Tag Archives: death

Lazarus (DEVOTION)


As a group, read the following Scriptures and answer the questions below.

John 11:1-44 (entire chapter)

1.    Why do you think Jesus waited before going to Mary and Martha?

2.    Have you ever had a time in your life when you desperately prayed for God’s help but God chose not to give you what you asked for?

3.    What do you think God’s purposes are in these situations?

Now, think back through the story, and put yourself in the role of Lazarus.  Instead of focusing on Lazarus’ physical sickness and death, though, now focus on your spiritual sickness and death before you became a Christian.

4.    How is the story about Lazarus’ resurrection like your own story of spiritual rebirth?

5.    What insights does this give you about the story?

 

Facilitator Notes for Large Group Debrief

o  Like Lazarus, we were dead, but our sickness which led to death was spiritual rather than physical.

o  Jesus waited until we were aware of our deadness before He brought us into life everlasting.

o  Releasing Lazarus from the grave was a visual representation of what Jesus was about to do for all of us.

o  When Jesus rolled away the stone from His own grave in the garden, He rolled away the stone for all of humanity.  Death could no longer hold us!

o  The stone that blocked our way to new life has been rolled away.

o  Jesus calls our name and invites us to come out to enjoy new life with Him.

o  Unfortunately, many of us chose to stay in our tombs rather than respond to Jesus’ call for us to come out.

o  As long as we stayed in our graves, we were still dead in our sin.

o  But for those of us who responded when Jesus called our names, we have new life!

o  But that’s not the entire story of how we got free, because even though we had been freed from the power of death, we, like Lazarus, were still bound in our grave clothes.

o  Satan had wrapped us up pretty tightly.

o  Many of us emerged from the grave, but we weren’t truly free yet.  The sins and scars of our past still held us.  We wanted to be free to enjoy the life that Jesus promised, but we didn’t know how to separate ourselves from those grave clothes.

o  Some of us are still bound today.  We still don’t know how to get free of our past.  What we did or what was done to us prevents us from experiencing the full joy of our new freedom.

o  Like the burial custom practiced in Lazarus’ time, Satan tied our hands and our feet, wrapped us in grave clothes and veiled our faces.

o  He tied our hands, because it’s with our hands that we do God’s WORK.

o  He tied our feet, because it’s with our feet that we WALK with the Lord.

o  He veiled our faces, because it’s with our faces that we bear WITNESS to God’s glory.*

o  Many of us are alive in Christ but still tied up in sin, guilt, shame, pain, or ignorance that keeps us from our WORK, our WALK and our WITNESS with and for God.

o  It sometimes takes a long time to recognize our freedom, and we need the help of the Church to get free.  We need our brothers and sisters in Christ to do for us what those who witnessed Lazarus raised from the dead did for Lazarus.  We need our brothers and sisters to “Take off (our) grave clothes and let (us) go!”

o  We can’t get free ourselves.  This is part of the role of the Church.

o  So, as we see other brothers and sisters emerge from the grave, we need to step forward and help them in whatever way God gives us.  We need to get them free from their grave clothes.

o  And if you are still bound and don’t know how to get free, don’t try to do it alone.  Turn to your brothers and sisters in Christ and to Christian professionals who can help you to cut those bounds and walk free in Christ.

 

* There are at least three important veils in Scripture. Moses wore his veil to hide God’s glory when he came down from the mountain, because the sinful people couldn’t stand the bright holiness of God. But when Jesus died, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom because all could now have access to a holy God through Christ. Satan wants to keep us veiled like Lazarus, but it’s no longer necessary to hide God’s glory.

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Filed under Daily walk, Devotion, God's Will, Healing, Jesus, Martha, Mary, Resurrection, Witness

Resurrection Roll (GAME)


Time
10-15 minutes (or more, depending upon how many times you play)

Audience

Children & Youth

Description

This game is a fun and high-energy way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.  It’s played in rounds, and an individual round takes only a few minutes to play.

Scriptures

  • Matthew 28:1-10

Materials

  • 10-20 feet of rope
  • “Friday-Sunday” dice cube pattern (You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachthem.wordpress.com in the file named “Resurrection Roll – Dice Cube.”)
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors or knife to cut out dice cube
  • Cardboard or poster board (8.5 x 11 inches)
  • Optional: Small prizes for the winners – it’s possible to have multiple winners each round, so you will want to have lots of small prizes
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print out the dice cube pattern.
  • Glue the pattern on top of the cardboard or poster board.
  • Cut out the dice cube pattern.
  • Bend the dice cube sides along the lines to form the cube.  (It might be helpful to lightly score the cardboard along the dice cube lines to help it to bend.  Make sure to score the cardboard side and not the paper side.)
  • Tape the dice cube anywhere the sides come together.
  • Lay out the rope in a large circle pattern.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Jesus died on the cross on a Friday, and His followers were crushed!”
  • “They believed He was the Savior, the Messiah, but now He was gone!”
  • “They couldn’t believe it!  They didn’t know what to do.”
  • “They had put all their hopes in Jesus, and they didn’t know what to do with their lives now that He was dead.”
  • “Fortunately for them and for all of us, that wasn’t the end of the story!” (Have a volunteer read Matthew 28:1-10.)
  • “Imagine you were there!”
  • “One moment, life has no meaning – only mourning.”
  • “The next moment, all your hopes are restored – even upgraded!”
  • “What you thought was a terrible defeat turns into an incredible victory!”
  • “So, let’s play a game to celebrate that victory!”  (Ask everyone to grab the rope and stand in a circle.)
  • “I have a die (singular for dice) here that has three sides that say, ‘Friday,’ and three sides that say, ‘Sunday.’”
  • “You are holding a rope that represents the tomb Jesus was buried in, and you represent Jesus.”
  • “Before I roll the die, you have to decide if you think it will land on ‘Friday’ or ‘Sunday’ and choose to either be in the tomb or out of the tomb.”
  • “If it lands on ‘Friday,’ you want to be in the tomb, where Jesus was after He died.”
  • “If it lands on ‘Sunday,’ you want to be outside the tomb, where Jesus was after He rose from the dead.”
  • “If you are in the wrong place, you are out of the game and have to leave the circle until we start a new round.”
  • “I will roll the die three times, and you can choose a different place (in or out) each time or stay where you are as long as you keep being right.”
  • “Whoever lasts all three rolls, wins!”  (“….and gets a prize” if you are giving prizes)
  • “Are you ready to play?”  (Start the game by having the kids choose a position inside or outside of the rope.  Then roll the die.  Any kids on the wrong side of the rope are out until the next round.  After three rolls, acknowledge the winners and start a new round if you wish.  End whenever you’ve had enough!)

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Filed under Christianity, Easter, Game, Games that Teach, Jesus, Resurrection

Facing Your Giants (QUICK DRAMA)


Time
10 minutes

Description
This Quick Drama teaches that we shouldn’t fear the giants in our lives but that we shouldn’t try to take them on alone, either.  (I’ve chosen giants who represent fears children might have, but feel free to change the type of giants to match your audience.)

Audience
Children, youth, adults

Materials
o    Life-size drawings of different giants (4 that are about 2 sheets of foam board-high each)

o    Foam board (10-12 pieces)

o    Different colored paints or markers

o    Paint brushes

o    Utility knife and razor

o    Tape
Preparation
o    Draw and color the giants on foam board, and make them free-standing by taping some “wings” near the bottom and on the back.  These wings should fold out so that they are perpendicular to the bottom of the foam board with the picture on it.
o    Razor the back side of the giants to weaken them, so that they will break apart easily when they are attacked.
o    Arrange the giants in different places around the room.
o    All the giants can be voiced by one or more people offstage.
o    Practice the script.

Script
Narrator:  All of us have mean, ugly giants in our lives…things we are afraid of dealing with.  Just like in King David’s time, God often leaves giants in our paths in order to teach us warfare.  Of course, we won’t ever fight a Goliath, but we will fight against other types of giants.

[Brad enters followed by God.  Brad sees the first giant and tries to run away.  God gently catches him and turns him back toward the giant.]

GOD:    [Whispers to Brad] Remember, you’re not alone.

Brad:     [Tentatively approaches giant] Wh-wh-what do you want?

Giant #1:     I am the giant of Darkness and Monsters!  FEAR ME!

Brad:     I-I-I-I-I…

GOD:    Remember, you’re not alone.

Brad:     [Turning to God] Can you help-help me, God?

GOD:     Yes, I can.  Please step aside.  [Cracks knuckles, stretches, then loudly karate chops the giant (e.g., “Hi-ya!”) until he is demolished – really hams it up for the kids.]

Brad:     Hey!  That was SO cool!  Will you teach me how to do that?

GOD:    Sure, Brad.  I see another giant over there.  [Points]

Brad:     Oh, uh, I didn’t mean so soon, but okay.  [Goes up to giant timidly.]

Brad:    What…What do you want?

Giant #2:    I am the giant of No Friends and Being Alone.  FEAR ME!

Brad:     God, what do I do?

GOD:    Are you asking for my help?

Brad:     Yes, please!

GOD:    Okay, watch this!  Hi-ya!  Hu-ya! [Saves a small piece for Brad]

Brad:     [Tentatively] Hi-ya! [Then cowers in case giant attacks.]

GOD:    Excellent!  Now you’re getting it! [Notices another giant] Hey, isn’t that another monster over there?

Brad:     [Confidently] Yeah!  Let’s get him!  [Goes up to giant]  What do you want?

Giant:     I am the giant of People Who Try to Hurt You!  FEAR ME!

Brad:     Oh yeah?  Well, take this!  [Karate chops with no effect]  Hi-ya!  [Tries again with no effect]  Hu-ya!  [Tries several more times with no effect]

Giant:     FEAR ME!

Brad:    [Turns back to God] God!  What happened?  I did everything you showed me!

GOD:    You forgot the most important part.

Brad:    What was that?

GOD:     Me.  You tried to do it all alone.

Brad:     [Sheepishly] God, will you help me with this one?

GOD:    Sure, Brad, and I’ll save a small part for you to do so that you can keep growing.  [God attacks giant but saves a piece for Brad.  Brad destroys it and genuinely enjoys attacking the giant with God.  They high five.]

Brad:    I see one more giant over there.  Let’s do this one together!  [Approaches giant]  Who are you?

Giant:     I am the Giant of Death.  FEAR ME!

Brad:    Death?  How do I fight this one, God?

GOD:    Brad, I have to do this one all by myself.  [Completely destroys giant]  Brad, there was only one way to destroy the Giant of Death.  I had to send my Son, Jesus, to die on the cross.  But when He died, He defeated death and rose back to life three days later.  Now, anyone that believes wht Jesus did and askes Him to be Lord of their life doesn’t have to fear the Giant of Death anymore.  Whenever a Christian dies, He immediately joins Jesus in heaven.

Brad:     Oh, God, I want that!  Will you help me make Jesus Lord of my life?

GOD:     You bet! [Both exit]

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Filed under Belief, Bullying, Challenges, Christianity, courage, David, drama, faith, Fear, Heaven, prayer, salvation, skit, Spiritual Warfare

On Jesus’ Team – A Baptism Lesson


Time

15-20 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps children understand what it means to be on Jesus’ team and why they should get baptized.

Materials

· Sports jersey

· Pitcher of water

· Optional – large bin or bucket for volunteer to stand in when getting wet

· Towel

Preparation

· Find a space where it’s okay to get things wet, or set up a bucket or bin to catch the water. Pouring water on the volunteer is optional, but the kids will really enjoy it, so I recommend it.

· Place the pitcher of water, towel and jersey nearby.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script, or modify to suit your needs:

· Once you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior, God has something He wants you to do.”

· “He wants you to tell others that you’re on His team now.” (Ask for volunteer who doesn’t mind getting wet to come up.  If you have a bucket or bin set up, have him/her stand inside it.)

· “Let me explain it this way. If you joined a sports team, you would wear their jersey, right?” (Put jersey on volunteer.)

· “You wouldn’t wear the other team’s jersey, would you?”

· “No, you would wear your team’s jersey and be proud to do it, right?”

· “And your jersey would tell everyone whose team you were on.”

· “That’s what baptism is. It’s putting on God’s jersey.”

· “When you get baptized, you are letting everyone know that you’re on God’s team.” (Optional – pour water over volunteer’s head for comedic effect.)

· “Now, the truth is, when I put on this jersey, it didn’t really make me a member of the (name sports team represented by jersey), did it?”

· “I can’t join the team just by wearing their clothes, can I?”

· “Right. I can’t. And just like that, getting baptized doesn’t make you a member of God’s team. If you haven’t asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can’t be on the team, even if you take a bath every day in the baptismal.” (Optional – pour more water over volunteer’s head.)

· “But what if I really was a (name sports team represented by jersey), but I never wore the jersey? Could I be on the team without wearing the jersey?” (Take jersey off volunteer.)

· “Sure I could. If the coach says I’m on the team, I’m on the team. If I don’t wear the team’s jersey, the coach will probably get frustrated with me, but he’s not going to kick me off the team for that.”

· “You see, you don’t have to get baptized to be on God’s team. As long as you call on Jesus to be your Savior, He lets you on the team. You don’t ever have to do anything else.”

· “But you should want to. If you’re proud of being on Jesus’ team, you should wear His jersey. If you’re thankful that He let you be on the team, you should wear His jersey.” (Put jersey back on volunteer.)

· “Getting baptized tells everyone, “I’m proud to be on Jesus’ team!” (Optional – pour more water over volunteer’s head.)

· “You see, Jesus wants to be more than just your Savior. He wants to be your Lord, too!”

· “But for Jesus to be your Lord, you have to do what He says to do, and He says that the first thing He wants you to do after you ask Him to be your Savior is to get baptized.” (Optional – pour more water over volunteer’s head.)

· “That tells the world that Jesus is both your Savior and your Lord!”

· “But it does even more than that. This is so cool!”

· “I’m a leader, and this person is my follower.” (Indicate your volunteer.)

· “A follower is someone who does what he sees his leader doing, so (speaking to your volunteer) I want you to do exactly what you see me doing.” (Walk around the room in a funny way with exaggerated movements. The funnier the better. Make sure your volunteer mimics what he sees you doing.)

· “Now, if you saw the two of us walking down the street like this, would it be hard to tell that we were together?”

· “Could you tell that he was my follower?”

· “Not hard, right, because he’s doing exactly what he sees me doing.” (Thank and dismiss the volunteer. Have towel ready for him/her to dry off.)

· “That’s what baptism is. You are telling everyone that you are on Jesus’ team by doing exactly what you see Him doing.”

· “What do I mean by that?” (Take responses if anyone thinks they know.)

· “How many of you remember that the first thing Jesus did when He started His ministry was to get baptized by John the Baptizer?” (Look for a show of hands.)

· “Right! He was setting the example. We should do what we see Jesus doing in the Bible.”

· “Also, remember how Jesus paid for our sins?” (He died on the cross.)

· “What happened next?” (He was buried in the ground for three days.)

· “Then what happened? (He rose from the dead on the third day.)

· “That’s great news! If Jesus had died and stayed dead, He sure wouldn’t have been God. And if He’s not God, we shouldn’t follow Him.”

· “But He did rise again! He died and then defeated death by bringing Himself back to life! Amazing! Incredible!”

· “So, watch this! Jesus died, was buried and rose again.” (Use the following motions while you are sharing this. Place one arm in front of you parallel to the floor. Put the elbow of your other arm on the hand of this arm so that they make a right angle. As you say that Jesus was buried, lower your top arm like you are closing a lid. Then, when you say Jesus rose again, lift your forearm back to it’s original position.)

· “Let’s do it together.” (Have kids do arm motions.) “Jesus died, was buried and rose again. Good!”

· “Now, when we get baptized, we are doing what we saw our leader doing.”

· “We go down into the water and come back out again.” (Do arm motions.)

· “Baptism is a picture of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection (which means to rise again).”

· “So when you get baptized in front of the church, you are saying, ‘I’m on Jesus’ team! I’m doing what I saw my Leader do!’”

· “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘I’m on Jesus’ team!’”

· “Touch your other neighbor and say, ‘I’m doing what I saw my Leader do!’”

· “If you’ve already told Jesus you want to be on His team, you should talk to your parents about getting baptized. If they think the time is right, they can arrange it with the church.”

· “And if you haven’t told Jesus you want to be on His team, talk to your parents about that, too!”

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Filed under Baptism, Christianity, Jesus, John the Baptist, Obedience, Object Lesson

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

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