I have spent the last few days reading a book by Bill Wiese, called “Hell.” I have to tell you, after reading this, I don’t know why anyone would want to live without Christ.
Bill did a remarkable job bringing the scriptures together and painting a picture that is so vivid, it even had me shuddering.
You know, those who make light of hell, have no clue how awful it is. There cannot be anything we can imagine that can compare to this.
It’s like this, we don’t have the capacity to visualize heaven and how beautiful it is and we don’t have the capacity to visualize hell and realize just how awful and horrid this place can be.
I will be speaking to some youth in the next two weeks, about their faith and their commitment to Christ. I am disturbed that research shows two-thirds of all students will leave the church when they get to college.
And this study found the number umber one reason youth leave church is hypocrisy. Well, I believe it is even worse. The number one reason, in my mind, is we don’t give them enough reason to remain in their faith.
Most have never been told about hell. Few can express their faith other than they believe in Jesus. Our high school aged youth have enough sense to do algebra, chemistry, geometry and other demanding studies and yet, we don’t challenge them the same way in our Sunday schools and churches.
We withhold the deeper things of God as if they are too young to understand. I know they can understand. When I taught Sunday School, I taught them in a way they could understand the deeper truths from God’s Word. And the Lord has given me the opportunity to do it again. Today's youth are hungry. They are spiritually malnourished. They want to learn. They want to grow. They want to be challenged.
My suggestion to most youth leaders and Sunday school teachers…dump the "Veggie Tale," Christian light mentality. Scrap the Pizza parties and get down to the business of Jesus. Teach them, so they can have something to cling to while they are fighting for their very souls in schools that teach them not to believe in God and endorse everything that is not of God.
No wonder they fall away. I recently asked several students to share their faith with me. I asked them to tell me why they are Christian. Once they got past I believe in Jesus and helps me, they were pretty much done with their testimonies.
In the course I teach, we allow them to learn the deeper things. On their mid-term exam, yes we do give exams, they are to write out their testimony. Hopefully, they will have enough understanding of what Christ did for them to be able to express their testimony in one page, instead of one sentence.
I remember, years ago, I had a bunch of students who had been taught under the “let’s talk about Saturday’s football games, on Sunday morning type Sunday school. I chose to teach them the deeper things of God. At first, I was way over their heads. So, I asked the Lord to show me how to teach them, where they could understand and He did. My first book, “Crucified with Him” is that kind of book.
We use it in countries like India. Pastors write me and tell me about the changes in their student’s lives. And they say the course is so easy, even illiterates grasp it.
Anyway, from the first group I taught, several are now pastors or in seminary. Most have continued to remain in church. In fact, one recently talked to me. He is a pastor. He said, “Your stuff is the only teaching I remember and I still apply what you taught me to my life.”
Folks, we have to get out of the pandering mode for students. Guess what, we don’t have to tell them not to drink or have sex if they know the Word. If they know what it means to be a Christian and to walk in faith.
Youth are hungry. They want to know Christ. They want to learn deeper truths. I know this to be the case. Again, in India, we’ve taken around 1,500 students through our course. We have close to two-hundred pastors that have registered to teach our course. But the problem is, as it always is, we don't have the money. We supply all the books and materials for the students and it’s very costly. Why do we supply? I promised the Lord I would give away what He’s given me. That means in the U. S. too. Now, if I have some costs in the U.S., I like to get reimbursed, but otherwise, we give the books away. Students can download the studies for free and put them in a binder and they’re ready to learn truths that will ground them in the Word, for life.
Teach the youth and save this nation, for they are our future. Treat them like children, with a "Veggie Tale" mentality and you will see students leave church by the droves and most will never return. They think they leave, because we're all hypocrites and to some extent it's true. But I believe, deep down we have not taught the youth in a way that grounds them and enables them to stand against the world's ways and Satan's temptations.
I don’t have all the answers. Students are different everywhere. But I know this, dump the everyone’s equal and no one can win attitude. Challenge them to run the race to win the prize, as Paul did and I believe you will raise future pastors and laypeople who will affect the next generation positively. Stay the course, as we’re doing it today, and you not only fail them, you fail all of us and most of all you fail the Lord Jesus.
If you are interested in our course, it’s free. It comes with a teacher’s manual, student workbook, tests and certificate. Go to http://godfire.org and click on the “Discipleship” menu. In addition, I am putting together a series of outlines that I use to teach the course. They are free also. There is a password to get these outlines. If you are interested, please write me and I will send the password to you. You can get these by pressing the “Lessons” menu and filling in the password.
The Lord tells us to teach our children in the way they should go and when they get older, they will not depart. This is His promise to us. Will you heed the call. Our nation’s survival depends on it.
Author: Lynn E. Sheldon
Author writes and distributes discipleship material and articles to train believers in the Word.
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