Heaven is not an easy concept for kids to understand (though they seem to understand it more easily than grownups!). We can help kids prepare in advance for some doubts that may hit them as they grow older.
We can teach them to believe that resurrection is very real for us and our loved ones, and the proof is that it’s been done already – here on earth, and to a girl not much older than they are!
**Teacher’s words are in bold**
Prior to class, find a picture of a pet that is cute and you might like to have one like it. Bring it to class.
Read the scripture verses. Hold up the picture of the cute dog in the magazine.
I really like this kind of dog. I would love to have one and name him Buddy. But they’re way too expensive for my family. So, you know what? I bet if I believe hard enough, that Buddy will pop right out of this picture and come to life. Who wants to help me?
Older kids will be skeptical; ignore it for the moment.
Buddy! Buddy! Jump out of that picture and come to life!
Repeat louder, then much louder. In frustration, call on one of the older children in the class.
What’s wrong here? Why am I not able to do this?
Creating life from non-life is impossible.
I could stand here and scream at that picture all day, couldn’t I, and it would not make that doggie come to life. This dog is just a picture in a magazine. He cannot – no how, no way, no matter – come alive and walk around this room.
Now let’s talk for a minute about a person who has died. Where do our loved ones go when they die?
To heaven to be with Jesus.
And what do we believe heaven is like?
Take their impressions and add to them your own.
What I’m about to say might shock you, because most kids have no trouble believing in heaven. But be aware as you grow older. Adults tend to lose their imaginations because they get very busy or very concerned about the challenges here on earth. Some grownups can no longer imagine heaven. They tend to see a dead person and see “the body” and believe that that person is really just a “body” that has stopped functioning.
As you get older – and busier, and more involved it the challenges of this world – you may be tempted think that a person has no more chance of coming alive again in heaven than this cute dog in the picture has of popping out of it. What did the people do when Jesus told them that the little girl was just sleeping?
They laughed at him.
These adults simply could not believe that a dead person had any more chance of coming back to life than a picture of a dog has of becoming a real dog.
But we know that with God, all things are possible. Why do you think Jesus brought this little girl back from the dead?
They will probably not get the full gist; they will probably say to make her mom and dad happy and because her life was not meant to be done.
These are all good things. But when Jesus said one of the greatest truths in the universe in John 14:2. It is one of those scriptures you really need to remember as you grow up, and you face some sad things, and you’re tempted to lose hope”¦
Speak very emphatically:
IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS.
IF IT WERE NOT SO, I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU.
These were among the last words that Jesus said to his disciples here on earth. He wanted to make sure they understood that heaven is very very real. He raised this little girl so that people would understand that death has no power over us when we believe the life after death is very, very real.
How many of us are able to believe this?
Hold your hand up high, too.
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