Introduction: Many people picture heaven as an imaginary cloud carrying imaginary spirits who are listening with imaginary ears to imaginary music from imaginary harps-and then we wonder why some people are not excited about going there! Today we will see what heaven is really like.
1. Where did the human race come from? Gen. 1:26-28 [The Further-study verse is Ps. 8:4, 5]
2. What kind of world did God create for our happiness-a real, tangible world; or a make believe, invisible world? Gen. 1:1, 11, 20, 24 [Note: Our streams today are from the very waters God created; our trees are from the seeds of the trees He made. Rev. 4: 11]
3. What did God think of His creation? Gen. 1:31 [James 1:17, 18]
4. God made the human family to enjoy this world forever if they would be loyal and trustworthy. But, since Satan had already rebelled in heaven, what provision for free choice did God give our first parents? Gen. 2:8, 9, 15-17 [Note: Some understand this to mean that as soon as Adam and Eve sinned, they would come under the sentence of death. The KJV margin says: “dying thou shalt die.” On the other hand, if God had not implemented the plan of salvation immediately, Adam and Even would have died at once. Rom. 6:23]
5. Our first parents failed, and what was the result? Rom. 5:12 [Gen. 3:6]
6. God created a perfect world for human beings to enjoy eternally, but through sin they lost that inheritance. Who provided them a second chance to obtain that eternal inheritance again? 1 Peter 1:3, 4, 18, 19 [Isa. 53:46]
7. What kind of life has Jesus promised to give back to us? John 10:10 [Note: Jesus promised a MORE abundant life (one of reality such as He created for us to enjoy in Eden, and which He said was “very good”), not a LESS abundant life. This not only applies to life in heaven, but to our present life as well. Right now God promises to give us peace, joy, and meaning to life. John 14:1-3; Isa. 45:18; Mark 10:29, 30]
8. How long will this “more abundant” life last? John 10:27, 28 [John 3:16]
9. We have seen that God made man a tangible being to enjoy things, and God said it was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). What will the next life be like? Isa. 65:17, 21, 22, 25 [Rev. 21:4; 22:1,3]
10. Since “it is appointed for men to die,” and to lay to rest these tangible bodies (Heb. 9:27), how will we become “real” people again? 1 Thess. 4:15-18 [John 5:28, 29; 6:39, 40; 11:24]
11. How do we know that we will be resurrected to a new life? Who went through the portals of the tomb and was resurrected as an assurance to us that we will be resurrected too? 1 Cor. 15:20, 23 [Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5; Phil. 3:10, 11; 1 Cor. 15:12, 19]
12. Since we will be resurrected as Jesus was, what was He like after His resurrection? Luke 24:33, 43 [Matt. 26:29; I Cor. 15:17, 23; Phil. 3:20, 21]
13. Will we know each other after our resurrection? 1 Cor. 13:12 [Note: The soldiers recognized Jesus after His resurrection. When Mary first met Him after that event, her eyes were too tear filled to see, but she recognized His voice. Jesus hid His identity from the two men on the road to Emmaus so He could teach them truth, but they recognized His mannerisms when He blessed the food. The disciples and all others recognized Him when they saw Him. He was the “same Jesus” (Acts 1:11)! We, too, will be the same people when we are resurrected, and we will be recognized by our friends. Luke 24:30, 32; John 20: 16, 19, 29; Isa. 66:22]
14. It took Jesus’ death to provide this abundant, real, eternal life. What does it take on our part to receive this treasure? Matt. 13:44 [ Matt. 16:24, 26]
Commitment: God made us real human beings, to enjoy a real creation. Jesus came to restore this abundant life to us; but the parable in Matthew 13:44 says it takes all to buy the field. The field containing the treasure represents the Holy Scriptures, within which are hidden the treasures of the gospel-Jesus Christ and eternal life. The Bible teaches that it takes all to become a follower of Jesus, but this treasure is worth far more than everything we have. Will you make an entire surrender of your life to Jesus today that you may obtain this treasure?
STEP 1 (Lessons 1-10): Believing in Christ, Our Savior and Coming King
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