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Timely Topics for Teens series
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Lesson 15: Will the Real Christian Please Stand Up?
If you are looking for an excuse for not getting involved, you can find one. What you need to do is ask yourself this question: Do I really believe what the Bible says—that those who die without Christ will spend eternity in hell? If you believe this, you will do something about it.
I cannot forget the murder of Kitty. It's not too unusual for murder to take place at night on the streets of a big city, but this one was different as it lasted thirty-five minutes! The killer attacked this girl on a street corner, stabbing her many times as she screamed and dragged herself along the street.
Didn't anyone see what was happening or hear the screams of this girl? Yes, plenty of people did. Later the police found out that at least thirty-seven neighbors were roused out of bed by the screams of this poor girl. They actually saw the murder taking place.
How many came to help? Not one! In all that thirty-five minutes, not one person tried to help Kitty, or even picked up a phone to call the police! When the man who finally called the police was asked why he had not called sooner, he said,
"I didn't want to get involved."
And so it was with the other thirty-six neighbors.They let this girl die because they, too, just, "didn't want to get involved."
You say, "That's terrible!" and it is. But it's no worse than Christians who live for themselves and do nothing about sharing the greatest good news this world has ever heard.
Christ's last command to His followers was,
"Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15 )
The word 'gospel' means 'good news', and 'to preach the gospel' simply means to share the 'Good News' with others.
What is the 'Good News'? The Good News is that God loves sinful people like you and me and that He gave His Son to die for our sins. Those who receive Christ as their Savior are forgiven of their sins and they receive everlasting life.
Many Christian teenagers really want to share their faith with the unsaved, but for one reason or another, they haven't managed to get going. Nine out of ten Christians have never led even one person to Christ. Let's look at some of the problems and their solutions.
"I'm not really sure that I am a Christian."
A story is told about a teenage boy who often had doubts about his salvation. One day he became so concerned that he decided to end his doubts once and for all. He knelt down to pray. He said, "Lord, if I've never received You as my Savior before, I'm doing it right now. Come into my heart, cleanse me from all my sin, and make me Your child from this day forward. Amen."
He finished his prayer and then went to find a wooden stake. After driving it in the ground where he had prayed, he wrote the date on it.
This teenager reported that about two weeks later, he again had strong doubts as to whether he really was a Christian. This time he had a quick reply, "All right, Satan, come with me." He walked out, pointed to the stake and said, "See, Satan, here's the date and the place I received Christ as my Savior. The Bible promises that if I call upon His name, I will be saved." (Romans 10:13)
"I am a Christian but I haven't been living for the Lord."
God has told Christians what to do about their sins. We are to confess our sins to Him. Every Christian should memorize this verse:
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
Do you want to clear the slate with God? Then do this. Write a letter to God—
"Dear God, I am ashamed of the way I have been living as a Christian, and I want to confess the following sins ....I have been cheating at school, I have lied, I have been cursing, I've been disrespectful and disobedient to my parents, I ....."
When you have confessed every sin you can think of, say, "There it is God. I am confessing these sins to You and I am asking You to forgive me and to cleanse me as You said You would."
Then take your letter, burn it, and forget it. When God forgives your sins, He forgets them.
"I can't witness to some people because I have wronged them."
You can witness to them in a way that will cause them to respect you and to know that you are for real. How do you do this? You do it by going to them, apologizing for the wrong you have done to them, and making things right.
As the leader of a rock band Jack was responsible handling the finances. He had a drummer named Mitzi. On one occasion, he said to him, "Mitzi, we got so much for this job and here's your share." But he shortchanged him five dollars.
Jack got saved and gave up his rock band. But one day, four or five months later, as Jack was praying, the Lord reminded him of that five dollars he had stolen from Mitzi.
"But Lord," Jack said, "that was before I got saved."
"I know," said the Lord, "but you stole that money from him. Give him back that five dollars."
Jack argued, "But Lord, I've testified to that guy. What will he think of me if I go and tell him I stole five dollars from him? Anyway, he doesn't know I stole it."
Jack kept arguing with the Lord, but the Lord kept saying, "You go and pay Mitzi that five dollars you stole from him."
Finally Jack said, "All right, Lord, if that's the way You want it, but I'm going to make an awful fool out of myself."
When he saw Mitzi, Jack said to him, "Hey, Mitzi, do you remember such and such a gig?"
"Yeah," said Mitzi, "what about it?"
"Well I told you that your share was so much? Well, we got more than that, and here's the five dollars I owe you."
Mitzi looked at Jack earnestly. Then he said, "You told me about getting converted. I knew about that five dollars you had stolen from me. I figured that if you were for real, one day, you would give that five bucks back to me."
When you make things right with the people you have wronged they will respect you. What's more, when you are right with God and your fellow man, you will have a clear conscience and this is priceless.
"My situation at home is terrible! I'm the only Christian in my family."
Then you are the one Christ is counting on to faithfully represent Him in your home. Hang in there. If you can be an overcomer in that situation, God will be able to use you to help other kids with the same problem. When they tell you all their troubles, you can say, "Yes, I know what you are talking about," and you will be able to help them as no one else can.
"How can I win my unsaved parents to Christ?"
You can win them by being respectful and obedient, by living a happy, victorious Christian life at home, and by showing them real love.
Don't wait for mom to hassle you about the dishes. Offer to do them, and do them cheerfully. And those jobs your dad has been wanting you to do, don't talk about doing them—DO THEM! And when you blow it, be honest enough to admit it and humble enough to apologize.
Before long, your folks will be asking, "What happened to you?" Then you can tell them about the Lord. Love them, forgive them when they make mistakes, and pray for them.
"I don't know how to tell others about Christ."
Learn how. You don't learn how to play basketball by sitting in the stands saying, "I wish I could play basketball." You learn from someone who knows the game and you learn by playing the game. If you are really concerned, you will learn how to tell others about Christ.
This is normal, but you will find that when you start to obey God, He will give you strength and boldness.
If you are for real, you will get going for God. There are those around you who need to hear that God loves them and that Jesus died for their sins.