Heaven and Hell – Lazarus and the Rich Man
Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids the importance of following the Bible and telling other people about God.
Intro Activity: Acting It Out – Divide students into groups of two or three. Give them a few minutes to think of their skit. Then, have each group act out what they think happens when someone dies.
Lesson: Ask students, If we believe in God and do the right things that God wants us to do, what will happen when we die?
We will get to go live forever in Heaven with God and Jesus and everyone else who believed in God and died.
But what happens if we don’t believe in God and we do the wrong things that God doesn’t want us to do? Then, what will happen when we die? (We’ll go to Hell.)
It’s sad when people go to Hell because nothing good is there. That’s why we try to tell people about God so that they can believe in God and go to Heaven and not have to go to Hell when they die.
(Read Luke 16:19-21.)
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.”
So, there are two men in this story. One is a poor man named Lazarus. The other is a rich man, and we don’t know his name. The poor man, Lazarus, keeps begging the rich man to give him some food, or even some leftovers from the rich man’s dinner, but the rich man won’t give him anything. Do you think the rich man should give Lazarus some food and help him? (Yes.)
(Read Luke 16:22-24.)
“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’”
Where did the rich man go when he died? (Hell.)
Why do you think the rich man went to Hell? (Because He didn’t believe in God or do the right things that God wanted him to do, like helping the poor man, Lazarus.)
(Read Luke 16:25-26.)
“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’”
Can someone go from Heaven to Hell, or from Hell to Heaven? (No, the story says that people have to stay in Heaven or Hell. They can’t go from one to the other.)
(Read Luke 16:27-28.)
“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’”
What does the rich man want Abraham to do? (He wants Abraham to send someone from Heaven to go tell his brothers about God so that they can believe in God and go to Heaven when they die instead of going to Hell.)
Do you think Abraham will send someone down from Heaven to talk to the rich man’s brothers?
(Read Luke 16:29-31.)
“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Abraham says that he won’t send someone back from Heaven to talk to the rich man’s brothers. Instead, Abraham says that the rich man’s brothers should believe who? (Moses and the Prophets.)
Moses and the Prophets are the people who wrote the Bible. Abraham is saying that people should believe the Bible and believe in God that way instead of wanting people to come down from Heaven to tell them about God.
That’s why we read the Bible. God gave us the Bible so that we can learn about God and believe in God and know the right things that God wants us to do so that we can go to Heaven when we die and not go to Hell.
And we should do our best to tell other people what we learn about God in the Bible so that they can believe in God and go to Heaven when they die too.
Game: Disciple Tag – Choose one student to be It. When they tag someone, that person links hands with them and joins their team. They continue adding people to their team, linking hands with each one until all but one student is part of their chain. That remaining student becomes It for the next round.
Play two or three rounds and then, explain that when we tell people about Jesus, we want them to believe in Jesus too. If they do, they become a Christian and join our team. Then, they help us tell more people about Jesus.
Game: Sword Drill – Give each student a Bible. Then, call out the name of one of the books of the Bible. The student who finds that book first wins. To make it a little more difficult, you can call out the chapter and verse of a book or the name of a Biblical person or event.
Remind students how important it is to read and study the Bible on their own so that they can know it well.
Closing Prayer: Father God, thank You for giving us the Bible so that we can believe in You and know how You want us to live. Help us to follow You and to tell other people about You too so that we can all go to Heaven when we die.
Recommended ExtraThe Rich Man and Lazarus – free object lesson, along with free coloring and activity pages
This lesson is included in my book, The Parables and Teachings of Jesus: Volume 2.