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.
- Hand out 12 to 14 cards per student.
- Students write questions on six or seven cards.
- Students write answers with verses on matching cards.
- Set aside cards.
- Hand out an envelope to each student.
- On the envelope, write "Jesus Is Coming Back!"
- 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.
- 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.