Jesus and Peer Pressure (Part 2)
Yesterday, we read from Matthew 4 and noted how Jesus dealt with the pressure Satan exerted upon Him to try to get Him to sin. One of the reasons why the devil failed in his attempts was because Jesus knew the word of God exceedingly well. He was solidly grounded in the inspired truths of the Scriptures and consequently was not able to be deceived by Satan.

Friends, when you are pressured today to do things you know you shouldn't do, think of Jesus and imitate Him. Don't be afraid to say no and give the reason why by quoting or referring to the Scriptures! Teenagers (as well as the rest of us), it's okay to say: "No, I'm not going to smoke that cigarette because it would be damaging to my health and my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit according to I Corinthians 6:19,20." Don't be afraid to say: "No, I will not have sex before I'm married because the Bible says in I Corinthians 6:9,10 that those who commit fornication will not go to heaven." Be willing to say: "No, I'm not going to drive above the speed limit because it is against the law and I am to be subject to the governing authorities according to Romans 13:1." On and on we could go with examples from the Bible, but the point is this: don't be afraid to stand up for what is right and tell others why from the Bible! Jesus did this and He is certainly worthy of being imitated (I Cor. 11:1). Of course, the only way you can truly imitate Jesus and tell others why something is right or wrong is if you really know what the Bible teaches! Hence, the need to be a diligent student of God's word is again emphasized. Following this approach may not make you popular and it may cause some to ridicule you, but ultimately, such matters are irrelevant. To believe and do what is right is to be on the Lord's side! This is what really matters!

I believe that Jesus' success at overcoming sinful influences can be summed up in three imitatable principles: (1) pray for strength to overcome sinful peer pressure, (2) choose companions wisely, and (3) learn God's word (and learn it well). Jesus did these things and was successful in doing His Father's will. If we pattern our lives around these principles, we too will be successful! God has promised us that we will not be tempted or pressured beyond that which we are able to endure (I Cor. 10:13). We can overcome the sinful influences we encounter--if we desire to!

Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing when our companions are encouraging us to do that which is right. Peer pressure can be a terrible thing when our companions are encouraging us to do that which is wrong. May we all have the strength--like Jesus did--to overcome the evil pressures that are placed upon us.

As we conclude this series of lessons, I want to exert some peer pressure upon you. No, I'm not going to encourage you to sin. I'm going to encourage you to do that which is right. I want you to think about your life. Where are you, spiritually speaking? Are you right with God? I can't answer that question for you, because I don't know your heart, but God knows you. He knows where you are spiritually; you can hide things from me and everyone else around you, but you can't hide from God.

On the day of Pentecost, nearly 2000 years ago, the apostle Peter used peer pressure to get 3000 people to obey the gospel. Acts 2:40 declares - "And with many other words he testified and exhorted them saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation.'" Friends, I want you to be saved from our perverse generation. The generation that encourages sex before marriage, illegal drug use, violence, disrespect, lying, stealing, murder, adultery, divorce, idolatry, lust, greed, pornography, gambling, selfishness, etc. Be saved from this perverse generation and the pressure they exert upon all of us to live sinfully like them!

I want to encourage you today to get your life right with God if it isn't already! What are you waiting for? The Bible clearly teaches what a person must do to be saved. We must hear the good news, the gospel, and as a result, develop faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:17). Once we develop this faith, we should feel sorrowful for our sins and we must turn from them; we must repent (Luke 13:3). We must be willing to give ourselves completely over to God as His servants and cease being servants of our own wants and desires. We then must confess our faith in Jesus as God's Son (Rom. 10:9,10) and be baptized (immersed in water) for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).

Have you done these things? You need to! I want you to! God wants you to! Once you become a Christian by being baptized into Jesus, you must then live faithfully for God until death (Rev. 2:10).

If you are a Christian and haven't been living faithfully for the Lord, then why not confess your trespasses to Him and pray for forgiveness, as you turn back to the way of righteousness? If we can be of service to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us.