The Kay Arthur 40 Minute Bible Studies series was one of my favorite discoveries as a leader of women’s small groups. Years ago when I started a small group for women, we wanted to study God’s Word together and do so with some depth. But we were busy. We had young kids, jobs, ministries and more. Many of us were already doing one or two other studies for Sunday School and other groups.
That’s when we discovered the 40-minute Bible Study series, which now includes this book on Heaven, Hell and Life After Death, as well as topics like worship, prayer, discipleship, contentment and more. The books are written to be done during the group time together, not with homework prepared ahead of time.
Some of the ladies still did the homework in advance, preferring to take time for thought. As the leader, I always prepared the lessons in advance, as well. Yet, others were able to come to group, open up the book, read the passages with us and participate without difficulty. The Scripture verses she references are printed on the side column of each page, saving us the time it takes to flip from book to book of the Bible.
I’ve never been a big fan of Kay Arthur’s style of having us circle this, put a red triangle around that, and a cross over every mention of “Jesus.” This is probably a technique that some people love and others could do without. When we found that those exercises didn’t do much for our group, we just adapted and spent more time on the questions themselves. The studies were in depth, truly discussion-oriented and great for encouraging participation and Spiritual growth. In other words, a hit! For those who like the inductive exercises with colored pencils and special ways of marking the Bible, you can choose to do more of this than we did.
This particular book, Heaven, Hell and Life After Death, hits on a popular topic in this time of books and movies about heaven and what happens after we die. In just 6 chapters, she takes you on a comprehensive overview of Scripture’s discussion of the afterlife in both the Old and New Testaments. Something about laying all the Scripture out there back to back answers so many questions, fills in so many blanks, and grounds us in the truth of God’s Word. This book could work for any small group, but could especially be helpful for those grieving the death of a loved one.
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