April 5, 2020 Adult Life Group Lesson: Eternal Life
The focus of our lesson is Revelation Chapter 21:1-8 and Chapter 22:1-5
There is a story of a Pastor name Richard Baxter in England in the 1600s, who suffered all of his life with one medical issue after another. One of the effects of this suffering was to make him intensely conscious of how temporary this life is and how inevitable death is. Once when he was 35, he was bed-bound by one of his diseases and thought he would probably not recover. He began to meditate on the joys of heaven and the age to come in preparation for leaving this world. He focused especially on “the hope of glory” & began to write his thoughts. To his surprise he recovered & his thoughts became a book entitled The Saints’ Everlasting Rest.
Our Citizenship – We Are Citizens of Another Age
Paul tells us to do this in Colossians 3:1-4: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, to set our minds on things that are above, not on things on earth. We can do this because our resurrection with Christ is so sure as virtually to have already happened, that we are not to live in constant thought to this age, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. And that renewing means conformed to the newness of the age to come, because God says in the text, Behold I make all things new (Verse 5)
Thinking About the Greatness of the Age to Come
One question that could be asked is, does thinking & mediating on the age to come make a person less useful in this age? The opposite is the case. The person who knows that their destiny is glorious & certain will be free to live the most radical life of love and sacrifice here on Earth. Paul tells us in Colossians 1:4-5 that he has heard about the love that they have for all the saints because of the hope laid up in heaven. It’s the assurance of the hope of heaven that releases the radical risk-taking love that makes people ask the reason for our hope, which gives us an opportunity to share the plan of salvation.
Four Ways in Which God Will Make All Things New
Spiritually & Morally New – God is going to make us spiritually and morally new and glorious. The greatest frustration of this age is that we still sin. Romans 7 sheds light on this painful truth. Verses 23-24 tells us I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind. We want to be Holy & we fall short. We want to love & we say hurtful things. We want to walk in peace & we feel anxiety. In verse 2, John gives us a vision of the bride prepared for her husband, Jesus Christ. In verse 11 it tells us the way it makes the bride ready for the Son, is by giving us His glory. This glory will purify us so deeply & so completely that we will be like a rare jewel, clear as crystal.
Physically and Bodily New – God will make all things new – including our bodies. Verse 4 tells us that He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and death shall be no more, nor any pain because former things have passed away. In Philippians 3:20-21, scripture tells us that we will have a glorified body like Christ’s. In life some are born blind, lame or with other problems. But believers will not be left like this. When God makes all things new, He makes our bodies new.
The New Creation – Romans 8:21 says The creation itself will be set free from its bondage. God will do a global rehab project, and everything futile, evil & painful will be done away with. Since we will be made new, God will give us a new and glorious place to live.
A New Relationship with God - God will make our relationship with Him new & glorious. In verse 3 we are told Behold the dwelling of God is with men. It is true now that God is with us. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus promised to never leave until the end of the age. 2nd Corinthians 5:6-7 tells us, that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, and we walk by faith not by sight. We do not see as we one day will see. Jesus said “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”. Something greater is coming for all of us in our relation to God. That is a promise. Revelation 22:4 says They shall see His face & His name shall be on their foreheads.
So forever and ever we will live with pure hearts and glorious bodies on a new earth in the presence and the glory of our heavenly Father.