Many people think that the gospel of Christ is something that is only important when they are on their deathbed. So they live their life, thinking they will get a chance to “get right with God” just before they die – as if God is the God of the dead, with a special interest in those dead people who used their bodies for sinning. They think it is best to have fun and "enjoy life" according to their lusts and desires, but this is the same as serving Satan!
But if someone finally – after years of postponing and wasting time – does get converted, then God has a lot of difficulty getting them to stop with their sinful habits that have become so strong after many years of sinning.
Usually, people’s fear of God brings them no further than going to church to listen to a sermon now and then. They keep holding on to all their old sinful habits, and make the Christian life look heavy and difficult, almost as though it is something from Satan himself. No wonder young people are afraid of this sort of Christianity and do their very best to avoid it.
Christianity for young people
What does the apostle Paul say about his Christianity? “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NCV). This is a goal worth fighting for, a goal worth achieving in Christ. This type of Christianity suits young people very well.
You don't need to struggle your whole life to give up a certain sin. Cut each sin off as quickly as you can – because there are hundreds of other things in your life that also need to be cut off one by one. This is the way of sanctification and cleansing from sin, and all those who don’t want to “take up their cross and follow Jesus” hate it. (Luke 9:23.) This is also the way to strength, and young people love it, because they can set high goals for themselves - for this life and for the life to come.
When Jesus speaks about “taking up your cross” in Luke 9:23, He means that you should say No to the sinful thoughts that come up in you, and in this way “put them to death”. (Colossians 3:5.) This is not a heavy life. The Christian life is an unshakable, fulfilling and honest life. If you want to find trustworthy, reliable people, look for people who live this life.
Read also “The message of the cross: practical Christianity”
Talking about the cross is not the cross; it is just talk. You find the cross by always saying No to sin: by hating sin and not giving in to it in your life. The way we live our lives and our teaching should be the same.
There are artists who are very gifted but they live sinful lives. There are also gifted preachers who have no idea what the cross of Christ really is. Gifts are not life itself; they are talents which can be used even if you live an ungodly life. If you want a hopeful future, then follow Christ. Don't just sit there sleeping in some church. Don't believe that living a nice, religious life is Christianity. To take up your cross and say No to sin is the only thing that has true and lasting value. Nothing else will ever make you happy.
A light for your generation
Everyone who is taking up their cross and saying No to sin in their lives should really start speaking about this gospel so that people's eyes may be opened to all the empty and evil nonsense that is preached about godly truths. Be a light for your generation by exposing this foolishness. Jesus fought His whole life against those who showed the people a totally twisted picture of God’s truths by the way that they lived.
Use the time. Convince people one by one. It is not a person's position that makes him valuable, but rather his ability to help others to become something for God and the Church. This is worth fighting for because the others' salvation will be our crown and reward in heaven.
Life is the light of men. (John 1:4.) No one has more light than the life he has lived – even if he has a lot of good theories. Bible school cannot give students light. Instead, they are getting a lot of knowledge that can easily make them arrogant. Jesus taught His disciples day and night in the school of life. This was the right kind of Bible school.
But what is needed now more than ever, is people who live the Word of God!