Lesson 4: God Is Too Angry To Forgive Me
We have all sinned. We have all made mistakes. If we will confess our sins to God, He wants to forgive each of us of all of our sins. Many people believe that whatever they have done in the past is just too bad to be forgiven. They believe that whatever they have done has made God so angry that He would never even consider forgiving them. God is willing to forgive each of us if we will ask Him. There is nothing we could ever do to make God so angry that He would not forgive us. In today’s lesson, we will look at one the Apostle Peter’s biggest mistakes, and how Jesus extends forgiveness to him in a beautiful way.
Leader: I can’t wait to bust today’s myth with you... (all of a sudden “The Hamster Dance” song begins playing. Wacky Wally comes out dancing and acting crazy. Music fades.)
Wally: Hello there!!
Leader: Well, look who it is, kids. It’s...
Wally: (interrupts) Me!! Wally!
Leader: Yes, I was just going to say that. So Wally, how...
Wally: (interrupts again) am I? I’m doing great today!
Leader: That’s nice. Why do you keep interrupting me?
Wally: Well, because today is National Interruption Day. I am supposed to interrupt people all day long!
Leader: Really? That’s a pretty rude holiday. Listen, this isn’t the best time for me, I’m…
Wally: Training monkeys to hula-hoop?
Leader: No! I’m teaching kids about a myth that says…
Wally: Sawdust is an excellent replacement for toothpaste!
Leader: No! Wait…how would you even KNOW that?
Wally: Childhood mistake.
Leader: I don’t want to know! No, we’re not talking about sawdust or toothpaste! We’re talking about a myth about God! A lot of people believe the myth that God is too angry to forgive them!
Wally: Well what?
Leader: Well aren’t you going to interrupt me?
Wally: Why would I? That’s not a myth! It’s true!
Wally: I know all about it! I’ve done some kooky things in my life and because of that God is pretty angry!
Leader: I am so afraid to ask this…What could you have done that is THAT bad?
Wally: Well there was the time I went skiing..
Leader: There’s nothing wrong with that…
Wally: It was in my grandma’s bedroom!
Leader: How did you do THAT?!
Wally: A lot of free time and tons of shaving cream! And that’s not as bad as the time I took my neighbor for a ride in my car…
Leader: Were you in a wreck or something?
Wally: No, I just didn’t have any room because of all the shaving cream cans, so I just duct-taped him to the hood! He was screaming the entire time, it was like driving an ambulance! (makes a wailing scream like a siren)
Leader: Agh! Would you stop that! It’s terrible!
Wally: It is! And I can’t ask for forgiveness because I know that God is way too angry with me!
Leader: Hold on, Wally! You’ve got this entire thing wrong! It says in the Bible that Jesus, the son of God, died on a cross for your sins! Not just your sins, but EVERYBODY’S sins! No matter what they had done before! It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, God is always going to forgive you!
Wally: Where does it say that?
Leader: Tell you what—why don’t you watch this week’s Power Verse video. I think it will help you!
Wally: Wow! So, God will forgive me of EVERYTHING!
Leader: It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, Jesus is always going to forgive you! There’s nothing you can do to make him so mad he won’t forgive you! Not even…
Wally: Shoving peppers up somebody’s nose?
Leader: That…wasn’t what I was going to say, but sure, not even that, or..
Wally: Letting a wild kangaroo loose in a bumper car?!
Leader: Once again…not what I was going to say. I’m not even sure why you’d want to do that in the Hfirst place, But sure, God would still forgive you for doing that. So I hope you...
Wally: Learned something today?
Leader: Yes, I hope you learned that..
Wally: God is not angry with me and can forgive me no matter what I’ve done?
Leader: Yes. Now If you will..
Wally: Just let you finish so we can get back to normal around here?
Leader: Yes!!! Will you please just let me get in…
Wally: The last word? Of course! Goodbye kids! (exits as theme music plays)
Choose three boys and three girls to compete in this game. Choose two leaders from the audience to sit down in a chair. Give each team a roll of toilet paper.
When you say, “Go,” each team begins to try to wrap the leader up in toilet paper. The first side to cover their entire leader (or run out of toilet paper) wins.
Familiarize yourself with the story of Peter’s denial in Luke 22:54-62 and forgiveness in John chapter 21.
Ever made a huge mistake? I mean a BIG mistake!!! Maybe you lied to your parents, and they found out about it. Maybe you cheated on a test and got caught. Maybe you talked about one of your friends behind their back and they found out about it.
When you’ve made a HUGE mistake—you feel terrible. You especially feel terrible when you have let someone down and disappointed them as a result of your mistake. You don’t want to face your parents after you lied to them. You’re afraid of what your teacher will do after you have cheated on the test. You’re afraid that your friend will be so angry with you when they find out you were talking about them. You don’t even want to face the person you have disappointed because you feel they are too angry to forgive you.
You know, there’s someone in the Bible that probably had some of those same kinds of feelings. It’s Peter. Peter was one of Jesus’ closest disciples. Peter had made a vow to Jesus that he would NEVER betray him—he would NEVER deny Him. Jesus told him that before the rooster crowed the next morning that he would deny Jesus three times. Peter said, “NO WAY! I will NEVER DO THAT!”
That night Jesus was arrested and taken to court. Peter was outside the court and was asked by several people if he knew Jesus. Three different times Peter was asked, “Are you one of the disciples of Jesus? Don’t you know Him?” Three different times Peter said, “No way! Not me! I have never met the man!” He even screamed and cursed when he was asked whether or not he knew Jesus. The same man who had spent three years of his life with Jesus, watching Him do miracle after miracle, denied ever even knowing Him.
Just then, Peter heard a sound...the rooster crowing. It was then that he remembered Jesus had told him that he would deny him before the rooster crowed. Peter was so sad, he ran off and cried.
Fast forward the story. Jesus was crucified, buried, and then He rose from the dead. He appeared to his disciples one morning by the lake. Peter was with them. Peter had to be wondering if Jesus was angry with him. He probably felt the same way you and I feel when we have messed up bigtime. He had to be wondering if Jesus was too angry to forgive him.
Peter and the rest of the disciples have a meal with Jesus. Jesus said, “Peter, I’ve got a question: Do you love me”. Peter said, “Yes. You know I love you.” Jesus said: “Take care of my sheep. My people.” Then, Jesus asked again: “Do you love me? Peter said: “Yes, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep”.
Jesus asked a third time: “Do you love me? This time, Peter got his feelings hurt. He couldn’t believe Jesus had to ask a third time. He said, “Come on. You know everything. You know I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. Follow me.”
Why did Jesus ask the same question three times? I think He’s giving Peter three chances to answer the question the right way. Peter denied him three times. Now, three times, Peter gets to declare his love. And Jesus says “feed my sheep.” In other words, “OK. I believe you. I forgive you. Now – go take care of my people. Even though you were a traitor, even though you turned your back on me, even though you denied me, that’s still the plan. I still want you to be my representative. I’m still going to use you to build my church.”
WOW! Jesus loved Peter and forgave Him for the biggest mistake a follower of God could commit. We understand that story and are amazed at the love of Jesus. But, somehow, we believe He forgave Peter like that, but have trouble believing He can forgive us like that. We are happy for Peter, but don’t accept it for ourselves.
We think, “After all, think about what I’ve done. I messed up big time – more than once. My sins are pretty big. I’ve done some really, really bad things. God is too angry to forgive me.” I want you to learn three big lessons from this story of Peter...
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how many times you’ve done it, God will forgive you. He’s not too angry with you. He’s not ready to give up on you. He wants you to come to Him and let Him forgive you. Stop running! Stop making excuses! Come to God and let Him forgive you! Remember:
Peter’s mistake did not get rid of God’s plan for his life. Jesus tells him, “Feed my sheep.” He says, “Don’t think that just because you messed up that I don’t still have a plan to use you.” When you sin, come to God for forgiveness and let Him get you back on the right path. Then, He can get you back where He can use you once again. And finally…
God’s not up in heaven with a hammer, waiting to pound and punish you. He loves you. He wants to show you that love. He wants to forgive you. He loves you. That’s the most simple truth of the Bible, but also the deepest truth. God loves you. How do I know that? He sent His Son to die for you. Knowing what an awful sinner you would be, He still sent Jesus to pay the price for you. He loves you. He’s never too angry to forgive you.
(play soft music) Pray for those who have messed up in their lives and feel that God is too angry to forgive them. Let them feel His love and forgiveness.
What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “God Will Forgive Me No Matter What I’ve Done!”
What holiday did Wally claim was today? Answer: National Interrupting Day
What “crazy” myth did the Mythbusters bust today (not the spiritual one)? Answer: Gum takes seven years to digest
What disciple did we talk about in today’s Bible story? Answer: Peter
What did Jesus say would happen after Peter denied him three times? Answer: The rooster would crow
When Jesus saw Peter, did He get angry with him? Answer: No
What question did Jesus ask Peter three times? Answer: “Do you love me?”
Today, we learned that “God will forgive me no matter how many times I have __________.” Answer: Failed
True or False: Even though I have sinned, God still has a plan for my life. Answer: True
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: Psalm 65:3