+ In the spirit of recognizing that the Bible is given to us to use as a tool and never a weapon, this Bible Chat Guide is a starter for looking at biblical resources upholding the promise of life eternal, of Heaven, alluded to in Holy Writ. So often the prospect of life everlasting is couched in terms of who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’ – who qualifies and who is condemned, that the incentive, joy, and comfort of God’s care for us is veiled, muddled or even lost on many. According to our Jewish roots, the Hebrew scripture proclaimed that one’s greatest reward is ‘to be with Abraham once more’. Abraham is recognized as the Father of the faithful in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This is an important thing to remember when considering the size of the heart of God. See 4 Maccabees 13:17 (in the Apocrypha).
+See Luke 16:19 – 31. The story of the rich man and the poor man. Read and discuss this story together. Where was it that Lazarus, the poor man, was promised he would go when he died? What is the moral of the story? As Christians look toward the account of Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection, how does this story inspire one to strive for things heavenly?
+See John 18:1 – Does the description of Jesus as ‘close to the heart of God’ remind you of something you just read about Lazarus?
+See John 12:13 – 26, also Isaiah 25:6-9, also Matthew 8:11,
Question- What is heaven like according to these biblical images?
+Read and discuss John 5:24, Revelations 20:4.
These are all words of great encouragement and promise to live in faith – to be of good courage – to hold fast that which is good and let God take it from there. As Dame Julian of Norwich said in the 1400’s “All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”