Items needed: fake (play) food
Serve fake food (borrow from kids’ play set) for a meal. Put it in a bowl or on their plates. (Of course, keeping real food hidden somewhere.)
Why don’t you want to eat this food?
Serve the real food.
What’s the difference between the fake and real food? (Fake food is not real; you can’t even eat the fake food; the real food is good; etc.)
What was Jesus teaching when He told the parable about the wheat and weeds (tares)? Jesus told a parable (a story that teaches a deeper meaning) about wheat and weeds (tares). A man planted a field of wheat, but while he slept, his enemy secretly sowed weeds in his field. The owner said to let them both grow and he would sort them out at the harvest. Jesus told the deeper meaning and said there will be a “harvest” (the judgment) when He will sort out the true believers and “fakes.”
How could one be a “fake”? (He could say or do things so that others would think he believes in Jesus, but he would not really believe; he could pretend to be a Christian to please others; etc.)
God sees our heart and knows if we are true believers. We will all be judged by Him.
Now or Later
Items needed: Now or Later candy
Share the candy and talk about judgment.
Does judgment always come right away? (Not always, sometimes we do wrong things and it looks like there is no punishment)
What might we think if we don’t see consequences (bad results) when we do wrong? (It’s not so bad to do wrong; we can do wrong and get away with it; etc.)
Read Romans 14:10-12.
What do these verses tell us about judgment? (We will all stand before God and give an account of what we’ve done)
God is a just judge. Sin must be punished, but we can be thankful Jesus has paid for our sins and they can be wiped away.
Understanding God’s Judgment
Ask the kids a question at dinner or at bedtime to open discussion about God’s judgment.
How do you feel when you see someone do wrong things and it looks like they get away with it?
It doesn’t seem right when we see people do wrong things and seem to get away with it. And it isn’t right! There are people who hurt and even kill others, but aren’t punished. They may even think they are getting away with it, but God will SOMEDAY punish them. Just because He is patient does not mean He is going to overlook the evil that people do. God may punish now or He may punish later, but we can be certain He will punish!
How does knowing God will judge each person help you?
God’s judgment is not for those who believe in Jesus. Jesus has already taken the punishment for those who believe in Him. Those who are true believers in Jesus will live forever in heaven with Him. (Matthew 13:43)