EXTRA! Ideas for Bible Studies for Life
October 11, 2015
Stand Strong: Building Your Life on God’s Promises
SESSION 6: God’s Promise of a New Home
The Point: A life in Christ means a life with Christ forever.
Leader Extra: Get Into the Study
As of the middle of September, over 1,000 homes in California have been destroyed by the last two wildfires to hit the area. Thousands of people have lost their homes, and it’s not hard to imagine the devastation they’re feeling as they say goodbye to their memories and their possessions. As these families attempt to move forward, they’ll build or buy new houses, hoping to regain the sense of “home” that was taken from them.
We all want a place to call home. We want a place where we have memories and family and the things that matter to us most. But the true promise we have is our heavenly home. God has promised us a final place—a place of safety and love. This is our true home, and we can live with the knowledge that we are moving toward it for all eternity.
- What comes to mind when you think of “home”?
- When have you felt homesick for heaven, and for God’s presence?
- In what ways are we called to bring characteristics of our heavenly home to earth as God’s Kingdom?
— Ashley Emmert wrote this Leader Extra. She is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dogs. Find her at ashleygraceemmert.com or on Twitter @ashgemmert.
Leader Extra: Study the Bible
In support of Question #2, use these survey results to illustrate some of the ideas people have about heaven.
A Barna Group survey published in April 2015 revealed the following ideas about heaven:
Among people who said they had “made a personal commitment to Jesus,” when asked to complete this statement: “When you die, I believe you will …”
They responded in this way:
“Go to heaven because you have tried to obey the 10 commandments” – 5%
“Go to heaven because you are basically a good person” – 8%
“Go to heaven because you have confessed your sins and have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior” – 63%
“Go to heaven because God loves all people and will not let them perish” – 7%
“Not go to heaven” – 2%
“I don’t know what will happen after I die” – 15%
Note that even among people claiming to be believers, there is some confusion about going to heaven.
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
Donna McKinney has recently retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in Apex, North Carolina.
What images come to mind when you hear the word “home”?
What images come to mind when your hear the word “heaven”?
What’s your favorite thing about your home?
What’s your response to the promise of this earth passing away?
What does it say about God that He wants to dwell with humanity?
What truths in these verses strengthen you today?
When did you first hear about the promise of heaven?
How do you respond to the concept of physically living in God’s presence?
How does the promise of everything new make you feel? How does it impact how you face difficulties of life?
Who do you know that needs to be reminded of the truths in these two verses?
What steps can you take to share the hope of these verses with him or her?
How do you know that the promises found in these verses are trustworthy? What have you personally learned or experienced about God and His promises?
What are the essential truths verses 1-8 communicate about heaven?
What is significant about the names by which Christ identifies Himself?
How does the reality of God’s judgement make you feel?
When have you recently needed a hopeful reminder of what is ahead for those who follow Christ?
What does this passage teach us about our relationship with God in eternity?
What are you most looking forward to about heaven?
Group Member Extra
Distribute the following to your group members either before the group study or as a follow-up: