In three or so articles I would attempt to connect two incomprehensible beings. The one is God. The other is the tween. God, of course, does not need help. He connects with whom He will. Tweens, however, need help connecting with God. With their connecting with, their believing, their understanding, drawing near to, and serving God all hell would love to interfere. We would interfere with, and prevent, the interference. Here’s to nothing less than that connection and reconnection which is life twixt God and tween.
Tweens are teenagers and twenty-somethings. You know that. Their growing, their becoming, and their figuring life out can make for restlessness, distraction, and godlessness. Especially baptized tweens, those set apart and nurtured to be Christians—these are prime targets for the devil. Not that the rest of us are not targeted. It is just that we have grown old and are grounded on the rock. Or we have grown old and stale and have long ago slouched toward impious piety, cold religion, even dead orthodoxy. And the devil does not need to bother.
But you—I speak now to you tweens. He, the devil, would bother with you. His devil friends would too. They do not want you to love God! They do not want you to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. They do not want you to profess faith in God, and to demonstrate your faith in your life. Like wolves and hyenas they harass the human herd. They make prey of the enfeebled old.
But they enjoy especially young and tender and baptized flesh. They nip at newborns. They threaten fawns, snarl at pups. They encircle and threaten even the older young, the tween of the herd, and the tween, even, of the flock of God. These tweens might know a bit of the Bible. These might have a bit of knowledge. The best of them certainly have vigor, even of a religious sort. They might even be willing to debate with the abortionists (the no points) or the Arminians (the four points). But they have not yet the experience and the wisdom of the ten points (the older ones, from whom they have come—the ones with courage and sharp tines before which wolves tremble, and whose hooves hyenas fear). They are inclined, as well, to question the things of the ten points. And then in come the devils—right among the herd, and desirous especially of the meat of the flock. They would separate the tweens from the ten points, and from the Shepherd, whispering to them to come aside for a while, behind this here tree, over by this here swamp, or to sit in the liberal lecture hall of the so-called Christian college down the road. Just to chat, just to listen to some other, better, newer, more fulfilling, more fun way than they had heard of in their old church of the peeling paint and the crusty creeds. Many tweens, having bent an ear, go away then. Then they are no more. The ten points search desperately for them, scouring the bushes, the swamps, the bars. They find only a wrinkled piece of paper, an old catechism lesson the tween had in her back pocket. And a few religious feathers.
The book of Hebrews can keep us all, and tweens too, from being eaten. Any Word of God can, of course. But Hebrews has its own special way of calling us to a true and living faith and strengthening us so that we might fend off even ravenous devils. You know of Hebrews 11, I am sure. It is that grand chapter of faith, and of the so-called heroes of faith. Before teaching of the response of faith, however, Hebrews sets forth the grand Jesus Himself—the Author, Finisher, and Object of our believing. He is the one even heroes hail. He is the Word of God by whom the worlds were framed. He is Abel’s more excellent sacrifice. He is Enoch’s exaltation, His church, Noah’s ark. He Himself is the One whom Abraham believed, and His day is the day in which Abraham rejoiced. His reproach Moses chose to suffer rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God, Son of Man, Savior true is the reason folks suffered, and do suffer and die, in the confidence of heaven, and why sinful tweens and their parents, and rich men, poor men, beggar men and thieves, and even ministers have great comfort and joy through faith in Him.
So all of Hebrews is about that grand Jesus. And now, may I suggest a meal for you, a meal or two, or how about ten? They would be the first ten chapters of the book. There is something in them of the Person, the work, and the gospel of the Savior that we have to get, to understand, and even to digest. Something there to take in first—before we leave the house, go to school, or to work, or on a date, or leave on vacation, or plan our future, or even before we leave off reading an article like this, or would hear whatever future articles might tell us to do in order to be proper, Christian tweens. So read the ten. Listen for the grandeur, the greatness of Jesus revealed in them. Listen to connect, to reconnect with God.
Just remember: this greatness of Jesus is precisely exactly persistently relentlessly and continually what the world denies, and what the religious world minimizes and mocks. In so denying and minimizing Jesus, worldlings want tweens to taste and see that the world, without Jesus, or with Him as only one of many courses, is good. But the Bible says there is this great One, this grand One who alone is good, and in whom alone is life. So eat His Word. Take up and read. Do not just skim. Stop going through the religious motions. Turn off videos. Renounce Facebook for half an hour (at least). Listen to your Ten Points, yes. But you, tween, you: Hear God, above all, amen! Read, then, and feast. Or be eaten.
Rev. Mitchel Dick is the pastor at Sovereign Grace United Reformed Church located on the northeast side of Grand Rapids, MI.