Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Lesson - Philemon

Philemon 1:1-1:25

MEMORY VERSE:   Philemon 1:5  "Hearing of thy love and faith..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  1 Thessalonians.  Write "1 Thessalonians" on small pieces of paper and hand out to the students at the end of Bible class, so they words may be taken home, memorized, and recited at the next Bible class. By memorizing the books of the Bible, the children will be able to find any book of the Bible without dependence on lists, bookmarks, or parents.

PRAYER:  May we always be happy for those who have heard the Word of God, studied the scriptures, and obeyed the Gospel of Christ like Onesimus and Philemon.

SPECIAL SONG:  Be patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Songs We Sing in Bible Class #1 on this blog.  If you click on the orange icon by the song, you will hear the tune.)

VISUAL AID:  Draw three men on a white board or a chalk board (if desired, simply use triangles and circles for an easy drawing).  Write the names of Paul, Philemon, and Onesimus above each of their heads.  Refer to the board as you teach the lesson.  Make it simple and easy.  At the end of the lesson, write the words "love," "gentleness," and "forgiveness" around the men on the board.

  • Paul was an apostle and a preacher of God's Word who always did his best and truly tried to do everything God wanted him to do. (Acts 23:1)  Because of his preaching about Jesus, Paul was put into prison.  While prison is never a good place to be and prisoners are usually not treated very well, Paul had the privilege of writing letters to a few of the churches and, occasionally, he wrote to a few of his friends like a man named Philemon.
  • Who was Philemon?  Philemon was a Christian and also a slaveowner. He was a friend of the apostle Paul.  Back in the time when Paul was writing this letter, men had other men work for them.  The men who worked were slaves and could not leave their slaveowners.
  • THE PROBLEM? Onesimus was a slave who had run away from Philemon, his slaveowner, but had become a Christian like Paul and Philemon.  Where Onesimus had been a worthless slave in the past to Philemon and had even deserted and run away from Philemon, Paul says in his letter that Onesimus had now become profitable to both Paul and Philemon. Onesimus had changed his way of thinking and living because he was now a Christian and served the Lord. How would Philemon now treat Onesimus?
  • Paul asked Philemon to take Onesimus back and treat him the same way he would treat Paul.  Paul asked Philemon to forgive Onesimus and to not treat him like a servant anymore, but to treat him like a beloved brother.  Paul said that if Onesimus had wronged Philemon in any way or owed him anything, that Philemon should charge Paul's account and Paul would repay it at a later time.  
  • Paul wrote that he had confidence in Philemon and knew that he would not only do what Paul asked of him, but that he would do more than Paul asked. 
  • The letter of Philemon is a letter of love and forgiveness.  This is how Christians treat each other--with gentleness, forgiveness, and love, never holding a grudge or a memory of bad feelings.  We should treat others the same way that Paul asked Philemon to treat Onesimus.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • What was Paul's crime?  Preaching the Gospel.
  • The book of Philemon is actually a letter that was written to a man named Philemon who was a fellow-Christian and friend of the apostle Paul from a Roman prison.  We might wonder why Paul was in prison because people who are held in prison are usually criminals, but not Paul.  Paul was placed in prison for only one reason and that was because he had been preaching about Jesus, God's Son. 
  • This short letter that Paul wrote to his friend, Philemon, can be divided into four major parts:
    • Verses 1-3      Paul's Courtesy
    • Verses 4-7      Paul's Compliment
    • Verses 8-21    Paul's Counsel
    • Verses 22-25  Paul's Conclusion
Materials Needed:  8.5" x 11" piece of white paper, crayons, pencil or pen, black marker (optional).
  1. Fold a piece of white paper in half, and then fold it in half again, so it is quartered.

  2. On the top of the paper, write "A Lesson In Forgiveness" and "Philemon 1." 
  3. Draw a man.
  4. Write "Paul" above his head. 
  5. Open the half-sheet of paper and draw a man. 
  6. Write "Philemon" above his head.

  7. Across the half-sheet of paper (still folded once), draw a man.
  8. Write "Onesimus" above his head.

  9. Turn folded paper over.
  10. Write "How Christians treat each other..." at the top of the paper.
  11. Below those words, write "LOVE," "GENTLENESS," and "FORGIVENESS."

  12. Turn folded paper over to the front page.
  13. Draw a prison window by Paul.
  14. Write "An apostle" and "A preacher of God's Word" around Paul.

  15. Open to Philemon's page.
  16. Write "Paul wrote a letter to Philemon," "A friend of Paul's,' "A Christian," "Treat Onesimus the same way he would treat Paul," "Would forgive Onesimus for running away," and "He would do more than Paul asked" around Philemon's picture.

  17. On Onesimus' page, write "He had run away from Philemon," "In the past was a worthless slave," "A Christian and now a beloved brother of Paul and Philemon's," "Now served the Lord," and "Now useful to Paul and Philemon" around Onesimus' picture.

  18. Color all pages.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Lesson - Holding Fast The Faithful Word

VERSES:   Titus 1: 4-13

MEMORY VERSE:   Titus 1:9  "Holding fast the faithful word..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Colossians.  Write "Colossians" on small strips of paper and hand out to the students to take home and memorize that particular book.  We should all strive to hide God's Word in our hearts, meditating on it throughout the day. What will help us? Knowing where the books of the Bible are located inside the book.  By encouraging students to memorize the order of the books of the Bible, it can only help knowing where to find God's precious commandments and words of comfort so we can read it for ourselves.

PRAYER:  May the Lord's church be filled with Christians who are strong in the faith and are able to hold fast to God's Word.

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog. If you click on the orange icon by the song, you will hear the tune.)  

VISUAL AID:   Draw a picture of a hand holding on tightly to a rope.  Write "Holding Fast" on the board and "Titus 1:9."

  • When we find something of great value, we want to keep it forever and never let it go.  Even if that something is not valuable, but it is something that we treasure and it means something to only us, we still want to keep it for a long, long time.  That same feeling should be how we feel about the Bible.  The Bible, which is God's Word, should be our most precious possession.  Not our car, or home, or trophy, Grandma's quilt, a diamond ring, or all the money in the bank is more valuable than the words that are written in the Bible.  The Bible contains words from the most high God, the one who created the world and all that is in it.  The Bible tells us what pleases God and how we should live our life in order to please Him.  The Bible gives us example after example of how others in the Bible lived their lives and if they pleased God or not.  The Bible, God's Word was and is the standard for living the right way.
  • God tells us that we should "hold fast" to His Word.  An example of holding fast to something is like you are drowning in the ocean in the middle of a raging storm and somehow someone throws you a rope! How tightly would you hold on to that rope?  If you let go, you would drown, but if you held on as tightly as you could all the way to the end where you could be saved from the ocean and the storm, you would live!  How long would you try to hold on to that rope?  For as long as you possibly could! That's what holding fast means.  Holding on with all of your might for as long as possible! That is what we should do with the Bible, knowing that it is through God's Word we are saved if we hold on long enough.  
  • Did you know that we should desire or want the Bible more than anything in the whole world? God says in the book of Psalms, in the 19th chapter and in verse 10 that the words of God should be desired more than very fine gold!  It also says in that same verse that God's words are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb!  Who likes something sweet? We all do, don't we? A little honey is so good and sweet!  That's how God's Word is--it makes life better! 
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Read 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.  Ask "What is God's Word good for?"  Read this verse again, writing the answers on the board. (Profitable means "good for.")  Doctrine, reproof, correction, for instruction in righteousness. "Why?"  So that the man following God should be perfect.
  • Owning the Bible is not all that is required of God's people.  They must read (Isaiah 34:16) , study (2 Timothy 2:15) and obey (Acts 5:29).
Materials Needed: 9" x 12" light blue paper, 3" x 9" dark blue paper, 4" x  6" brown paper,   1" x 7" white paper, glue, scissors, pencil, crayons.

  1. Hand out brown paper.
  2. Each student clenches his/her own fist and places thumb-side down on paper.
  3. With pencil, trace fist onto brown paper with the other hand (or if Bible teacher chooses, students may pair up to help each other).
  4. Cut out fist.
  5. Draw lines for fingers.
  6. Cut a small line between thumb and index finger.
  7. Set aside.
  8. Hand out dark blue paper.
  9. Slightly tear one long edge of dark blue paper.This will look like waves in the ocean.
  10. Set aside.
  11. Hand out white paper.
  12. Draw a long rope, using most of the white paper.
  13. Cut out rope. (May cut one end like the end of a rope, if desired.  See picture above.)
  14. Write "Faithful Word" on the top of the rope.
  15. Set aside.
  16. Hand out light blue paper.
  17. Glue "rope" in the middle of the paper, only putting glue on the top of the rope..
  18. Towards the bottom middle of the light blue paper, glue hand, touching the rope like it is holding on to the rope with end of the white rope between the thumb and the index finger.
  19. Glue dark blue paper to the bottom of the light blue paper.
  20. Add "waves" in water with crayon.
  21. At the top of the light blue paper, write "Holding Fast the Faithful Word" and "Titus 1:9."

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Lesson - Why We Must Preach The Word

VERSES:   2 Timothy 4:1-4

MEMORY VERSE:   2 Timothy 4:2.  "Preach the word..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Philippians.  Write 'Philippians' on small strips of paper and hand out to the students to take home and memorize that particular book.  We should all strive to hide God's Word in our hearts, meditating on it throughout the day. What will help us? Knowing where the books of the Bible are located inside the book.  By encouraging students to memorize the order of the books of the Bible, it can only help knowing where to find God's precious commandments and words of comfort so we can read it for ourselves.

PRAYER:  May we treasure each and every verse of the Bible, knowing we gain guidance and comfort through His Word.  Let us never be afraid to proclaim God's Truth to our friends and neighbors.  

SPECIAL SONG:   Acts 8:4 (see June 2015 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #7 on this blog. If you click on the orange icon by the song, you will hear the tune.)  

VISUAL AID:   Write "2 Timothy 4:2 - "Preach the Word..." on the white board or chalk board.

  • God has given us a precious book that contains everything He wants us to know and what we should do to please Him.  This book also tells us how to get to heaven, the difference in right and wrong, how to be obedient to God, how to live a peaceful life, and how to help others.  This book is called the Bible. It is a book containing 66 smaller books that are filled with lessons starting from the beginning of creation. It also tells us what we should do with this book called the Bible.  When we turn to the New Testament pages of Second Timothy and look in the fourth chapter and second verse, we find what we should do with this book.  What does it say?  "Preach the Word..."  With boldness and confidence, the Bible student should share what he/she has learned from the scriptures, no matter how trivial it may seem.  
  • 2 Timothy 4:2 also says that we should be ready and prepared to preach the Word when it is popular or unpopular.  We need the Bible to correct, admonish and even scold those who should know what pleases God, but are not doing those pleasing things.  We should also build up or exhort others by preaching God's Word.
  • Why should God's Word be preached? Because there will be a time when people will not listen to the Bible. They will find men who only preach what they want to hear and not necessarily what God wants them to hear and do.  2 Timothy 4:3 and 4 says they want to have their ears itched with words they want to hear and then they will turn away from God's Word to hear fables or stories. How sad not to read and listen to God's Word, but only want to hear funny or silly stories and ignore God! How that must make God sad and angry! We should learn to read, learn to read well, know what God wants us to do, and teach others what we have learned. The Lord needs many gospel preachers to preach and teach His Word!
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Read Psalm 19:7-10 aloud and write on the board descriptions of God's Word.
  • How do we know what He wants us to do and how to do it? We must not only read the Bible, but diligently study the Bible! (2 Timothy 2:15).
  • In 2 Timothy 4:1-4, there are four steps to apostasy or falling away from the Truth.  Can the students list them? (Not endure sound doctrine, have teachers teach their itching ears, turn away from the Truth, turn to fables.)
Materials Needed:  9"x 12" any color piece of construction paper, 3" x 5" light brown paper, 4" x 4" red paper, 4" x 6" blue paper, 4" x 6" green paper, 3" x 4" yellow paper, 2" x 4" tan paper, 2" x 3" black paper, stapler and staples, crayons, scissors.

  1. Pass out large any color paper to each student. (I chose brown.)
  2. Fold edge of paper one-third of the way up.
  3. Staple side edges of paper to form a pocket.  (This is where the objects for the lesson will be kept.)
  4. Write "WHY WE MUST PREACH THE WORD" and "2 Timothy 4:1-4" at the top of the pocket.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Hand out blue paper.
  8. Put inside pocket.
  9. Hand out light brown paper.
  10. Draw a person from the side view (see picture above.)
  11. Cut out person.
  12. Draw lines for his/her clothing, hair, eye, smile.
  13. Turn person over.
  14. Draw lines for his/her clothing, hair, eye, frown, and not smiling.
  15. Put inside pocket.
  16. Hand out small tan paper.
  17. Draw an ear on the tan paper.
  18. Cut out out ear.
  19. Write "ITCHING EARS" on ear.
  20. Put inside pocket.
  21. Hand out black paper.
  22. Write "BIBLE" on one side of paper.
  23. May round two corners if desired, to look like more like book.
  24. Put inside pocket.
  25. Hand out red paper.
  26. Draw a VERY large "X" in the middle, using up most of the paper.
  27. Cut out 'X."
  28. Put inside pocket.
  29. Hand out yellow paper.
  30. Write "MOTHER GOOSE" on one side of yellow paper. (This a book of Mother Goose fables or nursery rhymes.)
  31. If there is room, draw a goose on the yellow paper under the words "MOTHER GOOSE."
  32. Put inside pocket.
  33. Hand out green paper.
  34. Write "WE MUST PREACH GOD'S WORD!" on the green paper.
  35. Place blue paper, person, ear, Bible, red X, Mother Goose book, and green paper  inside the large pocket.
  36. Clean up.
  37. As a whole group, everyone takes their objects out of their paper pockets and lays them on the table in front of them, telling the story as a group. (Numbers may be written on the backs of each object except the person to help in remembering the  sequencing.) For example:  
    1. (Bible is placed in front of the student.) "Why must we preach what God tells us in the Bible?"
    2. (Place blue paper on table.) "God says there will be a time come when people will not listen to God's Word." 
    3. (Place ear on the table.) "God says they will find teachers who will preach what the people want to hear because they have itching ears." 
    4. (Place red 'X' on Bible and the frowning person walking away from the Bible.) "God says they will  turn away from the Truth."
    5. (Place Mother Goose book on table and the happy person looking at the Mother Goose book.)  "God says they will turn to fables."
    6. (Place green paper on table.)  "God says, 'We must preach His Word!"
    7. Place all objects back in pocket.  If time permits, tell the story as a group again until runs out.
  38. The Bible teacher should practice these four steps to apostasy or the falling away from the Truth until it is fluent.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Lesson - The Love Of Money

VERSE:  1 Timothy 6:6-12

MEMORY VERSE:   1 Timothy 6:10  "For the love of money is the root of all evil..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Ephesians.  In order for the Bible students to memorize all the books of the Bible, continue writing books of the Bible on small strips of paper, so the students may taken them home to memorize. Ephesians is the special book at this time. By adding a book each week, the students will eventually meet the goal of reciting all 66 books of the Bible from memory.  

PRAYER:  Pray that all those in the Bible class avoid loving money; instead, may they all be rich in good works and laying up treasures in heaven.

SPECIAL SONG:   The Books Of The New Testament (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog.  Click on orange icon to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Draw a bag of money, a fancy car, and a big house on the white board or chalk board.  As the Bible teacher teaches the lesson, cross out each of the drawings.  Replace them with a big heart with the word "GOD" in the middle of it.

  • We studied last time about how God's ways are higher than our ways are and how God sees things differently than we do.  Most people think that getting rich and buying fancy cars and huge mansions are the most important things they can do as they try to gain more and more money each day as they live here on the earth, but we find that our heavenly Father does not want His people to love money so much that they forget Him. It is written in the book of First Timothy that "the love of money is the root of all evil." (1 Timothy 6:10).  Does the verse say that money is the root of all evil? No--the "love" of money is what makes it wrong in God's eyes.  Do we need money? Yes--we need to buy food and our apartments or houses, we need to buy clothes. There are many ways that we can use money, but what does God say that is wrong with money?  It is sinful for us to LOVE money so much that we can only think of things money can buy for us and we forget that God is the one who supplies us all of the things we need (Philippians 4:19).
  • So, if God does not want us to love money, what does He want us to love and follow?  Listen carefully as we read 1 Timothy 6:11 together.  God wants us to follow righteousness or doing good, godliness or being like God. He wants us to have faith in Him which we can get by hearing God's Word (Romans 10:17).  Loving Him and others is important  to God.  Always being patient with others and being humble in the things that we do is how God wants us to be, not thinking about money so much that we can only think of getting more and more!
  • Should we trust in riches?  First Timothy 6:17 says that the rich people in this world should not think that they are better than everyone else and that they should not trust in their riches, but that they should trust in God who gives all things. We should all do good and be rich in good works rather than money. We should be willing to help others with the money we possess (1 Timothy 6:18) and always trust God for what we need.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Read Matthew 6:19-21, 24-33.  After reading these select verses, ask the students what treasures can be laid up in heaven (not riches of gold and silver, but obeying God and keeping His commandments, doing good to all men, things of a spiritual nature, etc.)  Ask the students what is one of the most important things in God's eyes (Read Matthew 6:33 again).
ACTIVITY:   "Should we Love Money?"
Materials:  White paper, crayons.
  1. Hand out white paper to students.
  2. Students write "SHOULD WE LOVE MONEY???" at the top of the paper. ( A drawn heart and a money sign is fine instead of words.)
  3. Write "1 TIMOTHY 6:10" under the title.
  4. Students draw a bag of money, a car, a house and a red heart somewhere on the paper.
  5. Inside the heart, students write the word "GOD".
  6. Students cross out the bag of money, the car, and the house and circle the heart, showing what is important to God.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Lesson - Be Not Weary In Well Doing

VERSE:  2 Thessalonians 3:13

MEMORY VERSE:  2 Thessalonians 3:13  " not weary in well doing."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Galatians.  To help students remember the next book of the New Testament, write "Galatians" on small strips of paper and hand out one strip to each student to take home and memorize. By memorizing a book a week, eventually the Bible student will achieve the goal of memorizing all 66 books of the Bible.  Becoming familiar with the names of the Bible books and knowing which testament (Old Testament or New Testament) the book is in will enable the student to look up Bible verses quickly and efficiently.  

PRAYER:  May we all strive to do well in God's sight and not be afraid to do good to our neighbors, friends, and even enemies each and every day as Jesus did.

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

VISUAL AID:   Photos of those in the congregation and/or in the classroom.  As an example, write a letter of a couple of lines on the white or chalk board.

  • Those who try and obey God in everything they do are also ones who want the best for others. It doesn't matter who that "other person" is.  It may be a friend or a good neighbor who lives next door, but it may also be someone who is unkind to us.  While we do not want to share in others' unkindness, we always want to be kind to everyone. Every person is valuable to the Lord and we need to always treat them with politeness, gentleness, and kindness.  We find in Romans 12:14 that we are to bless those who persecute us--or treat us with unkindness.
  • The Bible verse states " not weary..."  We do good things as often as we can and we should never grow tired of doing good.  We don't proclaim the good things we do for all to see; we do good like Jesus did--quietly, not to build ourselves up, but to glorify God. God knows what we do and what our intentions are.
  • What are some ways in which we can "be good" to others?
    • If someone who we know is sick, we can write letters or draw pictures of happy scenes and send them to those who are feeling poorly. Maybe we can take them a little food like soup and crackers. Think about how we feel when we are sick and do those helpful things that make us feel better. At times, it might be washing dishes, mowing a lawn, etc. 
    • When someone is sad, we do not always need to do anything. Just by sitting beside them, we let the one who is sad know that they are not alone and that they have a friend.  Doing good does not always cost money; sometimes it only costs time.
    • There are many things we can do for others.  (Ask the students for their ideas.)
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Read Isaiah 55:8. God's ways are higher than our ways, meaning that His ways are better than our ways. Sometimes people want to "get even" or "treat them they way they treat us," but that has never been God's way.  Read Romans 12:17-21.
ACTIVITY:  Helping Others
Materials Needed:  Addresses of those in need of an encouraging word, white paper, envelopes, stickers, pencils, crayons, markers, stamps.

  1. Hand out white paper.
  2. Depending on the age and skills of the student, have them draw a picture or write a note to someone who would appreciate an encouraging letter.
  3. Check each 'letter,' making certain the contents are appropriate and the student has signed their letter. 
  4. If possible, let the student address the envelope in their own handwriting.
  5. The return address could be the Bible teacher's address.
  6. Lick the envelope carefully.
  7. Place stamp in appropriate place.
  8. Bible teacher then mails the treasured letters the next morning. 
  9. Hopefully, those receiving the letters will thank the students for their thoughtfulness which will motivate the students to write more on their own.

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).