March 26, 2023
Message Big Idea
After recognizing that currently heaven is an intermediate state, we must direct our attention to God’s redemptive plan for all of creation: heaven and earth 2.0. In the Book of Revelation, we see Christ making everything new! This will mean the perfect union of heaven and earth, breaking the curse and ending pain and suffering. Moreover, the vastness and beauty of this new earth only pales in comparison to the widespread and uninhibited worship that will take place. In this, we will tangibly experience the riches of the nations, ideal government and brand new bodies.
- Take a moment to reflect (if you are going through this on your own) or share (if you are with others in a group setting): What are you grateful for today? What are you struggling with today?
- Have you ever held an idealized picture of something, especially when building up to actually seeing it (e.g., Disney World, or Paris)? Did it live up to the hype you had built up? If yes, how so? If no, why not?
- Read Revelation 21
- Take a moment to briefly retell the passages in your own words.
- What words or phrases “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most? Why?
- Considering the different attitudes people have about the future:
- How have you seen these influences affect how people live? For example, are optimists really good at addressing problems in the here and now or do realists do a better job? Or, are pessimists enjoyable people to be around?
- Reference Revelation 21:5 where Jesus declares, “I am making everything new!” Jesus is the only agent for effective change in addressing the curse on creation. How should this shape our attitudes as Christians? Should we optimistically think humanity can achieve utopia? Should we be bogged down by a pessimistic attitude toward the world? Is there an in-between outlook we should hold which dwells in the tension?
- Pastor Mark highlighted several aspects of Heaven and Earth 2.0 present in Rev. 21:
- union of heaven and earth,
- the curse is broken,
- end of pain and suffering,
- ubiquitous worship,
- vastness beyond comprehension,
- riches of the nations,
- ideal government,
- and brand new bodies.
- Discuss which aspects you had not considered before. How has this made you more hopeful? How has this stirred your imagination for heaven?
- Reflect on some tangible ways you can respond to this picture of the new heaven and new earth on a regular basis. How can you genuinely and thoughtfully encourage one another with this future hope?
- How can you make the most of your days on this earth by proclaiming and living out the gospel?
Live It Out
- What is one thing God seems to be asking you to do in response to this passage? (i.e., “I will ….”)
- Who can you tell about this “I will” statement in the next 48 hours?
- Journal about your time in God’s Word this week. Stop to listen to what He might be telling you. Celebrate His presence through His Word!
- Read, reflect on, and prayerfully respond to Wendell Berry’s poem, “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.” Consider the last lines of each stanza:
“Invest in the millennium.
Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant,
That you will not live to harvest.”
“Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary,
Some in the wrong direction.