Last week, I transcribed J.C. Ryle’s 5 Dangers for Young Men. Today, I would like to continue that list and give you Ryle’s general counsel or advice to young men, and offer my thoughts.
Get a Clear View of the Evil of Sin
Many young men do not know the true colors of sin. In fact, the world celebrates sin and therefore, young men especially are blind to its “guilt and danger.” The evil one truly perpetrates in our world that sin is a small matter, but understanding what sin has done to the world and the atonement for sin that Christ bore upon the cross.
Seek to Become Acquainted with our Lord Jesus Christ
Without a saving relationship with Christ, the warnings and advice are useless and the endeavors of man is in vain. Being a young man without Christ is like being a watch that does not keep time. And being acquainted with Christ is not just knowing Christ’s name or knowledge about Him, but truly knowing and experiencing His mercy, grace, and power within your hearts. If you love life, seek to become acquainted with Jesus Christ.
Never Forget That Nothing is so Important as Your Soul
Today’s world is transfixed upon the temporary, but your soul is forever. It will live forever unlike everything you see that will pass away. Therefore you were not born into the world to merely eat and drink, indulge the desires of the flesh, work, sleep, laugh, and talk; no, you were placed here to train for eternity.
It is Possible to be a Young Man and Yet to Serve God
Many within today’s world sees it impossible to be a true Christian as a youth. Many people do not expect much of young people since many youth have no time for seriousness. Young men have strong desires and the world casts them over to those desires, opposite of the Bible’s call to self-control. The world thinks that it is a young man’s right to “sow their wild oats” and that it is not possible for them to follow Christ. This thinking is not found in the Bible, and this is a vain excuse. Even young men are responsible and accountable to God, and therefore, to be a young man is to serve God.
Determine to Make the Bible Your Guide and Adviser
Psalm 119:9 states, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.” Make it a habit to read the Bible. Read it with the prayer that the Holy Spirit’s grace will help you to understand it. Believe what it approves is right and what it condemns to be wrong. Whatever you read, read that first.
Never Make an Intimate Friend of Anyone Who is Not a Friend of God
This is not talking about acquaintances, this is not talking about not witnessing to those who do not know God, this is not talking about general friendship with peers. This is advice to be careful in your choice of friends. Never be satisfied with the friendship of any one who will not be useful to your soul. We are creatures of imitation: precept may teach us, but it is example that draws us. Bad company does indeed corrupt good character, and good friends are among our greatest blessings – those that keep us away from evil, remind us of our course, speak appropriate words, and draw us upward towards Jesus Christ.