Two posts in one week? Wow! That’s a first for me.
I’m excited to be doing something kind of different this time: revisiting an old blog post.
Around this time three years ago, I wrote a post about encouraging the youth and the importance of preaching the Gospel as a youth to others (read it here if you haven’t yet). I am now twenty-something years old and I still stand by what I said three years ago.
12Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.1 Timothy 4:12 ESV
And even after those three years, I’m still not the most courageous person out there who is daring to preach the Gospel to the next person she sees down the street, but that’s okay. Glory be to God for those who can do that, but I’m clearly built different.
The importance of the Gospel
Before going any further with how we can encourage the youth, the question would be: why is the Gospel important?
Here’s my take on it: We are fallen, sinful people who are deserving of eternal life in hell, but then came grace.
Grace means God has given us something we do not deserve, and that’s the gift of eternal life through Christ. But, in order to obtain eternal life, we must believe the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live and teach others, then be betrayed and put to death for something He did not do, die a cruel death on the Calvary cross, resurrect after three days, fulfill the prophecy and later ascending to heaven to prepare a place for those who put their faith in Him. We are no longer bound to the laws of the Old Testament, but are made holy because of Christ and not of our own doing.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.John 3:16-17 ESV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
And that’s why the Gospel is important.
How we can preach Jesus to others
Now, I know that life is different nowadays and many people either never leave their house or they’re always out the door to escape life. But let me tell you that the internet is both a scary place and a great blessing. It’s a beautiful thing to have the ability to use the internet to preach about Christ to others who have not heard of the Gospel.
I, myself, use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and my website to spread the Word of God to unbelievers, as well as encourage believers. This requires a lot of wisdom and we need to remember that we are telling others about a story of redemption. When we know to fear/revere the Lord, we will know to discern and with all prudence carry and distribute the Good News (read my post on Reverence here).
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.Proverbs 9:10 ESV
And not only does it require wisdom, but we also need to preach in love! Often times (I include myself in this) we preach to others in a judging manner instead of remembering that we were once of the world and didn’t know what true AGAPE love was. Love in the same manner Christ loves and set an example.
5The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.1 Timothy 1:5 ESV
Feed people the Word of God, don’t just make them feel good. I have seen too many people sugarcoat what God’s Word has to say and it’s sad to see how many people are preached a watered-down Gospel and are easily deceived. We should study and know the Word of God and preach this same Gospel to the world, just as the Apostle Paul made clear to the church in Corinth.
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.1 Corinthians 15:1-2 ESV
So, how can we encourage the youth to preach the truth about Christ and to encourage those who have not yet known Christ? Let’s start with a very simple, yet very difficult piece:
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.1 Thessalonians 15:16-18 ESV
A life of prayer requires a lot of discipline, and when we don’t bring our cares, petitions, thanksgiving, etc. all to God, it becomes difficult for us to understand what God’s will is for our lives. When praying, we are speaking to God, with Christ as mediator, and asking Him for wisdom, guidance, and His will.
We are in desperate need of God and the world makes everything seem attractive and desirable, but we live in a damaged world. Christ came, not to condemn, but to save the world:
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”John 3:16-21 ESV
When we’re talking about God to others, we are being ambassadors of Christ and He has entrusted us, wretched sinners that must be dependent on Him, to share with others the Good News of what Christ has done.
Invite someone to youth group, a Sunday service, a Bible study. But one thing that I find important, apart from praying for someone’s salvation, is to just sit and listen to them when they need an ear to be listened to. Many times, we get so caught up and just bringing the Word, scattering it around and leave, but no. We should be spending time with others, believer or non-believer, and talk to them and listen to them and get to know them. I was being prayed for when I wasn’t yet in Christ, but I was also having conversations and people took time out of their day to sit down and talk to me in whatever I might have been concerned about.
Don’t fall out of fellowship, because there is nothing more beautiful than preaching God’s Word while also learning about a person’s heart and know in what way you can pray for them. This is not to say you shouldn’t preach to a stranger, because you should! But I mean that we should be giving example of relationship, just as how we have a relationship with Christ. There’s no better example to follow than Christ Himself when He was here on earth teaching to His disciples.
I’ll leave you with some of these verses:
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.Galatians 1:10 ESV
11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!Psalms 143:10 ESV