Growing up is hard. During our teens and twenties, we discover our values, form our identity, and transform from childhood to adulthood. Going through the experiences inherent during the formative years, we learn about the world, ourselves, and how we fit into the world. These are foundational moments in life with tremendous value.
Growing up with Christian values brings an added element into the picture. It is first and foremost a great advantage to begin life with a solid Christian foundation. Developing knowledge of the Truth at an early age makes it possible to establish values that will lead us into the most satisfying life. The challenge, of course, is that Christian values are at odds with the world in which we live. Inevitably, being a Christian brings with it the certainty of confrontation with the world, and those who abide by worldly values. Being a young person willing to live a Christian Way of Life multiplies the challenge because peers, the education system, and the need for a sense of belonging in the community are very strong forces to deal with at a young age.
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Indeed, we do watch and report on world affairs, but unlike the myriad of other news sources available, our focus is to reveal how prophecies of the Bible are being fulfilled, today!
The word “political” can simply mean, “of or relating to government,” and it is this meaning which applies to the true gospel. Astounding as it may seem, the gospel of the Kingdom of God is a far-reaching political statement emphatically proclaimed by Jesus Christ:
“Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14-15; also, compare Matthew 4:23).
Gospel is the English word translated from the Greek, euaggelion, meaning, “good news.” Jesus spoke about a future government which would be established by God when He sends Him back to rule the earth. In this context, Jesus taught that we should anticipate this good news:
Continue reading "You report on political matters–is that really biblical?"
Peer pressure is an incredibly challenging thing that almost all young people will experience at one time or another in their lives—especially as young Christians or those who are on their way toward becoming true Christians. Even adults have to face peer pressure. The problem with peer pressure is that people want to fit in. They want others to like them and are at times willing to change their conviction in order to gain the approval of those around them.
The Bible makes very good points about peer pressure and shows good examples of how to deal with these pressures.
It takes a solid understanding of what one believes, and to act toward that understanding to deal with and counter peer pressure. It should be noted that not all peer pressure is bad, and it can be useful to encounter peer pressure of both types to learn how to deal with each kind.
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It can seem bleak when it comes to the immediate future. Especially, when looking at it through the eyes of a young person growing up to become a Christian. With everything that is happening in the world at this time, how can a young person have hope for their future? Is it worth growing up and trying to accomplish things in this life?
The definition of hope is “to trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.” Viewing hope through the eyes of a young person is not something that comes easily. It is, however, something that is learned and which needs to grow. God will protect and help design the lives of the youth, giving them hope and encouragement throughout their lives.
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Surviving in the present age involves many challenges on several levels and God does not want us to get a hunting rifle or a fishing rod and go live in the wilderness, or to live in a monastery, waiting for the return of Christ. Notice the admonition of Christ in John 17:15: “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”
We have to live in this world and since one of our responsibilities is to support the Work of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world, which includes warning the world of impending doom because of sin, we need to do our best to survive ourselves under these conditions now and in the near future.
We all face different challenges, based on age, marital status, raising a family or being retired or widowed. The physical challenges come with aging and we have to learn to do our best in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.
In this Q&A, we will look at our relationship with God, our family, our employers and our neighbors, always with the view to our survival.
Continue reading "How to Survive in This Day and Age!"
We live in an age where bullying and teasing are rampant, and we hear all these stories about physical bullying, psychological online bullying, known as cyberbullying, and other intimidation and manipulative techniques. This can happen anywhere, whether it be at school, at work, or through social media, and anyone can be a victim; but in this Q&A we want to concentrate specifically on young people as victims of bullying. How should they respond? We may have been a victim ourselves or we may have even participated in being the bully or involved with teasing, causing hurt to others, which we shouldn’t do, since we are to be good examples. There are attempts in the workforce or at schools where recommendations are made about whom we need to talk to when trying to deal with these problems, as well as reporting the bully to proper authorities, such as administrators, counselors, human resource departments, psychiatrists, therapists, and so on, but they tend to dismiss the most important One who could truly help us. What about God? How can God actually help US in these situations? And what does GOD say about how we should or should not react?
Continue reading "How should especially young people handle bullying and teasing, and what does the Bible have to say about it?"
In the previous two Q&As, we discussed the fact that children of at least one converted parent are “sanctified” or “holy” in God’s eyes, which means that they can have a special and intimate relationship with God; that they CAN speak to God, expecting to be heard, and that they can experience and obtain an answer from God. We pointed out that they are not cut off from God the Father, but that they must make the decision of wanting to have continuing contact with God, by not neglecting or forsaking the Way of God.
We also discussed the blessing of little children and the fact that God assigns guardian angels to them for their protection, so that they can reach their potential of becoming baptized and ultimately born-again members in the God Family. We also showed that it is eventually the decision of the child or teenager or young adult as to how to conduct his or her Way of Life and whether or not to maintain a relationship with God.
Continue reading "How do you understand Paul’s statement that our children are holy? And what are the practical consequences? (Part 3)"
In the previous Q&A, we discussed the fact that children of at least one converted parent are “sanctified” or “holy” in God’s eyes, which means that they can have a special and intimate relationship with God; that they CAN speak to God, expecting to be heard, and they can experience and obtain an answer from God. They are not cut off from God the Father, but they must make the decision of wanting to have continuing contact with God, by not neglecting or forsaking the Way of God.
We also discussed the blessing of little children and the fact that God assigns guardian angels to them for their protection, so that they can reach their potential of becoming baptized and ultimately born-again members in the God Family.
It is true, of course, that the teaching and conduct of parents can have an influence on the decision of the children to either become and stay loyal to God or to reject Him, but, as we will show, it is ultimately the decision of the child or teenager or young adult as to how to conduct his or her Way of Life and whether or not to maintain a relationship with God.
Continue reading "How do you understand Paul’s statement that our children are holy? And what are the practical consequences? (Part 2)"
1 Corinthians 7:14 reads, “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.”
The Ryrie Study Bible gives the following correct explanations of this passage:
“The presence of a believer in the home sets the home apart and gives it a Christian influence it would not otherwise have. A believing partner,
therefore, should stay with the unbeliever. However, this does not mean that children born into such a home are automatically Christians. They
are holy in the sense of being set apart by the presence of one believing parent.”
Even though they are not automatically Christians (as rightly understood, we are only Christians when the Spirit of Christ dwells in us (Romans 8:9)—the Holy Spirit which is given to us upon proper baptism (Acts 2:38)—that does not mean that our children are cut off from access to God. Even during the time of the Old Testament, Christ DID deal and work with humans, including the nations of Israel and Judah. Christ did not deal with them by offering them access to the Holy Spirit and an opportunity for salvation (this will occur later, in the Great White Throne judgment period), but He DID speak to them and showed Himself to them. It was Christ who spoke the Ten Commandments to the ancient Israelites—not the Father. He was the Rock who led Israel out of Egypt and dealt with them in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:4, 9).
Continue reading "How do you understand Paul’s statement that our children are holy? And what are the practical consequences? (Part 1)"
In this final installment of this series, we look at four more descriptions of Jesus and conclude with some more general information which includes seven interesting descriptions in Revelation 2 and 3.
Perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible gives testimony to the fact that Jesus gave His life as a ransom for many: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
This is reinforced in 1 Peter 1:18-19: “…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
Continue reading "How many different descriptions of Jesus are there in the Bible? (Part 5)"