- Phil. 3:20 — Our citizenship is in heaven.
2 Cor. 5:1-10 — The believer longs for something better.
Rom. 8:18-25 — The whole creation waits and groans in hope.
Descriptions of a restored world
- Isa. 11:6-9 — A safe, vegetarian animal kingdom
Isa. 35:5-10 — Healthy people, no lions
Isa. 65:17-25 — Permanent homes, no premature death
Isa. 66:22-24 — Everyone worships, sinners are no more
Zech. 14:1-21 — Heartland secure, trouble on the perimeter
Rev. 21:1-4 — God dwells with us, no sorrow or death
Rev. 22:1-5 — Great city, healthy people, God is there
Though delayed, restoration is sure:
- Matt. 24:29-44 — Like a thief, he comes by surprise.
Matt. 24:45-51 — He is delayed, then comes by surprise.
Matt. 15:1-13 — Even the wise virgins slept while waiting.
Matt. 25:31-46 — Did we help the needy while we waited?
- 1. Christians believed that God created a good world which was then tainted by sin. While we wait for restoration, are we to be world-affirming or world-denying?
- 2. In what important ways does the new world differ from the one we know at present? In what ways will it be the same?
- 3. Why is it that many moderns are prepared to live for this world only, without a future hope?
- 4. What clues do we have from the biblical accounts that would suggest that the Bible writers did not always know how to envision or describe the restored creation?
- 5. Is it a legitimate goal for the Christian to seek to establish heaven on earth, as long as we realize that this is not our final home? What heavenly features should we seek to incorporate into this present evil world?
- 6. Apparently, for much of the Old Testament period at least, God’s people were not so concerned about restored individual life as they were about living on through their children. Could this help us to understand how culture can play a role in shaping our thinking about the future?