A Returning Truth

By Karla Schettenhelm, Children's Ministry

Christ Returns

Revelation 21:1-22:5

When Jesus went back to His home in heaven, He promised to get a place ready for us so we can live with Him forever someday. In this lesson we will learn about the new heaven and earth and some things that are and are not there.
Look at these pictures. 
Which of these places would you like to go? What would you do there?
God made many fun and beautiful places in the world. Today, we will hear about a place even more wonderful than all of these!

Story

The account below is taken from the Enduring Faith Bible Curriculum Unit 3, Lesson 14.

All but one of Jesus’ twelve apostles were put to death for their faith in Jesus. The last of the Twelve was John, who took care of Mary after Jesus died.

John wasn’t put to death, but he was exiled. He was forced to leave his people and live on an island called Patmos. For an apostle, being away from other Christians was one of the hardest things.

But something very important happened while John was in exile. Jesus showed him a revelation that God the Father had given Him. It showed John what was happening in heaven and on earth.

That is so important because sometimes really bad things happen. Sometimes, it feels like Jesus doesn’t know what’s happening or that He doesn’t care about us. Jesus gave John this revelation to write down so we could remember that God is in control of everything. One day He will come again to take away all the bad things and make His creation new, perfect, and wonderful forever. That includes each of us believers too!

In the revelation, John saw Jesus in the new Jerusalem, and he wrote about it. Jesus said, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” The description of the city and the tree of life sounds amazing and unusual as John struggles to explain heavenly things in earthly language.

John wrote down everything he saw and experienced in what became the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation. It tells us that God supervises all things and orders events so unbelievers will repent and glorify Him.

John finished his Book of Revelation with a promise from Jesus:  “Surely I am coming soon.” John’s answer is our prayer, “Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus!”  (Revelation 22:20).

Watch

For children
All Things New – Revelation 21 & 22 (Sharefaith Kids)

For older children and adults
Heaven & Earth (The Bible Project)

Consider

What things are not going to be part of the new heaven and the new earth?

  • Revelation 21:4
    • A world without fear, sorrow, tears, mourning, pain, and more seems beyond our understanding. But because we all experience these things, it is possible for us to begin to understand what the new creation will be like without them.
    • This lesson’s Bible words are from Revelation 7:17, God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. 
  • Revelation 21:22
    • There will be no need for the temple, as God’s dwelling place will be among and in His people. We will know God face-to-face.
  •  Revelation 22:5
    • A world without the sun or moon is beyond our understanding. We depend on the sun for everything: light, heat, and the life of all living things. Yet in the new creation, the Son of God will be our light for all eternity.

Make connections between the tree in the new Jerusalem and the tree at the beginning of creation.

  • Read Revelation 22:1-5.  Read Genesis 2:9 and 3:22-24
    • The angel shows John the river of life as it runs through the new Jerusalem. Along with the river he sees the tree of  life with its twelve different kinds of fruit. Unlike the tree of life in the garden of Eden, there is no longer any need to separate us from the tree since we are with the Father for all eternity.  In this new garden there is no temptation and no curse. The tree gives different fruit each month as God continually provides for all our needs. 
    • Some people claim they can predict the end of the world. Is it really possible to predict the second coming of Jesus?
  • Read Mark 13:30–37
    • Jesus makes it very clear that neither He nor the angels in heaven know the day or time of Christ’s return. Only the Father knows when the end of time will come.

Measure It!

After revealing the new Jerusalem, the angel uses a golden rod to measure the city.  Read Revelation 21:10-21 and note the numbers.  What one number do you see repeated several times?  (12)
  • Twelve is symbolic of the people of God including the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles.  YOU are included among the people of God.
  • Use a ruler, yardstick, tape measure, etc.  and measure various parts of your house and/or yard. 
    • What discoveries did you make? 
    • Are there any repeated numbers like the measurements of the new Jerusalem?

Arts and Crafts

Re-read Revelation 21:1-22:5 then draw a picture of what you see given John’s description of the new Jerusalem or the river of life.
  • Here are some specific things you may want to consider when you are drawing:
    • Revelation 21:9–21 Some things that John saw in heaven according to these verses were the golden city of Jerusalem, twelve gates, twelve angels, names of the twelve tribes of Israel, names of Jesus’ twelve apostles, and many jewels such as emeralds, sapphires, and pearls.
    • Revelation 21:23 This verse reveals that it will always be light in heaven, with the light radiating from God’s glory and from Jesus, the Lamb.
    • Revelation 22:1–2 These verses discuss the river of the water of life and the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit.
    • Revelation 21:4 In heaven we will not see tears, death, crying, mourning, or pain.
John mentions angels when he is describing what he’s seen. Make angels – there are many different ways to make angels, here are two:
  • Paper/Styrofoam cup angel
    • Supplies: paper or Styrofoam cup, 6-inch paper doily (or regular paper cut into a 6 inch circle), paper circle (approximately 2-inch), markers, gold pipe cleaner, and tape.
    • Draw a face on the paper circle. Place the cup upside down.  Tape the face on the cup. Twist one end of a pipe cleaner into a halo, stick the other end of the pipe cleaner through the cup so that halo extends over the face. Fold the doily in half, center it on the back, and tape it in place for wings.
  • Paper plate angel
    • Supplies: paper plate, scissors, circle (for the face), glue, tape, or stapler, decorations (glitter, glitter glue, jewels, buttons, stickers, markers, etc.)
    • Cut a triangle out of approximately ¼ of the plate.  Attach the triangle on the opposite side of the plate it was cut out of (see picture).  Draw a face on the circle and attach it to the middle of the plate.  Decorate the angel however you would like to.

Music

Music is ordered from songs for young children to those for older children and adults.
Oh You Can’t get to Heaven  (VeggieTales)
Heaven is a Wonderful Place
When I Get to Heaven (Heritage Kids)
I Can Only Imagine  (MercyMe)
Well Done (The Afters)
Home (Chris Tomlin)
I’m But a Stranger Here (Heaven is My Home) (The Lutheran Quartet)

Prayer

Thank You, Jesus, for loving us so much that You died on the cross and rose again for us. Thank You for making a beautiful place where we can live with You forever. Amen.
Read A New Creation and hear a personal story and video devotional that shares how the idea of the new creation helps someone see and know Jesus better.

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