The Future Was Then

n02065_the_future

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Age Group

Youth

Brief Description

Intersection includes complete resources for teaching both younger and older youth, including learner’s materials, teaching guides, and handouts. The teaching guide is options-based, so teachers can customize sessions to match their favorite approach.

“The Future Was Then”

This unit investigates the nature and purpose of apocalyptic literature.

Session 1: Although the symbolism of Isaiah 26:20-27:11 seems strange to contemporary readers, this passage would have been clear to its original audience. God would overcome the dragon of chaos and restore order to the world. Within the three seemingly unrelated sections of the Scripture passage, the author offers a concise message: We need not fear, for God is in control.

Session 2: Help your young people discover the basic purpose of apocalyptic literature, as well as helpful ways of interpreting such pieces. Zechariah’s apocalyptic vision describes a day of judgment that would befall those who opposed God and God’s people. The prophet made it clear that while God’s people might suffer, they would ultimately emerge victorious.

Session 3: Many people have attempted to develop an actual timetable of the events that will close history, but none of us can accurately predict the future. Although Daniel seems to have been forecasting the future, he actually wrote to encourage believers of his day who were being persecuted. Help young people see beyond any dire predictions of impending doom and look toward the future with hope and expectation.

Session 4: Matthew’s apocalyptic discourse has two distinct purposes: to alleviate doubt about Jesus’ return and to discuss how believers should live until the event actually occurs. Like all apocalyptic literature, Matthew 24-25 was designed to help those undergoing persecution in that it emphasizes how one lives amid such difficulty. Jesus was not interested in speculating about when his return would take place, but instead, was concerned primarily with living in the meantime. Help your teens consider what lifestyles to adopt until Christ returns.

Session 5: A classic example of apocalyptic writing, John’s Revelation reassures believers that no evil force—past, present, or future—can overcome the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. John portrays God sitting on a throne as every human being stands before the Creator. Help your teens consider how they can prepare for a time when they will stand before God to give an account of their lives. Resist the temptation to frighten young people into becoming Christians. Instead, highlight the many positive reasons why a person would want to turn willingly toward God.

by Bo Prosser

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The purchaser of this file has permission to print twenty copies of this Learners Study Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

The purchaser of this file has permission to print one copy of this Teaching Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold, copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

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