Published April 18, 2017
LOUISVILLE — Young Christians are called to be “salt and light” and share the gospel where God has placed them, featured speakers told middle and high school students during Boyce College’s Renown Conference.
“You don’t have to have a Bible college or seminary degree to get this understanding that Jesus has put me in the place He has me. He said, ‘Go home to be salt and light,’” said Eric Geiger, author and vice president of LifeWay Christian Resources.
Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Boyce College is located, and Dan Dumas, the seminary’s senior vice president for institutional administration, also spoke to the 700-plus middle and high school students during the March 17-18 conference themed “Salt and Light” on the Louisville campus.
Geiger spoke on Mark 5:1-20, the story of a demon-possessed man healed by Jesus. Focusing on the last part of the text when Jesus tells the man to go home and tell his friends about Jesus.
Christians should “report the news” of what God has done in their lives, Geiger said. “The news that we have is big, that our King stepped into our broken and fallen world to seek and to save that which was lost,” he said.
Students should recognize what big news the gospel is, Geiger said, even if their testimonies are not as “radical” as the story of the demon-possessed man.
“Our story before Christ has rescued us is very similar to this man. We weren’t filled with a legion of demons, but evil has plagued our hearts, and Jesus has rescued us,” Geiger said. “Every one of us who is His has been radically saved because we were dead, and He has made us alive.”
Mohler preached on Acts 19:11-20, encouraging students to make their names known in hell because of their gospel impact.
In the passage, seven Jewish exorcists tried to cast out a demon by commanding it “in the name of the Jesus that Paul proclaims.” The demon responded, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” The demon-possessed man then attacked the exorcists and they fled.
Taking encouragement from the fact that the demons knew Paul, Mohler challenged the students: “Do they know your name?”
Paul was known to the demons because he was a threat to them, Mohler said. As Christians strive to make Jesus known, they also will be known to the demons, Mohler said, adding, “One of the greatest honors for a Christian is being hated by the right people.”
Dumas preached from 1 Chronicles 11:22, a passage he called the “guts of Benaiah,” one of David’s mighty men, which should inspire the youth to “take risks and do hard gospel things.” With the text recounting Benaiah’s going into a pit on a snowy day and killing a lion, Dumas exhorted the students to imitate the example of living boldly, however that looked in their lives. (BP)
“The fear of missing out has to be greater than the fear of messing up,” Dumas said, encouraging students not to miss out on chances to glorify God.
Benaiah “didn't become a lion-killer overnight,” Dumas added, encouraging the students to be faithful in the hard things God has put in their lives now, like sharing the gospel at school and reading their Bibles every day.
Challenging circumstances, he noted, “become not obstacles but opportunities.” (BP)
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