Key Passage: Revelation 22:12-13 “Look! I am coming quickly…I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Big Picture Question: What did Jesus say will happen one day? Jesus said He will come back to earth.

Christ Connection: Jesus said that He is coming back soon. When Jesus comes back, everyone who trusts in Him will be with Him forever. God will undo every bad thing—no more death, pain, or tears! Jesus is making all things new.

Dear Parents,
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Today’s Bible story focuses on the last few chapters of the Book of Revelation. While he was a prisoner on the island of Patmos, the apostle John had an amazing vision of heaven. Jesus told John to write down everything he saw. John saw things that will happen when Jesus comes back to earth. Jesus—who entered Jerusalem humbly on a donkey—will come victoriously, riding on a white horse. His name will be on His robe and His thigh:

KING OF KINGS
AND LORD OF LORDS.

Satan and the evil ones will be defeated and thrown into the lake of fire. The Lord will be on His throne. Then out of heaven will come a new creation—a new heaven and a new earth. God will dwell with humanity. They will be His people, and He will be their God.

John described the beauty of the New City—the New Jerusalem. The streets will be pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the city wall will be adorned with precious stones. The city will not need the sun or the moon because God’s glory will illuminate it. There will be no darkness, and nothing evil will ever come into the city.

The promised return of Christ should fill believers with hope, strengthening them to persevere through the trials of this life and remain faithful to the Lord. When Christ returns, those who trust in Him will be with Him and enjoy Him forever. God will undo every bad thing caused by sin—no more death, no more pain, no more tears. Jesus is making all things new!

Christ’s return should also give believers a sense of urgency to share the gospel with the world. It is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes! (Rom. 1:16) Jesus is coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Family Activity: Read Revelation 21: 3-6. Provide paper, crayons, and markers for kids to draw a picture of what heaven will be like. Talk about what it will be like to live with God forever.

Key Passage: Revelation 22:12-13 “Look! I am coming quickly…I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Big Picture Question: What was Jesus’ warning to the seven churches? Jesus warned the churches to stop sinning and turn back to Him.

Christ Connection: Jesus loves the church. He sent a message to seven churches to warn them. Jesus said that people should stop sinning and turn to Him. Jesus rescues sinners and changes them to be like Him.

Dear Parents,
Can you feel it? We are so very close to the end of the Bible, but it is certainly not the end of God’s plan to save sinners. Today’s Bible story teaches kids about John’s vision of Jesus in the Book of Revelation. The Book of Revelation is the last book of the Bible and it tells about things that will happen in the future. A glimpse of the future kingdom of God gives believers hope and compels them to remain faithful to Christ and to tell others about Him.

The apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation from the island of Patmos. John was likely sent to Patmos as a prisoner, arrested for preaching the gospel. The Book of Revelation opens with John’s description of a vision. In the vision, Jesus warned seven local churches in Asia. In most cases, Jesus commended the church for their good work, warned them about the areas in which they needed correction, and urged them to return to Him. Each time, Jesus promised to reward those who remain faithful to Him.

Jesus loves the church. The church is made up of people who have trusted in Jesus, who are committed to one another, and who meet together to worship Jesus and share the gospel. Jesus loves the church as His bride. (See Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 19:7-9.) Jesus’ message to seven local churches called them to turn away from their sin and remain faithful to Him. The Lord is slow to anger (Ex. 34-6-7) and patient, wanting everyone to repent (2 Pet. 3:9).

The early churches faced some problems. They did not love like they should, they believed false teaching and did wrong things, and they were lukewarm—useless to the cause of Christ. Churches still face these problems today. We can pray for our churches to be faithful, effective instruments in spreading the gospel.

Jesus is “the Alpha and the Omega” (Rev. 1:8). In the Greek alphabet, alpha is the first letter and omega is the last. Jesus is the A to Z. Jesus is the beginning and the end, but not just those; He is everything in-between. Jesus made all things. (John 1:3) He is in control of all things. He holds all things together. (Col. 1:17) And He is coming back someday!

Family Activity: Open your Bible to Revelation 1-3 and briefly review Jesus’ message to the churches. Invite a family member to read Revelation 3:19. Talk about how Jesus loved each of these churches, and He warned the against sinning. Jesus also encouraged them to do what is right. Invite family members to write or draw encouraging notes to one another this week.

Key Passage: Revelation 22:12-13 “Look! I am coming quickly…I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Big Picture Question: When will Jesus come back? Only God knows when Jesus will return.

Christ Connection: No one knows when Jesus will return, except for God. But Christians should be ready for Him. When Jesus comes back, people who do not believe in Him will be punished for their sin. But everyone who trusts in Jesus will be rescued!

Dear Parents,
This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, our journey takes us to the church that Paul planted in Thessalonica. The Bible says that the Day of the Lord will be a time of judgment for evildoers (Mal. 4:1) and a time of salvation and deliverance for believers (Rom. 11:26). The Day of the Lord will come quickly (Zeph. 1:14). So imagine getting word that the Day of the Lord had already come. This is what happened to the church at Thessalonica. Some were convinced that they had missed Jesus’ second coming, and they stopped working.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church to address this misunderstanding and to encourage the believers in their faith. Paul reminded the believers that no one knows when Jesus will return. Only God Himself knows. Believers must continue to work hard—doing God’s work and providing for themselves—until the moment Jesus comes. Paul even commanded the believers to stay away from people who lived irresponsibly.

Like many early Christians, the believers at Thessalonica faced persecution for their faith. Paul encouraged them not to fall away. He told them to stand strong in what they believed about Jesus. He encouraged them to “not grow weary in doing good” (2 Thess. 3:13). Life was probably difficult for the new believers, and Paul assured them that God would reward those who are faithful to Him and punish those who are against Him. (2 Thess. 1:5-7)

Paul prayed that the gospel would spread quickly, and he asked the church to pray as well. He prayed that in the midst of confusion and persecution, the Lord would give them peace. No one knows when Jesus will return except God Himself. Believers can stand firm through persecution and live in peace because on the great and glorious Day of the Lord, unbelievers will be punished for their sin and those who trust in Jesus will be saved.

Family Activity: Invite your spouse or an older child to step out of the room. Before they go whisper to them when you want them to return (in 60 seconds, for example). Invite the others to write down when they think he or she will return. Did they guess correctly? Read Matthew 24:36. How should Christians live if we don’t know when Jesus will return?

Key Passage: Revelation 22:12-13 “Look! I am coming quickly…I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Big Picture Question: What is the church? The church is made up of people who worship Jesus together.

Christ Connection: Jesus wants people in the church to meet together, worship God, and tell others the good news about Jesus.

Dear Parents,
When Paul visited Corinth on his missionary journeys, the city was full of people with various cultural backgrounds. Many of them worshiped Greek gods. Temples and shrines to these gods were scattered throughout the city.

Corinth was a strategic place to plant a church. Paul arrived in Corinth and met Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. Paul stayed with them for a year and a half. On the Sabbath Day, Paul went to the synagogues to teach God’s message to the people. When the Jews refused to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, Paul preached to the Gentiles. Many Corinthians believed and were baptized. (Acts 18:1-18) Finally, Paul returned to Antioch in Syria.

About six years passed. Paul was in Ephesus when he heard a report that the church in Corinth was struggling. The people in the church were arguing and suing each other. In some ways, they lived just like the people in Corinth who were not believers. So Paul wrote a letter—the Book of First Corinthians—to the Corinthian church, not only to instruct them on how to live but to answer questions they had about the faith.

Paul’s said that the Christian life is like a race, and a great reward awaits in heaven. (1 Cor. 9:24-27) Paul explained that the Lord decides what spiritual gifts to give to believers, and not every believer has the same gift. (1 Cor. 12:4-11) Then he reminded them of what is most important: the gospel of Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15:1-11)

Paul gave practical instructions so that the believers would know how to live in light of their salvation—not as a way to earn God’s favor. Paul spent a significant portion of his ministry meeting with believers and encouraging them to keep the faith. Jesus’ mission for the church is for believers to come together to worship God and to share the gospel.

Family Activity: Give each family member paper and a pencil. Invite everyone to write down what responsibility means. (They may say what the word means while another family member writes). In a family, each member has responsibilities—just like members of a church. Write some responsibilities, such as dusting or taking out the trash, for each member of the family to do during the week.

Key Passage: Isaiah 9:6 “For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us,…He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Big Picture Question: Where was Jesus born? Jesus was born in Bethlehem as God promised.

Christ Connection: Jesus was born! This was very good news! Jesus was not like other babies. He is God’s Son. God sent Jesus to earth from heaven. Jesus came into the world to save people from their sins. Jesus came to be our King.

Dear Parents,
Merry Christmas! God had promised to send a Messiah to redeem sinners. God had sent angels to announce to Mary and Joseph their special part in His plan. But what about Micah’s prophecy that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem? Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth.

God is in control of all things. Do you think it was just by chance that Caesar Augustus called for a census? God used a pagan emperor to bring about His plan and brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem at just the right time, under just the right circumstances. God’s plan was for Jesus to be born in a manger. Jesus was no ordinary baby. He is God’s Son, sent in the most humble of circumstances, “not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

While Bethlehem slept, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to shepherds nearby. The Bible says the shepherds were terrified! But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David” (Luke 2:10-11).

The people of Israel were well aware of their need for a Savior. They made sacrifices daily to atone for their sin. Finally, a Savior had come who would be the perfect sacrifice for sin, once and for all. Jesus is also Messiah the Lord. The word Messiah means “anointed one,” especially a king. The Deliverer and Redeemer would be King over His people.

The birth of Jesus was good news! Jesus was not an ordinary baby. He is God’s Son, sent to earth from heaven. The purpose of Jesus’ birth was twofold: to bring glory to God and to make peace between God and those who trusted in Jesus’ death and resurrection to provide salvation. Jesus came into the world to save people from their sins and to be our King.

Family Activity: Throw a birthday party or baby shower for Jesus. Decorate with balloons or streamers and serve food just like you would for any other party. Discuss what gifts you would bring for Baby Jesus. Take a moment to explain that Jesus was the real gift God sent to save us from our sins.

Key Passage: Isaiah 9:6 “For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us,…He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Big Picture Question: What part did Mary and Joseph have in God’s plan? God chose Mary and Joseph to be the earthly parents of Jesus.

Christ Connection: Before God created the world, He planned to send Jesus. God’s plans are always perfect. God chose Mary to be Jesus’ mother; she would bring Him into the world. Jesus came to do God’s plan, to rescue people from sin.

Dear Parents,

This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, our journey takes us to the town of Nazareth in Galilee. People had been waiting a long time for Jesus. Last week, kids learned the prophets told of Jesus’ coming hundreds of years before His birth. God was working out His plan to reconcile people to Himself.

In the Bible, God often used angels to communicate His message to people. Now Mary and Joseph, the earthly parents of Jesus, each received a special visit from an angel to announce the birth of God’s promised Messiah. The angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary surprised her. God chose Mary to be the mother of His child. The angel’s message revealed much about this promised child.

The news that Jesus was coming into the world was good news because of why He was coming. An angel revealed Jesus’ purpose to Joseph in Matthew 1:21, “He will save His people from their sins.” The gospel is the good news of what God has done for us through Christ.

The announcement of Jesus’ birth is not the beginning of the gospel; God had been planning for this moment since before the beginning of time. (See Eph. 1:3-10.) The baby Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, as well as other prophecies of the coming Savior throughout the Old Testament. Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled God’s plan of redemption that God planned from the beginning of time.

Family Activity: Write each family member’s name on a small piece of paper. Mix up the pieces, put them in a small cup or bag, the encourage each person to draw a name to be his or her “secret pal.” Explain that each day of the week, each family member must write an encouraging message for his or her secret pal. Kids who may not be able to write yet can draw pictures. Talk about the message received by Mary and Joseph from the angel. How did the messages from the angel encourage Mary and Joseph?

Key Passage: Isaiah 9:6 “For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us,…He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Big Picture Question: How did people know Jesus was coming? God’s prophets told people about Jesus long before He was born.

Christ Connection: God had a great plan to rescue people from sin. God’s plan was not a secret plan. The prophets told people about God’s plan. They said God would send a Messiah: Jesus! Jesus would be born into the world as a baby. Jesus would live a perfect life and die on the cross to rescue people from sin.

Dear Parents,
Jesus’ birth is God’s solution to our sin problem. When Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world, all of creation fell under a curse. (See Gen. 3:17-19.) We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We’ve inherited the curse of death from Adam. (See Rom. 3:23; 5:12.)

Throughout the Old Testament, the consequences of sin are obvious. God’s people were separated from Him; they did not enjoy the intimate relationship with their Creator they were created to have. God’s people were affected by sickness and pain. The situation seemed hopeless, yet God did not leave His people without hope. Hundreds of messages came through the prophets concerning a coming Messiah—One who would rescue people from their sins. But when would this Promised One come? How would He come? Would the people recognize Him?

The prophets Isaiah and Micah—who both lived hundreds of years before Jesus was born—spoke specifically of the Messiah’s birth. Isaiah told King Ahaz what the Lord would do. “The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). He described the birth of a Prince of Peace—a Son of David who will reign forever. (Isa. 9:6-7) Isaiah said that He would be a King! (Isa. 11:1-5) The prophet Micah named the specific town—Bethlehem—in which Jesus would be born. (Mic. 5:2)

God’s plan to save people from sin and death was not a secret plan. God used the prophets to give hope to His people. They said God would send a Messiah—born into the world as a baby to live the perfect life people fail to live and die the guilty death we deserve. Though death came through Adam, life comes through Christ. (1 Cor. 15:22) Through His death on the cross, Jesus finished the work for our salvation. In Him lies our hope of forgiveness and eternal life.

Family Activity: Take a coin and invite a family member to guess whether it will land on heads or tails as you flip it into the air. If the family member guesses correctly, allow him to guess again. His turn ends when he guesses incorrectly. After each family member’s turn, see who guessed correctly the most times. Talk about how we can only guess about what is going to happen in the future, but God never has to guess. Everything God told His prophets about Jesus’ birth happened.

Key Passage: Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation.”

Big Picture Question: Why did Paul go to jail? Paul went to jail for teaching about Jesus.

Christ Connection: Paul was punished and became a prisoner because he told people the good news of Jesus. Nothing could stop Paul’s work to tell everyone about Jesus. The Holy Spirit helps people share the gospel all over the world so people will know and love Jesus.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Last week, kids learned that through the prophet Agabus, the Holy Spirit had told Paul that he would be bound if he went back to Jerusalem, and that’s exactly what happened in today’s Bible story. Some Jews in Jerusalem accused Paul of teaching against God. They tried to kill him, but a Roman army commander stopped them and arrested Paul. Paul had been born a Roman citizen, and his status as such protected him from an unjustified beating.

While in prison, the Lord told Paul that he would one day teach about Him in Rome. Rome was one of the most powerful and influential cities of that day. But Paul spent two years in prison before he was sent to Rome to give his defense to Caesar. Along the way, the ship Paul was sailing on wrecked near the island of Malta. But God kept everyone safe, and Paul had a chance to pray for people who lived on the island. He even healed some of them.

Months later, Paul reached Rome. He was still a prisoner, but he was allowed to stay in a house by himself with a guard. He taught everyone who visited him about Jesus and the kingdom of God. Everyone there knew Paul was in prison for teaching about the Messiah. (Phil. 1:12-13)

Paul’s work to spread the good news of Jesus continued in Rome. No punishment or suffering kept Paul from telling others about Jesus. The Holy Spirit gives believers power to share the gospel all over the world so people will know and love Jesus.

Family Activity: If weather permits, take a trip with your family to a lake, pond, or creek. Make boats out of leaves and twigs and sail them on the water. Open your Bible to Acts 27 and briefly review Paul’s shipwreck. Invite a family member to read Acts 27:24-26. Guide kids to write “Take courage” on sticky notes as a reminder that God helps us carry out His mission.

Key Passage: Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation.”

Big Picture Question: Did anything stop Paul from telling people about Jesus? No, Paul told about Jesus even when he was in danger.

Christ Connection: Paul told so many people about Jesus, and he encouraged people who believed in Jesus to keep loving Him. God changed people’s hearts, and they turned away from their sin. The good news about Jesus is powerful.

Dear Parents,
Today’s Bible story picks up with Paul’s third missionary journey. Paul traveled from place to place, teaching about Jesus and encouraging the believers. Luke, the writer of Acts, records that a major disturbance arose in Ephesus concerning Christians. Ephesus was a large city in Asia Minor. It was a central location for politics, religions, and business.

Some men there made their living by making silver shrines for false gods, like the goddess Artemis. If people started to believe what Paul was saying, they could lose their livelihood! The men started a riot. Paul wanted to speak to the people, but the disciples would not let him. They feared for Paul’s life. After the uproar was over, Paul left for Macedonia.

In Troas, a city in Macedonia, Paul spoke about Jesus late into the night. One young man named Eutychus (YOO tih kuhs) was sitting on a window sill, listening, when he fell asleep. He fell out the window from the third story and died. But Paul—through the power of God—brought him back to life.

Sometime later, Paul decided to go back to Jerusalem. Along the way, a prophet named Agabus came to Paul. He took Paul’s belt and tied his own feet and hands. Then he said that the Jews in Jerusalem would bind Paul’s hands and feet in the same way. Paul’s friends begged him not to go. But Paul was not afraid to be arrested—or even to die—for the name of Jesus, so Paul kept going toward Jerusalem.

Paul told about Jesus even when he was in danger. Paul shared the gospel with people who didn’t know Jesus. He told people to turn from their sins and trust in Jesus, and he encouraged believers in the church to keep loving Jesus. God changed the people’s hearts, and they turned away from their sin. The good news about Jesus is powerful and life-giving.

Family Activity: Read Acts 21:10-14 to your family. Talk about Paul’s willingness to suffer and even die for the good news about Jesus. Talk about some ways Christians in your neighborhood, city, or country face for being disciples of Jesus. Pray for Christians all around the world to be encouraged.

Key Passage: Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation.”

Big Picture Question: Who deserves our worship? Only God deserves our worship.

Christ Connection: Paul taught the people in Athens about the one true God. He told them that Jesus died on the cross and is alive! People can know God because Jesus brings us into God’s family.

Dear Parents,
In today’s Bible story, Paul and Silas traveled to Thessalonica and began preaching in the synagogue about Jesus. Some became believers, but others wanted to attack them. Paul and Silas escaped and went to Berea. The Jews in Berea studied the Scriptures to make sure Paul was telling the truth. Many of them believed! But when the Jews in Thessalonica heard what was happening in Berea, they hurried there and caused trouble. So Paul and Silas went to Athens.

The city of Athens was a cultural center. People in Athens loved to hear about and study the latest ideas. Paul spoke with the Jews and the philosophers in the city. Athens was also full of idols to every kind of god. There was even an altar to an unknown god.

Paul began preaching, telling the people that they worshiped a god they did not know. But people can know the Lord God! The one true God made the world and everything in it! God was not like their idols. “We ought not to think that God is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man,” Paul said. Paul told the people that God wanted them to turn away from their sins. Then Paul told them about Jesus and how He was raised from the dead. Some people made fun of Paul, but others believed.

From Athens, Paul went to Corinth. He tried to persuade the Jews in the synagogue that Jesus is the Christ, but they would not listen. Paul spoke to the Gentiles, and many of them believed and were baptized. God continued working through Paul.

The men of Athens worshiped many false gods. Paul explained to them God’s plan of salvation. He said that only God should be worshiped. Paul talked about Jesus and the resurrection. People can know God because Jesus took the punishment for sin that separates people from God. Only the Lord—the one true God—deserves our worship.

Family Activity: Read to your kids Paul’s description of the one true God in Acts 17:24-31. Invite your family members to think of someone at school or in the community who might believe something different about God, or who might believe that there is no God. Set aside time this week to pray for the opportunity to share with that person the good news about Jesus.