I recently read a report that as many as 70% of our youth who have grown up in the faith will walk away from that faith after high school.
I ask this question because I run a Christian youth center. Every night we end the day with a devotional. I always try to add some apologetic's to the message so they can defend their faith but am wondering what else I should do to help keep them in the faith.
Why are they leaving?
What is the church doing wrong if anything?
Is this just part of the great falling away?
I'll post the website for those who are interested.
Blessings and thanks for your feedback and answers.
IMO I believe that we could see into people's hearts we would find that most people young and not so young, have found religion and not really Jesus. If they say a prayer too often they are marked as good to go by the church and yet have they really come to a point of true repentance? Religion talks about Jesus, teaches Jesus' sayings, etc, but most never come into a real living relationship with Jesus Himself. Thus, it is pretty easy to walk away from religion, but would be very difficult to walk away from the Creator of the universe whom you have seen to be holy righteous and just, and at the same time recognized that I am not holy, righteous or just and in a state without Jesus deserve eternal damnation. To the one who has come face to face with the truth (written Word and living Word) there is motivation found in both fear of eternal damnation and the love of Christ that led Him to the cross for us. I believe that in such we find an unshakable faith ... I cannot not believe.
This sounds judgmental on my part, but I think this is a problem that plagues the church and has eternal ramifications. One of the hardest people to reach is the unsaved churched who think they are saved.
Most do not like my next comment: Many will ask how will I know I am saved ... if you don't "know" you are saved, you probably are not saved. Again my perspective on this.
if you don't "know" you are saved, you probably are not saved.
I agree with that 100%.
I agree LT.
One of the points I try to make with the kids I serve is that there is a difference between being religious and born again.It is hard to get kids to realize the difference.
I disagree regarding knowing. I believe inside a person who has met Jesus they will never doubt that they are really saved. I am not talking a fleeting moment or a brief period where a strange teaching confuses them, but inside the saved know they are saved.
I disagree regarding rather hearing people testify that they know Jesus and Jesus knows them if they end the statement with, but I am not really sure I am saved. How can anyone debate that they (meaning I) are saved if they actually don't know if they really are, but only hope they are. Do we live a life hoping we are saved or knowing we are saved? What does 1 John 5:13 say?
I agree that I would rather have people question their salvation in search of assurance then to not question it and be lost. We are to examine our faith, but again there is little assurance to one who dos not know if they are saved.
So, yes there are those who think they are saved, but are not. They are the hardest people to reach IMO and spoke about them in church today. I also stand on that the child of God is saved and knows He is saved. Yes, there can be fleeting moments, but not a state of lostness that follows that person.
BTW, you will rarely see the unsaved church ask the question you mentioned, but when they do it is an opening for them to potentially find the Lord and be saved, otherwise they remain in their lost state trusting in self or religion to get them through.
Lastly, this is my take on Scripture and assurance regarding knowing Jesus, because to be saved means we have entered into a relationship with Jesus. A person must know whether they know Jesus or not and it is amazing at the kind of looks I get when I ask if they know Jesus and not just know about Him.
I wish to amend something I said. I said this: I believe God would never allow one to wander for years, questioning and wondering but never able to really believe or trust that they are a child of God. Nothing in Scripture says this can happen but in fact many Scriptures say we can know for sure that we belong to Him.
But who am I to say that God wouldn't allow that to happen to someone? Only God knows the way that anyone must take.
There is a difference between the mental battle and the internal assurance. The truly saved have the Holy Spirit living in them and He is alive and active.
The mind is a spiritual battlefield.
Spiritual enlightenment comes from God. When understanding is darkened, only God can turn the light on and awaken it. The people in Matthew 7 are certainly surprised that Jesus doesn't know them. They did a lot of works in His name only to hear "I never knew you!" So, there must be people out there who think they know God and think God knows them, but I was confused by the two statements you made because you jumped from those unsaved who think they are saved to those who say they don't know if they are saved probably not being saved. The first group is the biggest concern IMO and that's what I was trying to point out because when people at least are asking how to be sure if they are saved or admitting they don't know if they are saved, then they are spiritually awake enough to be concerned. May God awaken the others. That's all I was trying to say. Instead of hearing people say they know that they are saved, I thought I'd rather hear them say they know Jesus and hear them talking about their relationship with God. But obviously people can also be mistaken and think Jesus knows them when He doesn't. :'(
OK. I understand what you are saying. Just remember, again, that there is a difference between thinking something (mind) and knowing Jesus lives in you (the heart). Those who have experienced Jesus and have a relationship with Him know they are in that relationship. There is no doubt that God has changed them and lives in them.
Those who think they are saved, but are not are basing that belief on something else like religion or a prayer they said at one time.
Again, it is interesting that those who say they are not sure if they are saved will argue with you about their assurance when they have no assurance to begin with ... that makes no sense. On the other hand the religious will argue that they are saved by all the things they do or trust in something they have done.
My personal experience has been this.
When I was religious I questioned whether or not I was saved.
When I gave my life to Christ and was born again I began to question whether or not I am pleasing God and doing His will.
I guess you could look at it this way. Before it was about me, now it's about Him.