March 24, 2024

The Young Ones in these Perilous Times

The Young Ones in these Perilous Times




24th of February, 2024

Topic:                         The Young Ones in these Perilous Times

Preacher:                   Reverend Ebenezer Olawuyi

Text:                           1 John 2:12 – 15



This morning, I speak to teenagers particularly. My wife shared this experience when she gave her life to God during her teenage years: Her father is a Deacon in a Baptist church, however, when she gave her life to Christ and started attending fellowship, he warned her never to try it again. While she was in school also, he was always after her never to go to Fellowship. He would say, ‘I was born Baptist and will die a Baptist.’ His word was always, ‘Emi o gba were m’esin’ (I did not receive madness together with Christianity). Even, every time she wants to attend the Fellowship of a Baptist church in another congregation where they were believers, her father would find a way to stop her. He would ask her when wanted to leave the house if she has cooked, just to find a way to delay her. So, she would have to go back and sort that before she left. In the course of time, she made sure that she cooked lunch and dinner early enough, so that daddy would not have any excuse to prevent her from going. Therefore, whenever daddy asks if she had cooked, she would say yes and he would release her. This went on, not knowing that it was actually making an impact in the life of daddy, to the extent that he would go around and tell wayward children to look at the example of Bisi, his daughter.

Thus, young children don’t have any excuse to say their parents are not doing well and so, they have a license to misbehave. Yes, we are in a time when it is a bit more difficult to live a Christian life, but I tell you that God is not unaware of it. Romans 5:20b says, ‘But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more….’ So, in the midst of the increasing level of sin, God is saying His grace has abounded much more than sin has expanded. In other words, we have enough grace, even young people have enough grace to stand for God in our time.

It is true that what we pass through in our own time is not up to what these young ones are passing through nowadays. For example, today, young people are exposed to the internet, however, it wasn’t like that in our days. I remember many years ago, anytime I want to do something relating to the computer, I had to go to the cyber café, stay there, download the information I want and print them out, but today, it’s not like that, everybody now has access to the internet through their phones. Young people can browse the internet and through that, they are exposed to dangers. There are unsolicited things that just pop up, e.g. pornographic sites, even dating sites that say, ‘Are you ready to date?’ ‘Do you want a dark or fair lady?’ etc. In fact, these options are free of charge and unsolicited. A lot of things are learned on the internet today, which was not like that in our own days. Sometimes, these things pop up even when they are doing their assignments; they do not go there because of that but they pop up to tempt them.

Another thing is ‘freedom.’ In those days, you cannot marry without consulting your parents. In those days, even in churches, you cannot propose to a lady, the marriage committee has to propose to the lady on your behalf. In those days, there is the social impact of the family, the family can gather and take decisions, but it’s not like that today – freedom, the world is full of freedom. The wife cannot challenge the man, in those days, although that’s an archaic tradition that’s unfortunately still in practice by some men. Some men still lock their wives in the kitchen and prevent her from having her own voice in the house. ‘Freedom. I have rights. This is my right.’ That’s good, but sometimes when rights are misused, they cause much trouble.

Nowadays also, there is the problem of confusion in the family. Parental confusion. Parents, because of saving their face act in a way in the church and become something else at home. In other words, the mother or father these young ones see in church is different from the one they see at home, so, the children are confused.

The next is the problem of peer pressure. A lot of young people are doing things, not because they want to do it but because their friends are doing it. Young people prefer to respect their friends than their parent; they do not want to lose their friends. I remember years ago when I was going out of the school compound through the back gate with my friends. We were walking on the road that leads to a village behind the school when one of our teachers approached us with her car. She came around and stopped and immediately my friends saw her, everybody ran into the bush. Only I remained, as a gentle and religious boy that I am. She asked about my other friends, and I said I did not know them, because I don’t want to give them out and lose them. You see, young people sometimes prefer to offend their parents than to offend their friends. Today, a lot of young people have learned so many vices from their friends, unknown to their parents.

Yet, in all of these challenges, would a young person then say ‘I am helpless’ and falter? This scripture in 1 John 2 says, ‘I write to you young people because you are strong and have overcome the world’; likewise, Romans 5:20b says, ‘where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.’

We will rush a number of things that young people need, in order to stand in these delicate times.

  1. Be Born Again: You cannot negotiate it, you need to be born again. My wife got born again as a teenager, and because of that, her siblings, father and mother, came to know the Lord. You must know the Lord personally. This is also part of the things we are looking at in the Devotional. Christianity is not just going to church, it is personal relationship with Jesus. Because your parents are born again doesn’t mean you are saved. I said in the Devotional that if Christianity is supposed to be by inheritance, every member of my family would become Christians automatically. My father once told me that it was his own grandfather who brought Christianity into our village and that he even challenged the idolatry yam festival. You know, during the yam festival, they make sacrifices and do a lot of things, the fact that he challenged them caused a riot and led him to prison. This impressive Christian history in the family should make all of us become Christians automatically, but that isn’t the case. I had to take a personal decision to say ‘Jesus, I surrender to you.’ I can never forget that day; it was through my Geography teacher then, not even my pastor in church. So, it is not by being a member of the church, nor by being a member of a family, it is until you have a personal relationship with God.

You can’t jump into a family unless you are born into it. Only bastards claim a father they do not have. The first thing you have got to know is to know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. My children did not become Christians because their father is a pastor but because they have a personal relationship with God. And, you need to know when you take that decision, not that you were just born into a Christian family. Every teenager must have a personal relationship with the Lord. You must ensure you are born again and have a relationship with God. You must continually commune with him. It is sad that a lot of young people don’t observe their Quiet Time. You must have communion with your God. The funny thing is that some fathers and mothers don’t even do it. How can a husband and wife not talk and the only time they talk is ‘that’ time? God wants us to have a relationship with Him. He wants us to commune with Him through Prayers and the Word. Even Jesus had to commune with His father. He went to a solitary place where He prayed.

You must build a relationship with God (John 15:4). You can’t bear fruit without Him; abide in Him through communion. Abide in Him through the study of the Word. This is one thing every young person must cultivate. Every teenager must have a Bible, not just the one on their phones. Have a notebook where you write. A notebook where you write what God says to you. Parents, one of the things to ever teach your children is to enjoy communion with the Lord. Ask them if they have done their Quiet Time in the morning and what God said to them. It is not just about house chores to the neglect of the spiritual development of the child. It shouldn’t always be ‘Have you read your book?’ ‘Have you swept?’

Relationship is built, not acquired. Even, if you do not nurture love, it will die. God wants you to build relationship with Him through communion and the study of the Word. You must have a book of your devotion. I have met a lot of teenagers who misbehaved, and when I ask them if they had their Quiet Time that morning or to tell me a memory verse they learned in the last two, three days, they always had nothing to say. I tell them, ‘How then would you not fall into sin?’ Of course, you will be tempted (Psalm 119:9, 11, 105). The secret of standing is to keep the Word in your heart.

  1. Choose your Friends Wisely (Proverbs 13:20): Be careful who you walk with. Recently, I spoke with some young people and discovered a girl there whom under normal circumstances, wouldn’t have done what she did, because I know her parents. How then did it happen? Influence of friends. The scripture says he who walk with an angry man will learn his ways. If you walk with a fornicator, you will learn his or her ways, it’s so simple. So, choose your friends wisely. Remember, evil communication corrupts good manners (1 Cor. 15:33).
  2. Always Seek Counsel: The Bible talks about the dangers of isolating yourself. I have discovered that some young people are so secretive. A lot of things would be going through their lives, yet they never mentioned it to their parents. I met a young girl recently, and she said she can never say that which she is doing in her house. It is good when you keep some things to yourself but it can be very dangerous if you don’t think it through. Proverbs 18:1 says, ‘A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.’ Always seek counsel, don’t keep it to yourself. In the midst of counsel, the bible says, there is safety (Prov. 24:6). Find out, but also be careful who you go to because ‘Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly’ (Ps. 1:1). Before you take decisions, seek counsel; that would help you to stand in this perilous time.
  3. Have an Accountability Partner: This is someone who is going to help you and can support you, keep you in your goal, encourage you to maintain progress in life and in your spiritual walk. Have an accountability partner. Have someone who stands as a Jethro in your life, like Jethro was to Moses. Such person will help you to grow and progress in life. However, there are qualities you must seek for in such person. The first is that, the accountability partner himself or herself, must have a relationship with the Lord. How can a man give what he doesn’t have? An accountability partner must be trustworthy, he must not be someone who will take your secret, open it on the radio and even mention your name. He must be deep in the Word. He must be able to tell you the truth, but don’t look for someone who will tell you sweet things every time. Find somebody who will tell you the truth and not just what is sweet to hear. Find someone who will tell you the truth, even if it is bitter.

I conclude by telling you the story of Billy Graham, one of the greatest Evangelists that ever lived. Many souls came to the knowledge of Christ through him. They asked him many years ago what the secret of his success is: ‘How come for over sixty years of ministry, your integrity has been maintained?’ and he said, ‘When we started, we were three, and we held ourselves accountable to one another.’ That is, they told one another that when one of them is doing something wrong, and going the wrong way, the others should not be afraid to tell him what he is doing wrong. Those are good friends, friends that can call one another to order, no wonder he succeeded in ministry.

You know, there are husbands and wives that their partners cannot talk to them. If you have a wife and you cannot be accountable to your wife, who then would you be accountable to? Everyone of us must have an accountability partner – someone who can call you to order and help you to maintain progress. For example, if you are battling with a particular habit, e.g. lust, look for someone you can trust: someone who is close with the Word, someone who is close to the Lord and tell the person what you are battling with. A young lady texted me sometimes ago, and said she is battling with masturbation and that it is killing her, she was dying and she needed help. She opened up, how could she not be set free? You need an accountability partner, open up! The accountability partner opens the Word of God to you and monitors your progress, until you are able to overcome. You want to succeed as a teenager, get an accountability partner, somebody who can help you to maintain your stand.

In this time that we are, teenagers can still stand. It happened in the days of Eli, yet Samuel stood. It happened in the days of Joseph, yet Joseph stood among all the things around him. Joseph stood! He kept his chastity. In this generation when young people are so disrespectful… you just need to go to the internet and see them abuse elderly people, and this makes me keep asking myself the kind of home they grew up from. ‘Did they not come from a home? Were they not trained?’ This is one of the responsibilities of parents also; you need to teach your children.

Teenagers, don’t lose your values. Amidst whatever is happening, don’t lose your value. I tell you, there are a lot of girls and boys who have not messed up. You can dare to be different, you can stand. Don’t say everyone is doing it. No, not everyone. Stand your ground!


Father, I pray for young people this morning. Your word says where sin abounds, grace abounds much more, let our teenagers stand. Let them stand for you. Let our teenagers be different. Let our children be strong and let the word of God abide in them. Let our daughters be like pillars in the house of the Lord. In the name of Jesus. Thank you our Father, we give you praise. We ask that even as parents, we will lead good examples. Thank you, Faithful Father.

Call to Salvation

If you are here this morning, you haven’t given your life to Jesus and you want to take a decision for Jesus today, (Remember, it is not because your father goes to church or that you are born into a Christian family), say this prayer: Lord, I give you my heart, I give you my life. I surrender to you. Take this heart and use it for your glory. Amen.