Tag Archives: Relationships

Why younger people don’t need God

Does your young person feel like they don’t need God?  I didn’t say church.  I said, “GOD!”  If you need God, then you know that you need church and you attend every chance you get.  

Recently I have been asked why young people don’t go to church.  Because churches seem to be filled with older people, the question is, “why are there not more younger people in church, and how do we reach this demographic?”

I have contemplated this question for a long time.  Because I have been posed this question, I have begun thinking of it all over again. However, I don’t think that this question should be posed to this one group.  It seems to me that all groups are affected, and there has been a broad moving away from church attendance.

I know that the mind, being quick to solve problems, will run the gamut of possible answers.  We could site: The last days, The influence of the Devil and the world, the media, Exaltation of fantasy, The impact of socialistic programs, removal of the Bible from schools, etc. etc.  All of these certainly contribute to the problem.  But if you take a closer look back through history, most of these influences have been present for a very long time.  The first century Christians lived in a time when similar things like these were present and they even had to deal with persecution unto death as well.  Can you imagine where American Christianity would be today if present day Christians were killed for their faith?  I dare say that the church would shrink to just a remnant.  Very few American Christians today would be willing to actually die for their faith.  Oh, I know that they might SAY they were willing to die for Jesus, but if it came right down to it, I don’t believe that many would actually do so.  Why?  Because the church today has been diluted with weak anemic Christians who are mostly apathetic regarding church because they don’t need God.  They want to be entertained for their “buck;” or even worse, they want to be entertained for free.  Any pastor that cannot meet this criteria can just be discarded because they can just move on to another church that can entertain.  Christians today are looking for a program instead of God.

I think that the root reason that people in the USA today do not need the church is because they don’t need GOD.  They see no need for God in their life.  They cannot see any benefit for them by coming to God.  If they ever get to the place where they finally do see what God can do for them, only then are they willing to approach Him.  Otherwise, they keep Him at arms distance.  I say this because time and time again, when people are in trouble; when things are not going well in their life, they suddenly need God.  Then they come to church.  Then they want the preacher to give them the magic pill that will make all of their problems go away.  If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know what I am talking about.  Even those whom we would call “faithful saints” act the same way: They do not see any value to them by coming to, or supporting their church.  They don’t need God, so they don’t need church.  But when they need God, Oh, they are so drawn to church.  Think about it.

So, I believe that the better question to be answered is: “How do we show people the value of having God in their life?”  If people saw that it was valuable to them to have God in their life, then they would be in church, because God values church.  Today, people value other things.  It is not difficult to find something to value because the world has a never ending list of entertainment for people to value.  All of it fun and valuable.  Not many of the young culture value hard work, because they see no importance for it and have too many other distractions, each competing for a little piece of their minds.  But when they suddenly need money to live, then they see the value of hard work and sweat.  So the answer to the question should be associated with what people value and how to show the importance of it (easier said than done).

I believe the answer to this undaunting question lies in the area of relationship.  Everybody recognizes the value of a relationship in some form or another.  Once children see that they have to navigate this world on their own, the see the value of the relationship between the parents and themselves; they see how valuable it was for mom and dad to take care of everything for them.  When there is a loss of a loved one, you immediately see the value of that relationship that you once had.  So, if a person could be introduced to the value of a relationship with God (Gen. 2:18), then they would be interested in God, and therefore, church.  But relationships too, have come under attack.

In the world today, there is a big attack upon relationships.  Everybody can DIY (Do It Yourself).  More and more, people are being deceived into thinking that they don’t need anybody.  There are mom’s taking “momcations,” dads working long hours, and all of the overtime they can get, parents cut out of children’s lives and grandchildren growing up without really knowing their grandparents.  Self-serve, Self-check out, Drive thru, ATM’s, mail order, Texting, cell phones, email, Home shopping network and Social Media (i.e. facebook), all contribute to the relationship problem.  They are all attempts by the Devil to eradicate basic and necessary relationships from our life.  Today we:

  • Have, “friends” whom we have never even met face to face.  These are our cyber friends who only tell us what they want us to know about them.  We know this to be true because we only tell them the things we want them to know about ourselves.  We’re not going to paint a bad picture about ourselves.  We steer away from reality.
  • Say things that we do not mean.  People are much more bold from behind a computer or cell phone keyboard.  We punch in, and send before we really think about it.  We say things that we would not normally say to someone’s face.
  • Do things that we would not normally do.  We take photos of ourselves and only send off the good ones.  At times, there are people who send inappropriate photos of themselves (or others) when they would never have done that in person.

All of these things would not be done if we valued the relationship with that person.

The fundamental relationship that exists on earth is that of the family.  Everybody knows that the attack on the family has been going on for a long time.  It is only successful because it has been relentless.  The result is that not many young people of today see any value in their family relationships.  I believe the way we fight back on this is to: “meet fire with fire.”  Because the attack on the family is relentless, our tactic on preserving the family should be equally relentless.  We do not need to take the role of “closet dwellers” yet.  We are still free to voice our opinions.

The way that this untoward situation has “crept” up on us is because “grass roots” Christians have kept their faith in God under the rug.  When the world demeans Christianity, we too should speak up and say something.  When they promote “homosexuality”, we too should promote family.  The open forum does not belong to them.  When Christians do not speak, and act upon their faith openly, they give the platform to the enemy for the destruction of relationships, and show the younger generation the value we place on it.  They are watching and looking for something real.  If “grass roots” Christians, throughout their daily lives, do not speak up and “live” their relationship with Christ, they ultimately show that they don’t value it very much.  If all they do is speak of Christ in their house or at church or amongst other known believers, they show that they don’t need God very much.

Herein is the answer to the question.  Christians must not be ashamed of Jesus outside of the secure walls of any known Christian environment.  In other words–practice what you believe in; when you value it, others will learn how to value it as well. If you don’t need God, then the younger generation will not need God as well.  If you show a life that is walking with a need for God, then they will need God too!  ~Pastor Coale

The Relationship with Christ

relationship with christLuke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

The relationship with Christ is the most important relationship any person can enter into.  It is more important than the one that you can have with your spouse or your children.  It is more important than the one you can have with your parents or grand-parents (Luke 14:26).  Lets face it, who can be more important than God?

There are scores upon scores of “Christians” who do not believe this.  Most of these instances can be attributed to their ignorance of the person of God.  Most people get  saved because they want to escape hell.  When confronted with the reality of their sin, and their destination, they quickly want to do something about it.  When they learn that all they have to do is accept a “free gift”, they quickly scoop it up, being ignorant of everything else.  As long as they get saved, that is enough.  What they don’t realize, what they are not taught, is they have begun a wonderful journey in their relationship with God: they are now a “son of God” (John 1:12). But, you never see them studying their Bible, learning from some other grounded Christian or growing in the Lord.  Not only does Satan like to get them side-lined, but Christians never follow up on them to wisely guide them around the many pitfalls of life that are awaiting them.  And, there are many like this.

It is sad to think that there are many “sons of God” wandering around lost in their relationship with Him.  If they could just get some direction, then God could do something in their life that would profit them.  Some even think they are growing when they are not.  The Devil might have them growing in the social activities of the community or even the church, but not in their relationship with the Lord.  This is why it burdens my heart to see people so “off” and “on” about church attendance or Group Bible Study.  I know that if they could just keep coming long enough, or often enough, then they will begin to see the secrets of the universe revealed within the pages of God’s Word.  They will develop a curiosity for the things of God; a hunger and thirst for the WORD.  This too, I have seen many times and it has not been without a perplexing of the mind.

In foreign countries (I have visited 16 of them) people seem to have more of a hunger for God’s Word.  This seems to be more prevalent in communist countries.  It is a pleasure to see them grow in the Lord.  It doesn’t take long before the answers of life begin to reveal themself.  Then they become most curious.  They want to know more and more.  Things begin to connect.  They are able to answer their own questions from the Bible, because they have a foundation built into their life that cannot be broken up.

It doesn’t seem to be this way in the USA though.  I don’t know why.  Perhaps it is a familiarity with what people THINK Christianity is supposed to be all about.  I am guessing that is where the answer lies.  There is no way to change this except getting people into their Bibles and hoping they stay in it long enough to get hooked.  If they do, they will learn what the Bible says instead of what man says.

The Bible teaches that we have a relationship with God.  He is our Father and we are His children.  We belong to a family of believers, and it is difficult for any family when there are prodigals in it.  It tears at the heart of a family when one member turns away from God.

What can we do to prevent this?  We must emphasis we are all a part of a family, even before someone gets saved, else I fear that we have just put another name in our Bibles; chalked another one up for our self; another notch in our cane.  Winning souls is not a competition.  It is just as important to disciple someone than it is to lead them to the Lord.  God does not hand out winning lottery tickets to the one who leads the most people to Christ.  We are showing people the right way of life.  What good may a salvation be that does not change a persons life?  We are commanded to “teach them ALL THINGS whatsoever I command you.” (Matt. 28:29).  One may argue, “Well, at least they are saved.”  This may not be good enough to really help a person develop for Christ.

How many families have a baby and put the baby in the crib and never check on them again?  I don’t know of even one family that has done such a thing like that.  It would certainly be cruel or abusive. What chance does that baby have of growing up to be a strong man or woman?  How would they even survive a few days in such a predicament?  NO!  We take care of babies.  We feed them and teach them for many years until they are able to stand on their own, and this they do gradually.

New born “sons of God” are in this same situation.  They need nourishment.  They need instruction.  They need to develop their muscles and learn to walk on their own.  I feel that we often don’t see it this way because they look like a mature human being, and this is true, but they are a new born babe in Christ.

How do we teach them?  How do we nurture them if we are not confident in ourselves to teach them the things of the Lord?  The answer is to bring them to church.  This way they can be in an environment centered on learning about God.  Encourage them to be at church; taking advantage of every opportunity to learn.  It is vital to their growth.

You can’t give a baby a book and say, “Here you are.  Grow up.”  They need to be in an environment where they can see how to apply the things they learn out of the Book.  They need to have fellowship with others in the church to stretch them and strengthen them.  Just like you want your growing child to have supervised association with others for their growth’s sake, new born babes in Christ need the same thing.  This is why they need to “rub elbows with” others in the church.

Another very important item is for them to be faithful in learning about the Lord, you must be as well.  They will take the things they learn, then look at your life to see how to apply them to their life.  SO, you must be a good example.

Yes! Souls need to be saved.  But they need to be made aware of their family ties.  They need to be introduced to the family so the family can take care of its own.  The Lord has placed them into a wonderful part of the body of Christ.  Their great adventure awaits them.  We must hold them and hug them.

~Pastor

Being Like Jesus

Luke 6:31-33 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

 This passage of Scripture describes how we must treat each other during the Millennium if we are to remain in a “right” relationship with the Lord.  Even though it is a millennium passage, it is still profitable for us today (2 Tim. 3:16).

There are some very good principles presented by the Lord Jesus Christ for us to use to navigate the pilgrims passage that we have before each of us.  Although the keeping of these words does not determine our salvation, as it will in the Millennium, it will help us conform to a more likable image of Christ.

Treat others the way you wish to be treated.

Why is there not more of this happening in the church?  Do people treat others the way the wish to be treated?  There seems to be a great disparity between the way we are treated and the way we treat others.  The two don’t always match.  Should they, there would be less conflict.

People are not sensitive enough to observe how others are treating them.  It is often overlooked because others are not looking for it.  Face it, it is quite embarrassing to tell someone, “Now this is the way I wish to be treated…”.  No one is likely to do that.  There are self-help, sharing groups that are full of people saying how they wanted to be treated, but others could just not see it.  It is expressed in statements like, “They knew I didn’t like that, but they did it anyway.”  The answer is: they didn’t know you did not like it because they simply never paid attention to what you liked or not.

On the whole, people have a predetermined idea of how they wish to be treated, but seldom think of how they should treat others.  Their focus is on “self” and not others.  Once they come to that predetermined conclusion of how they wish to be treated, they do not broadcast it because it would not seem a right thing to do.  Others are supposed to perceive it and if they don’t, then watch the sparks fly.

There is the story of Ted and Jane.  Jane made herself up real pretty for her birthday so when Ted came home from work, he would notice something different about her and be reminded of her birthday.  She didn’t feel right about saying to him, “Ted, you know it’s my birthday tomorrow.”  It just felt too selfish of an act to do something like that.  She opted for a more subtle way to help him remember.

Ted totally forgot about Jane’s birthday.  He was completely oblivious to the matter.  Coming home from work, he greeted her as always, with a kiss.  They talked about their day and proceeded with their evening as usual.  Not only had he completely forgot her birthday, he didn’t even notice that she had made herself up nice and pretty.  Jane was deeply hurt inside.  She had an expectation; he was supposed to notice and that would remind him of her special day, but that’s not what happened.  He was not sensitive enough to observe how she was treating him.  The result was pain and hurt.  Had he observed how she was treating him, he would have noticed something different.  The result would have been joy.

People don’t notice how others are treating them because they are more concerned with self; they are more concerned with the way others are treating “THEM.”  This is purely a focus on self.  We want others to notice us, but we don’t notice others.  The Lord Jesus said, “…as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”  That is not: “…as ye do unto men, they should do likewise unto you.”  You treat others the way you expect to be treated, but you make the first step, AND have no expectation that they will treat you likewise.  After some time, it will wear off on them and have an effect.  But, you must take the first step.  You must lead by example, treating them the way that you wish to be treated, all the while observing them so you can be sensitive to their expectations.  There is no room for: “This is the way I am—take it or leave it!”  This command by the Lord is not a goodie box of “what you get,” but rather “what you should give.”

Love those who do not love you.

This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do as a child of God.  It is difficult because when you love someone, you are laying your heart out before them and there is a risk that they will trample on it.  Even though there is a risk, any attempt to master this precept will make you a much better person.

There is no doubt that the world is lacking in love.  People love themselves (but they don’t know it), their family, and their friends.  There is little room for anyone else.  We hold back from helping others because we fear an obligation might develop, or they might take advantage of me.  But we fall deeper and deeper into a selfish hole until we have no way for mankind to climb himself out.

To turn around this downward spiral we need to take the first step: love our enemies, remembering the weight of the enormous pressure our enemies can bring to bear.  We need to adopt, and develop, a loving life to all.  Yes, we may get bowled over by the world, but just as worldly living is infectious, so is love.  You must not love your enemies looking for immediate results, but for long term solutions.  This does not mean that there are no immediate results.  Adopting this teaching into your life will help you immensely in your attitude towards others and your outlook on life.  If you can do it long enough, it will become habit, and not only will it be easy, but it will make living for the Lord easier on the whole.

To love someone who loves you in return is easy, but to love your enemies is difficult.  It is here where lies the true lessons of love.  When you give out a good helping of your love and get some love in return, you have, in a sense, exchanged some love for some love.  This is similar to purchasing something: you exchange something that is valuable to you so in return you may obtain something that is valuable to you.  The Beatles sang, “Can’t buy me love.”  The reality of the fact is we do it all the time when we love those who love us in return.  We just don’t know we are doing it.

Do good to everyone

Too many people are doing bad things to others.  Even Christians get drawn into the oppressive style of living, repaying evil for evil (1 Thess. 5:15).  We like to “pay back” others who have wronged us.  In fact, we are so good at it, we do it before we even know what we are doing.  A wife says something mean to her husband.  The husband responds with saying something mean back to his wife.  We just react.  So spontaneous is this exchange that we don’t even realize it happened.  The proof is in the making up process when they say to each other, “I didn’t really mean what I said.”  The question remains: “Then why did you say it?”  The response is: they don’t know why, but they didn’t mean to do it.  It is because we are so conditioned to live by such worldly standards that doing otherwise seems impossible, but it is not.

We must take the first step to do good to others.  Although, the world as a whole may not appreciate such living, those whom we do good to will.  When they in turn do the same to others, it begins to spread.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a society where everyone loved each other?  This is what living in the kingdom will demand, and this is what heaven will be like as well.  You won’t have to worry about someone having some kind of ulterior motive when they do something good for you.

The Lord Jesus lived by this guiding principle.  Not only was it His nature to love (1 John 4:16), but it was to us—His great example.