Summary: Temptations that are common to teens

(adapted from messages by Mark Jones and Dan Webb)


TEXT: JAMES 1:14-15; 1 TIMOTHY 4:12


INTRODUCTION: A. Several weeks ago, we started this series called, “Fatal Temptations”

1. Based on James 1:14-15 – “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is

dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;

and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

2. We have noted each time that different people have different temptations

--We’re not all tempted by the same things but we are all tempted

B. Today’s message is “Temptations Teens Face”

1. Our teenagers are rolling their eyes right now and thinking, “What could Mike

remember about being a teenager?”

--The answer is, “Probably more than you think.”

2. I was talking to parents of two teenagers this week and they asked me to pray for

their teenaged son and daughter. They both have eyesight problems.

--Their daughter can’t find anything to wear in a closet full of clothes, and their son

can’t find anything good to eat in a refrigerator full of food.

C. Young people, I’m really not here today to blast you for all the things you’re doing


--I simply want to offer you some challenges and instruction from God’s Word

1. Please understand that teenagers have faced the same basic temptations for decades

a. But I also want to let you know that there are some things that are a bit different

b. Dan Webb: “The passions [are] the same but the availability and intensity of the

temptations have greatly increased.”

2. For the adults here this morning, I want to say to you, “Never underestimate your

potential to influence a teenager’s life.”

--We’ll talk about some suggestions in that regard in a minute

3. If you’re here this morning and you can’t even remember your teenage years or

don’t have any teenagers in your family, I want you to listen anyway

--You need to be better prepared to pray for our teenagers and to encourage them

on their journey

D. In considering the key areas of teenage temptation, let’s look at some words that Paul

wrote to Timothy – his son in the faith

--1 Tim. 4:12 – “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an

example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”


--Two important truths are couched in our theme verse this morning that we, as adults, should not miss:

A. We’re not to look down on teenagers simply because they’re young

1. One famous person said: “Youth today love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority,

no respect for older people, and talk nonsense when they should work. Young people do not stand up

any longer when adults enter the room. They contradict their parents, talk too much in company,

guzzle their food, lay their legs on the table, and tyrannize their elders.”

--Socrates, c. 5th century BC

2. There’s a tendency to think kids aren’t as mature or as responsible and disciplined as we think

WE were at their age

3. It is true that some young people today behave horribly, just as some adults do

--It may be tempting to get frustrated with kids who are out of control but it’s unfair to lump all

teenagers together

a. Do you know the pressures that teenagers face in this day and age?

b. Are you ready to jump down their throats when you see behavior that you think is intolerable?

c. When you tell them to act their age, do you understand that they probably are acting their age?

--They’re not adults. They’re TEENAGERS

d. Do you confuse their individuality with immorality?

e. Do you find yourself judging teenagers by the passing fads of clothing styles?

4. Don’t look down on teenagers because they’re acting like teenagers

--We can set standards for them and challenge them without being negative, critical, and unrealistic in

our expectations

B. We also need to watch the example WE set for them

--Paul points out clearly and explicitly in 1 Timothy 4 that our example is very powerful

1. Adults, the kids are watching

a. If we’re not consistent with our words and if we don’t practice what we preach, they’ll seldom

follow our directions

b. It’s critical that we as adults set an example for the younger generations in speech, life, love, faith,

and purity if we want them to do the same

2. I was blessed not only to have parents who made sure that they took me to Sunday school and church,

I had a dynamic youth minister, dedicated youth sponsors, and some older men in my church who

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Wayne Maycock

commented on Dec 2, 2006

i found it useful especially where it talks about what goes into your mind.

John Doe

commented on Oct 13, 2016

d. God designed sex for marriage - eh, its hard to make a scriptural case for that one. The O.T. doesn't exactly lay out a 'marriage ceremony' by a long shot, other than the payment of a dowry, which is something we don't practice under the N.T. So under our current dispensation, it becomes more accurate in terms of scriptural teaching to say that "sex equals marriage", and then to bang on the issue of divorce.

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