Category Archives: salvation

Gumball Magnets



Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about how appearances can be deceiving when it comes to salvation. Just because we go to church and hang out with Christians doesn’t mean we are necessarily going to be saved, and it’s what is inside us that makes the difference.

Materials

· Bag of Magnetic Marbles from www.stevespanglerscience.com (about $4)

· Box of multi-colored gumballs

· Magnet (just about any kind will do)

· Clear container in which to mix gumballs and magnets

· Display table

Preparation

· Pour both the Magnetic Marbles and the gumballs into the clear container and mix them thoroughly. (If you look closely, it’s possible to see differences in them, but they are not noticeable from a distance.)

· Position the container on the display table where it can be seen by everyone.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

· “I have here a bucket of gumballs.”

· “What you may not be able to tell is that not all of them are regular gumballs.”

· “In fact, some of them are very, very special. They’re magnetic!”

· “I wonder how I could figure out which ones were magnetic….” (Pause to allow the kids to make recommendations.)

· “Oh, yeah! I could put a magnet down inside and see what it pulled out! Perfect!”

· “I’m going to need a volunteer, though.” (Select volunteer from the audience.)

· “Okay, I just happen to have this magnet with me.”

· “Take this, and put it down in the gumballs to see which ones it attracts.” (Allow volunteer to search through gumballs with the magnet. The magnetic marbles should come out easily.)

· “Isn’t that interesting? The magnetic gumballs look a lot like the normal gumballs.”

· “But we know they can’t be the same because they act differently from the others.”

· “They’ve got something different on the inside that the real gumballs don’t have – a magnet. And that magnet is attracted to this magnet.” (Thank volunteer and let him/her return to his/her seats. Put magnetic gumballs back into the container, and mix them in.)

· “You know what else is interesting? We’re a lot like those gumballs.”

· “If you are a Christian, you have something inside of you that is attracted to God, and that something is also God.”

· “Christians have Jesus in their hearts, and He changes their heart so that it is attracted to God.”

· “Once you have Jesus in your heart, you want to get closer and closer to God.”

· “But just looking at all of you, I can’t tell which of you are Christians and which of you are not.”

· “You come to church, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “You own a Bible, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “You look like pretty nice people, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “There is only one thing that makes you a Christian. Can anyone tell me what that is?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Right. You have to believe and accept that Jesus died for your sins. That makes Him your Savior.”

· “So, it’s possible for us to look the same on the outside but be very different inside – just like these gumballs.”

· “But God is like this magnet. He knows who trusts in Him and who doesn’t, and there’s coming a day when He will call all His people to join Him in heaven.” (Put magnet back into gumballs and pull out the magnetic marbles.)

· “Even though we may look the same, God knows which of us are His children and which aren’t, because He can see our hearts.” (Have someone read 1 Samuel 16:7.)

· “Only those who believe in Jesus will be called, so make sure you tell Him you want to be one of His gumballs!”

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Filed under Authenticity, Christianity, Eternity, Hands-on, heart, Object Lesson, Rapture, Resurrection, salvation

Mr. Bobby’s Sacrifice


Time

20-25 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross and helps children to recognize that He did it for all of us – even those of us who choose not to accept His gift. (It’s called “Mr. Bobby’s Sacrifice in honor of the big man with a bigger heart who always volunteers for this strenuous activity.)

This activity works best with a larger group of kids. However, if you have a small group, try having each child make several trips up to put their rocks in the bucket. Only on the last trip can they get the incentive.

Materials

  • Two buckets with strong handles
  • A place where children can pick up at least two rocks each
  • Some type of incentive for the children (I’ve used individually wrapped packages of fruit snacks and candy before.) If you can get something that most of the kids will like but that a few will not, you will have more success with the activity. (In this case, be sure to have another incentive hidden that these children can choose at the end of the activity.)
  • Two signs that say, “SIN.”
  • Tape

Preparation

· Find a strong volunteer, and explain the object lesson to him.

· Put your incentives in a place where they will be easily seen by the children and where they have easy access to them.

· Put tape of your “SIN” signs, and lay them close to the teaching area

· Ask the children to each grab at least two rocks for a special activity in class. They can grab more than two rocks if they want, but they must have at least two. Rocks can be the size of a small egg or larger.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Hey, everyone! Did each of you grab at least two rocks before you came in here?” (Have the children hold them up so that you can see them.)

· “Fantastic! Hey, I’ve got great news! Mr. (supply the name of your volunteer) wants to buy everyone some (supply the name of your incentive)!”

· “How many of you want some (incentive)?”

· “Okay, Mr. (volunteer) is going to earn those for you by showing us how strong he is.”

· “Everyone who wants (incentive) has to line up with your rocks right here.”

· “When I tell you to, you will trade your rocks for the (incentive) by putting at least one in each of Mr. (volunteer’s) buckets.”

· “He will earn the incentive for you by carrying your rocks.”

· “Isn’t Mr. (volunteer) great!” (Encourage enthusiastic responses.)

· (Have Mr. (volunteer) stand at the front of the room with a bucket in each hand. As well as he is able, he should stretch his arms wide like Jesus on the cross. It’s important for the kids to be able to tell that this is challenging and painful to the volunteer. Have the children line up with their rocks.)

· (Ask the first child.) “Do you want a (incentive)? Okay, then divide all your rocks between the two buckets.”

· (After the child puts his/her rocks into the two buckets, allow him/her to get the incentive and then return to his/her seat. Keep working your way through the children, occasionally pointing out your volunteer’s straining or facial expressions.)

· (If a child says, “no” to the incentive, he or she should lay his or her rocks down on the floor and return to his/her seat. Your volunteer should then set down the buckets, pick up the rocks and divide them between the two buckets. Then, he should resume his former position. This typically doesn’t happen until later in the object lesson, and it usually requires some prodding to get the first child to lay down his/her rocks.)

· “Did you notice that he still picked up the rocks? You see, Mr. (volunteer) already agreed to pay for everyone. Even if you don’t want your (incentive), he will still pay for it for you.”

· (Continue having children put their rocks in and take their incentives. If you get three-fourths of the way through the children without one of them laying down his or her rocks, you will need to do some prodding using the following script.)

o “Wow! Mr. (volunteer) is really sweating! It looks like a real struggle holding up those buckets?”

o “How do you feel about that?”

o “Mr. (volunteer), how are you feeling?” (Have him be honest about the pain and struggle.)

o “If it’s that difficult, why are you doing it?” (Have him share about his love for the children.)

o (Back to the children) “Is it okay with you that he is having to work so hard for you to you’re your (incentive)?”

o “Do you think it is fair that he is having to go through so much pain?”

o “Are you sure, you want to put your rocks into his buckets”

· (After all have made (or not made) the trade, allow your volunteer to put the buckets down.)

· “Kids we did this activity to give you a picture of how much Jesus loves you. Just like Mr. (volunteer) loves you enough to pay for your (incentive), Jesus loves you enough to pay for you to join Him in heaven.”

· “The rocks you brought today represent your sin, the bad things you’ve done.” (Label both buckets with the “Sin” signs.)

· “You may have noticed that some of you brought small “sins,” and some of you brought big “sins.” Some of you brought just two “sins,” and some of you brought several handfuls!”

· “When we go before God, some of us will just have a few sins compared to the others. And our sins might not seem that bad compared to theirs, but to God, sin is sin – no matter how small and no matter how few.”

· “The Bible says that the payment, the punishment for sin is death. It’s what we owe to pay for our sins.” (Romans 6:23)

· “Unfortunately, none of us can pay for our sins. We owe too much.”

· “The only One who could pay was someone who didn’t owe anything of his own.”

· “And the only Person who has ever lived and not sinned is Jesus. He’s the only One who could pay what we owed for our sin.”

· “Just like Mr. (volunteer) spread his arms to pay for your (incentive), Jesus spread His arms on the cross to pay for your sins and mine.”

· “But do you remember that not everyone wanted their (incentive), but Mr. (volunteer) paid for them anyway?”

· “You see, Jesus paid for everyone’s sins – even those of us who don’t want to believe in Him.”

· “And isn’t that a shame? To leave something that is already paid for on the table?”

· “Shouldn’t we enjoy it if Jesus went to so much trouble to get it for us?”

· “Jesus paid for it! He didn’t just die for a few. He died for ALL of us!”

· “But Jesus loves us so much that He won’t force us to take what He bought for us. He still lets us choose.”

· “You have to want it and accept it, but you don’t have to do anything to earn it.”

· “If you want what Jesus has bought for you on the cross… if you want life with Him forever in heaven, all you have to do is tell him in your prayers.”

· “Tell Him that you want what He bought. Tell Him you want to follow Him and to go to heaven.”

· “And then, tell all of us so that we can celebrate with you!”

· “I know that some of you who didn’t take your (incentive) did it out of your love for Mr. (volunteer).”

· “If you are one of those people, Mr. (volunteer) wants to see you after we finish.” (Have your volunteer tell these children how much he appreciates the sacrifice they made for him and that they really helped with the lesson. Then, he can give them the choice of taking the incentive – no rocks this time.)

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Filed under Agape Love, Christianity, Eternity, Heaven, Hell, Love, Object Lesson, salvation

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

The Ark



Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about the different arks of the Bible.

Materials

· Wildlife Ark – Mural-in-a-Book from www.muralmosaic.com

· Plywood or foam board – 4’ x 6’

· Straight edge or square – 6’ or longer

· Straight edge – small (like a ruler)

· Sharpie or permanent marker

· Ruler

· Glue sticks (enough for each child to participate)

· Utility knife for cutting paper

· Optionally – a flip chart or whiteboard and markers

Preparation

· Order Wildlife Ark – Mural-in-a-Book from http://www.muralmosaic.com

There are instructions in the book that Mural Mosaics will send you, but here is a brief summary:

o Mark off the board in 4” x 4” squares. There should be a total of 216 squares.

o Number the squares left to right, e.g., Row 1 should be 1-18, Row 2 should be 19-36….Row 12 should be 199-216.

o Lay the board flat where the children will be able to get to it.

o Use the small straight edge and the utility knife to cut out the 216 squares from the book you received from Mural Mosaics.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

· Order Wildlife Ark – Mural-in-a-Book from www.muralmosaic.com

For several weeks, have the children paste random squares onto the board. (They are each numbered on the backside of the miniature painting.)

· Try to spread out the squares so that the children can have the fun of trying to guess what they are making.

· Once they have completed the mural, use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “There are several different arks mentioned in the Bible.”
  • “An ark is a container. It holds something important.”
  • “Can anyone tell me about one of the arks that you know of?” (Listen for Noah’s ark, Moses’ arc, the Ark of the Covenant, and maybe Mary, the mother of Jesus. Fill in the ones that aren’t mentioned.)
  • “You may not have known about all these. Let me share a little about each one.”
  • “The first ark in the Bible is the most famous – Noah’s ark.”
  • “Noah built it in obedience to God.”
  • “It was huge! 75 feet wide, 45 feet tall, 450 feet long with three levels! It was big enough to house every species of animal living on the planet at that time – and not just one of each, but seven of each clean and two of each unclean animals (they brought more of the clean ones, because they were allowed to eat those and used them for sacrifices to God).”
  • “The second ark that we see is the ark of Moses. It was much smaller in comparison. Only big enough for a baby, but it was a very important baby.”
  • “These two arks had some similarities and some differences.” (You may want to draw this chart on a flipchart or whiteboard.)

Wood

Covering

(inside & out)

Carried

Noah’s Ark

Gopherwood

Pitch

Noah and Family

Animals

Moses’ Ark

Bulrushes

Asphalt and pitch

Moses

  • “Both arks were made from wood – one from gopherwood (or cyprus) and the other from woody reeds. Both were covered inside and out with pitch to make them waterproof. The first carried an entire family and all the species of animals; the second carried just one person.”
  • “The third ark was actually built by Moses. It was the Ark of the Covenant. It was a box that the Israelites carried into battle and wherever they went. Inside the box were three important items – the Ten Commandment tablets, a pot of manna and Aaron’s rod. These things symbolized God’s Law, God’s provision, and God’s anointing for the priesthood. The High Priest would sprinkle animal’s blood on top of the box to cover up God’s Law, because if God compared His Law to what the Israelites were doing, He might destroy them. This ark didn’t float, but it didn’t need to. When the priests carried it into the Jordan, the river stopped flowing, and they walked across on dry land.”
  • “So, up to this point, we have two boats and a box. Let’s compare all three.” (You can add the flipchart or whiteboard.)

Wood

Covering

(inside & out)

Carried

Noah’s Ark

Gopherwood

Pitch

Noah and Family

Animals

Moses’ Ark

Bulrushes

Asphalt and pitch

Moses

Ark of the Covenant

Shittim (Acacia)

Gold

The Law

Pot of Manna

Aaron’s Rod

  • “The Ark of the Covenant had some differences from the other two arks, but there are comparisons we can make. All three were made of different types of wood, but the Ark of the Covenant was made of Shittim wood, a wood that was called incorruptible because of how hard it was. All three were covered inside and out, but the Ark of the Covenant was covered with gold. In these respects, it was like a more-perfect ark than the other two.”
  • “While the first two carried people, the last one carried things. But the things they carried were all things related to salvation from judgment. Noah’s family was saved from the worldwide flood. Moses was saved from Pharoah’s command to kill all the baby boys. But these people were not only saved from something. They were saved for something. Noah’s family was saved to preserve the human race. Moses was saved to save the Israelites.”
  • “The Ark of the Covenant also carried something that related to salvation. If anyone had been able to live a life completely according to the Law, they could go to heaven. But the problem was that no one could live a life without at least one sin. So God provided another way. Every year, the High Priest would sprinkle the blood of an innocent animal on the top of the Ark to cover up the Law inside so that God wouldn’t have to judge the Israelites for their sins.”
  • “The Ark of the Covenant was a more-perfect ark than the other two, but even it pointed to something greater. That brings us to the next ark.”
  • “Mary, the mother of Jesus, isn’t called an ark in the Bible, but she was one. She carried the Person who would bring salvation from judgment for all the world when she carried Jesus in her womb.”
  • “She stopped being the ark when she gave birth to Jesus. Jesus is the salvation that all the other arks pointed to. He is the ultimate hope of mankind.
  • “When Jesus went back to heaven, He left those in the Church to become the final ark. That means that the final ark is you.”
  • “If Jesus is in your heart, you are today’s ark. You contain the salvation of the world and the hope of mankind. And your responsibility is to share that salvation with as many people as you can.”

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Filed under Christianity, Hands-on, Hope, Obedience, Object Lesson, salvation