Three very large rat traps. Mouse traps will not work nearly as well. Three index cards. On one write “Lust of the Flesh”; the other write “Lust of the Eyes”; and the last write “Pride of Life.” Be sure to write in large letters. A regular wooden pencil (fairly new and still long)
Take the “u” shaped staples out of one of the traps that hold the springs down. Loosen the spring so that the trap will not close all of the way when it is “sprung.” Set and test the weak trap to be sure that when you put your own hand in it; it will not hurt!! Put an index card, as described above, on each of the traps. You can hot glue it, but I use the old fashioned traps and push the top of the card over the bait pin and pinch the pin down on the card. Set all of the traps – even the weak one. Be careful!! Be sure you are back away from the kids a little. When strong traps spring, you will not be able to hold them: they will jump out of your hand. Practice thoroughly at home, so you’ll not be surprised in front of the children!! Have the pencil handy (in a pocket).
Sin is awful and deadly, but Satan will trick you into believing that sin is either not wrong or won’t hurt. This illustration uses two strong rat traps and one weak one to show the lie that Satan tells us and visualize that lie against the truth of Gods Word.
2 Cor 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
How many of you can think of some things that are dangerous? Can you think of some things that might be dangerous but not look dangerous at first? If a baby saw a knife, would it think the knife was dangerous, or pretty because it is shiny? How about poisons or medicines or cleaning stuff? Some of these things are dangerous, but they don’t look dangerous.
Sin is dangerous. Satan tries to make sin look good. Our vs says…(read and explain 2 Cor 11:14 as appropriate for your age group.)
There is another Bible verse that says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion , walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Be sure the children understand the word’s “vigilant,” “adversary,” and really key on the word “devour” as you hold a strong trap up and let it snap shut by pulling on the index card a little bit. Drive home the point that this is the way Satan really is!! Let the children know that this is not what Satan wants them to believe. He wants them to believe the same way that Eve did…
Genesis 3:1- Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
In these verses, we see Satan tempting Eve to do wrong by tricking her into believing that the sin won’t really hurt (vs 4 – Ye shall not surely die) Now is the time to use the weak trap. As you explain verse 4, put your hand to the trap- over the index card – and let it slap down on you. The children will be surprised that it doesn’t take your hand off! Explain that this is what Satan wants them to believe, but it is a lie. Sin is a trap – Traps really hurt you!! Pick up the last trap. Set it off by using the wooden pencil. The trap is strong enough to break two or three pencils. When the children see the broken pencil, they’ll believe that the real trap of sin hurts.
How about their sins? Use this question to transition into the plan of salvation in a way that the children in your audience can understand.
Other notes: If you have time to go into other things, it is neat to get the children to say the phrases written on the index cards with you throughout the sermon. Even to count them off on their fingers. These are the ways Satan gets all of us as explained by 1 John 2:16 – For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Also, this is a great time to answer the question kids always ask. “Why do I have to memorize the Bible?”, they’ll want to know. In Genesis 3:4, Satan only changes one word of God’s Holy Word. He denies the word “die.” If we don’t commit God’s word to memory, exactly the way He wrote it, Satan may be able to fool us too!! Memorize God’s Word completely and correctly for your own protection!!
[Close in prayer.]