Rss feedTweeter buttonFacebook buttonTechnorati buttonReddit buttonMyspace buttonDelicious buttonLinkedin button


“Wimpy doctrine makes wimpy Christians.” -Piper

“Paul’s antidote for wimpy Christians is weighty doctrine.” -Piper

Life is Hard! Youth 10/15/08

This past Wednesday night, the YouthRoom took a turn in a different direction.

For some strange reason, every so often when I walk into the room and see 20-30 teens there eagerly waiting to hear me teach God’s Word to them, I become overwhelmed with excitement and energy and responsibility to the duty of being fatherly to them…all of them.  So on Wednesday (after they did a few rounds of ‘improv’ which made us laugh), I began talking to them about how hard life is.  This wasnt intended to be our Bible study.  I was merely talking to them about something on my heart. Well, turns out that took 20 minutes, and we were running out of time. So, I scratched our study from Mark 2 ( will get back to it next time), and I concluded the night following the same discussion concerning ‘life being hard.’

Life is so hard!  Even in thinking that and writing that, I still feel like I fail to grasp its difficulty especially for others.  Today, I preached a funeral for an 84 year old man who is survived by his wife of 61 years. These days must be hard for her.  I know of a 19 year old in Fairdale who is a  mother of two who was just killed in a motorcycle accident.  The driver of the Bike wasnt killed. These days must be hard for him.  Even more, the two children who will now grow up without a mother. Life will be hard for them as well.

My purpose in discussing this with our young people was this: are they ready for hard times?  what will get them through the difficulties?  Will their faith hold them up during the hard times?  Or is their faith so shallow that they will abandon it during the hard times?

As one author says so correctly “wimpy doctrine makes wimpy Christians”.

As the K2G (please see our 2 posts on the K2G on the left side of our youth page) attempts to explain our faith, trust, devotion, & dependence upon God is directly connected to our knowledge and understanding of God and growth in it.

So after that great discussion, we turned to 2 Timothy 3. Verse 1″But understand this. that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.” 

No doubt we are there. They may keep getting worse, nevertheless,…we are there.

If your commitment to following Christ is built only on what good He brings to you and good times, your following Christ will be short-lived.  But if your commitment to following Christ is built on good, rock-solid theology (Bible teaching) from all of God’s Word, then your followng Christ will remain even in the hard times.

2 Timothy 2:13 “if we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot deny himself.”

Now thats good!

Who can come to Christ?

This past Wednesday night in the YouthRoom was powerful!  We came to a short and simple passage that at first didn’t seem like it was going to impact us so powerfully, but it sure did.

Our text was Mark 2:13-17.

This is the passage where Jesus calls Matthew to be His follower.  Now this Mark text along with Luke’s teach us that Jesus calls Levi here. But the parallel passage in Matthew clearly shows us that Levi was called Matthew too.  Levi is Matthew and Matthew is Levi.  They are the same person.

What is so powerful about this passage is that Levi is a tax collector.  He is most likely, a fairly successful and prestigious man.  So far, all the other disciples have been fishermen which tend to be uneducated common people.

This got us to thinking…Who can come to Christ?  Are there any limits?  Is anyone restricted from coming to Jesus in saving faith?

So I asked the youth…Can nerds be saved?  Can preps be saved?  Do you have to be smart to believe?  Do you have to be able to read to believe in Jesus?  Do you have to be a “good kid”?  Do you have to be a “goody goody” to follow Jesus?  Can an outsider be saved? Who can be saved? Who cannot be saved? What then does it take?  Or who can be saved? 

These are the questions we were discussing through this text in Mark 2.

After Jesus called Levi, they went back to Levi’s home and had dinner together with some of Levi’s friends who were also tax collectors and sinners.  Of course, when the legalistic hyper-religious pharisees saw Jesus having dinner with sinners, they couldnt stand it. They went crazy.

They asked the question “Why does He eat with them?”

To which Jesus answers one of the most simple but powerful truths in the Bible “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

So to the youth, that’s who can believe…be saved… and follow Christ — sinners.  Simple as that!  Jesus didn’t come to find the godly.  He didn’t come to find Christians.  He came to find His lost people and then change their hearts.  He came to save His people.

So we concluded in the YouthRoom by stating that the Gospel changes people.   And anyone can be changed by the power of the Gospel. 

I encouraged the youth with this…their youth pastor is not here in fairdale looking for the best kids. I’m not looking for the best-dressed, the prettiest, the most polite, the kindest, the most respectful, or the coolest.  All those things are well and good. They just aren’t the focus of the Gospel.  We at FBCF in the youth ministry aren’t looking for any of those things. Nope.  We are looking all throughout Fairdale for the kids that God’s is saving and for the kids who want to know and follow hard after Christ. 

Now, thats exciting!  Who can come to Christ? Anyone.  And I mean anyone! There are no restrictions. So, leave your old life, forsake your sins, and lets go follow Jesus!

“We never saw anything like this!”

This past Wednesday night in the YouthRoom was awesome!  We continued along in Mark’s gospel to chapter 2.  We looked at the first 12 verses where Jesus heals a paralytic.

What an incredible passage! 

As Jesus’ fame grew and grew, the people searched for him continually.  They found him at home and came to his house.  The house was so crowded that when 4 men came carrying a paralytic they could not get him to Jesus. They didn’t give up though.  They decided to let him down through the roof to get him to Jesus.

Picture this…Jesus is at home. So many people come that the entire place is crowded. The door is overflowing and you cannot even get through it or even to it.  The Bible says Jesus was preaching the word to them.  While Jesus is preaching to this huge crowd of people, the roof busts open and down comes a paralytic being carried by four men who are believers in Jesus.  Obviously, this going to be a huge interruption or distraction to Jesus’s preaching. You can picture all the people being astonished, shocked and staring. 

Then Jesus says to the paralytic “Son, your sins are forgiven.”  This is amazing!

The scribes in all their pride and sin, question in their hearts, and say that Jesus is blaspheming. Only God can forgive sins.

Jesus knew that they were questioning him.  So he asks them a question…”which is easier…to say to the paralytic ‘your sins are forgiven’ or ‘rise, take up your bed, and walk.'”  You see, it is a much easier thing to heal someone physically and temporarily rather than eternally.  For Jesus, it is easier to make a man walk than it is to save him from sin, death, and hell. 

Then Christ proves himself even more and says…”But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”…and then he tells the paralytic to rise, take his bed, and go home.

ok, picture this again, the helpless man who cannot walk lies there on the ground while Jesus’ preaching is interrupted, hundreds of people stand there watching, and the scribes and Jesus have a little debate. After this small debate, Jesus shows his authority, and the paralytic gets up glorifying God.  The scribes are absolutely humiliated, the people rejoice, stand amazed, and glorify God, and the paralytic walks off so humbled.

Everyone’s response…”we never saw anything like this!”

Here’s what got me.  In verse 5, the Bible says “When Jesus saw their faith” he told the paralytic, “your sins are forgiven.”

By no means does this passage teach us that someone can be saved apart from their own faith. The whole Bible teaches us that. But it does remind us and teach us that God so uses people as the means to leading other people to Christ.

To which we asked the question “whose sins are forgiven because of your faith?”

Who sees your faith and says “we never saw anything like this?”

FBCF Youth is proudly powered by WordPress and themed by Mukkamu