A Wake Up Call For An Emerging Christian Generation
NOTE: Almost daily I pass on Biblical truths and devotionals to a group of young men and women, many who are my grandchildren. While doing this the other day the thought came to me that if I knew I only had a short time to live, what would I say to them? This article flows from that question.
When Chuck Colson told the incredible story about his participation in the great Watergate cover up he made an profound observation. In his own words:
I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Everyone was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.
To me the Apostles represent what each and every one of us who call ourselves Christians ought to be like. My concern is that sadly most Christians today, especially our younger generation, resemble the Watergate figures who caved. The reason this is true is simple really. The Apostles relationship with Jesus was intimate and deep—they walked and talked with God. The Watergate figures gave up at the first sign of persecution because there was not a cause worthy of dying for.
I have a quote that many of you have heard me use…We have moved from the home of the free and the brave to a land filled with slaves and cowards, we are ideological slaves and practical cowards.
Part of this is happening as the result of the death of absolute truth, but rather than unpack that I would like to focus on the great dangers we are facing as the Body of Christ in our nation moving forward. I am persuaded that most Pastors, leaders and in particular younger Christians, have their heads in the sand when it comes to discerning what is coming our way. We have been spoiled and basically left alone to believe anything we want with little or no consequences.
The Apostles were able to face intense persecution because they knew Jesus. It begs the question; can we do the same when the vast majority of us simply know about Jesus. Remember the illustration with Peter and his denial. He did not have the necessary level of depth and commitment to withstand the test. And the Rooster crowed.
I am deeply concerned that an incredible number of young Christians today are not prepared to face what is coming. The statistics regarding the number of young people who enter college as believers in Jesus and turn to atheism after the first year is staggering. The pressure being put upon our culture today to deny Jesus and really anything having to do with absolute Biblical truth is intense.
How about a 20 year old new police officer who posts his support for traditional marriage on Face Book and is told by his employer to take it down or be fired? What about people who are condemned or let go for not affirming the LBGTQ agenda? Did you ever think you would see a day when an entire professional sports team would be required to wear the rainbow on their jerseys to celebrate homosexuality? Out of that entire professional Hockey team only one player refused and he was a Russian Christian. I wonder how many other Christians were on that team?
My friends, this is just the beginning. Intense persecution is coming and as the Body of Christ we are not prepared! The secret to not falling away lies in who is possessing your life. The Apostles, because they literally walked and talked with their Lord, were ultimately able to be His incredible witnesses. But, therein lies the formula—they walked and talked with Him. The relationship was so intimate that they never considered giving in.
All of that brings me to what I want to say to the many young men and women who would call themselves Christian. Like Peter, you may think you are prepared…ready for whatever comes your way. YOU ARE NOT!
So, my last words, if this is what this is, would be to start by examining who and what possesses your life. You may think you have the Holy Spirit but how much of you does that same Holy Spirit have? No matter how hectic your school or work life is right now, you must carve out time to become intimate with your Lord.
Find like-minded believers you can meet with weekly and commit to grow deep in your walk together. You will need these men and women in your life to resist the pressures that are coming. Read the Word, Pray and Worship every day. Always remember there is a profound relationship between obedience and power. The minute you let your guard down the enemy takes over and the Holy Spirit is quenched.
If you do these things God will give you the same courage He gave those Apostles that enabled them to face anything that came there way. Our world has gone mad and God has brought each and every one of you here—right now—for such a time as this. Meditate on these verses and Be Strong!
- For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3
- Guardthe good deposit that was entrusted to you, guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in you. 2 Timothy 1:14
- When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God, I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56:3-4
- For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, andself-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
- Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13
- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6