Sunday, April 2, 2017

Lesson - Jesus Is Coming Back!

VERSES:   1 Thessalonians 4:16 

MEMORY VERSE:  1 Thessalonians 4:16 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Second Corinthians.  Write "Second Corinthians" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students to take home and memorize another New Testament book. By adding one more book to their Bible book list, the students will ultimately memorize all the Bible books.  It is important for the Bible student to become familiar with the books of the Bible in order to locate Bible verses quickly and efficiently.  

PRAYER:  Pray that we might all be prepared when the Lord comes back at the end of this earthly time.

SPECIAL SONG:  The Wise Man Built His House On The Rock - March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3. (Click on the orange circle to hear tune.) No, Not One - June 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6. (Click on the orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:  On a whiteboard or chalkboard, draw a large cloud in the middle of the board with dry erase markers or chalk. At the top of the board, write "The noisiest verse in the Bible" and "1 Thessalonians 4:16." As you read this verse at the appropriate time (see below), write the words "voice" and "shout," and draw a simple trumpet around the cloud.  (See below under Activity for extra Visual Aid idea.)

Note:  This may be a lesson designed for older students due to its content. Please read through the lesson to see if your students would understand this lesson before you teach it.
  • Will Jesus be coming back to this earth? What do we know about Jesus' return? Here are some important facts that the Bible tells us about Jesus' second return:
    • HOW WILL JESUS COME BACK?  In times past on this blog, we have studied and learned that Jesus is definitely coming back again to this earth, but His foot shall not touch the earth because He is coming back in a cloud. How do we know that? Because the Bible says so in Acts 1:11 (See May 2015  - Lesson - Jesus Ascends Into Heaven).
    • WILL JESUS BE COMING BACK SILENTLY?  Our memory verse today, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, says that when Jesus comes down from heaven, it will be with a SHOUT, with a VOICE of the archangel, and with the TRUMP (or trumpet) of God. That does not sound very quietly or silently, does it? In fact, it sounds very noisy! This may be the noisiest verse in the Bible, as some great Gospel preachers have suggested.  No, Jesus will not be coming back quietly.
    • WILL WE BE ABLE TO SEE JESUS WHEN HE RETURNS?  Revelation 1:7 tells us that when He comes back in the clouds, then every eye shall see Him..." and in Philippians 2:10, we can read what will happen to everyone's knees. The verse says that "at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow..." YES! Everyone will know when Jesus comes back!
    • WHEN WILL JESUS COME BACK?  Does anyone know when Jesus will be returning? Are there "secret numbers" in the Bible that we can use to figure out when His return will be? No, there are no "secrets" anywhere in the Bible that tell us when Jesus will return. Do only certain special people know when Jesus is coming back? Let's read Matthew 24:36 together and listen to the only One who knows when Jesus will be returning. (Read verse from the Bible.) Only God knows when Jesus will be returning. No one else knows, has known, or will know when Jesus is coming back--not even Jesus! 
    • WHY WILL JESUS COME BACK?  When Jesus comes back again, He will be coming with His mighty angels in flaming fire and they will take vengeance upon all those who do not obey the gospel of Jesus. Those who do not obey Jesus will be punished with everlasting destruction. It is important for us to know now that we all have a choice to obey the gospel or to not obey the gospel. God does not want anyone to perish, but He wants everyone to turn from the wrong things they have been doing and start obeying Him (2 Peter 3:9). He wants them to repent. We, also, need to know that if we choose to not obey Jesus' gospel, then there are consequences to follow (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we read that there are always consequences for disobedience. In the next verse, 2 Thessalonians 1:10, it tells us that Jesus is also coming back to be glorified and admired by all the Christians who have obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ. There will be rewards for the obedient.
    • WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO BEFORE JESUS COMES BACK AGAIN? We want to be certain that we have obeyed the gospel by hearing God's Word (Romans 10:17), believing what we hear (Hebrews 11:6), repenting (or turning from) of our past sins (Acts 3:19), confessing that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9, 10), being baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-4), and living a faithful life, serving Jesus until we die (Revelation 2:10). When we reach that age when we know right from wrong, when we know when we are disobeying instead of obeying, that is the time when we have reached the age of accountability and we are accountable for all of our actions. It is a time when we need to think about our soul and its sin and where we want to spend eternity--in heaven or in hell. This earthly life is a time to prepare for that eternal home in heaven. Jesus will be coming back soon! (Revelation 22:7, 12, 20). Let us obey the Lord and be rewarded!
  • When Jesus comes back, time will end here on this earth. We will have no more 'time' to prepare ourselves for His return. Paul talks more about the end of time in 1 Thessalonians 5.  We learn from this chapter that the day when Jesus comes back will be like a thief who comes in the night. Do we know when a thief will be coming to rob us? No! Otherwise, we would be prepared with security of some sort--alarms, dogs, police, or lots of people there to help us. That's how Jesus will come back--like a thief in the middle of the night when there is no time to prepare. No one knows when Jesus is coming back--not even God's Son--only God knows. (2 Thessalonians 5:2). 
  • Paul continues to encourage those at the church at Thessalonica. He tells them to be awake and serious! He says not to fall asleep and be comfortable. He says to put on the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of hope of salvation. Christians should always be looking up into the clouds, thinking about the day that the Lord will return, and asking ourselves if we are ready at that precise moment. We need to think about our soul's salvation seriously. We do not want to be too late! There is too much at risk.
Materials:  3" x 5" index cards, an envelope, marker or pen.

  1. Hand out 12 to 14 cards per student.
  2. Students write questions on six or seven cards.
  3. Students write answers with verses on matching cards.
  4. Set aside cards.
  5. Hand out an envelope to each student.
  6. On the envelope, write "Jesus Is Coming Back!"
  7. The idea of this memory game:  Students mix up finished cards and place them on a table or on the floor in a grid, blank side of cards facing up, so no one can see any writing. The first student points to two cards. The other student turns the two cards over. The first student decides if they are a 'match'--a question and the correct answer. If the first student makes a match, then he continues until he misses. Then the second student tries. The  student with the most correct answers wins.
  8. When it is time for class to dismiss, the cards are placed inside the envelope and taken home.  
    • Example questions and answers:
      • How will Jesus return to this earth?  In a cloud.  (Acts 1:11)
      • Will Jesus return quietly?  No.  (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
      • What will we hear when Jesus returns?  A shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God.  (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
      • Who will see Jesus when He returns?  Everyone!  (Revelation 1:7)
      • What will happen to everyone's knees when Jesus returns?  Every knee will bow.  (Philippians 2:10)
      • Does anyone know when Jesus is coming back?  No one, but God.  (Matthew 24:36)
    • The above questions and answers may also be written on large construction paper for an extra visual aid or a review tool.

    Monday, February 20, 2017

    Lesson - The Letter to the Colossians - The New Man and the Old Man

    VERSES: Colossians 3:1-15

    MEMORY VERSE:  Colossians 3:2  "Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth."

    BOOK TO REMEMBER: 1 Corinthians. Write "1 Corinthians" on small slips of paper and give them out at the end of class for the students to take home and memorize. In time, they will know all of the New Testament books by heart.

    PRAYER:  Pray that we might always show others that we live God's way by treating them as we would treat ourselves, being kind and loving toward others, and always being forgiving and patient to all.

    SPECIAL SONG:  Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him. Click on the orange circle to hear the tune to the song.)

    VISUAL AID:  Whiteboard or chalkboard. Write the words "anger," wrath," "hatred," "bad words," "lying" in one column on the board. In another column, write "holy," "loving," "merciful," "kind," "humble," meek," "patient," "forgiving," "self-controlled." As you teach this lesson, refer to these words. At the end of the lesson, circle all of things that we should "put off" with a red marker or pink chalk. Circle all of the characteristics that we should "put on" with a blue marker or blue chalk.

    • Have you ever been so dirty that you could not wait to get cleaned up and change your clothes? The Apostle Paul tells us in the book of Colossians that that is the way Christians should be when it comes to sin and wickedness. 
    • Christians are different than the world because they have their minds set upon spiritual things, not things on the earth. When one is baptized into Christ, they put worldliness to death. They want to please God instead of themselves, so that the anger of the Lord will not be directed towards them. They understand that sin will make them dirty. They may not see physical dirt with their eyes, but they can see the sin through their sinful actions.
    • When a Christian hears the gospel of Christ, they turn away from the ungodliness that will dirty their souls and will want to take off everything that is dirty or unclean in God's eyes.. 
      • We understand what anger or displeasure is and Colossians 3:8 tells us to "take off" our anger
      • When we are extremely angry, it is called wrath. Christians must "take off" their wrath, too.
      • Malice is another word for revenge or to want to do harm to someone. Paul tells us to "take off" our malice
      • Blasphemy is to say terrible things about God. Christians are not to say such things, but are to "take off" their blasphemy.
      • Christians are not to say bad words or have any filthy language come out of their mouths. This also includes telling bad jokes, or talking badly about others. Christians are to "take off" their filthy language.
      • Telling lies or saying things that are not true is not something a Christian does. They do not lie to others, not even tell what people call "little white lies". A lie is a lie to God and lying belongs to the things of this world. Christians are to "take off" telling lies.
    • Just like taking off dirty and torn clothing, Christians "take off" the way they may have lived before they were a Christian. Then, once a person is baptized, all of those old, earthly, worldly things are washed away and they become clean and new. Instead of living the way they used to live, Paul explains the new way that Christians should live:
      • Paul tells Christians to "put on" holiness. Christians are to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15. 16), and to be set apart from the world and to not be like the world Christians are different in the way they dress, speak, and behave. Christians are godlike.
      • Mercy is also something that Christians "put on" and 'wear' when other people offend them. They show compassion, not only to their friends, but also to others who do unkind things to them. Christians try to put themselves in the other person's shoes, meaning thinking how the other person would feel, and then they show mercy to that person, no matter who it is. 
      • Christians are to be kind. Not rude, abrupt, and harsh like the world around them, Christians think of others before they think of themselves and treat others the way they would want to be treated, the way Jesus would treat others. Christians "put on" kindness.
      • Christians are to be humble as Jesus was humble. They do not believe they are better than others. Christians humble themselves, knowing that it will be the Lord who will lift them up (James 4:10). Christians are modest and do not brag about themselves.Christians "put on" humility.
      • Being meek, and not weak, Christians are quiet and gentle, yet are strong in character. They know in what they believe and why they believe it, and defend it with all of their strength. Christians "put on" meekness.
      • Christians are patient in all things. Christians know that there will be delays in life, that all people suffer as they live here on earth, yet they are not annoyed or impatient. They take time with others and do not complain to them or complain behind their backs. Christians "put on" patience."
      • One word many people do not use any more is forbearance.  Forbearance means self-control. It is closely related to patience, but when one has control over themselves, they can more easily have patience with others. When Christians put on forbearance, they can control their emotions and feelings. They do not lose control. Christians "put on" forbearance.
      • Christians are forgiving people. They understand that everyone makes mistakes. There will always be problems. Since they know this in advance, they can be prepared and determined to be patient, kind and forgiving of the mistakes others make, as well as themselves. Christians "put on" forgiveness.
      • Paul tells Christians to "put on" love. When a Christian loves others, they can be kind, humble, meek, patient, and forgiving. Love is the bond or chain that connects all of God's children.  Christians show that they love Jesus by trying to be like Him and doing those things He wants them to do (John 14:15).
    • Christians wear these characteristics all of the time. It does not matter the day of the week, whether they are home or away, with friends or not, or if they are in a good mood or bad. They ask themselves, "What would Jesus do in this particular situation?" and they always choose to do what Jesus would do. They chose the better choice.
    "Older Student" Tips:
    • We know that Paul wrote four of the New Testament letters from prison:  Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.  The first three letters, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, were written to the churches in those particular areas (Ephesus, Philippi, and Colosse) while the short letter to Philemon was written to a person who was a slaveowner. 
    • Colossians 2:1 informs the readers that the church at Colosse had not seen his face in the flesh. What does this mean? Paul had not been to Colosse before. He had only written this letter.
    • Do we want to know how husbands, wives, children, fathers, servants (or today's employees), and masters (or today's employers) should behave? Then we need to read Colossians 3:18-4:1 to see what Paul had to say about their duties.
    • Paul intended for his letters to be passed around to congregations and to be read to the members in each location. Read Colossians 4:16 to see where Paul wanted this Colossian letter to be sent next and what the church at Colosse should be reading next.
    • How do we know Paul wrote this letter from prison? Read Colossians 4:18.
    ACTIVITY: Changing Coats

    NOTE: The activity below is designed for older elementary students. If teaching younger students, the Bible teacher may want to prepare the 'person' and the 'coat' in advance. The young student with limited writing skills, may want to simply write "OLD MAN" and "NEW MAN' on the yellow coat. There is probably a simpler way to create a coat, but I have found that older elementary students want to duplicate it for themselves or draw their own creation. It also teaches sequencing and following directions. As long as the words and verses are written on the coat, that is all that matters. The lesson will be reinforced if the students know the lesson well.

    Materials:  9" x 12" light brown paper, 9" x 12" yellow paper, markers, pencils, small (4 inches or so) round container, scissors, crayons.
    1. Hand out light brown paper .
    2. At the top of the paper, place a small, round container to trace. 
    3. Trace with a pencil or marker. This is the person's head.
    4. Fold light brown paper down the middle of the head. This makes it easier to draw the rest of the person.
    5. With a pencil or marker, draw a neck, one arm, and one leg on the sides away from the fold.

    6. Keeping the paper folded, cut out the head, arm, and leg.
    7. Open the light brown paper. This should look like the outline of a person.
    8. Set person aside.
    9. Hand out yellow paper.
    10. Fold yellow paper in half. This is the coat.
    11. With the fold at the top of the yellow paper, place unfolded person on top of the yellow paper.
    12. Make a small mark on the yellow paper about a half-inch from each side of the person's neck. This the coat's neckline. (see picture below)
    13. Make two more marks about one-half inch farther out on either side of the marks in step #13. These are the 'neckline seams.'
    14. With a pencil, draw a line on the yellow paper about an half-inch away from the person's both sides, making sure the fold stays at the top. 
    15. Set person aside.
    16. Beginning on the outside 'neck' mark on the yellow paper, draw a curved line connecting to the mark under the person's arm on the same-side. (see picture below)
    17. Do the same on the other side of the person. This should make 'armholes.' (see picture below)
    18. On the inside marks made in step #13, draw a curved line, connecting to the two inside marks. This is the neckline of the coat.
    19. With yellow paper still folded, cut on pencil lines. This should result in a 'coat.' NOTE: These side 'seams' should not be taped, glued, or stapled, otherwise, the coat will not be able to be reversed.
    20. On only ONE side of the yellow paper, cut up the middle of the coat. This will be easier for the student to put the coat on the person.
    21. On the side of the coat that is cut up the middle, write "OLD MAN" at the top by the neckline and "Colossians 3:8, 9" at the bottom of the coat.
    22. On the same side, write "anger," "malice," "wrath," "blasphemy," "filthy communication"(or filthy language), and "lies."

    23. Taking off the coat, fold the seams of the coat to the other unwritten side of the yellow paper, turning coat inside-out. 
    24. On the unmarked side of the coat that is cut up the middle, write "NEW MAN" at the top by the neckline and "Colossians 3:12-14" at the bottom of the coat.
    25. On this same side of the coat, write "holiness," "mercy," "kindness," "humbleness," "meekness," "patience," "forgiveness," "self-control," "and love."
    26. Color face. Add buttons, etc.
    27. Re-tell the story of the worldly person who does worldly deeds (person wearing the OLD MAN side of the coat), but when the worldly person is baptized and becomes a Christian, he joyfully casts off that old coat and puts on a new coat of godly deeds (turn to NEW MAN side of the coat and place on person).