Little word from the Lord: weigh it and test it….that which rings true is of the Lord, that which doesn’t is me:
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:2-5
The Lord laid this scripture on my heart a few months back to pray on, chew on, think about, explore, all that. I beleive that the Lord has told me that its a scripture paritularly relevant to Salvation Army youth. I believe that it is encouragement to hold fast to their radical faith in Jesus, expressed in committed discipleship and active witnessing and not to lose their nerve by embracing teaching that simply sounds more palatable or easier, more modern perhaps.
Its also a word for those who work with young people, a call, if you like. Never be afraid to correct, rebuke alongside encouragement…they are all partners together. Careful instruction is needed to make sure the new generation of Salvationists don’t grow up with sawdust between their ears and no ability to discern right from wrong, true from false, righteous from un-righteous.
Its also an encouragement for youth workers who fear losing young people for refusing to dilute the gospel and the radical call to discipleship. By raising the bar of discipleship you will produce more authentic believers. Don’t compromise. You may well see young people gathering around them people who will tell them what they would like to hear…in this situation, don’t question your own sound doctrine, instead be faithful. You will experience hardship if some of your youth can’t stay the course and leave because of your teaching, but stay firm. The Lord will honour you as you honour him.
yours in the battle for the hearts of young people