Here is the post from contributor, Mike Anderson:
5 Dangers For Young Men - J.C. Ryle
J.C. Ryle's writing will punch you right in the face. He was an Anglican Bishop to the working class of Liverpool during the industrial revolution. He had tough words for tough people, and we could all use a bit of a challenge. I first learned about Ryle by listening to a Sunday school message he delivered. Ryle wanted the kids to know that they were accountable for their actions, so he told them the story of Elisha calling 2 bears out of the woods to kill some kids who mocked him. Could you imagine a little kid's response to that? You can be sure Ryle will bring the truth, no matter how difficult.
"Young men, take to heart the Scriptures just quoted. Do not be too confident in your own judgment. Stop being so sure that you are always right, and others wrong. Don't trust your own opinion, when you find it contrary to that of older men, and especially to that of your own parents. Age gives experience, and therefore deserves respect. "
2. Love of Pleasure
"Youth is the time when our passions are strongest—and like unruly children, cry most loudly for indulgence. Youth is the time when we have generally our most health and strength: death seems far away, and to enjoy ourselves in this life seems to be everything... "I serve lusts and pleasures:" that is the true answer many a young man should give, if asked, "Whose Servant are you?" "
"Not thinking is one simple reason why thousands of souls are thrown away forever into the Lake of Fire. Men will not consider, will not look ahead, will not look around them, will not reflect on the end of their present course, and the sure consequences of their present days, and wake up to find they are damned for a lack of thinking.
Young men, none are in more danger of this than yourselves. You know little of the perils around you, and so you are careless how you walk. You hate the trouble of serious, quiet thinking, and so you make wrong decisions and bring upon yourselves much sorrow.""
4. Contempt of Religion
"This also is one of your special dangers. I always observe that none pay so little outward respect to Christianity as young men. None take so little part in our services, when they are present at them—use Bibles so little—sing so little—listen to preaching so little. None are so generally absent at prayer meetings, Bible Studies, and all other weekday helps to the soul. Young men seem to think they do not need these things—they may be good for women and old men, but not for them. They appear ashamed of seeming to care about their souls: one would almost fancy they considered it a disgrace to go to heaven at all. "
5. Fear of Man's opinion
""The fear of man" will indeed "prove to be a snare" (Proverbs 29:25). It is terrible to observe the power which it has over most minds, and especially over the minds of the young. Few seem to have any opinions of their own, or to think for themselves. Like dead fish, they go with the stream and tide: what others think is right, they think is right; and what others call wrong, they call wrong too. There are not many original thinkers in the world. Most men are like sheep, they follow a leader. If it was the fashion of the day to be Roman Catholics, they would be Roman Catholics, if it was to be Islamic, they would be Islamic. They dread the idea of going against the current of the times. In a word, the opinion of the day becomes their religion, their creed, their Bible, and their God."
Anderson then concludes with some of his own thoughts and advice to pastors:
"Most young single guys spend their time playing video games, watching porn, drinking tons of cheap beer, and going to the Taco Bell drive-thru after midnight. Pastors—quit being wusses, and tell your young men that it's time to grow up, quit living for themselves, and follow Christ."
These are some very challenging words from Ryle (who I would love to have been kicked in the butt by) as I am a young man myself. The words from Anderson are also challenging as I seek to pastor young men myself some day and may in some ways fear them and their opinions. The bottom line is that there is an enormous need for young men to lead in the cause for Christ and His Kingdom! I sincerely pray for myself and for all you young guys to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first in our lives, setting the example of what it means to live for His glory. I also pray He will reveal to us through these truths from Ryle how we are failing, loving this world more than Him, that we may repent and strive together for the sake of His gospel!
By His Grace.