Dwight Nelson 3 – Young Adults;
In Acts 20:7-12 we see the story of Eutychus, who, while listening to Paul, one of the greatest preachers of all time, eventually nodded off, the main problem here though, was not that he was asleep, but that our friend Eutychus was sitting in the 3rd story window, when he finally lost his battle to stay awake, and tumbled out the window to the ground below.
The Bible tells us that he was brought up, dead, please note that the book of Acts was written by Luke the physician, he would know the signs, he would have been no stranger to death, there could be no question as to the validity of this statement.
The next thing we see in this historic vignette, Paul falls on Eutychus and embraces him, proclaiming that there is life in him., and indeed the young man lived again, Paul then went on talking until daybreak and departed.
The greek word for “talking” is ‘dialegomai’- the same word which gave birth to our English variant, ‘dialogue’, referring to a collective conversation between a speaker and an audience, so, while Paul and the rest of the church were talking to themselves, young Eutychus literally ‘fell out’ of the church…
Unfortunately this is more and more common today, as we see scores of young people leaving the church. A study conducted by Roger Dudley revealed that in America 40 to 50 percent of Adventist young people are leaving the Church before they reach their middle twenties, and I was told by a friend that in Australia it is more like 70 percent of young people, that is a sobering statistic to say the least.
What I am about to say here in italics is not part of the sermon it is my personal view; We need to arrest this, I have heard people comfort themselves, by saying the young people are “just not interested”, or something similar, when I believe the problem is the fact that by and large our westernized local churches, have lost their mission focus, they have ceased to be the movement they were designed to be, and become ‘comfortable’, (I am pointing the finger at myself as much as I am at anyone else).
Young people love to ‘belong’ more now than ever before, so why are they leaving? because, in stopping the movement we are taking away their purpose, to illustrate, if you are on a bus trip and the bus parks on the side of the road… permanently, are you going to stay there? no, you will get off and start moving yourself, or find some other mode of transport, Brothers and Sisters, lets not stop the bus, let’s be a movement again, a peculiar people, and that can only happen if we get real about our walk with God and transition our busses from being social clubs, to being soul winning churches with a mission.
The circumstances surrounding Pentecost one were not that different to what we are experiencing today, historians tell us that it was a time of economic down-turn where the rich were becoming very rich and the poor were being foreclosed on, at a great rate, this fosters the rise of other similarities;
The youth of today bear striking resemblance to the early church…
- We are also devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
- We are also relatively poor and landless
- We are also Sabbatarian (we worship the Creator on the 7th day Sabbath)
- We are also Adventist (fervent in the belief that Jesus is coming again soon)
- We are also predominantly without roots, ready to go where the Spirit leads.
Could it be, all the factors are in place to bring about Pentecost 2 in the final moments of Earth’s history? though there are many young people leaving, praise God for AYC and similar movements that are preparing the army discussed in the book Education on page 271.
“With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come- the end of suffering and sorrow and sin!” Education, p. 271.
If at times you look around at the comparatively small size of the workers when compared to the harvest, I would like to leave you this quote by Margaret Mead.
“Never underestimate the ability of a small group of committed individuals to change the world. indeed, they are the only ones that have.”
[you can find the full primetime series at the pmchurch website]