Working with hundreds of youth from the around the world has given me insight on a blind spot much of our emerging generation is bumping into. Often we associate our purpose in life with fun, entertainment, pleasure, and limitless possibilities. Then as our journey continues we stroll into struggles, tribulations, hardships, despair, and confusion. When these trials occur this is where I see a lot of young-in-the-faith stop their walk with God. In our emerging generation, less than 1% of the global population follows Jesus.
Somewhere between a sinner’s prayer, and the road less traveled, we were taught lies of a fake gospel. These lies conclude that following Jesus is a “piece of cake.” When you follow Jesus you will have nothing but prosperity and abundance. God wants you to live out your passions and forget the things you don’t enjoy doing. Worst of all, some are even taught that God wants you comfortable.
I’m sorry you might get offended – but – God wants you dead.
God wants you dead.
Dead to your pride. Dead to your ego. Dead to your selfishness. Dead to your lustful flesh. God wants you dead to sin and alive in Christ.
It’s only when we are dead to our old selves that we could truly live our new life with Jesus.
Throughout the Bible you will find five major points to the Gospel of Christ:
The first is creation. We are created in the image of God. There is no other creation like us. We are made in the image of Holiness. Therefore, we are called to live like Him – holy. This is our destiny – to live giving Jesus glory in all that we are and do.
Second, we chose to worship Satan and turned away from worshipping Jesus. All of us have fallen short of perfection. Not one man or woman can erase their wrongdoings. I’m sorry again, but good deeds don’t cancel bad ones. If you have ever lied, looked at someone lustfully, or became self-centered, you are condemned to hell. If you don’t know yet, the only person who has ever lived perfectly is Christ. None of us have lived flawless righteousness. Which brings us to the Gospel’s third major point, His substitution.
Third, Jesus knew the only person that can save us from our sins was Him. He was and still is the only person that would be a perfect sacrifice in substitution for all of our shortcomings. That’s right! Jesus was sacrificed and went into the pits of darkness so that we wouldn’t have too. This is the hope of His salvation – that all would turn to Him and all would be cleansed of their sins and live eternally in the joy of the Lord accomplishing and being in His will forever and ever and ever. But it doesn’t stop there. The fourth point is where many of us lose track.
Fourth, Jesus calls us to give up absolutely everything! He commands us to surrender our entire life to be saved from our sins. He tells us to submit to Him as Lord and savior. This is the Gospel. We die to ourselves every single day, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus. That is the part that gets most people hated and persecuted. The fourth point of the Gospel is the most neglected, forgotten, and manipulated point of the Gospel than any other point. But I tell you brothers and sisters – the truth will set you free. It is if and only if you surrender your entire life to Jesus that you can life in the eternal glory of his joy, hope, peace, and love. It is in a completely surrendered life to God that all the fulfillment we were ever looking for is found.
Fifth, our choice in this age will determine our consequences for the next. Some don’t believe in hell anymore. Others think everyone is going to heaven. Even worse some people think if you do enough good deeds then you have found the secret to life and eternity. Wrong! The Bible makes it clear, those who follow Jesus, surrender to Jesus, and will spend eternity with Him. Those who don’t surrender their lives to Jesus and surrender their lives to opinions, false gods, and their own egos, will live their eternity without Jesus – that’s called hell.
We all have a choice to make. In fact, some of you may have never heard the Gospel. You may have heard a watered-down version of an inspirational message with the name Jesus sprinkled on it. But I’ll say it again, knowing the truth and doing the truth will set you free.
I will not walk you through the sinner’s prayer. But I will tell you to have faith in Jesus and follow Him with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and fight against the desires of the flesh. It is in obeying God’s word that we find true freedom.
Our calling is our crucifixion.
Jesus stood against every temptation we have ever faced. He was victorious in every way. He now gives that power to those who have faith in Him.
Whether this is a reminder or this is new to you follow Christ, stand against the onslaught of the devil, and submit all your ways to the Word of God. This life is a vapor. How sad for the individual who treats what is temporary, as if it was forever.