Friday, June 30, 2017

An Overview of Growing Up Christian – Part 1


Over the next few days, I will give an overview of my book Growing Up Christian.

I have a deep love and burden for young people growing up in the church today. I grew up in a strong Christian family and have personally experienced the blessings and challenges church kids face. I have worked closely with Christian teens over the past 24 years as I have worked in Christian schooling.

The aim of the book is to urge teens to develop a genuine faith and a walk of their own and seek to love God with all their hearts, souls, and minds. But, having Christian parents and attending church every week does not guarantee this.

Have you known anyone who seemed to be a Christian throughout his teenage years, but when he went off to college dropped his faith and stopped following God? Have you known anyone who actively participated in youth meetings and church missions trips, but after high school no longer pursued God or the things of God?

Sadly, I know too many people like this, and you can probably quickly list a few names yourself. Growing up around Christians does not make anyone a Christian. Nor do we inherit our Christianity from our parents. We need a faith and a walk of our own. We need to personally know and respond to the gospel message. We need to personally respond to the call of our Lord on our lives. And we need to personally live for Christ.

Growing up in a Christian home is an amazing privilege. We are taught so much – the stories and truths of Scripture, the basics of the gospel, the attributes of God, and so much more. We are also protected from much – immoral movies and television shows, ungodly friends, inappropriate music. Our parents demonstrate a love for God and us by teaching us and protecting us.

Being raised in a Christian environment – home, church, and often school – is a great blessing, but there are also some dangers that church kids face. Dangers? Yes, I really do mean dangers – tendencies that we need to watch out for and pitfalls to avoid.

I will be getting into the details in blogs over the next few days, but let me give you a preview.

Dangers we need to watch out for:
1. Believing we are saved when we are not
2. Lacking amazement of how God forgives our sins and saves us
3. Loving the world more than the things of God
4. Failing to develop personal, biblical convictions
5. Battling our sinful behavior but not our sinful heart

Let me end with one of my favorite quotes. It is from Holiness by J.C. Ryle,

“I ask the children of religious parents to mark well what I am saying. It is the highest privilege to be the child of a godly father and mother, and to be brought up in the midst of many prayers. It is a blessed thing indeed to be taught the gospel from our earliest infancy, and to hear of sin, and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and holiness, and heaven, from the first moment we can remember anything. But, oh, take heed that you do not remain barren and unfruitful in the sunshine of all these privileges: beware lest your heart remains hard, impenitent, and worldly, notwithstanding the many advantages you enjoy. You cannot enter the kingdom of God on the credit of your parents’ religion. You must eat the bread of life for yourself, and have the witness of the Spirit in your own heart. You must have repentance of your own, faith of your own, and sanctification of your own.”

Please check back in over the next few days as we continue to discuss the blessings and dangers of growing up Christian.

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