Speaking at Beckman High School in Irvine, CA

Today I had the awesome opportunity to speak to the Power of Prayer club at Beckman High School.  I started by asking them to complete the same survey I use with university students. Then I spoke to them on “Loving the Lord with Your Mind” using the command in Mark 12:30 – “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

Other passages used:

Psalm 19:1-4
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
2 Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.

Psalm 19 teaches us God wants us to do science because studying the creation teaches us about the creator.

Romans 1:20 – “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

This verse teaches that all people everywhere can see God exists and can learn about his attributes and his power by looking at his creation.

I will not repeat my entire talk but I spoke on loving God by researching nature.  And I attempted to show that because God is the Author of both nature and the Bible, these two cannot be in conflict.  But enough about this – let’s talk about the surveys.

I collected 27 surveys.  As I analyze them, the first question that comes to mind is:  

How many of the students are solidly Christian? 

For that I look at questions 8 and 9.

Q8. Did Jesus actually rise from the dead bodily?
Q9. Are you a Jesus follower?

Of the 27 students who completed surveys, 19 students answered both questions “Yes.” Five more answered “Yes” to question 9 but something different on question 8.  Perhaps the word “bodily” confused some of them. One student wrote a question mark next to “bodily.”  Two answered “Leans Yes.”  Two answered “No Opinion.” And one said “No.”  I consider the bodily resurrection and the empty tomb to be pretty important.

Three of the students identified themselves as non-Christians, which is very cool. (I don’t mean it’s cool they are not saved but it’s cool that the group is open to non-Christians to allow them to come in and check it out.) One answered Q9 with “No.”  One said “Leans No.” And one said “No opinion.”

So of the 27 surveys, 19 are solidly Christian. Five more identify as Christians but are a little shaky on the resurrection of Jesus.  And three claim not to be Christian.

———————————

The next question that comes to mind is:

Do these students think science and faith in Jesus are compatible?

Q6. Are science and faith in Jesus compatible?

Of the 19 who are solidly Christian, eight answered “Yes” and six answered ‘Leans Yes.” Three answered “Leans No” and two said “No.”

This is an important question because, according to the research, a percentage of people who leave the church during the university years will come back to the church after they get married and have kids. But if the person who leaves has intellectual doubts about Christianity, they usually do not return. The ‘Yes” and “Leans Yes” answers are good.  The “No” and “Leans No” answers are a warning sign.  When students do not understand that science and the Bible are compatible, they will be vulnerable to intellectual doubts at the university.

Of the five students who are followers of Jesus but were shaky on the resurrection, not one of them answered Q6 with ‘Yes.”  Two said “Leans Yes.” One said ‘No Opinion.” And two said “No.” The “Leans Yes” answers are okay.  But the students who answered “No Opinion” and “No” are potentially vulnerable to leaving the church.

I haven’t addressed Q6 for the non-Christians yet because that falls into a new question.

——————————–

Next question:

How open to the gospel are the non-Christians?

For this, I look at questions 5 and 6:

Q5. Does God exist?
Q6. Are science and faith in Jesus compatible?

On Q5, two of the non-Christians said “Yes.” One said “No Opinion.”
On Q6, one answered “Yes,” one “Leans Yes” and one “No Opinion.”

This is very good news. Non-Christians who believe God exists and think science and faith in Jesus are compatible are very likely to give the gospel message a real hearing.  These students look to be open to the gospel. They need to be shown love and acceptance and they need to see that Christians love each other. These three people are pretty close to the kingdom of God.  Please pray for them.

Also, please pray I get more opportunities to speak to university and high school students.

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