This page contains an alternative lesson plan emphasizing learning activities. Classes desiring such student involvement will find these suggestions helpful with Christ would be affected if you, like John, could get a personal glimpse through the door of Heaven? Why is it probably a good idea for God not to give you that glimpse?
1. Ask the class to describe their imagined features of Heaven and what people will do there. Note how hard it is to describe God and Heaven given the limitations of human vocabulary in this regard.
A glimpse into Heaven may fire as with renewed passion to take as many there with as possible. On the other hand, a personal glimpse into Heaven may make us so impatient to get there right now that we would even go so far as to think of suicide! (Notice that Jesus waited until John was very elderly before allowing him this vision.) Such a glimpse would also make our Christian walk more by sight than by faith since we actually would have seen Heaven. God expects us to walk by faith based on the evidence He’s already given us.
2.What cautions should be given to reader sin terms of how the different images of this text are interpreted?
Some authors have used many pages to speculate about the meaning and/or application of each descriptive phrase. And others have spent many years trying to determine the sequence of end-times events.
One real possibility is that John did not have an adequate vocabulary to explain in clear detail everything he saw. But his description is adequate for us to know that God is in charge and will carry out His plan to call His people to be with Him for eternity. This encourages us to de-vote our energy into living daily for Christ and proclaiming His saving message whenever we have the opportunity.
3. Today’s lesson might tempt one to assume that the complete spiritual emphasis in Heaven means that secular issues on earth are totally unimportant! How do you resist the temptation to think this way?
In earthly terms, the elders and beasts in God’s presence “put in a good day’s work” every day.
We, however, cannot be in a special spiritual location 24 hours a day on earth. We must spend a lot of time earning a living, doing chores around the house, etc.
Yet doing our work as if to the Lord and as if the Lord is our boss (which He is) can be worshipful. While working to honor Him, our bodies become “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” (Romans 12:1). We honor God by keeping His commands (see John 14:15; 1 Corinthians 6:28).
4.flow can we arrange the content and style of our worship to honor God adequately for all His great deeds?
Be careful not to let this question turn into a gripe session about the current way your church conducts worship. We can worship in many ways. One of the ways of honoring God in the Old Testament was to recite over and over the great deeds of God (example: Exodus 15:1-21).Perhaps you can think of a way to review the events of Jesus’ life to show how His lineage, His power, His wisdom, and His character all accomplish what Jesus wanted: to demonstrate the nature of God.
Most of all we would want our words and actions to agree with Scripture to make sure that all could see the fullness of God (see 1 Corinthians12:6; 15:28). It should be our goal to worship Hint for His pleasure rather than just trying to gratify our whims and preferences.
5.If your church organized its worship to match the worship pattern in Heaven, what would change? How do you think the changes would be accepted?
Before we think about changing a current pat-tern or routine, perhaps we should think first about changing our awareness. Are we aware that in worship we are talking and singing to God as our audience?
When that awareness takes hold, we will not forget as much over songs or styles of music that we don’t like personally. We may even end up being much less aware of those around us be-cause our focus will be on God. We want Him to receive all the glory!