GET ACQUAINTED: What do you look forward to in heaven?
SCRIPTURE: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:1-6 emphasis added)
GET IT: The goal for this gathering is to learn a little bit more about what heaven is and what it is not. During your Life Group discussion, consider what we’ll do in heaven. Start your discussion discussing how we should be living on earth if we are truly heaven bound.
OBSERVATION: Living in the goodness of God includes recognizing that heaven is God’s eternal goodness to you. What is heaven? Heaven is: (1) a physical place not a state of being, (2) a permanent place that’ll last forever, and (3) a reserved place for only God’s family. What will we do in heaven? In heaven, we will be reunited with those who love Jesus; we will be rewarded for our faith, hope, and love; and we will be assigned work that we enjoy doing. How should I live on earth if I’m going to heaven? I should: (1) Remember my time here is temporary, (2) Recognize what’s going to last and what won’t last, (3) Reject the world’s values and priorities,
(4) Resist being detoured by temporary temptations, (5) Refuse to be discouraged by trouble, (6) Reach out to also bring others to heaven, and (7) Remind me daily that heaven is waiting.
Open your gathering with prayer. This is only a guide.
Feel free to select the points you want to discuss and adapt them to your needs.
- Have someone read (Revelation 21:22-27 ) aloud. When we think about what the Bible says heaven is not, we can be grateful to God. Go around your Life Group, coming up with an A to Z list of everyday things that will not be in heaven that you are grateful won’t be there. Have fun with this list – be creative and try not to repeat the ones Pastor Ruben used on Sunday!
- “… rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20 ) [NIV] As members of God’s family, we have a reserved place in His house – heaven. Re-read Revelation 21:27 and Luke 10:20 again. What do they say about your spot in heaven?
- “…know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward for serving Christ.” (Colossians 3:24 ) God has prepared the eternal goodness of heaven for us. Colossians 3:24 on the first page says that we will receive an inheritance from the Lord. Define the word inheritance in your own words? Read 1Peter1:4 aloud. Share with each other (T.P.S. – Think, Pair up and Share) in your Life Group about what God’s eternal inheritance looks like.
- “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’” (Matthew 25:34 ) This verse includes the promise that God has already prepared the kingdom for us as the inheritance we will receive on that final day. According to Hebrew 10:35 and John 12:26 , (ask for a volunteer to read the verses aloud) what should we do to receive that inheritance? In which area do you still have some challenges that keep you from receiving this inheritance? Put it on your prayer list and let God guide you as to how to move away from these challenges.
- “This world, and everything in it that people run after, is passing away; but those who do the will of God will live forever.” (1 John 2:17 ) You’ve heard Pastor Ruben often say, “It’s not about you, it’s not about here and it’s not about now.” What does 1 John 2:17 say about the ways that this truth changes how you feel about what really matters while on earth? Share with the group your thoughts on how this translates to priorities in your life.
- Jesus speaking: “‘Watch out! Guard against every kind of greed; Your life is not measured by how many possessions you own.’” (Luke 12:15 ) In this verse, Jesus warns us to guard against greed and to be careful how we measure our lives. In what ways does the world we live in make this difficult? Jesus says that we should guard against “every kind” of greed. T.P.S. and then share with the rest of your group the various kinds of greed that we should guard against.
Digging Deeper (optional questions)
Pastor Ruben challenged us to do a Bible study on the phrases “no more” and “no longer”. Over the next week, as a Life Group let’s do our own Bible study on these two phrases. Bring back to your Life Group next week a brief report of what you each learned about what heaven will be like compared to life on earth based on your study.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we know that Jesus said He has gone to prepare a place for us in heaven. Psalm 23:6 says, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Help us to live out our lives like we’re going to heaven – looking forward to eternal life with You in heaven – and not being consumed with the false and temporary “treasures” that this fallen world offers. In Jesus’ name. Amen.