Enjoying the Journey

Social media is here to stay.  Over 2 billion people actively use the internet and it is estimated that more than 69% of them now use some social network site (Pew Research).  Of course, young people lead the way in this trend.  One research group suggests that 98% of 18-24 year olds now use social networking!  If we are to go to where they are then we must go to the internet.

Like any other means of communication it can be used for good or for evil.  Tools are just that – resources to be used.  We must choose how they will be used.  Social media platforms can be a platform for the gospel.

For years we have warned our teenagers and college students of the dangers inherent in the internet.  And we should.  Guidelines should be set.  But perhaps it is time that we encourage them to use their online testimony to accomplish something for the cause of Christ.  It is impossible to shelter children from every temptation.  One of the greatest ways to equip them for the battle is to teach them to play offense.  We must not merely be on the defense; we must attack “the gates of hell.”  Charge enemy territory and take the message of Jesus to those who need to hear…even online.

Many times each week I walk past one of the few working replicas of a Gutenberg press.  It is prominently displayed in our Christian Heritage Center surrounded by the history of the English Bible.  When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440 a revolution began.  A revolution for which we are truly grateful.  The first thing printed on Gutenberg’s press was a copy of the Word of God.

The printing press was merely a new method of print.  The content had to be chosen.  In our day social media platforms provide another method of printing the truth.  Without question they can be misused and abused.  But they can also be used to propagate the gospel and encourage others.

Just today I spoke with a dear friend by phone who had the privilege of leading a man to Christ online.  These two men live in different countries and will perhaps never meet in person.  Yet one discerning Christian was able to use his social media to carry on a discussion about Christ that led to the salvation of a precious soul.  That man is now being followed up by a local church near where he lives.

One of the great dangers of social media is the temptation to make it all about us.  For the Christian, no part of life is all about us.  It is all about Him…and those for whom He died.  That includes what we post online.

This is our moment.  This is our generation.  And these are some of the resources God has given us to spread His truth and glorify His name.  I hope someone will say of our day that “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Ps. 68:11).

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