Category Archives: Eternity

Jesus Unlocked the Door (OBJ LESSON)


Time

30 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about trusting in Jesus as your Savior by using a Prisoner-of-War (POW) metaphor to describe our condition before salvation. The Bible teaches that before we became believers, we were spiritual POWs who were held captive by the devil, the god of this world (see 2 Timothy 2:26). Jesus came to free us. He can unlock the door, but we must walk through it. This lesson encourages children to let Him set them free.

Materials

  • An area in the room that represents a prison cell. It needs to have a door and a way to “lock” it. The lock doesn’t have to actually work, but it should be something visible so that the children can see it both before and after the prison door is unlocked.
  • Two pieces of fruit (apples are recommended).

Preparation

· Arrange for several adults or older children to get in the jail cell (when you give the cue).

· Tell them which of them you want to walk out of the jail cell (when you give the cue) and which you want to stay.

· Get an adult to play Jesus and an adult to play Satan, and tell them that they will follow your cues.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “When God originally created the earth and Adam and Eve, this is how He intended for us to live.” (Gesture to all the people in the room.) “…Free and happy in the garden He created for them.”
  • “He only gave Adam and Eve one rule – ‘Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’”
  • “It was a good rule, intended to protect us from the knowledge of the terrible things done by Satan and his armies, but Adam and Eve couldn’t resist breaking it.”
  • “As soon as they ate from the tree (Give apples or some other type of fruit to a girl and a boy in the room, and have them each take a bite.), they knew what evil was.”
  • “They were surprised to find that one of the first evils they came in contact with was their own sin in disobeying God, so they hid from the Lord.”
  • “The rest of the story you probably already know. God came walking in the cool of the day and found Adam and Eve hiding from Him.”
  • “When asked why they were hiding, each blamed someone else for the sin. God cursed Adam, Eve and the serpent (Satan) and banished them from the garden.”
  • “But what I want to show you today is what happened spiritually at that moment.”
  • “In the invisible, spiritual realm, Satan was rejoicing. He had scored a monumental victory during the moment he convinced Eve to eat from the tree and entice Adam to do the same.”
  • “When Adam and Eve sinned, they became Prisoners Of War (POW’s) in Satan’s battle against God.”
  • “They broke the rules, and they had to pay the penalty. Satan knew that God was so holy that He couldn’t have rule-breakers on His side.”
  • “So, Satan took his new POW’s (Prisoners of War) and locked up their souls in prison.” (Have the children you gave the fruit to get up and go into the prison cell. Have the person playing Satan dramatically lock the door behind them.)
  • “Because they were his prisoners, even children born to them would be born as POW’s.” (Ask for volunteers, and load up the jail cell with the adults you talked to before the lesson and a few children. Again, have Satan dramatically lock the door behind them.)
  • “The only hope the POW’s had of getting out of prison was by living a perfect, sinless life. Satan wasn’t worried, though. He knew it was impossible. Some prisoners tried, but they all failed.”
  • “But God had a different plan altogether. He knew that someone had to pay the penalty for the rule-breakers, but He also knew that it didn’t have to be the rule-breakers themselves. After all, they could spend all their lives in prison and still never pay the full penalty.”
  • “So, God began to show us through stories, images and prophecy in the Old Testament how a perfect, sinless Savior could pay the penalty for us.”
  • “Some of the people believed what God was telling them, and they were saved. They had to wait for the Savior to come, but they knew that Satan’s prison could no longer hold them.”
  • “When the time was right, God sent the Savior, and His name is Jesus.”
  • “He lived 33 years as a man and never sinned. Then, He was killed on a cross.” (As you are talking, have the adult playing Jesus stand, raise his arms as if being crucified and then close his eyes and bow his head as if dying.)
  • When He died, He paid the entire penalty for every sin that had ever been committed from the time of Adam and Eve.”
  • “He also paid the penalty for every sin that would ever happen in the future – sins that I’ve done and sins that you’ve done. Sins that we haven’t even thought of but that we will do some day.”
  • “God knows everything, and He knows all the sins that we will ever commit.”
  • “Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. Through His death, He had broken the padlock off the prison door forever.” (As you are talking, have the adult playing Jesus forcibly break the padlock off the door and swing the door wide. He should then encourage all the POW’s to come out and “Follow Me.” Some should follow Him; others should stay. Allow all the children that want to leave to come out, but keep some of the adults in prison.)
  • “Jesus bought our freedom. He paid the price to rescue us from Satan. Some believed in Him and followed Him out of prison to eternal life, but others chose not to believe.” (Have the adult playing Satan come and close the door. However, this time, he can’t lock it.)
  • “Satan has tricked those people into thinking that they still have to stay in prison. Some of the people actually like prison better than freedom, because it’s the only thing they have ever known. Whatever the reason, they don’t follow Jesus. They act as if the padlock is still on the door to the prison.”
  • “Jesus paid the penalty for us, but He won’t drag us out of prison. He won’t make us walk through the door. He wants us to choose to love Him and follow Him.”
  • “So, He doesn’t take the freed prisoners to heaven right away. He leaves them here on earth and instructs them to keep going back to the prison to convince the prisoners that the door is unlocked.” (Have all the freed prisoners go back to the jail cell and try through various methods to convince the prisoners to come free – some can reach through the jail bars, some can enter the cell and try to lead individuals out, some can demonstrate that the door is unlocked, some can simply kneel and pray outside the jail cell. A few of those still inside should come out, causing the celebration of the freed prisoners and Jesus.)
  • “Some still refuse to leave, but we keep praying for them. As long as they are alive, we who have been freed will continue to do everything we can to help them get free.”
  • “So the question you should be asking yourself is this: ‘Am I inside or outside the prison?’”
  • “If you are outside the prison, look around in your life and find someone God has put you near that is still inside. Pray for them and do everything you can to help them get out.”
  • “If you think you might still be inside the prison, it’s because you haven’t asked Jesus to be your Lord and agreed to follow Him.”
  • “That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are many people around you that have asked Jesus to be their Lord and agreed to follow Him. Chances are, God has put them in your life so that they could come back to get you out of prison.”
  • “They want to help you get out. All you have to do is ask someone who is already a Christian to help you to know Jesus.”
  • “If you’re not sure if you are in or out of prison, talk to someone who you know for sure is outside with Jesus. They can help you figure it out.”
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Filed under Belief, Christianity, Eternity, Evangelism, faith, Heaven, Hell, Obedience, Object Lesson, salvation, Spiritual Warfare

For God So Loved


Time
10 minutes

Description
This object lesson helps children (and adults) understand that Jesus died on the cross for each of us. It is intended to help them make a personal connection to John 3:16.

Materials
Slides or a whiteboard/flipchart made up with the three sets of text described below.

Preparation
Create the following three slides or write these words on a whiteboard or flipchart.

1. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
2. For God so loved (person’s name) that He gave His one and only Son, that if (person’s name) believes in Him, (person’s name) shall not perish but have eternal life.
3. For God so loved me that He gave His one and only Son, that if I believe in Him, I shall not perish but have eternal life.

Use a different color for the underlined words so that they stand out. Organize these three slides/pages so that you can reveal them one at a time.

Procedure
• Before you reveal any of the slides, ask the class if anyone can recite John 3:16. (Allow several to recite the verse.)
• Show the first slide, and have the class recite it together.
• Say, “That may be the most well-known verse in the world, and it’s so important. It tells us that God loved us enough to send His Son to die a terrible death on a cross, and it tells us that if we believe in Him, we can be with Him in heaven forever.”
• Say, “I would like us to recite this verse again, but this time, I want us to recite it as a blessing to each other.” (Show second slide.)
• Divide group into pairs. If you have an odd number of participants, you can stand in to make the last pair.
• Say, “This time when you say the verse, I want you to substitute the name of your partner for some of the words.”
• Demonstrate to the group using a name from the group or a made-up name.
• Have the group recite the verse as a blessing for each of their partners.
• Then, have the other person in each pair recite the verse as a blessing for his or her partner.
• Say, “That was great! Now I think we are starting to see that Jesus died for each one of us. Even if your partner was the only one in the world, Jesus would have died for him or her.”
• Say, “Now I want to recite the verse again, and this time, you are going to substitute yourself for some of the words.”
• Show the third slide and demonstrate how to recite the verse.
• Have each person recite the verse out loud simultaneously, substituting “I” and “me” in the appropriate places.
• Say, “How does that make you feel?”
• Have the group recite the verse again from the third slide.
• Say, “Do you see? Jesus died for you! He loved you so much that He was willing to take your punishment for sin. Jesus died for everyone, and He died for anyone….anyone who would accept the gift of His death on the cross. I hope you will accept His gift.”

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The Dot and the Line


Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about the importance of living for eternity rather than just for today.

Materials

None

Preparation

Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to do an activity to show the difference between our life on earth and our life in heaven.” (Have kids line up, single-file in a spiral. Put the last kid at door to the room. The kid in the center (beginning of the line) is “The Dot,” and the rest of the kids are “The Line.”)
  • “This person is the ‘The Dot.’ S/He represents our lifetime here on earth.”
  • “Everyone else is ‘The Line.’ You represent our life in heaven, in etermity.”
  • “Most of us think life on earth is more like The Line, but God says it isn’t.”
  • “Life on earth is short – maybe 80-90 years – maybe less.”
  • “Then it ends, and The Dot is over, and The Line starts.”
  • “The Line goes and goes and goes.”
  • “You see (child’s name) is at the door – that’s to show that the line never stops.”
  • “Imagine a line of kids out that door that goes on forever! That’s eternity!”
  • “Now, this doesn’t mean that The Dot isn’t important – it’s hugely important!”
  • “The Dot is a test and a tool.”
  • “Say it with me, ‘a test and a tool.’”
  • “What do I mean by that?”
  • “It’s a test, because your life will be full of tests, and these tests reveal the quality of your heart. Will you cheat on the test like your friend? Will you tell untrue stories about other kids? Will you lie to your mom and dad about where your friends are going? Will you take more than your fair share?”
  • “Test, test, test, test, test”
  • “Each time, your decision reveals the quality of your heart.”
  • “If you fail a test, God will give it to you again.”
  • “If you continue to fail it, God will let you follow the evil desires of your heart.”
  • “And trust me, that leads nowhere good.”
  • “If you follow the evil desires of your heart for too long, all you get is unhappiness and pain.”
  • “But if you pass the test, God will be pleased. He will keep testing you, but it might be in other areas for a while.”
  • “So, that’s why The Dot is a test. Why is The Dot a tool?”
  • “Because God uses our lives on earth to shape us to be more like him. He cuts away the bad stuff until we look more like him.”
  • “How silly would it be for us to focus all our attention on The Dot?”
  • “Compared to The Line, it’s nothing right?”
  • “So anything we do in The Dot should be focused on improving The Line.”
  • “You could have a really fancy Dot (dress up the kid who is “The Dot” with some fake jewelry or clothes) with lots of riches and fame and toys, but if the way you got those things was through dishonesty or greed or jealousy, you’re going to have a really crummy Line.” (Have kids in The Line fall to floor in domino pattern).
  • “But if you use your Dot to honor God (give child salt and light or a cross or picture of Jesus), your Line will ROCK!” (Have kids in The Line jump up!)
  • “So, do you want to live for The Dot (have kids in The Line crumple) or for The Line?” (Have kids in The Line jump up!)
  • “Me, too!”

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, God's Will, Heaven, Hell, Object Lesson

Comp-HEART-ments


Time

20 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about our hearts – how we let Jesus in and how he wants access to every room in them.

Materials

  • Slide show (“Comp-HEART-ments” – see Downloads page)
  • Computer and LCD projector
  • Screen

Preparation

Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Your spiritual heart is different from your physical heart.  Your physical heart pumps blood throughout your body and keeps you alive.  It’s very important.  But believe it or not, it’s not quite as important as your spiritual heart.” (Show slide 1.)

  • “You can’t actually find your spiritual heart in your body.  It’s part of your mind, but no one is really sure what part.  Most likely, it’s a combination of parts that all work together.  In your spiritual heart, you store the things that are most important to you.  These can be people, places and things, and each one gets its own special room.” (Show slide 2.)

  • “Everyone has a door on the outside of their heart. Sometimes people decide what important things they let into their hearts through this door, but sometimes things force their way in. Anything that is very emotional for us has a way to get past the door to our heart and take over a room on the inside.”
  • “More than anything, Jesus wants to come into our hearts, but He will never force his way in. He stands outside and knocks on our door, and even though He is powerful enough to come in without our permission, He always waits to be invited. In the book of Revelation, Jesus says:”

‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in..’. (Revelation 3:20)

  • “If we open the door to Him, He comes into the first rooms in our heart, which are the places God reserved for Eternity when He created us.” (Show slide 3.)

  • “Every human being was created with these rooms in his or her heart, because God didn’t want us to be satisfied living without Him. Unfortunately, many people don’t ever answer the door when Jesus knocks. Instead, they try to fill these rooms with other things (like money, relationships and things) so that they won’t feel so empty.”
  • “But if we do allow Jesus to come into these rooms, the first thing He does is turn on the lights. This gives us hope and excitement for the things Jesus is ready and willing to do in our lives. Often, this leads us to invite Jesus into other rooms, like the one that determines who (or what) we worship.” (Show slide 4.)

  • “Once Jesus enters that room, He starts to show us what we’ve been worshipping instead of Him. He starts to “rearrange the furniture” in our rooms. In other words, He evaluates what’s in there and either asks us to get rid of it (if it’s junk) or to put it in the right place (if it’s worth keeping but getting more attention than it deserves).”
  • “When those rooms are in pretty good shape, Jesus will knock on doors to other rooms. He never barges in. We have to open the door for Him.”
  • “Sometimes opening the doors is very scary for us. We worry about what Jesus will think of us when He sees what we’ve put in the rooms, and we worry that He will make us get rid of some of the things we really, really like. As a result of our fears, we don’t always let Jesus into all our rooms.”
  • “We may only let Him into a few rooms at a time, and He might have to do a lot of knocking to get into them. While He stands on the other side of the door, we sometimes have a conversation with Him that goes something like this:”

JESUS: “I would like to meet your friends. Will you let me into that room?”

US: “Oh, uh, my friends? Well, some of them aren’t the kind of people you would like very much.”

JESUS: “Really? Why would you think that?”

US: “Well, they use bad language and do things they shouldn’t do sometimes.”

JESUS: “So did you before you let Me into your heart.”

US: “Hmmm… well, that makes sense. Okay, I’ll try to find a good time to introduce You.” (Show slide 5.)

JESUS: “Thanks for introducing me to them. I’ve been knocking on the doors to their hearts for years, but I think they are just now starting to hear Me.”

US: “Yeah, that wasn’t so tough. I’m going to start praying for them every day.”

JESUS: “Say, what about the friends in that other room?”

US: “Oh, I can’t introduce You to them. They hate it when anyone talks about You. They make fun of Christians, and they definitely will make fun of me if they find out I’m one.”

JESUS: “Still, I would really like to meet them, and I wish you weren’t ashamed of Me around them. If they don’t like you because of Me, maybe you should find some other friends. Why don’t you introduce Me, and we’ll see how it turns out?”

US: “Okay, but that scares me to death. Please give me courage.” (Show slide 6.)

US: “That wasn’t easy, but I can see now how those friends were hurting my spiritual growth. I’m glad I let You in that room.”

JESUS: “Keep praying for them. I’ve got plans for their lives, too. You’ve taken a really big step by opening that room to Me. Now let’s talk about all these other places you could open up.”

  • “And the conversation continues, Jesus knocking, us choosing whether or not to respond to His knock. Sometimes we have a major spiritual breakthrough and start throwing many doors open to Jesus. We let Him into our family relationships, our crushes and dating relationships, how we spend our free time, how we spend our money, the things we desire for ourselves and others…” (Show slide 7.)

  • “Jesus sanctifies each room (that’s a big word that means setting something aside for God). He claims each room for His purposes and begins to show us His will for those things that are so important to us. Sometimes He completely empties a room and replaces what was in it with something better, like when He introduces us to new people and helps us care for them or like when He shows us the ministry where He wants us to use our time, talents and treasure.” (Show slide 8.)

  • “Room-by-room, Jesus brings light to our heart. He will go anywhere we invite Him, but He knows that some rooms will take more time for us to open. The rooms that hold our Fears, Disappointments, Hates and Hurts are particularly difficult. We didn’t invite these things; they forced their way in and claimed rooms in the deepest, darkest corners of our heart. Over the years, they have become strongholds for Satan. He uses them as his bases of operation as he leads us into sin and prevents us from becoming all that God wants us to be.”

  • “It takes incredible courage to open the doors of these rooms to Jesus. Each one is filled with so much fear and pain that the doors can only open a fraction at first. If our courage fails us, we slam them shut again, but if we release these rooms to Jesus, He enters boldly, throws the light switch and evicts the Enemy!”

  • “In the light, Jesus shows us the lies that Satan has been telling us about these rooms while we were too afraid to open them and inspect them carefully. Under His loving care, we begin to see how we can turn these Fears, Disappointments, Hates and Hurts into New Hope, New Acceptance, New Love and New Strength.” (Show slide 9.)

  • “Jesus is patient, but He isn’t satisfied with only part of our heart.  He’ll keep knocking until we open every door to every room.  He’s persistent with a purpose.  Jesus wants us to know that those things we don’t release to Him end up owning us.  They lead to unhappiness and failure, and they give Satan a hold on our hearts.  It’s only the heart completely open to God that can fully shine His light.”

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, heart, Religion, Spiritual Growth

Heaven and Hell Airplane Trick


Time

10 minutes

Description

This object lesson is an engaging way to talk about heaven and hell. It uses unsophisticated language and imagery to communicate some simple points. However, you may want to modify the language some so that you don’t leave kids thinking that the main point is that Christians are “good” and non-Christians are “bad.”

Materials

A blank sheet of paper.

Double-sided tape

Preparation

Fold the paper airplane as shown.

Procedure

(Tell the story as you pretend to fly the plane.)

“I heard the story one day about an airplane full of people. Some were good people who loved the Lord, and some were bad people who knew about the Lord but wanted to live their lives their own ways.

“The plane flew into a terrible storm, and even though the pilots did everything they could, the plane crashed!” (Pretend to crash plane.)

“The force of the crash folded the plane in half and then ripped it into two pieces.” (Fold wings down so that the plane looks like Figure F above. Then fold it in half so that it still looks like Figure F but only half as wide. This last fold was just to make a crease. Undo the last fold and rip the plane down the crease. Scatter the pieces. Try to drop the largest, longest piece behind something so that it is concealed.)

“Everyone on board died, and their souls went to stand before God, who would judge them for the lives they lived on earth.

“All the people, especially the bad people, were anxious to find out who God would let into heaven. They were surprised when God said,

‘I know you are all interested in knowing who will join Me in heaven. This is not the typical way I do things, but here’s what I would like for you do to. Everyone return to the earth and bring back a piece of the plane in which you crashed. I will use the pieces to show you who gets to come in.’

“Everyone went back to the earth as fast as they could. They all started searching for the parts of the plane, and while they did, an interesting thing happened.” (Begin picking up pieces – all except for the largest, longest one that you concealed.)

“The bad people began pushing and shoving everyone else just so that they could get to the pieces first. Two actually yanked pieces out of the good peoples’ hands. Several grabbed more than one piece, so that there weren’t enough pieces to go around. As soon as all the pieces had been gathered, all the bad people ran back to God to show Him what they had found.

“The good people were left behind without even one piece among them. Some began to cry. It didn’t seem fair for God to let all the bad people get all the pieces. Why didn’t He do something to stop them?

“Just then, one of the good people looked up and saw something shiny nearby, hidden so that they could hardly see it. He went over, picked it up and realized that it was a piece of the plane.” (Pick up hidden piece.)

“He showed it to everyone, and they all agreed that they should share it, since it was the last piece. They weren’t sure how God would react to them sharing the piece. They also didn’t know if it would be enough for one of them or two of them or even more (it was a pretty big piece). But they decided God would do what was best, and they quickly carried the piece back to Him.

“When they arrived, God was talking to the bad people.” (Unfold the pieces slowly and arrange them to form the word “Hell” as you tell this part. Use the double-sided tape to stick them to a wall or board where all the kids can see them. Save the last letter until your last sentence.)

‘You were wrong to act as you did! Pushing and shoving! Stealing from others! Taking more than your share! But even this I could forgive if you had ever acknowledged My Son as Lord and Savior. You had the chance, but you preferred to deny that He is Lord. I won’t force you to accept what He did, so I have prepared a place for you where you will not have to serve Him.’ (Reveal the last letter – “L.”)

“All the bad people wept when they realized that it was too late to accept Jesus as their Savior.

“The good people, holding their single piece of the plane, waited nervously for God’s judgment. He turned to them and said,

‘Why are you so nervous, my children? Are you worried that your one piece will not be enough to satisfy Me? Actually, you brought the only thing that will.’ (Open up last piece to reveal the cross.)

‘And be assured, my children, it’s more than enough!’

“In God’s eyes, the only thing that makes us ‘good’ is when we believe that Jesus is Lord and that He died on the cross for our sins. When we ask Him to be our savior, that’s the only thing we have to do to go to heaven.”

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Filed under Eternity, God's Will, Heaven, Hell, Object Lesson