"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of your slander," (I Peter 3:15-16NIV).
Teens Defend Their Faith
People will ask you and your Christian teenager questions such as "Why do you believe the Bible?" or "Why do you think Christianity is the only right way to believe?" Is your teen ready to answer those questions? Maybe you are thinking, "Golly, I'm not ready to answer those questions." That's okay. You and your teen can learn together.
Where do we start in teaching our teens to defend their faith? Set apart Christ as Lord. Set Him aside as the Supreme Master of your life and home. Whatever He says goes! His Word is Truth. His commands are obeyed. He is the One we live to please, not the world, our friends, or our college professors.
Next, we receive preparation or training so that we can be prepared to give an answer to those who ask. This preparation can be in the form of a class with you or your spouse. There are many wonderful books available on the subject of apologetics such as More than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell or Know Why You Believe by Paul E. Little. My husband taught an apologetics Sunday School class that we have adapted for our teens. It covers the following topics.
- Reality and Uniqueness of the Bible
- Creation and the Evolution Scam
- The Flood
- Prophecies of Cities' Destruction
- Prophecies of the Coming Messiah
- The Trilema: Is Jesus, Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?
- Jesus' Resurrection
Training should also involve Scripture memorization that targets these issues. Scriptures about the deity of Christ, uniqueness of the Bible, fulfillment of prophecy, the power of the Resurrection, and God's creation of the world plant the truth in your teens' hearts when they memorize them.
Here is a Partial List of Scriptures to Memorize:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (II Timothy 3:15-17 NIV)
"For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart," (Hebrews 4:12 NIV).
"The earth is the LORD's and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters," (Psalm 24:1-2 NIV).
More great Scriptures to memorize: Genesis 1:1; Genesis 1:27; Romans 1:16 & 18-20; John 1:1; and Colossians 1:15-19.
When you memorize these Scriptures, use them in context of discussions about these topics. The Word of God is a powerful weapon to battle the forces of darkness. Don't forget, this is a spiritual battle, not a battle of wits or wills
Context of Conversation.
Finally, training in the art of defending the faith should be done in the area of conversation. We are to be gentle and respectful in the way we communicate, not pushy or prideful. We also need to be able to communicate difficult truths in a clear, concise way. Role playing is an excellent way to equip your children for real conversations in real life. Another way is to write skits and perform them together. They might be so good that you could do them at church.
When it comes down to real life opportunities, we must watch and take advantage of every opportunity the Lord gives us. Proclaiming the mystery of Christ is our duty and our privilege. What joy there is in being an ambassador for Christ Jesus, for whose sake we have given up everything!
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone," (Colossians 4:2-6 NIV).
Include prayer in your lifestyle of defending the faith. Not a one-time prayer, "Help me, Lord, explain to this really stupid..." Instead, our prayers should be full of love and thanksgiving, not wanting anyone to be lost, but wanting everyone to understand and believe the truth so that they can repent and be saved. Ultimately, love is what compels us to proclaim Christ and defend the faith. This love touches people's hearts and allows them to hear the words we speak.
My husband and I also teach our children the Bible and equip them to fulfill the Great Commission in high school. We have Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, and Great Commission courses to share with you! Apologetics is coming soon. Please check out our print books at Amazon and E-books at PowerlineProd.
May you and your teenagers be bold in defending the Gospel!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)