Lesson 1: “Elisha’s Authority Established by God”
You deserve to go to Hell: “After you body dies, your soul will go to one of two places — to Heaven, God’s perfect home, or to Hell, a terrible place of punishment…. Because you have sinned, you don’t deserve to go to Heaven. Instead you deserve to go to Hell and be separated from God forever.”
Scene 1: After Elisha walks across the Jordan River, he is greeted by 50 “sons of the prophets” who want to search for Elijah. Elisha tells them not to. Disrespecting Elisha’s authority, they insist on searching for Elijah anyway.
Obey Church Authorities: “Have you ever been guilty of disrespecting God by not respecting His workers…. God has placed some of His workers in authority over you — He has put them in charge… The pastor of your church, your Sunday school teacher or other leaders in your church are all God’s workers…. When you disobey your church leaders or your parents, you’re being disrespectful….”
Scene 2: After three days of fruitless searching, the 50 sons of the prophets return, and Elisha gains their respect. Elisha performs a miracle on Jericho’s toxic well water, throwing salt on it to “purify” it, and gains the respect of Jericho’s residents.
Listen, Obey, and Pray for Your Church Authorities: “When your pastor is teaching God’s Word, listen carefully, obey what he teaches, and pray for him…. When church leaders make rules, what should you do? (Listen, obey, pray.) You show respect by listening quietly when they are talking to you or teaching you and by speaking politely to them. You show respect by listening to their advice or suggestions and learning from their experience. Mostly, you show respect by obeying them with a good attitude.”
Scene 3: Elisha leaves Jericho and heads into the mountains toward Bethel. As he walks along, several “young men” begin taunting Elisha, rudely telling him, “Go up, you bald head; go up, you bald head!”
People who don’t believe the Bible is true are defiant fools: “There are people today who foolishly defy (go against) God. They aren’t interested in what God has said or done—they don’t believe God’s Word is true. But God’s Word is true! God says that the person who against Him is a fool.”
You have a sinful heart, deserve to go to Hell, and you would be foolish to defy God: “Your sinful heart causes you to do sinful things such as cheating at school, lying and talking back. God says your sin must be punished…. [T]he punishment for sin is to be separated from Him in a terrible place…. [But God] is ready to forgive your sins when you call on Him, believing that He died for you. Only a foolish person would not believe in the living God and defy His power.”
Scene 4: Elisha asks God to punish the boys. God sends two bears after them, and “suddenly they stopped laughing and mocking him.” “The laughing and mocking of the young men turned into screams for help,” as 42 of them are mauled to death “because they did not respect God or His worker.”
“Challenge” for the week: Don’t challenge your church leaders: “The week show respect to your pastors, parents, and other leaders by listening carefully, obeying them and praying for them. If you do that you will be pleasing God. Next week you can tell us how God helped you show respect.”