by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Young people face an onslaught of immorality in public school, the likes of which previous generations could not have imagined. The language and frank sexual talk that they hear all day would probably shock older people to their core. We need to strengthen and encourage them every day to remain strong and godly.
We must remember that we cannot allow the world to control how we live. We are to have “no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11, NKJV).
God is consummate goodness. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). We cannot be duplicitous and try to walk with Satan and Christ at the same time. We must remain in the light and be relentlessly pure and sanctified (1 John 1:6-7). Satan offers only death and destruction and cannot be trusted (John 8:44). Yet, most of the world follows him (Matthew 7:13-14).
Since most of the world follows Satan in darkness, we cannot emulate them. In their world of shadows, they call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). We cannot follow them to hell.
Young people sometimes try to please everyone. They will try to be good in front of their parents and fellow Christians, and a completely different person in front of the world.
They may impress Christians with their faith and yet their language and behavior away from them, tells a very different story. They may be a leader at their congregation and have an internet page filled with profanity and sexual innuendo. They may stumble over the prayer at the Lord’s table because their hangover is so bad that they can barely think.
God wants all of our lives, not part of them and he is always watching. He is not playing with us, either. He is very serious (Luke 13:3-5).
Scripture brims with stories that are applicable to this theme.
Peter embodied a type of duplicitous Christian when he tried to have it both ways in Galatians 2:11-16. He wanted to be friends with the Gentiles when the Jews were not around and ignore them when the Jews were in sight. Paul rebuked him for his sin.
Joseph faced powerful sexual temptation when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him (Genesis 39:7-12). She wanted sex and Joseph pulled away and ran. This story matches today’s dilemma so well. Because Joseph did what was right, he suffered by being imprisoned. Yet, God was with him and his righteousness brought blessings to his life (Genesis 41:37-45).
Joshua said that he did not care what anyone else did, he and his family would remain true to God (Joshua 24:15). We all need this type resolve.
Christians in Corinth had lived sinful lives as pagans immersing themselves in their depraved culture. Yet, through Christ, they had overcome the peer pressure and aspired to righteousness (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). They were encouraged to stand firm against the tide of filth washing against them.
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
“‘Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,’ says the LORD.” (Jeremiah 1:8). We cannot allow our fear of the eyes of the world to lead us to debauchery.
Sin consumes us and leads us around on a collar, if we will allow it. Peer pressure never ends and it may be more difficult to overcome than anything we have ever encountered.
When we stand against the mocking laughter, we may find a foe more fearsome than anything we may face as teenagers. We all want approval but God’s love matters far more than anything sinful man has to offer! (Matthew 25:23).
by Richard Mansel, managing editor