First Lutheran Church Plainville, Kansas
Peace Lutheran Church Natoma, Kansas
The college freshmen who walks into orientation this Fall was born around the year 1998, and is 18 years old. They live in a different world then you or I did when we were their age; you can debate amongst yourselves what their economic future looks like, and we will soon know what the political future will be; but today, we are going to examine their future in the faith.
- They will always know persecution at the hands of unbelievers. Sad to say, but that is the new norm in our world. Islam is one of the few groups not affected by a constantly declining birthrate, and it will continue to be influential across the world. We will not live in a caliphate, but believers will never be truly free of the threat of Sharia Law.
- They will always know persecution at the hands of those they thought were their friends. It is safe to say that none of us thought we would see the day where the question of who uses which bathroom would be an issue for debate. Those around us, who while not strong believers, at least always seemed to know what was what, have turned on us in favor of political correctness and the transgender false gospel.
- They will have never know a Biblically literate culture. Assuming of course they themselves are Biblically literate. Most people, even those who attend worship on a regular basis are clueless as to what the main teachings of the Bible are, nor can they defend what the Bible says regarding creation, marriage, life, the Last Day, or God.
- They will always face elections where there is no good option. As I write this, neither option for President this year is ideal for any number of reasons; and I am sorry to say, it will only get worse. Believers will face a new normal where neither party properly expresses views we can fully support. Some elections will be favorable, but not many, and certainly not all.
- The Church will become harder to find. As more and more chase after the ways of the world, and the false gospel of works righteousness, those churches that preach the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that properly administer the sacraments, will become scarce.
It would be wrong to leave you on such a somber note, especially as we see friends and
family about to begin their freshmen year with such anticipation; so allow me to leave you with these words from Martin Luther’s famous Reformation hymn – Though devils all the world should fill, All eager to devour us, We tremble not, we fear no ill; They shall not overpower us. This world’s prince may still Scowl fierce as he will, He can harm us none, He’s judged; the deed is done; One little word can fell him. (LSB 656, v.3)
That one little word is Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He comes to give life. He comes to rescue His people from the darkness of this world. The future may look grim, but our future, as children of our heavenly Father, is found in none other than Christ Jesus, who has rescued us from sin, death and hell. That is the truth that freshmen carry with them as they begin classes; that is the truth each of us carries with us every day.
Let this letter be a reminder first and foremost to pray for those beginning and those continuing college classes; and as an exhortation to diligently teach the faith in the home through daily devotions, meal time conversation, and catechism review. The world may waver, but our faith in Christ will not falter.
God Bless! Pastor Schmidt