Everybody’s Doing It
Anything written in italics is for your information and need not be read aloud.
A series of ideas to help youth recognize evil in all its forms and be empowered to fight against it.
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 6: 10-17, Matthew 5: 38-42, James 4:7, Matthew 4:1-11, 1 Corinthians 10:13


GATHER FOR THIS LESSON: Leader sheets, tug of war drawing on a sheet of paper, big marshmallows, 4 sheets of paper with LYING, STEALING, BULLYING, and SWEARING printed on then, tape

Here’s a great 3.5 minute video illustration dealing with temptation:

Needed: Tug of war drawing on a sheet of paper
Keep the tug of war sheet hidden until the last minute.

SAY: I need two volunteers to begin today’s lesson for a tug of war demonstration. One person will represent a Christian; trying to do the right things and make the right choices. The other person will be evil temptation; constantly pulling on you to make the wrong choices.


As soon as the volunteers are ready (In their seats or standing) give them the tug of war sheet of paper and instruct them to prepare to pull – but don’t start yet.

SAY: The paper represents any temptation. It may be the temptation to tell a lie or steal something as small as a grape at the grocery store. It can be big, it can be small, it doesn’t matter if it is temptation. When I say “Go!” you may begin the tug of war but do not wrinkle or tear the paper. If one of you looses grip it doesn’t count. Re-grasp the paper and begin again. “Go!”

Let the youth play for a few moments and then stop the demonstration.

• How does this demonstration represent real life?
• What would it represent if one side used too much force and tore the paper?
(To much force might represent the death of a person making them useless to either side.)
• Why can’t one side just pull the paper from the other and have a person all to themselves?
(One can’t exist without the other. It’s like light and dark, hot and cold, there is no battle or victory if only one side plays. Like in the Super Bowl – if the Chiefs are the only team that shows up, it’s meaningless. – insert obvious team puns and jabs here! )

Decide if you want to read or look up this scripture or have a youth do it.
READ aloud: Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Needed: Big marshmallows, 4 sheets of paper with LYING, STEALING, BULLYING, and SWEARING printed on then, tape
SAY: Evil tested Jesus in three ways. Similarly, we are now going to experience our own versions of those tests. Think about the act of resisting temptation, like when a part of you wants to do something bad. Maybe it’s:
– Say something mean back when someone is mean to you.
– Taking something that doesn’t belong to you.
– Telling a lie you think will keep you out of trouble.
Your conscience, where God reminds us of His Holy Spirit, will tell you to do the right thing. It “tugs” on you. When you really want bad things, it tugs on you too.

• Who really likes marshmallows?

Hopefully, no more than 4 people don’t like marshmallows. In any case, select four people to wear the signs “LYING,” “STEALING,” “BULLYING,” and “SWEARING” by taping them on your volunteers!

SAY: Anyone not wearing a sign will put their heads back and hold a marshmallow between their lips for a few minutes without tasting it. Here’s the catch, the ones wearing the signs can say anything they want to try to get you to taste or eat the marshmallow. No touching allowed!

Pass out the marshmallows, after all are ready, begin. Give the tempters a few minutes, then check the marshmallow ends to see if they have been licked.

• When I asked who really liked marshmallows, who thought if they just didn’t say anything they could just sit there?
• Can nonparticipation be a temptation?
• How hard was it to have the marshmallow in your lips and not taste it?
• How was this demonstration like temptation?
(Make sure an example of the proximity to temptation comes up. i.e. staying away from tempting situations)

Completing the following mad-lib. Call on the youth to give you answers for the words requested in each blank below, and then transfer those answers to the Mad-Lib. Some of the words from the call out section will be used more than once in the Mad-Lib.


Person ___________________ 2nd person ______________________ City _____________________
Type of building ____________ A thing _________________________ Direction_________________
Directive _________________ Animals_________________________ Type of Action _____________ Body part_________________

When all the blanks above have been filled transfer them to the story below and read it.

Then ________ took ______ to _____ ,and they stood on the highest point of the ______.
(person) (2nd person) (city) (type of building)
If you are the _____ he said, throw yourself ________. For it is written: __________ will
(a thing) (direction) (person)
________ his _______ concerning you, and they will ________ you up in their ______, so
(directive) (animals) (type of action) (body part)
that you will not _______ your ________ against a _________.
(type of action) (body part) (a thing)

READ aloud the actual scripture: Matthew 4:5-6 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

• What emotions is the devil trying to use against Jesus in this scripture? (Pride or wrath)
• How do you respond when someone questions your character/makes fun of you?
• What is tempting about this situation?
• How could jumping from the temple prove Jesus was God’s Son?
• What would you be feeling during this temptation?

SAY: Scripture teaches against testing God. Therefore, Jesus used Scripture as his weapon against the devil. The promise the devil tried to use in Psalm 91 meant that God would take care of his people. It did not mean that provoking God to action was permitted. Satan had subtly and deviously misused Scripture. Jesus used the word of God to combat evil.

SAY: Next, we are going to do an activity called the Telephone Game. It will help demonstrate the temptation of power. Some of you may have heard about or played this game before. I have a statement that I am going to whisper into someone’s ear. She or he is then going to whisper the statement into a second person’s ear and so on. The trick is that a person can only say the statement once, no repeating allowed! Whatever you hear, pass along the statement the best you can to the next person.

The statement is: “Don’t change what I say, to say what you want, want not today “
After the statement comes around to the last person in the room, she or he will say aloud what they think they heard. Compare what the last person heard to the original statement.

• Were you tempted to use your power to change the statement just to be funny?
• Why is it that the last person heard “…” when the original statement was “…”?
• How often do messages change like this in everyday life?
• Why does God allow us to be tempted?
• What are some ways you can resisted temptation?
• What is evil’s purpose in tempting us?

SAY: God has given us instructions and guidelines on how to live. Every day we are faced with spiritual choices, whether to obey God or not. Temptation is the encouragement of a normal desire beyond the boundaries set by God for humankind. In other words, our desires, which in themselves are not sinful, become sinful when they exceed the limitations set by God.

When Satan tempted Eve with the fruit and tempt Jesus to make bread, we can see that both temptations are similar. They both involve food. We must be careful to control our “fleshly appetites”. Not just our appetite for food, but also our appetite for things that are not good for us. Another important similarity is that in both cases, Satan tried to plant the seed of doubt. To Eve he said, “Did God REALLY say not to eat the fruit?” To Jesus he said, “IF You are the Son of God…”. Unfortunately, rebelling and rebelling against God is natural to us. Therefore, we MUST rely on the power of God to resist evil. We can tap into God’s power by following Jesus’ example. The awesome news is that we all have access to the same evil-resisting tools that Jesus used. Do not be fooled! Good intentions alone will not defeat evil! Only the divine tools God has given us – God’s Word, prayer, and praise – will work infinitely to help you resist evil.
Decide if you want to lead the prayer or have a youth do it.
PRAY: Dear Lord, Our fears have trapped and consumed us and we are tired of living under the weight of temptation. As we listen for You, please reassure us of your presence and confirm that you are able to deliver us from evil. Please give us your love and your power to replace these fears. Your perfect love casts out all temptations. We thank you for promising to give us the peace that only You can give. We receive that peace now as we ask You to still our troubled hearts. Because You are with us, we have the power to resist evil. Amen.
If you still have time, here’s a little bit “more”
Rags and Brags
Each youth should take turns sharing a good thing that happened in the last few days and a bad thing in the same time frame. If you’re worried about time – Do one Rag or Brag per person, their choice.