- The word eschatology (ἔσχατος) literally means last, or the things that are last. The word is commonly used to described the second coming of Jesus and the formation of the new heaven and new earth. See Revelation 22:13, and Jesus as the last or end of all things in God’s kingdom.
- Is there anything Christians may experience in the “end” when they go to heaven that will produce pure joy? If yes, what would produce pure joy in the end?
- What kind of relationship with the Holy Spirit would a Christian need to experience joy on His terms?
- Does the Holy Spirit want us to experience joy in the “right here-right now” of life or just in the distant eschatological future?
DIG DEEPER WITH GOD’S WORD
- Romans 5:1-5, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
- Romans 8:18-25, “18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”
- Romans 15:13, “13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
- Ephesians 1:18-21, “18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”
- Is the Holy Spirit (the Giver of Joy) inside of you? How do you know?
- Is it ok for a Christian to be happy about something that the Holy Spirit is not happy about? Why?
- Do you sometimes feel tension or frustration between trying to be happy on earth and anticipating joy in heaven? Can we have both?
- What is one simple decision you can make to move toward experiencing joy in the Holy Spirit?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you experience joy.