Will you be there?

Posted on by YFC Lincoln

In July, I had the privilege of speaking to 80+ high school and middle school students at YFC camp in Iowa. The camp is designed to help high school students (coaches) learn how to lead by being in charge of groups of middle school students (huddles). During the day, the huddles compete in several high energy sporting events, and then in the evenings, they all gather for worship and a message (that's my part). I built the messages around the theme "Game Changer." The first two nights, I laid the foundation of how God sees us and our mess. On the third night, I shared how God restores us through the Gospel. When I gave the invitation, more than 20 kids gave their lives to Christ for the first time!!

That is something that never gets old for me. I consider it a privilege every time I see it happen. Later that night, the coaches presented a mock crucifixion and all the kids got to experience what it might have been like. Then the students came back in and gathered for a time of worship. What happened next was a great visual for me. As the students sang, the coaches who presented the crucifixion drama started coming back into the meeting still dressed in costume. The guards came in and sat among their huddles. The last to enter were the thieves on the cross; all were waiting for Jesus to make His entrance.

Watching all this, I was reminded of Revelation 7:9 where the great multitude is gathered at the end of time. It dawned on me that some of the guards will be there along with the thief on the cross whom Jesus said he would see in the Kingdom. The coaches hadn't planned their re-entry to the meeting that way, but what a powerful picture of the fact that there will be so many people gathered at the return of Christ that we never thought would be present. The 20+ students who had just given their hearts to Christ will also be there! I don't know about you, but that just rocks my world. 

My question for you is: will you be there? If so, will the ones you love also be there? Only through surrendering our lives to Christ will be we present at that time. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV) says, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you -- unless, of course, you fail the test." Only you can know for sure.

-- Nate Kroll, Juvenile Justice Ministry

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