A MESSAGE TO YOUNG PEOPLE
“REMEMBER now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” [ECC:12:1]).
“I want to find out for myself,” many a young person has been heard to say. And so, against the advice of ministers, Sunday School teachers, Gospel workers and parents young people go the way of their choice and try to find joy and satisfaction in worldly pleasures.
In the Book of Ecclesiastes, also known as “The Preacher,” is found a sermon preached by the wisest man who ever lived. The Preacher warns boys and girls that God will someday bring those into judgment who commit ungodly deeds. He tells the young people to rejoice in their youth but to be careful that what they do is pleasing to God. If it is not, then remember that “for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.”
Those who are not saved have no power to resist temptation. They yield to what they may think is harmless pleasure and soon they find themselves committing worse sins as time goes by. “Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” [James:1:14];[James:1:15]).
Satan may tempt you to attend a movie, take just one puff of cigarette, or commit some other sin. If you do not have the Blood of Jesus over your heart, you may yield; and if Satan gets hold of your life, you are no longer your own master but headed toward eternal damnation.
It is folly to go on living just as if today were all that matters. It is true that the carefree days of childhood are perhaps one’s best days. But even childhood and the days of youth are not to be spent only in pleasure, says Solomon, the Preacher. Our Creator is to be remembered in the days of youth, he says.
One reason that young people should seek God early in life is so that they may work for the Lord and give the strength of their youth to Him in service. As a person grows old and feeble, his hands often tremble – “the keepers of the house shall tremble”; he may become ill, his back may become bent from many years’ hard work – “strong men shall bow themselves”; he may lose his teeth – “the grinders cease because they are few”; his eyes become weak and sometimes even blindness sets in – “those that look out of the windows be darkened.” Often older people need hearing aids, glasses, canes, crutches, and false teeth in order to overcome their difficulties. (See [Ecclesiastes:12:3].)
Item 1: Why should young people seek God when they are young? [Ecclesiastes:12:1-2], [Ecclesiastes:12:14]; [Isaiah:55:6-7]; [Psalms:119:9]; [Proverbs:8:17].
Item 2: What are some of the natural characteristics of the young people? They are naturally – Good looking, energetic, skillful and resourceful. [Genesis:39:6]; [Proverbs:20:29]; [Nehemiah:4:6-17]; [1 Samuel:16:18], [1 Samuel:16:23]; [2 Samuel:14:25].
Item 3: What are some of the things that can distract a young person from the path of righteousness?
a) Peer Pressure: 1 Kings:12:8-9; [Proverbs:1:10]; [1 Corinthians:15:33].
b) Wrong use of technological innovations: [Psalms:101:3]; [1 Corinthians:6:12].
c) Fashion: [Isaiah:3:16-23]; [1 Peter:3:3-4]; [1 Timothy:2:9-10]; [1 Corinthians:11:14]; [Deuteronomy:22:5]; [2 Kings:9:30], [2 Kings:9:32-33].
d) Pleasure seeking e.g. sports, cinema, drinking alcohol, etc.: [Proverbs:21:17]; [Proverbs:23:31-35]; [Luke:8:14]; [1 Timothy:5:6]; [2 Timothy:3:1-5].
e) Immorality e.g. fornication, etc.: [Job:31:1]; [Proverbs:6:25]; [Matthew:5:28]; [James:1:14-15].
f) Over ambition: [1 Kings:1:5], [1 Kings:1:7]; [2 Samuel:15:1-6]; [Matthew:20:20-24].
g) Love of money: [1 Timothy:6:6-11]; [Luke:12:15-21].
Item 4: What is the wisest thing for the youth to do in order to prosper in life?
a) Seek God as early as the opportunity affords. [Ecclesiastes:12:1-3]; [Isaiah:55:6-7].
b) Heed the Word of God. [Psalms:119:9-11]; [Colossians:3:16].
c) Obey parents to ensure God's blessings and long life. [Exodus:20:12]; [Proverbs:23:22]; [Ephesians:6:1-3]; [Colossians:3:20].
d) Should not join bad company. [Proverbs:1:10-19]; [Proverbs:16:29]; [Psalms:1:1-2]; [1 Corinthians:15:33].
e) Obey constituted authority. [Romans:13:1-7]; [Titus:3:1-2].
Item 5: What are the natural consequences for misbehaviors of young people? [Proverbs:20:20]; [Galatians:6:7]; [2 Samuel:18:9], [2 Samuel:18:14-15]; [Isaiah:3:24-26]; [2 Kings:2:23-24]; [Ezekiel:18:20].
Item 6: Mention some of the benefits that young people will have if they seek God early. [Malachi:3:16-18]; [Psalms:16:11]; [Psalms:91:1-16]; [Isaiah:54:16-17]; [Philippians:4:19].
Will youth be youth forever? 1 Corinthians:13:11; [Psalms:90:12]; [Ecclesiastes:3:1-2]; [John:21:18]. People need to remember their Creator in the days of their youth, seek the Lord, be saved from sin; then seek for and receive heart purity, known as sanctification. Even boys and girls may seek the Lord and receive these experiences, as well as the baptism of the Holy Ghost upon their life. Then by much prayer and reading of the Word, they can live an upright, Christian life and help others to be saved.
The safest path for young people to follow is to remember their Creator -– give their heart to God as soon as they feel the Spirit calling them. No one is too young to seek God.
The final verses of this sermon would be well for every boy and girl and every man and woman to commit to memory, for they hold the “key” to Eternal Life:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” [Ecclesiastes:12:13-14]).
CHALLENGE: Do you fear God and keep His commandments?