For Ministry Resources Youth Series : Revelation: End of the World

Lesson 03: End of the World 03/03: The Restorer

Lesson 03

Revelation 21:5 is one of the most hope-filled verses in the entire Bible. It's hard to watch things grow old, see lives shattered due to disease, and say goodbye to loved ones. We can't change this reality, but God will. God doesn't just reform situations. He restores situations. Jesus, at the right time, will make everything new. You will be able to share a meal with all your loved ones. There will be no sickness, death, evil, or suffering. Everything is going to be made new. While many people perceive the message of Revelation as horrible, it's actually very hopeful.



Large Group

Large Group Instructions

PREPARATION
Materials:
Leader
Note:

Download the attached script to bring with you to the podium.

Materials:
Leader
  • Share an illustration that captures the idea of someone who was sick open to the idea of being “made new” or “restored” by Jesus. You are also welcome to use my story in the third person.

After college, I spent some time teaching English in China. It was one of the most formative experiences of my life. It changed me. It wasn't like the kind of change you get from textbooks or documentaries either; it felt like falling in love. The lovely people of that nation captured my heart and won my affection. After that, it was almost like there were two versions of me — pre-China and post-China.

Towards the middle of my teaching contract, we loaded up into a steaming hot bus and began a journey outside the big city. At this point in my short career, I had only experienced major metros that looked like concrete theme parks. I had spent most of my time in Macau, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou. These cities contain tens of millions of people, a few dozen Starbucks, and lightning-fast public metros. Every moment buzzed with electricity and excitement. I wasn't remotely ready for what was ahead of me.

As the skyline disappeared behind us, our bus passed miles upon miles of nothingness. The scenery was just rice fields, dirt roads, and makeshift houses. Even though we were only twenty miles outside the city limits, it looked like another world. Our bus turned towards a sign with an English translation under the Mandarine script. It read, "South China Leprosy Colony."

Stepping off the bus, I was greeted by dozens of people plagued with leprosy. The disease had caused permanent disfiguration of their faces, arms, and legs. However, they all displayed the biggest smiles I've ever seen. Why were they so happy? Due to the dedicated work of some foreign missionaries, the leprosy colony experienced a revival a decade ago. These people knew Jesus, and you could tell.

In that village, I befriended a man named Pong. He was a skilled artist, even though the disease wreaked havoc on his hands and arms. He would tape brushes to his disfigured hands to create some of the most beautiful calligraphy I've ever seen. I asked him to make one of his gorgeous drawings for me to take home to remember him. Being a believer, he asked me which Bible verse I wanted to be translated. I suggested a verse from Revelation.

With tears falling onto the pages and a smile that illuminated the room, Pong skillfully scripted the verse with beautiful penmanship.

I could tell that this verse filled him with joy, hope, and an exhilarating burst of optimism. What verse was it? It was Revelation 21:5. 

Materials:
Leader

Contextualizing This Passage

When Pong wrote these words, he lit up like a firework.

The promise of this passage was particularly powerful for him.

He was an outcast from society, but Jesus was going to make all things new.

He was disfigured, but Jesus was going to heal him.

By all sociological standards, he was hopeless, but this verse gave him hope.

He laughed with each brushstroke.

Revelation 21:5 is one of the most hope-filled verses in the entire Bible.

It's hard to watch things grow old, see lives shattered due to disease, and say goodbye to loved ones.

We can't change this reality, but God will.

God doesn't just reform situations. He restores situations.

Jesus, at the right time, will make everything new.

I will get to play scrabble with my late grandmother.

You will be able to share a meal with all your loved ones.

There will be no sickness, death, evil, or suffering.

Everything is going to be made new.

While many people perceive the message of Revelation as horrible, it's actually very hopeful.

In this passage, we see three jaw-dropping truths about our future in New Heaven.

Materials:
Leader

“God’s dwelling place has come to His people” (Revelation 21:3).

Look at this passage. The "New Heaven" is not in the sky; it's on the ground. It’s on earth.

God has construction plans to build a utopia right here on our native planet.

Look out your window. It's all going to be perfect in God's Future Kingdom.

I am not sure what it will look like, but I imagine angels in hardhats building the perfect city in every part of the world. "Heaven Construction, Inc" is going to show up and build perfect cities for you, me, and possibly our pets.

I plan on visiting the new-and-improved city in South China to see my late friend Pong.

I cannot wait to see what God, the perfect architect, does with the cities that I have grown to love.

Can you imagine a perfect New York, Paris, or Dubai?

You can eat a croissant in Paris without worrying about calories.

You can scale mount Everest without worrying about exhaustion.

You can travel to new lands without any concern for safety, language barriers, or airport security.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait.

Heaven will be right here on earth, and we get to dwell here for eternity.

God promised, "I am making all things new." 

Keep in mind that the world will be a dark and difficult place before this happens.

All of our nations will likely be in nuclear rubble.

God is going to restore our land and then restore our souls.

His restoration project is deeply personal. Just like our cities will be rebuilt and gilded with gold, God will rebuild our lives, homes, families, and hearts. 

Pain? It won't exist.

Sorrow? Zero. Tears? Not unless you're laughing until you cry.

Death? It won't even be possible.

All of the pain of your life will be a murky memory when God's Kingdom comes down to earth.

God promised, "I am making all things new." 

You saw this last point coming, didn't you? It's worth repeating because it's the most awe-inspiring phrase I've ever read.

Imagine an elaborate treasure chest crusted in gems.

It looks like pirates may have hidden it on an island somewhere with a lot of parrots and sand.

Within that ornamental chest is everything you have ever loved.

In New Heaven, you will get to open up that chest and see that everything in there is restored.

Envision those people in the picture. They'll be standing right there.

Imagine that high school jersey. You will be able to put it on and play a perfect game. 

Materials:
Leader

God is going to make all things new, including you.

You will get to run without growing weary.

You will be able to experience the fullest possible life in perfect unity with God.

You will worship every moment of every day because everything God touches overwhelms you with His majesty and glory.

God promised, "I am making all things new."

The old is gone and the new is here. Everything is going to be new — including you.



Small Group

Small Group Instructions

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION
Materials:
Leader
  • TALK IT OUT Go through these questions with your circle. Be honest. Be open. Talk through the tough stuff.

Ice Breaker: Go around your circle and share this week’s highs and lows. What was the best part of your week and what was the lowest part of your week?

Q1: What’s one thing that stood out to you from today’s message?

Q2: Read Revelation 21:3-5. What words or phrases stick out to you about this passage? What is your favorite part?

Q3: If you had a treasure chest to remember all the things and people that matter to you, what would be in there?

Q4: What do you think New Heaven is going to be like? What will be the first thing you’d want to do there?

Q5: How should we respond to John’s teaching about New Heaven?

Application: Eternity is a party, so you want your friends and family to be with you. Who can you share the gospel with? Ask for God to give you the strength to tell them about God.

Materials:
Student
  • This reading plan includes:

    Romans 15:4 1 Peter 1:13-15 Psalm 26 Romans 5:1-2 Romans 12:12 Hebrews 3:1-6


    Do the following with each passage:

    ASK– God to connect with you here. In prayer, start by slowing down and inviting God to be present. Begin with focus and openness to see what God has for you today.

    READ– the selected section of Scripture slowly. Take note of the words and phrases that intrigue you, reading them a second time if necessary.

    REFLECT– on what grabs you. How does this passage personally relate to your own life and experiences?

    RESPOND– to the Scripture. Speak directly to God about what’s on your mind and heart. Look for ways to live out what you’ve uncovered.

About For Ministry Resources Youth Series

FMR develops a monthly youth ministry curriculum that is free to all local churches. Each monthly release includes a sermon series, small group series, Bible devotional, and supporting graphics packs that are original, practical, and ready to use.