Winning A Generation
In the wake of the death of Charles Manson, the internet is littered with articles about the Manson Family. These murders rocked America in 1969 because there was no benchmark for this behavior in American culture at the time. The brutality, the drugs, the cult lifestyle, it shook what America knew about its young adults.
What stands out repeatedly is the description of Manson’s followers as outcasts and misfits. We can’t dismiss this description because the same words were use to describe Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the young men responsible for the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999 which made America again face a tragedy they had no benchmark for and again caused our nation to question what we know about our young people.
And today we wake up almost weekly to stories of young adults, mostly in their twenties, carrying out terror attacks on various scales all over the world including the US. The State Department has volumes of statistics that indicate ISIS appeals to and recruits the young outcast and the misfit.
We have all this technology that supposedly keeps us so connected but somehow still, every generation has its outcasts and misfits that seem to grow increasingly more vocal and aggressive about their disdain for society’s norms.
How do we bring Christ to this generation? Well, the Bible clearly tells us that the only way is a show of power. One of the reasons that the Jews struggled with believing Jesus was the Messiah is that they were under Roman rule or occupation. They were looking for a hero to come in brandishing weapons and causing an uprising that would set them free from Roman rule. But here comes Jesus in meekness talking to them about spiritual freedom. The people who were moved to recognize Jesus as the Messiah saw the power of God manifest through healing and deliverance. And that is what this generation will need to experience, the pure power of God. The Jews were concerned about their natural freedom but Jesus showed them that you can be in natural chains but if your spirit is made free through salvation, you are free where it matters (John 8:36). You can be free in the natural to go wherever you want but if you mind and spirit are in bondage your travels won’t profit you very much.
Just like the Jews of Jesus’ time, the youth today are looking for a hero to set them free from the status quo which they believe has set them up for a bleak future. So history has shown us they will follow a cult leader, an ISIS leader, a drug dealer, or take violent action themselves if they are not given a real hero who has power. And there is only One who can meet that role: Jesus Christ.
We must go back to displaying the express power of God through our lives and our worship so that we don’t lose a whole generation of young people. And we must pray! Pray over your children and pray for young people all over the world that they would be saved and healed and serve God with fervor. Let’s win a generation for the Gospel!
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