by Pat Franklin
It was my once-a-month turn to do Sunday School and the topic for the month was 'The Doctrine of Christ'. By the end of this lesson the kids knew exactly how to identify a false Christ - and Jesus said there would be many in the last days.
Here is the lesson, below, which I hope will bless someone out there...
We started with a prayer that we would learn more of Jesus and love Him more; then we sang ‘Majesty’.
I told them that one way we know the Bible is true is…prophecy! We talked about what that meant and that a lot of false prophecies were made which did not come true, but that every prophecy in the Bible was true. Many had been fulfilled and many were yet future.
We talked about Jesus being the Messiah, which is another term for Christ, the Anointed One, and that many prophecies had been made so that we could know who was the real Messiah, the real Christ. There could only ever be one, and He had to fulfil every single prophecy about Himself to the letter.
I had made a chart and typed out some of the 108 prophecies of Messiah's First Coming. We talked about them and stuck them on the chart under the First Coming heading. We learned that the Messiah had to be born in Bethlehem Ephrata, according to the prophet Micah 5:2, but there were two Bethlehems, one up in Galilee and one down south by Jerusalem. Bethlehem Ephrata was down south by Jerusalem, so we decided that if Jesus had been born in the wrong Bethlehem, He would not have been the true Messiah. But He was born in the RIGHT Bethlehem!
We talked about how Jesus said many false Christs would come forward and how we could know they were false - if they did not fulfil the prophecies. I showed them pictures of three false Messiahs, people who claimed to be Christ, including Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Moonies, who died this year and is said to have had four million followers. We talked about how people should have known from the prophecies that Moon and the others were liars – just by referring to the prophecies:
- Were any of them born in Bethlehem Ephrata? No. False Christ.
- Were they descended from King David? No. False Christ.
- Were they crucified for our sins? No. False Christ.
- Did they rise from the dead? No. Still dead.
We talked about the first question they could ask someone if they claimed to be Christ - where were you born? Collapse of stout party! Even in the unlikely event that they were born in Bethlehem, there are another 107 boxes to be ticked.
Jesus ticked every box, fulfilling every prophecy.
Craft work: We learned that in the time of Christ they did not have books, but used scrolls. I had cut up rectangles of brown paper and we pasted various prophecies of the First Coming on them and rolled them into scrolls, tying them with string.
- We also looked at a Russian doll with smaller dolls inside.
- On the biggest one I had pasted ‘Shem’ because the Christ had to be descended from Shem, not Ham or Japeth.
- The next was labelled ‘Abraham, Isaac, Jacob’ because He had to be in that line.
- Then ‘Tribe of Judah - King David’.
- Then: ‘Born in Bethlehem – of a virgin.’
- Then the smallest doll was labelled ‘Messiah’ and we said how every single one of those things had to be true for Jesus to be the true Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ.
A few children were very interested. One boy said it was boring and could we watch a video.*
I also made the point that a lot of life was potentially boring, but we had a brain and could start thinking about a Scripture and that was never boring.
We also talked about how long the world had to wait for the Messiah -
- 4000 years from the first prophecy in Gen 3:15
- 2000 year wait from the time of Abraham
- 1000 year wait from the time of King David
- 700 year wait from the time of Isaiah
We noted that the people who got bored with the promise of a Messiah were not the ones who would be blessed, and we talked about the promise of Messiah Jesus coming back for us and that it could be any day, with no prophecy to be fulfilled first.
I hope some of them at least got the point that they can easily differentiate between any false Christs and the true one, the Savior of the world.
Too late I thought of another illustration. I should have cut two branches off a bush or tree and tied them in a cross shape. Then we could have hung the prophecy scrolls on the cross and talk about how the whole purpose of Christ's First Coming was to die - for us.
*That lovely, very bright little boy later apologized to me and we had a big hug.