1. The opening chapters of the Bible describe life in a garden that has been polluted by sin and suffering. The final chapters describe life in a city that has been perfected. What do you think that tells us about the mission for God’s people who live in between those two places?
2. The sermon describes two things that can get us off track from our mission: wanting to go back to the garden, and thinking the city we have now is already good enough. Which of those is a bigger pull for you? How do you think that affects your pursuit of the mission of seeking transformation?
3. The two tools that are offered to help us stay on mission are beginning with the end in mind, and remembering what happened to Jesus as He embodied the promise of perfection. Looking at this passage in Revelation 21, what are some descriptions of the perfected city that can help you to persevere in your pursuit of the church’s mission?
4. There are two aspects presents as to what it will look like to pursue this vision:
Discovering who we are in Christ
Extending God’s love and grace in the world
For each of these components, describe one practical step you can take this week towards the mission of seeking transformation in ourselves and the world.
5. How does the promise of a perfected city coming down to us from heaven encourage you in the face of sin or suffering that you are facing right now?
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.