Sunday, December 1, 2013

God Is with Us: When We Die - Martin Wiles

(All material is original to the author with the exception of songs and activities which have been borrowed from various sources. All studies are free for public use.)

Theme: God Is with Us: When We Die
Scripture Reference: Genesis 19:1-29
Memory Verse: Genesis 19:17
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)

During the months of January and February, children will explore the theme: God Is with Us. Each week, a familiar story from the Old Testament will be studied and a particular lesson examined. This week, children will learn how they can trust God to be with them in death. 

For eight weeks, we will talk about the theme “God Is with Us.” We will learn eight different stories from the Old Testament—some of which you might already know, that will show us different occasions when we can be assured God is with us. Jesus promises never to leave or forsake his children, and these stories will teach us how God didn’t with men and women who lived a long time ago. Today’s story is about an Old Testament family who had to run for their lives so they wouldn’t die. In fact, one of them did.

(Display the following verse where the children can easily see it.) Let’s say our memory verse together. Run for your lives…And don’t look back…or you will die. Genesis 19:17 NLT

Icebreaker Questions: 
Can you tell about a time when a friend or family died? How did you feel?

What about dying scares you? Why? 

Does it scare you when you hear about bad people going into schools and shooting and killing teachers and students? 

Activity Time:
When we are in dangerous situations—ones that could even lead to our death, God promises to protect us. Here is a simple experiment that will illustrate this to the children. 

Black Pepper in Water

Wooden spoon
Black pepper
Small amount of dish detergent

Place water in bowl and cover with black pepper.
Place handle end of wooden spoon in water and pepper will adhere to it. Tell children the water is the world and the black pepper represents all the bad things that could happen to us, death included.
Wipe spoon and coat with small amount of dish detergent.
Place spoon in water and watch the black pepper suddenly move away from it. Tell children this is what God does for us—protects us from bad things or protects us when bad things happen. (Make sure children understand that just because they are God’s child it doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen to them, but even when or if they do God will still protect them.)

Bible Story Time: 

Reflection: What would you do if an angel showed up at your house and told you that God was about to destroy the city where you lived? 

This is exactly what happened to a man named Lot and his family. We’ve already studied about a man named Abraham who loved and served God and had a son named Isaac. He was the man God told to leave his homeland and travel to a new placed called the Promised Land. Well, when Abraham left, he took with him his nephew who was named Lot. 

Lot and his uncle Abraham were farmers. God had promised to bless Abraham with many children if he obeyed what he told him to do. A part of that blessing was giving Abraham a lot of land and livestock. In this time, those two things made a person wealthy or poor. After living in the land for a little while, the livestock of Lot and Abraham increased tremendously, so much so that there wasn’t enough land to support them both. Abraham, being the kind man that he was, told Lot they were going to have to separate but that he would give him the choice of which part of the land he wanted. Lot wasn’t unselfish like his uncle. He looked in the direction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The land was lush, fertile, and beautiful. His greed took over, and he chose that land. Abraham graciously gave it to him. 

Reflection: Do you think being selfish can lead to death? 

Lot married and had two daughters. Eventually, however, they wound up in the wicked city of Sodom. People in this city and in Gomorrah were very wicked. They did all types of things that displeased God. Though he hated to do it, God decided he would destroy both the cities. Before God destroyed the two cities, however, he told Abraham his plans. Abraham hated to hear the news because his nephew and his family lived there. He asked God to spare the city if ten good people could be found. God agreed. Unfortunately, not even ten good people who loved God could be found. 

Reflection: How would it make you feel to live in a place where not even ten people loved and served God? Would you be afraid to let them know you were a Christian? In some countries, saying you are results in death. 

Even though Lot lived in a wicked place, Lot was a godly man. God wanted to protect him and his family from death when he destroyed the city, so he sent two angels to warn Lot. They told Lot what was going to happen. He was to take his wife and daughters and flee to the mountains so they wouldn’t die with everyone else. 

The day came when they were to leave. The angels hurried them from their home. As they were leaving, Lot’s wife—who obviously wasn’t as godly as Lot, looked back. God had told them not to look back. When she did, she turned into a pillar of salt and died, but Lot and his daughters were protected from death. 

Reflection: Is everyone going to die? What happens to people after they die?

Unless Jesus returns, all of us will die. We could be killed by someone or in a tragic accident. We might die of old age or of cancer or a heart attack. No one likes to think about dying, but dying is a part of life. The Bible says it is appointed to people to die. Dying is a part of the sin curse that is on our world because of Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience long ago. Some even think we would have died anyway. Our bodies get feebler as we get older. 

God, however, will protect us from or through death. The Bible says God gives his angels charge over his people to protect them. We may never know how many times God protects us from things or people that might kill us. But he will also protect us when the time comes for us to die. If we love Jesus, accept him as our Savior, and ask him to forgive our sins, the Bible tells us he will protect us from a terrible placed called hell. Hell is the place where all those who don’t love God go after they die. Like all those other people in Sodom and Gomorrah. God protects his children from that place by taking us to heaven when we die. Heaven is a beautiful place where there are no bad things or people. 

Lot trusted God to protect him from death. We can too.


Activity Time: 
Let children color the picture of Abraham and Lot telling each other good-bye. Also let them complete the Abraham and Lot Anagram. 

Wrap Up:
Let each child tell one thing they learned from the story of Lot about how God protects us from death. 


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