Main Theme: The New Testament hope, is a Christ-centered hope, and the only hope that this mortal existence will one day become an immortal one.
Read in Class: John 14:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. Discuss the common thread of these two passages.
Study: How is Christ’s resurrection related to our own resurrection? Why did Jesus tell His disciples He would come again so they could be together, instead of just promising them they would be together as soon as they died? What does this tell us about the importance of the resurrection?
Apply: Isaiah 59:2 tells us sin has caused a separation between us and God. Exodus 25:8 tells us the Sanctuary service solves the sin problem so we God can dwell with us again. How does this help us understand why it is taking 2,000 for Jesus to prepare a place for us so we can be together again? Is His work so much with bricks and mortar or is it more with stony human hearts? How does John 14:1-3 help us understand what Jesus is doing for us in the sanctuary of our hearts right now?
Share: Your friend says that Jesus went to paradise with the repentant thief as soon as they both died. So we all go to heaven as soon as we die. What do you tell your friend? How would John 20:17 help you explain this?
Read in Class: John 6:26-51. Discuss the main idea of this passage.
Study: How did Jesus associate the gift of everlasting life with the final resurrection of the righteous?
Apply: Dwell on the words of Jesus that, if you believe in Him, you have (as in right now) eternal life! How can this wonderful promise help you deal with the painful reality of our present, though only temporary, mortality?
Share: Your friend asks, “What did the loaves and fish have to do with the manna?” What do you tell your friend?
Read in Class: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Discuss the main idea of this passage.
Study: What hope did Paul give to those who thought their dead loved ones had forever perished?
Apply: Which is more comforting to you and why? The idea that the dead are all in heaven now? Or that the dead in Christ will be raised in the resurrection? Why does Paul say. “comfort each other with these words” instead of telling us to comfort each other with the hope that our dead ones have “gone to be with the Lord?”
Share: Your friend says that Paul promised that Jesus will bring with Him those who are dead when He returns. This must mean they are already in heaven and return with him. What do you tell your friend? Click here for a hint.
Read in Class: 1 Corinthians 15:51-55. What is the main idea of this passage?
Study: What mystery is Paul explaining here?
Apply: This is such an amazing promise, something so different from anything that we have experienced that it’s hard to grasp. But think about the vastness of the cosmos, as well as the incredible complexity of life here. Creation itself testifies to God’s amazing power. What does all this teach us about the power of God to translate the living and raise the dead at Jesus’ second coming?
Share: Can you think of someone this week who needs to hear about the hope of the resurrection? Can you share it with them this week?