Cross by Josée Holland Eclipse
Encouragement For Young People: Your Attitude Toward Becoming A Christian
Many young people fear that if they become a Christian they will be obligated to follow an impossible list of formal rules, forbidden to have any fun and be seen as a religious freak.
As evidenced by these commonly accepted ideas, the words of Romans 8:5 – 8 ring true. Self-interest and a misconception of the truth can snatch away any eternal hope or reconciliation one can have with God.
When someone approaches you or your friends about the Gospel of Christ, how often do they address your specific circumstances and speak to your understanding of God? How well do they personalize and embody the Christian message?
To be sure, there are changes that must take place in the heart and mind before one is ready to believe, repent and obey Christ. Knowing why you must respond to the Gospel story is as important as knowing what you must do to be saved. Fundamental changes must take place in our intellect, in our attitudes and in our will.
Your Attitude Toward God & Christ
Do you believe God exists (Acts 17:22 – 28; Romans 1:18 – 20)?
Do you believe the God of the Bible is the one, true God?
Do you believe Christ is the only way to God (John 10:9; John 14:6; Acts 4:10 – 12)?
For many such “narrow” views of God are hard to overcome. Another major hurdle is the reality of pain, suffering and evil. Both illustrate that there are some things we just can’t completely understand (or even need to know). In part, this is where faith and trust come into the picture.
Take a few moments to thoughtfully consider how loving, kind and giving God has been toward you personally every single day throughout your life. Will you let the powerful love of God and the awesome message of the cross of Jesus motivate you to want to change? To submit to and obey Christ? If He is to be the authority and Lord of our lives, then we cannot be (Luke 9:23).
Your Attitude Toward Sin
Do you think sin is funny?
Do you minimize or dismiss it?
Intellectually, have you honestly acknowledged that you have personally sinned against God and that God will hold you responsible for your sin? We are all in the same boat. We all have sinned and we all will be held responsible for what we have done in our lives (Romans 2:1 – 11; Romans 3:9, 10; Revelation 20:12, 13). Is it clear in your mind that your sin has hurt God, hurt others and hurt yourself? No one escapes the consequences of sin (Romans 6:23; Galatians 6:7, 8).
Many deny its existence and some even have no objective standard of what sin is. Tolerance and relativism are the hallmarks of modern thought.
Embracing Jesus means you must deal with your desire and love for sin (Romans 12:9; I John 2:15). Does pride or the potential loss of friends hold you back from admitting the guilt of your sin and repenting of your sin? Have you tried to overcome temptations, kept failing and have surrendered to your struggles?
I certainly have many times.
But there is always hope, help and victory when we have God intimately involved in our lives (I Corinthians 6:9 – 11, 10:13; I Timothy 1:12 – 14; Romans 8:35 – 39; I Thessalonians 4:13 – 18; Philippians 4:13). Be determined to leave sin behind and embrace righteous, Christian living (Romans 6:11 – 13).
Your Attitude Toward the Church and the Scriptures
Some believe the church is filled with self-righteous, hypocritical losers who need a crutch while others believe “church people” are so perfect and sanctified that they would never accept, understand nor consider them, their difficulties or their circumstances.
The church is divine in origin but Christians are still human with human weaknesses and faults. If they are genuine, they are growing in Christ; being transformed by the spirit of God, working with the Lord and doing the best they can. Becoming a Christian means becoming a part of the church, Christ’s body. They are inseparable (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22, 23; 2:1 – 3:13; 5:23).
When people do not want to deal with their selfishness and sin, they will not only criticize Christians (the church), but they will often challenge the credibility of Scripture. They usually have little patience for anything or anyone who “limits” their personal freedoms or desires.
We should not be so arrogant and presumptuous as to sit in judgment of the laws of God and not to allow God to judge – through His own Word (John 12:47 – 50). Recognize and submit to the inspiration and authority of the Bible. In my opinion, one of the most chilling incidents in the Bible concern people who refuse to listen to and submit to Scripture (Luke 16:19 – 31).
Your Attitude Toward the Gospel
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” – Romans 1:16 (English Standard Version)
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” – I Corinthians 1:18 (New American Standard Bible)
“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” – I Corinthians 2:14 (New American Standard Bible)
Even though many spiritual things or concepts do not make sense, we can take some steps in the right direction…
- We can ask questions and seek guidance.
- We can seriously consider what it means to follow Jesus.
- We can diligently seek after God (Matthew 7:7; Mark 8:34 – 38; Luke 9:57 – 62; Hebrews 11:6).
Again, faith and trust are essential.
Do you believe the power of the Gospel can save and reconcile you (bring you back into a right relationship) with God?
Do you believe the message of the cross?
If you have an honest, sincere and searching heart, you too can cry out to the Lord Jesus to help you overcome your disbelief (Mark 9:14 – 29).
Becoming a Christian demands an all out commitment.
Being a faithful, active and obedient Christian is for a lifetime (Matthew 22:37; Luke 9:23; 14:25 – 34; Romans 12:1, 2; Revelation 2:10, etc.).
Know that God and genuine Christians will love and help you along this spiritual journey. As with the apostle Paul, Jesus is patiently waiting for you and me (I Timothy 1:15, 16).