Christ and His Church - Lesson 12
Christ: The Judge of His Church
The Accountability of the Church
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can explain the meaning of three parables that speak of Christ judging His people.
- The student can describe the final judgment scene in Matthew 25.
- The student will determine to live so he/she will be prepared for final judgment.
- Each student needs a Bible.
- Have a blank sheet of paper and pencils needed for each student so each can draw the circles from the last lesson.
- Have a chalk board or marker board. No PowerPoint needed for this lesson.
- Have song sheets or song books to sing "Trust and Obey."
While we know those outside of Christ face a time of judgment, those in the church are also accountable to the great judge who someday will determine our final destiny. We need to live so He can welcome us into heaven.
Lesson Plan for the Class
Introduction: (10 minutes)
- Call the roll, welcome the visitors, and have a prayer.
- Remind the students of the last lesson when you studied about Christ as the unifier of the church and ask them to draw the two circles that demonstrate the biblical and the denominational views of the church.
Learning Experiences: (20 minutes)
- Read Matthew 25:31-32. Q: From this passage, what do we learn about Jesus' coming? A: Jesus will return. When He returns, he will judge all people. No one knows when He will return. Q: Will there be some people who are surprised about the outcome of the judgment? A: Yes. "When did we see you … ." Q:What are the two destinies described in Matthew 25:46? A: Eternal life and eternal punishment.
- In the earlier portion of Matthew 25, as He is leading up to the judgment scene,Jesus gives two parables. Let's see what these teach us about the church and judgment. Read Matthew 25:1-13. Q: Were all the virgins among those entitled to meet the bridegroom? A: Yes. Q: So who is represented by the virgins? A:Those who are in the kingdom. Q: What was the mistake of the five virgins who did not get to go in? A: They did not prepare for the bridegroom's coming. Q: What is the lesson for Christians? A: We must live in constant readiness for we do not know when He will come. Q: What are some practical things we must do to be in this state of readiness? A: Be faithful in attendance, associate with God's people, work faithfully in His kingdom, serve those with spiritual and physical needs, fill our minds with His Word.
- Matthew 25:14-30 tells another parable-the Parable of the Talents. We know the story well. Q: Do all the servants represent people in the kingdom? A: Yes. Q:What does the master give to all his servants? A: Talents. Q: What do the talents represent in the application of the story? A: Opportunities. Abilities. Q: So what is the message Christ wants Christians to get from the parable? A: That we all have something to contribute to the good of the kingdom. That He holds each Christian accountable for making the best use of the opportunities and abilities He has given to each one. That there is a final day of reckoning when we shall all appear before Him to give an account. That some in the church will be approved and some will not.
- Read John 15:1-8. Q: What does a branch in this parable represent? A: An individual Christian. Q: What does it mean to bear fruit? A: To serve well forChrist. Training your children well. Bringing others to Christ. Using your money and time for the kingdom. Q: What does it mean that God cuts off branches? A: Christians who are not faithful servants will be punished by being separated from the vine. Q: What does it mean to be "pruned" so one can be more faithful? A: Just as proper pruning of a branch makes it more fruitful, Godsends experiences into our lives to help us learn to be more fruitful. It might be a challenge, a problem, a person who encourages us, a person who discourages us,a death in our family, an illness, a passage of scripture, a failure. We all have many experiences in life which can make us bear more fruit if we respond properly with faith. So when a moment comes that might seem discouraging,use it as a stepping stone to reach something better.Q: With whom does the passage say the responsibility lies for remaining in the vine? A: With the branch. Q: So what do we do to remain in the vine, in Christ?A: We remain in Him and His words remain in us. Q: What lessons does Christ want us to learn from this parable? A: Without Him we can do nothing. We must make an effort to remain in the Him and to know His word. We must take an active role in bearing fruit.
Application: (15 minutes)
- Q: Describe some people you know (with or without their names) that you believe are bearing fruit? Q: What in their lives do you see that makes them fruitful? What might we do to be more like such people? A: Here is an example.A very successful businessman whose work takes a full amount of his time, has a role as the ministry director for a congregation over its inner-city work. He goes there every Sunday afternoon and every Thursday evening to oversee the work.He meets for breakfast weekly with the staff of the inner-city church. He responds to various situations at other times that need his help. The work has made many lives better with food, clothing, tutoring, and medical help, and many have been brought to Christ. Here is a branch that is bearing much fruit.Q: What are some characteristics this person is displaying that enables him to bear good fruit? A: Commitment to Christ. Investment of time and energy. Use of his business skills in the work of the Lord. Interest in people with various needs.
- Q: What would you suggest that any of us might do to bear more fruit? A: Be more focused, more specific about the work we want to do for the Lord. Study from scripture and from others how to be most productive in that work. Make a time commitment. Be unselfish about our involvement.
- From the three parables, what should motivate us to bear more fruit? A: The possibility of being cut off. The possibility of having Christ say to us, "Depart."The hope of having Him say, "Well done." The good we can do for others. The blessing we can be for the church. Pleasing our master.
- Next week. We will ask what you have thought about this week that you might do to bear more fruit.
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