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Major texts: Rev 21:1-5, Gen 3:19,1 Cor 15:52-58, Gen 6:11-13, Isa 11:6-9, John 14:1-3

The final lesson for this quarter invites us to think of creation once again. In this case, it is not about creation as it once happened however long ago, but about the creation of a new world as depicted in the first few verses of Revelation 21. Thinking about this may run on the following lines:

  • Read over Revelation 21:1-5,6 and delineate what differences you see between what is promised and what currently exists? Notice in particular the words attesting to the true and certain nature of the promise.
  • Think and talk about the various restorations that will be part of this new creation:
    • Nature itself will be restored to its original condition.
    • Good health will be restored
    • It must be that relationships will be fixed. In particular, there will be the restoration of the relationships that were permanently broken by death, permanently In a human sense, at any rate.
    • The relationship between God and man that was summarily broken in Eden will be restored. According to Revelation, God will be with his people and be their God! Here is reflected that fact that brokenness that has been so endemic to history, that has caused so much misapprehension of God, will be fixed and God and humans, as they did in Eden, will commune face to face once more!
    • Death and pain will be no more.
    • The universe will no longer suffer from the loss of its pristine nature. All will beat with a single pulse of harmony once more.
  • One of the great debates that has gone on has to do with the nature of heaven itself. Is it a realm with physical attributes, physicality, or is it just a spiritual realm where beings exist beyond the physical realms? What texts can you cite in support of your position.
  • The final picture of Revelation is one that involves the eradication of all evil, its perpetrators, its results, even its residues. Think for a few moments of what kind of God could pull off such a magnificent eventuality while at the same time retaining the love of other beings who are volitional. In other words, how does one obtain willing compliance to a grand design?
  • Many people are afraid of God particularly because of the biblical fact that God will one day destroy all evil and wreak havoc on this sin-damaged earth (2 Peter 3, for example). How do you reconcile a loving God with such behavior?
  • In life and in the cosmos, there seems to be a great tension between love and justice. Where one prevails, the other seems to suffer and lose ground. How do you see this tension being played out in God’s actions toward this planet the beings who live on it for, if God pursues justice inordinately, then sinners die. But if God pursues love alone, then justice seems to be negated. How can this tension be resolved?
  • Imagine an unending existence in a paradise where all evil is gone!
  • How will the universe be made safe from a second appearance of sin?

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