Author: Jennifer Waddle
There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a young Christian who loves the Lord and is on fire to live a life committed to God. But there are a few cautions that young believers should be aware of—things that may be difficult to decipher as the world pulls on their affections.
By being willing to face some tough questions and dig deeper into the Bible for answers, young Christians can be better equipped for the journey ahead.
My prayer is that every young believer will take their faith in Christ very seriously and be willing to ask themselves some hard questions. Here are 10 questions every young Christian must ask themselves.
1. Does God really have a purpose for my life?
Self-dependence and self-discovery are ideas that have risen in the ranks of popularity, to the point of overshadowing God’s divine purpose for each of our lives. But no amount of self-discovery compares with discovering the good, pleasing, and perfect will of the Father. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
Ask yourself: What is God’s purpose for my life? What are my strengths? What gives me motivation to serve God and others?
By making a list of your God-given strengths, you will quickly be able to see that God does indeed have a purpose for your life. And He can’t wait for you to step into that specific role—for His glory and for the edification of the body.
2. Can I pinpoint a time that I actually committed my life to Christ?
“I’ve always been a Christian,” or “My grandma was a Christian, so I must be too,” are statements made more often than you think. Young believers must be honest with themselves and be sure they have made a personal decision to receive Christ as their Savior. (John 1:12)
Ask yourself: Have I personally decided to follow Jesus? Have I accepted Him as the Lord of my life?
Follow through by meeting with a trusted pastor for guidance. Perhaps you will discover that you’ve been depending on someone else’s faith all along. Or, you may sense a tug from the Holy Spirit to recommit your life to God.
3. Are there many ways to heaven?
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Unfortunately, the world tells us that there are many paths to heaven and that all religions basically believe in the same God. Be careful of these philosophies that undermine who Jesus is and what He did on the cross.
Ask yourself: Am I certain there is only one way to heaven? Do I have a biblical answer for those who say all religions lead to God?
Consider reading books like The Case for Christ, to help you answer some of those tough questions. And remember, no other religion can claim Jesus’ finished work on the cross, and an invitation to be in a relationship with the Savior of the world.
4. Do I know who God really is?
Being unfamiliar with God’s divine attributes can invite many confusing beliefs and misconceptions. By spending time learning about His characteristics, you will be able to stand firm in “Whom you have believed.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
Ask yourself: If I were to describe God to someone who had never before heard of Him, how would I begin? What important characteristics would I include?
5. Is the Bible my true authority?
The Bible is the inspired word of God and is complete, lacking nothing. But for the young Christian, it may not seem relevant in today’s culture. Keep in mind that by accepting the Bible as your absolute authority, you will be able to decipher the perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
Ask yourself: Do I doubt the inerrancy of the Scriptures? Why or why not?
Challenge yourself to an in-depth study of ancient discoveries, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The rich and surprising archaeological evidence of the Bible’s manuscripts is not only fascinating, it’s convicting as well.
6. Do my convictions change based on the culture?
The lies of the enemy bombard us every day with things that are contrary to the Holy Spirit.
We would be wise to test every cultural idea in light of the Scriptures and know that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8-9)
Ask yourself: What things in today’s culture do I know to be in direct opposition to God? How can I stand fast in the Holy Spirit’s convictions and not succumb to the world?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor who was executed because of his opposition to the Nazi regime in the early 1900s, said this: “Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God – the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God.”
It is only “exclusive allegiance to God” that will help Christians uphold God’s unwavering truth. And as more cultural changes come, young Christians will need to stand fast on the Holy Spirit’s convictions more than ever before.
7. Does it really matter if I choose a non-believing spouse?
Christians sometimes fool themselves into believing that they will eventually “win over” a non-believing spouse. But the Bible has a clear warning about being unequally yoked. (2 Corinthians 6:14)
As yourself: How important is it that my future spouse and I share the same beliefs? What possible issues could arise if we don’t?
Finding your soul mate goes much deeper than finding someone you are compatible with. Serious problems can arise when differing beliefs are forced to work together in a marriage. Things like parenting methods, tithing, and even church attendance can become deep wedges that threaten to tear marriages apart.
Consider going through a series of marital counseling sessions—even before the engagement. Receiving wise counsel early on may prevent some major issues down the road.
8. Is going to church optional?
When Paul encouraged the body of believers to “not forsake gathering together,” he never dreamed there would be the temptation to stay home and watch church on television or on the internet. Worship, prayer, and the preaching of the Word were designed for the congregation of believers, so that we would be strengthened by one another in the faith. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Ask yourself: Do I value being part of a healthy church where I can connect with other believers and grow in faith? What is preventing me from finding a church home?
Resist the habit of letting online church become your go-to. Here is one resource to help you find a church where you can connect, serve, and hopefully grow in your relationship with Christ.
9. Is sexual purity outdated?
God has a perfect reason for not wanting couples to explore sexual intimacy before marriage. And you can be sure that His plan for the twenty-first century is not outdated! Sexual purity is not only attainable, it is biblical. (Hebrews 13:4)
Ask yourself: Am I committed to sexual purity, or have I given in to the belief that the biblical principles of purity no longer applies?
Check out these books, Every Young Man’s Battle, and Every Young Woman’s Battle for insight and support on this issue. Also, find a trusted friend for accountability and prayer in remaining pure until marriage.
10. Am I being fed by the Word or by the words of social media?
Scripture quotes, inspirational videos, and biblical musings on social media cannot replace the foundational truths of the Bible. We need to spend time in the Word to grow and mature in our faith.
Ask yourself: Am I drawn more to the messages on social media than to God’s messages?
Skip the temptation to turn to the internet for spiritual growth. Instead, set aside daily time to read and study the Bible for yourself. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Be disciplined by turning off all electronic notifications during your personal devotions. This will be a spiritual discipline you will be thankful for in the years to come.
A Prayer for Young Christians
Gracious God, we ask You to cover all young believers today. Please guard them and guide them as they seek to draw closer to You. Thank You for your loving provision and timeless truths. We pray that young Christians everywhere will hold fast to your Word and be led by your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, amen.