Object Lessons: 100 Lessons from Everyday Life

Object Lessons: 100 Lessons from Everyday Life

by Charles C. Ryrie

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What good is a broken fingernail? What can you do with a frying pan, a hammer, and an egg? How is a balloon different from a brick?

The world around us is full of items useful for interesting and meaningful object lessons. Dr. Ryrie uses pencils, light bulbs, sunglasses, and even the air around us to illustrate truths about salvation and the Christian


What good is a broken fingernail? What can you do with a frying pan, a hammer, and an egg? How is a balloon different from a brick?

The world around us is full of items useful for interesting and meaningful object lessons. Dr. Ryrie uses pencils, light bulbs, sunglasses, and even the air around us to illustrate truths about salvation and the Christian life.

All 100 objects are simple and easy to find, and the lessons can be used for any group of any age. Children and adults alike will enjoy learning more when you present these fascinating illustrations.

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Object Lessons

100 Lessons From Everyday Life

By Charles C. Ryrie

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 1991 The Moody Bible Instiute of Chicago
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57567-961-7


Wrong Way—Right Way

Object: A road map.

Lesson: "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Prov. 14:12).

Presentation: Not long ago I wanted to go on a trip, so I asked a friend which was the best way to get there. He told me the best road. Then I happened to see another friend and I asked him what he thought. He also told me the best road—but it was entirely different from the way the first friend had said.

Finally I did what I should have done at the first. I went to the Automobile Club and asked them how to get there. They simply got out this map and showed me on the map the right road. Well, I went on my trip and sure enough I arrived at my destination by simply following the road they had marked.

It's a simple matter to take this sort of trip, but how can you find the way to heaven? You might ask a friend, and I'm sure you would get some kind of answer. Then you could ask another friend, and you would undoubtedly get a different answer. What should you do? Who would be right? You ought to do just as I did about finding earthly directions: go where you can get the right answer. That place is the Bible. Do you know what the Bible says about the way to heaven? Listen to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, "I am the way ... no one comes to the Father, but through me" (John 14:6). How can you get to heaven? By trusting the Lord Jesus as Savior, for He is the way to the Father; and where the Father is, there is heaven.



Object: Yourself and the air around you.

Lesson: To present the Lord Jesus Christ as the gift of God.

Presentation: Have you ever stopped to think, boys and girls, that on every side of you is one of the most wonderful things in all of God's universe? It's about the only thing that is free today, and it's something you can't possibly do without. Do you know what I'm talking about? Surely, the air we breathe. But that is not half so wonderful as another gift God has given us, and that gift is His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom God gave to the world many years ago.

I've just decided something. I simply do not like to take anything from anyone, so I'm not going to take God's air. If I can't buy it, I just won't use it. I'll stop breathing. (Hold your breath for a while.) Well, maybe I will change my mind after all and take this gift from God. Didn't I look rather foolish holding my breath? And yet there are probably some of you here today who are still refusing to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. When God freely offers eternal life, peace, happiness and heaven, isn't it foolish not to accept them?

But suppose I did want to buy some air to breathe. Do you know where I could go? I don't. And there is no place where you can buy salvation. God's salvation is not for sale; it is a free gift (Eph. 2:8-9). Either you must receive it as a gift and live, or refuse it and die. What would have happened if I hadn't started to breathe again? Why, of course, eventually I would have died. A human being cannot live without air, and you cannot live eternally without Jesus Christ. If you do not take Him as a gift, then God says you must die.


An Invitation

Object: A wedding invitation.

Lesson: To present the way of salvation.

Presentation: Look, I have a letter with me this morning, but I think I'll just put it here on top of the piano, and we'll talk about the weather for a while. Of course, I think I recognize the writing on the envelope. (Walk to the place where you left the letter.) But I'd rather talk about something else. Maybe I'll look through this hymnbook first. You know, I've had this letter quite a while, but I guess there's no hurry about opening it.

What's the matter? Oh, you want me to open the letter. Well, I guess I might as well. Look at this. It is an invitation to the wedding of a friend of mine. That's kind of him—I think I'll go. Oh, dear, I won't be able to go after all, for the date is past and the wedding is all over. I've missed it. Isn't that a shame?

Boys and girls, do you know what lesson I'm trying to teach you today? It is just this: God has sent us a message that we call the Bible, and in that Bible He has given us an invitation to heaven. But the invitation is only good until Jesus comes, and then it will be too late to accept it. In the meantime this invitation to heaven is absolutely free, for God says, "Let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost" (Rev. 22:17). It is offered to everyone in the world and that surely includes you. Someday, however, it will be too late to accept God's invitation; and just as I missed this wedding, you may miss your chance to go to heaven. Why not open your heart right now to the Lord Jesus and tell Him that you believe that He died on the cross for you and that you trust Him to take you to heaven some day as He promised?


Another Letter

Object: An unsealed letter ready for mailing.

Lesson: To illustrate the eternal security of the believer (Eph. 4:30).

Presentation: I brought a different letter along today for the object lesson. Last week, you remember, I had one I had just received; today I have one that I am going to send. You see that it isn't even sealed yet. Perhaps you wonder what's in the letter, and if I should leave it here and go out of the room you would perhaps open it and read it. But if I lick and seal it as I am doing now, you cannot read it, for it is against the law for anyone to open this letter except the one to whom it is addressed. If after I mail this I remember something else I want to put in it, I can't even get it back from the post office. They wouldn't let anyone have it but the person to whom it is addressed.

Did you know that when you accepted Christ, God sealed you? The Bible says that every Christian is sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30). Now the Holy Spirit is God Himself, and I don't know anyone in all the world who could break a seal like that. You could break the law and open this letter, but not even Satan can take away the salvation that God has given you. It's also possible that the glue on this letter will not stick tightly, and the letter will come open before it is delivered; but it is not possible that the Holy Spirit will leave you or ever die. It could also happen that this letter would not be delivered, but if you are a Christian, God guarantees that He will deliver you into His presence some day, for you are sealed until the day of redemption. Isn't that a wonderful salvation?



Object: A chair.

Lesson: To illustrate faith and to present the plan of salvation.

Presentation: Today I want to use this chair as the object lesson. You see, I am quite tired, and I want to sit down in this chair and rest, but I just don't know whether or not I can trust this chair. It looks like a good chair. The wood appears to be solid and all the joints look tight. I think it would hold me, but I'm still a little bit doubtful. Say, have any of you sat in this chair? Oh, you have. Well, did it hold you? It did. But I still wonder if I can believe you.

Boys and girls, do you see what I'm trying to tell you? The Lord Jesus said, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28), but you will never experience that rest until you come to Him and take Him at His Word. You can look at Him just as I examined this chair, and you will see that He is all that He claims to be. Everything He did on earth proves that He is the only Son of God and the only One who can give rest. You can ask any of us who have trusted Christ for rest from the guilt of sin, and we will tell you that He does satisfy. But you personally will never know this rest until you trust Him. I'll never get any rest from this chair until I am willing to trust it and sit down. (Do that now.) If you want rest from sin then you must be willing to trust the Lord Jesus Christ. Just rest on what He did for you when He died on the cross. He meets every claim. Won't you trust Him right now?



Object: The front page of a newspaper.

Lesson: Salvation is good news.

Presentation: I thought I'd read the paper to you today. No, not the comic strip page, but the front page. I want you to listen to the news of the day. (Read several headlines, trying to pick out the bad news of the day.) These are some of the things that the editors of this paper consider the news of the day. You probably noticed one thing outstanding about the news I just read—it isn't very pleasant. It's too bad there isn't more good news in the paper, but there seldom is.

It's a good thing, then, that I brought along some good news for you today. I didn't find it in the newspaper—I found it in the Bible. You have often heard us talk about the gospel. Well, that word simply means "good news" (Luke 2:10). The gospel is good news. What does it say? It says that God in heaven loved men so much that He sent His only Son to this earth to die. Why did He have to die? He had to die to pay the penalty for sin, because God had said that death is the penalty of sin. Since God's Son did not have sin Himself, He could pay for the sins of others. And that is exactly what He did, for when He died He paid for your sin and mine. But, you ask, how can I have all this for myself? The Bible says that it is yours for the asking.

Sometimes our newspapers get things mixed up, and once in a great while they print a correction but not often. However, I can tell you without any doubt that the Bible never gets things mixed up. This good news about the Lord Jesus Christ is just as true as God who can never lie. Won't you believe God's good news today?


A Paycheck

Object: A paycheck or some money received in payment for some service.

Lesson: To contrast the wages of sin and the gift of God (Rom. 6:23).

Presentation: I wonder how many of you have ever been paid for doing some job. You know that I work, and so I brought my check along today to use as our object lesson.

Let me tell you about another paycheck. In my Bible I read, "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). My employer pays me in money, but sin pays its wages in death. Since everyone is a sinner, everyone receives this paycheck of death.

If I should go to the bank to cash my check and find that the bank has failed and could not pay, do you know what would happen? Very likely the government would step in and cash my check, for the money in most banks is insured and the insurance would cover the loss. That is exactly what happened in regard to your sins and mine. Jesus Christ stepped in and paid the debt of our sins, not because we couldn't die for our own sins, but because He loved us so much. He became our insurance against having to die.

Now instead of death for your sins, you may have complete forgiveness. For in the place of death, the Lord Jesus offers you eternal life. "The wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). I had to work for this check, but you cannot work for salvation. God says that salvation is for "the one who does not work" (Rom. 4:5). Which will you have—the paycheck of death or the free gift of eternal life? If you want eternal life, then let the Lord Jesus who shed His blood for you come into your heart this very moment.



Object: A sulphur candle (or several matches could be substituted).

Lesson: To warn of hell.

Presentation: Some time ago I walked into my brother's new house and looked around. Of course I was curious and naturally opened the first closet door I came to. Well, I got a whiff of the worst smelling stuff I have ever smelled, for my brother was being sure that there were no moths in his closet. I brought some of this stuff along today. I'm going to light it and let you smell it too, but don't get too close or it will burn your noses and throats.

This is burning sulphur. The reason I brought is along today is not that it kills moths but that it is mentioned in the Bible, and I don't want you ever to forget it. Boys and girls, this burning sulphur is the brimstone that the Bible says is a part of the torment of those who spend eternity in hell. The Bible tells of a lake of fire, which burns with brimstone (Rev. 19:20). It wouldn't be pleasant to spend eternity in a place like that, would it?

Isn't it wonderful that God has provided a way so that none of you will have to go to hell? That way is a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, He came to this earth to die for your sins so that God wouldn't have to send you to hell. Sin is the reason that God is forced to condemn people to the lake of fire burning with brimstone; but if someone would pay for that sin, then God wouldn't have to send anyone there. Someone did pay for your sin, and that person is Jesus Christ. Won't you tell God right now that you want to receive the Lord Jesus into your heart? Believe that Christ paid the penalty for your sins, and you will never be in danger of hell.


The Installment Plan

Object: Something to signify a purchase on the installment plan (either a book of payments or simply an advertisement from the newspaper).

Lesson: God settles fully the account of sin when we believe.

Presentation: Today I am going to use for our object lesson something that has become common in our life. What does this newspaper ad say? It offers to let you buy this television set by paying so much down and so much every week. You understand that this means that when you go to get the set you must pay the first amount, and then while you are using it you must pay the rest that you owe in weekly payments. Then, finally, after a long time the set will really belong to you. We call that installment buying.

You know, boys and girls, a lot of people are trying to be saved on the installment plan. They think that they may pay for their sins by offering God a certain amount of good works every week or so. They seem to have the idea that God will erase some of the debt of their sins each time they do something good. I hope none of you has that idea, because if you do you will never be saved.

Do you know how God does settle the debt of sin? Let's see what He says about it Himself. When God saved Abraham He said that Abraham's faith was reckoned to him for righteousness (Rom. 4:3). That means that when Abraham believed, his faith was put on his account as payment for his sins. Now you don't know Greek, in which the New Testament was originally written, but let me tell you that this statement also means that God settled Abraham's account all at once. There was no installment plan on which Abraham was saved! The instant he believed, God fully and forever settled the debt of sin, and God has been doing the same ever since.


Excerpted from Object Lessons by Charles C. Ryrie. Copyright © 1991 The Moody Bible Instiute of Chicago. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

CHARLES C. RYRIE (A.B., Haverford College; Th.M. and Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Edinburgh; Litt.D., Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary) was a renowned author and scholar. He wrote numerous books, including The Ryrie Study Bible, Basic Theology, Balancing the Christian Life, The Holy Spirit, Dispensationalism Today, Revelation, Survey of Bible Doctrine, and So Great Salvation, which rank among his best-selling titles.
CHARLES C. RYRIE (A.B., Haverford College; Th.M. and Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Edinburgh; Litt.D., Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary) is a renowned author and scholar. He has written numerous books, including The Ryrie Study Bible, Basic Theology, Balancing the Christian Life, The Holy Spirit, Dispensationalism Today, Revelation, Survey of Bible Doctrine, and So Great Salvation, which rank among his best-selling titles. Dr. Ryrie is the father of three children and resides in Dallas, Texas.

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