The Lord is There

2015 TGC National Conference

In this one-hour session from the 2015 Gospel Coalition National Conference, Don Carson offers a prophetic-apocalyptic interpretation of Ezekiel 40–48. He unpacks the vivid imagery of these 9 chapters, pointing to the hope of New Creation. Don is a respected New Testament scholar and professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. He is co-founder and president of The Gospel Coalition and author of numerous books including, The God Who is There and The Intolerance of Tolerance

Don drew two implications about pure worship from Ezekiel 40–48:
  1. God is not relativized—He s not an avocation or hobby.
  2. In a broken world, pure worship is countercultural. 

How do you see God being relativized (whether intentionally or not) in worship today?
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When are you tempted to treat worship of God as a mere hobby? What sin lies at the root of such an inclination?
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In what ways is Christian worship countercultural? List some specific examples.
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"Thus says the Lord God: Enough, O princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and execute justice and righteousness. Cease you evictions of my people, declares the Lord God." (Ezekiel 45:9, ESV) 

Where else in Scripture are moral implications/justice issues tied to worship?
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Why do you think Scripture often ties pure worship with calls for extending justice to the poor and powerless?
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Ezekiel 48 ends with the revelation of the great city's name: The Lord Is There. 

When you look forward toward heaven, what are you excited about? Why?
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It's easy to get lost in the prophetic-apocalyptic language of Ezekiel 40–48. However, the incredible reality behind the vivid imagery is that there will be a day where we dwell with God. The glory of heaven is not simply that we'll be reunited with loved ones who have passed before us, or that we'll be able to ask those theological questions that have always stumped us. The glory of heaven is the glory of God. So we long for that day when we dwell in the city named, "The Lord Is There."

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