Object Lessons

Pleasures of Sin

Objects: Four Sparklers. Choose four children to hold and display the same. A tall White Candle, electrically lighted.

Ther four boys and girls are each holding in their hands a sparkler. You all know what a sparkler is, do you not? Nearly every boy and girl has one at Fourth of July time. We will let these four sparklers picture four people, who spend their lives in the pleasures of sin.

Let us light the first sparkler! (Demonstrate.) See how it sparkles and burns! Notice that the light comes from WITHIN and not from WITHOUT. The sparkler is using up its own energy to produce this bit of light. Ah—see, it has burned out! Its sparkling days are over. Only a charred black stick remains! And so it is with the boy or girl, man or woman, who spend their lives in the pleasures of this world, forgetful of God and His Son Jesus Christ. These people use their strength going here and there, first to this place of amusement, and then to another. (Suggest places, as far as children are concerned.) Before they have hardly reached the age of fifty, their strength is gone, their health impaired, and they are like the charred stick with the sparkle gone.

Let us look at the second sparkler. (Light.) See how it sparkles and shines—but only for a moment. The light is soon gone, and only a black, worthless stick remains. This is the story of a young man who falls into the clutches of Satan and spends his life in nights of revelry and drinking. At first this young man thought this was the way to shine and shed forth a light among his friends, but if you should ask him his opinion now after years of such a life, he would have to admit that he was only able to shine for a short time, and now at middle age he is broken down in health and has nothing left but a wasted life. His life is like the 'Worthless stick of the sparkler.

This third sparkler (designate), pictures the young man or woman who sets out to make money. See how it sparkles! So these young people sparkle for awhile as their business prospers, and at the age of thirty they are worth several thousand dollars. This prosperity continues for awhile. Soon they are worth many, many thousands. At the age of fifty, they retire from business. They are rich as far as money and riches are concerned, but oh, such empty lives! Their sparkling days are past. Their hearts are lacking in joy and peace and rest. "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"—Matt. 16:26.

We will look now at the fourth sparkler. Like the other three it burns but for a moment and is gone, leaving only a worthless stick. This tells of the young men and women who start out in life to win a name for themselves. Their one desire is to be famous. They delight to see their names in print. These young people may win the applause of the world by giving large gifts to many worthy institutions, or attract attention by their ability to lead in politics or some other cause; but at last the end of their lives comes. Their sparkling days are over. Their lives are cut short by death. They are soon forgotten. The end of their lives meant only emptiness. They had no time for God. How sad, how sad!

Let us turn from these worthless sparklers to this beautiful white candle. (Present candle, electrically lighted.) What a contrast! This candle receives its light from an outside source. It will continue to burn day after day. It is not dependent upon itself. This candle pictures those who have received the Lord Jesus, the Light of the world, into their hearts and lives, and are shining for Him.

In Daniel 12:3, we read, "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever." This is God's picture of a soul winner. This candle pictures those who are spending their lives in winning souls for the Lord Jesus Christ. What worth-while lives these people are living. Instead of coming to the end of life as a worthless sparkler, they shall "shine forever and ever." When these people stand in the presence of the Lord some day, their hearts will be filled with a special joy because there will be those there who heard the good news of the Gospel through them. They will realize then how important it was to spend their lives in such a worthwhile service. The Lord Jesus said, "Come ye after me and I will make you fishers of men." Let us be quick to obey this command, boys and girls, that our lives might count most for Him!

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