We follow on from last week’s article to consider other dangers that young people might fall into unawares, if we were careless in our walk with Christ.
Lack of thought is one reason why so many are lost today and why many more lose their salvation. Begin with the end in mind; think of the consequences of your actions and decisions.
Esau never gave a thought to his birthright; all he cared about was filling his stomach (Gen 25:27-34). Simeon and Levi must avenge their sister Dinah; they thought nothing of slaughtering innocent lives and the trouble their action would bring to their family (Gen 34).
Solomon said, “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established (Pro 4:26). Some young people would say, “Why so serious?” Christians, young and old, have to be serious about certain things in life. Spiritual warfare is a serious thing, salvation is a serious thing. Heaven and hell are serious things.
PLAYING AT RELIGION
Contempt of religion does not only apply to people who disbelieve in God or any religious system. It refers also to playing religion. One can be physically present for worship services and Bible classes, but the heart is far away.
Some people come on Sundays as a mundane routine. Some come for reasons other than worship and fellowship of the saints. They cannot empathize with the psalmist who wrote, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD (Ps 122:1).”
Religious jokes may sound rather harmless at times, but beware it does not lead you to take religion lightly. If it is worthwhile to have a religion, it is worthwhile to be sincere and earnest about it.
You have to decide for yourself – between you and God – if you are going to take Him seriously. What will be your compass in life if you reject the Bible? The remaining alternative is the path to destruction. Yes, the Bible is difficult at times; of course it is as it reveals the mind of God to us. If you truly believe the Bible is the word of God, beware that you do not hold it in contempt.
Never laugh at religion. Never make jokes of holy things. Never make fun of those who are serious and in earnest about their souls.
FEAR OF MEN’S OPINIONS
The wise man says, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe (Pro 29:25).” Peer pressure can influence for good or it can lead to a downfall. “Be not deceived: Evil companionship corrupt good morals (1Co 15:33 ASV).”
During the formative years of youth, it is easy to allow one’s mind to be influenced by the things one takes in – through friends, reading, TV shows, mass media, etc. Younger folks tend more than older folks to be concerned about what their friends will think or say of them. The fear of rejection and ridicule can prevent a youth from taking up godly habits of reading the Bible and praying.
Herod was afraid of what his guests might think of him and so he had John executed (cf. Mark 6:17-28). Pilate feared the Jews so he had Jesus crucified. Fear of others’ opinion is a type of bondage. Learn to say ‘no’ if it leads to sin. The counsel of the wise man is, “…if sinners entice thee, consent thou not (Pro 1:10).”
God says, “I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth…(Isa 51:12-13)?”
Remember the words of Jesus, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Mat 10:28).” Only live to please God, and He can make others pleased with you. “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him (Pro 16:7).”
Again, God says, “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation (Isa 51:7-8).”
Learn to say in your heart, “I fear God, and therefore I need fear no man.”