Looking Forward With Hope

Near the Mount of Olives in the spring of 2013, Anne Graham Lotz teaches on the return of Christ.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Heaven lately. My father seems to be in transition from his home here to our Father’s House. My husband’s health is also very fragile, and each time we have an emergency I wonder if he will be moving soon. My mother has already gone on ahead. Perhaps by the time you read this, my father, my husband or both will have joined her there. But death for a believer is not the end of life. Actually, it’s just the beginning. It’s the transition when our faith becomes sight, and real life begins. We can look forward with hope because we are going home!

Read John 14:1-3


  • List some specific things that trouble your heart personally.
  • In John 14:1, what is the remedy for a troubled heart?
  • Who is Jesus that He can tell us to trust Him as we trust God? Read John 1:1-3, 14; 14:8-11; Mark 1:9-11; 9:2-8; and 2 Peter 1:16-18.
  • When we trust in Jesus, what does He give us? Read John 14:27.
  • Where is Jesus now? See Ephesians 1:20-22; Philippians 2:5-11; and Revelation 5:6, 11-12.
  • What are some of the things Jesus is doing now? Read Hebrews 7:25; John 14:2; Revelation 2:1 (see Revelation 1:20 for interpretation of symbols); and Revelation 3:10-11, 20.
  • When did you place your hope in Jesus for forgiveness of sin, for reconciliation with God, for eternal life and for a heavenly home? Write down the date and describe your decision.
  • Give phrases from the following verses that underscore that your hope is in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ: Ephesians 1:4-8, 2:12-13; John 3:16; and John 1:12.


A Prepared Place

  • According to John 14:2, who is Heaven being prepared for? What does that mean to you?
  • Who else is Heaven being prepared for? Read Hebrews 11:1-16.
  • What additional details do Revelation 21:1-2 give about the preparation of Heaven?
  • How does a bride prepare for her bridegroom? Give as many ways as you can think of. How do each of these ways apply to the preparation of Heaven? Refer again to Revelation 21:2.
  • If the person you loved more than anyone else in the world was coming to your home after an extended absence, how would you prepare for that person? Apply this to the preparation Jesus is making as He anticipates your coming home.

A Perfect Place

  • In Revelation 21:1, while seas may mean literal large bodies of water, could it also mean that there will be no separation in Heaven?
  • Make a list of things that will not be in Heaven that separate people from each other, and you from your friends and loved ones here on earth.
  • According to Revelation 21:3, who will live in Heaven?
  • Read Revelation 21:4. What has caused you to weep in this life?
  • In what way have you suffered physically? Emotionally? Relationally? Make a list of things that cause suffering; then thank God that none of these things will be in Heaven.
  • If you could live in your dream home, what would it be like? Describe it, including the physical aspects, the people who live there, the atmosphere within it, and the location. Do you think you can “out-dream” God?
  • What word in Revelation 21:2, 5 indicates that there has never been any place like Heaven ever before?
  • How does Paul affirm this thought in 1 Corinthians 2:9?


  • What two promises did Jesus make in John 14:3? Explain each one in your own words.
  • Which of the promises was confirmed by angels in Acts 1:10-11?
  • What additional details concerning the first promise are given in Psalm 116:15 with 2 Corinthians 5:6-8? 
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17?
  • Which promise is affirmed in Revelation 22:1-5?
  • How do you know Jesus will keep His promises? Give words or phrases from Matthew 24:35; Revelation 21:5, 22:6; 2 Corinthians 1:20; and Psalm 119:89.

In these troubled times, you can look forward with hope! And remember, biblical hope is not a wish or a fantasy or a desire. Biblical hope is absolute confidence in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the place He is preparing for you called Heaven, and in His promise that one day He will come for you, either at your death or at His return. So … keep looking up!