Free file for youth pastors:
There are 4 themes that I constantly come back to when teaching teenagers. 1. The glory of Christ. 2. The gospel of Christ. 3. The church of Christ. and 4. The eternal kingdom of Christ. This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about communicating the eternal ceoncept and importance of eternity to teens. Since I’ve driven home to Florida (where my family lives) for Thanksgiving, I’m able to listen to about 10 hours of eschatology (doctrine of the end times) from different speakers, preachings, theologians, and teachers on my iPod. Some of my favorites are Dr. Russell D. Moore of Southern Seminary, Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, and others.
Here are the 3 top reasons why I think teaching on the eternal kingdom of Christ to teens is important:
1. Teaching that eternity is a Kingdom and not life on a cloud, an eternal choir practice, or some immaterial place helps teenagers connect more with what eternity will be like. No one may admit it, but no one REALLY wants to go to “heaven.” Thank God, eternity is about a physical Kingdom on the New Earth (Rev 21-22).
2. Teaching on eternity gives a student strength to live for Christ in the difficulties of their life. Paul says that the better we understand the glory that is to come in eternity, the more we will be willing to suffer through trial, tribulation, and temptation here on earth (Rom 8:18).
3. Teaching on eternity gives a student a greater understanding of how to serve Christ now. We often still view Jesus as a humble and meek servant rather than the exalted Warrior-King which is who He is now! The clearer the picture students get of the eternal glory of Christ now, the more they will worship Him, serve Him, and grow to become more like Him.
A biblically accurate view is extremely important for the life of the student. In the paper posted below, I wrote on the importance of understanding the “physicality” of eternity and what difference it makes on a student ministry. Its a whopping 30 pages or more. Its more like a short book. I wrote it in seminary. I do hope its a help to you.