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The Alex McFarland Show-68-Reaching the Youth for Christ

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
July 27, 2023 9:00 am

The Alex McFarland Show-68-Reaching the Youth for Christ

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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July 27, 2023 9:00 am

It’s imperative for Christians to pass on their faith to others, and especially to our youth. But oftentimes, adults don’t realize just how significant this responsibility is, or how desperately our youth yearn to have a faith they can be assured of. Today’s episode of the Alex McFarland Show is a conversation between Alex and Carl Kerby that takes place at the Equip youth retreat. They give an update on how the retreat is going, and explain why believers can’t be indifferent towards Christ or the salvation of others. Alex and Carl also provide practical ways that churches can reach young people. 

Alex McFarland

Reasons for Hope 

Reasons for Hope App

The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask about Christianity 

One Million Moms / Submit Trash

Ask Alex Online

https://afa.net/the-stand/

alex@alexmcfarland.com

booking@alexmcfarland.com



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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. You've all heard of building your life on the rock, not building your house on the sand, because the sand, it shifts, and the house built on sand falls.

The house on the rock will stand. Hi, Alex McFarland here, and I begin with that because I want to tell you a story that I thought of this afternoon, but let me just tell you, this is a special edition of the program. I'm here with Carl Kirby of Reasons for Hope that you'll meet in just a moment. And if you hear a lot of background noise, a lot of voices, maybe some basketballs bouncing on the concrete, it's because we're in the middle of one of our summer camps. This is the fourth of seven summer camps, and all summer long, I and our staff and the staff of Reasons for Hope were doing the Equip Camp series and teaching biblical worldview to young people. Now this is so exciting because earlier this morning we had a number of young people pray to accept Christ.

That's a blessing. We're talking about biblical worldview, and we'll talk with Carl Kirby about that in just a moment. But let me say, I had about an hour free, and just across the highway here in upstate South Carolina, western North Carolina, is the home of Carl Sandburg. Carl Sandburg was a poet, and I was an English major, and we studied Carl Sandburg, although he was never one of my real favorites. But I went across the highway to his house, and there's a big part of rock. It's called Glassy Mountain. And it's this, probably an acre of rock on a mountainside. And as I was walking up the hill, I was thinking about how this is evidence of the flood of Noah.

The rocks exposed, and I thought the ground had washed away and exposed all this rock that was no doubt laid down in the flood. But I visited the home of the famous poet Carl Sandburg, and I was reading about how he didn't believe in God, and he was a socialist. And there's a video that shows, and people were giving him all these accolades.

Whether or not he was a great poet is debatable. But they ask him, and it's on the tour of his house, they said, um, you love language, and he said, well there's one word I hate. And the interviewer says, oh, and this is from six years ago, Carl Sandburg says, I hate the word exclusive. He said, nothing is exclusive. There is no ultimate truth. There is no one religion.

There's no one way for anything. Nobody has exclusive truth. And I was thinking about that, and I thought, wow, that in itself is an exclusive statement. And they showed this big expanse of rock, and they said he would go sit on this rock and write his poetry. And I thought, you know, he wrote, but that rock that he was sitting on for inspiration, he didn't know the one that made that rock. He didn't know the story behind that rock. And I thought, famous house, famous person, but a wasted life. Carl Sandburg.

Because he built a life, and from everything we know, an eternity without God. Well, we're here talking about passing on Christianity to young people. And I'm with Carl Kirby. And first of all, I want to say, Carl, thanks for making the trip down from Cincinnati, Ohio, northern Kentucky. Welcome to my part of the world, western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina, and the biblical worldview camp. Carl, thanks for being with us, but even more importantly, thanks for devoting your life to Christ's great commission.

Alex, you blessed me by allowing me to be with you. I know every time we get together, it's something that just, it gets me fired up, because these young kids are looking, man. And you and I just came out of a Q&A session, where we went an hour straight, and we didn't get through all the questions that they had asked. There's still even more. So I tell folks out there, listen, do not let anybody ever tell you that this younger generation isn't looking for something. And we got it.

His name is Jesus. Amen. Well, you lead Reasons for Hope. I want you to tell what Reasons for Hope is, give your website, and then there's a lot you and I have to talk about in the context of this program. But bring us up to speed on your work and your staff with Reasons for Hope. Reasons for Hope is an apologetic ministry, primarily going after younger generation and especially fathers.

Look, you can get the younger generation fired up. You and I are going to have this week at the camp here, and the kids are going to walk away excited. And then it breaks my heart because so many of them are going to go back to a home where their parents aren't going to reinforce what we've been pouring into them.

And so then a week, two weeks later, they're back to where they were before they got here. So we have to go after younger generation, but I think we have to, I'm just specifically called to go after dads. And just basically teaching how to take the Word of God and go to the world that we live in and give an answer for the reason for the hope that lies within us in meekness and fear. But real practical application. And that's what I love about working with you about your illustration today about baptism and the wedding ring. It is so practical that this isn't what it says, but it's this visual.

It's there. It lets us know. Those are the kind of things that I'm talking about. This generation needs to understand when they hear these types of things going on, this is how they can deal with them. And this is why we know what we say we know to be true. Well, I want to say it very clearly and unequivocally. Kids have an interest in truth.

What's real, what's authentic. Carl, two weeks ago we were in Indiana. David Glander and the staff and I was there.

And you're going to love it. I haven't even told you this. So we had Q&A almost every day, like an hour. And folks, look, your kids are thinking about deep questions. Today a young person asks, what is baptism?

What's that about? They want to know, how can I be sure God exists? How can I be for sure that the Bible is true?

How do I study the Bible? Well, we were doing Q&A in Indiana at our camp a week before last. And this guy comes up to me. He was a middle schooler.

I'm going to say he was in maybe eighth grade. And he said, this is awesome. I said, do you like it? He goes, oh yeah. He goes, if church was like this, I'd be there every time the door is opened.

Now what does that say to you that a teen would say that? You know what, Alex, which you don't know from that same camp, because my son brought 50 some of his youth there from his youth group. Well, one of those young men is the grandson of our pastor. He's been pastoring our church for 37 years. I got a message from my pastor two days after the camp and he said, Carl, thank you for pouring into my grandson. I saw him last Sunday because I've been gone all this time at other camps. I got there on church on Sunday and he came up to me and said, Carl, I just got to say thank you again. That camp has impacted my grandson's life.

He came home and he said, I want a Bible that I can understand and I'm going to start paying attention in church. So it wasn't just that one young man that talked to you. My entire youth group, two weeks after the fact, all right, because this is when I was in church, it's two weeks after it, they're still talking about camps.

So you're absolutely correct. You've got a generation that wants something that's real and makes sense. Well, when we come back, folks, Carl Kirby of Reasons for Hope and myself, Alex McFarland of Truth for a New Generation, we're going to talk about some practical ways that your church can begin to reach young people. Now we want you to reach all ages, but if there's one thing I hear all across the nation, and I'm in 25, 26 states a year to speak, have been for 20 years, people lament that our church is shrinking, it's older people, we're not reaching young people.

What in the world do we do to turn around and reach young people? That's what we'll talk about. We'll give you some practical, implementable calls to action about reaching this world in this period of history. Stay tuned. We're back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years, our nation has suffered greatly, and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here, and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed, and they've got a vested interest in power, and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country that they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America, We Can Stand Up for Our Great Nation and Defend America Before It's Too Late.

It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is alexmcfarland.com. Read the book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. The Word of God in 2 Timothy 2, verse 2, Paul says this, And what you have heard from me, in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Now we're going to unpack this. I'm here, Alex McFarland. We're at our summer biblical worldview apologetics camp with my friend and colleague of many years, Carl Kirby. Carl, thanks for being with us, and again, may God bless all that you do.

Tell us the website for reasons for hope. It's R-F-O-R-H. So that's all you got to do is RFORH.com. And I tell you also to download our app by looking for that same five letters, R-4-F-O-R-H, and look for the blue asterisk on a black background.

Download the app because it's hours, and I'm telling you literally hours of free content on there that we want you to have tools that you can use to impact this culture. In The Word of God, 2 Timothy 2, that I read, I look at these verbs that kind of leap out—heard, commit, teach. Paul says to Timothy, what you have heard from me, you pass on to others that will reach others. Those of us that have found Christ, we're a born-again Christian. And I'm not saying you've been to school or been to seminary or graduate school, but look, you know the Lord, and you've learned God's Word.

Everybody can impact somebody. Would you agree? The things we've heard, the things that have internalized in our own life and our heart, we are to pass on to others. That's part of the gospel that we're supposed to be a part of, isn't it?

Yeah, absolutely. Look at the pattern. I call myself a Christian, which means Christ follower. And what did Christ do? He took the disciples, He poured into them for three years, and when they finally graduated, what did He tell them?

The whole graduation speech was pretty simple. Go therefore and make disciples. So I think we still need that same approach where we spend time, we pour into this, whoever it is the Lord has given to us, because not everybody's going to have 12 disciples, but we pour into whoever the Lord has brought to us. We teach them application of their faith because, in my humble opinion, Alex, one of the biggest missing components in the church today is that there's a lot of memorization, but there's not as much application.

And if you don't know the application of the memorization, then it's not going to be as effective as it really should be. We have to know why we believe what we say we believe and not just what, or else the what just gets destroyed very easily in a culture gone crazy. Carl, I meet lots of people every year. It's wonderful.

Probably thousands of people. But you've got a fire. You're as committed to the Lord as anybody I've ever known. What happened in your life that made you one of the people on the front line defending the faith in this generation?

That's a tough question, man. All I know is that when I came face to face with who I was before a holy God, that I'm a sinner, and I do not deserve anything worth anything, but that this God loved me. And this is one of the things I was trying to communicate. You know, we had those young people asking those tough questions about suffering from self-esteem and thinking suicidal thoughts and all these types of things. The only thing that I can tell you is that when I recognize who I was and what I really deserved and then understand what God did for me, oh my gosh, there's nothing that I could ever do to earn that. It's just so humbling that I just have to go. I have to go and share that love with people that I can. I'm not perfect.

I'm far from it. But it's like, when we recognize that this loving God who created everything, spoke it into existence from nothing, loved me while I was spitting on him, he loves me enough to come and die for me. That's got to be a motivator. If I truly, there's words that I'll use when I finish here, Penn Jillette, art and atheist, talks about how much you have to hate somebody to believe in everlasting life and not share that with them. When an atheist can understand my faith better than most people sitting in church pews, we have a problem. And that has struck me to recognize who I am and the fact that, yeah, we're going to spend eternity in one of two places.

Am I willing to really get out and tell people about that or not? The Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, who I would urge people to listen to, man, he's nailing it in some of the videos he's posting talking about the attacks on masculinity. The word is he has accepted Christ. But Jordan Peterson on a recent video, he said, the opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. And I think about this because, you're right Carl, every person, everybody you see, like C.S. Lewis said, there are no mere individuals. Every person you see will either be one day a glorified, redeemed person in heaven, so much so, said Lewis, that the splendor would tempt you to think they were an angel or you should worship them, or they will be in hell, more frightening, more terrifying than the scariest monster you could imagine. So Lewis is right, there are no ordinary people, quote unquote, there are eternal souls. So to be indifferent, to say, oh, okay, so this generation is the rise of the secular young people, a big deal.

No, it is a huge deal. And I would submit that we haven't lived up to Jesus' directive to love our neighbor. Because law, Augustine, who lived 1600 years ago, said that biblical love is to seek the highest good of another. Now if I'm going to love my neighbor as Jesus said do, the highest good would be that they would know Christ. The highest good would be that they would grow in Christ. Carl, are we in the church that have just been on autopilot, have we been guilty of just indifference to our neighbor, and worse, even indifference to our Savior?

I've been indifferent. I mean, let's be honest here, I'm a sinner. I have those moments when it really comes together, and so yes, I think we as the quote unquote church at large, when you can go to a church, and the statistics show that the vast majority of people sitting in a church view have never shared the gospel with anybody, that's an indictment on the church. That's an indictment on us to do I really believe what the lyrics that I'm singing many times?

Do I really believe the scripture that I'm reading? Because to quote that atheist again, Pinchalette, the quote that I finished with is, think about it, if you're walking and a truck is bearing down on you, there comes a point when I quit talking to you and I tackle you, and this is much more important than that. I honestly do that talk, I try to do that talk every time I finish somewhere because I do it as a reminder to me, Carl.

When I get on that plane tomorrow, when I get on that plane, am I going to talk to the person sitting next to me, or am I going to go into that zone of, I'm out of here, man, just let me sit down here and vegetate and not deal with those things. So yes, I think the church has done that, unfortunately, I've done it, and the only thing that can keep us from falling down that trap again is turning back onto Jesus and saying, Jesus, you know who I am, I need you, man, I need you more and more every day, please work through me. You know, folks, you can begin to make a difference, and heaven forbid that we do nothing because we couldn't do everything. None of us can do everything, but look, you and I can do something. Maybe you start a small group with two young people, or one young person, but you can begin to make a difference, and let me say this before our brief break, Isaiah 55 says that God's Word does not return void.

1 Corinthians 15, 58 says that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. So folks, the Word is what changes lives, God will bless even our most meager efforts, so let's make a difference. Stay tuned, when we return, Carl and I will talk about how each one of us and every church can do that.

Don't go away. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Do you have a desire to deepen your faith, better understand Christian apologetics, or to get a biblical perspective on current events?

Well, I've tried to make it simple for you to do just that. On my website, alexmcfarland.com, there's a new section called Ask Alex Online. It's simple, it's clean, and you can read my answers to common questions about God, faith, and the Bible, so visit the website alexmcfarland.com and look for the section that says Ask Alex Online. In the mid-1980s, Jerry Cox was a public school history teacher in Arkansas with no political aspirations. That changed when he realized those who held a Christian worldview had no representation in the Arkansas State Capitol. Jerry founded Arkansas Family Council, and for more than three decades, AFC has been the voice of biblical values in Arkansas. More Than Words is an inspirational story, one you should read and encourage others to read as well.

Visit afa.net slash the stand. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.

Alex and Carl Kirby here. I want to reiterate this verse, 2 Timothy 2. Paul said, What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses commit to faithful men who will teach others also.

The word heard, H-E-A-R-D, is the word acousis, from which we get the word acoustic. It means to properly listen, to internalize the gospel that you've heard. Commit, you know, that's a variation of the word of perically, to set something close beside. We need to set close beside the people around us, the young people, people in our church, our neighbor, that unsaved person at the grocery store who runs the checkout. Set Jesus before them. Set the gospel before their understanding.

Be a role model that they can see. And then teach. Perhaps you've heard the word didache, ancient Jewish commentary and teaching. Well, that's the word here, to impart knowledge, to disseminate information. Carl, I want to say, I want to commend you, and I know you and I both, we are very quick and careful to give God the glory, but you have heard, you've committed, you've taught, you've set beside and enabled others to hear the information. That's what we're all called to do, isn't it? Absolutely, and it's a privilege to do it, and I would encourage others to do it, because what I found in my own life is that the more that I poured into others, the more that I grew, because I wanted to know, and I didn't want to look like a goof, right? I mean, so I filled this out there, and then all of a sudden it's like, this dude's a goof.

He doesn't know what he's talking about. That really was a catalyst that caused me to get in and dig, because I really wanted to represent the Lord well. I did not want to disrespect him.

You know my background. My dad was the professional wrestler, and I told my wife when I got saved and I got in ministry, I said, Masami, please, if you ever see this happening, I do not want to be a professional wrestler Christian. I don't want to be that guy that you see on stage as one thing and then off the stage as another, and I told my wife, I said, you've got to call me out if you ever see that happening, because the opportunities that we have are so vitally important and fake and fraud, we don't need that.

So where do we start? I think about in my own life, Carl, you know, Macedonia Baptist Church, a little rural church and rural Guilford County, North Carolina, and I did not know God would call me to the ministry, but two things happened that were way outside of my comfort zone. For one, they had a Baptist men's day, and the pastor asked me to share a message and share my salvation testimony, and I was a guy, I went to summer school rather than get up and give a speech in 12th grade English.

I went to summer school to graduate. Little did I know that for 30 years of my life, five nights a week, with unscripted question and answer, I would be up in front of a crowd. So the pastor asked me to speak on Baptist men's day, and that was very intimidating. And then he asked me to teach the Sunday school class. And again, I was not married yet.

Angie and I had not gotten married. I didn't know I would go to Liberty University and be a youth pastor for 11 years. But I have to say, and I give God the glory, God nudged me out of the comfort zone, and there was a guy, his name was Dale Coble, and for a good solid year, I and one student, and every time I ever go back to Macedonia, I see Dale from 30 years ago, but God blessed it, and then one became three, and then three became a dozen, and then one day I was asked to speak at another church, and I began to feel the call. Here's my point.

Have you seen it in your life, that if you're faithful with A, God will entrust you with B, and if you handle B, he'll lead you to C. Absolutely. What I'm doing now, Alex, I never thought I could do. I mean, I don't have the credentials.

I don't have the background, right? And so to do what I do now started with me in a home study in my house, studying because these people that were coming, they were counting on me to deliver something that meant something, and that's where I started, and then the same thing happened. Doors started opening for this, started opening for that.

Next thing I know, now I'm a roadie. I'm setting up. I'm tearing down for back to Genesis conferences where I'm setting up for these people, and I'm following, and I'm listening to all these speakers, and then one day I was forced into the speaking side of it. I talked Ken, him, into going to Japan. He said, I'll only go if you and your wife go. I say, fine, I'll go. I love Japan, right?

My wife's Japanese. We get there. His plane comes in. He doesn't get into the country, he and his wife, because they didn't have a green card, or a visa, I'm sorry. They were living in America on a green card, so they were going to put him in jail overnight. He and his wife, we paid them to have a guard outside of his room in a hotel to send them back on their first flight out the very next morning, and I go in. They gave me five minutes with them. I said, Ken, what are we going to do?

You're supposed to start speaking tomorrow. This is Ken Ham that built the ark. We all know and love Ken Ham.

Okay, wow, so you're speaking here in Japan. Yeah, because I was with him for a long time. I was with him for over 20 years, and so we're sitting there like, what are we going to do tomorrow, Ken? He took out the overheads.

This is how far back it goes, overheads. People are like, what's that? Yeah.

He's like, here, you know the content. You go teach it. That's how I started speaking, Alex.

Never in a million years did I ever envision speaking. It's just not me. I'm the right-hand guy. I'm a helper guy.

That's who I've always felt that I was. We're sitting around the picnic table at camp, one of our summer youth camps and up walks, Dave Glander, who is a longtime friend and colleague. You've been on the radio. We were talking about doing an hour of Q&A. Dave, are these kids concerned about truth?

Do they care about truth and reality? I think it could be three hours of Q&A, and they would still sit there, honestly. I don't think they want to get up, and we don't get through all their questions in an hour. I mean, what do we get through, maybe half today? And so we'll have another session tomorrow, another session the next day where we do the Q&A.

And then I try to, on Friday morning, we have an open mic where the kids can share their experience for the week, talk about salvation's experience and that sort of thing. And we try and hope for enough time to clean up the final questions that they've got that we didn't get to yet. Because they, once you, yesterday we had three questions in the box, but what's funny is every time that you see, they see like, wait a second, I can actually put a question in the box? They loaded that thing today, man. And there's already more in there that I saw them plopping more questions in there. So man, they're not just hungry. They need this.

If we don't give them, they're going to be malnourished. And here's something for you, Alex. When we walked out after the Q&A, one of the young men comes up to me, did you see my question in there? It's on this. He wants an answer, brother. I said, we'll get to it. You know, as we do this camp in upstate South Carolina, the mountains of South Carolina, the sun is setting over the landscape over here. It's just a beautiful day. But there's a father and son here from Oklahoma. Twenty hour drive, he was telling me.

There's another couple from Wyoming. Folks, let me challenge you in your churches. First of all, pray. The vision for world view and apologetics, the vision for reaching young people, it must begin with prayer. Then engage your leadership. And I hope your pastor and your staff understands that we are in a battle of world views. But if they don't, you as a lay person, as a volunteer, you can be really the apologetics point person. We'll help you do that. We've helped literally 2,200 churches across America. We're only getting started, and Truth for a New Generation has put literature in the hands of 2,200 churches to reach people, and it's happening.

Reasons for Hope, they have so many resources. Carl, we've got to pull away for right now, but give the website again for Reasons for Hope. Dave Glander, you and I have got a program to lead here in a few minutes, but I want to say it's awesome doing these camps. Summer of 23 is never yet, is it?

No, and I got to see you go down a zip line today in your clothes because you didn't bring a bathing suit, so as far as I'm concerned, summer can end. I'm full right now. That was awesome. Folks, God bless you. We're going to be doing all these things.

If you go to my website, which is alexmcfarland.com, my tour schedule is on there. We've got an evangelistic crusade in Arkansas in late September, early October. But folks, here's the bottom line.

First of all, we've got to obey the Scripture, and 2 Timothy 2, 2, the things we've heard and learned we pass on to others, like youth, who will be able to teach those around them. But our nation is starving for truth. America needs God.

It's all hands on deck. Folks, let's call our nation back to Christ and let every one of our lives be a participant. May God bless you. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at alexmcfarland.com. You may also reach us at alexmcfarland P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404 or by calling 1-877-YES-GOD-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-01 00:16:48 / 2023-08-01 00:29:11 / 12

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