Object Lesson 1: "One Sin"
One sin separates us from God. Salvation from Jesus brings us to God.
Heating a balloon with a candle pops an empty balloon, just as one sin hurts our connection to God. But a balloon filled with water will not pop, even when put directly into a candle flame. The protection conferred from the ‘living water’ is similar to protection from salvation; both priceless yet free, both available to everyone, and both necessary for life, physical or eternal1.
What is perfection?
What is sin?
What is salvation?
“Righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." John 7:38
Light colored latex balloons, 8-9” (4 total)
Lighter or matches
Fire extinguisher (for safety)
Inflate three balloons with air and tie closed. Fill the last balloon with water and tie closed. Put the three balloons filled with air on the display table in front of the audience. Put the balloon filled with water behind the table and out of sight. Light the candle to get the wick started (if a new candle), then extinguish and put in center of table. Dampen the washcloth and keep it handy. Keep the fire extinguisher out of sight but close to the table in the event of an accident.
Intro and definition of perfect
1. “Hi Kids. My name is Dr. (insert you name) and I am just ‘Mad About Jesus’.”
2. “Today, I want to show you a really great experiment that will help you understand why God is so great.”
3. “But, first I need your help.”
4. “Can you help me?” Wait for a response.
6. “Can you tell me what it means to be PERFECT?” Wait for a response.
7. “Do you know anyone who is ‘perfect’?” Wait for a response.
8. “Yes, only God is perfect.”
Definition of sin
9. “Can anyone tell me what sin is?”
10. “What is SIN?” Wait for a response.
11. “What happens to us when we commit sins?” Wait for a response.
12. “We are not perfect anymore, are we?”
13. “Only God is perfect.”
14. “If we want to be with him someday in heaven we had better be perfect too.”
15. “That means no sin at all.”
Candle and balloon
16. “Now, let’s says that this candle represents sin.” Show the candle to the audience and light it with the lighter or matches. Use caution with an open flame!
17. “And let’s say that this balloon represents our connection with God.” Show the first air-filled balloon.
18. “If the balloon breaks, so does our connection with God.”
Air balloon demonstration
19. “All it takes, though, is one little mistake.”
20. “ONE little sin and we lose of connection to God.”
21. “Can someone name a sin?” Choose someone to name a sin. As the child names a sin put the first air-filled balloon in the flame. POP!!!
22. “Can someone else name a sin?” As the second child names the sin put the second air-filled balloon in the flame. POP!!!
23. “Can someone else name a sin?”
24. As the third child names the sin put the third air-filled balloon in the flame. POP!!!
25. “So it looks like committing any sin is just like putting this balloon a little too close to the fire.”
26. “We are not perfect anymore.”
27. “We cannot be with God anymore.”
No man can fix
28. Hand the first broken balloon to a child and ask. “Can you fix my balloon?”
29. Hand the second broken balloon to a child and ask. “Can you?”
30. Hand the third broken balloon to a child and ask. “Can you?”
31. “No one can fix my balloon!”
32. So that must mean the connection to God is damaged beyond OUR repair.” Set the balloons aside.
No more sin
33. “So, I have an idea.”
34. “Let’s not sin anymore.”
35. “That should work.”
37. “Well, unfortunately every one of us has already sinned.”
38. “For God says in Romans 3:23 ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’”
39. “Looks like we are just like those popped balloons.”
40. “We cannot be with God because we are not perfect.”
41. “But, I have good news!”
42. “Does anybody know what salvation is?”
43. “What is SALVATION?” Wait for a response.
44. “How do we get it?” Wait for a response.
45. “Yes, Jesus.”
46. “Jesus died so all our sins would be forgiven, so we could be perfect again, so we could be with God.”
47. “Can anyone tell me what the bible says in John 3:16?” Wait for a response.
48. “It says that ‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’”
49. “Well, what does that mean?” Wait for a response.
50. “It means whoever believes in Jesus is protected.”
Show water balloon
51. “Well, here is another balloon, another person with a connection to God.”
52. “This time, though, this person accepted Jesus.”
53. “He is filled with salvation, filled with water.” Show the water-filled balloon.
54. “Why water?”
55. “Well, the bible says in John 7:38 that ‘whoever believes in (Jesus) . . . streams of living water will flow from within him."
Water is salvation
56. “So how is the ‘living water’ in this balloon like salvation?”
57. “Well, you see, both water and salvation are priceless yet free.”
58. “It is worth more than all the gold in the entire world, but it does not cost a penny.”
59. “Both water and salvation are available to everyone.”
60. “It does not matter if you are rich or poor, black or white, old or young.”
61. “Both water and salvation are necessary for life, physical or eternal.”
62. “Just as we will surely die of thirst if we do not drink water, surely will be not have eternal life with God without salvation.”
Water balloon demonstration
63. “Now what do you think will happen when a person who has accepted Jesus and is full of the ‘living water’ encounters sin, when he is put into the fire?” Wait for a response.
64. “Are you sure?” Show a fearful look on you face like you expect the balloon to burst spilling water everywhere (maybe even have a towel handy) as hold the water-filled balloon directly over the flame, and then show joy when it does not pop. HINT: It actually is more dramatic to keep the balloon 1-2 inches from the flame for the first 10 seconds. Then put the balloon into the flame, so it wraps around it.
65. “WOW, the balloon did not pop!!!”
66. “Even more, the balloon is unchanged.” Use the damp washcloth to wash off the black soot revealing an unblemished balloon.
67. “This must mean that as long as you are filled with salvation you are no longer destroyed by sin.”
68. “The heat of the fire is not felt by the balloon because the water takes it all away, just as Jesus takes the burden of sin away from you.”
69. “So if you accept Jesus you are protected from future sins.”
70. “But what if your balloon is already popped?”
71. “Remember, all of us are already broken balloons.”
72. “We are all sinners.”
73. “The good news is that if you accept Jesus’ salvation, all your past sins will be forgiven as well.”
74. “That means Jesus will repair your connection to God that is already damaged.”
75. “He will repair and fill your broken balloon and make them perfect again.” Show them the popped air-filled balloon as well as the water balloon.
76. “Even us mad scientists cannot fix that!!!”
77. “So, what have we learned today?”
78. “Well, what was the balloon filled with air?” Wait for a response.
79. “Yes, it was our connection to God.”
80. “What happened to it when it encountered sin, when it got too close to the candle?” Wait for a response.
81. “Yes, it popped.”
82. “What about the balloon filled with water?”
83. “Did it pop when it was put over the candle?” Wait for a response.
84. “Why not?”
85. “What was so special about the water?” Wait for a response.
86. “Remember the ‘living water’?
87. “The ‘living water’ was salvation or protection through Jesus.”
88. “Well, what do we do if we have already sinned?”
89. “Can we be fixed?” Wait for a response.
90. “Yes, Jesus can fix our balloons, repair our connection with God.”
91. “How do we get him to fix it?” Wait for a response.
92. “Yes, we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.”
93. “Very good.”
94. “Well, I better get back to the lab.”
95. “You see, I have lots to do for my next experiment.”
96. “I think I have discovered how to harness the explosive power in a bottle of soda.” Whisper to the audience.
97. “I just need to work the kinks out.”
98. “Maybe I will show you next time.”
1. Original concept for water being similar to protection from salvation; both priceless yet free, both available to everyone, and both necessary for life, physical or eternal was obtained from Donald B. DeYoung’s books “Science and the Bible, Vol 1,2,3: 30 Scientific Demonstrations Illustrating Scriptural Truths.” Baker Book House Co. 1998-2002
2. Original concept for experiment obtained from Robert Krampf Experiment of the Week #3. Video available at this link for a demonstration of the effect. http://krampf.com/experiments/Science_Experiment3.html
3. Concepts of ‘Mad About Jesus’ and the ‘Mad Scientist’ were used with permission from Kelly Neal, Children’s Ministry Director of Fair Haven Christian Church, Trafalgar, Indiana.
Please send comments, suggestions, and questions to Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mad About Jesus Laboratories