Lesson 19: A Humanitarian by Giving Us a Spectacular Eternity
Study Guide Pages 148-154
Imagine being invited to meet the person you admire more than anybody else. Maybe it’s a famous author, or sports legend, or a well-known musician. Maybe it’s the leading expert in your field or a highly respected politician.
How would you react if you received such an invitation? At first, you probably wouldn’t believe it. Eventually, you realize it’s true. From that moment on, you can hardly think of anything else. You fret about what you will wear and especially what you will say. You continually think about how it will play out.
Finally, the big day arrives. Your idol not only greets you but spends a half hour talking to you. You can’t believe it. This half-hour becomes the highlight of your life.
This is nothing compared to what awaits those who will spend eternity in heaven. They will not only have a brief encounter with God; they will live with him for all eternity. Talking about heaven, Scripture says,
God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.Revelation 21:3
What an awesome thought!
This applies to everybody who goes to heaven, for everybody there will have been perfected. Not by anything they had done. Not by their works. Their perfection is Jesus’ gift to them. He kept the commandments perfectly and gives them the credit. He paid the price for all their sins. The perfection Jesus gives them is what makes them worthy to live eternally with God.
However, here a warning needs to be sounded. Only Christ can make anybody worthy. When a person mixes in their own worthiness, they contaminate Christ’s perfect worthiness which makes them ineligible to live in heaven.
As you approach God, do so only based on what Jesus has already done for you. Do that, and you will have an awesome eternity living forever with God.
Key Bible Verse
The revelation God gave the Apostle John doesn’t answer all our questions about the afterlife. However, God does tell us about many of the things that “will be” part of heaven as well as some that “won’t be.”
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Questions to Consider
- What gives someone the right to spend eternal life with God in heaven?
- What happens when someone tries to get to heaven based on their own merits?
- In our world, the sea separates people because of space and time. What makes John’s statement about there being no more sea a comfort for believers?
- Explain: Eternal life is not about becoming a god; it is about being with God.
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