Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to impress upon kids the need to be ready when Jesus returns.
Needed: Bibles, a way to play music
Intro Game: What Time?
Think of a time (example: 12:49 pm) and ask students to guess what time you’re thinking of. Whoever is closest then gets to think of a new time. Continue playing as long as time allows or until each student has had a turn to think of a time.
Ask students, Did you know that Jesus is going to come back to earth one day? He’s going to come back from Heaven and will come down right out of the sky so that everyone will see Him. What do you think He will do when He gets here?
The Bible tells us that Jesus is going to lock up the devil in Hell for a thousand years and that Jesus is going to be King over the whole world.
The Bible also tells us that Jesus is going to bring back with Him the souls of everyone who has died and gone to Heaven. When He comes back, He’s going to bring those people’s souls back with Him and then, He’s going to bring their bodies back to life too, so that they can be alive on earth again.
And the people who are still alive and believe in Jesus will float up and meet Jesus in the sky, and He will change their bodies so that their bodies will never get sick, or get hurt, or get old ever again.
The people whom Jesus brings back to life, and the people who are still alive when Jesus changes them, will never die. They will live forever.
Those are pretty neat things that Jesus is going to do, aren’t they? Does anyone when that will happen?
(Read Matthew 24:36.)
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Who knows when Jesus is going to come back? (Only God.)
So, if someone tries to tell you that they know when Jesus is coming back, or when the end of the world is going to be, don’t believe it. Only God knows when that will be, and He’s keeping it a secret.
Just like when we tried to guess what time each other was thinking of, only God knows what time He’s thinking of to send Jesus back to Earth, and it would be really hard for someone to guess the exact time or day or year because God could be thinking of any time and any day and any year from now until the end of the world.
(Read Matthew 24:37-41.)
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”
Jesus says that two men will be working out in their farm field, or two women will be cooking in the kitchen, and one of the men will be taken, and the other one will be left. One of the women will be taken, and the other one left. Where do you think Jesus is saying that the one man or the one woman will be taken?
Jesus is talking about when He comes back and brings the people who believe in Him up into the sky to change their bodies so that they can live forever.
Only Christians will go up into the sky to meet Jesus when He comes back, so if the man’s friend isn’t a Christian, he’ll be left in the field. And if the woman’s friend isn’t a Christian, she’ll be left in the kitchen, while the Christians go up to meet Jesus in the sky.
(Read Matthew 24:42-51.)
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Jesus says that workers sometimes act badly when their boss isn’t around, but then, if the boss comes back and catches the worker being bad, then the worker will be in trouble.
It’s the same thing with Jesus. Sometimes, people act badly and don’t do the right things that God wants them to do because they think that Jesus isn’t watching, or that He won’t come down and punish them for those wrong things that they’re doing. But Jesus says that He will come back one day and surprise everyone, so we better make sure we’re doing the right things God wants us to do or else we’ll get in trouble when Jesus comes back and surprises us.
But if we are doing the right things when Jesus comes back, then He will reward us take us up to meet Him in the sky to change our bodies so that we’ll never die, and we’ll get to live forever with Him.
Game: Musical Chair Share
Play Musical Chairs. Remove one chair. When the music stops, the person without a chair must say one thing they’re looking forward to about when Jesus returns. Remove no more chairs. No one leaves the game. Play until interest fades.
When the game is over, remind students that Jesus is coming back one day, but it will be a surprise when it happens, just like it was a surprise every time the music stopped in the game.
Game: Resurrection Tag
Pick one student to be It. That student is Death. Pick another student to be Jesus. When Death tags someone, they fall down and lie on the ground like they’re dead. Jesus can then come to tag them, and they can get back up. If Death tags Jesus, Jesus must count to three (because Jesus was dead for three days), but can then get up again. If Jesus tags Death, the round is over. Play until everyone has had a chance to be both Death and Jesus or as long as time permits.
Remind students that Jesus will come back one day and will raise everyone who believes in Him back to life.
Jesus, we’re looking forward to the time when You’ll come again. Help us to do the right things You want us to until then so that we’ll be ready for You. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Parables and Teachings of Jesus Vol. 2.