Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson.
1. Have you have ever gone on a mission trip to a Third World country? If so, what was it like to serve there?
2. How do you feel when you hear reports of children dying of malnourishment, of elderly people being marginalized, or of loved ones dealing with diseases?
Read Isaiah 65:17-19
1. God spoke to Isaiah about the new heavens and new earth he’s creating. How many times do you see the words “glad,” “rejoice,” or “delight” in this section? Discuss the theme in this passage.
2. What line of Scripture here means the most to you personally? Discuss why this is so based on what you’ve experienced in your life.
Read Isaiah 65:20-23
3. Something died long ago in the Garden of Eden—mankind’s immortality and uninterrupted fellowship with God. Sin brought death. The lives of people and infants are now cut short, though we were originally made to live with the Father forever. Do you ever think about the tragedy of death and the final endings for nonbelievers? Discuss eternal consequences for those who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
4. Read verse 22. What does it say God’s chosen ones will long enjoy? In light of question 3, make a list of those you want to be the works of your hands in the next 12 months.
Read Isaiah 65:24, 25
5. This section again hearkens back to the Garden of Eden before the fall in Genesis. What blessings and what kind of fellowship is Isaiah describing?
6. Read Revelation 21:1-7. Close your eyes and imagine how it’s all going to happen. What does the one seated on the throne say and how does this tie into Isaiah 65:17-19?
7. Why do you think the translators included an exclamation point in Revelation 21:5?
8. Isaiah 65:17-25 and Revelation 21:1-7 contain promises for believers. But what about those who have not believed? What awaits those who refuse to believe? Consider your thoughts from questions 3 and your list in 4. What will you do to reach the people on your list in the coming months?
Conclude your group time with prayer, using the following as a guide.
Sovereign Lord, you rule over the universe and you promise to make all things new. As we close the door on this year, we look forward with eager anticipation to the ministries you have for us in 2020.