REIGN OF PEACE
Scripture: Psalm 29:11; Micah 4:1–5; Revelation 20:1-6
Memory verse: Psalm 29:11
"The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace."
For this object lesson you will need a wire screen, some sand, a flat piece of cardboard the same size as the screen, and a container in which to catch the sand you will be using. (A pan or a box will work well.)
Begin the lesson by placing the screen over the container. Then allow several students to scoop up handfuls of sand and try to build a mountain on top of the screen. They will quickly find this is impossible. Explain that the sand represents peace and the screen represents the world. People try to build peace in this world, but it cannot be done. People everywhere are talking about peace, but because of sin it is impossible to have a truly peaceful world. Nations spend days and months at peace talks with one another while back at home they are constructing bigger, more powerful weapons of war. The chances for peace continually trickle away, just as the sand trickles through the screen.
Now secure the piece of cardboard under the screen. Tell the students that this cardboard foundation represents Jesus. Someday He will come to rule the world. He will then bring true peace to the whole world. Allow a student to pour a couple of scoops of sand on top of the screen. A mound will begin to form this time. Explain that just as the hill of sand was formed because of the cardboard under it, so the world will have complete peace when Jesus comes back to rule it. Our peace is built on Him. Explain that this week’s lesson is about what a prophet named Micah saw about this time of peace.
Hearing God’s Word
Ask: “What do you think worries people in our world the most?” (Allow response.)
War Brings Fear and Worry
One of the main things people fear is war, especially nuclear war. We hear about this topic quite often in the news, in newspapers, and even in conversations.
Ask: “If the thought of war is so frightening, why do countries continually fight against each other? Why can’t we have peace?” (Allow responses. Also refer to the Lesson Lead—In discussion on the sand slipping through the screen.)
The world does not have peace because of one major problem that has existed since the Garden of Eden—sin. When man first sinned, the perfect relationship between man and God was broken. When that relationship was broken, sin soon brought about hatred, jealousy, greed, pride, and deceit between people. These things have continued to grow and increase throughout the years, and there does not seem to be an end in sight. Peace rallies, wars against crime, meetings between world superpowers, and many other efforts to achieve peace are like pouring sand through a screen.
Ask: “Do you have any hope? Will world peace ever become a reality?” (Allow responses.)
Jesus Brings Peace
There is only one hope for world peace, and that is through Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Long ago, even before Jesus was born, a prophet named Micah was able to see ahead to a day when Jesus would bring perfect peace to the world. This will happen during a special period in God’s schedule of end-time events.
After the Christians are taken to heaven in the event called the Rapture, a seven-year period of sorrow will take place on earth. During that time, the Great Tribulation will occur under the terrible rule of the Antichrist. Meanwhile in heaven, the works of all Christians will be judged at the judgement seat of Christ. This will also be a time of celebration known as the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This will be a joyful time when all believers from all times will rejoice and worship Jesus.
After seven years of tribulation, Jesus will return with His armies to fight the forces of the Antichrist in the Battle of Armageddon. All opposing forces will be completely destroyed and Jesus will become the ruler of all the world. He will set up His government in Jerusalem and begin the 1,000-year reign called the Millennium. It is this reign that the prophet Micah foresaw centuries ago. Can you imagine what it will be like to have Jesus himself as the leader of our world?
Ask: “What kind of place do you think the world will be when that happens? What kinds of changes will take place?” (Allow discussion.)
Everyone Will Worship Jesus
One of the unique and wonderful things about the Millennium is that everyone everywhere will worship Jesus and honour Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. The prophet Micah saw people of all nations continually flocking toward Jerusalem to worship Jesus. (Ask a student to read aloud Micah 4:2.) No one will be worshipping Muhammad, Buddha, cows, or anything else. Everyone will be worshipping Jesus. He will be the only one the people will want to honour and serve. What a wonderful time that will be!
From Micah’s description of this time, it seems that people from all lands will worship Jesus because they want to, not because someone forces them. Jesus will not be a harsh, cruel ruler everyone will fear. His law and rule will be firm, but He will treat the people with complete justice, fairness, and love. That is much different from many governments in the world today, isn’t it?
As the people come to Jerusalem, they will learn of God’s laws. Then they will go home and practice the things they have been taught. Imagine all nations living under the government of Jesus. There will be peace and joy all over the world. People will not need to be afraid of being robbed, attacked, or murdered. Those things will not happen because the King of peace will be in control.
The Threat of War is Gone
One of the results of Jesus’ reign on earth is brought out in Micah 4:3. (Ask a student to read this verse.) In the first part of the verse, we see Jesus being a judge over the nations. At the beginning of His reign, it will be necessary for Jesus to bring into line some nations that have oppressed other nations. He will settle all disputes between people and nations. Because of this just and firm leadership, war will cease.
Ask: “With the threat of war out of the way, what good will military weapons be? What does Micah 4:3 say will be done with them?” (Allow responses.0
Obviously weapons will no longer be needed. Micah saw them being beaten into plowshares and pruning hooks. It is interesting that both of these were farming tools in Micah’s day.
Ask: “What did Micah mean by these words?” (Allow discussion.)
It appears that weapons will be turned into tools that will be productive and help mankind rather than destroy him.
In Micah’s day swords and spears were commonly used weapons. Today we have tanks, planes, battleships, bombs, and missiles. Although these may not actually be melted down and beaten into farm tools, the money, time, and energy used to make them will be directed toward things that will help people instead of hurt them. People everywhere will work together. What a wonderful world to live in!
No More Fear
Perhaps the greatest thing of all during the Millennium will be the complete absence of fear. People today are frightened by many things. They fear war, hunger, crime, and financial problems. When Jesus rules the earth, we will have no reason to fear. It will be a time of peace, a peace such as that described by the Psalmist in this week’s memory verse. (Repeat the verse with the students.)
We Can Have Peace
Peace is a wonderful thing. Some would be willing to pay lots of money to have it. But peace cannot be bought. Many have given their lives to keep peace where they live. But even this does not guarantee true peace. Yet we, as Christians, can have true peace even now—in our hearts. Before Jesus left to return to the Father, He gave a wonderful promise to His disciples and to us. We can have Jesus’ peace in our hearts every day.
There is only one condition to having true peace in our lives. We have to make Jesus Christ Lord and Saviour of our lives. Only then can we enjoy the peace He brings. When we accept Him as our Saviour, He sends His Holy Spirit to be our Comforter in times of fear, trouble, or danger. The Holy Spirit will strengthen us and prepare us for the time when the whole world will enjoy the peace of being in Jesus’ presence.
Accepting God’s Word
Tell the students that in order to receive peace from God, we must be His children. Explain the plan of salvation. Everyone has sinned and needs a Saviour. God’s Son Jesus loves us and died for our sins. Give an opportunity for students to accept Jesus as Saviour. Pray individually with each who responds.
To the King eternal, the only God, I humbly bow. You are Ruler of the universe and Lord over all the affairs of people. You know everything that is happening and what You desire to take place. You have a solution for every problem for nothing is too difficult for You.
I am concerned about the spiritual condition of the Soninke of Senegal. They are so isolated! Geographically, the Soninke homeland is on the back side of Senegal, but a decent road and Internet service connects the people with the rest of the country. However, only one Christian witness is available to them.
The Bible tells us to "cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, I place in Your hands this concern that churches will be established among the Soninke. May a clear, open presentation of the gospel be made available to them, and may Your kingdom come and Your will be done in the lives of the Soninke. Amen!
Remember: REIGN OF PEACE
Memory verse: Psalm 29:11
""The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace."
1. Peace with God is of great value.
2. Peace with our family, friends and community is a treasure.
3. Jesus is the giver of true peace.
Pray for the Spiritual Condition of the Soninke.
Study 10 | All Peoples/The Prophets | africaatts.org/go-teach