Object Lessons, Topical Curriculum

Can you Stand the Fire

Items Needed: Two regular latex balloons (fill one with water about 1/10 so that there's a sizeable puddle inside the balloon; fill the other with only air) and a lighter. Experiment with this before trying it in group.

Ask for a volunteer to come up and sit in a chair facing the crowd. Blow up one of the balloons full of air and hold it over the persons head. Ask the person or the audience what they think may happen when you hold a lighter to the bottom of the balloon. Then, while holding the balloon about a foot above the volunteer's head, click the lighter and put it under the fully inflated balloon. It should pop
immediately, sometimes scaring the person a little.

Then take out the balloon with the puddle of water in it. (Most of the time, the kids can tell you're about to do the same thing with the lighter to this balloon, thinking that it's gonna pop as well.) Be sure to have this one ready before you go up to do this, since there's probably not a faucet on stage. Ask the kids or the volunteer what they think will happen and tell them to make sure to sit still and not jump up or anything; it doesn't matter if they do, but this makes them think it's more fragile and there's a good chance they're gonna get wet.

When you put the flame to the bottom of the balloon this time, nothing happens. JUST MAKE SURE YOU KEEP MOVING THE LIGHTER AROUND IN SMALL CIRCLES ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PUDDLE.

Analogy: The water in the balloon makes the balloon act differently; it changes the way the balloon responds to heat. When empty the balloon behaves the way it does because of the properties that make up what it's full of – nothing.

When we accept Christ, we are asking God – through the power of the Holy Spirit – to come in and make us more like Him. Yet sometimes, we still want to act like we used to. The Bible says the old self dies with Christ and we are made into new creations. Some people claim to have accepted Jesus as their Savior, yet they don't show any signs of being renewed. They are still fine with the fact that they gossip, they look down on the kids who are not that popular, they make no effort to love their neighbors or give themselves to the causes of Christ.

To say we are one with Christ, yet show no signs of a renewed life, is a lie.

Supporting Scriptures:
Ephesians 4:20-27
Romans 6:5-6
Collossians 3:8-11
1 John 1:9-10

Added by Trevor Ford


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.


  1. kwash
    March 31, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I’l use this durig our teens week session next month, it will speak wonders to them…thank you Trevor

  2. Matthew Kimmy
    September 27, 2013 at 12:00 am

    That is a eally cool idea

  3. Shannon
    August 6, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Awesome! 😀

  4. Adrienne Curry
    January 24, 2015 at 12:00 am

    I’m going to do this lesson tomorrow with my kids but I would also like to suggest to Add, St.John 4:13-14, 4:24 and 7:37-39. Fits perfectly into this lesson.

  5. Caleb
    July 5, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Great idea for a lesson. Love the analogy. I'll use this on Sunday.

  6. Adam Whitney
    September 14, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Going to use this illustration in teaching on Daniel 3 and Daniel's friends in the fiery furnace.

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