In the gospels we see Jesus’ rising popularity, everywhere he went there was a crowd of adoring fans. But Jesus wasn’t impressed by the quantity of their response but rather the quality of their response. His call is to love Him for whom He is, not for who we think He should be and for what we can get from Him. I love the way Mr. Beaver says it from Narnia, “Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” We will never have all the answers to all the questions and arguments against Jesus, but we can plead with God that each of us will have enough confidence in the goodness of God to run to Him to find answers and hope.
The statistics say that 75% of our current students attending our churches will fall away from the faith, and as I consider how to help prepare our students for university life and beyond where their faith will meet much opposition, a few key issues press upon my heart.
If it’s true that God’s kindness is what leads us to repentance, let’s show our students how far His kindness really does extend. Often when we see people asking for healing in the gospels, Jesus deals with their spiritual healing first. We are dead in our sin but Christ can make us alive. We deserve God’s full wrath because we have sinned against an infinite God; but because He is an infinite God we can receive unending love, forgiveness and mercy from Him. The more we see Jesus for He really is, His beauty and His worth, the more sin and the things of this world will become less attractive.
Let’s model for our students an ever-increasing dependence God’s word. His word isn’t just good morals, it is the truth and is what leads us to salvation. It is so important to provide our students with safe environments to ask the hard questions before they have to deal with them alone in tough environments. Apologetic ministries like crossexamined.org, can play an enormous part in preparing each one of us to be able to defend our faith with gentleness and respect. We were never meant to live out our faith alone, we need each other’s help to stay strong in what we believe.
Above everything else, let’s just point our students to Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. Following Jesus does not guarantee a safe and easy life. It’s quite the opposite, considering that 11 out of 12 disciples died for what they believed. Many people, then and now, leave Jesus in the midst of adversity. By God’s grace alone, may our confession and confidence be like Peter’s, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
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