What Happens Next?
The Point: One day we will fully experience who God created us to be.
Get Into the Study
Use the following as an alternate introduction and question to the Bible Meets Life and Question 1.
On June 15, 2018, the Disney and Pixar film “Incredibles 2” movie hit theaters and soundly crushed the record for the largest animated film opening in box office history with a record $183.2 million weekend. The 2016 film “Finding Dory” previously held the record making approximately $135 million opening weekend.
The premise of The Incredibles 2 is based on a family of superheroes who felt the need to live in secrecy until the end of the first Incredibles film. Now they are able to live openly as superheroes instead of concealing who they really are.
Ask: “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” After some discussion, ask: “How might your superpower change your life?” Having a superpower would change every aspect of life. We’d experience things differently and encounter a new way of living. Life would be completely different.
In today’s session, we’re going to look at a time when things will be completely different than they are now. The Book of Revelation gives us a glimpse of what eternity will be like. Unlike the Incredibles 2 movie, though, this will be reality for believers. We won’t have superpowers, but we will be in God’s presence, experiencing in full all that God created for us.
Dr. Beth Masters works with college students at Mississippi College where she is the Director of Christian Life and Ministries. She has a Ph.D. in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Beth loves young adults, baking, and coffee.
Use this activity with the Revelation 21:4-5 section. Have all members of your group who have smartphones open up different news sites or provide several newspapers for this activity.
Have each member of the group read a few leading headlines from today’s news.
After hearing all of the headlines, ask everyone in the group to share how it made them feel. For example, stressed, informed, angry, sad, etc.
After sharing, ask the group:
- How has sin colored our world?
- The knowledge that comes with Revelation 21:4-5 is meant to give us hope for the future and peace in the present. How can we stay focused on the promises of God and not get bogged down by the evils of the world?
- What aspect of the new heaven and new earth are you most excited about?
Ashley Emmert is a freelance writer and full-time mama from Chicago, where she lives with her husband, her dog, and her new baby boy. You can find her on Twitter at @ashgemmert, or failing to update her blog at ashleygraceemmert.blogspot.com.
Study the Bible (Option)
After reading Revelation 21:1-3, say, “The topic of heaven often occupies our thoughts in this season of life and especially when someone we love passes away.” Encourage group members to share favorite hymns or songs about heaven. Play the song “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe.
Ask group members to listen to the song and record phrases that are meaningful to them. Have group members share their responses. Remind group members that heaven is real. Knowing that God has prepared a place for us for eternity should impact the way we live now. (This optional activity appears in the Senior Adult Leader Guide, p. 73).
- When you think about heaven, what do you imagine it will be like?
- How would you describe your ideal day?
- What is your favorite ending for a book or movie?
- What makes heaven so special?
- How does spending eternity with God affect how we live today?
- What emotions do you experience when you read these verses?
- How can these verses provide comfort in uncertainty?
- What additional questions do these verses raise for you?
- What imperfections of earth bother you the most?
- What phrase from these verses most encourages you?
- How does Revelation 21:6 inform the way we understand Jesus?
- How can the reality of heaven influence the way we share Christ?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: Why Are We Here? Session 6