For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. II Corinthians 11:13-14
The Basic Bible Truth
Satan is a formidable enemy. We would do well to acknowledge that and avoid contact with him. He is described as wicked. One of the best definitions of that word would be to describe a ship owner who knew his boat was not seaworthy, but went through the harbor giving all the people he could convince, a free trip and promise of luxury aboard his boat. Setting sail the next day, knowing that he and everyone aboard would meet there doom just few miles out from shore, he laughs at his accomplishment. Satan knows his end and is determined to take as many of us with him as he can possibly convince. Wicked.
The Object And Lesson
One Can Of Soda One Candy Bar One Cookie An Empty Ice Chest A Basket Filled With Empty Boxes Of Treats Purple Dog Signs And Anything Purple Like Balloons, Streamers, Etc.
If you are looking for a lesson that will create a most lasting impression, this is it. This lesson has generated more emotional response than anything else I have ever done. I set up the room, proclaiming the wonders of Purple Dog. Everything is decorated in purple. I have signs about Purple Dog, but I will not answer any questions about just what it is.
As the lesson time begins, I move into a fast paced pitch of how wonderful and great Purple Dog is. It is carefully presented as being amazing and I keep telling everyone how I want them all to experience Purple Dog together. I don’t want to give them a lot of time to sit and think about what is going on. In the center of the room I reach into the ice chest and pull out the one can of soda I have and pop it open and talk about how good and cold it is. I reach in and grab the only cookie and take a bite and proclaim that it is without a doubt the most wonderful cookie I have ever tasted. Oh how I want everyone to be a part of Purple Dog. I want us to all enjoy Purple Dog together. I do not let them in on the secret that everything in the room is based on a lie. There are no more sodas, or cookies or snacks, but I try my best to convince them that I have everything there I have promised. As you might guess by now, I am playing the part of Satan and his grand deceptive practices.
Once they have been introduced to how wonderful Purple Dog is, it is time to let them in on how to become a part of Purple Dog and enjoy everything that I have provided. They are told that their answer to one question will determine their destiny—to enjoy Purple Dog, or be cast out into the hallway in utter darkness. The question is very simple. “Do you believe as I do that all dogs are purple?” A “yes” answer will put them in the group going to Purple Dog. A “no” will send them out into the hallway. I then begin going around the room and excitedly asking each and every person that very same question. If they hesitate, I am not above begging them to say yes. Please say yes and enjoy Purple Dog. I will get down on my knees and beg if I have to. I am trying to get as many people to Purple Dog as possible. All the while this is being done at a very fast pace. I will cheer a “yes” choice and encourage the others in Purple Dog to help each person make a good choice as well with cheers when another comes into the fold. Those who respond “no” are teased and chided and almost gruffly thrown out of the room. Out of sight, in the hallway are some people that I have strategically placed there to guide those in the darkened hallway into a room next door that is filled with all kinds of things imaginable. Doughnuts, cookies, candy, sodas, and the like and they are encouraged to enjoy as much of everything as they would like.
When I have gone all the way around the room and asked each person the very same question and gotten their response, it is time to spring the trap. I then give those in Purple Dog a huge welcome and tell them to come and partake of the things that I had promised them. The look on their faces when they realize that they have been lied to is unforgettable. Almost always, the ratio of Purple Dog believers to those thrown out into the hallway is 3 or 4 to 1. Few people choose the hall, in fact I have had times when no one chose the hallway, but everyone wanted to be a part of Purple Dog.
I then take a few minutes to explain to them who I am portraying and that it was all based upon a lie. I remind them that each one of them there in the room was willing to tell a bold faced lie to get to Purple Dog. All of them know good and well that all dogs are not purple! I will not reward a lie. We then all march next door where all the treats are and I ask my Purple Dog people to just line the walls of the room and watch. They are not allowed to have any of the treats! They can only watch and remember that they could have chosen correctly but didn’t. They were lied to and believed the lie. I then make a parallel to God and Heaven. We all are asked a question by God, and our answer to that question determines our eternal destiny. Those in Hell will experience the regret of making a wrong choice, the regret of believing the lie of Satan, forever.
I will be quite honest. I have had young people genuinely angry with me for this lesson and being denied the treats at the end. I tell them that I would rather that they were hurt a little now than be hurting for an eternity for a wrong choice that they make. It’s an easy call for me.
As a side note, you cannot pull this off successfully very often in the same church. This is so memorable that siblings get wind of the lesson and, the next time the lesson shows up, can skew the results dramatically by telling others in the room what is really going on.