They Can Handle It.

When somebody says the phrase “youth ministry”, what do lay Christians across America typically think of? Fun. Or something along the lines of fun. Youth games, junk food, all-nighters, paintball, youth camp, energy, excitement, loud music, movie nights, things that teenagers supposedly enjoy. These, among some others, are the qualities that have become the common defining attributes of youth groups across the country. A ministry that is based entirely upon entertaining the minds of young teens; While forsaking the responsibility to proclaim and teach sound Biblical doctrine. Drive to your nearest college campus and ask the students basic theological questions. You will find that at least half of the students you ask will have grown up in church or in youth group. The other half will have attended a youth group multiple times during their high school career. And almost all of them will have absolutely no idea what the Gospel is or simple Biblical truth. Why? I believe one of the major causes is a “dumbing down” of Biblical truth among our kids at home, and in church. What can you expect in this short article? I will seek to answer this question, “Why should we teach the Bible unapologetically to our kids?” My answer is simple, because they can handle it. Oh yeah, and it's Biblical. 
The scripture is filled with truth that supports the idea of teaching sound, deep, and rich Biblical truth to our kids at home and in church. Deuteronomy 11:1-2 says, “Love the Lord your God and always keep his mandate and his statutes, ordinances, and commands. Understand today that it is not your children who experienced or saw the discipline of the Lord your God: His greatness, strong hand, and outstretched arm; his signs and the works he did in Egypt to pharaoh king of Egypt and all his land.”
God reminded the Israelites that it wasn’t their children that saw all the wonderful things He did. They didn’t see the plagues and the hardness of Pharaohs heart. Their children didn’t see the water turned to blood, the frogs come forth, the day turned to complete darkness. They did not see the bloodshed put on the doorposts as the death angel passed over, nor did they see the Red Sea part into two walls as their parents passed on dry land. They did not see it swallow up the Egyptian army. They did not see the Lord rescue their parents and much more. Verse 7 says, “Your own eyes have seen every great work the Lord has done.” Therefore, since their children did not see these things, what is the responsibility of the adults and parents?

Verse 18 clarifies, “Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
They were to teach their kids. Teach what you might ask? Remember the context, they were to teach all the things that their kids had not seen and more. They were to tell them how the Lord saved them from Egypt, and how he had rescued them by the Passover lamb and its blood on the door. They were to explain all these things including the law of God to their children. And they were to do this always; when they lie down, when they sat for dinner, when they walked along the road. In everyday life, explain to their children what God had said and done. In everyday life.

How does this apply to your families? The responsibility of teaching kids has been given to parents. In my experience teenagers are tired of being treated as if they cannot comprehend Biblical truth. Many are tired of being treated like little kids who cannot reason or discern. Think about the truth that parents were supposed to explain to their children:

God commanded that a lamb be killed and its blood spread on the doorposts, in order that the death angel might passover and spare their household. But God did NOT spare those who did not put the blood on their doors. Their firstborn child was killed by the death angel. Across the land people were mourning the death of their firstborn with wails that filled the night. But in God’s kindness He spared all those who obeyed by putting the blood on the doorposts.

This is what the Israelites were supposed to teach their children. That is deep and rich theology because it points to Jesus Christ. The Passover points to the ultimate sacrifice that God would provide one day, the seed of the woman that will crush the head of the serpent. This seed is Jesus Christ, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And every sinner who repents of their sin and trusts in this savior Jesus will be passed over on judgement day. This is the message of scripture. It’s all about Jesus. But when we “dumb-down” biblical truth because we believe they cannot handle it or decide that the responsibility of the spiritual education of our kids is dependent upon the Church alone, we have lost. We must teach and preach the Bible boldly, lovingly, and unapologetically focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, at home first, and then at church. Teach them rich doctrines like, justification, sanctification, glorification, imputed righteousness, the inerrancy of scripture, inspiration, pneumatology, Christology, hamartiology, and much more. We must preach repentance of sins and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Don’t make the mistake that just because they are children/teenagers that they cannot understand these things. Preach to them, teach them. From the moment they utter their first words, to the day they draw their last breath. Teach them about Jesus through the Word of God. Put in hours of study time and then teach them. And then allow your children opportunities to apply it in their lives.
Why? Because they can handle it.