One of the most read posts on this site is “12 Ways Satan Attacks Christian Marriages.” Today, I want to focus on a similar issue: primary ways I see the enemy attacking teenagers and young adults. I’m cautious in making these points, as I don’t want to suggest that the devil is behind every rock—but nor do I want to deny the reality of an enemy who seeks to devour us (1 Pet. 5:8). None of the following strategies is new, but some of them seem more pronounced today than when I was young:
- He hinders them from ever hearing the Word in the first place. We use this kind of language when discussing unreached people groups around the world, but many young people in North America have themselves never heard the gospel.
- He entices them to question the authority of the Word. They no longer accept “the Bible says”—and too few churches are prepared to help them think apologetically about why we Christians follow the Bible.
- He introduces them to a culture that denies the teaching that Jesus is the only way to God. As the world gets smaller, young people are introduced to other faiths and ideas; and, instead of standing on Christianity, they often let Christian teachings crumble.
- He makes sure they’re exposed to differing understandings of sexuality. From a child’s first exposure to pornography to an adult’s affirmation of sexuality outside of biblical norms, the enemy is at work.
- He points out hypocrisy in the home and in the church. Frankly, I understand why young people would not be interested in Christianity when they see “believers” who live like the world. They seldom miss hypocrisy, and they don’t overlook it.
- He’s cool with their being in churches where the gospel isn’t preached and disciples aren’t made. That kind of church might even be fun for young people, but they don’t meet Christ. That kind of church doesn’t threaten the enemy, either.
- He distracts parents from praying for their children and teens until after they’re already caught in his trap. Of course, it’s always good to pray for young people. We shouldn’t be surprised, though, if the enemy wins in their lives if we really haven’t been praying for them in the first place.
- He turns the church against young people who fall. I’m not arguing here against church discipline when it’s proper and in order. What I am arguing against is the church that simply rejects a wayward young person and almost drives him or her to non-believers who seem to care more.
May I challenge you to set aside time today to pray specifically for your church’s young people and their leaders?