Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1. In chess, the term endgame refers to using remaining pieces in play to maneuver the opponent’s king into a position in which it is impossible to avoid capture, thus ending a match. Choose two or three other games and describe their endgames.
2. Think of life in general. What do you want the endgame of your life to be? At the end of your time on earth, what would it look like for you to have won the game of life?
Read Revelation 22:1-5.
1. God’s endgame includes once more giving people access to the tree of life (v. 2). Where was the tree of life at one time (Genesis 2:9)? Why was access to the tree of life taken away (3:22)?
2. After describing the tree of life, John mentioned that the curse was gone (Revelation 22:3) and that the throne of God was present. What is that curse (Genesis 3:16-19)? Why would it be bad for people if the curse and access to the tree of life were both in effect?
3. God’s endgame also includes marking his children with his name (Revelation 22:4). Compare this to the markings described in Revelation 13:16–14:3. What is the significance of having only one kind of forehead mark in the New Jerusalem (19:20)?
Read Revelation 22:6-11.
4. What was the function of the angel mentioned in the book of Revelation (1:1)? Reviewing the dramatic content of the book, why is John’s first reaction understandable? Why was it wrong nonetheless (22:8, 9)?
5. What are some ways we are tempted to worship God’s messengers rather than God himself? How can we avoid that trap?
Read Revelation 22:12-17.
6. List those who are outside of the city (v.15). What can we do to offer the invitation of verse 17 to them while there is still time?
7. God’s endgame includes blessing all his children. Trace the seven beatitudes (identified by the word blessed) through the book of Revelation—1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7; 22:14. Which of these are the most meaningful for you?