Hell is a real place. As Christians, we typically believe in a literal hell, but have the concept pushed so far into the corners of our awareness that it has little to no impact on our lives. If we want to do this God-life the right way, we need to live like there’s a hell to be avoided.
Matthew 25:41 [NASB95] “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…”
Hell is a very real place, with very real regret and suffering. Any concept less than that will fall short as a motivation for us and for the people we love.
- What was your concept of hell as a child? How was it talked about in your family, peers and church?
- How is today’s cultural understanding of hell different from when you were growing up?
- How is your personal understanding different? Are those changes positive or negative?
Matthew 6:14-15 [NASB95] “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
It’s easy to say you’ve forgiven someone while still harboring anger and resentment in your heart. The kind of forgiveness God expects, though, is complete restoration of the relationship.
Think of a time when you forgave someone who wronged you – but you still didn’t like them. Maybe you even wished them ill. Now think of a time you’ve asked God for forgiveness. Imagine Him “forgiving” you, but still disliking you, and even looking for ways to pay you back for your wrongdoing. How “forgiven” would you feel?
God’s forgiveness is a model for what He expects of us. What offenses do you still carry hard feelings over? What could you do this week to move toward restoration, and forgive more like God does?
3. Prayer Focus
Take a few minutes to thank God for rescuing you from an eternal future in hell. Ask the Holy Spirit to keep the reality of hell in your mind as motivation to live right, forgive others, and share the good news of His offer of salvation.
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
I Want it Now
1. Power Verse
Luke 12:15 “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
What’s Up: “I Won’t Be Greedy For More And More Stuff!”
This week, we continue our series called, “Living Large”. In this series, we are learning how to handle our money and possessions God’s way.
Place a plate of candy, cookies, or some other food your children really enjoy in front of them. Tell them they can have one piece right now, BUT if they’ll wait until you come back, they can have two. Then leave the room, telling them to stay there until you come back. Depending on the age of your children, you should stay away for 2-10 minutes. Come back and tell them if they didn’t eat the candy or cookie, they can have two now.
Did you eat the candy or cookie? Why or why not?
How did you feel while you were waiting for me to come back?
Was it hard or easy to resist the temptation to eat the candy or cookie?
If you ate the candy or cookie, how do you feel now?
If you didn’t eat the candy or cookie, how do you feel now?
This activity is kind of like saving money. Sometimes you see something you want to buy, but if you wait to buy it, you might either have more money or discover that you don’t want it after all.
- Have you ever bought anything that you later regretted buying? What was it?
- Why did you regret buying it?
- What are some ways you can prevent this from happening in the future?
God wants us to handle the money He gives us wisely, and buying things on an impulse isn’t a wise way to spend money.
4. Prayer Focus
Spend time thanking God for the money He’s given to you and your children and asking Him to help you give, save, and spend it wisely.