Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lesson - Demetrius And The Sin Of Idolatry

VERSES:   Acts 19:20-41

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 19:20  "So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Review the New Testament books from Matthew to Hebrews.

PRAYER:  Pray that we have courage like Paul and are able to talk to people about Jesus and the salvation that He offers.

SPECIAL SONG:   Jesus Called Them One By One (see June 2015 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #7 for the words to this song. Click on the orange circle to hear the tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible map; Activity (see below)

  • Paul had planned to go to Jerusalem and then on to Rome after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia. Paul sent two men, Erastus and Timothy to Macedonia, but he stayed in Asia for a season. 
  • About this time, there was a big commotion about the church in Ephesus. There was a certain man named Demetrius who was a silversmilth and made a living making silver shrines to a goddess of the Ephesians named Diana. By making silver shrines or idols and selling them to the people of Ephesus, Demetrius and other silversmiths made a lot of money. 
  • Demetrius called all the silversmiths together and made a speech to them. He said that Paul was causing trouble in Ephesus. He said to the men who were listening that they and himself made great amounts of money by making idols, but Paul was persuading many people throughout Asia to not worship any idol, but only the God of Heaven. Demetrius said that Paul had told the people that there were no gods made with hands which meant that the silversmiths would be out of jobs if all of the people believed Paul. Demetrius also said that the temple of Diana would be hated by the people and she would not be great anymore.
  • When the silversmiths heard what Demetrius said, they were full of rage and cried out, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" The city was soon full of confusion. Two men who were traveling with Paul named Gaius and Aristarchus were taken by force into the theater in Ephesus. Paul was going to go into the theater where all the people were, but the disciples pleaded with him not to go. In fact, many of the important people of Asia who were Paul's friends, also told Paul not to go.
  • Inside the theater, there was much confusion. Some shouted one thing and others shouted out other things. Most of the people did not even know why they had come together in the theater. The Jews found a man named Alexander and presented him to the crowd, but when the crowd found out that it was Alexander, a Jew, who was to speak, they shouted "Great is Diana of the Ephesians" for two hours! 
  • Finally, the townclerk quieted the people down and said, "You men of Ephesus, who doesn't know that the city of Ephesus worships the great goddess Diana? You ought to be quiet and do nothing on impulse. These men that you have brought here are not robbers of churches or blasphemers of your goddess. So if Demetrius and his silversmiths have a problem with any man, let them call the deputies. You are in danger of causing this day's confusion and uproar!"
  • When the townclerk had spoken to the people, he dismissed the assembly and order returned to the city.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Sometimes just a few people can cause a great scene where other people are brought into the problem and don't even know what is going on. That is what happened in Ephesus when Demetrius stirred up his silversmiths. We need to be careful that we are never brought unknowingly into the sins of others.
  • Demetrius was afraid that Paul was going to convert the whole city to Christ and he would not be able to sell his silver idols. He was worried and anxious. Because of his fear, innocent people could have easily been hurt or killed like Paul's traveling companions, Gaius and Aristarchus. 
  • Paul was a very brave and courageous person. He was not afraid to enter the theater to talk to the people. He knew he had God on His side! 
ACTIVITY:   "Demetrius And Idolatry"
Materials needed:  9" x 12" yellow construction paper, 2" x 7" piece of aluminum foil, 4" x 8.5" white bond paper, glue, crayons, marker, scissors.

  1. Hand out yellow paper.
  2. Draw Demetrius on right side of yellow paper and five or six silversmiths on the left side of the paper.
  3. Write "Demetrius" above Demetrius' head.
  4. Write "Silversmiths" above silversmiths' heads.
  5. Hand out foil.
  6. Glue foil to right side of Demetrius.
  7. Write "Diana of the Ephesians" with marker on the foil.
  8. Color picture.
  9. Write "Demetrius And Idolatry" and "Acts 19:20-41" at top of the yellow paper.
  10. Hand out white paper.
  11. Cut white paper into three speech bubbles.
  12. On speech bubbles, write "Paul says there are no gods made with hands", "Our craft is in danger," and "Diana will be hated."
  13. Glue speech bubbles on yellow paper.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Words of Encouragement Along The Way #23 - Are They Training Themselves?

Let's take a moment to think about a word that not many people enjoy talking about--behavior. How is the behavior in your Bible classroom? Are we training our students or are they training themselves?
  • Are your students respectful? 
  • Have they learned to be quiet during the quiet times?
  • Do they know how to listen? 
  • Do they bring distractions to class? 
  • Can they sit still? 
  • Are the students interested in the lessons?
  • Are there students who are disrupting other students' focus on the lesson?
  • Do your students know any books of the Bible from memory?
  • Do they know that the Bible is a book to be treasured, cared for, and loved because it is God's Word?
  • Do they bring their Bibles to Bible class?
Behavior is always a concern of the Bible teacher. Students learn much in an orderly, peaceful learning environment. When students and teachers understand that the Bible classroom is different from a secular classroom, then they understand that respectful attitudes, quiet during quiet times, and listening ears are included in that higher plane of learning. 

Students attend secular school for at least five hours a day, five days a week--or longer--and are expected to be respectful, to listen, to sit still, and are assigned memory work among other requirements. The Bible classroom should be no different. Lessons from God's holy Word are being taught in your Bible classroom; lessons that will last a lifetime. Are your students focused on what God has to say?

Usually Bible students are in Bible class for only one or two hours a week. That truly is not a long time to expect Bible students to listen and learn. No toys or other distractions are needed during this short time. Make certain the Bible teacher is prepared and knows the material well. If the students are engaged and interested in the Bible lesson, sixty minutes goes flying by!

If you are having behavior problems, try using the following four rules and the behavior in your Bible classroom should improve:
  1. Bible class time is the time to study the Bible. No distractions. It is not playtime. It is learning time. Make this short time a fun time, an interesting time, but focused on the Bible (1 Timothy 3:16, 17).
  2. Students are respectful at all times. Remember the disrespectful children who were mocking Elisha. In the lesson found in 2 Kings 2:23-25, there were extreme consequences for being disrespectful, showing that it is not to be tolerated. (Ephesians 4:32).
  3. Listening is required during 'listening' times. Even Jesus said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matthew 11:15). There is a time to listen (Ecclesiastes 3:7).
  4. Consequences are OK. Remembering that we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), sometimes we still need a consequence. As a last resort, have the student's mother sit next to her student in Bible class during the next lesson time.  Or, I have been in a congregation that sent two young, misbehaving boys into a high school boys class. Nothing had to be formally said to the young boys. Everyone in the class knew why they were there. The next week, no misbehavior!
We want all students to learn these tremendous Bible lessons. Behavior is only one aspect of a good Bible class. Behavior is important in the church (1 Timothy 3:15) and it is important in the Bible classroom. Let us train our students in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lesson - The Conversion Of Twelve Disciples In Ephesus

VERSES:   Acts 19:1-7

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 19:5  "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Hebrews.  Write "Hebrews" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of class, so they might take them home and memorize one more New Testament book.

PRAYER:   Pray that we will always do everything according to God's Will, never our own. God knows what is best for us.

SPECIAL SONG:   The Wise Man Built His House On The Rock (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible map, Activity (see below)

  • While Apollos, the well-spoken preacher who we learned about last time, was in Corinth, Paul had traveled on through the upper coasts and finally came to the city Ephesus. Paul found some disciples who were worshiping in Ephesus. Paul asked the twelve disciples who were there, "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed in Jesus?" The disciples answered, "We have not even heard that there was a Holy Spirit!" Paul was concerned and asked them, "Unto what then were you baptized?" They all said, "John's baptism."
  • We remember John, the baptizer, was Jesus' cousin. He was six months older than Jesus and his purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. John baptized people for the remission of their sins, but the Holy Spirit was not promised to the ones who were baptized unto John's baptism as the Spirit was promised to the ones who were baptized into the name of Jesus on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38).
  • Paul told those disciples in Ephesus that John baptized with the baptism of repentance and preached to the people that they should believe on the One who would come after John--and that was Jesus Christ. When the disciples heard Paul's words, they were not angry or upset, they simply were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus which made them Christians.
  • When Paul placed His hands on the disciples, they were able to perform miracles, such as speaking in different languages that they had never learned before, and they could prophesy or tell what was going to happen in the future.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Read Acts 2:38. Was the gift of the Holy Spirit promised to the believers on the day of Pentecost? (Yes.) This was the difference in John and Jesus' baptism.
  • Someone who is taught wrong cannot be baptized right as this example of the twelve disciples in Ephesus teaches. When the men learned the truth, they were baptized in the name of Jesus.
  • God spoke to people in different ways than He speaks to us today. He only speaks through the Bible today (Hebrews 1:1, 2), but during the times of the early church, they did not have Bibles, so God decided that the way everyone could tell who were God's disciples would be that they would be able to perform miracles. Their ability to perform miracles and truly prophesy proved that they were from God. Today we know who speaks Truth and who does not by reading the Bible for ourselves.
ACTIVITY:   The Conversion of the Men in Ephesus
Materials needed:  9" x 12" yellow construction paper, 8.5" x 11" white bond paper, 4" x 12" brown construction paper, scraps of many colors including tan, glue, marker, crayons, scissors.

  1. Hand out yellow paper. This is the background.
  2. Hand out the brown paper.
  3. Cut or tear one of the long edges to look like a road or dirt.
  4. Glue brown paper to the bottom of the yellow paper.
  5. Hand out scraps of paper.
  6. Cut out thirteen small rectangles. These are the men's robes.
  7. Cut out 13 small circles. These are the men's heads.
  8. Glue one rectangle all by itself on the left side of the yellow and brown paper. This is Paul.
  9. Glue twelve colorful rectangles on the right side of the paper. These are the Ephesian men.
  10. Glue heads on the robes.
  11. Color hair, eyes, mouths, arms, feet.
  12. Write, "Taught Wrong = Baptized Right." at the top of the yellow paper.
  13. Draw a red circle around the equals sign ( = ) and draw line through the circle to represent the "NO" sign. Meaning: Taught Wrong   Does NOT Equal   Baptized Right.
  14. Hand out white paper.
  15. Cur out two larger speech bubbles and one smaller speech bubble.
  16. One the smaller speech bubble, write "John said...believe on...Jesus Christ."
  17. Glue small speech bubble pointing to Paul.
  18. Write, "John's baptism" on one of the larger speech bubbles and glue close to the twelve men.
  19. On the last speech bubble, write "Unto what then were you baptized?"
  20. Fold top edge of last speech bubble.
  21. Glue top edge only.
  22. Place this last speech bubble on top of smallest speech bubble that says, "John said...believe on...Jesus Christ." Remember to only glue the small top edge of the bubble or it won't flip open, showing Paul's last words. This is a good way to have a character speak twice.
  23. Write, "And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" and "Acts 19:1-7." at the bottom of the paper.
  24. Idea of this project: Students will be able to tell the story to someone else after this class.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Lesson - Apollos

VERSES:  Acts 18:18-28

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 18:26   "...they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Philemon.  Write "Philemon" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of the Bible class to take home and memorize another New Testament book.

PRAYER:   Pray that we all do the best we can and always accept kind criticism with the right attitude.

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day (see Read, Read Every Day - February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:  Bible map, whiteboard, Activity (see below)

  • After Paul had stayed in Corinth a good long while, he said goodbye to the church in Corinth and set sail to Syria. He sailed on to Ephesus with his good friends, Aquila and Priscilla, who were also members of the Lord's church and hard workers in the kingdom of God. When they arrived in Ephesus, Paul left Aquila and Priscilla and guess where he went? That's right! Paul went to the place he usually went when he came to a new city--he went to the synagogue and preached to the Jews. 
  • The Jews wanted Paul to stay longer and talk to them, but Paul had planned to be in Jerusalem for the feast, so he left Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus and set sail for another city named Caesarea. When Paul arrived in Caesarea and had checked on the church there, he went  farther down to Antioch. After staying in Antioch a while, he went all around Galatia and Phrygia and strengthened the disciples by preaching and teaching to them the Word of the Lord.
  • Meanwhile, Aquila and Priscilla were still in Ephesus. In that city, there was a Jew whose name was Apollos. Apollos had been born in Alexandria and was eloquent which meant that he spoke very well. Another very important thing about Apollos was that he was mighty in the scriptures. He knew God's Word and told others about the things he knew. Since he could speak well and knew the scriptures, he was an excellent preacher. What made him even a better preacher was that he was instructed in the way of the Lord and he was fervent in the spirit. He was very serious about preaching and teaching the things concerning the Lord. 
  • However, there was one thing that Apollos did not know. He did not know or teach about the baptism Jesus which was authorized in the great commission and found in Matthew 28:19, 20. John did baptize, but since the cross of Christ, there is now only one baptism and that is the one that is authorized by and is in the name of Jesus (Ephesians 4:5; Acts 19:1-5). In our next lesson, we will see that there were about twelve men who were baptized in John's baptism and what they did about it. When Aquila and Priscilla heard Apollos boldly preaching John's baptism in the synagogue, they quietly took Apollos aside and taught him the way of God more perfectly. 
  •  When Apollo was planning on traveling through Achaia, the brethren of the Lord's church wrote letters for him, encouraging other congregations to receive or accept him and listen to his preaching. Apollos helped many of the disciples believe by preaching Jesus and convincing the Jews that Jesus was the Christ by showing them scriptures.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Read Acts 18:23. Paul begins his third missionary journey, stregthening the churches and converting souls. 
  • There are many cities mentioned in this lesson. Beginning in Corinth, find  those cities on a Bible map that were mentioned in Acts 1818-28. Follow the steps of Paul, Aquila and Priscilla, and Apollos.
  • Read Acts 18:24-28 and write on the whiteboard the description of Apollos.
  • Alexandria, which was in Egypt and the birthplace of Apollos, was known for its grand library at a time when there was not a library in many cities.
  • It is interesting to note that Aquila and Priscilla took Apollos aside privately to talk about important matters. Apollos, also, accepted their instruction.
ACTIVITY:  Apollos
Materials needed:  9" x 12" tan construction paper, pencil, marker, crayons.

  1. Hand out tan paper.
  2. Towards the bottom of the paper, students traces one hand, stopping just short of finishing the hand at the little finger.
  3. The student places their little finger on the paper again, next to the already traced little finger.
  4. Trace extra little finger. This should be a hand with six fingers!
  5. With marker, trace over all six fingers and the hand.
  6. At the top of the paper, write "6 Things We Know About Apollos."
  7. At the bottom of the paper, write "Acts 18:24-28."
  8. In the middle of the hand, write "APOLLOS."
  9. Beginning with the extra little finger, write "born in Alexandria."
  10. On the next finger, write "spoke well."
  11. On the next finger, write "Mighty in the scriptures."
  12. On the next finger, write "Instructed in the way of the Lord."
  13. On the next finger, write "fervent in the spirit."
  14. On thumb, write "Aquila and Priscilla taught him the way of God more perfectly."
  15. Color.
  16. In case the student writes something incorrectly on a finger, simply trace that exact finger again on a scrap of tan paper, write the words correctly on the finger, cut out the finger, color again, and glue on top of the incorrect words. Saves time and energy by not needing to re-create the whole project. (I made a mistake on the "mighty in the scriptures" finger. Can you tell?)
  17. If students' fingers are too small to write words, perhaps the Bible teacher can type or write the words on paper in advance, then cut and paste on fingers.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Lesson - Aquila, Priscilla, and Paul - Three Tentmakers

VERSES:   Acts 18:1-11

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 18:8   "...and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Review all the New Testament books from Matthew through Titus.

PRAYER:   Thank God for giving us friends who love and worship God, so they can encourage and make us stronger, too.

SPECIAL SONG:   No, Not One (see June 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6 on this blog.)  The Books Of The New Testament (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on all orange circles to hear tunes.)

VISUAL AID:  Bible map, Activity (see below)

  • On Paul's second missionary journey of traveling around to many cities, teaching and preaching to people about Jesus, he left Athens and traveled to the city of Corinth. Corinth was known as being a very wicked city, but one of the first things Paul did was to make friends with Priscilla and Aquila who were married to each other. Priscilla and Aquila were Christians who were ordered to leave Rome with all of the other Jews at that time. 
  • When Priscilla and Aquila left Rome, they came to Corinth. Besides being Christians, Priscilla and Aquila had something else in common with Paul. Like Paul, they were tent makers. Many people used tents by living in them instead of houses. Tents were a portable and temporary type of housing and people who went from one place to another, simply took their house or their tent with them wherever they went. So, the three friends made tents and sold them, then used the money to buy food and other things that they needed. Because they did the same kind of work, Paul stayed with Aquila and Priscilla while he was in Corinth.
  • Every sabbath day, Paul went to the synagogue, reasoned with the Jews there, and taught and preached to Jews and the Greeks about Jesus. Finally, Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia and Paul preached even more to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ, God's Anointed One. But the Jews rejected Paul's teaching and spoke terribly about Jesus, so Paul shook his clothes and told them that he had done all he could for them and would be going to preach to the Gentiles instead of them. So, Paul stopped preaching to the Jews only and began preaching to the Gentiles. 
  • While Paul was in Corinth, there was a man named Justus who lived in a house that shared a wall with the synagogue. Justus worshiped the Lord and Paul went and spoke to him and all those who were in his house. There were many who listened to Paul's message that Jesus was God's Son. Even the chief ruler of the synagogue whose name was Crispus believed that Jesus was the Son of God and was baptized. In fact, his whole household and family believed and were baptized, too. 
  • One night, God sent Paul a vision and told him not to be afraid. He told him to preach and teach and not worry about anything or anyone in Corinth. The Lord had many Christians there in Corinth and He would protect Paul. Paul continued to do the Lord's Will and stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching all who would listen to the Word of God.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • After Paul left Corinth, Paul wrote two letters to the Corinthians. We call them First and Second Corinthians. These two letters encouraged the church that was in Corinth, explained many things that Paul had taught them before he left Corinth, and scolded and rebuked them for giving in to certain sins and temptations. Paul wrote to tell the church how to live a better Christian life. These letters were passed around to other congregations in the area, so they, too, could live in a more godly way.
  • The city of Corinth had made a name for themselves by being so wicked. To be called a Corinthian was not necessarily a good thing. Yet, even in a wicked and sinful city, there were people who wanted to please God, people like Justus and Crispus. We should always strive to have godly friends who will help us in this wicked world. Life is easier and happier with friends who serve the One True God like we serve. Read 1 Corinthians 15:33.
Materials:  8.5" x 11" white or light colored index or heavyweight paper, crayons, marker.

  1. Hand out paper.
  2. Fold paper in half
  3. Fold paper in half again.
  4. Unfold.
  5. Fold outside edges of paper up 1.5".
  6. Crease well. This is a tent.
  7. Color one side of tent.
  8. Write "Paul, Priscilla, and Aquila were tentmakers" and "Acts 18:1-11" on the inside of the tent.
  9. Make tent stand up on table. If 1.5" folds are laying flat on the table, tent should have little trouble standing (see top picture.) If tent is not cooperating, crease folds again.
  10. Practice names of Paul's friends before leaving the classroom.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Lesson - Mars' Hill

VERSES:   Acts 17:16-34

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 18:30  "And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commands all men everywhere to repent."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Titus. Write "Titus" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class for the students to take home and memorize.

PRAYER:   Thank God for being the Creator of all things.

SPECIAL SONG:   How Do Christians Worship God? (See May 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #5 on this blog. Click on orange circle for tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible Map; Activity (see below); As the lesson is told, write the eight main thoughts on the board (see below in Activity), so that when the students begin writing their columns, the words will already be there!


  • As Paul waited for Silas and Timothy in Athens, he noticed that everywhere he looked, he saw idols or statues that people prayed to and worshiped. He preached and talked to Jews and religious people in the synagogue and he talked to whoever would speak with him in the marketplace every day. 
  • There were certain men who were philosophers who would meet with Paul and they would talk together. Some would call Paul a 'babbler' which was not a very nice name, but others would say that Paul was one who would talk about strange gods because they had never heard of the LORD God or Jesus or of the resurrection. 
  • One day these philosophers took Paul to Mars' which was the highest court in Athens to talk about this new doctrine that he spoke about. They said that Paul had brought new and different things and they wanted to hear what he had to say. All of the Athenians and the strangers that came their way spent their time on nothing else, but to talk about something new.
  • As Paul stood in the middle of Mars' Hill, he said, "Men of Athens, I know that you are too superstitious because as I passed by and looked at all things that you hold dear, I noticed an altar that had a sign that said 'TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.' You ignorantly worship the One that I speak to you today!" Then, Paul went on to preach about the LORD God of heaven and earth and how He was not a God who was made with men's hands. He explained that God had made all mankind from one blood to dwell on the earth. Paul said that God was not made from gold, or silver, or stone, and made from man's hands. He said that people used to make statues like they were making in times past, and God looked the other way, but not anymore. Now, God commanded everyone everywhere to repent.
  • When some of the men heard Paul's words about the resurrection of the dead, they made fun of him, but others told him that they would like to hear him speak about these things on another day. So, Paul left the men, but there were some that stayed with Paul and believed what he had said about God and Jesus and the resurrection.

"Older Student" Tips:

  • The Athenians believed in covering all of their bases, so they made altars to many, many gods or idols. They believed that there were gods of the sun, the moon, the water, and many other things. They did not want to offend any god, so they had even made an altar to a god that they might have not known about--and this was the LORD GOD that Paul preached about on Mars' Hill! Paul said they were ignorantly worshiping God and they didn't even know it!
  • It is interesting to know that in Acts 17:26, it says that God created all nations from one blood--meaning Adam--to dwell on the EARTH. This dispels the notion of UFO's and people living on other planets. God, the Creator of all things, created man to dwell on the earth.
  • There is a danger in postponing doing something about our soul's salvation when we have learned the truth. Certain men on Mars' Hill thought that they would hear from Paul again about this new God he spoke of, but what happened in time? Paul left them and they did not act on their belief and were lost. 

ACTIVITY:   Mars' Hill
Materials needed:  8.5" x 11" piece of white bond paper, 9" x 12" red construction paper, scissors, glue, marker.

  1. Hand out white paper.
  2. Fold paper in half, width-wise.
  3. Cut on fold.
  4. Fold one paper in half again. 
  5. Cut on fold. These are the top and the bottom of Mars' Hill.
  6. On one paper, write "MARS' HILL".
  7. On the other small paper, write "ACTS 17:16-34."
  8. Take the other large half of the paper and fold in half again and again and again. There should be eight areas when unfolded.
  9. Unfold.
  10. Cut on folds. These are the columns of Mars' Hill.
  11. On small papers, write "Paul waited in Athens for Silas and Timothy." "Paul saw that Athens was full of idols." "Paul taught and spoke in the synagogue and the market." "Philosophers took Paul to Mars' Hill." "Paul talked about the altar to the UNKNOWN GOD." "You ignorantly worship the LORD God." "God is not made with man's hands." and "Some made fun of Paul. Some believed."
  12. Glue "Mars' Hill" paper almost to the top of the red paper.
  13. Glue "Acts 17:16-34" paper almost to the bottom of the red paper.
  14. Glue the white columns in order that they happened between the two wider papers.
  15. Mars' Hill looked a little like our project today.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Lesson - The Difference In The Thessalonians And The Bereans

VERSES:   Acts 17:1-15

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 17:11  "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (This verse was chosen as the memory verse because it shows us how we should be as Bible students and how our minds should be when directed to God's Word. Please shorten the verse if it is too long for your students to memorize.)

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   2 Timothy. Write "2 Timothy" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of class, so they may go home and memorize another good book from the New Testament.

PRAYER:  Pray that we all realize how precious God's Word is to us. It gives us Light, guides our way, and comforts us. May we love the Bible with all of our heart.

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible map; Activity (see Activity below)

  • As Paul and those in his group made their way from Lydia's house in Philippi  to Amphipolis and to Appolonia, they finally came to a city called Thessalonica. It was Paul's habit to meet with those who were in the synagogue when he first arrived in a city and that is what he did in Thessalonica. For three sabbath days, Paul studied the scriptures with them, teaching that Jesus was the Christ. Some of the Jews believed and joined Paul and Silas. Even a great crowd of Greeks and many of the important women believed Paul's words.
  • But most of the Jews did not believe Paul and did not believe that Jesus was the Christ. They were filled with envy and jealousy and took Paul and Silas to men who had low moral standards or were tricky and sneaky. The Jews gathered a huge rowdy crowd and put the whole city in an uproar. Things got out of hand! They attacked Jason's house where Paul and Silas had been staying. The Jews wanted Paul and Silas to come out of Jason's house, but they could not find the two men. Instead, the Jews took Jason and other brethren to the rulers of the city and accused them of housing the men who had turned the world upside down! Because they were preaching about Jesus, the Jews reported that the men were doing things against Caesar and saying that there was another king named Jesus! It troubled the people of the city when they heard what the Jews were saying. When they had taken money from Jason and the others, the rulers let them go. 
  • Immediately, the brethren sent Paul and Silas away by night to the city of Berea. Do you know what Paul did first? He went to the synagogue where people were meeting and started preaching! Paul was not afraid of what man might do to him. He knew that he was pleasing God by preaching about Jesus, His only begotten Son!
  • The people in Berea were different. They were more noble than the people were in Thessalonica because they listened closely to what Paul said and looked up the scriptures he quoted in the Old Testament law and prophets. Many of the people believed. Some were honorable Greek women who believed, but a great many men who believed were Jews. 
  • Then trouble came to Paul and Silas again! When those Jews who lived in Thessalonica heard that Paul was preaching about Jesus again, but this time in Berea, they did exactly what they had already done in their own hometown. They stirred the people up who lived in Berea! 
  • Paul had to leave again because it was not safe for him! While Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea, Paul was the only one who went by ship and traveled to Athens. When Paul arrived in Athens, he sent word back with those who took him to Athens by ship to tell Silas and Timothy to hurry and come to him in Athens. So, Paul was in Athens, but his friends, Silas and Timothy were in Berea.
"Older Student" Tips:

  • Discuss the definition of 'noble.' Synonyms for 'noble:'  honorable, having a good reputation, righteous.
  • Read Acts 17:11. The church in Berea was a church who studied God's Word. They did not take Paul's words for truth without checking it out first. They did not have a Bible like we have today, but they had parchments and scrolls and made certain that Paul was telling the truth. They also had ready minds to receive God's Word. They had great attitudes towards the Word of God.
  • By commenting on how noble the Bereans were in their searching the scriptures, we learn that the Thessalonicans were not as diligent as the Bereans. We want to be like the Bereans in our Bible study!
  • Not only was the church in Berea a church who studied, but they studied daily! Every day they were interested in what God had to say! That is exactly how we should be! 
  • Read Hosea 4:6, Matthew 22:29, John 8:32. Why should we study? To keep from error. To not be destroyed. To know truth.

ACTIVITY:   Review Cards
Materials:  20 index 3" x 5" index cards or construction paper cut into 3" x 5" cards, 5" x 9" orange construction paper, stapler, staples, marker.

  1. Hand out orange paper.
  2. Fold paper almost in half.
  3. Staple two sides of the orange paper to form a pocket.
  4. Write "Complete The Sentence" and "Acts 17:1-15."
  5. Hand out cards.
  6. Students think up true sentences about the lesson. 
  7. Examples of sentences:  "When Paul went to a new city, he usually met people in the...synagogue."   "The Bereans were more noble than...those in Thessalonica."  "Paul wanted Timothy and Silas to...meet him in Athens."  "The Jews in Thessalonica liked to...stir up trouble for Paul and Silas." "The church in Berea...studied daily."
  8. On one card write the first part of a sentence.
  9. On the second card, write the ending to the sentence.
  10. Mix up cards.
  11. Find the two cards that go together.
  12. Play a few rounds, if time permits.
  13. Place cards in pocket and take home.