Truth for Our Youth
To most of you I am a new voice at Crossfire Youth Ministries, so I would like to begin by sharing a little bit about myself. My name is Paris Ragan, and in the winter of 2013, in the high mountain town of Elkins, WV, a miracle took place. It was unexpected and without human intervention. I was begotten from above, and was born-again. I remember while sitting in church service that morning, hung-over from the night before, that I trembled and wept under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. I did not pray much of a “holy prayer”, but just asked Jesus to deliver me from the vices of sin in my heart and life. I can remember walking out of that church as if I had stepped into a completely new world, everything seemed brighter and joyful.
One month later, while watching a Classic Crusade from 1983 and praying with Brother Swaggart, I was baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues. At that time, I began to sense a call of God on my life, and only 11 months after being born again, I was parking my car in the parking lot of what was then the World Evangelism Bible College. Since that day, January 1, 2014, I have met and married my beautiful wife Marybeth, and have been privileged to teach a night class these past two semesters at Jimmy Swaggart Bible College. My wife and I both work hard to ensure that every young person in our community, and around the world, has the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. I speak for Marybeth and myself when I say we truly have a heart for our generation and will do whatever it takes to ensure that all have the opportunity to hear about the love of Jesus!
When I look around at the majority of the church world today, what I see does not correlate with the New Testament church we read about in the word of God. When we look at a church today, it would be wise for us to compare its actions against Scripture and then ask ourselves, “Is what we are seeing in the Bible?” Regrettably, I believe that when we look at churches today, we see more concepts and strategies of the world and less genuine biblical Christianity. Today the modern church movement has produced many “self-help” centers and motivational clubs, but few true biblical churches. If a church has lost its way, you can be assured that the youth group, or youth ministry of that church has probably lost its way as well. Our young people in America, and around the world, are under a greater attack by the powers of darkness than ever before. This generation does not need “self-help” centers or motivational clubs. They need to hear that Jesus saves the sinner, and that He baptizes the believer with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues. They need to hear that healing was paid for in the atonement, that sanctification is by grace through faith, and that Jesus Christ is coming again!
Make sure to check out my next blog as we begin a short series on “The Church.”
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