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The following dozen brief Bible passages underline some key issues that should concern a Christian. In the past, I’ve used these as “5 minute messages” to open a teen Sunday school class before the scheduled lesson.

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[Any of you remember hearing them?]

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(1)  John 14:6     Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Christians are committed to ABSOLUTE TRUTH and Jesus is it.

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For more use the DOOR.

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[MORE]

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(2)  John 3:16      Believing in, which means personally trusting in,  Jesus is ………………………..what saves a person.

(3)  Mt. 28:19-20     Our main job: “Go and disciple.”

(4)  Rom. 12:1-2      Total commitment is what is called for; orient toward ……………………………God, not the world.

(5)  Gen. 1:1      God made eveything; and further, he existed before ……………………….everything.

(6)  I John 1:9      If you confess your sins, Jesus will forgive you.

(7)  Col. 3:1-2      You should “set your mind” on God’s business.

(8)  Rom. 10:9-10    You are called upon to publicly confess your……..……………………………. personal faith.

(9)  II Cor. 5:1      If your body dies, you still live (and you’re better off).

(10) I Pet. 3:15-16      You are expected to give “answers” to people–and ……………………..            be nice and gentle about it.

(11) II Cor. 5:17      When you become a Christian you are changed.

(12) Eph. 2:8-10      You are saved by faith, not works.

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   These, of course, are openers to further thinking. Books have been written about the ins and outs of each of these. The purpose here is to make young people aware of key ideas that they can and should wrestle with later on. And, of course, the context of each Bible passage is important to consider. The main thing I wanted to do was to confront everyone face-to-face, as an adult (who’s not a family member) to a young person, something that matters if you consider yourself a Christian–even if it’s something you’ve heard before.

   It also gives a chance for the young to raise questions–in class or later.

   Looking back, would I say anything differently now? Well, yes. There are many clarifications I would wrap around these that I think would be helpful, but I’ll limit myself to one. Not clearly said above is what should be said at the very beginning: After trusting in Christ, learning to worship and pray appropriately perhaps should be squeezed in between (1) and (2). Two dozen more of these should expand on this.

   The art, or the trick, is to plant a seed for reflection later–and to do this convincingly in 5 minutes…without wobbling around too much or hiding under clichés.