Question Asked: What counsel do you have for young people who’ve been raised knowing the Gospel but don’t feel that God is saying anything to them?
What counsel do you have for young people who have been raised knowing the Gospel and are desiring to be converted, but don't feel that God is saying anything to them? They've been raised up knowing the Gospel. They've been raised up knowing the Bible, knowing the truth. Don't take it for granted. Seek the Lord. Seek the Lord afresh. Seek the Lord as though everything was fresh, was real, was open. Make the Bible your own. Cry to God. Cry to God desparately. Cry to God really. Don't postpone anything. Don't put it off. God is saying something. He's speaking through the Word of God. You know, we're saved by faith, not by feeling, not by experience. When I was saved, the Lord had been speaking to me even though I didn't know it the winter before. I was getting sick of sin; sick of sinful friends. Sick of just, you know, what's the purpose of life? And so, my brother came down with the Gospel. He'd been converted two months before. I've shared this story... He came and I thought we were going to have fun, so to speak and chase, and he said no thanks, Bob, I'm not into that. I've found the Lord. And I could see by what he said and the way he said it that he was sincere and real. Something different had happened. We spent the next day and a half, he was opening the Scriptures, what little he knew of them to me, verses like John 3:7, "you must be born again." Verses like 1 Corinthians 10:31, "Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." These things, I didn't know Matthew, Mark, Luke or John; I didn't know anything, but I could see this is precious, this is real, this is different, I've never heard any of this. Whatever this new birth is, I don't have it. And, so anyway, what I'm saying is, when he left that Sunday night, he left me with some gospel tracts. I didn't know how to pray. I prayed the prayer on the back of those tracts. And I was sincere. Behind the scenes, it was God. But I was sincere. I wanted the Lord. I didn't want to be left out. I knew I was a sinner in need of a Savior. I was going to miss it all. So I just prayed that prayer on the back of those tracts. There wasn't any flashes of light. There wasn't any experience whatsoever. But that was the beginning of life. That was the beginning. And there wasn't any experience there. You just start out taking God at His Word. God said it, and Lord, I'm going to believe, and I do believe that You exist, I believe that You're a rewarder of those who diligently seek You. I believe if I seek You, I'll find You. And I'm not giving up. I'm going this way. I'm not looking back. I'm going to heaven. I don't care what anybody says. I don't care what my parents, so to speak, what ground they've taken. I'm going to have to take it myself. And so I'm going this way, I'm not turning back, I'm going to believe Christ, follow Him, all the way. You do that, and you'll make it to heaven. You take that attitude, young man, young woman, and you'll end up in heaven. You're going to have to put all your eggs in one basket. Rise up and get desparate. Quit fiddling around. Do business with God yourself. No excuses. That can be just an excuse that God's not saying anything to me. He is saying something to you. It's in the book right there. He's talking. God's commanding all men everywhere to repent. He's shouting it from the streets, He's shouting it from the rooftops. Everywhere, the voice of God is speaking, right? And He's saying come on, repent, turn to Me. It says He's commanding all men. Commanding men to turn from darkness to light. Commanding us to repent. And so it's not like God is silent. Not at all. It's not like God is suggesting, it's not like He's advising, it's not like He's giving us an opinion. He's commanding all men, that includes children and parents right? Commanding them to repent and do business with God. And so, young man, young woman, you're under command right now whether you think it, know it or not, you've got a job to do, you've got an obligation, you've got a God that made you, and to Him you owe your life, your breath, your strength. You've got a Savior that died for sinners just like you. Why not take the position of being a sinner? Say, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner." Beat your breast and get low, come on, get down where you belong. Grace is like water, it runs to the low spot. So humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, He'll exalt you in due season. Look at Saul of Tarsus, he was, so to speak, raised with the Bible, and God saved him and used him. It's not a disadvantage, surely it can't be, to grow up in a Christian household. It's not a disadvantage. You've got a privilege, an opportunity, to stand on your parents' shoulders and go on from there and see things they never saw, do things they never did. You've got a running head start, you might say. Don't look at it as a disadvantage at all. That's always the dilemma. John 3 starts out talking about the new birth. But He ends up that interview with Nicodemus talking about saving faith in John 3:16. So it's always a dilemma. Do I as a parent counsel my child? Tell him you need an experience? You've just got superficial faith, you need an experience, you need to be born again; do you tell them that? Or, do we tell them John 3:16? Don't look for an experience - just believe God. And there's no answer - I don't think. I mean, yes a parent can discern sometimes what a child needs and advise him that way. Sometimes you just don't know what to tell your child; all you can tell him is you seek the Lord. The message for the non-Christian and the message for the Christian is the same. That's "seek the Lord."