|Friday:||The Finish Line: Heaven|
|Story Passage:||Revelation 1:1-20|
|Other Passages:||2nd Timothy 4:7-8, John 14:1-14, Revelation 21:1-22:6|
|Objective:||Rewards in heaven await believers who finish the race.|
|Memory Verse:||2nd Timothy 4:7-8, |
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day...
Introduction: Crown of Righteousness
Who remembers what out theme is for this week? (Running the Race.) [Read 2nd Timothy 4:7-8.] When is this crown of righteousness going to be awarded? (On that day.) After we have finished the race. What race are we running? (The race of life for God.) So after we finish the race, where will be go to be awarded that crown of righteousness? (Heaven.) Who would like to know about what heaven is like?
Story: The Revelation
When the Apostle John was very old, he was exiled to the island of Patmos. That means he wasn't allowed to leave. He says, that it was because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus that he was exiled on the island. He had been teaching about Jesus, and they stuck him on Patmos to get rid of him. But God had a plan for him while he was there. On the Lord's day, a loud voice, like a trumpet, told him to write down what he saw on a scroll and send it to the churches. The voice that was talking to him was Jesus, and Jesus was about to show John things that would happen in the future, including heaven.
When Jesus showed John heaven, he showed him a holy city coming down out of the sky from God. The voice of God said that in heaven God will live with men, and they will be his people, and he will be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. Everything will be new.
Then John saw the place where the people who love Jesus will go: the city will shine with the glory of God. It has a great high wall, and it is decorated with precious stones: sapphire, emerald, topaz, and others. There are twelve gates, three on each side, and each gate is made of a giant pearl. The city is going to be huge, bigger than Ohio, so big it would take an entire day and night to drive across it at 60 miles/hour without stopping. The great street of the city is of pure gold, clear like glass. It doesn't need a temple or a church, because God himself lives there. It doesn't need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God is the light. The gates will always be open, because it will never be night: just like you don't lock your house up in the daytime, the city won't need to be closed up, because it will always be day. A river of clear water flows from the throne of God down the middle of the great street of the city, and the tree of life (from the garden of Eden) grows beside the river.
Invitation: Getting to Heaven
Who gets to go to heaven? Do people who don't believe in Jesus get to go? (No.) The only people who get to enter heaven are the ones whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Everyone else goes to the fiery lake of burning sulfer to be alone without God (or anyone else) forever. So, who gets to go to heaven? Whose name is written in the Lamb's book of life?
The people who love Jesus, who look forward to his coming, the people who live for Jesus, who run the race of life for him, those are the people whose name is written in the book of life, and those are the people who will go to heaven to be with Jesus forever. If you would like to find out how to get your name written in the book of life, stay after the lesson and talk with the teacher or [one of these other counsellors] about how to make Jesus your Lord and Savior.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.