Revelation 22: The Garden of Life
The final chapter in the final book describes a wonderful scene of uninterrupted intimacy with God in the new creation.
- As we come to the end of our studies in Revelation, how has studying this book blessed you over the last few months (chapter 1.3 & 22.7b)? What have you found difficult to understand? What questions to you have unresolved?
- V1, how does the river of life illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit? How will our experience of the Holy Spirit be enlarged and deepened in the new creation?
- What are the parallels between this chapter and the Garden of Eden? How has the tree of life changed? How does God’s role in the two gardens’ compare (Genesis 3.8a)?
- V10, how does this verse compare with Daniel 12.9? What then is the connection between v10 and v11? What should be the impact of this “open prophecy” on our life (2 Peter 3.10-14)?
- V15 breaks the glorious scene with a note of reality that heaven is not for all (also compare 9.21 & 21.8). How do these verses balance our tendency to emphasise the intellectual aspects of salvation more than the resulting behavioural changes? What would you say to someone who believes that everyone will be saved, in the light of these verses and others?
- What is Jesus’ final encouragement to his people (v7, 12, 20)? How do we handle the fact that it has now been 2000 years since Jesus promised this (2 Peter 3.8-9)?
- As we finish our studies on Revelation has this journey made you more aware of the hope of heaven or the reality of the Second Coming? In what practical ways can we deepen our expectation and anticipation of heaven as individuals and a church?
The final chapter reminds us of a love letter from a long lost relative – “I am on my way, I’m coming soon, please be ready when I arrive”. The arrival may have been a long time coming in our counting but from the other side of eternity the waiting will seem like a momentary stopover between connecting flights on the way to see our loved one.
“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3.1-2