TEXT: ROM. 12: 1 -3
This topic is an all important one in this day and age. The world is fast sliding from bad to worse. The church is fast becoming like the world. It appears Christianity, pure undiluted Christianity as spelt out in scriptures is becoming endangered. If the world must be recovered from the unprecedented decadence it has slid into, if the church must be brought back to its original purpose of ‘salting’ the earth and ‘lighting’ the world, if society must again regain its moral values, the youths must rise up. Yet, not the natural and ordinary youths that are common but the RENEWED YOUTH that is rare and purposeful. We shall divide this lecture into 4 parts.
- WHO IS A YOUTH?
- THE MEANING OF RENEWED
- THE PROCESS OF RENEWAL
- THE DIRE NEED FOR RENEWED YOUTHS
- WHO IS A YOUTH?
According to the United Nations, a youth is a semi adult between the age brackets of 15 and 35/40. However, youthfulness in real terms goes beyond a mere categorization by age. There are more:
- Youths represent the immediate future. The old (passing) generation will have to pass the torch to the youths if there will be continuity (2 Tim 2:2).
- Youths are Vibrant and strong (Prov. 20:29, 1 Jn. 2:14)
- Youths see and operative in 3 different Worlds. The past, the present and the future. They are able to marry these 3 worlds into one. They can optimize the invaluable experience of the past; marry it with the present realities while projecting into the future.
- Youths are semi – set. They are still malleable, teachable and bendable.
- Youths can afford to take risks and make mistakes easily because their responsibilities and liabilities are light.
- THE MEANING OF RENEWED:
The prefix ‘RE’ means again. Examples are re – echo, re – elect, re – enact, re- educate etc. Renewed therefore means to become new again. This presupposes that we were once new. Yes!!! We were once new when we came into the world as new born babes. However, the new person that we were at that time was born a sinner. Not because of what he or she had done, but because of the sin that was inherited from our first father (Adam) who sinned. The ‘righteous’ deeds at that time were also considered filthy rags (Is. 64:6). That is why there is need for Rebirth. We must be born again. It is the Regeneration experience that takes away the old sinful adamic nature and gives us a new and divine nature which is of God. Rebirth, regeneration, being born again is the foundation for any form of renewal, to do otherwise is akin to putting a new wine in an old wineskin or bottle (Lk. 5: 36-38).
The devil is on a desperate rampage because he knows that his time is short. His major targets are the youths and the children for obvious reasons. Today, we have:
- Not just homosexuality but gay marriages even in the church.
- Substance abuse is at an unprecedented level. We have seen ordinary drugs being turned to hard drugs just because people want to be ‘high’
- Domestic Violence, sexual abuses, school violence and cultism are extremely high
- Terrorism has become common.
- Transgender Challenge: Bobrisky comes to mind.
- Lethargy and a complete loss of focus of the Church of Christ
- Disunity and carnality in the Church
- The external onslaught of the anti Christ on the church is on the rise with so much audacity, impudence and impunity. These are just a few of the challenges in the society. That is why we need RENEWED YOUTHS.
- THE PROCESS OF RENEWAL:
- Renewal is first a function of the heart (Rom. 12:2), that is where it starts but it MUST not end there. Although the spirit is REgenerated when we become born again, the soul and body are not.
- We must constantly rid ourselves of every known and unknown sin.
- We must Daily cleanse ourselves with the Word of God (1 Cor. 3: 18). We should allow the Word of God to transform us.
- Prayers: For consecration, sanctification and mortification of the flesh (Rom. 8:3, Col. 3:5)
- Fellowship: When we fellowship with God and the brethren, there is a rub off from God and other brethren (Heb. 10:25). Moses’ face shone when he came down from Sinai where he communed with God (Ex. 34:29, 2 Cor. 3:7).
- We must ask for and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Without Him, we can do nothing (Acts. 1:8)!
- We must learn to wait on God in prayers and fasting. Fasting tightens the body while fattening the spirit (Is. 40:31).
- We must lay ourselves DAILY on the altar as sacrifices (Rom. 12: 1 -2).
- We must reject the temptation to be CONformed to the world (Rom. 12: 1-3). We must refuse and reject all worldly allurements (1 Jn. 2:18).
Renewal makes us like God, we are renewed daily to become more like Him (2 Cor. 3:18). It removes us from the level of:
- Lack of direction
- Inferiority Complex etc.
SERVING GOD IS NOT AN EXCUSE FOR MEDIOCRITY BUT THE REASON FOR EXCELLENCE.
- THE DIRE NEED FOR RENEWED YOUTHS:
The family, society, state, country and the world are in dire need of RENEWED youths who will;
> Be spiritual Militants for God
> Be Uncompromising no matter what comes e.g. Daniel and the 3 Hebrews.
> Be world class trail blazers in ALL their areas of endeavour. Spirituality does not mean we shouldn’t be skilled and become the best in our fields. Daniel and his friends were the best (Dan. 1: 19 – 20).
> Be National and Global leaders: We have shenanigans and godless people filling our political space because the godly and the upright have refused to show up in the political arena. The RENEWED youth must rise up; form a critical mass of spiritually just and morally upright people to fill up the political space both locally and on the international level. We cannot afford to sit back and watch godless people lead us into the abyss.
> Be firebrands who will carry and breathe the fire of Revival and evangelism for this end time.
> Be Torch Bearers for C.G.A.C.; who will know, practice, uphold and pass on the torch of the doctrines of this great commission. A church without a doctrine is a church without identity, any church without identity is an endangered church. It will soon be history!!!
> Be Godly people who will go around the world showing that godliness with contentment is great gain (1Tim. 6:6).
> Be Carriers of the love of God with an unquenchable passion for souls both within and outside the church (1 Cor. 13)
> Be strong to do exploits because they know their God (Dan. 11:32).
> Be resourceful and Innovative (Prov. 8:12).
Folks, we cannot afford to fail. Failure is NOT in our gene. We are champions! We are high flying eagles! We are the best, God’s best! We are meant for the top! We are NOT weak, we are strong! We are not cowards, we are Lions! We are not servants, we are kings and queens! We are the first! We are youths, we are the future. We hold all the aces!
THIS IS OUR CHANCE!
WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF THE RENEWED YOUTH!!!
Pastor Joseph Ekwere