He Holds the Future
The signs of the end times
A bag of fortune cookies
He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them." Luke 21:8 (NIV)
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Children's Sermon: He Holds the Future (Luke 21:8)
Do you like Chinese food? I love it! When we go out to eat, one of my favorite places is a Chinese restaurant. After you finish eating, they always bring some fortune cookies. When you break them open they have a little strip of paper with your fortune on it. Here are some examples of what they might say:
Good things are coming your way.
Success will be yours at school and at play.
You will have a pleasant surprise soon.
You will make very good choices today.
The time is right to make new friends.
Something you lost will turn up soon.
You will do something soon that will make your family proud.
You will live a long, happy life.
When you read your fortune from a fortune cookie, do you believe it? We might get a good laugh out of some of them, but it is foolish to think that a piece of paper in a fortune cookie could tell what is going to happen in your future.
In our Bible lesson today, Jesus had some things to say about people who claimed that they could predict the future. Jesus and his disciples were in the temple and the disciples were talking about how beautiful it was with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God. Jesus said to them, "The time is coming when all these things will be completely destroyed. Not one stone will be left on top of another; every one of them will be thrown down!"
The disciples were frightened by what Jesus said. "When will these things happen?" they asked. "What signs can we look for that will let us know that these things are about to take place?"
"Don't let anyone mislead you," Jesus answered. "Many will come in my name, claiming to be the Messiah, and saying, 'The time has come!' But don't believe them." You see, Jesus knew that these people could not see into the future. Only God can do that!
Now, let's think about what it means when we say "God holds the future." It means that God is in control of everything that is going to happen. He knows what will happen tomorrow, next week, and even many years from now. We don't need to worry about the future because God is taking care of it.
Sometimes, we might feel scared or worried about what the future holds. We might wonder what will happen to us, our family, or our friends. But remember, God holds the future, and He will always be with us. He will help us through any tough times that might come our way.
In the Bible, there are many stories of people who trusted that God holds the future. One example is Noah. God told Noah that there was going to be a big flood and that he needed to build an ark to save his family and the animals. Noah didn't know exactly when the flood would come, but he trusted that God held the future and did what God asked him to do.
Another example is Abraham. God told Abraham to leave his home and go to a new land. Abraham didn't know where he was going or what would happen when he got there, but he trusted that God held the future and followed God's plan.
These stories teach us that when we trust in God, we don't need to worry about the future. We can have peace in our hearts knowing that God is in control and will take care of us.
So, what can we do to trust that God holds the future? First, we can pray and talk to God about our worries and fears. God loves us and wants to hear from us. When we pray, we can ask God to help us trust Him more and to give us peace about the future.
Second, we can read the Bible and learn more about how God has taken care of His people in the past. This will help us remember that God is faithful and will continue to take care of us in the future.
Lastly, we can share our faith with others. When we tell our friends and family about how God holds the future, it can help them feel more at peace too. Plus, it's a great way to remind ourselves of God's love and care.