Death is a tough topic, especially for children. It’s challenging to explain why people die and what happens to them after they die. Some kids have little experience with death, while others may have had their world turned upside-down by a loved one’s passing.
Death is sin’s ultimate “sting,” but for Christians, Jesus has erased it. By rising from the grave, Jesus “gives us victory over sin and death” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). Jesus promises to “prepare a place” for us in heaven, saying, “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home” (John 14:2).
The concepts of heaven, hell, and eternity are too abstract for younger children to understand, but we can assure them we’ll always be with Jesus in a place with no sadness or pain. As kids grow older, we can let them know Jesus is the only way to heaven—and any teachings about different paths to eternal life are false. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
During life’s trials and challenges, followers of Jesus can find comfort in the sure hope of heaven. Yet we don’t need to wait until we arrive there to experience Jesus’ presence and peace! He promises to be with us “always” (Matthew 28:20)—a message that children and adults of all ages need to hear often. Until children are about 5 or 6, it’s best to talk about heaven as a place where they can live someday.
Don’t try to explain the spiritual or abstract aspects of heaven yet. As children grow, they’ll begin asking more questions—especially why people go to heaven or hell when they die. If you don’t have all the answers, be honest and research what the Bible says. Explain that Jesus wants everyone to live with him forever, and remind kids that people’s actions don’t send them to heaven or hell. Believing in Jesus is the only way to heaven, and it’s his free gift to us.
Use these ideas to celebrate Jesus’ promise of heaven.

A Special Place

Say: When we’re friends with Jesus, we’ll go to heaven someday. The Bible says heaven is amazing. Have family members use modelling dough to create shapes of what they imagine heaven will be like.

Say: Matthew 6:20 says we’ll have treasures in heaven. John 14:2 says heaven has rooms for many people. Revelation 19:1 says people in heaven shout praises to God. Revelation 21:3-4 says God lives with us in heaven and wipes away our tears. There’s no more sadness or death in heaven. It’s our forever home with God.

Transformed

When you see butterflies, discuss their life cycle and how that symbolizes our rebirth in Jesus.

Say: After a caterpillar spins a cocoon, it begins a new life as a beautiful butterfly. Someday we’ll die, but when we believe in Jesus, he gives us a beautiful new life in heaven. We’ll be happy and free forever! Draw or make butterflies as reminders of new life in Jesus.

Headed to Heaven

Place a variety of small items on a tray.

Say: Look at these items and try to remember them all. Have family members close their eyes while you remove one item. Then have them guess what’s missing. Play several rounds. Read aloud Acts 1:8-11. Ask: How hard was this game? What do you think about how Jesus disappeared in the clouds? Why do you think Jesus returned to heaven?

Say: Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven, but he’s still with us today, in our hearts. Jesus is never missing.

Crown Jewels

Make crowns out of construction paper and craft gems. Read aloud Revelation 21:10-11, 18-23.

Ask: Why do you think heaven is filled with gold, precious gems, bright light, and no darkness? Read Revelation 2:10.

Say: We’re children of Jesus the King; we’re his heirs. That means we’ll live in his kingdom of heaven

PRAY TO JESUS: 
  1. Thank Jesus for dying on the cross and for rising from the tomb to forgive and save us.
  2. Ask Jesus to remind your family members of his love and his promise of heaven.
  3. Ask Jesus to help you tell others about him—and about heaven

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About the Author: stephanie holmberg

Stephanie is a wife, mother, pastor, and friend who is passionate about seeing people live authentic, purpose-filled lives. When not working alongside her amazing kidmin team, you will find her at home spending time with her family, snuggling her furry friend Milo, or out exploring all the amazing places Edmonton has to offer.