The Millennium: The Present Reign Of Christ Focusing On The Right Target
- Review the memory verse of the week and talk about how it relates to the Truth section.
- Review the Pentateuch, Historical books, Poetic books, Major and Minor Prophets of the Old Testament.
- Include time for any remaining JG members to recite all 66 books of the Bible.
- TRUTH – You can discuss any of the In Bible questions you would like to address. Here are some tips that may help:
- Leviticus 16:11-13 – This is an example of how the gospel was presented to Israel in the Old Testament. Emphasize that the gospel promised that God would “dwell” with His people, i.e. live in communion with them.
- Isaiah 13 – This chapter is an example of how the Old Testament portrayed “the Day of the Lord” as a time of terrible judgment upon God’s enemies. This example in Isaiah is a prophecy of judgment on Babylon that would be executed by the Medes. This prophecy was fulfilled in 539 BC when Cyrus the Great conquered the Babylonian empire. However, details such as the cosmic disturbances (vv 10, 13), and the reference to Sodom and Gomorrah (v 19), would indicate that a far greater calamity is ultimately in store for another fulfillment of the Day of the Lord.
- Matthew 19:23-30 – Jesus promised that His disciples would sit on thrones, indicating they would hold authority to rule and judge in the Age to Come. All of Jesus’ followers will receive both eternal and temporal rewards for their devotion to Him. Jesus’ reference to “the new world” indicates that after the judgment, the world would be restored to its original pre-Fall order.
- Mark 1:14-15 – Part of understanding eschatology (the doctrines of last things), is having the proper perspective on promise and fulfillment. The Old Testament looks exclusively to the future to see the fulfillment of God’s promises. The New Testament looks to the present in the person and work of Jesus. In his life the last days were inaugurated, thought not yet complete. Christians must recognize that we live at a time when the promises of the Age to Come overlap the suffering of the Present Age. See the chart on page 8 of the student guide for a pictorial description of this overlap.
- 2 Peter 3:1-13 – Peter wrote about the destruction of this world by fire to warn his readers not to be complacent about the apparent slowness of the Day of the Lord. Instead, God’s people should be diligent to live lives of holiness (v 11) since the Day of the Lord will come.
- Revelation 20:7-21:27 – Your JG should be able to create a rough outline with these main headings:
- The binding of Satan to prevent deception of the nations during the Millennium (20:1-3)
- The reign of Christ and His faithful followers during the Millennium (20:4-6)
- Satan’s last deception following the Millennium and his final destruction (20:7-10)
- The judgment and eternal damnation of those not listed in the book of life (20:11-15)
- The new heavens and earth where God will dwell with His people (21:1-4)
- Eternal blessedness awaits God’s children, but eternal damnation awaits the wicked (21:5-8)
- The Bride (Church) and new world described by a vision of a heavenly Jerusalem (21:9-27)
- Notice that Revelation 21:3 expresses the fulfillment of the gospel in language that parallels Leviticus 26, i.e. that God will dwell with humanity. Ask your JG about these verses. Help them to understand the centrality of God’s presence in the hope of the gospel. Life in the new heaven and earth will be blessed because we will be with God.
- TRUTH – Here are the main points about the Final Judgment and the new heavens and earth that you’ll want to make clear:
- The gospel is essentially a promise that God’s Kingdom (His reign over all that is His) and presence would again be with humanity as it was in the Garden before the Fall.
- The Old Testament Day of the Lord will be fulfilled in the Final Judgment.
- Christians have nothing to fear in the Final Judgment since Christ bore our punishment on the cross for us.
- The Old Testament promise of the gospel (“God with us”) began to be fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus and will reach completion at His return and in the new heavens and earth.
- Christians will reign with Christ eternally in the new heavens and earth in the presence and glory of God. Our glorified, physical bodies will be free from sin forever.
- Equipping – This week, your JG was asked to write about how the Final Judgment and the new heavens and earth will impact the way they think and live in regard to various issues of life. Allow several JG members to share and discuss what they have written.
- Accountability – Allow time for smaller groups of 2 or 3 to ask accountability questions and pray for one another.
- Mission – This week, conclude your discussion of how to help people investigate Christianity using the Life Issues booklets as a tool for making the gospel known in word. Discuss the question, “What is Required to Have Eternal Life?” from the fourth Life Issues booklet. Also, discuss how your group member’s attitudes toward witnessing may have changed over the last several weeks. Lead your group in prayer that God would make you all fishers of men.