“Does anyone want to ask a question?” Andrew grinned; posing such opportunity to children can be daunting and embarrassing as he expected the inevitable.
Oh, no, Theodore’s hand shot up. Here it comes, are you going to kiss Mary this afternoon? Is she coming to your house? Sigh, “Yes Theodore?”
Mary and Andrew were steady-dating. Neither had finished high school yet so a further developed relationship was out of the question, but their fondness of each other was widely known in church and the kids teased them relentlessly. To add to his woes Andrew had volunteered to teach in the Children’s Church; his lesson finishing early and so he volunteered to answer questions. He was about to be surprised.
“Can you explain the doctrine of resurrections to us,” Theodore’s hand returned to his lap as he leaned forward expectantly.
Was this Theodore: the biggest rascal of Sunday school?
“What did you want to know?”
“What will we look like?” Did Theodore look like he was happily putting Andrew on the spot? Well, this wasn’t going to be all that difficult.
“The apostle John tells us in one John three that we don’t know what we will look like, but we will be like Jesus,” Andrew opened his little red Gideon’s New Testament to the appropriate place to show Theodore.
“Yes, but,” Theodore stood defiantly, not ready to be dismissed so easily, “Remember, Jack said on Thursday that we won’t have the same body. He said the apostle Paul said so.”
“Oh, yes,” Andrew scrambled through his memory as he turned to the appropriate passage in one Corinthians looking for an adequate explanation of Paul’s terminology. He was surprised that the ever restless Theodore had heard anything at the Bible study, “Paul used plants as an example, remember, grass, flowers and trees.”
Theodore nodded; he remembered the grass and trees and wasn’t sure about the flowers, but he decided not to argue.
Andrew was warming up, “He used the seed as the example of the body before the resurrection and the plant as an example of the body after. There’s a good lesson to learn here.”
“You see, we will all be raised from the dead or at least translated from one form to another, but what happens after that depends on what kind of body we are. For example, take the acorn and the oak versus the grass and its seed. The oak born from the acorn becomes a great, shady tree and lives for hundreds of years, but the Bible tells us the grass is burned. Can anyone tell me how long hundreds of years is? Do you know anyone who has lived that long?”
“Besides Methuselah,” he added.
Silent heads shook in unison so he continued, “Hundreds of years can seem like eternity so the oak can be used to picture those who have eternal life, but what happens to the grass?”
“It gets burned,” chorused several unidentified voices, giving Andrew the authority to continue.
“When you go to the Book of Revelation it tells us that unbelievers get thrown into the Lake of Fire,” He pointed to the relevant page and handed it around for the children to read while he continued, “In their resurrected state they don’t have eternal life – they’re like the grass.
Some things in this life have very beautiful blooms but, like the grass, they don’t last. Maybe for a year then gardeners dig them out, throw them away and plant new flowers.
We may be like that. Our lives may look beautiful to us but, lacking faith in Jesus, they have no last-ability. How do you get eternal life?”
“By believing in Jesus,” the reply was unanimous.
“That’s right. It says whoever has the Son has life. Do you know that you have the Son? Have you believed in Jesus? An excellent question, Theodore, I can help anyone who would like to accept Jesus now, just come and ask me.”
Andrew prayed with a number of the children that day and happiness filled the classroom.
For those unsuspecting, Jack was the church’s minister.
“We don’t use titles,” Jack emphasises, “There are none greater than the other here because we have all been saved by the same grace. We are brothers and sisters.
Brother and sister are titles, too, please do you utmost to remember names. For you children, if an adult wishes to be referred to as mister, or missus, please have the courtesy to do so. I am Jack to all.”
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