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To The Younger People 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • April 28, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 

Scripture Reader and Reading: Terry Rathbone – Ecclesiastes 12.13–14 

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Larry Amberg – No Suggestions 


  1. Today, I would like to address the youth. 
    1. Lord willing, some other time I will address the older brethren. 


  1. Make the Book of Proverbs your dear friend 
    1. It, actually the Holy Spirit, exhorts you to listen to what it has to say. 
    2. Chapters 1–9 show you why you should listen to the Proverbs. Sampling:

      4 To give prudence to the simple,
      To the young man knowledge and discretion—
      5 A wise man will hear and increase learning,
      And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,

      – Proverbs 1.4–5

      8 My son, hear the instruction of your father,
      And do not forsake the law of your mother;
      9 For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
      And chains about your neck.

      – Proverbs 1.8–9

      1 My son, do not forget my law,
      But let your heart keep my commands;
      2 For length of days and long life
      And peace they will add to you.

      – Proverbs 3.1–2

      21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes—
      Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
      22 So they will be life to your soul
      And grace to your neck.
      23 Then you will walk safely in your way,
      And your foot will not stumble.
      24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
      Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.

      – Proverbs 3.21–24

      1 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
      And give attention to know understanding;
      2 For I give you good doctrine:
      Do not forsake my law.
      3 When I was my father’s son,
      Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
      4 He also taught me, and said to me:
      “Let your heart retain my words;
      Keep my commands, and live.
      5 Get wisdom! Get understanding!
      Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
      6 Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
      Love her, and she will keep you.
      7 Wisdom is the principal thing;
      Therefore get wisdom.
      And in all your getting, get understanding.”

      – Proverbs 4.1–7
    3. This is why I said to make the Book of Proverbs your dear friend. Also:

      7 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
      And call understanding your nearest kin…

      – Proverbs 7.4
  2. Be like the weasel, badger, wolverine, rattlesnake, and skunk. 
    1. They so concentrate on their enemy 
    2. that they forget 
      1. their own size and 
      2. the size of their enemy and win! 
  3. Be like David. 
    1. As a youth he only knew that a bear and a lion attacked a lamb. 
    2. He heard Goliath ridicule God and his army, and 
      1. that was enough to put an end to that heathen. 
      2. He was valiant by means of his faith. 
  4. Be like the boy who provided food to feed thousands:

    8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” 10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.

    – John 6.8–11
  5. Skeptics want to destroy your faith (From Natasha Crain) 
    1. The Science Thumper 
      1. Shame Tactic: Make you believe that you don’t have enough scientific expertise to understand that belief in God is unnecessary and silly. 
    2. The Indoctrination Informer 
      1. Shame Tactic: Make you believe that the ONLY reason you do believe in Jesus is that they’ve been “indoctrinated” by their parents. 
    3. The Miracle Mocker 
      1. Shame Tactic: Make you feel gullible for believing something that doesn’t happen according to natural laws. 
    4. The Self-Sufficient Scoffer 
      1. Shame Tactic: Boasting that the skeptic doesn’t “need” God—and implying that anyone who does has an inferior need for an emotional crutch to get through life. 
    5. The Tolerance Enforcer 
      1. Shame Tactic: Make you feel like they are unloving and hateful for taking a biblical stance that doesn’t approve of all choices as morally acceptable. 
  6. Ecclesiastes 11.7–12.14 | Think about the Days of Your Life 
    1. Solomon began the Book of Ecclesiastes, asking a question,

      3 What profit has a man from all his labor
      In which he toils under the sun?

      – Ecclesiastes 1.3
      1. In the closing words of Ecclesiastes, he will reveal the answer. 
        1. Ecclesiastes 1.1 to 11.6 shows how to live well. 
        2. Ecclesiastes 11.7 to 12.14 shows how to die well. 
    2. Ecclesiastes 11.7–8 Days of Light and Darkness

      7 Truly the light is sweet,
      And it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun;
      8 But if a man lives many years
      And rejoices in them all,
      Yet let him remember the days of darkness,
      For they will be many.
      All that is coming is vanity.

      – Ecclesiastes 11.7–8
      1. Verse 7 – The Good Years 
      2. Verse 8ab – The Young Years 
      3. Verse 8cd – The Old Years 
      4. Verse 8e – The Vanity Years 
    3. Ecclesiastes 11.9–10 Days of Youth 

      9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,
      And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;
      Walk in the ways of your heart,
      And in the sight of your eyes;
      But know that for all these
      God will bring you into judgment.
      10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart,
      And put away evil from your flesh,
      For childhood and youth are vanity.

      – Ecclesiastes 11.9–10
      1. First, rejoice in your youth. 
      2. Let your heart cheer you during the days of your youth. 
        1. Walk in the ways of your heart, 
        2. walk in the sight of your eyes, but 
          1. keep something in mind. 
          2. All that you do as a youth, God will bring into the Judgment. 
      3. Therefore, 
        1. put God’s ways in your heart and 
        2. put the things of God before your eyes. 
    4. Ecclesiastes 12.1–7 Days of Decline

      1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
      Before the difficult days come,
      And the years draw near when you say,
      “I have no pleasure in them”

      – Ecclesiastes 12.1–7
      1. Remember your Creator now while you are young. 
        1. I can testify from 39 years of preaching that Solomon was right. 
          1. I have baptized few people over 40 years old. 
          2. I have baptized four in their 80s. 
        2. The vast majority are in their teens, 20s, and some in their 30s. 
          1. We get set in our ways, refusing to change even for God, and 
          2. life gets consumed with difficulties in old age. 
      2. Young people have pleasure in your days, but 
        1. such difficult days will come when you will say 
        2. that you have no pleasure in your days anymore. 
    5. Ecclesiastes 12.13–14 The Grand Conclusion: Days of Dedication

      13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

      Fear God and keep His commandments,
      For this is man’s all.
      14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
      Including every secret thing,
      Whether good or evil.

      – Ecclesiastes 12.13–14
  7. VII.Respect Older People

    1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. 

    –1 Timothy 5.1–2
    1. In other words, be respectful:

      32 “You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD.”

      – Leviticus 19.32

      22 Listen to your father who begot you,
      And do not despise your mother when she is old.

      – Proverbs 23.22
    2. Sometimes they are irritable, love and respect them anyway. 
      1. Yes, they need to be Christ-like, and 
      2. Paul did tell them how they should treat you. 
    3. I have often heard them say as they watched younger people,

      “I wish I knew then what I know now.”
      1. So I thought, 
      2. What do they know now that they wish they knew? 
        1. The best way to answer that question was for me to ask them. 
        2. They always told me gladly. 
      3. Ask them and note what they say. 
        1. Some of them have learned from their experiences. 
        2. Some of them never learn. 
    4. Someone said:

      “Listen to your elders not because they’re always right, but they have more experience at being wrong.”