The title of this is “God Loves You!”. Why would I use such an old, tired, sentence as that? We all know that God loves us because that’s what the gospel says in John 3:16!
Our problem with this is that we know He loves us but we don’t live as if we love Him! However old you were when you came to the knowledge that you needed Jesus in your life and your heart, whether you were twelve or twenty or even fifty years old, that is supposed to be your spiritual birthday. But…have you grown any since then? Many people accept Jesus as their Savior and then if they mean it, they sit down and they read some Bible stories or a verse or two every Sunday. And that’s it!
That’s as far as they go. They don’t read the whole Bible. They don’t go to Bible study during the week or on Sunday night. They feel that they have their Jesus and they don’t need to know any more than that. All of this would be great IF they lived their faith and their salvation in front of everyone…every day! But most of us don’t.
Right now more people are leaving the church than there are attending church. At least when it comes to younger people such as 18 to 30-year-olds. They don’t feel connected to the church or they feel like they are being “judged” by the rest of the congregation. Some leave because they have friends who have a lifestyle that is frowned upon in Scripture.
When the church doesn’t teach young Christians how to live a Christian lifestyle, then how will they know? It seems that our problem is that we don’t know how to live the Christian lifestyle either. Most of us grew up going to church, especially in the South, and we might have walked down the aisle and gotten ourselves baptized by the time we were teens. But we did it mostly because Mom wanted us to or because our friends were doing the same thing. We didn’t know what conviction was or what the Bible taught about sins and their relationship to us. Most of us were just beginning to notice there was a difference between boys and girls.
In John 3:16-18 it says:
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Life today is hard enough for young people without being told that nearly every thought that you have is sinful. How can you look at a cheerleader without sending your soul to hell? When you are a young man or woman it is nearly impossible.
When most people read “young Christians”, they automatically think of age that is less than twenty years old. I am speaking of anyone from the age of 10 on up who has accepted Jesus as their Savior. Christians who come to know Jesus, regardless of their age, are as Paul described “babes in Christ”. They have just come to have faith in Jesus as their Savior and they need to be taught about Him and the life that they have in Him. Unfortunately, most are brought into the church and baptized and they are never given much more to go on other than read your Bible or make sure to come to Sunday school.
New believers need to have someone who has been a Christian for a while to teach them and help them find their way through the Bible. Explain some of the hard sayings in the Bible if they can and if not then take them to the pastor and try to clear up the “muddy waters”. This is one of the reasons why many people who join the church and say that they believe in Jesus for their salvation don’t stay long, in my opinion. Let them know that God loves them even more than their parents and friends do so that they will be eager to learn more about Him and their relationship to Him.