There Is a Heaven and a Hell

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 19 - What About Eternity?

TEXT: Revelation 21:10-27; 22:1-5; Mark 9:42-48


The students will be able to describe Heaven and Hell, and to summarize what determines in which place a person will spend eternity.


Introduction: Open your class session by illustrating the choices we make every day. Display a number of objects relating to some of these. (See Preschool Suggestions for details.) Bring out that the most important choice we make is where we will spend eternity.

  1. Give a description of the beauty of Heaven.
  2. Tell who will be there.
  3. Explain who will not be able to go to Heaven, and tell why.
  4. Describe the place where those who don't go to Heaven will have to go.

Climax: Describe the descent of the New Jerusalem.

Conclusion: God is preparing an indescribably beautiful home for those who love Him, and we must be sure that we are ready to spend eternity there.

Response: The students should be able to tell a number of specific aspects of Heaven and Hell, and to relate what determines in which place a person will spend eternity.


The term "heaven" is used in Scripture to refer to three different things. It frequently refers to the sky or atmosphere as in Psalm 78:23-26 and Isaiah 55:10. It also refers to outer space or the place of the sun, moon, and stars, as in Genesis 1:1 and 1:15. However, Paul said that he was caught up into the “third heaven" referring to the eternal and perfect dwelling place of God and other heavenly beings (2 Corinthians 12:2).

Jesus promised to return and take His followers to the place that He would prepare in His Father's house (John 14:1-4). The Holy City described in Revelation 21:10-27 and 22:1-5 combines the characteristics of the Garden of Eden, Jerusalem, and the Temple. Its most noteworthy characteristic, however, is that "the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb" (Revelation 21:22) will dwell eternally with those who have "washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (See Revelation 7:14-17.) Anyone who is impure is barred from entering that place (Revelation 21:27).

The term "hell" in Scripture is translated from three words: the Hebrew word "Sheol" and the Greek words "Hades" and "Gehenna." Sheol and Hades are synonymous and refer to "the place of the dead." Although it is sometimes translated “the grave" or "pit" it does not refer to a literal grave but to the abode of the spirits of those who have departed this life, an intermediate state between death and resurrection. It seems evident that "Hades" is divided into two compartments, one for the righteous, a place of bliss referred to as "Abraham's bosom" in other Jewish writings, and one for the wicked, a place of torment. (See Psalms 16:10 and 9:17.)

"Gehenna," the third word translated as Hell is derived from the name of a valley outside of Jerusalem where the apostate Jews practiced child sacrifice to the god Molech, and later during a reformation, King Josiah converted it into a place of defilement where dead bodies and refuse from the city were burned. The word was adopted by the Jews and also by Jesus to mean the place of eternal punishment for the wicked after the resurrection of the dead and is synonymous with the "lake of fire." Revelation 20:14 reads "death and hell (Hades) were cast into the lake of fire."

The Biblical doctrine of Hell is not derived only from the Scriptures where this word is used but from many other references where Christ used terms like "unquenchable fire," "the blackness of darkness," "the furnace of fire," "where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched" and "the place prepared for the devil and his angels."

Whether we take these descriptions literally or not it is certain that the real terrors of Hell will surpass any we can imagine.


  • Give each child a piece of paper with a simple outline of Heaven on it. Give them crayons, glue, glitter, or whatever you may have that would be suitable. Have them decorate Heaven as they think it will be. Cut out each picture and put them on the board. Tell the children the Bible says we can't imagine what Heaven is like.
  • To illustrate Heaven, bring to class small boxes of various sizes, covered with foil. Add construction-paper doors/windows. Decorate with glitter. Assemble in a city-like setting using gold paper for ground and streets. Use to describe Heaven.
  • Cut a city from paper and mount on a file folder (see Patterns). Opening the folder causes a 3-D city to appear. Color the city using lots of glitter or glitter pens to show the beauty of Heaven. Make a second folder to represent Hell.


  1. Tell what you think Heaven will look like.
  2. Tell about the tree of life.
  3. Who do you want to see in Heaven?
  4. Talk about the most beautiful place you have ever seen on this earth. How did you feel when you first saw this place? How do you think you will feel when you see Heaven?
  5. Do you think there will be churches in Heaven? Why?
  6. Name some things that will not be in Heaven.
  7. How can we "lay up" treasures in Heaven?
  8. How do we get to Heaven?
  9. People will not have to wear glasses in Heaven. Why?
  10. Why is it important that you have your name written in "God's Book"?
  11. What do you think you will like most about Heaven?
  12. In the Bible who tells us what Hell is like? Mark 9:42-50
  13. Tell what you think Hell will be like.
  14. Why is there a Hell?
  15. How can you make sure you don't go to Hell?
  16. What can you do to help others so they won't go to Hell?
  17. People can choose whether they want to go to Heaven or Hell. Explain.
  18. Why should the devil be thrown into Hell?
  19. If all people have to do to escape Hell is to give their lives to Jesus, why don't they? How can we help them?


  • At the beginning of the unit bring a large picture, scene, or some representation of Heaven with a picture of Jesus in the center. Each week let the students add something they would like to see in Heaven. Maybe these can be found in stickers or cut from greeting cards: flowers, birds, trees, smiling faces, angels. At some point, at least by the end of the unit, cut up a class picture and put each of their faces on the picture. This could be something to do together in class and could also be displayed on the bulletin board.
  • Make a shadow box of Heaven and one of Hell, with hinged flaps which lift up to show what is in each place. The Heaven shadow box should be decorated with glitter and shiny foil, and the pictures could be of angels, crowns, pretty flowers, etc. The Hell shadow box could be made with orange construction paper to represent flames. Under the flaps should be sad faces, crying faces, and sin-spotted hearts.
  • Use two heart-shaped candy boxes, one beautifully decorated and one sprayed black. Put pictures of good behavior in the beautiful box. Put pictures of bad behavior in the other box.
  • To illustrate to your preschoolers the choices we make every day, show a number of objects. We choose to eat cookies or dirt. We choose to put sugar or pepper on our cereal. We choose to wear a sweater or a swimsuit. We decide which one to choose by which one we like, or which one makes the most sense. We also choose where we will spend eternity. Show a picture of Hell (flames and sad faces) and Heaven (mansions and golden streets).


Place two chairs in front of your group. Have one chair represent earth and the other represent Heaven. Arrange chairs so there is a gap between the two. That gap is sin, it separates us from Heaven. No one may pass, on their own strength. Stretch a string from one chair to the other, explaining that some people think they can go to Heaven by only doing good things, but that will not hold a person up. Now place a cross between chairs so that it bridges the gap and explain to the students that Jesus died on the cross so that we are able to have our sins forgiven and go to Heaven.

Bring a large map (or atlas) of the Holy Land on which you have marked several places mentioned in the Bible—countries, areas, cities, rivers, etc., choosing those with which the children will be most familiar. Bring also some news headlines or news briefs regarding these same places. Bring out to the children the fact that they can read about the same places in the Bible that they hear about in the news. Then read off names of some of the places and ask such questions as "Have you ever been in Jerusalem? Have you been on the Sea of Galilee? Have you crossed the River Jordan? Been in Bethlehem?" Then ask, "Well, if you haven't seen it does that mean it is not there?" Conclude with the fact that the Bible tells us about Heaven, and also Hell. Just as sure as the other places mentioned in the Bible are real, so are Heaven and Hell.

Put together a slide show illustrating what happens to earthly treasures. The slides could show a new house and an old house; a new car and a smashed, rusted car; money and an empty wallet, etc.


  • Heaven . . . How to Get There — Visualized story, Children's Evangelism Fellowship
  • Where Is Heaven? — by Sandra Ziegler, Standard Publishing
  • Dear God, Where Do You Live? — by Anne Fitzgerald, Augsburg