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The world today is a hustle and bustle of business and appointments. People are flocking to cities, each person with a task that needs to be done. Society is becoming more and more demanding, as is apparent in the increasing advances in technology. People want everything done yesterday, and this leads to a rapid-paced civilization. But all these advancements, especially in technology, distract Christians from the true purpose in life: to serve God. Young people need to be aware of the trials that are present in the 21st century, especially through the Internet, social networking, and texting.

The Internet, recently invented in the late 20th century, has been a tremendous resource for all of society. Today everything revolves around the Internet. People can shop, bank, or find ways how to do things. It is a center of information, a center of business, and a means of communication. Without the Internet, the world would shut down. But for how helpful the Internet can be, it lies as a demon ready to strike. The temptations are countless. With only the click of a mouse, a person can look up whatever he desires without anyone knowing. The history can be cleared, and no one will ever know.

Today, even smart phones can be used to browse the Internet, making it mobile and very secretive. But God is ever-present and all-knowing. He knows everything that every man in this world does. This demon tempts us all, and as young Christians we are especially vulnerable because of our sinful nature and desires. We need to discipline ourselves.

However, it is not only what we can look up on the Internet that is a sin, it is also what we can say on the Internet. Social networking has greatly expanded over the last few years as new sites and accounts have been introduced. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have exploded through this increase in social networking. They have become a center of socialization and posting. People are able to express their ideas and feelings for everyone to see. This may seem to be a benefit and resource, but it is too often abused. People post things that are inappropriate or should not be shared for the world to see, and this can lead to gossip. People can post things about others, criticizing or tormenting others without even seeing them. Cyber-bullying is so easy for anyone to do because they do not need to see the emotions of the person, and they can say it behind a screen. This is a great challenge for Christians because we are called by God to love our neighbor, not slander him. We need to be aware of this love for our neighbor every time we log into our Facebook or Twitter account.

Not only is slandering a danger with these sites, but they also portray ourselves to the world. Posting things on our page or timeline creates an image of the type of person that we are. Anyone can view what we write because it is posted on the Internet. We give the world a chance to ridicule us as Christians because of the things we may post or like. Often we will post something that may not be appropriate, such as a picture or saying. It can be done so easily. All it takes is the click of a mouse. But the world is watching and ready to point out any of our faults. They want a chance to mock God by the way we act, for we call ourselves Christians. We are called by God to be a witness to the world and we must remember this every time we go online.

Texting is another technological advancement that has expanded over the past few years. Almost every one of us has our own phone. Today even young children are given their own phones. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is a temptation. By texting, we can say things to others that we would never say in person. The whole aspect of face-to-face communication is lacking. We no longer have fellowship with fellow Christians around us. We would rather type our feelings to one another. We need to be aware of this because as Christians we need to have fellowship with each other and love one another. That is what God calls us to do in his word.

Though the Internet, social networking, and texting can be useful resources, they can also be abused. We as Christians need to be especially aware of this and the temptations that they pose. We must do all things to God’s glory. That is our calling.

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

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