The Bible's teachings on eternal life are so simple that the youngest child can grasp them, yet profound enough that theologians have spent more than 2,000 years writing about them without exhausting the subject. When you teach Bible lessons for children about eternal life, keep it simple and use lots of illustrations -- just like Jesus did when he taught about eternal life.
Open up by talking with your kids about why people do the things they do. For example, people put on a jackets and mittens to stay warm and eat lunch to have energy and grow. Explain to your kids that God used lots of men to write the Bible. Ask them why they think God did that -- get ready for some doozies when they answer! Affirm their answers, then transition by saying, "John was one of the people who followed Jesus and wrote part of the Bible and he told us why it was written." Then read John 20:31 and 1 John 5:11-13, which explain that the Bible was written so that people can know they have eternal life through Jesus.
Open up by talking about things that seem to take a long time and things that seem to take a short time. For example, you might talk about how recess is over very quickly, but math class seems to take a long time. Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-3 and John 14:1-4, which talk about the home Jesus has prepared in heaven. Explain that "perishable" means that your body will die and that "imperishable" means you will receive a new body that will never die. Tell your child that death isn't forever, but heaven is.
Pick up some travel brochures of amusement parks, zoos and other kid-friendly attractions. Show them to your kids. Ask them which places they would like to go and why. Explain that all of these places are great, but no one gets to go to any of them forever. Describe heaven for the kids based on Revelation 21-22; read through it first and pick out details that are appropriate for your age group. Focus on the idea that those who go to heaven get to stay there forever. Then, have the kids make travel brochures for heaven with a folded sheet of paper and crayons or markers.
Before the lesson, buy some really good candy and some cheaper candy. Gift generous portions of the "good" candy. When the lesson starts, grab a handful of the cheap candy and ask your kids if they would be willing to do a job to get a piece of candy. Give small, easy chores to those who agree and pay up with the candy when they complete the job. After everyone who wants to has had a chance to earn a piece of candy or two, tell them that you have a gift for each of them, whether they did a job for you or not. Before they open the gifts, read Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Discuss the differences between a gift and wage. Close by sharing that the only thing they need to do to get the gift of eternal life is to receive it. After all, it's a gift -- the best gift ever.
- Loop Kids: Elementary Lesson 3: Jesus Explains Eternal Life to Nicodemus
- Bible Gateway: John 20:31, NIV
- Bible Gateway: 1 John 5:11-13, NIV
- Bible Gateway: 2 Corinthians 5:1-3, NIV
- Bible Gateway: John 14:1-4, NIV
- Bible Gateway: Romans 6:23, NIV
- Bible Gateway: 1 Cornithains 15:53-54, NIV
- Bible Gateway: Revelation 21-22, NIV
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