If there's one reason why many youth today are lead astray is because they do not get immersed into Bible studies. What is really needed today is to get the youth immersed with the Word of God because that's the only way that they can stay in the path of purity. I remembered the quote that said if we allowed the Bible inside our classrooms then there will be less need to send Bibles into prisons because there will be less Bibles in prisons. The problem of today's youth is that I've read of their preferences are not of God because they are not of God. Talk about any youth today about God, only a few are truly interested to know God's Word. The rest of them just want to talk about the latest fads, they just want to do all what everyone is doing instead of being focused on God's Word.
The challenge is how do we bring the youth to Christ? One of the biggest mistakes why many young people today are false converts is because of the evangelism methods used today are very much different from historical Christian preaching. After reading "The Gospel According to Jesus" by Pastor John F. MacArthur along with listening to Pastor Ray Comfort's videos "Hell's Best Kept Secret" and "True and False Conversion", many evangelism methods today are just shoddy, stupid and out of place with the Scriptures. One of the many examples that Pastor Comfort presented were the traditional ways of preaching or old fashioned preaching we hardly find in today's pulpits. He cited many famous preachers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, Dwight L. Moody and Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The problem of today's evangelism is that many times it's given a Madison Avenue Jesus rather than the Jesus of the Bible.
So what was this "best kept secret" that has been long hidden and now it is unleashed in full fury against Satan and his army of fallen angels? I felt like calling the video as "Ray's Not Best Kept Secret" because Pastor Comfort had unleashed the secrets of successful evangelism in his video. He had revealed one powerful secret which will be discussed in the next section.
I. Bringing the youth to the knowledge of faith by presenting the Book of the Law so they may come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
Before a man can even desire to know more about God's Word, they must first be brought to faith to the Lord Jesus Christ but it's impossible to do unless they are reached out with God's Word. Sad to say but a lot of times, verses are taken out of context rather than in context. Many try to preach of the benefits of salvation but not the necessary steps of salvation. During the video presentations that can be alternatively called as Pastor Comfort's Best Unleashed Secrets of Successful Evangelism, the best preachers always used the Law. Martin Luther had called the Law of God as a hammer that shatters our self-righteousness and a mirror that shows us our sinfulness. How often is it that today's evangelism has become so watered down with presenting the Law and just saying, "You are a sinner in need of forgiveness." without helping the sinner understand why they are sinners? How many times do we hear people who say, "Receive Jesus Christ and you will feel love, joy and peace." never mind that is not what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is really about.
Psalm 19:7-8 declare this truth, "The Law of theLORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of theLORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of theLORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of theLORD is pure, enlightening the eyes." Psalm 119:115 says this truth about the wicked and why salvation is far from them, "Salvation is far from the wicked, for they seek not Thy statutes." What can be seen is that the Law is what converts the soul because it shows the righteousness of God against the unrighteousness of man. What is really needed is that the Law must be brought to the wicked who seek not the statutes of God so the can be warned that they are wicked sinners in need of forgiveness. The wicked seek not the statutes of God either because they are self-righteous, living a life of sin or both. What must be noticed many people are so bold to parade their sins in public while freely declaring that they are moral people. That's how dangerous the sin self-righteousness can get. Many people say that there's nothing wrong with them while they end up revealing the rottenness of their souls by the way they live.
Galatians 3:24 says, "Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." and Romans 3:19-20 say, "Now we know that what things soever the Law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the Law is the knowledge of sin." With both verses by the Apostle Paul, he reveals the truth that the Law reveals the very knowledge of sin to the people. You cannot really have people know that they are sinners except that they be exposed first to the very frightening reality that God's Law is something that they could not keep. The whole idea that salvation is by the Law is foolishness because the Law was meant to show the way to salvation, not to bring men to salvation and it is by the Law that the way of salvation can be known, that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Deuteronomy 31:26-27 warns, "Take this Book of the Law, and put it in the side of the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?" Reading the words, "For I know thy rebellion and thy stiff neck..." is a very heavy word. It must be addressed to the youth that they are sinners and that the very Book of the Law is a witness against them. If you have disobeyed even one of God's commandments, you have already broken them all as James 2:10 warns, "For whosoever shall keep the whole Law yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." When the Book of the Law is a witness against people, no sin is too small or too big to make one's record clean before it because a holy and righteous God does not tolerate even what is called by many as venial sins. Nobody can say, "Lord I didn't commit a mortal sin, just a venial sin." to get into Heaven because every sin is mortal that it brings death to all mankind. God's standard has never been keeping most of the commandments that it must be emphasized that if you want to earn your salvation without a Savior, then live your life without a single sin.
To understand the need of the Law, one must return back to the examples given by the Parable of the Sower. Try to remember the message of the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:18-23, Mark 4:13-20 and Luke 8:4-8) which reveals the three types of soil that creates the false converts and the good soil results to the true convert. If people are still hardened in sin (wayside hearer), they do not hear the full message of the Gospel (shallow ground hearer) or those who are worldly are not convinced that they are sinners (the thorny ground hearer) how can they ever get saved? The Law provides the instrument to fight against the hardness of heart, the shallow heart and the thorny heart by presenting the Law. Only when a person is broken into repentance of their sinfulness can the Word of God truly take effect. The whole message has always been in Mark 1:15 saying, "And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel." not "Repent by believing the Gospel." because it makes no sense for the unrepentant sinner to believe in the Gospel unless they first repent of their sinfulness. Unless they repent of their sinfulness, how can they truly embrace the Gospel that announces the bad news man is a sinner and the good news that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior that came to save them from their sins? Such sinners cannot savingly believe because they cannot see that they need salvation from their sins unless they first repent of their sins.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said, "Now, if you have your hearts broken up by the Law, you will find the heart is more deceitful than the Devil. I can say this myself, I am very much afraid of mine, it is so bad. The heart is like a dark cellar, full of lizards, cockroaches, beetles and all kinds of reptiles and insects which is the dark we see not but the Law takes down the shutters and lets in the light that so we see the evil. Thus sin becoming apparent by the Law, it is written by the Law makes the offense to abound." The Bible also warns in Proverbs 28:26, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered." Jeremiah 17:5 says, "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD." Because the person's heart is so desperately wicked and it is just merely being a misguided person, it must be put to the light of the Law to show the person that they are not right with God and that they need are wretched sinners in need of salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The heart's wickedness can also explain why so many people today think they are good people while living lives that are so questionable and in rebellion against God in one form or another.
One effective method that can be used is by presenting the Ten Commandments explaining to them why they are sinners. If they think that they have not committed adultery then it's time to show Matthew 5:28 which says, "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." If they think they have not violated the grounds for murder, 1 John 3:15 says, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." That is even before any of these heinous acts are committed, the very standard of God already warns that if you hate somebody, you are a murderer and if you look at a woman with lust, you are guilty of adultery. Sinful people who think nothing is wrong with them can also be shown 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 which says, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." to expose to them how rotten they are and that they truly need to get saved and that their own personal righteousness cannot save them.
I always thought of the fact that after I got saved, I wanted to know the bad news first before the good news when somebody says, "I have good news and bad news." Do you want to know why I want to hear the bad news first? It was because somebody told me the bad news first that I was a sinner and showed me my sinfulness that I wanted to receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Although I did not immediately get saved but I cannot deny that if I did not hear the bad news, the good news would not make sense. It would not make sense to anyone that I would be donating my blood to them because they needed a blood transfusion if they did not know that they needed a blood transfusion. Likewise, a sinner will not know that they are sinners until the Word of God is exposed because that is the only way to convince them that they are sinners. If I told them that they are sinners and they are not convinced of what wrong they did, how can they even come to know to the remedy that they are sinners? Because if they are told that they are sinners without knowing why, the chances of them not believing they are sinners is very high thus they continue to harden their hearts about the truth of their sinfulness. It must first be broken and humbled before it can savingly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I could even imagine the scenario of what if a person was told of John 3:16 without realizing why they should even perish. John 3:16 is good news but people must first understand why the are about to perish. The person could just say, "Me? I am about to perish? I don't need God's only begotten Son because I am a good person. If nobody is good enough for Heaven, then nobody is." Wouldn't it be different that John 3:16 would only be told only after the person has seen the reality of one's sinfulness, that perishing in Hell forever is the consequence of sin, that 2 Corinthians 5:21's truth of Jesus Christ the Son of God becoming the sin sacrifice for man makes more sense to them if they first know the bad news? It would be stupid to hear for anyone who is unaware of their sins that God the Father sent His only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ to die on the cross for the sins of man if they do not first realize that they are lost sinners in need of salvation. None of the comforting verses of the Bible would make sense to the person unless they first feel discomforted about the truth of sin and the eternal penalty of Hell.
It just reminded me of one of Pastor Paul David Washer's sermons that after a person he's witnessed to first the understanding that the person was as sinner never felt so good. I could remember the lines saying something like, "My hands are clean, my sins are forgiven. I know I am going to Heaven when I die." Then Pastor Washer said, "How can you be so sure?" Then the dying sinner said, "Haven't you read John 3:16 that for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." I could only assume Pastor Washer said to the same man something like, "The law condemned you and you have repented of your sin and trusted in God's only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. I can see the evidence of your repentance. See you in Heaven, brother." What a difference does it make to first tell the bad news before telling the good news to sinners.
What is really needed is to reach the youth with God's Word because they are the ones most susceptible to deception. I am reminded of the statement that, "You haven't know much yet because you are still young. Listen to those who have more experience than you." The same goes for the Bible because it's written by people who have more experience than we do. If the youth are not saturated with the Word of God, how can they even know how to get saved? If there are no young people getting saved, there is no guarantee that they will get saved when they are already old because the older the person gets, the harder it is to minister unto them. I have seen how often it is hard to reach out old people because they have continued to harden their hearts. If there is any time to get saved then it is now and young people at the age of accountability must be reached out with the Word of God to warn them about the bad news and give them the good news of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Spurgeon said, "Philip was a searcher after Christ in the Place where Christ loves to be - in the pages of Scripture - and you must be the same if you desire to find Jesus." In short, if you expect to reach out the youth for salvation, they must be exposed to the Bible. If you remember the story of Philip in the Book of Acts 8:26-40, we read of Philip who pointed out to the Ethiopian eunuch from the pages of the Scripture the good news about the Lord Jesus Christ. What later happens is that in Acts 8:37 (these verses has been missing in other translations which is why I recommend sticking to the King James) is that the Ethiopian said, "I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God." When that happened, the Ethiopian was already confirmed to be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. This was not just mere belief but pisteon which is complete reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ. In short, the youth cannot come to know Christ without being first exposed to His Word.
Martin Lloyd-Jones said, "If you want to understand Christianity do not shut your Bible, open it! Read the books of Moses, the prophets, the Psalms; they all point to Him. Study your Bible. It is ignorance that blinds men and women of this generation and keeps them outside of Christ. So do not have a hurried service at nine o' clock so you can go out and play golf and bathe in the sea - listen for your life. Here is the only message of hope for you."
II. Continuously reaching out to the Christian youth with Bible studies as they grow in grace
A Christian who is still new in the faith lacks the experience of a seasoned believer. The Bible's books are written not by Christians who are still young in the faith but those who are already mature and seasoned in the faith and there are elders assigned to help administer Bible studies for the growth of the Christian youth. The outreach does not stop with soulwinning towards salvation but also to helping Christian youth in their sanctification. God has assigned people in His Church to help Christians grow in the faith. Christians now have this prayer, "Thank you Lord Jesus for saving my soul, now how may I serve you." Jesus is the Lord of every believer and there is no doubt that if the Jesus that was taught was not Lord (Kurious) in the divine sense, if they teach Jesus is not God the Son and the Son of God, it is another Jesus. When the person puts their trust in the right Jesus who is Lord and Savior to His own, the only natural response is that they do not want to live sinfully anymore and the new nature in them seeks to be with other Christians but what good is fellowship if they are not reached out with Bible studies?
Ephesians 4:11-16 says, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
We read from that verse that God has assigned in the past apostles to write the New Testament, the prophets to write the Old Testament and now they are gone, we have evangelists, pastors and teachers who are sent to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry and for the edification of the body of Christ in unity with the truth in Jesus Christ. A true and real Christianity does not stop with just believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, it is further edified with Bible studies and that once children of the faith who are so tossed to and fro (but thankfully, they do not apostasize but they do backslide at times which they need help to be restored back into proper fellowship) but they soon learn to also defend the faith. The whole call of Christianity is not just to get saved but also to grow in the faith, to go from Bible study guides to actually reading the Bible cover to cover. Christians would soon the feel to go from basic Bible studies to actually chewing solid food from the Scriptures. Young people do not easily understand the Scripture yet so they need to undergo group Bible studies so they can become stronger in their faith. The more one studies the Bible, the more one is ready to chew on solid foods because Christians really need to grow up, not just remain as infants.
Likewise, Christians must also be conditioned to make meditating upon God's Word day and night a habit as they are reached out. During the conquest of Canaan, God gave this wonderful promise to Joshua. Joshua 1:7-9 says, "Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." While this does not mean Christians will become super wealthy people unlike the stupid promises of the doctrine of prosperity by the false prophets for profit, it shows that by meditating on the Book of the Law can the Christian youth become more useful than they have started.
John 15:2 says, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." God the Father is the Husbandman and Jesus is the vine. The worthless branches are the apostates and they cannot be believers. God is so particular about the Christians because they are not worthless branches but they are fruit bearing branches. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no Law." The Christian starts to develop those fruits as a result of being saved. But Christians can be inconsistent with fruit-bearing because they still need to mature in their faith which they do. Philippians 1:6 says, "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" meaning that a Christian cannot be fruitless. If the saved are not being continuously ministered properly, how can the local New Testament churches continue the work of the Church if the old generation passes away and how can they bear more fruit than they already are bearing in their current status as a growing Christian? That's why it's important to help Christians bear more fruit, inspect their fruit bearing and if they are lacking, it's time to disciple them so they can bear more fruit.
1 Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." The keyword is study but how can a Christian effectively study if there is no reaching out to them who are still growing in the faith? One reason why I had to rely on Bible study booklets before was because the Bible cannot be understood overnight. Instead, it must be diligently studied that's why there are pastors and Sunday school teachers to do the job. The young Christian is still new to the Word of God which means that they must be helped as they grow. Before a person becomes independent from their parents, they must first be guided by parents to stand on their own two feet. Many times, new Christians can also be guilty of taking the Bible out of context to a lesser extent. They need to be taught how to rightly divide the truth that aside from reading the Bible for themselves, they must also need to study the Bible as a group that's why there's devotionals, Sunday school and Sunday services to help out the youth in their Christian growth from their infancy to maturity.
Defending the faith is the Christian's calling as 1 Peter 3:15-16 says, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ." If one has to face false preachers, they must train themselves to be seasoned. Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-4 says, "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." This can only continue if the Christian youth are continuously reached out by the Word of God through various Christian youth groups and sound preachers of the Word of God.
III. The long-term benefits of this project of reaching the Word of God to the youth
If the more people are reached out the Word of God, God also promises revival in the land as 2 Chronicles 7:14 gives this promise when God was talking to King Solomon, "If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." Seeking for His face is not to look for a physical manifestation but instead it means to repent of their sins, to humble themselves before God, to seek God knowing only He and He is the only is the one worthy of everything, that sin be hated and God be loved. Where the Gospel prospers, there is a moral recovery which in turn can help lead to long term economic, political and social revival. But sad to say you have people who say, "Go post your nonsense somewhere else." which they have condemned themselves by their own actions.
If the youth are saturated with the Word of God, just imagine how much difference there will be when places to indulge in sin will run out of business. Just imagine how much crime will decrease because they got saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the only natural response is, "Lord you saved me. I no longer want to continue in sin." Should these people do something wrong then they will have an attitude that does not seek to justify it as John 16:8-9 says, "And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on Me;" I do not have any doubt that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin especially in the life of the Christian. If the Christian were set towards growing in grace, the Holy Spirit is there. Just think that if more youths would be sorry for their offenses, they will commit lesser and lesser sins. If they ever do any violations, it wouldn't be that huge and yet they will still feel sorry for any sin that they have done towards others knowing God has been the most offended. Where the Gospel is spread, I have noticed that the youth will learn to live better where the Gospel is preached accordingly, there will be more people living right for the glory of God and not for their own personal glory.
Persecution is to be expected while there is also blessing to be accepted through suffering. The Christian life is bound to get more complicated with all the persecutions. Matthew 5:11-12 says, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." When the Christian is bound to receive blessing from God, it is not blessing all the time but also blessing through persecution. When a Christian is falsely accused and falsely persecuted, that is in fact a sign of how one's life can be a testimony against this world of sin. The Christian life speaks against the evils of works salvation who does works to bribe God and against Antinomians who mock God by teaching the heresy that salvation is a license to sin. In short, all these mud might just be a blessing in disguise to shame all those who speak manner of evil against the Elect of God.