This week I was pondering the question, “Can you teach kids about the book of Revelation without sitting down and “studying” Revelation with them?”
Realizing that in everyday conversation, as it comes up, my kids and I have covered a lot of ground when it comes to Revelation, my answer is, “definitely yes!” Even my four-year old has an understanding of many things in the book of Revelation on a simple level though we have never sat down to “study” it.
As a homeschool family we have a lot of time together to allow time for “random” guided conversations. I say random because often an inquisitive child sparks the conversation by asking a question like, “What will the healthiest food be in Heaven?” which leads eventually to a conversation about the tree of life with the leaves for the healing of the nations (Rev. 22:2). Or the common questions about Satan and dragons, followed by a discussion on why one should beware of “friendly dragons” and subsequent explanations of how the dragon likes to trick people (aka: deceive the whole world – Rev. 12:9). I’m not throwing Bible verses around, just talking about what the Bible says in kid language. These conversations are relatively common in our household because we discuss, or rather I bring up, these topics on a regular basis, which of course leads to discussions. When the four-year old states, “Satan is sneaky” or “How loud will it be when Jesus comes?” it is prime opportunity to discuss the beast and the dragon and how we must always check everything with the Bible to know the truth, or talk about what the Bible says about Jesus’ second coming.
When my older child wonders aloud why some so-called Christians don’t follow what the Bible says, it can lead to a conversation about compromise and how even the early church began compromising with the world, (most of the seven churches) and the great need for repentance and humbleness. This in turn is a great gateway into a discussion about why people sometimes persecute others in the name of God or christianity. Because said child has read a fair amount about the protestant reformation and church systems that did not follow the Bible and hated those who did, he can start to understand the idea of a beast power that looks religious, but is actually following the dragon.
Another avenue I’ve used is relating other Bible stories to pieces of Revelation. While reading the story of the plagues of Egypt we contemplate how interesting it is that the last seven plagues did not touch the Hebrews and I note that there are seven, not ten, last plagues in Revelation which will also not touch God’s people in the end times. Or when we read about the armies of Israel going to battle described as the “thousands” of Israel, I can mention that the 144,000 in Revelation are divided into units of 1,000 also and represent the Lord’s army.
A Firm Foundation
Laying the foundation for our kids will only happen when we let God build a strong foundation under our own feet. If you haven’t embarked on a personal study of the book of Revelation yourself, start now. The more solid your foundation, the more you will have to share with kids when they ask those improbable questions. They need you to guide them with the aid of the Holy Spirit and with the Word of God as your sword.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Read the Book of Revelation through more than once. Always pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you as you read.
- Use a good Bible reference tool like Bible Gateway.com or the Bible Gateway App. Look up words to see their context and usage in the rest of the Bible like trumpets, plagues, four horses, etc.
- Get a solid commentary or reader’s guide on Revelation that uses the Bible to interpret the Bible and sticks closely to the Biblical text. Some favorite ones are Revelation of Jesus Christ and Plain Revelation by Ranko Stefanovic.
May God bless you as you share the truths in Revelation with your kids.
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8 Tips For Teaching Revelation to Kids