VERSES: Acts 11:19-30
MEMORY VERSE: Acts 11:26 "...And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Review the first eight books of the New testament, making certain that all students have a firm handling of the names of the books and can say them in Biblical order.
PRAYER: Thank God for His plan of salvation and that the Gospel is for all people. Thank God that we can worship him freely and not be afraid.
SPECIAL SONG: How Do Christians Worship God? (See May 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #5 on this blog. Click orange circle for tune.)
VISUAL AID: Bible map show, showing Jerusalem, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Antioch, Tarsus, Judea. Large Activity (see below)
- In many countries today, there is religious freedom and people can worship God freely. This has not always been the case. Ever since Stephen had been stoned for preaching about Jesus and had died, the church was persecuted. (See May 2015 - Lesson - The Stoning Of Stephen). We remember that even Saul helped in this persecution before he was baptized (Acts 8:1, 3).
- Because of the church being persecuted, the believers in Jesus scattered to escape the bad things that were happening in Jerusalem. When we look on the map (show Bible map), the disciples scattered from Jerusalem to Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. The ones who went to these cities only preached to the Jews. We learned when Cornelius was baptized into Christ and that he was the first Gentile (or non-Jewish) person that had been preached to and obeyed the gospel. We remember that Peter preached to him and all of his family and friends and many were baptized because of Peter's preaching. (See June 2015 - Lesson - The Conversion of Cornelius on this blog.) From that time until now, the gospel is for ALL people, Jews and Gentiles.
- Some of the disciples were from Cyprus and Cyrene and, when they came to the city of Antioch, they preached about Jesus to the Grecians and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. When the church in Jerusalem heard about what was happening in cities far away from Jerusalem, they sent Barnabas to help and preach to them.
- Do we remember anything about this man named Barnabas? When Saul escaped from Damascus by being let down the wall in a basket and went to Jerusalem, all the disciples were afraid of him. They thought he was still persecuting Jesus' disciples. But who stood up for Saul and took him to the apostles and gave Saul the opportunity to tell them how he had spoken to Jesus on the road to Damascus? Barnabas! Barnabas had not been afraid of Saul and was Saul's friend. So now, it was this same man, Barnabas who was sent by the church to go preach about Jesus to the ones in Antioch and all along the way. Barnabas preached to many people and they were baptized and added to the church.
- Do you know what Barnabas did next? He traveled to Tarsus and looked for his friend, Saul and brought him back to Antioch, too! They stayed in Antioch for a whole year, worshiped with the church, and taught many people about Jesus. It was here in Antioch that the disciples were called by a new name. They were called Christians.
- When a man named Agabus was filled with the Holy Spirit and foretold of a terrible famine that would be coming in the days of a Caesar named Claudius, the disciples sent Barnabas and Saul with money to give to the brethren who lived in Judea for this coming disaster.
- Just as the believers and disciples of Jesus were called Christians in the book of Acts, people who have
- heard the Word (Romans 10:17),
- believed in Jesus (Acts 8:13),
- repented of their sins (Acts 2:38),
- confessed Jesus as the Christ (Acts 8:37),
- and are baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 8:38, 39) are called Christians today.
- This lesson tells us why Christians are called 'Christians.' It is not a made up name or a name that men have voted among themselves to called; it is a name that was in God's mind and in His plan. There is book, chapter, and verse for believers in Christ to be called "Christian." Read Acts 11:26 again.
- In Isaiah 56:5 and 62:2, Isaiah foretold the time when believers would have a new name. In Acts 11:26, we find out that new name: Christian.
- The word Christian is only found three times in the Bible. Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and 1 Peter 4:16.
Materials needed: 9" x 12" black construction paper, 4 1/4" x 8 1/2" white bond paper (this is a half-sheet of typing paper), 2" x 7" yellow construction paper, scraps of different colored paper, scissors, markers, crayons, glue.
- Hand out black paper.
- Fold black paper in half.
- Turn black paper, so that the long, open sides are at the bottom and fold is at the top.
- Hand out yellow paper.
- Write "A NEW NAME" and "Acts 11:26" on yellow paper.
- Glue yellow paper to front of black paper.
- Unfold black paper.
- Hand out different colored scraps of paper.
- On nine different colors of scrap paper, write "...And," "the," "disciples," "were." "called," "Christians," "first," "at," "Antioch."
- Assemble the words on the black paper in order.
- Glue the words to the black paper.
- Re-fold black paper and turn the paper over to the back side.
- Hand out white paper.
- Show students how to draw a very rough outline on the white paper. Or copy the outline below and hand out to students. This outline does not need to be perfect; it only needs to show the highlighted areas on the map.(Don't forget the island of Cyprus!)
- Write "Mediterranean Sea." "Tarsus." "Antioch," "Phoenicia," "Jerusalem," and "Cyprus" in proper areas. It is OK to look at the Bible map in a Bible.
- Color map.
- Glue map to back of the black paper.
- Before students leave the classroom, make certain the words are glued in order inside the black paper and the cities and areas are in the right places on the map.