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October 26, 2017

Can you believe it’s already the end of October? I had that realization today, and it astounded me that time could move so fast.

In recap of last night, we focused on a student question of: How Do I Know If I’m Really Saved? Our primary text was Romans 10:9-13, in which Paul says that if you “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” First we focused on the gospel: that one is saved by grace through faith, not as a result of works. At the same time, we pointed out that saving faith is more than just an intellectual agreement with the truth of Christ, and it’s more than just saying a prayer. Diving deeper into the meaning of faith, I used a Francis Chan illustration in which I asked the students if they believed I could pop a balloon by throwing my knife at it from across the room. About 60% of them agreed, I could do that. I then asked if anyone would be willing to hold the balloon. Less hands went up. Lastly, I asked if someone believed I could pop it if they were holding it in their teeth. There were only two or three people that raised their hands. We used this to talk about faith in the fact that, it’s easy to raise your hand and “agree” with truth, but it’s much harder when you are asked to put yourself on the line. That’s what saving faith in Jesus is though, a life devoted to following Him and clinging to Him, even unto death. He calls us to put the balloon in our teeth. We also talked about the evidence of our faith in Jesus, mainly that if we are regenerated Christians, we actively fight sin (as Romans 8 says). I challenged the students to be introspective, as 2nd Corinth 13:5 says: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.” Not only should we look closely at our lives, but we should ask those around us “do you see Christ likeness in me?” The things you find in regards to if you’re fighting sin or not, and if you’re pursuing holiness or not, are good indications as to if you are saved. We ended by reiterating that it’s not about how a Christian starts the race, it’s about how they finish the race. I encouraged them with the motto: Don’t stop, Don’t Quit, Don’t Give Up!

It was a good night. A lot more was communicated than what fits in this email. Again, I think that this is a topic that students had a lot of good questions about. They want to know that they are saved. The good news is (and we talked about this), if you are saved, you are saved for ETERNITY (Romans 10:11, John 10:29, Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:38-39). I’d encourage you to keep checking in with your students, especially as we go through this “series” on their questions. They’re thinking deeply, and I can see that they’re hungry. With you, I’m praising God for that.

Categories: Pastor Ryan's Youth Update