Make God's Word final authority, Reccord exhorts students at SBC
O'FALLON, Ill. (BP)--The Bible -- not experts, majority opinion or personal feelings -- should be the ultimate authority for all decisions, North American Mission Board President Robert E. Reccord said during the 2002 SBC Student Conference.
Describing a Christian youth culture in the new millennium as one that largely fails to recognize an absolute, universal standard of truth, Reccord said that while Christian teens claim to believe the Bible, for many, their conduct indicates it has little authority for their lives.
More than 250 people attended the June 9-10 conference.
"The decisions you make about truth will determine everything else about your journey," Reccord told students attending the NAMB-sponsored conference at First Baptist Church, O'Fallon, Ill. "If God says it, that settles it.
"Belief will determine your behavior," Reccord continued. "Your behavior will evidence what you believe regardless of what you say."
While many youth ministries across the country are focusing more on worship, Reccord said, "The heart of worship is knowing God's truth and obeying it. God is never wrong, because he is always absolutely right."
Reccord warned teens to guard their hearts from a materialistic, sex-saturated culture bent on destroying them by blurring the lines between right and wrong.
"The world is not gray," Reccord said. "According to the Bible, there is a lot of black and white.
"If you're not OK without certain things in your life, then you'll never be OK with them in your life," he said.
Reccord shared the biblical account from 1 Kings 22 about how Ahab, king of Israel, ignored God's warnings from the prophet Micai'ah to not attack their enemy Ra'moth in Gilead and instead heeded the advice of 400 other prophets who affirmed Ahab's desire to attack the enemy.
King Ahab's decision to value majority opinion and his personal desires over God's will proved fatal as he was killed in battle. "Ahab felt, 'I'm the king, I ought to be able to do this,'" Reccord said. "Feelings are not always right."
In a culture that preaches no limits, Reccord said it is the truth of God's Word that has the power to truly set people free. "When you're not walking where God wants you to walk and you hear the truth, you hate the truth," Reccord said, referring to King Ahab's hatred for Micai'ah.
"God means for the culture to stay outside of your life and the truth to stay inside your life," Reccord said.
Also during the conference, students attended seminars about how to start evangelistic Christian clubs on their school campuses.
Scott Grissom, a Mission Service Corps missionary with NAMB, introduced conference participants to a campus evangelism strategy called "FiSH."
FiSH, an acronym for Focus, Inspiration, Share and Hook, includes a different weekly emphasis that is repeated each month.
The first week focuses on a time of prayer for students who do not know Jesus as Savior and Lord. The second week emphasizes inspiration and encouragement in the Christian walk. During the third week, students share their story or testimonies about what Christ is doing in their lives. And in the fourth week of each month, the plan of salvation through faith in Christ is presented with an invitation for students to respond.
Grissom said FiSH is designed to focus Christian clubs at schools on prayer, evangelism and discipleship. He said less than 12 percent of the 31 million teenagers in the 38,000 public schools across the country attend an evangelical church regularly.
"Don't go to school because you have to," Grissom told the students. "Go to school because you're sent by God. God wants to do through us what he's done to us."
Tony Nolan, of TnT Ministries based in Woodstock, Ga., also spoke during the conference. Nolan, an itinerant evangelist who speaks at student conferences across the country, encouraged the students to honor God with their lives so that their peers will desire a personal relationship with him.
"The Bible says taste and see that the Lord is good," Nolan said, referring to Psalm 34:8. "When they walk away from tasting our fruit, may they say God is good."