Summary: Both the Church and parents face a growing problem of losing kids to "the world". Why is this happening and what can we do to prevent it?
Why Are We Losing Our Young People? (NIV)
On April 20, 1999 in the small town of Littleton Colorado, two high school students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold enacted and all out assault on Columbine High School.
The boys plan was to kill hundreds of their peers using guns, knives, and homemade explosives. They walked the halls and classrooms killing at will. When the day was done, 12 students, 1 teacher, and both Eric and Dylan were dead. The questions still remain today as to why they did it. Since then we have seen the Virginia Tech shootings, the schoolyard shootings in NY and other tragedies involving young people and violence.
The answer as to why in all these cases is simple. These people were lost. They felt unloved and unwanted.
This brings us to our topic today
As parents and as a church why are we loosing our young people?
As Children grow older, they often
-Lose interest in spiritual matters
-Pull away and become distant
-start missing church then quit going all together
-start dating, get engaged, or marry a non-Christian person
-involved in drugs, alcohol, other temptations.
Ultimately when these things happen we will lose them to the world.
As a church and as parents, we have a responsibility to our young people.
It is the duty of both the church and parents to train children. We are partners in the training. Parents cant expect the church to train kids for them. If what the church teaches is not seen in the home we can lose our youth also.
Proverbs 22:6 is the general principle to live by when it comes to youth.
There are many reasons why we can lose our youth.
Understanding why may help prevent losing more.
There are several factors that bring about this situation and process of losing our youth.
I. Bad influence of their friends.
Friends often have the most influence on youth because that is who they spend most of their time with. There are warning signs that a friend may be a bad influence.
PR 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.
PR 1:11 If they say, "Come along with us;
let’s lie in wait for someone’s blood,
let’s waylay some harmless soul;
PR 1:12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
PR 1:13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;
PR 1:14 throw in your lot with us,
and we will share a common purse"--
PR 1:15 my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;
PR 1:16 for their feet rush into sin,
they are swift to shed blood.
PR 1:17 How useless to spread a net
in full view of all the birds!
PR 1:18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they waylay only themselves!
PR 1:19 Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the lives of those who get it.
This shows how the bad influence of a friend can lead down a path to destruction.
Even a good Christian can be lead astray by the wrong friendships.
PR 12:26 A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
PR 22:24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, PR 22:25 or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.
Even the Apostle Paul recognized how friends could mislead us.
1CO 15:33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
These warnings tell us 3 things
The Power of Friendship
We may or may not see it
Where it could lead
How does it happen?
1 Gradual drift
HEB 2:1 We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
2 They get desensitized to sin
PS 1:1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
3 Pressures mount when out numbered
EX 23:2 "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.....33 Do not let them live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you."
God didn’t want the Hebrews to fall victim to the influence of all the other religions and cultures and the world they would encounter in the Promise Land.
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.