Baptist sermons on young people dating
Jesus frequently warned of pseudo-converts, most memorably in His parables of the four soils, the wheat and the tares and the sheep and the goats.This grievous occurrence is why Paul exhorted the Corinthian church to “examine yourselves to determine whether you be in the faith.” This predicament is as old as the church itself, and it is no respecter of age.Granted, no church is perfect, and if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it, or you’ll likely ruin it.At the same time, a spirit of criticism and sarcasm about the pastor and other members of the congregation mark the homes of too many church members.John the Apostle warned us, “They went out from us because they were never of us; for if they had been of us, they would have no doubt continued with us.” In His sermon on the mount, Jesus soberly warns, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my father in heaven.” In fact, this is a troubling but recurring theme throughout the New Testament.In so doing, children are hearing reason after reason why they should doubt the Word of God, not value fellowship of the saints, and be indifferent toward gathering with God’s people.When this occurs, why should young adults commit their lives, time and resources to a pastor and group of people they have overheard their parents repeatedly denigrate? This is a pressing concern but an often misplaced question.
Citing a recent study by the Brookings Institution, author Rachel Held Evans recently suggested, in essence, that millennials are leaving evangelical churches in search of more progressive fellowships because of dissonance with the more conservative doctrinal stances and cultural convictions of their former congregations.As parents, we cultivate this by esteeming the church — and the individuals who comprise it — before our children.As a parent, my wife and I have long since covenanted together to guard our tongues, especially before our children, about the ministers and members of the churches we have joined.Instead of focusing so much on why young adults leave the church, let’s focus more on how they enter the church and how they engage it along the way.And when you show me young adults who are truly converted, have ministered and worshiped with the church as a whole and have grown to love the people of God, I’ll show you young adults who are a lot less likely to depart the church anytime soon. Allen is president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@Baptist Press), Facebook (Facebook.com/Baptist Press) and in your email (baptistpress.com/Subscribe BP.asp).