WARNING: THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE MAY OFFEND THE AVERAGE AMERICAN CITIZEN, AND HAS NOT BEEN VERIFIED TO BE POLITICALLY CORRECT, NOR IS IT INTENDED TO BE SO.
It seems to me that Christian teens nowadays are settling for humdrum, stale, and unfulfilling existences on this earth. So many of us are chasing after love (see my “Love Unawakened” post) and the selfish desires of the world, despite what the Scriptures truly say. I see so many young people who call themselves “Christians,” and yet the fruit they are bearing in their lives is not that of the Spirit, but that of the flesh. Let me ask you a question, fellow members of this generation. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Why do we live up to the pathetic expectations this world expects of us? Why can’t we be better than that? This is not the way it was meant to be. There was no such thing as “teens” 100 years ago. In the Bible, it only mentions children and men. We don’t have to be stuck in this teenage mess that the world expects of us. We can start living a life fully devoted to our God right now.
So many of us Christian teens have settled into this sort of “in between place” in our lives. We want to do what our parents say for the most part, go to church, and be nice to people at times, but we feel sort of stuck beyond that. We say that we’d stand up for God in a hard situation, but very few of us ever honestly find the courage to do so. We get fired up for God at concerts, but we find it hard to be on fire for Him on a normal day when nothing exciting is happening. Sometimes a church sermon really moves us, but then… we kind of forget God during the weekdays. We honestly don’t mean to, but it happens. You can probably agree with me when I say that it is not an easy task to live like a disciple of God every day, but nevertheless…it’s what we should be doing.
My 2010-2011 Testimony (In a Nutshell)
I’ll admit it. It’s REALLY easy to do. To just get comfortable doing what everyone else is doing, get all spiritual on Sunday, and then go on not taking care of problems in your life. It’s exactly what I did one year ago. I thought I was “good enough” to get into heaven, but in reality I was trapped right where Satan wanted me. Whether I knew it or not, I was chasing love, my peers’ acceptance, and my reputation; everything I shouldn’t have been. I never really had a true desire to please my Lord, and my faith was running low; really low. I sort of knew that my life wasn’t going in the right direction, but I never really cared enough to change it. I was striving for all the stuff that my friends said would make me happy. Some things were good, like auditioning for HPA, for example. Most things, though, were wrong, like chasing love and reputation. The only thing I didn’t have, but subconsciously wanted, was purity. It’s hardwired into each and every human being. I hated keeping secrets from my parents, but Satan was telling me it was necessary, and that “everyone else does it,” so I did it. I hated knowing that I shouldn’t be chasing girls and love, but like everyone else, I did it anyway. Why? Because Satan made it sound so promising, attractive, and “ok to do.” But guess what happened then? God pulled me out. He used a book by Eric and Leslie Ludy, called “When God Writes Your Love Story,” to show me the truth about love, and it started a chain reaction in my life. I realized that I didn’t have to live “in between” anymore. I could walk alongside my God, and have a deep, personal relationship with Him! I didn’t have to wait to be an adult to embrace the healing power of having a mind focused on Jesus every day. I didn’t have to be the same as everyone else. I could stand out and make a difference for my God!
Now you know that I’ve been in the same exact situation as a lot of us Christian teens. I was chasing the world while trying to remain a “good enough person” to get into heaven. Never mind that I forgot about God a lot. Never mind that I was trying to impress girls instead of Jesus. I was a Christian, right? I was good enough, and besides… I’d probably start living for God more when I became an adult, right? Um, NO. I know you’ve heard about a lot of people coming to faith in college and such, but why would you want to wait until then? Because you’re having fun with the world right now? Think about it. Why do “good people” end up in jail? Because in many cases, they did stupid things in their teen years. It’s a very important time in our life, and we should be using it wisely. Why accept this mediocre spiritual life that so many teens are embracing? Fellow teens, we can’t continue to live like this! The Scriptures state it clearly:
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will love the one and hate the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” – Matthew 6:24
There’s simply no way to chase love, the world, and sin, while at the same time being “good enough” to get into heaven. This is one of the most deceitful and effective lies that Satan is trying to put into our heads right now. And by the way, don’t try to tell God that you’re good enough because you don’t do the “REALLY bad” sins. A sin is a sin, and it’s better to repent of a really bad sin then to continually live in “smaller” sins. Please hear me out when I say that living this way DOES NOT WORK, no matter how attractive it looks. There may be short spurts of happiness sometimes, but in the end, it’s one of the most unsatisfying ways to live. We simply MUST rise up and conquer this mediocrity that so often reigns among us today.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking right now… “Oh, here’s a preachy one. He can’t say that most of us teens aren’t following God! Everybody sins! And God forgives, right?” Well, that’s very true.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23
Yes, everyone sins, and God forgives, but there must be a time of victory over that sin. We cannot just go on committing the same sins over and over. One of my friends posted about it “here.” God’s forgiveness is open to all who will come to receive it, but we can’t accept His gift if we’re not willing to devote our lives to Him. It simply doesn’t work like that.
Here are some passages from Romans 6, among others. I would encourage anyone to read Romans 5-8 when they get the time. They are jam-packed full of important things every believer should know, and they are very helpful chapters when tackling sin and forgiveness.
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” – Romans 6:1-4
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” – Romans 6:6
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” – Romans 6:11-16
“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.” – 1 John 3:9
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” – Hebrews 10:26-27
These are very sobering passages indeed. Oh, by the way, did you read them? Ok, good. It’s a lot, I know, but they’re very important verses. They show what’s being promptly ignored by so many of us Christian teens: That it’s really not enough to say a prayer, go to church, and “be a good person.” We can’t profess faith in God, but then go on chasing love, reputation, and the world. We have to LIVE what we say we’re committed to. We have to take responsibility for our lives, and bring continual sin in our lives to a halt. We have to pray that God would help us take care of the problems in our lives, immerse ourselves in God’s word, and talk to Him daily. Children of God, the time is now! Rise up and be a true disciple of your Lord!
Before leaving, I would advise you to keep reading this series (“Click here” for part 2). It will be dealing with what a life devoted to God truly looks like. Also, please understand that I’m not trying to say every teen I’ve seen who’s sinned is a heathen. Everyone falls. I realize that in some situations, you really need to get to know someone before you can find out whether they’re following God; but I also know that true believers will bear spiritual fruit, and they will not continue in sin. What I’m really trying to say through this post is that modern Christian teens as a whole are doing a pretty shameful job of representing their God right now, and it’s time for a change; a big change. Which master do you serve? There’re only two decisions. It’s time to make a choice.