Heaven Bible Study Workbook: Group Leader Questions
The following is a sample on how to use Randy Alcorn’s Heaven Bible Study Workbook. It includes a series of Group Leader Questions, general Heaven questions, and a suggested schedule of meeting/lesson study. We thank EPM reader Christy Wilner for this information.
Realizing Our Destiny
Week 1 – Day 1: Are you looking forward to Heaven?
- How have you learned what you know about Heaven?
- What do you think when you read or hear the word destiny? (pg. 7 chapter heading)
- How do you feel about Heaven?
- What benefits do you think Satan hopes to get from teaching us to dread heaven? (pg. 9)
- How can you determine if you have inaccurate ideas about Heaven?
- How can you correct inaccurate ideas? (pg. 10)
- What practical impact might an excitement about and longing for Heaven have on your Christian life? (pg. 11)
- What would you like to get from this study? (pg. 11)
Day 2: Is Heaven beyond our imagination?
- List reasons why our culture fears and denies death? (pg. 12)
- Have you ever done an extensive study of Heaven? (pg. 13)
- Could there be Scriptures about Heaven you’ve never read or paid particular attention to?
- How should you approach any teaching of God’s Word? (Read Acts 17:11; I Thess. 5:21; and 1 John 4:1-3.)
- How would you answer the person who insists it’s wrong to imagine Heaven as a physical place? (pg. 13)
- How would you feel if you discovered a whole body of clear teaching about Heaven in Scripture that we have missed because of our blinders? (pg. 14)
- Personal: anyone want to share? Write a prayer expressing to God whatever thoughts, feelings, debates or ideas the previous paragraphs stirred in you. (pg. 15)
- If you were on a debate team, what arguments would you list for why we should use our imagination to picture Heaven? (pg. 15)
- What other Scriptures, statements, questions or comments in this week’s study are of special significance to you?
Week 1 – Day 3: Is it OK to imagine Heaven as a literal place?
- From 1 Corinthians 2:9-10: How would you answer this pastor? (pg. 16)
- Have you ever been misquoted as saying something different or even opposite to what you intended? And if so, how did you feel? (pg. 17)
- Do you know when someone is misquoting Scripture?
- Do you know if or when you misquote Scripture? (pg. 17)
- Does Isaiah 55:9 in any way imply that we are not to think about Heaven? Why or Why not (pg. 17)
- Why do you think God orders us to think deeply about Heaven? (pg. 18)
- What have you been doing daily to set your mind on things above, to seek Heaven? (pg. 18)
- What should you do differently? (pg. 18)
Day 4: Is Heaven our default destination?
- What is your response to the statement, “We should be shocked not that some people could go to hell but that any would be permitted into Heaven”? (pg. 21)
- What reason would you give God to admit you to Heaven? (pg. 21)
- Mark statements true or false from preceding paragraph. (pg. 22)
- What did Jesus say about hell? (pg. 22) Matt. 10:28; Matt. 13:40-42, Mark 9:43-44
- Why do we not tell unsaved people about the cancer of sin and evil?
- Why do we not tell them about the inevitable penalty of eternal destruction and that eternal destruction can be avoided by Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice? (pgs. 23-24)
- What does the statement “Earth is an in between world” mean? (p. 24)
- What aspect of hell do you find most troubling? (pg. 25)
- What other Scriptures, statements, questions or comments in this week’s study are of special significance to you?
Week 1 – Day 5: Do you know you’re going to Heaven?
- Write a moral to the story of Ruthanna’s experience. (pg. 27)
- From question on page 21, was reason more nearly . . .? (pg 27)
- When did you RSVP to Jesus’ invitation to Heaven?
- If you haven’t responded to His RSVP, why are you ignoring it? Do you know how to respond to His invitation?
Understanding the Present Heaven
Week 2 – Day 1: What Is the Present Heaven?
- Have you understood the bibl to teach the present Heaven? (pg. 32)
- What excites, interests, or confuses you about this teaching? (pg. 32)
- Will we live in Heaven forever?
- Label the appropriate cities . . . (pg. 33)
- Read Hebrews 13:8. Why might some people use this verse to argue against the idea of present Heaven?
- What does the passage actually say never changes? (pg. 34)
- Explain the different states of Heave as present by the author? (pg. 35)
The Past Heaven
The Present Heaven
The Eternal Heaven
- Does anything we’ve studied today change your thinking? If so, explain (pg. 35)
- What other Scriptures, statements, questions or comments in this week’s study are of special significance to you?
Week 2 – Day 2: What is the significance of the Future Heaven?
- What is the significance of the future Heaven? (pg. 36)
- What is the significance of the New Jerusalem? (pg. 37)
- Which activities do you most anticipate? (pg. 37) Physical? Cultural? Learning” Hobbies?
- How does sharing with a friend an activity you enjoy enhance your joy? (pg. 38)
- What is your favorite river or body of water on the present earth? (pg. 38)
- What special meaning or memories does this body of water hold for you? (pg. 38)
- What is the River of Life? (pg. 38)
- What memories from your childhood deal with trees? (pg. 39) Describe one memory.
- What is the Tree of Life? (pg. 39)
- Why do you suppose God chose a tree or trees to convey life to His children? (pg. 39) Just share thoughts.
- If given a choice, would you choose to have no needs or to have all your needs met and why? (pg. 39)
- How would you answer the question: “What is the significance of the future heaven” (pg. 40)
- What has God shown you today that makes you more willing to live sacrificially for Him? (pg. 40)
Day 3: Is the Present Heaven a physical place?
- How would you respond to the missionary’s argument? (pg. 40)
- Why do you think the present Heaven is or is not a physical place? (pg. 40)
- Pg. 41: underline clues that suggest why many people have overlooked what the Bible says about Heaven.
- True or False statements about Christoplatonism. What is my definition? (pg. 42)
- What do you think “Heaven as substance; Earth as shadow” means? (pg. 42)
- What sights or events on earth cause you to think of Heaven? (pg. 42)
- How does the idea that those elements reflect items in Heaven impact your thinking? (pg. 42)
- How does Romans 1:20 support the idea of earth as the derivative of Heaven? (pg. 43)
- Why do you suppose many Christians automatically assume all references to Heaven are nonphysical? (pg. 43)
- What do you think about the concept that “the present Heaven is paradise”? (pg. 43)
- How does Genesis 2:8-9, 15 combine the elements of wild nature with human orderliness? (pg. 43)
- What kinds of tasks do you think would grow out of Adam and Eve’s original job description? (pg. 44)
- What occupations would you like to try if you weren’t prevented by lack of time or opportunity? (pg. 44)
- Where does Revelation 2:7 indicate the tree of life is now? (pg. 44)
- Did anyone pick out elements that though we live in a fallen world, still reflect the beauty of design of paradise?
Week 2 – Day 4: Do people have bodies in the Present Heaven?
- Answers True or False about John’s experience in the present Heaven based on Rev. 10:9-10
- Why do you think people will or will not have bodies in the present Heaven? (pg. 45-46)
- I’ve set out to change some ideas about Heaven, so how am I doing? (pg. 46)
- From Luke 16:19-31, what statements seem to indicate Jesus was talking about real people? (pg. 47)
- What did you learn about the rich man and Lazarus? (pg. 46-47)
- What has God shown you today that challenges your thinking or gives you encouragement to anticipate Heaven? (pg. 48)
- What concrete actions do you need to take in response to these insights? (pg. 48)
Day 5: What is life like in the Present Heaven?
- From Rev. 6:9-11, how did you answer questions 1-14? (pg. 49-50)
- Of those observations, which did you find: 1. Most difficult to believe? 2. Most encouraging? (pg. 50)
- About what painful event in your life would you want to have more clarity and perspective?
- About what positive area of your life do you look forward to learning more?
- From Acts 9:4-5 what answers the question: Are we to think He no longer grieves because He is in Heaven or does He still hurt when His people suffer? (pg. 52)
- What would you say to convince a friend that the occupants of Heaven are aware of events on earth? (pg. 52)
- How would you explain the statement that happiness in Heaven is based not on ignorance but on perspective?
Grasping Redemption’s Far Reach
Week 3 – Day 1: Why Is earth’s redemption essential to God’s plan?
- What do you think it means that the earth will be filled with God’s glory? (pg. 54)
- When did God instate His earthly renewal plan? (pg. 54)
- Match the words with definitions. (pg. 55)
- What do the words: reconcile, redeem, restore, recover, return, renew, regenerate, resurrect and reclaim suggest about God? (pg. 55)
- What part of your life are you most excited about God salvaging and restoring?
- How do you feel about the personalized statement, “He owns me—and He will not relinquish me to His enemies”? (pg. 56)
- From Matt. 19:28 & Rev. 21:1: Explain why God’s glory demands that He succeed in renewing the earth? (pg. 57)
- What tangibles did Jesus include in “the renewal of all things”? (pg. 57)
- Why is earth’s redemption essential to God’s plan? (pg. 53-57)
- How can you respond to the realization both of God’s future plan and the price He paid to bring it about? (pg.57)
Day 2: Why is the resurrection so important?
- Why does the bodily resurrection demand physical life on the New Earth? (pg. 58)
- What most excites you about being restored to God’s original design? (pg. 60)
- Any comments about the section: “The Nature of Our New Bodies”? (pg. 61)
- Which was the difference between Adam and Christ? (pg. 62)
- What do you remember from Scripture about what Jesus did in His resurrection body? See: John 21 (pg. 62)
- Why is the resurrection so important? (pg. 58-61)
Week 3 – Day 3: What will it mean for the curse to be lifted?
- How does the curse affect your life in some of the following areas? (pg. 64)
- How do you see the removal of the curse changing your life? (pg. 64)
- In what ways does Christ reverse the damage done by the first Adam? (pg. 65) Check the statements that are true about the Last Adam.
- What do you think about the uniting of Heaven and Earth? (pg. 66)
- What has God shown you today that makes you anticipate Heaven and be willing to serve Christ sacrificially now? (pg. 67)
- What will it mean for the curse to be lifted? (pg. 63-67)
Day 4: What does the restored Earth mean?
- How can some Scripture seem to suggest the present earth and universe will be destroyed while others speak of the earth’s remaining forever? (pg. 67) See: Ps. 78:69; 102:25-26; Eccl. 1:4; II Peter 3:10; Rev. 21:1
- From Isaiah 65, what underlined phrases indicate the prophecy to the New Earth? (pg. 68)
- Are you surprised to realize what detailed description of Heaven the scripture contains? In what way does the review of Scripture cause you to think differently about Heaven? (pg. 70)
- How does the “destruction of the earth by flood” in Noah’s day help you understand the future “destruction of the earth by fire”? (pg. 71)
- How would you respond to the person who dismisses a future on the New Earth with the claim that the earth will be destroyed? (pg. 71)
- What does the restored earth mean? (pg. 67-71)
Week 3 – Day 5: Will the New Earth feel like home?
- What do you look forward to doing on the New Earth that you’ve never gotten to do here? (pg. 72)
- Any comments about the section: “Homesick at Home”? (pg. 73)
- What would you respond to a friend who said, “This world is not our home”? (pg. 74)
- What do you love about this present earth? (pg. 74)
- What do we gain when we celebrate the foretastes of Heaven God has given us? (pg. 74)
- Why will the New Earth feel like home? (pg. 72-74)
Celebrating the Joy and Industry of the New Earth
Week 4 – Day 1: What will it mean to see God?
- What is God’s greatest gift to us? (pg. 75)
- How do you expect to react the moment when you see Jesus face-to-face? (pg. 76)
- Would your reaction to seeing God the Father’s face be any different than seeing Jesus? Explain? (pg. 76)
- When you give a gift, does the recipient’s joy? (pg. 77)
- If He provides everything for our enjoyment, we shouldn’t feel guild for enjoying it, should we? (pg. 77)
- For those who struggle under a persistent cloud of guild, how might understanding God’s joyful nature help them love Him and enjoy His gracious gifts? (pg. 78)
- Mention some daily details that bring you joy and a desire to praise God. (pg. 79)
- Any comments about the section: “The Thrill to Come”? (pg. 79-80)
- What do you think it will mean to see God? (pg. 75-79)
Week 4 – Day 2: What will it mean for God to dwell among us?
- What does “the joy of a God -centered Heaven” mean to you? (pg. 80)
- How does wanting to share an accomplishment with someone you love relate to Jesus’ words in John 17:24? (pg.81)
- Name an accomplishment you have wanted to share and with whom did you most want to share it? (pg. 81)
- Tell about a time when you realized you brought someone else joy. (pg. 82)
- How did you feel and how are your feelings related to your love for that person? (pg. 82)
- How do you feel knowing God will serve you? (pg. 82) See: Luke 12:37
- In what ways is Jesus already fulfilling this promise to serve you every day? (pg. 83)
- What do you imagine when you think of being with God? (pg. 83-84)
- What has God shown you today that makes you want to serve Him here and anticipate being with Him forever? (pg. 84)
Day 3: How will we worship God?
- Any comments on section: “All-encompassing worship? (pg. 85-86)
- How do you relate to the statement, “If you’ve ever had a taste of true worship, you crave more of it, never less”? (pg. 86)
- Describe when someone did something for you that made you so grateful you just couldn’t stop saying thank you? (pg. 86)
- Rev. 19:8 says, “Fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.” Why do you suppose the fine linen is comprised of your acts? (pg. 87)
- In what ways are you sewing your wedding garment? (pg. 88)
- If the wedding of the Lamb were today, how would you feel about your preparedness? (pg. 88)
- Based on your readings, what is your understanding of how you will worship God in Heaven? (pg. 84-88)
Week 4 – Day 4: Will we actually rule with Christ?
- Read Zechariah 9:9-10. When was the first portion of the prophecy fulfilled? When was/will the second part (be) fulfilled? (pg. 89)
- What experience have you had lately that Christ either has used or could use to prepare you to rule with Him? (pg. 90)
- Are you surprised that you’ll rule the earth?
- Why do you think many of us are surprised by this teaching (pg. 90-91)
- How do you respond to “owning and ruling the land”? (pg. 91)
- What does Luke 14:11 tell you about leadership positions on the New Earth (pg. 92)?
- Describe a time from your childhood when you felt good about something you accomplished. Did anyone affirm your work? If so, how did that affirmation feel? If not, how do you think affirmation would have felt? (pg. 93)
- What dreams might God be preparing you to live out on the New Earth? (pg. 93)
- Will you actually rule with Christ? (pg. 89-93)
Day 5: How will we rule God’s Kingdom?
- Ask someone to read aloud Romans 12:2 adding the phrase “as it is now, under the curse.” (pg. 94)
- What phrase did you circle that you think best defines what it means to glorify God? (pg. 95)
- Describe a time when someone “made the invisible God visible” for you. What would you like to say to that person? (pg.96)
- How do you feel about “service as a reward”? (pg.97)
- Who will inherit or possess the kingdom according to the following Scriptures? (pg. 98)
- Can you think of someone you know who fits those criteria. What qualities do you think will make him or her a great ruler?
Week 5 – Day 1: What will our Lives be like in Heaven?
- Do you expect to retain your individuality in Heaven? Why or why not? (pg. 99)
- According to Luke 15:4-7, 10 who do Heaven’s inhabitants rejoice over coming to God? (pg. 100)
- Marginal notes of reasons to believe you will retain your individuality in Heaven. (pg. 100)
- What do you think is the strongest reason to believe you will retain your individuality in Heaven? (pg. 101)
- List 3 distinct characteristics that make you who you are. (pg. 101)
- Describe a time you really felt good about yourself, not in pride or arrogance, but when you sensed you honored God, helped the needy, were faithful, humble and had a servants-heart, like Jesus. (pg. 101)
- If we really believed angels were with us daily, here and now, how might it motivate us to make wiser choices? (pg. 102) Extra: Will we be angels? Anything additional of interest about angels from top of pg. 102?
- In heaven will you be called by your present name? (pg. 102-103)
- Dream a moment. To what aspect of being totally free from sin’s curse do you most look forward to? (pg 103)
- What does “be perfect” mean? (pg. 103-104)
Day 2: What will our bodies be like?
- Do your senses currently suffer any of the following? And how have these limitations affected you? (pg. 105)
- How do you imagine food will taste or flowers smell with senses sharper than you’ve ever experienced? (pg 105)
- Describe in detail your favorite meal? Now imagine the server offers you something new, so mouthwatering that you forget the meal you ordered. How do you feel? (pg. 105)
- What do you think about experiencing hunger in Heaven? (pg. 106)
- What does Revelation 7:16 suggest about thirst on the New Earth? (pg. 106)
- How could someone argue from Galatians 3:28 that Heaven’s inhabitants are without gender? (pg. 107)
- In contest, what does Galatians 3:25-29 teach about gender in Heaven? (pg. 107-108)
- Will you wear clothes in the present and future Heaven? (pg. 108)
- Which aspect of having an improved, resurrected body most appeals to you and why?
Week 5 – Day 3: What will a typical day be like?
- What do you love to do under the category of active rest? (pg. 110)
- Do you think you will sleep on the New Earth? (pg. 110)
- Will you work in Heaven? (pg. 110-111)
- In the margin underline active verb in Rev. 22:3
- What do John 4:34 and 5:17 suggest about being like the Father and Jesus? (pg. 110)
- What the faithful offered according to Matthew 25:23? (pg. 111)
- To what does the “joy of your Lord” seem to be connected? (pg. 111)
- What will you do for eternity to glorify God? (pg. 111)
- What can you do today to promote a Christ-exalting culture? (pg. 112)
- What will a typical day be like on the New Earth? (pg. 109-111)
Day 4: What will our relationships be like?
- Describe a time when sharing a joy made it grater for you and why did the other person’s joy add to your own (pg. 112)
- Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. What did Paul say about reunion in Heaven? (pg. 113)
- Name some people you long to see in Heaven and describe why. (pg. 113)
- Will we recognize each other? (pg. 113-114)
- John 20:15-16 – What happened when Mary really looked at the resurrected Jesus? (pg. 114)
- Luke 24:15-16 – Why did the disciples on the Emmaus road not recognize Jesus? (pg. 114)
- Do you think there will be marriage, families, and friendships in Heaven? (pg. 114-116)
- Underline phrases that describe our relationship with husbands/wives from this life. (pg. 115-116)
- How will those phrases apply to Christ and you as part of His bride in Heaven? (pg. 116)
- How can the phrases still have meaning for you and family members? (pg. 116)
- What you considered today that makes you love Christ more or anticipate being with Him in Heaven? (pg. 116)
Week 5 – Day 5: What will we experience together?
- What stories (from Scripture or family) would you like to hear? (pg. 117)
- What story would you like to tell? (pg. 117)
- Who’s on your list? (pg. 118)
- How are you serving Christ today so that you may be on someone else’s list? (pg. 118)
- What is the significance of the way people in Heaven respond to God’s judgments? (see Rev. 18:20; pg. 118)
- Describe a time when you uniquely bonded with a group because of an experience you shared. (pg. 119)
- How do you feel about those people? (pg. 120)
- What will it mean to share discoveries together in Heaven? (pg. 119-120)
- Do you have family and friends you wish you could spend more time with? With whom would you most like to spend more time? What would you enjoy doing together? (pg. 121)
- Read aloud Luke 6:21-23. How could Jesus’ words confirm the statements on pg. 121-122?
- Write a note to Jesus expressing your thoughts and feelings about this week’s study.
Week 6 – Day 1: What will we know and learn?
- Read the context verses surrounding 1 Cor. 13:12. According to verse 8, what was Paul talking about? (pg. 124)
- Read Ephesians 2:6-7. In what activity did Paul tell us God will be involved during the coming ages?
- What genuine obstacles now prevent you from actively seeking all the new knowledge and better understanding you would like? (pg 125)
- About what events do you particularly long to hear “the rest of the story”? (pg. 125)
- Describe a time you felt particular satisfaction because you learned something. (pg. 127)
- Any other comments about section “What will it be like to learn?”
Week 6 – Day 2: Will work be engaging? Will we express creativity?
- What type of work do you find most satisfying and how might it be enhanced on the New Earth? (pg. 128-129)
- What does Isaiah 65:21 specifically tell us we’ll do in the New Earth? (pg. 130)
- Scan Exodus 25-40 (specifically 31-36. How do you know God values craftsmanship? (pg. 130-131)
- What does Romans 11:29 tell you about God’s gifts and calling and what does that have to do with technology and machinery in Heaven? (pg. 131)
- What have you considered today that most excites you about living in the New Heavens and the New Earth? (pg. 132)
- What would you like to tell the Father who has created such an amazing future for us? (pg 132)
Day 3: Will there be arts, entertainment and sports?
- What role will music play in Heaven? See: Rev. 14:23-3 and John 8:7-13; 15:2 (pg. 133)
- What is your relationship to music on this present earth? (pg 133)
- What does Rev. 21:1-4 suggest about stories in Heaven? (pg. 134)
- What does Luke 6:21 promise in our future? (pg. 134)
- Pretend you are on a debate team. How would you argue the case that there will be laughter in Heaven?
- See: Luke 6:21, 23 (pg. 134-135)
- See: Nehemiah 8:10; Luke 6:21 – If you really reflected on the great joy of our Lord, how would our attitude change? (pg. 135)
- How do you react to the idea of sports in Heaven? (pg. 135-136)
- How would you respond to the reasoning of no fun fir no risk? (pg. 136-137)
- What concepts about Heaven have you rethought this week and what difference does it make? (pg. 138)
Week 6 – Day 4: Will our dreams be fulfilled and missed opportunities regained?
- Name 3 dreams you look forward to fulfilling in Heaven and tell why one of them is most important to you. (pg. 139)
- What negative effects on people have you seen because these kinds of disappointments? (pg. 140)
- How does it change your perception of the problem of evil when you consider God’s future fulfillments that await His children? (pg. 140)
- Comments about section: Are we past our peaks?
- What difference does all this, reading, studying and information about Heaven make to you? (pg. 142)
Day 5: Are you living in light of Heaven?
- If the party illustration were a parable, how would you explain it? (pg. 142-143)
- How can an enthusiastic anticipation of Heaven help us to do what 1 Peter 3:11-14 tells us to do? (pg. 144)
- Describe a time when you have been faithful to God because you looked forward to His reward. (pg. 144)
- Do you believe that last statement of “Our high tolerance for sin testifies of our failure to prepare for Heaven.”? (pg. 145)
- What about your life here on earth is getting you ready for Heaven? (pg. 144-145)
- According to Rev. 21:3-5, what does God do with all things? (pg. 146)
Next week we will review our study of Heaven. Questions, truths, blessings, we would like to share.
We will also review our initial 10 questions about Heaven that we considered at the beginning of the study. What has changed?
General Heaven Questions
1. Define Heaven
2. Define Paradise
3. How did you learn what you know about Heaven?
4. Where is Heaven?
5. Is Heaven a real place?
6. Are you looking forward to Heaven?
7. If so, why or why not?
8. How do you know you are going to Heaven?
9. Draw on the back, what you think Heaven looks like.
10. What do you want get from this study?
Suggested Schedule of Study
Meeting day 1: Week 1: Day 1 & 2
Meeting day 2: Week 1: Day 3 & 4
Meeting day 3: Week 1: Day 5 & Week 2: Day 1
Meeting day 4: Week 2: Day 2 & 3
Meeting day 5: Week 2: Day 4 & 5
Meeting day 6: Week 3: Day 1 & 2
Meeting day 7: Week 3: Day 3 & 4
Meeting day 8: Week 3: Day 5 & Week 4: Day 1
Meeting day 9: Week 4: Day 2 & 3
Meeting day 10: Week 4: Day 4 & 5
Meeting day 11: Week 5: Day 1 & 2
Meeting day 12: Week 5: Day 3 & 4
Meeting day 13: Week 5: Day 5 & Week 6: Day 1
Meeting day 14: Week 6: Day 2 & 3
Meeting day 15: Week 6: Day 4 & 5
Meeting day 16: What do I believe now and how does it impact my life?