Valley Baptist Church
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Making disciples that change their world.

Christian Teens

While millions try to do it "my way" there is a 
time-tested way, "God's way" that brings untold blessings.

How can you know that the God of creation 
will be “on your side” in the traumatic times 
just ahead? How can you be sure that He will 
bless your financial situation and your family 
as the end of this society approaches? You need to know!

All around us, we can see that our society 
is changing in dramatic fashion! Never have 
there been so many changes happening so 
quickly as in recent years.  Same-sex 
marriage—unthinkable in polite discussion just 
a few years ago—is increasingly accepted as 
the “law of the land.”  Violence in our cities 
seems to be taken as routine, and many even 
blame the law-enforcement authorities rather 
than the criminals. Many young people feel that 
there are no job opportunities for them, though 
they have amassed tens of thousands of dollars 
in student loan debt.

Our society is certainly in turmoil. Many of our 
forefathers here in America, Canada and Britain 
would “turn over in their graves” if they could 
suddenly come alive and witness what our political 
and religious leaders have been allowing and even 
“pushing” to happen.

We have the constant refrain of so-called “Christian” 
ministers jumping on the homosexual bandwagon 
and trying to put a guilt trip on those who oppose 
some of the vilest behavior described or condemned 
in the entire Bible. We see that countless millions 
of young people in our nations are “living together” 
without benefit of marriage. Hollywood seems to 
enjoy pushing this approach—as the institution of 
marriage crumbles, and our society begins to come 
apart along with this and other dangerous changes. 
Meanwhile, the Ebola virus is spreading. Russia is 
flying jet aircraft that threaten NATO airspace, 
and is helping implement a virtual “invasion” of parts 
of Ukraine as the United States and NATO do 
essentially nothing. And all over the world we see 
political and military “upsets” happening at an unusual rate.


If you believe or even partially understand the 
Bible, you can grasp that the Eternal God must 
intervene and begin to stop this if He acts according 
to the statements in His own inspired Word, the 
Holy Bible. The eternal God is certainly “in charge” 
of world events. The inspired Word of God tells us: 
“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; 
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. 
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of 
His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation 
whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen 
as His own inheritance” (Psalm 33:10–12).

Yes, the counsel of the Lord “stands forever.” 
For God is real. He will bring about those things 
that He has said. He will bless those who genuinely 
trust and obey Him!

Again, the God that gives us life and breath 
tells us, “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends 
of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. 
I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out 
of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, 
that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue 
shall take an oath” (Isaiah 45:22–23).


Truly, there is “no other” God who has the 
power and the will to guide world events and to 
bless those who truly serve Him. Frankly, my 
friends, that is the starting point of any discussion 
about the important issues of life. And all of 
us need to fully realize this as we consider the 
future safety—both physically and financially—of 
ourselves, our families and loved ones.

We know that we want to receive God’s blessings 
as generously as He will give them. But does 
He require anything of us? In discussing the 
need for true Christians to “give generously,” 
Almighty God states: “But this I say: he who 
sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who 
sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” 
(2 Corinthians 9:6). Then, God lets us know 
that He is “in charge” and able to bless those 
who do give generously. For He states in concluding 
this section of scripture, “And God is able to 
make all grace abound toward you, that you, always 
having all sufficiency in all things, may have an 
abundance for every good work” (v. 8). So God is 
“able” to give us the “breaks” and give us everything 
we need even in times of trouble or national upsets, 
weather upsets, disease epidemics or whatever. 
For He is God!

Our great God, the God of creation, tells us
repeatedly in the Bible that He “owns” everything. 
And that if we pay Him a “tithe” of our income, 
we are simply giving back to Him what is His. 
We are showing that we truly “fear” Him, 
honor Him and love Him. We are willing to do 
as He says. Most of you subscribers to 
Tomorrow’s World know that God has given 
us an understanding of prophetic events far 
beyond what the average person or even minister 
begins to grasp. God is using us in this Work 
to get His message to the world in a more powerful 
way year by year. So we would be remiss if 
we did not remind you, occasionally, of God’s 
direct instruction ontithing and the blessings you 
will receive if you are willing to obey your 
Creator and “seek first” the Kingdom of God 
above all else—even in financial ways!


What is the “mind of God” regarding our 
financial responsibility to the Creator who 
gives us life and breath? What does God 
clearly reveal in His inspired Word? After 
describing the events regarding Israel’s exodus 
from Egypt and the trials and tests and 
punishments God administered to ancient Israel, 
the Apostle Paul wrote, “Now all these things 
happened to them as examples, and they 
were written for our admonition, upon whom 
the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

One of the primary examples given in the entire 
Old Testament is the example of Abraham. 
For Abraham is called “the father of all those 
who believe” (Romans 4:11). He is also called 
three different times, “the friend of God” 
(James 2:23; 2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8). 
Through Abraham’s constant obedience to God 
(Genesis 26:5), Abraham is used as an example 
of God’s own character in a way no other 
man has been in the Bible (Genesis 22).

So we should certainly want to follow 
Abraham’s example!

Though Abraham was truly a great man, 
an even greater Personage is introduced in
Genesis 14:18–20: “Melchizedek,” King of 
Salem. This great Personality is described 
in Hebrews 7:1–3: “For this Melchizedek, 
king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, 
who met Abraham returning from the slaughter 
of the kings and blessed him, to whom also 
Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being 
translated ‘king of righteousness,’ and then 
also king of Salem, meaning ‘king of peace,’ 
without father, without mother, without 
genealogy, having neither beginning of days 
nor end of life, but made like the Son of 
God, remains a priest continually.”

As you read this chapter carefully, it becomes 
obvious that Melchizedek was not a man, but 
was actually the Personality who became 
Jesus Christ Himself in the New Testament! 
And God tells us in verse 9, “Even Levi, who 
receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 
so to speak.”

This powerful example of Abraham—the “father 
of the faithful”—paying tithes to Melchizedek 
ought to make any God-fearing person want to 
follow the example of the father of the 
faithful—if that person wants to be truly faithful 
to his Creator! And, as is indicated in Hebrews 7:9, 
it is not merely a matter of “giving” a tithe to 
God—for Levi “paid” tithes through Abraham. 
The original example tells us that Abraham was 
aware that God was “possessor of heaven and earth.
” God is our Creator, our Sustainer and our Provider. 
He makes it possible for us to breathe the air that 
we breathe, drink the water that we drink and 
eat the food that we eat. Most human beings simply 
do not think about that! But God—through His inspired 
Word—makes it clear that we owe Him a tithe—a 
“tenth”—of our increase. For He is our ultimate 
“Landlord” and our God.

Abraham’s wonderful example cannot be refuted 
by those who would falsely claim that tithing was 
simply part of the “Law of Moses”! For Moses was 
not even born when Abraham set us the example 
of tithing! Later, we find that the patriarch Jacob 
also indicated that he would give a “tenth”—a 
tithe—to God (Genesis 28:22).


In Genesis 26:3–5, we find the story of how 
God spoke to Isaac and described how He had 
given Abraham awesome blessings of national 
prosperity and millions of descendants. Why? 
“Because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My 
charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My 
laws.” Certainly tithing was one of these statutes 
(Leviticus 26:46; 27:30). So Abraham was simply 
obeying commandments and statutes that God 
had already revealed long before Moses was ever 
heard of! And so, Abraham became the “friend of God!”

Near the end of the Old Testament, in the book 
of Malachi—a sort of “bridge book” that leads 
right over into the New Testament—God told our 
forefathers, “For I am the Lord, I do not change” 
(Malachi 3:6). God has certain basic commandments 
and statutes that last forever for human beings. 
Tithing is certainly one of these. For the inspired 
instruction continues, “‘“Will a man rob God? Yet 
you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way 
have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You 
are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, 
even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into 
the storehouse, that there may be food in My 
house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of 
hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of 
heaven and pour out for you such blessing that 
there will not be room enough to receive it’” (vv. 8–10).

Because our human nature is basically selfish, 
and because God is not “real” to most people, 
most human beings and even most ministers come 
up with excuses as to why we supposedly do not 
need to tithe. Why? The Bible answers: “Because 
the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is 
not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be” 
(Romans 8:7). Carnal people seem naturally to 
resent the idea of a powerful God, who has a 
“law,” telling them what to do!

So the typical arguments against tithing usually 
acknowledge that tithing was a law under the 
Old Testament, but that it is not required in 
the New Testament. Yet, Jesus Christ Himself 
clearly explained, “Whoever therefore breaks 
one of the least of these commandments, and 
teaches men so, shall be called least in the 
kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches 
them, he shall be called great in the kingdom 
of heaven” (Matthew 5:19). Therefore, as should 
be obvious for all who have eyes to see, Jesus 
specifically indicates that His true disciples are 
to obey even the “least” of God’s commandments!

But did Jesus Himself clearly indicate that 
tithing was still to be done?

Yes! He did. Notice His words: “Woe to you, 
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay 
tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have 
neglected the weightier matters of the law: 
justice and mercy and faith. These you ought 
to have done, without leaving the others undone” 
(Matthew 23:23). Here, Jesus shows that He 
expects those who practice love, justice, mercy 
and faith also to practice tithing! Any honest 
teacher of grammar—if it were any other topic—
would agree that Christ is telling us not to leave 
tithing out! We must not leave tithing “undone”!

How clear!


My friends, Jesus Christ said, “It is written, 
‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every 
word of God’” (Luke 4:4). So it should be very 
clear to any true Christian that we really 
should obey what God clearly states in His inspired 
Word! And if you understand the whole tenor of 
dozens of statements in the Bible, you can 
understand that God does not appreciate people 
who are always trying to “get around” what He 
asks us to do! Yet, He will bless us, protect us 
and guide our lives for good if we sincerely 
seek His will and try to let Christ live within us 
through the Holy Spirit. In fact, that is the 
best one verse definition of a true Christian in 
the Bible. For the Apostle Paul was inspired to 
write: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless 
I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and 
the life which I now live in the flesh I live by 
the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and 
gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, KJV).

If Christ truly lives within us through the Holy 
Spirit then we will obviously be looking for ways 
to honor God, obey God and do everything we can 
to further the Work of God preparing for the 
coming glorious Kingdom of God soon to be set up 
on this earth. We will “want” to be involved in 
what Christ is doing. We will deeply desire for 
Christ to live His life within us. And we will “seek” 
God and Christ in every way we can so we will 
come to have the “mind of God” in every way and 
walk with Him now and forever.

As in many areas of the true Christian life, tithing 
involves our willingness to genuinely trust in the 
God who gives us life and breath. Over and over 
in the Bible, God indicates that He will richly bless 
those who truly love Him and trust in Him. Among 
scores of similar scriptures, notice what God 
inspired King David—the man after God’s own 
heart—to tell us in Psalm 37:3–5: “Trust in the 
Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on 
His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, 
and He shall give you the desires of your heart. 
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, 
and He shall bring it to pass.”


My friends, we are definitely at the end of an age. 
As the events swirling around us indicate, God is 
now beginning to intervene in world affairs in 
increasingly powerful ways. He—through His 
servants and His true Church—is preparing the 
way for Jesus Christ’s return as King of kings!

God wants all of us to be in His Kingdom, each 
in due time. But first, He has to know where 
our “heart” is. Jesus Christ tells us, “And 
he who overcomes, and keeps My works 
until the end, to him I will give power over 
the nations—‘He shall rule them with a rod 
of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces 
like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have 
received from My Father” (Revelation 2:26–27).

It is the overcomers who, in the Millennium, 
will join Christ in ruling over the nations of 
this earth, ending centuries of confusion 
and war. God will give this privilege to those 
who are zealous in serving their Maker—not 
to those who are “lukewarm.” In fact, 
describing people living in the very last era 
before His return, Jesus said, “So then, 
because you are lukewarm, and neither cold 
nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” 
(Revelation 3:16). God wants each of us—those 
who will be part of His coming “team” of 
saints resurrected to rule the earth—to be 
“on fire” now for His Kingdom, for His purpose 
and for His great commission to powerfully 
proclaim His message to a dying world while 
we have the opportunity!

So, to those who are looking for an excuse—for 
any possible way to deny the need to tithe—God’s 
Word clearly indicates that they are pursuing 
a lost cause! Such people are not truly 
surrendered to God. They are not fervently 
involved in wanting to do His will, nor do they 
want to proclaim Christ’s message to the 
world with all of their being.

Once, when Jesus was questioned about missing 
His lunch, He replied, “My food is to do the 
will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His 
work” (John 4:34). Jesus went on to tell us 
that we should all do our part in “reaping the 
harvest” of those whom God is calling at this 
time. He said, “And he who reaps receives wages, 
and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both 
he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice 
together” (v. 36).

Indeed, you will not be “worse off” because of 
giving to your Creator a full tithe of your 
income and any other “increase” you may receive 
(Proverbs 3:9)! Rather, you will “receive wages” 
which lead to eternal life! You will be given a 
greater position of honor and opportunity if 
your “heart” is truly in doing God’s will and helping 
in the proclamation of His message in every way you can.


It is in that spirit that I urge all of you to 
practice God’s law of tithing. It is in that spirit 
that I encourage all of you to ascertain where 
Christ is working—to be sure that you pay 
your tithe to the true representatives of Christ 
who are teaching His message to the world today, 
explaining His inspired prophecies and actually 
doing His Work at this time.

God reveals that those who faithfully obey their 
Creator in this vital financial matter will be 
blessed in many ways. He promises to “open for 
you the windows of heaven and pour out for 
you such blessing that there will not be room 
enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). Although 
God promises no one that he or she will be a 
millionaire, God will never forsake those who 
are truly faithful to Him (Hebrews 13:5). He 
will watch over them, bless them financially, 
protect them and guide them as they learn to 
“walk with Him” in sincerity and truth. May 
God help us to understand, and to do what His 
Word clearly reveals. May God help each of 
us do our part zealously in carrying out His 
Work at the end of this age! May God help you 
to understand and to learn to genuinely trust 
in your Creator. Then, as you truly “walk” with 
Christ in every area of your life, you will soon
walk hand in hand with Him right over into
eternal life in the Kingdom of God! 



I remember witnessing a baffling phenomenon 
when I was a teen in the mid-1970s. An enterprising 
California advertising man marketed and sold 
what he called “the perfect pet”—the Pet Rock. 
Packaged in a small cardboard carton perforated 
with breathing holes, an ordinary rock was nestled 
in straw. Each came with a “birth certificate” 
for the rock—and a training manual, The Care 
and Training of Your Pet Rock, containing 
instructions for teaching the rock to “stay” or 
“roll over” or “play dead.”

Pet Rocks became wildly popular in the latter 
months of 1975, making their creator a millionaire, 
but the craze had run its course by early 1976 
when sales dramatically fell off.

Such is the pattern of a fad, which Merriam-Webster’s 
Collegiate Dictionary (Eleventh Edition) defines 
as “a practice or interest followed for a time 
with exaggerated zeal.” This definition accurately 
describes many other practices that ride a wave 
of popularity, but eventually lose their momentum.


The truth is, fads occur all the time. As hard 
as it is to believe, there are currently popular 
entertainment artists, fashion trends and television 
shows that will someday be out of style. At 
the time Pet Rocks were selling, I was wearing 
four-inch platform shoes and a polyester leisure 
suit with a gold chain around my neck! I can 
assure you that I no longer wear such clothing.

Another truth about fads is that some, such 
as Pet Rocks and leisure suits, have no lasting 
negative consequences. Sadly, however, some 
fads have long-term effects that can stay with 
us for the rest of our lives, even bringing lasting 
regret to those who participated in them.

Consider the recent surge of interest in the ancient 
practice of tattooing. For many years, tattoos 
carried a negative stigma, as they were commonly 
associated with sailors, bikers and gang members. 
More recently, however, a 2012 poll found that as 
many as one in five (21 percent) adults in the United 
States have at least one tattoo—that is a sharp 
increase from the 14 percent reported in 2008 
(The Harris Poll, February 23, 2012). Inking has 
become so commonplace that it is not uncommon to 
see grandmothers sporting tattoos! And instead of 
subtle, easily hidden markings, many today make 
multiple trips to the parlor to cover large portions 
of their bodies with intricate and complex “body art.”


Marking the skin has been practiced in many different 
civilizations, going back at least as far as 3000bc 
(“Tattoos: The Ancient and Mysterious History,”, January 1, 2007). People’s reasons 
for getting tattoos appear to be as varied as their 
cultures, as ways “to place protective or therapeutic 
symbols upon the body, then as a means of marking 
people out into appropriate social, political or religious 
groups, or simply as a form of self-expression or 
fashion statement” (ibid.).

Today, the inked often say their tattoos make them feel 
sexy, attractive, strong or spiritual (The Harris Poll, 
February 23, 2012). However, there remains an element 
of cultural defiance associated with tattoos. This same 
poll reports that 25 percent of the respondents say they 
feel rebellious wearing tattoos—and half of those without 
a tattoo view people with tattoos as more rebellious.

These findings lead to an important personal question 
for those who are thinking of going under the needle: 
“What is my motivation?” People are great at rationalizing 
their desires, and they offer many reasons for wanting 
tattoos. But are their desires really their own, or are 
they giving in to peer pressure to “fit in” with the crowd 
or “be cool” by wearing a tattoo?

Richard Sawdon Smith, a professor in the Arts and 
Media Department at London Southbank University—
and a tattoo-wearer himself—gets right to the point 
in explaining why many people have tattoos: “This is 
actually a kind of way of empowering myself by saying, 
‘This is my body, and I’m in control of it’” (“Would you 
hire a tattooed employee?,” BBC Newsnight, September 
4, 2013).

Yes, tattoos are a powerful personal statement, and 
they proclaim a “me first” attitude that does not mind 
getting “in your face” to show off one’s pride in his or 
her own body, for all to see. Yet, for those who follow 
God, the approach of “pleasing myself first” is the exact 
opposite of the outflowing concern for other people that 
defines God’s love. The Apostle Paul wrote that “love 
does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave
rudely, does not seek its own” (1 Corinthians 13:4–5). 
That kind of love is not what most people associate 
with a tattoo!

And this is not just a New Testament perspective. 
Long ago, God commanded His people, “You shall not 
make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo 
any marks on you: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:28). As 
the designer of the human body, God proclaimed it as 
“very good” after creating man and woman—without 
tattoos (Genesis 1:31)!


Not long ago, a man came to me in tears as he described 
his regret about the tattoos that covered both of his arms. 
He was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, ashamed to show me 
what he called the “evil” markings he once had thought 
were “awesome.” He was much younger when he got his 
tattoos, and had recently had a change of heart. He had 
investigated tattoo removal services, but the cost would 
be thousands of dollars and not completely effective. 
This dilemma was the reason for his tears.

Many who get tattoos when they are young find out later 
that they cannot easily find a good job, since many 
employers do not want to hire employees with obvious 
tattoos. Some people can afford the cost and the pain of 
tattoo removal, but others have no choice but to live 
with the visible evidence of a decision they have come 
to regret (“Teenagers get rid of their tattoos—and start 
a new life,” BBC News, August 14, 2013).

Thankfully, this is all unnecessary for those who are 
wise enough to look past the present popularity of a 
fad and project forward to their future: “A prudent 
man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple 
pass on and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3).