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Music Discussions

Heaven
A Quick Music Discussion Guide
05/04/2004

Main Point of Discussion: Heaven is one of the most confusing aspects of the Christian faith. Instead of offering hope, it usually just raises questions. The bottom line is: Heaven is the place where we are eternally joined with God.

The Music Video: Heaven
Los Lonely Boys are the three Garza brothers: Henry on guitar, Jojo on bass and Ringo on drums. This trio of brothers is from a tiny town in West Texas, and has been making music together since they were small children. They write, sing and play music drawn from diverse sources – Tex-Mex , country, blues, and rock pioneers like Ritchie Valens, Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino. In 2004, Los Lonely Boys captured the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 with Heaven.

Introducing the Music Video:
Many of you are familiar with the musical group called Los Lonely Boys, and some of you are even fans. One of their biggest songs was a hit called Heaven. Not only did it have a really cool groove and sound, it also had really interesting lyrics. Like many regular people, Los Lonely Boys raised questions about the place known as Heaven. Let’s take a listen.


Pass out the song’s lyrics:
Heaven

Save me from this prison
Lord help me get away
Cause only you can save me now
From this misery
I've been lost in my own place
And I'm gettin' weary
How far is heaven
And I know that I need to change
My ways of livin'
How far is heaven,
Lord can you tell me

I've been locked up way too long
In this crazy world,
How far is heaven
And I just keep on prayin' Lord
And just keep on livin',
How far is heaven
Yeah, Lord can you tell me,
How far is heaven
I just gotta know how far yeah,
How far is heaven
Yeah, Lord can you tell me

Tu que estas en alto cielo,
Echame tu bendiciòn
[translated from Spanish]
[You that are in at higher heaven
throw me down your blessing]

I know there's a better place
Than this place I'm livin',
How far is heaven
And I just got to show some faith
And just keep on givin',
How far is heaven
Yeah, Lord can you tell me,
How far is heaven
I just gotta know how far yeah,
How far is heaven,
Yeah, Lord can you tell me,
How far is heaven,
I just gotta know how far,
I just wanna know how far

Music Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvkzoqQ5Oak

Transition Statement:

It sounds like the writers of this song were facing some troubles; they talked about metaphorical “prisons” and wanting to escape. They saw Heaven as that escape. But like most people, Los Lonely Boys raise questions about Heaven that they couldn’t answer. We keep hearing over and over again, “How far is Heaven? Lord can you tell me? I just got to know!” The really interesting thing, though, is that God HAS already told us about Heaven. If we simply turn to His Word, we’ll have many of our questions answered. So, let’s do that now.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and the farthest city you’ve ever traveled to?

  2. ASK A FEW: Why do you think the band kept asking over and over again, “How far is Heaven”?

  3. ASK A FEW: In verse 1, the song says: “And I know that I need to change my ways of livin.’” Does how we live impact whether we make it to Heaven or not? Explain.

  4. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Do you believe there is an actual place called Heaven?

  5. ASK A FEW: What do you believe about Heaven? Why?

  6. ASK A FEW: Do you think most people understand Heaven or are confused by Heaven? Why?

  7. Read the following passage:

      Revelation 21:1 (NIV)

      Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." 5 He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." 6 He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." 9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man's measurement, which the angel was using. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass. 22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

  8. ASK A FEW: It appears that what most people call Heaven is actually an eternal city. After reading this, how would you describe Heaven in your own words?

  9. ASK A FEW: What is the significance of verse 3? (Leaders – This is key! This verse says that Heaven’s ultimate purpose is to put God and people together forever.)

  10. ASK A FEW: In this passage, the word “new” is used a lot. Why do you think that is?

  11. ASK A FEW: Why doesn’t this city need a temple or a sun?

  12. ASK A FEW: Even though this song “Heaven” is several years old, very recently, lots of people have been asking questions about the actual Heaven. They propose that Heaven is a state of mind or a lifestyle. Based on this passage, do you disagree or agree, and why? (Leaders – In NO place in the Bible is Heaven referred to as a state of mind. It’s actually an actual place! We don’t know the address, but it has walls, streets, rooms, and people. States-of-mind don’t have any of those things)

  13. ASK A FEW: What does verse 27 teach about who gets to enter into Heaven?

  14. ASK A FEW: Whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? How do you know?

  15. AROUND THE CIRCLE: How can you have YOUR name written in the Lamb’s Book of life?

  16. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Since only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life enter into Heaven, how can you make sure your name is written there?

Wrap Up:
You only need to pick up a copy of TIME Magazine dated as late as April 2012 to see how people are “Rethinking Heaven.” I don’t really know why they do this; no rethinking is necessary! Heaven is God’s idea; it’s His invention. He’s adequately described it in His Word and we either believe Him or we don’t.

As we’ve learned tonight, Heaven isn’t a lifestyle or a way we live or even a way we think. Heaven is an actual place. In fact, the Bible calls it a city. Scripture teaches that Heaven is a real place that can be seen and touched and inhabited by beings with material bodies. That’s really good news!

But Scripture also reveals Heaven as an exclusive place. The Bible says that only those whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter into this city.
(Leaders – Take the time to explain exactly what this means. Those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ alone, who have asked for His forgiveness, and who have committed to glorifying Him, are those whose names are written therein.)

The music video that we watched kept asking one question over and over: How far is Heaven. Let me answer that question for you right now: It’s a long way away. And you can never get there on your own. You must put your faith in Jesus Christ to enter into Heaven. Heaven isn’t reserved for those who are the smartest, the richest, the most famous, or even those who live the best lives. Nope. Heaven is reserved for those who want to spend eternity with Jesus and prove it by spending this life with Him.

So, do you want to go to Heaven? What is your plan for getting there? Will you do it God’s way and succeed, or will you attempt to reach Heaven on your own and fail?

If you want to talk more about this, hang around after we pray, and grab one of our adult leaders. They want nothing more than to talk with you about this important truth.


Close in prayer.

Written by Paschoal Trentini


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