asks “Who shall separate us from the
      love of God?” What is the answer to that?

      1. This text gives several possible causes for
        separating us from God’s love. What do all of these
        causes have in common? (They are all bad. But, more
        than that, they all have an external source. They
        come from outside us.)

      2. As you consider the various possible causes for
        separation, what does that suggest about the answer
        to the question in verse 35? (That nothing external
        can separate us from God’s love. This suggests that
        we are the only ones who can separate ourselves from
        God’s love.)

    7. Read Romans 8:37. Who gives us the victory over all of
      these external problems? (Jesus makes us “more than

      1. Do you feel like a conqueror?

    8. Conquerors sometimes find that with time they lose their
      ability to win over their opponents. Read Romans 8:38-39.
      What gives us hope and confidence that will not happen to
      us? (It tells us nothing in all creation will be powerful
      enough to separate us from God. Praise God!)

    9. Friend, do you see the importance of your personal
      decision about Jesus? If you decide to accept His
      sacrifice and His victory for you, there is nothing in all
      creation that can separate you from His love. Why not
      decide to accept Him right now?

  3. Next Week: The Jesus Hope: Part 2