Let’s pretend for a few minutes that you are basically unfamiliar with the Bible – not that different from many people we rub shoulders with everyday at our work, school and community. The only things you know about heaven are from TV programs, movies, best selling books, peoples’ posts on social media, and cartoons. Here are a few questions:
What happens to people when they die? What do they become?
Who meets them at the gate?
What do they look like?
What do these ‘angels’ do all day?
What has just happened in heaven if you hear a bell ring?
So how does that grab you? Sitting around on some cloud all day playing a harp. Sound pretty inviting – like something you’d like to do for forever? Probably not. You see, the impression our culture has about eternity is so far from the way the Bible pictures it. The truth is so much more inviting, more interesting, more impactful than harps and halos.
Our Lord has promised us an eternal “home” with Him, and focusing on our ultimate home impacts us now as we continue our journey through this “era between the gardens.” Join Pastor Larry McCall in revelation 21-22:5 as he assumes the role of “tour” guide of our ultimate home.
- Why do you think it seems difficult for us Christians in North America to focus our thoughts and lives on eternity?What might be some negative ramifications of neglecting the discipline of thinking/talking about our ultimate destiny?
- What might be some practical ways to improve our eternal focus? What bearing might Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:21 have on this question? (Be careful here. Jesus didn’t say we invest in what we care about. He said we care about what we invest in).
- How does focusing on eternity promote “hope” in our lives?
- How does focusing on eternity promote “holiness” in our lives?
- If the New Jerusalem is our ultimate home, how does being part of our “home away from home” (the church) help prepare us for that destination?
- How might Ephesians 5:25-27 work out in the life of the church?