TEXT: John 14:2-3; Revelation 21:10-12,18-23
The students will realize that Jesus is in Heaven now waiting to come back and receive us unto Himself. They will be able to give some details of what Heaven is like.
BIBLE LESSON OUTLINE
Introduction: Open your class session by showing your group a poster depicting Heaven. Have hinged windows which open to show glimpses of things in Heaven. Discuss the beauty of Heaven and how we all want to go there. (Do not open the windows yet.)
Progression of events:
- Jesus went to Heaven to prepare a place for us.
- Give a description of Heaven, using the gold page of the Wordless Book. Allow students to open windows of the poster as you discuss the various things which will be found in Heaven.
- Tell who is in Heaven.
- Tell who is not in Heaven.
- Describe how long Heaven will last.
Climax: If we love Jesus we will spend all eternity in that beautiful place called Heaven. (Show gold page here.)
Conclusion: Heaven is a wonderful place; we don't want to miss it.
Response: Have each student describe some of the characteristics of Heaven.
The hope of Christ's return should cause the Christian to examine his life, but it should not become a point of argument in regard to the interpretation of specific prophecies. 2 Peter 3:11 states, "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness."
Following Christ's discourse on the end of the age, He gave several parables, all of which have the same basic message: "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 25:13). The word watch connotes "preparedness and diligence about one's spiritual condition." Being prepared is essential because at the coming of Christ the ungodly will be judged. The righteous will be rewarded with an eternal home in Heaven with Christ (Matthew 13:41-43).
When Christians are perplexed or suffer they are to comfort each other with the hope of Christ's soon return when He will set right all the wrongs and evils of this world (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
- Have the class pretend they are getting their home ready for a special loved one from out of town. Bring some things to illustrate it. What are some things they would do to prepare for the visit? Possibly put fresh sheets and blankets on their bed (laundry soap). Wash dirty dishes (dish soap). Dust and vacuum (dust cloth). Make cookies and pick flowers (cookies and flowers). Jesus is preparing a home for us, but we have to have our sins washed away by the Blood of Jesus in order to be prepared for that home. Review Wordless Book colors with heart shapes cut out of construction paper or posterboard.
- Bring a wedding invitation to class and talk about the wedding, where it will be, who will be there. Bring some clothes and let the class help you decide what to wear. Jesus holds out an invitation to those who will come and be His Bride. We need to wear proper wedding clothes, which means we need to have a heart that is washed in Jesus' Blood and to live a life above sin. Jesus has prepared a place for us and all we need to do is get ready to go there. Review the Wordless Book.
- Make a "Book of Life" from foil with paper pages or draw the outline of a book on chalkboard. Put the children's names in the Book.
- Use the symbols of Heaven: Streets of gold—yellow cellophane; pearly gates—pearlized nail polish brushed on cardboard gates; best food—cookies; a picture of Jesus with arms stretched wide.
- Give each child a copy of the dot-to-dot Heaven scene (see Patterns). As they complete their picture of the mansions in Heaven talk to them about what Heaven will be like. Jesus is preparing a special place for each of us. When do they think Jesus will be ready for us? Are they excited?
- Have the children pretend they are in a race for Heaven—a race where everyone can be a winner. Give each of them a copy of the Heavenly Goal questionnaire (see Patterns). Help them to circle the right answers to the questions. These should help them see why they need to start the race and how they can finish.
Special Instructions for this Lesson: Refer to Lesson 1a for additional ideas.
When dealing with the subject of Heaven, be prepared to answer a child's questions concerning death: How do I get to Heaven? Will I have to die? How can I know that if I die I will wake up in Heaven? Where is Heaven? Is Heaven far away? Can I leave Heaven if I want to? Will I meet Jesus when I get there?
- What do you think Heaven will be like?
- What do you expect to find in Heaven?
- Who are some people you think will be in Heaven?
- Where is Jesus right now? What is He doing?
- What do you have to do to be ready for Heaven?
- How can we help people get ready for Heaven?
- How do we know that Jesus will come again?
- How many of Jesus' promises are true?
- Who will go up to meet Jesus when He comes?
- Why will we be happy when Jesus comes again?
- How do you suppose the disciples, who loved Jesus, felt when He died? Why is it so hard for us when someone we love dies?
- Talk about how the disciples got to see Jesus again when He arose and how we will get to see our loved ones again when we get to Heaven.
- Write a letter from Jesus, using the Rebus method (see Patterns), telling all the things that Jesus is preparing for us in Heaven—the tree of life, golden streets, living water, mansions, etc. Read the letter to the children. They could probably "help" you with a few words.
- Let each of your children complete their Heaven picture by drawing clouds (see Patterns). Copy this pattern onto blue paper and let the children scribble on clouds around Heaven.
- Give each child a Heaven lacing card (see Patterns). Copy this onto heavy white paper and punch out the holes where indicated. Let the children color in Heaven and then give each of them a length of white yarn and let them lace through the holes in the clouds around Heaven.
Draw a large circle on cardboard. Divide it into five pie shapes (See pattern in Unit 18, Games for Review). Color or put construction paper into the five wedges, using the colors of the Wordless Book. Use a paper clip as a spinner. Put five clear containers on a shelf and inside each put five to ten questions written on slips of paper in the colors of the Wordless Book. A child comes up and spins the spinner. If the spinner stops on red, for example, he would take a question from the container with red slips in it. If he answers correctly he receives a small prize such as a balloon or pencil in the corresponding color. Then another child gets a turn, and so on until all questions are answered.
Have some air-filled and some helium-filled opaque balloons. On the helium ones draw a happy face, and a sad face on the air-filled ones. Attach strings to each one and tie to a base. When the base is removed or the balloons are cut loose the happy ones go up and the sad ones go nowhere. Ad lib the story about clean hearts and sin-filled hearts.
Tell a story about some friends or relatives coming for a visit (by plane, bus, or train). We are so excited to see them we can hardly wait to show them our house, room, toys, and sights around town. Compare this to Jesus in Heaven and how He wants us to go there so He can show us what He has made for us.
Use the Heavenly Goal questionnaire from the In-Class Activities and prepare an overhead review for the children. Circle the answers they choose.