Q: What is so special about this new heaven and new earth? Why is it encouraging to those facing suffering?
A1: The reversal of sin’s effects
A2: The restoration of our intimate communion with God
Q: How can we be sure that God will indeed make all things new?
A: God swore himself to us by a covenant in Christ, “it is done!”
2000 years ago heaven broke in through a person at a wooden cross and an empty tomb in Judea. Jesus came to die for our sins and rose again to reconcile us to God. John 19:28, on the cross, Jesus cried out, “I thirst!” so that we can drink from the spring of the water of life. Mark 15:34, on the cross, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The Son of God was abandoned by his Father so that we can become sons and daughters of God. John 19:30, on the cross, Jesus cried out, “it is done!” so that the whole creation can be renewed. The third day, he rose again and conquered even death so that one day we who believe in him shall rise with him.
1. “There are some tears that can only be wiped away in heaven.” How is it comforting that Rev 21:4 affirms our present suffering?
2. John Piper: “The person who knows that his destiny is glorious and certain will be free to live the most radical life of love and sacrifice here on earth.” How can we encourage one another to make Toronto more beautiful by the gospel? What would it look for you to live a radical life of love and sacrifice?
3. How does this passage remind us that making the world a better place is not an end in itself?
4. Do you desire heaven because you get to see God and be with him forever?
5. How does the fact that you are God’s bride and child helps you face all kinds of challenges in life?
6. In the midst of your suffering, would you pray “God, help me remember you are not cruel. Give me strength!” and would you rest in Christ and go to him as your spring of water of life?
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