|Thinking Outside the Box|
Overcoming the World’s Myths
A series of topics for youth studies or sermons, with skits and ideas for making Bible studies. Links to sample Bible studies are at the bottom of the page.
This series would expose some of the lies that Satan is spreading throughout the world, so that recognizing his deception, we can “think outside the box” to resist the temptations.
The Thirteen Ideas for Topics:
1. You’ve Got to Fit In (Peer Pressure)
2. The World’s In Such A Mess, There’s No Hope (Fear, Hopelessness)
3. Gotta Look Out For Number One (Selfishness)
4. I Don’t Have Time (Priorities)
5. If I Just Had ______, I’d be Happy
6. Comparatively Speaking, I’m Not Doing Too Bad (Pride)
7. I’ve Got My Rights
8. God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
9. I’m Ok, You’re OK
10. Truth Is Relative, Not Absolute
11. Christianity Restricts Ones Freedom
12. Great? Not Me!
13. I’ve Go an Open Mind
Pertinent Verses for the entire series:
Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4
The whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 1 John 5:19; Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4; If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away: behold, new things have come. 2 Cor. 5:17. I will give you a new heart and a new spirit Ezek. 36:26.
Ideas and skits about each of the Topics:
1. You’ve got to Fit in with the Crowd (Peer Pressure)
1. Examples from the Bible of people who:
2. How are we to react under peer pressure?
3. What times in my life have I given in to negative peer pressure, going along with the crowd when I shouldn’t have? If I ask forgiveness for such times, past and future, I know that Jesus both died on the cross to forgive my sin and to give me the strength to resist temptation in the future. As we have seen from scripture, God is able to give me the courage to stand alone and face the consequences.
4. An example of positive peer pressure: 1 Thess 1:6-7, 2:3-14.
Skit Idea for #1:
CHILD – You’re not going to play with her are you? Not after what happened at recess today. Come on with us, we’re all going over to Kim’s house.
TEEN – I’ve got a midnight curfew.
COLLEGE AGE – You’re coming to the protest rally this afternoon aren’t you?
YOUNG ADULT – I know it’s not in our budget, but our old one is obsolete, and we can put it on our credit card. Everyone in the neighborhood has one.
OLDER ADULT – I know they need help on that project but no one else ever shows up for things like this. Why should I?
2. The World’s in Such a Mess, There’s No Hope (Fear, Hopelessness)
1. There are two definitions of fear: 1) alarm, agitation; and 2) awe, reverence.
2. What is causing fear (alarm) today? – 2 Peter 3:10-14.
3. Who do people respect, hold in awe, today? The powerful, wise, skilled ? There are at least 13 Bible references listing the benefits of reverential fear or God.
4. The more awe, respect and reverence we have for God, the less we will fear experience upsetting fears. 1 John 4:18. God’s perfect love for us casts out fear.
Skit Idea for #2: (a monologue and God’s voice):
Economies all over the world are collapsing, volcanoes are erupting, the glaciers are melting, deserts are expanding, bacteria are developing strains that are resistant to antibiotics. Drug abuse, illegal immigration, white collar crime, earthquakes, unemployment, the national debt, oil spills, air pollutants, they’re all on the increase. What’s going to happen to us, our children, our grandchildren? These things are real, people! There’s no escape! How can you just calmly sit there. We’re doomed!
Voice comes from Heaven:
And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars and upon the earth dismay among nations, In perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Straighten up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21:25-28
3. Gotta Look Out For Number 1 (Selfishness)
Look out for the interests of others. – Phil 2:1-11.
Skit Idea for #3:
Two people meet in a store, each wheeling a shopping cart.
Person A: Finding lots of bargains?
Person B: When the price is right you gotta buy. You’ve got a cart full too.
A: This weekend is the city-wide food collection for the food bank.
B: I didn’t know about that. I get a cart full every week to store up. Times are tough and you never know what’s going to happen. The whole world’s in such a mess. All this stuff is going into the new bomb shelter we’re having built. Got the generator on order. Did you see the ad for those new gas masks that that protect you from poison gas and anthrax? Got one yesterday. Of course I’ve got an AK 47 and plenty of ammo. We’re going to be set for any contingency.
4. I Don’t Have Time (Priorities)
Pertinent verses to make your own study:
1. Make the most of your time – Eph. 5:15-17
2. We are encouraged to and are blessed if we long for, meditate on, be nourished on, treasure, abide in, continue in, God’s Word.
Skit Idea for #4:
Person A: Take time for prayer, devotions? Look my time is valuable. Like they say, time is money and you gotta pay the bills. I work hard to earn a living, my kids work hard to get a decent education and of course they’re involved in sports. We’ve got plenty of projects that need doing around the house not to mention the yard. You’ve got to take a little time to relax and do some fun things with the family once in a while. And we do go to church if we have time. I don’t know where we could fit anything else into the schedule.
Person B: Sounds like you’ve got a full plate buddy. But just think about this scenario for a minute. There’s a guy you know who’s a billionaire – like Bill Gates for instance – and one day he comes to you and tells you that he wants to – and had the means to – give you whatever you asked, as long as it isn’t contrary to his principles. That he wants to arrange things so you wouldn’t be stressed out so much, and that he even wants to help other people you care about. Would you be interested?
A: Are you kidding?
B: Maybe you’d tell him you’re really busy, no time to check out what he’s offering.
A: Hmm, oh, I’m a little dense, but ah, I think I’m beginning to catch the drift of what you’re trying to get through to me. Like you’re saying it might be to my advantage to find time to get the family together to pray and have devotions. Hmm.
5. If I Just Had _______ I’d Be Happy
2. Jesus promises a full, abundant life. (John 10:10). In His word God tells us what to focus on in order to experience the “good life,” and warns us about what will happen if our focus is on the wrong thing:
3. Words from “Spirit Song” (Let the Son of God Enfold You) …. Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul.
Skit Idea for #5:
Announcer: This is Brian Williams [subsititute currnet name], live from ______ Church, here to take a survey to find out how many people in this group are satisfied with their lives today.
(The actors are planted throughout the congregation, and Brian goes to each one with his microphone., asking them what would make them satisfied.)
Person 1: I would be satisfied if that raise the company promised would just come through.
Person 2: I’d be great if only my health were better.
Person 3: If Mom and Dad would let me buy that new video game.
Person 4: If I could get a nice high score on my SAT test.
Person 5: If I just had a little more spare time.
Person 6: If the other party could just take over congress in the fall.
Announcer: Well, that’s a bit depressing. Six people, all ages, and no one’s really satisfied or happy with their life. Unfortunately today’s survey results are typical of those we’ve been seeing around the country. It’s a national problem. Is there a solution? Tune in tomorrow for the next segment of our report.
6. Comparatively Speaking, I’m Not Doing Too Bad (pride)
2. What is the source of pride? Mk. 7:21-22, 1 John 2:16 Why does God warn against pride and encourage humility Mal. 4:1, Is.57:15, Prov. 18:12, 28:25, James 4:6, Matt 23:12, 1 Pet. 5:5-6. What are some ways that God helps people stay humble? 2 Cor. 12:7, Deut. 8:2-5, 16-18, Daniel 3-4 (Nebachadnezzar) Without Jesus we are, slaves of sin, sheep without a shepherd, clay without a potter, a broken branch. It is only by God’s grace that we can have value in His sight – Eph. 2:8, John 10:14
3. Pride is the root of other sin, such as slander, ungratefulness, self pity, critical spirit, making fun of someone, boasting about my successes without giving the credit to God. What we can boast in – Jer. 9:22-23.
Skit Idea for #6 (a monologue):
Would you believe? That guy just invited to come over to his house for Bible study tonight. Of all people! I’ve known him for years and let me tell you, he’s done some things I’ll bet his church friends don’t know about. If he and his friends are supposed to be Christians, I want no part of it. I hope you know I do my share of good in this world – more that a lot of people. I’ve have worked hard for what I’ve got and any respect I’ve got, hey, I deserve it. Let me tell you, I’m not leaning on any religious crutch – now or ever. I can take care of myself.
7. I’ve Got My Rights!
1. Jesus’ response – 1 Peter 2:22-24
3. The natural response to feelings that our rights have been violated is anger. Ex. Jonah 4
4. The key to controlling and getting rid of anger is in identifying a right that you feel is violated and transferring it to God. When I surrender myself and my right to God He may chose to withhold the right from me. If so He is able to bring about blessing in the midst of my loss. Can I identify a right that I am holding on to that results in anger? Ex. money, time, reputation?
Skit Idea for #7:
Overheard in a secession of the local anger management control group – Each paragraph is a different person.
1. I am so bummed. After all the work I put in, day after day, giving up my weekends, and what do I get for it? This photocopied thank you note, the same one Joe got, and he only worked a few hours. If you work hard you’ve got a right to more than this.
2. They’ve got a lot of nerve. Just because they go to that church that believes it’s a sin to drink alcohol, they don’t want us to drink at the neighborhood night out. Well, that’s not going to stop me. I’m free to drink whatever I like, whenever I like. If they don’t like it, it’s not my fault.
3. Hey, I was the one in charge. Who did they think they were, trying to butt in on my turf.
4. We’ve never really gotten to know the neighbors on the corner. But they’ve got three kids that are always running around the neighborhood and every once in a while I catch them running across our yard. People should keep their kids in their own yard. Really makes me mad. I,m thinking of reporting them to the city.
5. Here I was, driving along 4th street, you know where there’s cars parked on both sides and the street’s so narrow. Well this old guy is going along about 20 miles an hour and I’m already late for my appointment and I can’t pass him. There oughta be a law. \
8. God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
While we were helpless, Christ died for the ungodly – Rom. 5:6.
Skit Idea for #8:
Person B: Well, things were looking up for a while. Then, you know, the same old problem cropped up again. Now it’s affecting my whole family.
A: That bad?
B: Worse than ever. I’m at the end of my rope. You know, I’ve been thinking. Last month you invited me to that church you go to. Maybe I should take you up on …
A: Well, yeh, that was last month. Look, you’ve got to get hold of yourself, straighten up.
A: Sure, God helps some people, but like the Bible says “God helps those who help themselves first.” I really gotta go now. See you next week, buddy. Good luck.
B: Hey, there”s no verse that says God helps those who help themselves in my Bible – or anyone else’s.
B: In fact, the Bible tells us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
A: I don’t have to clean up my act first?
B: Actually there’s nothing we can do to earn Christ’s love and acceptance. It’s a free gift. We’ve gotta talk. Do I have some Good News for you.
9. I’m OK You’re OK
1. What makes us feel OK (good) about ourselves? What makes us feel we’re not OK?
2. What was Jesus response to those who asked Him how to be OK?
3. Many feel they are OK as they compare themselves to others.
4. Who can meet God’s standards? Ecc.7:20, Is. 64:6 – none are righteous Result? Romans 6:23 – death
5. Jesus met standards in our place – John 8:29. We can’t meet the standards, so we need to confess and repent, leading to forgiveness 1 John 1:8-9
6. Being OK in God’s sight – Col. 2:13-14, Gal. 4:4-5, Gal.3:13-14, through faith � Romans 5:1.
Skit Idea for #9:
Person A: Man I hate it when people are judgmental. Like, no one’s better than anyone else. People should never look down on anyone else.
Person B: I couldn’t agree more.
A: Really? But you’re a Christian. Christians think they’re better than the rest of us.
B: Well, for sure not better — different, maybe.
A: Sure, people might have different standards but, so what, we’re still all OK. There’s this book that was popular when I was a kid. My Mom was always reading it – I’m OK, You’re OK. The title says it all.
B: OK, by whose standards though. Did you ever think that God might have a different set of standards?
A: Supposing there is a God, how would you define His standards? I suppose you Christians are the only ones who meet His standards.
B: Nope, we don’t even come close.
A: So if His standards are so high, and you aren’t even there yet, it must be really frustrating.
B: Wrong again.
A: I don’t understand.
B: If we could meet God’s standard of perfection this world would be a garden of Eden. But God knew from the beginning that we would rebel and want to do our own thing. So He had a plan that would make it possible to get back on the right track – get right with him.
A: What kind of plan?
B: You know how it is if you mess up, but then someone comes along and takes the rap for you, pays the fine, or whatever, so you can go free. Do you follow?
A: Yeh, I guess.
B: Well, God sent someone like that so I know that even when I mess up, I can still be OK with Him.
A: I never thought about it that way. I gotta run now, maybe we can talk later.
B: For sure!
10. Truth Is Relative, Not Absolute
1. Christianity is under attack – no absolutes except that Christianity is false. If there is no absolute right or wrong, cheating, lying, theft, and murder could be justified in some cases. We could just do what feels right at the time without regard for others. In the past few years society has changed it’s views on homosexuality, abortion, obscene language, pornography, sex education, the occult, etc.
2. But the Bible tells us, The Lord is the true God – Jer. 10:10, Jesus is truth – John 14:6,17, 18:37. How can we know the truth? John 8:31-32, 1 John 1:8-10
3. Why do so many reject the Truth? Pride, Rev. 3:17, Is. 55:8-9 (God’s ways are higher), John 5:44 ( want glory from man), 2 Tim 2:23-26 (refuse to repent). Rebellion, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Rom. 1:18,25. Devil’s influence, John 8:43-44, False teaching, Acts 20:28-31a, 2 Pet. 2:18-19
4. Prepare a prayer that God would lead us in truth, based on Eph. 4:15,16,22-24.
Skit Idea for #10:
Satan: I’ve called you three together to discuss a serious threat to our plan to take over the planet.
Demon #1: That’s scary. I thought things were going pretty well.
Satan: Since the economic crisis more humans are realizing they can’t make it on their own. The pride angle is slipping.
Demon #2; You mean we’re losing our grip on some of them? (shudders)
Satan: Sad to say. And recent scientific developments have some humans actually questioning evolution and considering …
Demon #3: Don’t say it! I can’t stand it! How could anyone dare to question our evolutionary biologists.
Satan: We’re certainly doing our best to get anyone like that kicked out of our laboratories and universities, but still there are a few threatening books coming out.
Demon #1: What’s OUR world coming to?
Satan: We need to get down to business here. We need to brainstorm about a new lie – uh fabrication of the truth – that will be even more toxic to today’s society. Now activate those fiendish minds of yours and get down to business. We don’t know how much more time we have left before …
Demon #2： Don’t say it. I can’t bear to even think about it.
Demon #3: We could give an added push to the old reincarnation idea. Assure people that there’s no heaven.
Satan: Tried that — limited success.
Demon: Well, if that won’t work we could tell them – not to worry, there’s no hell.
Satan: Some humans still have some prehistoric remnants of a conscience and a sense that there might be some kind of punishment for evil. We need a lie that has an even broader appeal.
Demon #2: (Jumping up and down) I’ve got it! I’ve got it! The ultimate weapon! We’ll tell them THERE’S NO HURRY!
Satan: Jackpot! That’s it. (Laughs) Everyone will believe that. Now on with the human masks, don’t forget to tuck in the tails. Onward fiends! We’ve got no time to waste.
11. Christianity Restricts One’s Freedom
1. How is freedom usually defined? We live in a free country, free to kill unborn babies, buy and sell pornography, gossip and slander, fornicate and commit adultery, damage our bodies with chemicals, take part in demonic activities. God gave us free will, but He also gave us divine law to make us aware of the sin (Rom. 3:20) that leads into slavery (John 8:34). Those who want to be free of God’s law are actually in whose control?
2. God warns us not to let freedom, be a stumbling block to the weak – 1 Cor. 8:9-12, become an opportunity for the flesh – Gal.5:13, be used as a covering for evil – 1 Pet. 2:16-17, be an excuse to let something that is lawful, but not profitable master us – 1 Cor. 6:12, be taken away – Gal. 2:4
3. Results of freedom from God – Jer. 34:17, Titus 3:3 Source of true freedom, Col. 1:21-22 and 13-14, John 8:32, 36, Rom 8:15, 2 Cor. 3:17
4. Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but the power to do what we should. Phil. 2:13 – God gives us both the desire and the power to do His will.
skit idea for #11:
Person A: I hear you’ve become a Christian. My condolences.
Person B: Condolences? What do you mean?
A: Well it means you’re going to have a lot of new restrictions in your life.
B: Restrictions on what?
A: Well, things like entertainment. You know. Personally I like to be free to do whatever I want to do on weekends and that’s not always what the church would approve of.
B: I do lots of things with family and friends.
A: Sure, like going to church picnics and getting up early on Sunday morning for to usher. Big deal! And then there’s all this nonsense about being so honest about everything. If I weren’t free to fudge a little bit now and then, my business would probably be in the red.
B: Actually I’m beginning to appreciate a clear conscience more than extra cash.
A: Well, to each his own. We live in a free country. If you want to give up your freedom, it’s your choice.
B: It’s not like I’m giving up any freedom. See, you’re free to do whatever feels good to you.
A: You bet – and loving it.
B: And now that I’m a follower of Jesus, He’s given me a new kind of freedom – freedom to do what He’s shown me is right. And it’s a freedom without guilt.
A: So looks like you’re not accepting my condolences? Interesting.
12. Great? Not Me!
The World’s “Who’s Who” vs. God’s “Who’s Who.”
What makes someone great in the world’s eyes? Check Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” Edition.
1. Historically great people- Alexander the Great, Peter the Great, the Great Houdini: Recalling their lives and death, would you trade places with them? Who is considered great today? Anyone you know ever been in Who’s Who? Any great people sitting in church with us today?
2. Who is great in God’s eyes Here is God’s formula for greatness – Matt. 20:26-28 and 23:11 There is NOT a chapter in the Bible titled “Road to Greatness, Servanthood in Ten Easy Lessons,” but we have a wonderful example in John 13:3. Jesus knew where He came from (3b) (John 17:3), Where He was going (3c) (John 17:13a) and what His position and resources are (3a) (Phil. 2:8-11, Col. 1:17-19). Based on this example, do you know any great people?
skit idea for #12:
Person A: I’ve got a report due next week for social studies.
Person B: A report on what?
A: You mean on who. It doesn’t make much difference – just someone from the past – of course not just anyone, but someone who was special, who was great in some way. Know what I mean?
B: Well, have you thought of anyone yet?
A: Hmm … great? There was Alexander the Great, and then Peter the Great. And, then my favorite, the Great Houdini.
B: If I remember right, Alexander was one of the greatest generals, but did you know that he died at the age of 33 after a big banquet and drinking bout.
A: Sad. How about Peter the Great. I read some place he was quite a stud – tall with lots of muscle.
B: I think you’re right. But as I recall he overtaxed the people, forced some into slave labor, and wouldn’t let the serfs leave their farms.
A: And that leaves good old Harry Houdini. Any negatives?
B: He performed lots of amazing escapes, but failed in his last and greatest endeavor.
A: You mean he drowned before he could unlock the chains when he was submerged in a tank of water?
B: No, he managed that OK. But before he died he promised to contact his wife from beyond the grave.
B: And he failed.
A: Creepy! Well, you got any suggestions?
B: Let me think. Someone great. How about Gladys Aylward.
A: Gladys who? Never even heard of her. Was she one of Henry the Eighth’s wives?
B: No, but she was British – lived in the early 1900’s. She didn’t do too well in school and could only get a job as a parlor maid.
A: This is a great person? You trying to kid me?
B: After she became a Christian, God gave her a heart for China – all the millions of people who never heard the Gospel.
A: So I suppose she joined a mission society and went to China.
B: No, the missionary society wouldn’t even consider her. She saved up money and went on her own.
A: OK, what did she do that was so great?
B: She shared the Gospel in remote villages, rescued orphans during the war with Japan, and started orphanages. They even made her an honorary citizen of China.
A: So, who says that’s great?
B: Jesus. Remember when he said “The greatest among you shall be your servant.” Gladys spent her life serving others and leading many to Christ. Think about it. I’ve got a couple books you could use for reference. And then there’s the Hollywood movie they made about her life.
A: About her life? Really? Hmm.
13. I’ve Got an Open Mind
Whenever a new theory, teaching, or philosophy emerges on the scene I get excited and try it out. Col. 2:8 (Living Bible
MIND OF GOD
RENEWED, RESTORED, TRANSFORMED MIND
|to skits menu||Bible studies on these topics
To home menu