The children’s sermons from mid-November to the end of the year will take us from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Seek Ye First is all about helping us keep our priorities. Tabernacles is a look at what could be considered the first Thanksgiving for the children of Israel. The season of Advent begins with the prophecy of how Jesus will return to earth and will be Coming in Clouds. The story of John the Baptist tells how he would Prepare the Way for the coming of Jesus. As we enter closer to God we are taught to Pray About Everything. Though a little out of place chronologically, the next sermon is the story of the magi in Wise Men Worship Jesus. Then we celebrate the birth of Christ with A Child is Born. The story of Jesus being accidentally left after a feast in Jerusalem is given in Home Alone. Have a grateful Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!
For the Sunday before All Saint’s Day the children’s sermon No Ghost shares proof of the resurrection. Invisible Sponge tells the story of how God held back the water in the Jordan River to make a dry path for the Israelites to pass over into Canaan, the Promised Land.
In Ticket to Ride learn about when Jesus returns believers will meet Him in the air. In The Lion and Lamb we can play peacefully now without using violent toys.When Jesus returns to earth the world will be peaceful. Even animals that were enemies will live together.
In Coming in Clouds we discover that the Lord Jesus will return in the clouds of heaven. He will be crowned King of the world and his kingdom will last forever. For Thanksgiving, the origins of the holiday are in Tabernacles. The feast of tabernacles was the first Thanksgiving celebration. We can be thankful we have a home in heaven.
The Season of Advent starts with Coming Suddenly, which explains the return of Jesus to earth will be sudden and unexpected. We should be ready and expecting His return anytime. Finally, in Shake and Bake the prophet Haggai says God will shake heaven and earth when the Lord Jesus returns to earth. He will destroy the earth by fire and create a new heaven and earth.
This is a summary of the children’s sermons for the coming weeks at the end of summer.
As we near the end of summer the children’s sermons are about wisdom, faith, perseverance, and providence.
Jesus teaches with parables on the kingdom. He tells that people must act on the truth they understand in Seeds that Grow. He prophesies that evil will be removed from the world upon his return in Wheat and Weeds. Solomon makes a humble request to know right from wrong in Solomon’s Wisdom. Jesus demonstrates that he can multiply our resources when we offer to him in faith in Feeding the 5000. Peter shows we can do impossible things by faith if we keep our eyes on Jesus in Peter Walks on Water. Joseph perseveres through many years of hardships and learns to trust God no matter what his circumstances were in Joseph & the Colorful Coat. God seeks to find the lost and makes his will known through Moses: Lost and Found. Moses is called to serve God at the Burning Bush.
Text: Isaiah 11:6-7
Props: stuffed animals of a lion and lamb.
Summary: When Jesus returns to earth the world will be peaceful. Even animals that were enemies will live together. We can play peacefully now without using violent toys.
Alternate Skit: a skit using persons playing the parts of Linus and Lucy
Look who I brought with me today. This is Linus (the lion) and Lucy (the lamb). The Bible tells us that after Jesus returns to earth again there will be a time when everyone will be at peace again. There won’t be any wars or fighting. Even animals that never got along together before and were enemies will live together in peace.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
Today the wolf will hunt and eat a lamb. God says the wolf will not do that anymore during the time of peace that is coming. Leopards won’t eat goats. Young lion cubs won’t eat baby cows (calves) nor little lambs. The lion will eat straw instead of other animals. All the animals that were violent and harmed other animals will not hurt them anymore. Jesus will make them be able to live and play together calmly and peacefully. They will not cause danger anymore.
How many of you know how to play together nicely without hurting yourself or others? (show of hands) Do the toys you play with cause you to pretend to hurt others? Let’s listen to what Linus and Lucy have to say.
Linus: Hi Lucy! Things sure have been nice and calm in the playroom lately.
Lucy: I’ve noticed that the boys and girls are playing without any fighting too. What’s up?
Linus: That’s because the Mommies and Daddies asked their children to trade-in one of their toys so the children would play together without pretending to fight each other.
Lucy: Was it just any toy the children brought?
Linus: No. They were asked to give up a violent toy.
Lucy: What does “violent” mean?
Linus: A toy that they have to pretend to hurt someone else with.
Lucy: Like a gun?
Linus: Yes. Like Laser Challenge or Nerf Pulsator.
Lucy: Oh, I understand. Like toys where they pretend to fight like Small Soldiers or Duke Nukem action figures and Bashin’ Brawlers wrestlers.
Linus: Yes, that’s right. Or even hand-held games like Giga Fighters or computer games like Worms 2 or Urban Assault.
Lucy: But when the children traded the toy, what did they get in return?
Linus: They got a Lionhearted Certificate for being brave enough to turn in a violent toy. The certificate had discount coupons that let them go to a store and get a NEW TOY, one that was not violent.
Lucy: So that’s why everything is so peaceful! The children learned how to play peacefully together.
Linus: And the parents learned that Violence is Not Child’s Play. Now let’s go play!
Did you hear what Linus and Lucy said about some toys being violent toys? How many of you would be brave enough to trade-in a violent toy? (show of hands) Let’s remember that each time we play together we should not harm each other. If we do that, we will help make the world a more peaceful place now even before Jesus returns.
Possible Handouts for Parents: Top 20 Toy List (for peaceful play) or The Dirty Dozen (12 violent toys to avoid) from The Lion & Lamb Project. Visit the web site to learn more about how to resolve conflicts and promote peaceful play among children. A Parent Action Kit is one useful resource you will find available. A Toys for Peace booklet is available that explains how to organize a Violent Toy Trade-In.
©1999 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? – Psalm 8:3,4
Text: Psalm 8:3,4
Prop: Photo of earth seen from the surface of the moon
Summary: Jesus will return one day and the moon will not give her light prior to his return.
Do you know what happened in the sky a few nights ago? A lunar eclipse. The moon was hidden by the shadow of the earth as it passed in front of the sun. This only happens where we can see it about every four years. God set all of the planets and stars and the moon in their own orbits when he created the heavens and the earth. Look at this picture.
What is different about this picture? Yes, you are looking at the earth the way the American astronauts saw it as they were visiting the moon. Jesus said that a certain day would come when the moon would not give light. Was he talking about a lunar eclipse? No. He was talking about the end of the world. He spoke of the time he would return to earth in Matthew 24:29,30:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
We can be glad that Jesus will return one day. He is coming suddenly to set up his kingdom on earth. We need to be ready. The way to be ready is to ask Jesus to be your Savior. He wants everyone to be ready for his return. So the next time you see a lunar eclipse, remember that the moon will not give her light when Jesus is about to return. Just as the Psalmist said in Psalm 8, even though God created all the planets and everything in heaven, he still cares about man. He cares about us and loves us. Let us love Him and thank Him for his creation.
Let us pray. Dear God, thank you for creating the moon and the stars and the earth. Most of all, thank you for creating us in your image. Help us to love you more and more each day. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
Text: Revelation 19:7-9
Prop: poster of The Invitation or a bride in wedding dress
Summary: Jesus (the Lamb of God) will hold a marriage supper for his Bride (the church) in heaven. Only those with a wedding garment will be allowed to attend.
How many of you have ever been to a wedding? Have you ever noticed at a wedding that everyone gets dressed up in nice clothes? A marriage is always a happy occasion. The man and woman become one person in the eyes of God when they are joined in marriage. (Genesis 2:24) The Bible speaks of a time when all the believers of Christ will be joined together with Jesus in heaven. The marriage will be of Jesus and His bride, the church. There will be a large feast or supper held at that time. It is called the marriage supper of the Lamb in the Book of Revelation.
Jesus is the Lamb of God. His death on the cross was a sacrifice for the sins of everyone who ever lived. Jesus has a Bride. The Bride is his church of believers. He has given each of us who believe on him a garment. That garment is fine linen, clean and white. That wedding garment represents our righteousness. Righteousness is a big word that means “being good.” Now we know that we cannot be good all on our own. When we accept Jesus as our Savior it is as if he gives us all of his goodness. So our “righteousness” is not our own, it is God’s gift to us. God’s righteousness will be our wedding garment.
The angel said Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. To be blessed is to be happy because God has done something special. Jesus calls many people to believe on him, but not all who hear the good news will believe on him as their Savior. Jesus once told a parable about a king that made a marriage for his son. (Matthew 22:2-14) One of the people that showed up didn’t have a wedding garment. The king had that person thrown out of the wedding. If we try to get to heaven on our own, trusting in all the good things we’ve done, we will be like the person who didn’t have a wedding garment. If we trust in Jesus as our Savior, then he will give us a wedding garment to wear to his future wedding. Remember the next time you attend a wedding that God will have a wedding one day, one that you have been invited to attend.
©1999 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Matthew 24:31; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
Prop: an airline ticket or poster of Homecoming by Danny Hahlbohm.
Summary: When Jesus returns believers will meet Him in the air.
Look what I brought with me today. It is an airline ticket. Have you ever flown on an airplane? To fly on a plane you must first buy a ticket. Shortly after takeoff the plane climbs higher and higher until it passes through the clouds. On a cloudy day once you pass through the clouds, suddenly you see the sun shining brightly above the clouds. If you glance out the window you look down below and see the clouds. It looks like a sea of puffy marshmallows. It is a beautiful sight.
Now we are not eagles and we have no wings to fly. We can’t soar through the clouds like Peter Pan. But did you know that the Bible says that one day we will be caught up in the clouds and meet Jesus in the air?
(Read 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) The Bible says that every one who has already died that trusted Jesus as their Savior will be raised from the dead first, and then everyone that is alive that believes on Jesus will suddenly meet Jesus in the air! Jesus himself spoke about a day when he would return from heaven to get us in Matthew 24:31 saying And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
But that’s not all. The Bible says we will be given a new body when this happens. It won’t be made of flesh and blood like we have now, but it will be a spiritual body that will last forever. (Read 1 Corinthians 15:51-53] Can you blink your eyes really fast? Let’s try it. [Get the children to blink their eyes as fast as possible.) A twinkling of an eye is even faster than a blink I think. So Jesus is going to change our bodies very fast. The new body will not grow old and die anymore.
When will all this happen? I don’t know. It could happen at any moment. Only God the Father knows of the day and hour He will send Jesus to meet us. It will surely happen and all you need is a ticket for the ride of your life. And the ticket is this: Ask Jesus to be your Savior. He has already paid the price for your ticket when he died on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead three days later. He is God’s Son and is alive forevermore. One day he is coming back. I hope you will ask Him to be your Savior so you can be picked up by an angel to meet Him in the air!
©1999 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. – Revelation 22:12
Text: Matthew 24:27, 36-42; Acts 1:11
Prop: a movie poster that says “Coming Soon” or a computer rescue boot disk
Summary: The return of Jesus to earth will be sudden and unexpected. We should be ready and expecting His return anytime.
Look what I have with me. (show poster) This movie poster says “Coming Soon.” That means that at some point in the near future this movie will be shown, but we are not sure of the exact date. We can expect to see it soon and be waiting for it to come out. Today I want to tell you about the return of Jesus to earth. Unlike a movie we will never know exactly when Jesus will come back so we need to be ready.
The return of Jesus is certain but it is a mystery; we don’t know everything but we have a few clues.
Clue #1: His return will come suddenly. (Read Matthew 24:27) A bolt of lightning is quick and powerful. It flashes suddenly and strikes without warning. We know when Jesus comes back it will all happen quickly.
Clue #2: No one knows the exact date or time of his return. (Read Matthew 24:36) This event is so big that even the angels in heaven haven’t been let in on this secret. There is no use in trying to guess a date because only God knows.
Clue #3: His return will be unexpected by many. (Read Matthew 24:37-42) Jesus compared his return to the flood of Noah’s day. A warning had been given but many people ignored it until it was too late. When Jesus returns some people will be taken just as some were taken when the door to Noah’s ark was closed… one shall be taken, and the other left. (verse 40). We should not be lulled to sleep by the lullaby that some sing saying, “where is the promise of his coming?” (2 Peter 3:4)
What should we do? Jesus tells us to be ready anytime. He wants us to be expecting his return. We don’t need to worry about choosing the date; we just need to be on the welcoming committee. We should ask Jesus to be our Savior and be serving Him and living a godly life.
When he left the earth (see Jesus Ascends) the two angels said he would come again in the same manner he left. (Acts 1:11) He left in person and he will return in person to the earth. He promised, I will come again, and receive you unto myself. (John 14:3) Are you ready? Then be looking out and looking up for Jesus!
Alternate introduction: Use a computer rescue disk for a prop. Explain how you never know when your computer may crash so you are ready to boot it with a rescue disk to save the data.
©2001 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. – Matthew 24:40
Text: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Prop: a grain of wheat and a weed (or pictures)
Summary: The parable of the wheat and tares. God will judge between good and evil ones at the end of the world and remove the evil ones.
Look what I brought with me today. (Show the wheat and weeds.) Which of these is a grain of wheat? We make bread from the wheat grains. It is very useful and good. Is this weed good for anything? (No.) It is bad because it takes up valuable space that could be used to grow something good like wheat. It is constantly competing for the same ground that the wheat needs to grow. In a way, you could say the wheat and the weeds are in a game of tug-of-war.
Jesus told a parable about the wheat and weeds. Remember, a parable is a story about something you already understand that is used to explain something spiritual.
(Read Matthew 13:24-30.)
Jesus explained the parable to his followers. This story is like a play with many characters in it. Jesus is the sower. The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the wicked one (Devil). The enemy is the Devil and the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. A reaper is one that cuts and removes. Jesus explained that he would not always allow evil to remain in the world. When he returns to earth to set things right he will send his angels to remove everyone that is an evil doer. The angels will cast them into a furnace of fire. Then the good children of the kingdom will remain and live a wonderful life with God. Jesus will separate the evil ones from the good ones. The tug-of-war will be over and only the good children will have a place in God’s world.
Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, help me to be like a grain of wheat, something good and useful in your world. Amen.
Alternate introduction: Use a small rope (a jump rope will do) for a brief tug of war between chosen sides. Explain that today’s story is about how the world has a battle between good and evil that will ultimately be settled by Jesus.
©2002 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. – Revelation 22:10
Text: Revelation 19:11-16
Prop: a poster of “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” or picture of a king
Summary: In the struggle between good and evil, the Lord Jesus will return as King of Kings to remove evil from the world. We cannot defeat sin on our own. We need God’s help.
Have you ever heard of the book “The Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien? This epic tale is made up of three books, the last of which is “The Return of the King.” This trilogy is a great work of Christian literature. It teaches us that God is at work in the world and how much we need a savior. It gives us a picture of a struggle between good and evil (bad). In the mythical Middle-earth, the evil Lord Saurun is trying to rule Middle-earth by reclaiming “the one ring” that brings absolute power to whoever wears it. But the ring, like sin, corrupts and ruins the person who dares to wear it. The ring must be destroyed by throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom where it was made. The humble hobbit Frodo is given the task of taking the ring back, but is unable to withstand its lure. Yet, despite his failing, the ring is ultimately destroyed.
Today we still have a struggle between the forces of good and evil. This struggle is not only between persons, but within our own hearts. We are tempted by sin, and we fail when we give in and let it rule us. But God is ready to help us. The Lord Jesus has already defeated sin and death for us. He did that by dying on the cross and rising again three days later.
The Bible tells of a time when Satan and the forces of evil in the world will be defeated. It will happen in the valley of Megiddo in the land of Israel. We call it the battle of Armageddon. (see Rev 16:16) In this battle the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus, will return to earth with the armies of heaven to destroy the evil ones. Listen as the apostle John describes the return of the king:
(Read Revelation 19:11-16.)
Wow! The Lord Jesus is coming back! He is coming to rule the earth as our King. He will remove everything evil from the world. As much as we may try to be good, we are unable to defeat the sin in our lives on our own. We need God’s help! Choose God and what is good. Ask the Lord Jesus to be your savior and give God the victory.
Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, prepare our hearts for your return as our King. Amen.
©2003 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.