Large-Group Talks to Accompany the Reign Curriculum
- Teenagers have grown up during a day when families and the community treated them as very special. Some parents made their children the center of the home. At school every child got a ribbon just for participating.
- During that same era, some churches presented Jesus as a wonderful friend but not much more. Little was said about His being a majestic and powerful King.
- Combining these thoughts has caused many church teenagers to think: If I’m a really big deal and Jesus is not that big a deal, then maybe my faith is mostly about me. Maybe Jesus mostly exists for me and my happiness.
- Possible illustration: Little Jesus in my pocket (using a two-inch-high Jesus figure from a Christian bookstore or online supply house).
- Possible illustration: Do you see Jesus as a Santa Claus Jesus, Grandfather Jesus, or Butler Jesus?
- Teenagers (and adults) with a me-centered faith most need to grasp who Jesus really is today. Fortunately, Scripture paints a powerful picture of the enthroned Son of God.
- Focus on the ascension and enthronement of Christ, forty days after the resurrection, using Psalm 110; Hebrews 1; Luke 24; and Acts 1.
- Declare: Jesus doesn’t exist for you. You exist for Him.
- Present the following monologue:
And when they came unto the place which is called the skull, there they crucified him.
The Lord was pleased to crush Him. Smitten of God, He laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Christ died for sins to bring us to God.
And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb.
As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen.”
To the apostles Jesus presented Himself alive after His suffering, appearing to them over a period of forty days. And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
He was clothed in a robe reaching to the feet and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like flames of fire.
God said, “Sit at my right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet. God seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion.
The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.
The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from one another. Then He will also say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
There was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!”
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. Behold, I am coming soon!
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
- Commitment: Ask students if they are willing to say, “Father God, I am not going to hang onto my former view of Your Son. In the power of God the Spirit, I’m going to dive into Your Word, and I’m going to discover who Your Son really is today. For Your great glory, I want to be awakened to Your majesty.”
- Possible illustration: Consider having a throne on the platform for talks two through four. Refer to Christ enthroned as you speak. Possible sources for a throne include church and university drama departments. An alternative may be an ornate pulpit chair borrowed from a liturgical church.
- How we see Jesus matters a great deal. A little view of Jesus means a little view of God. A mascot view of Jesus means a mascot view of God.
- The Father Himself is waking up believers to His Son.
- The greatness and glory of Christ was foreshowed in the Old Testament.
- The greatness and glory of Christ was further revealed in the New Testament.
- The greatness and glory of Christ will be completely revealed in His second coming. Who He will be that day is who He is today!
- Commitment: Ask students if they are willing to say, “High King Jesus, I’m beginning to grasp more of Your splendor, power, and brilliance. You are becoming my Monarch, not a mascot. My old view of You in ruined. I can never go back to a little Jesus in my pocket. I open my mind and my heart to make more discoveries about Your greatness and all that means in my daily life.”
- Paul challenges believers to consider all things as loss for the surpassing greatness of Christ (Phil. 3:8).
- That includes counting possessions as loss for His surpassing greatness.
- That includes counting fame as loss for His surpassing greatness.
- That includes counting relationships as loss for His surpassing greatness.
- That includes counting one’s physical life as loss for His surpassing greatness.
- Commitment: Ask students if they are willing to say, “King Jesus, You may or may not ask me to walk away from all my possessions, fame, and relationships. But if You should, I want my adoration of You to be so great that I would. You may not ask me to lay down my life as I follow Your call. But if Your Spirit will give me the courage, I want to follow You regardless of the cost.”
- Platform alternative: Consider placing an elevated throne front and center during music worship. Move the musicians to the side. Invite students to sing directly to Jesus. Choose songs that allow students to declare the regal greatness of God’s Son.
- Teenage disciples are called to awaken believers to the greatness of Jesus.
- Teenage disciples are called to tell the lost locally about the greatness of Jesus.
- Teenage disciples are called to tell the lost globally about the greatness of Jesus.
- Teenage disciples are called to look forward to heaven to see the full magnificence of Jesus.
- Commitment: Ask believing students if they are willing to say, “I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. I want Him to flow through me so I may wake up other believers to the supreme majesty of King Jesus. Allow me to be part of an awakening that spreads through our church. I also want to adore You so deeply that I talk about knowing You with lost people locally and globally. I want many new believers to join me in worship before Your throne for eternity.”
- Commitment: Ask lost students if they are willing to say, “My eyes have been opened to the greatness of who You really are. I never thought that much about You before, but now I am in awe of Your sacrificial love, brilliance, power, and majesty. Now I want to follow You and join You in bringing Your kingdom here on earth. I want someone to show me how I can give my heart to You and You alone.”