We returned home from the youth camp Tuesday night, completely exhausted. The four days we spent there were very intense, but they were also very good. God was with us, helping us in every moment.
In the first two teachings, I shared from Isaiah 6, looking at who we really are before a God that is so great and powerful. After looking at His greatness, I then shared on “Here am I. Send me.” First I taught from the passage, and then in the second talk I shared my testimony and the delight that I have found in seeing souls come to the feet of Jesus. It is worth much more than a goal in a soccer game surrounded by fans or a world cup title with the national team.
The other teaching was from 1 Corinthians 9:15-27, where I taught on love for the church. We cannot go out to evangelize others if we are not loving our own church. In this chapter of 1 Corinthians Paul is showing how the brothers and sisters in the church were causing divisions because of food. They were not concerned about the weaker Christians among them and they were being a stumbling block to them. In essence, Paul is saying, “I am giving my life for the gospel, not charging you anything though it is my right, making myself a slave of everyone so that people will come to Christ and be part of the church, but you all are destroying those who come and are not being careful to watch out for the weaker brethren.” We have to love the church; it is our family, the family that God purchased with the blood of His Son. How much is this family worth to me?
In the last teaching session I taught on the principles of evangelism; speaking about who God is (His character, His attributes, His virtues, etc.), and speaking about sin, not just in general terms but actually describing what it means that man has sinned against the Lord and what that means for his current condition before God. However, we cannot leave people there, but we should take the next step and talk about the person of Jesus (who He is) and about what He came to do on the earth. It is not having some superstitious belief in the name “Jesus,” or merely saying His name and waiting for some miracle to happen, but it is to cast all of our hope on His life and His saving work for us so that we might be delivered from our sins. He is a man in history that passed through eternity, through the heavens, leaving His place of glory in order to rescue evil men and women like us. Finally, we have to call men and women to respond to this gospel in repentance and faith. We must explain to them what it means to repent and believe in Jesus. Afterwards there was a time of questions and answers, clearing up doubts or further questions about evangelism or other issues.
The young people, who were anywhere form 12 to 37 years old, responded very well. I was surprised, though, that many of them had never been taught how to share the gospel. Many of them had not been taught that even though we should all be obedient in sharing the Word of God with this lost world, at the same time we ought to rest entirely on the Lord, since it is His work to convert people by the power of His Holy Spirit. I was able to share with them that nothing that can be used to draw people in (games, activities, etc.) should ever replace the preaching of the gospel.