Purpose: Use this children’s sermon on the Fall to teach kids how punishment helps us.
Scripture: Genesis 3:14-19
Needed: a picture of you as a child
Ask students, Do any of you have rules at your house? Do you ever break the rules? Do you get in trouble when you break the rules?
(Show the picture of you as a child and tell a story about a time when you did something wrong and were punished for it.)
Do you like to be punished? I didn’t like to be punished, either. Why do you think our parents punish us?
(Explain that your punishment helped you learn not to do the wrong thing again.)
The Bible tells us about the time when God punished the first man and woman. The devil used a snake to tempt them into eating the fruit that God told them not to eat from. When they ate from it, God punished the snake and the man and woman.
(Read or summarize Genesis 3:14-19 , quoted here in the NIV.) “So the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.'”
“To the woman He said, ‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.'”
“To Adam He said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,” Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.'”
So, God made the snake crawl on his belly when snakes had legs before. God made the woman have pain when she had babies. And God made it harder for the man to grow his food. He made both the man and the woman die when they got older. Those were all punishments for their sin, for them doing what God told them not to do.
Do you think God punishes us when we do something wrong?
He does. One way that punishes us is by making us feel bad about what we did. But the only reason that God punished Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and the only reason He punishes us is to teach us not to do those things anymore.
Punishments are one of the ways God teaches us. Just like when your parents punish you for breaking the rules, God punishes us to show us that He’s serious about not wanting us to do wrong things.
The great thing about God, though, is that even when we do the wrong things He doesn’t want us to do and He has to punish us for it, He’s also always ready to forgive us.
Father God, we thank You for punishing us. We thank You for the example of the first man and woman and how You punished them. Help us to learn to listen to You and not do the things that You’ve told us not to do. And thank You for forgiving us whenever we ask You to. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this children’s sermon for Kindle or in print in my book, Children’s Sermons about the Fall and the Flood