This Bible lesson is the first in our series of “Tough Questions Kids Ask.” It deals with an issue often ignored in children’s ministry. This lesson plan will help children understand what the Bible teaches about Hell and how that relates to the Good News of Jesus Christ. The point of this teaching is not to manipulate kids through fear, rather to warn them of the very real consequence that comes from rebellion against God.
TARGET AGES: 10-14
OBJECTIVE: For students to understand why hell was created and who will go there in order to motivate us to tell others about Christ.
MAIN IDEA: Hell is a real place God created for Satan, demons, and those who don’t trust in Jesus.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Matthew 10:28, Matthew 25:41, 2 Peter 2:4 & 9, Matthew 25:46, Matthew 13:41-43, Matthew 7:21-23
Introduction (5 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “Lord, open our eyes as we seek to understand why you created hell. Give us the desire to share the gospel with others so they can spend an eternity with you instead of in hell.” Allow students to also pray out loud for individual requests.
Bible Lesson about Hell (15 minutes)
1. Explain to the class that we are starting a new series called, “Tough Questions.” Assure students that having tough questions about the bible is normal, and every believer has times in their life when they struggle with tough questions. Comment, “Today’s question is, ‘Why did God make hell?’ Have you ever wondered if hell is a real place? Some people believe it’s not real, but let’s see what Jesus said during his ministry on earth.” Read Matthew 10:28. Explain that this verse is talking about God allowing those who deny a relationship with him (through Jesus) to be tormented in hell. Say, “God’s number one attribute is holiness, and his holiness requires a payment for sin.”
2. Go on to explain that hell was created for spiritual beings who rebelled against God, but people who don’t have a payment for their sin will also go there. Read Matthew 25:41 and 2 Peter 4 & 9. Say, “But when we trust in Christ, we no longer have to fear hell. 2 Peter 2:9 tells us the Lord delivers us from temptation, so we can trust in the assurance of spending eternity in heaven because Christ’s shed blood is the payment for our sin.”
3. Comment that hell is certainly not a pleasant place. Read Matthew 25:46 and Matthew 13:41-43. Ask, “How do these verses describe hell (blazing fire and furnace, misery, ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’)? What other words could we use?” Allow time for a short class discussion. Emphasize that our words could never fully describe the horrible reality of hell because separation from God in itself is the worst thing someone could ever experience.
4. Say, “We’ve already talked a little about it, but it’s important to remember that only those who don’t have a relationship with Christ will go to hell.” Read Matthew 7:21-23. Remind students that if they have accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior then they have nothing to fear. Comment, “But even though we don’t fear hell for ourselves, we should fear it for those who don’t know Jesus. One of the best ways to share the gospel with others is by telling our testimonies (the happenings of how we came to know the Lord). We are going to spend the remainder of class today practicing our testimonies.”
Testimony Discussion (20 minutes)
Explain that while physical details to our testimonies are important, we can’t neglect how God moved in our hearts and minds to accept him. The spiritual emotions we experienced are what led to the physical details.
Start by sharing your own testimony. Then ask for volunteers in the class. Allow time for students to ask any questions they may have about becoming a believer or how to share their faith with others. Say, “If you would like to become a believer in Jesus, or wonder whether or not you are a true believer, please talk to me, your parents, or another Christian adult who can help you.”
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: Hell is a real and awful place that God created for those who reject Christ, and its reality should motivate us to share our faith with others.
CLOSING PRAYER: “God, we know that hell is real and we don’t want anyone we know to go there. Please help us to trust in Jesus if we don’t already know him and share our faith with others. Amen.”