The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I know this seems like a crazy question, but in the Bible Romans 13 says: the time has come to wake up, or in Matthew 24 and 25: Be ready, watch, etc. I feel like since Jesus is coming soon, he's telling us to be ready, but to me it sounds like we have to be super tensed up and 24/7 trying to be 100% perfect and get super stressed out about it. I kind of want to just relax and think: "Oh yeah, God is coming, be happy" instead of "God is coming, it's the end, be scared", and we can't do anything bad like listen to secular music, or think about girls (not sexually) etc.

P.S. Is it a sin that my parents don't know I have this email acount? I made it because my other one has my full real name and I didn't want to use that one. Is not telling them that I ask questions to this site a sin as well? (I ask them plenty of questions like this, too.)

P.P.S Thanks a lot for your work. I pray for your church and this ministry because growing up in times like this is hard.

Thanks. God bless.


Answer

When Paul said, "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed" (Romans 13:11), nearly 2,000 years it was just as true then as it is now. His point is that you don't procrastinate in doing good until the last minute, like you do with your school assignments. We have to get ready now because we can't recover the time we've lost. With each moment we are closer to eternity.

This isn't to say that we run around in a state of panic. Panic is never productive. But it does mean that we can't tell ourselves lies, like I'll be good tomorrow, but tonight I'm going to indulge myself in sin. "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries" (I Peter 4:1-3). Christians see the world differently. We realize we have limited time, so we strive to make the most of that time. "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:15-17).

No one is 100% perfect. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us" (I John 1:8-10). We all mess up. But the difference between a Christian and an unbeliever is that the Christian cares and tries to change and improve. The unbeliever doesn't care. When we know that we are doing all we can to please God, then there is no stress. "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:3-6). And then a bit later John said, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love" (I John 4:18).

If you knowing you are doing things you should not be doing, of course you should be afraid. But if you are doing all that you know you should do, then there is no need for fear. You don't need to sit on the edge of your seat waiting for the next flaw to jump up. It isn't that we won't make mistakes, but when they do happen, we don't wallow in the sin. We get up, straighten up our life and continue on following God.

Secular music by itself is not necessarily bad, though there are a lot of bad secular songs out there. By the same token just because something is labeled Christian music, it doesn't make it right. I've heard religious music that teaches false ideas. What makes music good or bad is the words and ideas that are being expressed, not the label they are being marketed under.

Given the nature of the Internet, it is a wise thing to keep your identity guarded. However, there should be no reason not to let your parents know that you are being careful. "But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God" (John 3:21). In other words, if you doing good, you have nothing to hide from your parents.

Seeking out other sources of information is not wrong, so long as you understand that all sources are not equal. Just because someone writes, it doesn't mean he writes good material. Check what is said against God's word. That is why I give citations in my writings -- so that you don't just take my word for it. Read it for yourself and see if it is true. Check out other things written and see if it is accurate. Something that is inaccurate in one area may be just as bad in other areas. Again, there is no reason not to talk to your parents about what you have read and asking them what they think about it. Just as I can be mistaken about something, so can your parents, because people are always accurate. But we know the word of God is accurate and that will always be the final judge. "And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him -- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak" (John 12:47-49).