19 March

Bible Studies on Revelation and Christian Hope

For Christians, the book of Revelation in the Bible holds the key to understanding the hope of Heaven and the promise of a glorious eternity with our Lord. This biblical text, the final chapter of God’s Word, serves as a beacon of hope in the darkest of times. It provides us with a vision of what awaits us as believers, a glimpse into the heavenly realm, and a reminder of the eternal promises that God has prepared for those who love Him.

If you haven’t studied Revelation before, we invite you to start today. Revelation doesn’t have to be intimidating or scary! Each chapter offers a unique perspective on our heavenly hope, reinforcing our faith, and assuring us that, despite the tumultuous world we live in, God’s ultimate plan is one of restoration, redemption, and eternal joy— where every tear will be wiped away, and death will be no more.

You will be inspired, encouraged, and filled with anticipation with these exciting video Bible studies available from HarperChristian Resources.

Download an Infographic on Revelation

1. All Things New– John Eldredge

All Things New Study Guide: Heaven, Earth, and the Restoration of Everything you Love

Most Christians miss the ultimate hope for their future because their views of heaven are vague, religious . . . and, frankly, boring. Hope begins when we understand that for the believer, nothing is lost. Heaven is not an endless life of harp strumming and worship singing in the clouds. Rather, the life we long for – the paradise Adam and Eve knew – is precisely the life that is coming to us. And that life is coming soon.

In this five-session study, John Eldredge explores the revolutionary idea that according to the Bible, heaven is not our eternal home – the New Earth is. Jesus said the next chapter of our story begins with “the renewal of all things” (Matthew 19:28), by which he meant the earth we love, ourselves, and all the things that make for a rich life: music, art, food, and laughter. God’s promise is that everything shall be renewed “when the world is made new.”

Here’s a taste of what All Things New is all about:

For more on All Things New by John Eldredge, click here

2. Revelation: Extravagant Hope – Margaret Feinberg

Revelation Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: Extravagant Hope

Have you ever heard someone say they are afraid of the book of Revelation? Or perhaps without knowing, simply described the book in a negative or challenging way?

Nothing could be more incorrect as the entire book is a descriptive and poignant expression of what John was blessed to see that each of us longs to know—a place, an end, an eternity that is promised and is the very definition of hope, extravagant hope.

As a part of the Beautiful Word Bible Study Series, Bible teacher and author Margaret Feinberg digs into the book of Revelation and the letters to the churches found there. She takes complex and sometimes illusive content and leads us on a journey where we come to realize everything we have hoped for is there, on the pages, waiting for us. Margaret connects beautiful words to this final book of the Bible inspiring women to forever be reminded of the one thing we all long for—extravagant hope.

Watch this clip from Margaret’s study on Revelation:

For more on Revelation: Extravagant Hope by Margaret Feinberg, click here

3. Revelation: Witness and Worship in the World – Scot McKnight

Revelation Bible Study

Revelation  is  a  wake-up  call,  not  a  blueprint  for  the  final  apocalypse.  John spotlights corrupt human politics while unveiling the coming of the true King, Jesus Christ. Followers of Christ are shown as witnesses to the coming King and worshipers of the Lamb of God.

In this volume of the New Testament Everyday Bible Study series, Scot McKnight boldly tackles political issues, transcending party lines to expose the danger of equating America with God’s kingdom. Revelation unveils sins that beset first century  Christians  and  still  beset  us  today:  idolatry,  immorality,  and  injustice.  Fortunately, the book also provides us imaginative visions of how followers of Jesus are to live when surrounded by these timeless sins.

John tells readers that we are blessed by God if we listen, learn, and follow the words of Jesus, worshiping God alongside the hosts of heaven. Be empowered to courageously dissent against corrupt powers and shine a light in a world of darkness.

Look Inside the first lessons of Revelation:

For more on Revelation and the New Testament Everyday Bible Study Series by Scot McKnight, click here

Download an Infographic on Revelation

4. Surprised by Hope – N.T. Wright

Surprised by Hope Bible Study Participant's Guide: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

Many Christians believe our future in heaven is all that really matters. But that’s not what the Bible teaches. In this six-session small group Bible study, premier Bible scholar N. T. Wright brings you inside the Scriptures to grasp the full, breathtaking hope Jesus offers the world, and its impact on your life today.

Gain an exciting new vision for your life on earth in light of your future in heaven. Wonderful as is the promise of heaven, a glorious hereafter is just part of what salvation is about.

What about today? Jesus called his followers the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Your life here and now is of tremendous consequence, and what you believe about the future has a direct impact on how you live in the present.

Surprised by Hope provides a clearer vision both of the future and of God’s kingdom at hand today.

Watch this clip from Surprised by Hope from N.T. Wright:

For more on Surprised by Hope from N.T. Wright, click here

5. The Case for Heaven (and Hell) – Lee Strobel

The Case for Heaven (and Hell) Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for Life After Death

Does evidence for an afterlife actually exist? Each of us wants to know what awaits on the other side of death. Is there any convincing proof that we will live on in eternity? If so, what will our experience be like?

In this five-session Bible study, Lee Strobel investigates the evidence for the existence of heaven and hell. Strobel offers compelling answers for questions such as:

  • How can we know there is an afterlife?
  • What will heaven be like?
  • Does God really send people to hell?
  • Will we have the same personality after we die?
  • What does it mean to live with an eye on eternity?

Along the way, you will encounter explorations of such topics as angels, Satan, demons, and the exclusivity claims of Christ. In addition, you’ll receive a unique perspective from Lee based on his own experience of nearly dying several years ago. Follow Strobel on this journey of discovery of the entirely credible, believable, and exhilarating life to come.

Watch the promo from Lee on The Case for Heaven (and Hell):

For more on The Case for Heaven (and Hell) by Lee Strobel, click here

BONUS: The Overcomers – Matt Chandler

The Overcomers Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: A Bible Study in the Book of Revelation

In The Overcomers Bible study, pastor Matt Chandler takes you through each chapter in Revelation, revealing how it is not just about future events but also has practical relevance for your life right now. You are a part of a spiritual family that has helped to bring about God’s purposes over the centuries! As a member of the church that carries on that mission today, you are an Overcomer—a believer who is propelled by scriptural truths and empowered by the work of Jesus.  

Jesus is on His throne today and has secured the victory over the enemy. You can enter His presence and draw on that authority. For you are an Overcomer! 

Watch the promo from Matt on The Overcomers:

For more on The Overcomers by Matt Chandler CLICK HERE

Download an Infographic on Revelation

29 January

Top 5 Studies for Lent

While Christmas gets a lot of attention–and rightfully so!-Easter is the most important date on the church calendar and annual celebration in our lives. Whether you and your group observe Lent or are wanting to dive into the life and work of Jesus leading into Easter, here are the top 5 studies from trusted teachers for Easter.

1. 40 Days through the Bible– Lysa TerKeurst & Joel Muddamalle

40 Days Through the Bible Study Guide: The Answers to You Deepest Longings

We know the Bible is a big book and can oftentimes feel overwhelming. Lysa and Proverbs 31 team have created an eight-week study that will help you understand the story of the Bible, from start to finish, along with its amazing promises.

In 40 Days Through the Bible: The Answers to Your Deepest Longings, you will:

  • Take a journey through the storyline of the Bible in 40 days so you can see major themes, how they are all connected and what that means for us as we read the Bible today.
  • Discover the eight major things humanity longs for and how Jesus fulfills all of them for us.
  • Stop the endless cycle of seeking and searching for satisfaction and find the answers to your deepest longings.

Here’s a taste of what 40 Days through the Bible is all about:

For more on 40 Days Through the Bible by Lysa TerKeurst, click here

2. Signs & Secrets of the Messiah: A Fresh Look at the Miracles of Jesus in the Gospel of John – Rabbi Jason Sobel

Signs and Secrets of the Messiah video Bible study

Does God still do miracles? It’s a question many ask when they read about the wonders God does in the Bible. In Signs and Secrets of the Messiah, Rabbi Jason Sobel seeks to answer this question by drawing on Jesus’ miracles in the Gospel of John, biblical culture, and ancient texts. He reveals how Jesus takes the ordinary and turns it into something extraordinary (He turned water into wine), gives new life (He healed the man at the Pool of Bethesda), and blesses you so you can bless others (He multiplied the loaves and fish). God still does the miraculous . . . if we only open our eyes to see it.

Watch the promo from Rabbi Jason:

For more on Signs & Secrets of the Messiah by Rabbi Jason Sobel, click here

3. Savior (Jesus Bible Study Series): The Story of God’s Rescue Plan – Passion Publishing

Savior Bible Study Guide

In  the  six  lessons  of  Savior,  you  will  explore  how  Jesus—being  fully  human  but  also  fully divine—was  able  to  offer himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. You will learn about Jesus’ mission for humanity, the kingdom of God he ushered in, and how he made a way for all who believe in him to be saved.  Savior will help you see that even though God may feel distant at times, he is always working for your good and his glory. God has always been faithful to his people—and he always will be.

Watch the promo for the Jesus Bible Study Series:

For more on Savior and the Jesus Bible Study Series, click here

4. Why Easter Matters – Andy Stanley

Why Easter Matters

Have you ever been at odds with God? Have you resisted, defied, or tried to bargain your way out of what you thought God wanted? You aren’t alone. Scripture documents similar stories.

In this Easter Study, Andy Stanley looks at some of the people whose lives intersected with Jesus in the weeks leading to his crucifixion. Each of them had an agenda that put them at odds with God and Jesus. As you’ll see, there’s a little bit of them in all of us.

Watch the first session from Why Easter Matters:

For more on Why Easter Matters from Andy Stanley, click here

5. The Case for Easter: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus – Lee Strobel

The Case for Easter Bible Study Guide: Investigating the Evidence for the Resurrection

In this four-week Easter study, Lee investigates the story surrounding the resurrection of Jesus—and how we can know that it is true.

In each session, you’ll explore:

  • How to understand the differences between the Gospel accounts.
  • How to use historical and medical evidence to build a strong case for Jesus’ resurrection.
  • Why the Gospel writers are credible when they make this claim.
  • Who witnessed Jesus alive after the crucifixion and how it’s clear that the early church carried on this teaching.

The Case for Easter invites you and your group to examine the evidence for yourselves and point you to the conclusion that Jesus was the Son of God who conquered the grave.

Watch this clip from The Case for Easter:

For more on The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel, click here

15 January

Top 5 Studies for Christian Unity

Jesus loves his diverse and beautiful family. We are all adopted children. Grace is the pathway into God’s family. Because God is drawing in people from every tribe, background, and walk of life, his family will always be as diverse as the human race. Because Jesus is Lord and the Holy Spirit transforms hearts, God’s family can be united and love one another in the midst of our many differences. When this happens, God delights and the world looks on in wonder.

Here are the Top 5 studies from trusted teachers on promoting unity in your church community.

1. Ephesians: Life in God’s Diverse Family– Derwin Gray

Ephesians Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: Life in God’s Diverse Family

Ephesus was comprised of people who came from different backgrounds—racially, economically, and politically. So it’s little wonder the believers in that city were finding it difficult come together as one, put aside their differences, and get along in God’s new family. In other words, the church in Ephesus was having the same problems we face today. 

In this study, bestselling author and pastor Derwin Gray guides you through this letter to the Ephesians, revealing what Paul’s words meant to his original readers and how they apply to you today. You will be encouraged to learn both the content and the context of the letter and then apply the message to your daily life. 

Join Derwin on a journey through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians that will encourage you to live in the grace and mercy of God to show the world what life with God looks like. 

Watch a clip from the first session:

For more on Ephesians by Derwin Gray, click here

2. Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better – Brant Hansen

Unoffendable Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better

It’s a provocative idea: We are not entitled to get offended or stay angry at other people. The idea of our own “righteous anger” is a myth. Instead, the Bible calls every follower of Christ to do something radical and countercultural: Let go of our anger and forgive.

As it turns out, giving up our right to be offended is one of the most freeing, healthy, relaxing, refreshing, stress-relieving, and encouraging things we can do. It allows us to recognize that people are broken and stop being scandalized by their actions. It enables us to accept people and stop judging them. It creates a way for us to not just love others but to actually like them.

In this six-session Bible study, based on the bestselling book of the same name, Brant Hansen shares practical ways to live life with less stress and more care by becoming unoffendable. In his highly entertaining style, he seeks to lift the religious burdens from our backs and allow us to experience the joy of gratitude every day of our lives—flourishing the way God intended.

Watch the promo for Unoffendable:

For more on Unoffendable by Brant Hansen, click here

3. Share the Dream: Shining a Light in a Divided World through Six Principles of Martin Luther King Jr. – Daniels and Broussard

Share the Dream Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: Shining a Light in a Divided World through Six Principles of Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King and the men and women around him were able to change history through the power of a dream that was not rooted in mere human principles. That dream was rooted in the love of God for all his children made in his image.

Share the Dream™ is a six-session video Bible study (streaming code included) based on the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Each session revolves around one of the biblical principles that shaped Dr. King’s life and motivated him to speak on behalf of African Americans in the Civil Rights Movement.

Watch the promo for Share the Dream:

For more on Share the Dream by Matt Daniels and Chris Broussard, click here

4. Colossians: One Jesus. One People – Jay Y. Kim

Colossians Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: One Jesus, One People

How can we unify instead of be more polarized? In the book of Colossians, Paul implores us to have the peace of Christ reign in our hearts.

In this video Bible study, author and pastor Jay Y. Kim will guide you through this letter to the Colossians, revealing what Paul’s words meant to his original readers and how they apply to you today. You will be encouraged to learn both the content and the context of the letter and then apply the message to your daily life.

Join Jay on a journey through Paul’s letter to the Colossians to explore the claim that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life—and that Christian living revolves around Jesus.

Watch a clip from the study:

For more on Colossians by Jay Y. Kim, click here

5. God and Race: A Guide for Moving Beyond Black Fists & White Knuckles – John Siebeling & Wayne Francis

God and Race Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: A Guide for Moving Beyond Black Fists and White Knuckles

God’s plan for the church is a body that represents “every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9). Sadly, this is not how the church looks today. Odds are that if you walk into a church, you will find a group of people who look like they belong to the same tribe and nation.

What’s more, believers often feel the words God and race don’t go together. We would rather talk about anything else other than race. But unless we start to have these open-handed conversations, we will never move beyond the “black fists” and “white knuckles” that leave so many of our churches divided today.

In this Bible study, John Siebeling and Wayne Francis provide a non-threatening means for pastors, church leaders, and churchgoers to start to dialogue about this important issue. God and Race probes the meaning of racial reconciliation and reveals how the church can be a positive and effective leader to move us forward, beyond hate and injustice, to equality and love.

Watch the study promo:

For more on God and Race by John Siebeling & Wayne Francis, click here

Spiritual Growth Bible Studies
05 September

5 Tips for Leading Small Groups by Henry Cloud & John Townsend

To be a good facilitator you need to do things that are in themselves very simple but take time to learn. It is a big temptation for a leader just to start teaching or explaining, and sometimes that is a good thing to do. But if the group is merely a school class, not much bonding and healing will occur. Be aware that some of the best things in life are learned on a walk as much as in reading a book. You can hear a lecture on trees, or you can go experience them. Life is about both. You can read about divorce recovery, or you can experience recovery. The process group leader helps the members do both.

1. Notice and Share What You Observe

Notice what is going on in the group, and from time-to-time share what you see. Very simple, very powerful. Here are examples of how these observations may work in your group:

  • “I notice that we have drifted away from the sadness. What happened?”
  • “I notice that it seems a little sluggish in here tonight. Why do you think that is?”
  • “It seems like we were really connecting, and things changed. Why is that?”
  • You might aim a well-timed, helpful process statement to an individual. “Joe, I notice that when you talked about that, you seemed to really be feeling some things. Can you tell us what they are?”
  • Notice when the group is stuck and address the situation. “It feels dead in here for the past few weeks. Does anyone else notice that?” If you do not address it, people might drop out. If you address it, the group may reinvent itself.

2. Be the Guardian of the Process

Do something about people who interrupt, dominate, or keep process from occurring. Different levels of intervention may be appropriate, depending on the particulars, but do something! You cannot allow a person to kill the group process. If the group is not oriented toward going deep on feedback, just interrupt the interrupter or over-spiritualizer. Say, “Hold on, Joe. I want to hear more from Susie.” The group will feel protected by you. Joe will get the message, and the process will be saved.

3. Hold Members to Their Covenant

In a deeper group orientation, where members have covenanted to receive feedback, the process goes a step farther. After the initial exchange, suggested above, say to Joe, “Joe, I notice that when people talk about feelings, you often interrupt and give a Bible verse. Are you aware that you do that?” Then, if the group operates on an even deeper level, you might say, “What do some of you experience when Joe does that?” Deepest of all, when Joe interrupts, say, “Did anyone just notice what happened?” Then the group will guard the process and help Joe.

Remember, what is a suitable intervention level depends on what the group has agreed to do with each other and depends on the facilitator’s skill level. It’s up to you as facilitator to make sure these structures remain intact. Otherwise, deep process statements can turn into chaos or discord. No matter what intervention level you need in order to guard the process, guard it. Even if it just means interrupting the interrupter and saying, “Hold on. Susie was talking.”

4. Ask Open-ended Questions

Remember that process orientation does not have to be deep or threatening. To process is to experience and to do things that further the experience. Asking open-ended questions often furthers the process:

  • “What are some of your responses to the passage we just read?”
  • “What is going on with some of you this week?”
  • “Can you tell us more about that?”
  • “Does anyone have anything they would like to share or to add?”
  • “What does this bring up for you?”
  • “Where do you have difficulty applying what we just read or talked about?”

Avoid questions that do not further discovery or process, such as questions with yes or no or factual answers. Process is not a geometry class where there is a right answer. It is a walk in the park. “What stands out for you?” and “What do you see?” are questions that don’t have a right or wrong answer.

5. Ask for Group Feedback

Ask the members from time to time how they think the process is going. “What is getting us there? What is keeping us from there?” Even more powerful at times is to see whether they can notice and describe the process. “How would some of you describe what we have been doing, what the process is? What has that been like? How would you want it to be different?” Certainly, teaching and information are important to your group purpose and to life. But it’s just as important to experience that truth, particularly in relational contexts like a group. Your job as a facilitator is not to “be the experience,” but to facilitate it. You are the shepherd of the experience. Then the group will take on a life of its own, growing in richer ways than it ever could simply through lectures.

Leading a small group Bible study is important to people’s spiritual growth but doesn’t have to be anxiety-inducing. Following the above tips will help your group take the next step in your journey of faith.

Most studies from HarperChristian Resources include a Leader’s Guide in the back of the study guide. These guides provide help as you prepare for each session, assistance in structuring your discussion time, and further guide you to understand different group dynamics.

A great Bible study to consider for your group, whether it is a new group or a more established one, is Brant Hansen’s Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better. In the six-session of this study, Brant teaches that giving up our right to be offended is one of the most freeing, healthy, relaxing, refreshing, stress-relieving, and encouraging things we can do. It allows us to recognize that people are broken and stop being scandalized by their actions. It enables us to accept people and stop judging them. It creates a way for us to not just love others but to actually like them.

Learn more about Unoffendable here.