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A Message to Youth by Dave Wilkerson

David Wilkerson One of the most popular words in a teenager's vocabulary is love. Yet few teenagers really know what true love is. Too many confuse love with lust. Love is of God — lust is of the devil. Love will free you — lust will trap you.

Lusting teenagers today have brought about conditions that shock every sense of decency. A wave of sexual promiscuity is sweeping across America and the world. Teenagers talk freely about trial marriages, oral contraceptives, childbirth, and shameless fornication. Venereal diseases are affecting thousands of teenagers. School officials are alarmed. Ministers are grieved. Parents are horrified. Teenagers are being swept into an orbit of terrible lust and overpowering passions.

This is a true story of two young people who mistook lust for love. He was the son of a wealthy man. She was a beautiful daughter of a socially prominent family. He found it hard to do anything to her. This bothered him night and day. He began to scheme and lay plans on how to have her. She was completely innocent. She wanted more than anything else to find her true love.

He was a good talker and had many friends. His first step was to gain the confidence of the parents. He became a great pretender. He used every trick in the book. He told his friends he was in love with her — he couldn't eat or sleep. He must have her.

One day the world came crashing down around her. He was as smooth-talking as the devil and as cunning as a fox. He was stronger than she. The record states he forced her. Later it was learned she tried to get away but couldn't.

She cried about the terrible shame, about hurting her parents, about his making a fool of himself — but he would not listen to reason. Love listens to reason but lust never does. Love is cautious — lust is blind and loose.

Was it true love? You figure it out. Five minutes after he had shamed her, he suddenly changed. She saw him for the beast he really was. He ordered her to get lost. She wept hysterically. She begged him not to act so hatefully. He had been so tender but now that he got what he wanted, he hated her.

Questions began to pour from her sobbing lips. "Where will I go? What about my family? It was bad enough the way you treated me, but how could you turn on me now?" Her words fell on deaf ears. He said he couldn't even stand the sight of her and began to call her names and even refused to take her home. She was taken to her relatives' house. The last thing he said was, "Don't ever let me see you again." She was trapped!

That's not the end of the story. It never is. Someone wanted revenge. Her brother was furious and her father was mortified. The tragic end came at a drinking party held by the brother of the shamed girl. A hired killer assassinated the young man. He died instantly.

This sounds like a story out of the newspapers today, doesn't it? But this is the Bible story of Amnon and Tamar. (You can read it in Second Samuel 13.) It is also the story of countless teenagers everywhere. The Bible says: "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:14, 15). Lust brings death!

Listen, teenager, you know the score. The path of lust 1s the path of hell. And hell is the devil's final trap! The modern attitude toward sin isn't new at all. Satan used the same lies to entice Eve that he uses to trap teenagers today. The same path always leads to the same place. Flirting with sin will always bring you to that point where you find yourself overpowered by your sin, unable to help yourself. When a young person tries to be free from God's laws, he only ends up trapped by the devil.

The saddest thing about Tamar is that she was only looking for love — every teenager is. And those who look for love in the sins and pleasures of self-gratification will be just as trapped as she was.

But many teenagers, like the person who gave you this book, have found real love and happiness. That isn't merely the kind of love you've heard or read about — it is the highest possible kind of love: God's love. It is so far above any other love that it is able to bring the highest kind of happiness.

How can you know about God's love? John 3:16 tells you about it: "For God so *loved* the world [including you] that he gave his only begotten Son." How do you know God loves you? Because He gave. True love is concerned about giving rather than about getting. True love is concerned about the other person's welfare rather than personal gratification.

There's a way out of the trap you're in. There's a way to real love, happiness, and security. But there is only one way: God's way.

God's way is this: accept God's gift, Jesus Christ. You can't buy this love. He loves you even with all your sins and offers salvation to you — free. You don't have to reform yourself. He'll transform you.

How is this possible? Jesus Christ died on the cross, taking the penalty of your sins. John 3:16 continues: "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The trap of sin leads you to everlasting death. But Christ offers you everlasting life — as a free gift.

How do you accept this free gift? Repent of your sins. That means you must be sorry for them and ask God to forgive you. Then ask Christ to live in your heart. He will! "If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).

Your part is to confess your sins. When you do that, God has promised to forgive you. And God never goes back on a promise. This is the Bible way to be saved. The first move is up to you. God will meet you halfway. Pray this prayer from your heart:

"Jesus, I admit I'm a hopeless and lost sinner. I need you.
Forgive all my sins. I confess them all to you right now.
I know you can and will forgive them. I believe on you, Jesus.
I accept you into my heart as my own Saviour.
Thank you, Jesus, for hearing a sinner's prayer
and for the gift of eternal life you have just now given me.

If you really want to know more about getting ready to meet God, write today.

When in New York City Visit Times Square Church
Located at 51st Street & Broadway
Schedule of Services
Sunday Morning.................................10:00
Sunday Afternoon............................... 3:00
Sunday Evening................................. 6:00
Tuesday Evening [Prayer, healing, communion]... 7:00
Thursday Evening [Intercessory Prayer]......... 7:00
Friday Evening................................. 7:00

World Challenge
P.O. Box 260
Lindale, Texas 75771

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