Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Revelation 1

Story Summary

The Book of Revelation is one of the most interesting, complex, and debated books in the Bible. Our purpose for this lesson is not to handle it theologically, but rather as a story. We will cover what happened to John, what he saw and what he wrote rather than the interpretation of those events. 

Revelation was written by John. This is the same John who was a fisherman before Jesus called him to be one of his 12 disciples. He was the "beloved one" who wrote the Gospel of John. We don't know a lot about what he did in the early churches, but he was obviously active, having written three letters to believers (1 John, 2 John, 3 John). He was apparently exiled on the island of Patmos as a result of persecution for his ministry.

Introduction | Revelation 1

John opens the book with a greeting. He tells the reader that he saw a vision. There is no better description of this vision than what is written in Revelation 1:10-20

"So write down what you have seen. Write about what is happening now and what will happen later." Revelation 1:19. Based on this verse, this lesson will be broken into two parts:

  • What is happening now → Letters to the 7 Churches
  • What will happen later → John's Vision of the End Times

Letters to the 7 Churches | Revelation 2-3

Similar to the letters that Paul wrote to the churches he helped establish, John was given instructions to give to seven churches. One of them (Ephesus) was actually the same church. Of course we believe the letters written by Paul were inspired by God. But there is something special about these letters because they were given directly by Jesus himself in a vision to John. It seems like these instructions would be very important to those churches! Here is a summary of those instructions:

Church Instructions
Ephesus Good job working hard, not putting up with sin, and being faithful. But you are not acting out of love for God anymore.
Smyrna Even though you are poor and are suffering, you will be rewarded at the end.
Pergamum You are living in a very wicked place where people love to sin, and you are mostly faithful. But you have followed some of their sinful practices, and you must stop!
Thyatira Good job being faithful. You don't give up! But, you are putting up with an evil woman in your church who is leading others astray. She will be punished for her sins and so will those who follow her!
Sardis It might look to others like you are doing everything you need to do, but you are really dead inside. You need to obey what you have been taught.
Philadelphia Good job being faithful!
Laodicea Because you are so rich, you have become complacent. You neither hot nor cold - you are lukewarm! I want to spit you out of my mouth! But I'm here waiting for you to return to me.


John's Vision of the End Times | Revelation 4-22

It is nearly impossible to summarize in just a few paragraphs all that is written in the book of Revelation. The Egermeier's Bible Story Book does a very nice job of summarizing this, though, and we highly recommend using this version of the story. Here are the highlights that are covered in the Egermeier's summary:

  • John saw the throne of God with 24 elders (old guys) around the throne, dressed in white and wearing gold crowns.
  • God was holding a sealed book in his hands, and an angel asked who could break the seal and open the book. At first, no one could be found, and this made John very sad. But then one of the elders around the throne identified Jesus, the Lamb of God, as the only one who could open the book.
  • John saw all sorts of strange things in this book and wrote about them down.
  • John saw a new heaven and a new earth, as the old heaven and earth seemed to pass away.
  • A New Jerusalem seemed to come down out of the clouds onto the new earth
  • People from every nation were in this city and they were all worshiping Jesus. There was no more pain, suffering, or tears.

What You Will Need

Video Options

God's Story - Re-Creation

From Crossroads Kids Club

Is Heaven for Real?

From LifeKids

Resource Sheet

John's Vision of the End Times Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts John's vision of God on the throne and the 7 lampstands


1. Warm Up get your kids talking and engaged

Have you ever eaten anything that tasted so bad, you spit it out of your mouth? What was it?

Today, we're going to learn about a vision that John had. He recorded it in the book of Revelation. Jesus told one of the churches that he was going to spit them out of his mouth!

2. Teach the Story teach a holistic story

We strongly recommend you teach this lesson from the Egermeier's Bible Story Book (beginning on page 565).

3. Bible Mastery give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud Revelation 1:9-20; Revelation 21:1-5

4. Comprehension Questions make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • Where was John when he wrote the book of Revelation?
  • On the island of Patmos, exiled - or forced to stay on the island - because of his ministry
  • What did he experience in his vision?
  • He heard a voice like a loud trumpet telling him to write down what he saw, and then he saw 7 golden lampstands and Jesus walking around them
  • Do you remember any of the names of the 7 churches Jesus tols John to send letters to?
  • Here they are: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea
  • What were some of the things Jesus told the 7 churches in the letters?
  • Be faithful, stay strong, stop sinning, don't put up with sinners, get your passion for God back, etc
  • What did John see around God's throne in his vision?
  • 24 elders wearing white robes and gold crowns
  • What was God holding in his hand?
  • A great book, that was sealed
  • Who was the only one who could break the seal?
  • Jesus, the Lamb of God
  • What was in the book?
  • All the strange things he wrote in the book of Revelation
  • What did John see that was new?
  • He saw a new heaven and a new earth, with a new Jerusalem
  • What was special about this city?
  • Everyone who believed in Jesus lived there, from every country in the world, and they lived with Jesus forever where there was no more pain, sorrow, or tears

5. Faith Questions open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer

  • We learn from John's vision in the book of Revelation that one day God will make a new heaven and a new earth. All those who believe in Jesus will spend eternity with him in this place where there will be no more pain or tears.
  • Do you have faith in Jesus? Have you trusted Jesus to take away your sins? Are you happy that you will go to heaven with him one day to spend eternity with him?

6. Memory Verse hide God's Word in their heart

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 (ESV)

Reinforcement Activities

Water Taste Test

Scripture 'I know what you are doing. I know you aren't cold or hot. I wish you were either one or the other! But you are lukewarm. You aren't hot or cold. So I am going to spit you out of my mouth. Revlelation 3:15-16
Supplies cold, hot and lukewarm water, cups
  • Laodicea was situated in a valley. Their water was supplied from the city of Hierapolis where there were hot springs. It also came down from the mountains where there was cold water. By the time the water made it to Laodicea, it was neither hot nor cold. They were used to water that did not quench your thirst.
  • Taste water that is cold, hot (make sure it is not hot enough to burn anyone) and lukewarm temperatures.
  • Which do you prefer?

Spit Take Challenge

Heads up! This is an outside activity. This activity is best done before the lesson.
Scripture 'I know what you are doing. I know you aren't cold or hot. I wish you were either one or the other! But you are lukewarm. You aren't hot or cold. So I am going to spit you out of my mouth. Revlelation 3:15-16
Supplies cups of water
  • A spit take is when someone takes a drink and someone else says something funny and makes the person spit out their water.
  • Challenge someone to a spit take.
  • Person 1 must drink a mouthful of water, but not swallow.
  • Person 2 must say something funny to try and get person 1 to laugh and spit out their water in a minute or less.
  • God had a message for the church at Laodicea. Because of their lack of passion for God, he said he was going to spit them out of his mouth.
  • Spit takes are funny, but not when God says he is going to spit you out of his mouth.
  • Are you passionate about God or are you lukewarm?

Vision Drawing

Scripture The Holy Spirit took complete control of me on the Lord's Day. I heard a loud voice behind me that sounded like a trumpet. 11 The voice said, "Write on a scroll what you see. Send it to the seven churches in Asia Minor. They are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea." Revelation 1:10-11
Supplies paper and crayons
  • Ask students to close their eyes and picture the first thing that comes to mind.
  • Have students open their eyes and draw what they pictured.
  • John saw a vision while on the island of Patmos.
  • Read Relevation 1:12-20.

Who is it?

Scripture 'Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If any of you hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with you. And you will eat with me. Revelation 3:20
  • Person one needs to turn their back on the rest of the class.
  • Point to a different person in the group to knock and say "Here, I am!"
  • Person one must try and guess who was speaking.
  • If they get it correct, they both a piece of candy or small snack. (...and you will eat with me. v 20)

Door Activity

Scripture 'Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If any of you hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with you. And you will eat with me. Revelation 3:20
Supplies Card stock or construction paper, plain paper, verse printout, scissors, glue
  • Cut a large door out of the second piece of paper and glue it to the card stock.
  • Do not glue the door shut. You want the door to open and see the card stock behind the door.
  • Glue the verse (Revelation 3:20) to the card stock, so you see it when you open the door.

Which Church?

Scripture Revelation 2:1-3:22
Supplies Which Church Are You Like worksheet
  • Look at the table of the 7 churches.
  • What church are you most like?