June 7, 2020 – Revelation 1
Lesson Date: June 7, 2020
Focal Scripture Passage: Revelation 1:1-20
AIM: To lead students to create a description of the glorified Christ whom John encountered on the island of Patmos, and to examine themselves to determine if they have ever had a genuine saving encounter with Jesus Christ.
Before class: Read the notes on Revelation 1 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Have enough copies of the “Descriptions of Jesus Christ” worksheet for your anticipated attendance. Be sure to have some pens or pencils on hand for any students who might need one.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Tell the class that when a crime has been committed the police interview those who witnessed the crime or were the victims of the crime. One of the most important pieces of information they want is a description of the alleged criminal. Ask: “What are some facts you would include in a description of someone?” (approximate height and weight, skin color, color and length of hair, glasses, facial hair, and color and type of clothing). Tell the students those are facts describing a person’s appearance. Say: “If I asked you to describe a family member or close friend, you could go beyond outward appearance and also describe his or her personality or character traits.”
Ask: “How would you describe Jesus?” Allow time for the students to offer several descriptions. Tell them we often hear Jesus described with terms like loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, accepting, and non-condemning – almost like a kindly old grandfather figure. Ask: “Do those words completely describe Jesus, or is there more to Him than love, compassion, and forgiveness?” (there’s much more).
Tell the students in today’s lesson we will learn about the Apostle John’s encounter with the glorified Christ. We will study John’s description of Jesus and examine ourselves to determine if we’ve had a personal, saving encounter with Christ.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Introduction to Revelation.
- Be sure everyone has a copy of the Sunday School Member Quarterly for the new study of Revelation.
- Point out the title (“God’s Plan for Your Future”) on the cover of the quarterly.
- Tell them the book of Revelation contains God’s plan for the future of all humanity. Saved or lost, living or dead, the future of every person who has ever lived is included somewhere in Revelation.
- Explain that the Apostle John wrote Revelation in about d. 95. John also wrote the Gospel of John and the letters of 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John.
- Tell the class John had been exiled to the small island of Patmos for preaching the Gospel (locate Patmos on the map). Patmos is off the coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey), about 46 miles southwest of Ephesus.
- Purpose and Blessing.
- Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 1:1-3.
- Ask: “According to verse 1, why did God give the Revelation to us?” (so His servants – believers – could understand the things that will soon or quickly come to pass).
- Explain that God the Father gave this Revelation to His Son, who used an angel to deliver it to the Apostle John.
- Ask: “According to verse 2, what did John do?” (faithfully testified of all he saw).
- Ask: “Who does verse 3 say will be blessed?” (those who read, hear, and keep the words of this prophecy).
- Tell the students Revelation is the only book in the Bible to make such a promise; in fact, it makes that promise twice (see 22:7).
- Ask: “In addition to being blessed, why else does verse 3 say we should read the book of Revelation?” (because “the time is at hand” – these events could begin unfolding at any time).
- Summarize: The purpose of the book of Revelation is to reveal things that could begin happening at any time. God promised to bless those who read, hear, and keep (be carefully attentive to) the words of this prophecy.
- Greeting to the Seven Churches.
- Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 1:4-6.
- Ask: “To whom did John address this message?” (the seven churches of Asia; they are named in verse 11).
- Explain that in verse 4 John prayed upon those churches a blessing of grace and peace from God the Father (“Him which is, and which was, and which is to come”) and from the Holy Spirit (the “seven Spirits which are before His throne”).
- Ask: “Who else did he ask to bless them in verse 5?” (Jesus Christ).
- Comment that this blessing is from all three members of the triune Godhead.
- Give everyone a copy of the “Descriptions of Jesus Christ” worksheet (and a pen or pencil if needed).
- Tell the students throughout the rest of this lesson we will find many descriptions of Jesus. Ask them to write those descriptions as we discover them (see the completed worksheet at the end of this lesson plan).
- Ask the students what words go in the blanks for verses 5 and 6 (faithful, first, dead, prince, loved, washed, blood). Throughout the lesson use information from the Sunday School Teacher Book to explain the meaning of each of the descriptions.
- Read Revelation 1:7-8.
- Explain that verse 7 describes Christ’s visible return at the end of the Tribulation, not the Rapture of the church that precedes the Tribulation.
- Ask the students to answer the three questions for verse 7 (with clouds, everyone including those who pierced Him will see Him, wailing and moaning).
- Ask the students what words go in the blanks for verse 8 (Alpha, Omega, beginning, ending, is, was, come, Almighty).
- Stress the fact that when Jesus comes back in the clouds the lost people on earth will be terrified. They will know with certainty that all the things we have told them about Jesus are true and that He is coming to judge them.
- Tell the class the next few verses describe the circumstances of John’s vision.
- Read Revelation 1:9-11.
- Ask: “According to verse 9, where was John?” (he was an exiled prisoner on Patmos).
- Ask: “What does verse 10 say he heard?” (a very strong voice like a trumpet).
- Ask the students what words go in the blanks for verse 11 (Alpha, Omega, first, last).
- Ask: “What did Jesus command John to do?” (write what he saw and send it to the seven churches in Asia).
- Point out the locations of those churches on the map.
- Summarize: John sent greetings to the seven churches in the name of the Father, Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ, whom he described by naming many of His attributes. Jesus commanded John to write what he saw and send it to the churches.
- Vision of Christ in the Midst of His Churches.
- Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 1:12-13.
- Remind the students that in verse 10 John heard a loud voice behind him. He turned to see who was speaking to him.
- Ask: “What was the first thing he saw when he turned around?” (seven golden candlesticks; literally lampstands).
- Ask: “Who was in the midst of the candlesticks?” (Jesus).
- Ask the students what words go in the blanks for verse 13 (Son, man, long garment with a golden sash around His chest).
- Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 1:14-18.
- Ask the students what words go in the blanks for verse 14 (white as wool or snow, like a flame of fire).
- Ask the students what words go in the blanks for verse 15 (like fine polished brass, as loud and powerful as the sound of rushing water).
- Ask the students what words go in the blanks for verse 16 (seven stars, a sharp two-edged sword, shined like the sun).
- Ask: “According to verse 17, what did John do when he saw Jesus?” (fell at His feet like a dead man).
- Ask: “What did Jesus tell John?” (don’t be afraid).
- Ask the students what words go in the blanks for verse 17 (first, last).
- Ask the students what words go in the blanks for verse 18 (lives, dead, alive, hell, death).
- Summarize: John saw an awesome vision of Jesus Christ standing in the midst of seven golden candle sticks and holding seven stars in His hand. John was overwhelmed by Christ’s appearance, but the Lord told him not to fear.
- Outline and Explanation.
- Read Revelation 1:19.
- Ask: “What did Jesus tell John to write?” (the things he had already seen, the things that are, and the things that will come after).
- Explain that this means John was to write about the past, present, and future. The past includes the things John saw in chapter 1, the present includes the letters to the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3, and the future is the subject of the rest of the book.
- Tell the class Jesus then explained some of what John had seen.
- Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 1:20.
- Ask: “What are the stars John saw in Jesus’ hand?” (the “angels” of the seven churches – literally the pastors of the churches).
- Ask: “What are the seven candlesticks?” (the seven churches).
- Tell the students that John saw Jesus in the midst of His churches, holding His pastors in his hands. That truth should be a comfort to us.
- Summarize: Jesus told John what He was going to have him write and explained what he had already seen.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Review the descriptions of Jesus by reading the completed worksheet. Tell the students John’s encounter with Jesus on the island of Patmos made a profound impact on him. He remembered it, he told others about it, and his behavior was changed: he obeyed what Jesus told him to do.
Ask: “Have you ever met anyone famous? If so, who?” After a few responses, tell the students that meeting a famous person is a memorable experience that we tell others about.
Ask: “Have you ever had a personal, saving encounter with Jesus Christ?” Tell the students when we have a saving encounter with Jesus we remember it, tell others about it, and our behavior is changed. Ask: “Has that ever happened to you?”
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask them in the privacy of their hearts to be totally honest with themselves and with God. Ask: “Do you know Jesus as your Savior?” Tell the students if they have never personally trusted Jesus for salvation they can do so right now. Explain that they need to confess and turn away from their sins, recognize that they cannot save themselves, and place their trust for their life and eternity in Christ’s hands. After a moment of silent prayer, voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Tell the students if any of them have just prayed to receive Christ they should tell someone right away. Invite them to talk to you so you can help them get started growing in Christ.
Ask everyone to memorize Revelation 1:3, which says we will be blessed if we read and study the book of Revelation. Ask: “Do you want to be blessed?” Encourage everyone to follow the Daily Bible Reading Guide in their Sunday School Member Quarterly and to come to Sunday School every week throughout this study.
Descriptions of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the __faithful__ witness, the __first__ begotten of the __dead__, and the __prince__ of the kings of the earth.
He __loved__ us and __washed__ us from our sins in His own __blood__.
What has He made us? ____kings and priests unto God and His Father___
How long will Jesus have glory and dominion? ____for ever and ever___
How is He coming back? ____with clouds____
Who will see Him coming? ____everyone, including those who pierced Him____
How will they react to His coming? ____they will wail and moan____
Jesus is __Alpha__ and __Omega__, the __beginning__ and the __ending__.
He __is__, and __was__, and is to __come__. Christ is the __Almighty__.
Jesus identified Himself as __Alpha__ and __Omega__, the __first__ and the __last__.
John saw one who looked like the __Son__ of __man__.
Describe His clothing: ____long garment with a golden sash around His chest____
Describe His head and hair: ____white as wool or snow____
Describe His eyes: ____like a flame of fire____
Describe His feet: ____like fine polished brass____
Describe His voice: ____as loud and powerful as the sound of rushing water____
What was He holding in His right hand? ____seven stars____
What was coming out of His mouth? ____a sharp two-edged sword____
Describe His face (countenance): ____shined like the sun____
Jesus described Himself as the __first__ and the __last__.
Jesus described Himself as He that __lives__ but was __dead__, and He is __alive__ forever.
He said He has the keys of __hell__ and of __death__.
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