This weekend, your kiddo(s) finished learning about the ENTIRE Bible Timeline as we wrapped up the New Testament eras! At the end of the Old Testament, God had set the scene, His people were waiting, and at the exact right time, God sent His Son, Jesus to change the world forever (as we learned about in the GOSPELS era at Easter!). In the New Testament, God’s rescue plan is clearer than ever. He invites us to join in by sharing His Good News with others and He promises that Jesus will return someday to right every wrong. Keep reading to be reminded of the adventure that God invites us to be part of.
MEMORY VERSE: *"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere - In Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the end fo the earth." * Acts 1:8
As we wrap up our time in the Bible Timeline with the final three eras (Church, Missions, Future), we are reminded once again that the Bible is a bunch of smaller stories that point to the one, big true story of God’s rescue plan through Jesus. Let’s take a closer look at the story God tells in each...
The CHURCH era is the birth of the... you guessed it...church! Peter and the apostles were used by God to establish the church in Jerusalem. Led by the Holy Spirit, the church is God’s way to carry His message of rescue, hope, and grace through Jesus to the world. During the MISSIONS era, God used Paul and others to expand the church into the rest of the world. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, they wrote letters to individuals and churches about the Good News of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection (and what that means for us) that we can still read today. Fun fact: we’re actually still living in the MISSIONS era right now! Someday, in the FUTURE, Jesus is coming back to fulfill prophecy, defeat His enemies, and rule forever. God will judge the earth and all people, and those who have been saved by grace will be with God forever. How amazing is that!
Let’s review the whole Bible Timeline one more time:
CREATION – PATRIARCH – EXODUS – CONQUEST – JUDGES – KINGDOM – EXILE – RETURN – SILENCE – GOSPELS – CHURCH – MISSIONS – FUTURE
CHURCH - READ ACTS 1:8. What did Jesus promise the disciples before He returned to heaven? What job had He given them to do? (They would receive the Holy Spirit; tell people everywhere about Him – who He is, what He came to do, and His purpose for our life)
MISSIONS - READ ACTS 9:3-8. What happened to Paul on the road to Damascus? How did Jesus radically change his life? (Jesus talked to him; Jesus changed Paul from being a persecutor of Christians to being one of the greatest missionaries to ever live)
FUTURE - READ REVELATION 21:4. What will it be like for all believers when Jesus returns? What are some of the amazing things that God will do in the future? (God will be with His people, He will wipe away their tears, no more death or sorrow or crying or pain)
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
The CHURCH era is all about establishing and organizing God’s people who have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus. Those who believe are then given the task to continue to make the Gospel known to others! But what is the Gospel anyway? As a family, let each person share what they think the Gospel is. Let your kids ask any questions they might have about the Gospel and talk about what it means to you. (Hint: Here’s a simple explanation: The GOSPEL is the story of how God is perfect and how everything He created in the CREATION era was good. But then, man’s perfect relationship with God was broken because of sin. God sent Jesus to earth to live a perfect life, die for our sins, rise again, and make a way for us to have a relationship with God. This is a choice all of us can make: we can choose to believe Jesus’ death on the cross was for us as the perfect payment for our sin against a perfect God, or we can choose to reject what He did for us. When we choose to believe, we have a relationship with God, and are “saved” from not only our sins, but also from being separated from Him forever.)
The MISSION era talks about the gospel spreading all over the world. Someone back then told someone about Jesus, who told someone else, who told someone… x1,000… who told YOU! And it doesn’t stop there! If you choose to believe in Jesus, you become part of the mission, and God wants to use YOU to tell people, too! Parents, take some time to share with your kids who told you about the gospel. Praise God for using that person to deeply impact your life. As a family, talk about people you know who may not have ever heard this good news. Or, maybe you know someone who has heard it, but refuses to believe. Take some time to pray for those folks right now.
The FUTURE era reminds us that, while many things to come may be confusing to us right now, we can know one thing for sure: Jesus is coming back! Thank God that nothing is confusing to Him, and that He is giving you time on earth right now to hear the good news about Jesus dying for your sins.
Check out more Bible Timeline resources by clicking here and scrolling down to the “Timeline” section! Practice the hand motions that go with each era or print off the flashcards for each era and make up different games to help you review as a family everything you’ve learned about the Timeline this year. (Example: scramble up the flashcards and see who can put them in order the fastest, practice the words that go with each era, see who can come up with a Bible story from the most eras, etc.)
Thank God for the hope and peace you can have from knowing He has a plan and your future is secure because of faith in Christ. Ask Him to help you stay on mission and continue to fulfill the Great Commission. (that rhymed!)
Since we will be starting a new month, we will be getting a new Character Trait- Integrity! We can't wait!!
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