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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Are We Losing Our Young People?

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Shocking statistics

At a regular exhortation to be sure of salvation during a Church service, the Pastor reported an alarming statistic: 75% of Christian youth have lost their faith while attending a secular college. A year or so later, while attending the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, I was informed by several leaders that 89-90% of Southern Baptist youth attending secular universities have lost their faith. I was astounded.

This is completely unacceptable because the Scriptures teach that only people who have overcoming faith have eternal life: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4).

Pastors must take responsibility to disciple the young people who go out from their churches. And it should be to EVERY ONE WHO IS CALLED TO SHEPHERD CHRIST’S LAMBS. (John 21:15; Matthew 9:36-38)

Why is this falling away completely unacceptable to the Lord Jesus?

Dr. Brushwilder once related at a missions conference that were the unsaved of the world to run four abreast and drop into hell, the line would never stop. I felt God’s call to try to make a difference. Since 1953, I have oriented myself according to the words of the Apostle Paul, who wrote concerning himself: “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel.” (Rom.1:15).

In my ministry to have seen hundreds pray the sinners’ prayer for salvation (Rom 10:13), but not all have endured in their faith. As the Apostle, wrote: “For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 3:8; also Matthew 13:16-23, and 1 John 5:3-5).

One of my laments is the extent to which to pastors go to have people profess faith, but then fail to nurture in the faith. Such nurture is an expression of devotion to the Lord. The Lord said to Peter: “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15).

Paul exhorted the elders to constantly edify the Church: So that they maybe “rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, . .” (Col 2:7).

Satanic activity calls for persistent edification

One of Satan's tactics is to lampoon the Bible in regard to creation. Those who teach that the Earth was created in six successive twenty four hour days serve to confuse. They construct as false science versus Bible conflict. Young people go to college and discover the bulk of evidence for the great age of the Earth and they have a crisis of faith. Then wonder “If the Bible is so wrong in the matter of creation, how can it be trusted in other matters?" They are told by unbelieving peers that the Bible is just a clever collection of myths.

In light of the statistics concerning Christian students losing their faith, pastors and Christian leaders need to practice Jude’s admonition: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith.” (Jude 3).

Reasons we must contend for the Faith

1. Because the world is dominated by Satan who even attempted to lead Jesus astray. "The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me,and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4:5-7)

2. Because Christ gave the Church authority to break satanic bondage. “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” (Eph 2:2). “. . .For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil .” (1 John 3:8; Heb 2:15).

3. Because victory and strength come thorough struggle. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6:12). See Luke 9:23-25 for the disciples' cross.

4. Because human reasoning and political correctness do not reflect the wisdom of God. “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men..." (Col. 2:8). Atheism, humanistic philosophy, and Pollyanna Christianity cannot sustain Faith. Only the clear exposition of God’s Word will sustain faith. "Thus saitheth the Lord” is established in Heaven and will endure.

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