The second half of the 19th century saw the emergence of the Pentecostal movement among American Protestant believers. Distinguished by their desire for a deeply meaningful and outwardly exhibited relationship with God, those following the Pentecostal movement advanced their fervent belief in the imminent Second Coming of Christ and the evidence of their baptism in the Holy Spirit through “speaking in tongues.”
The Pentecostal tradition is founded upon the idea that all humans are born sinners and are only offered salvation from eternal damnation after death through the grace of God and the acceptance of Jesus Christ as one’s personal savior. Sunday School lessons can trace the Biblical references that answer the following questions relating to salvation: “Who is God?” “Who Am I?” “What Do I Deserve?” “What is the Good News of the Gospel?” “What Must I Do to Know that I Am Saved?” and “What Must I Do Now that I Am Saved?” Draw on both Old and New Testament Scriptures to describe the sinful state man is born into and how God’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross offered salvation to the World.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Teach the story relayed in the book of John, chapter three, in which Jesus instructs the Jewish leader named Nicodemus that, in order to be born again, he must be “born of water and the Spirit.” For Pentecostals, this rebirth through the Holy Spirit is as vital an aspect of baptism as is the traditional Protestant baptism with water. Look, with your class, at Acts 19:2,6, which tells of how the Apostle Paul places hands on the Christian converts so that they might be filled with the Holy Spirit, made manifest by “speaking in tongues.” Discuss with the Sunday School class the manifestations of speaking in tongues as they have witnessed it in themselves and others.
Second Coming of Christ
Is the Second Coming of Christ imminent? Lead a Sunday School discussion of the possible outward signs we are experiencing in our world today. Compare them to the signs promised in the Bible, such as the descriptions of the book of Revelation. Read to the class Revelation 1:7 and Matthew 24:30-31, both of which offer signs that signal the imminent return of Christ. Then offer Bible verses that describe how Jesus will return to Earth – Romans 8:2, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, and 2 Peter 3:10-13 – and discuss with the class how this might actually take place in today’s world.
Begin this Sunday School lesson with some examples of the miraculous healings Jesus performed. Relate Matthew 4:23-24, which describes how Jesus healed the sick, injured and those possessed by demons. Choose a few of the other specific healing stories, such as Jesus healing the lame man in John 5:1-9. Share them with the class. Open a class discussion of healing stories that class participants witnessed in their own families or among their neighbors or friends.
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