THE IMPACT OF HIS FUTURE ON OUR PRESENT
Text: 2 Peter 3:11-13
Series: Endgame – Becoming Future Ready

We know the endgame that is Christ’s return, so how should we conduct ourselves until it happens? Some may be obsessed with knowing when the world will end because they want to be prepared. Yet Jesus is clear that the time is unknown though He will certainly come. How then can we as believers be prepared?

Discussion Guide

1) We live in expectation of His coming (11-12)

What do you do when you’re expecting something, like a baby, promotion or good results? How is it similar to how you would prepare for Christ’s return? What does Christ’s second coming mean to you? Do you look forward to it, and why? What does our anticipation (or lack of it) for Christ’s return say about our attachment to the world? How does Christ’s return affect your desire to live holy and godly lives? When you think about holiness, what comes to mind? In the Bible, holiness means that we as God’s people are set apart for God for His purpose and to reflect His character. This includes being upright in our ethics, for God possesses superior moral qualities. How does holy living look like in our workplace, school or home, especially when the majority culture adheres to different values? How is it different from the licentious lifestyles of some who do not know God? What struggles do Christians normally face in holy living? Godly living is living in a way that acknowledges the God we worship and fulfils His expectations of His people. How can we demonstrate our devotion to God in our dealings with people, career, money etc? Why is it important to not just do the right thing but to do it out of a heart of devotion to God? How can we grow in our understanding of what God expects of us? What usually hinders Christians from godly living? In light of Christ’s return, how can the Life Group encourage one another in holy and godly living?

2) We live in hope of His promised new world (13)

We have all faced hurts and disappointment in our lives. How do we view these scars? When we face other tough times, how do we usually deal with it? Meanwhile, there are others who seem to be carefree and unaffected by troubles. Why do you think they behave this way? How do you think they view the world? Should we emulate their worldview? Why? Peter urges believers to “look forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” How does this encourage those of us who are going through difficult times in this world? What does this tell us about hope? How is hope different from wishful thinking? By looking at the things/areas that we have invested our resources and energy in, it is easy to spot what some of us may have placed our hope in (e.g. wealth, achievements, social status etc). Take some time to consider these things and evaluate them side by side with the promised new world. Which is more permanent? Which is more secure? Why? Why can we be certain that the righteous new order will definitely come to pass? In other words, how do we know that God will keep the promise of ushering in the new world? Instead of placing our hope in things of this world, how can we place our hope in God who keeps His word? How can the Life Group spur one another on to look forward to the new world?

Reflection Questions

1) We live in expectation of His coming (11-12)

What does Christ’s second coming mean to you? Do you look forward to it, and why? How does Christ’s return affect your desire to live holy and godly lives?

2) We live in hope of His promised new world (13)

How do we know that God will keep His promise of ushering in the new world? How does this encourage those of us who are going through difficult times in this world? Instead of placing our hope in things of this world, how can we place our hope in God who keeps His word?

THE CERTAINTY OF HIS COMING
2 Peter 3:1-7
Series: Endgame – Becoming Future Ready

“Future ready” is usually defined as the ability to plan with foresight, keep up with the times and be resilient in the face of uncertainty. But what does the Bible say about being future ready? What is the right view of the future we should have?

Discussion Guide

1) The wrong view: Christ will not judge the world (3-4)

The term “judgment day” is often used to describe moments in life where we come to face something truly important, usually with a tinge of fear or dread. For example, the announcing of restructuring in your company, the day of a job interview, or the release of national exam results. What thoughts come to mind when someone mentions “judgement day”? What feelings get stirred? As Christians, what is our understanding of judgment? Discuss in your Life Group.

In 2 Peter 3:3-4, the Apostle Peter warned believers of the presence and teachings of “scoffers”. What was wrong about their message on judgment and the coming of Jesus? What was their reason for thinking that Jesus will not come? How did their belief guide the way they lived their lives? Would you say they answered to themselves or to God? Why? What happens when people live as if they are accountable to no one else but themselves?

“The greatest tragedy in this lifetime is knowing Christ, yet carrying on living as if we do not.” Reflect on how knowing Christ has affected the way we live our lives, e.g. choosing to prioritise people because they matter to God. Share 1-2 areas to your Life Group and give thanks together for what God has done. Are there areas in our lives that are yet to be influenced by Christ and His gospel? Identify what might be stopping you from yielding these areas to God, and resolve to speak to your mentors or leaders about it.

2) The right view: Christ will return to judge the world (5-7)

Living in a busy city like Singapore means that much of our focus and attention is naturally drawn to the daily demands of life. It is easy to get caught up living for the here and now, with immediate rewards like work promotions and long holidays providing encouragement for our next chase. Do the people around you live in such a way, for the here and now? Share how they exhibit this in the type of decisions they make for themselves.

In contrast with the false teachers who denied Christ’s coming and thought that they did not need to account to Him, Christians know from Scripture that God will carry out His promise to judge the world in the future. How does Christ’s coming alter our view of the future? Realising that we have to answer to Him, what truly matters in this life on earth?

Think about some people you know who role-model and set good examples for how one should live. How do they exhibit their beliefs in the decisions they make? Consider how we have been orientating our lives and what we have been striving towards daily. What occupies our time? What drives our work and use of resources? Are there some decisions we need to make for ourselves regarding the way we live our lives today? Commit to respond to God today.

Come together as a Life Group to pray, that every member will grow to make every earthly decision in light of Christ’s coming and our eternity with Him.

Reflection Questions

1) The wrong view: Christ will not judge the world (3-4)

In 2 Peter 3:3-4, the Apostle Peter warned believers of the presence and teachings of “scoffers”. What was wrong about their message on judgment and the coming of Jesus? What was their reason for thinking that Jesus would not come? Would you say they answered to themselves or to God? What happens when people live as if they are accountable to no one else but themselves?

2) The right view: Christ will return to judge the world (5-7)

In contrast with the false teachers who denied Christ’s coming and thought that they did not need to account to Him, Christians know from Scripture that God will carry out His promise to judge the world in the future. How does Christ’s coming alter our view of the future? Realising that we have to answer to Him, what truly matters in this life on earth? What occupies our time? What drives our work and use of resources?

READY TO LET THE WORLD SEE
Series: ‘Let The World See’ Hope Conference 2019

Discussion Guide

How do we prepare ourselves to let the world see?

Being salt and light is no easy feat. How can we go against the tide to stand firm on our beliefs and values? How can we overcome the odds to influence the world for Christ?

The Church must be ready to fulfil its mission to be in the world but not of the world. We must be discipled to exercise our influence as salt and light. We must learn to depend on God and keep in step with the Holy Spirit to retain our distinctiveness. We must be prepared to Let the World See Christ in Us.

Reflection Questions

Why is it important to maintain our “saltiness”? In what ways can we be contaminated and lose the distinctiveness of our identity as the people of God? How can we encourage one another to keep our “saltiness”?

HOW TO LET THE WORLD SEE?
Series: ‘Let The World See’ Hope Conference 2019

Discussion Guide

As we go about our lives, we can participate in many good causes. But what should our focus as the Church be? Should we aim to become a bridge that connects people to Christ? Should we cross boundaries and smash barriers to bring about reconciliation? Should we actively engage people no matter where we go, but for what purpose?

The Church should never be confined by the four walls of the church building. It is our calling to go out there and Let the World See.

Reflection Question

What defines Christian love? As a Christian, what should motivate us to love others selflessly? What makes you say so? What should we stop and start doing in order to love like Christ loves?

MAKE DISCIPLES
Series: Unchanging

There are many good causes out there, but Jesus has commissioned the church to make disciples (Mt 28:18-20). At Hope Singapore, what does it mean to be a disciple and be a disciple-maker?

1) Discipleship As Our Lifestyle

In the Bible, we often find instances where multitudes of people were drawn to Jesus as He taught with authority and performed signs and wonders. However, Jesus only had a few disciples. Why do you think this is so? Being part of the crowd that admired Jesus was clearly different from being a disciple who followed Jesus. Similarly, it is not uncommon for people to marvel at miracles, hang out at church events on weekends or even agree with the values taught. All these things are beneficial but they don’t make one a disciple. What then, makes a disciple? What are some qualities that distinguish disciples from the crowd?

How does it look like for discipleship to become your lifestyle? Identify one aspect of your life that you can adjust in order to make discipleship a bigger part of your life. What are some measures you can take? What are some obstacles or distractions that draw your focus away from discipleship? How are you addressing these hindrances?

Jesus wants us to go beyond being disciples to making disciples. What are some common challenges that people at your life station face in being disciple-makers? Despite the challenges, many brothers and sisters around us have responded to God’s call to be disciple-makers. What do you think are some convictions that prompted them to respond? Share from your personal experiences or what you hear from others. What can give us greater confidence to step out and make disciples? How can the Life Group be a platform for discipleship? What are the things you can do together to grow as disciples? Share some ideas, devise a plan to execute them.

2) Bible As Our Blueprint

What directs our lives? It may be values taught by our parents, advice given by teachers, wisdom gleaned from books, experiences with close friends, or even tips and life hacks on social media. We all appreciate some handles in facing situations that life sometimes throws at us. What or who do you turn to when you face challenges in life? Why do you turn to them? The Bible is God’s Word, written by human authors inspired by God and passed down through the generations to serve as our ultimate compass for daily living. Why is it important to recognise the divine origins of the Bible (2 Pet 1:20-21)? How does knowing the divinity of Scripture affect our response to the commands in the Bible?

Most of us can easily access online Christian resources such as sermon videos, podcasts, articles and e-books. This accessibility, however, can result in us not studying the Bible for ourselves. We need to read and know the Bible in its totality. How can you grow in the area of reading and studying God’s Word? What commitments can you make to ensure that you become more familiar with Scripture this year?

We are Word-centred disciples not when we memorise verses or follow certain preachers, but when we submit to the authority of the Word. Share some personal stories of how you followed the Bible’s teachings. What were your struggles? What was the price you paid? What was your decision? What was the effect on your life? It is important to God that His disciples are doers of the Word. As a Life Group, resolve together to put into practice at least one thing you learn from the Word every week. Encourage one another proactively and keep one another accountable.

3) Building Leaders As Our Culture

Think about someone you would consider a good leader. Share what makes them good leaders in your eyes. What is the impact that good leaders make on other people’s lives? What are some important qualities that Christian leaders need to have (read 1 Tim 3)? What do you think are the key differences between worldly and godly definitions of good leadership?

God is looking to raise leaders to influence the world for His glory. We want to build strong leaders to impact people in our different spheres. To get started, it is important to grow in the attitudes of FAST – Faithfulness, Availability, Submissiveness and Teachability. Identify one attitude that you would like to work on as a growth area over the next six months. Share with the Life Group for accountability and discuss with your mentor about the practical steps needed to grow in this area. Pray together for all leaders of the church to be Word-centred disciples and to be empowered by the Spirit to love and to lead.