Boredom and the Young

Scripture: Romans 7:22-24, Romans 12:2, John 3:16
Boredom and the young focuses on youth and a search for happiness. There are many things young people look to for joy in life--drugs, alcohol, sex, money. But the only thing that can fill the void in our lives is God.
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Today I would like to talk to the young people in our "Amazing Facts" audience. More and more of the youth are writing letters and asking some of the most important questions that puzzle people about God and religion. One thing is very obvious from the correspondence, friends, and that is that boredom has become practically a universal problem with most young people.

Once people thought that money and the things it could buy would bring happiness. Some people are still on that trip but most freely admit that they are not happy. When a man worth two and a half billion dollars says he is not a happy man we are led to ask if he really is rich even with that fabulous bank balance.

Other people have other ways of searching for happiness: power, sex, drugs, rebellion; but by talking to them you discover that they're looking for happiness in those ways, but generally not finding it.

Until finally a lot of people are trying the only thing left. More and more people than ever before are trying the only thing that will work. They're trying God, and finding out that the old church philosopher was right when he prayed, "We are restless until we find our rest in thee." God Himself described it as creating us in His own image. To use an imperfect analogy, God designed the human "machine" to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel we are to burn. There is no other. But Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors the idea that they could "be like God," could set up on their own as if they had created themselves, be their own masters, invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside of God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history, money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, racism, empire slavery, drug abuse, the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.

Since our useful fuel is God, it is just no good to ask God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God can't give us happiness and peace apart from Himself. That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended, civilizations are built up, excellent institutions devised but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin. The machine conks out. It starts up all right and runs a few feet, but then it breaks down. They are trying to run it on the wrong fuel.

Real happiness. Where do you find it in this rat's race called life? "Conform! Conform!" That is what the establishment will tell you. Don't be different! Don't make waves , just work hard, study hard, find your niche on the treadmill of life and stagnate there the rest of your days. That is their brand of happiness.

But you are young and restless, not content to become just another face in the crowd. You want to feel that your life is more than a statistic on the population explosion chart, more than nine digits on a Social Security Card, more than a series of holes punched in a computer card. That is not real happiness.

Others say "Drop out of society to find happiness," and that sounds tempting, till you find that dropping out can be pretty lonely business. What you really want is love, someone to care about you, and that takes people. But you've seen lonely people like yourself who have dropped out with drugs or something else, freaked out and wound up more alone than before. That is not real happiness.

Who can you trust about this happiness thing? Advertising men are out to make a buck at your expense. So they say if you brush you teeth with this or put that on your hair you'll find love and happiness. They paint a picture of happiness and tell you that if you'll drink their booze or smoke their brand of weeds you'll enjoy life. But you are not dumb; and you know the other side of the story and you know that hangovers and lung cancer are not real happiness.

The billboards flash the news of a thousand kinds of entertainment. But you know that no matter how many places you go, how many things you see, how fast and loud your music rocks, how high you get on drugs, that it can't last forever; and when you come crashing down after it is all over, you have got the same problems to face, the same feelings of boredom and dull emptiness and no real happiness.

There is a lie going around that real happiness is in doing what used to be called sin. And your enemies on both sides of the generation gap will try to exploit you by getting you hung up on some kind of sin, quite frequently sex. But that doesn't work either. Right now America is going wild over the Swedish sex movies. But give us time and we will be just like Sweden where movie attendance has drastically dropped off. Bored with too much sex on the screen, the Swedes are staying home! Plain, raw, purely glandular sex won't bring you real happiness.

That is feeding the old establishment idea of materialism. The whole hang-up of youth has been over this neglect of the individual, the selfish exploitation of the person as an individual, just to satisfy some physical goal. Free love and sex is a move into an even greater materialism than your parents ever dreamed. It dwells on a plane of physical enjoyment, self love and self indulgence. Everyone knows that this isn't going to make strong people. It is going to make weaklings out of young men and young women. It is also going to proliferate the social problems that you are trying to eliminate.

Did you know that over a million American teenagers become pregnant each year? Thirty thousand of them are under 15 years of age. Forty percent of today's 14 year olds will be pregnant at least once before age 20. If the new youth generation is going to solve more problems than it creates, then youth had better stop this selfish exploitation of free sex. Following every emotional impulse will do nothing to create the brave new world which you demand the right to help build. This crude animalistic view of love and life couldn't be real happiness. Who could ever believe that the 1,000,000 pregnant brides this past year were freer and happier because of being forced into marriage. And in the state of California, one half of all the teenage girls who got married were already pregnant. Is there a person in all the world who believes that these hasty and insecure marriages will lead to strength and true happiness? These youth are creating problems, not solving them.

You see, sin can't set you free. Maybe you have bought that line about God's ten commandments tying you down, and that to be free you had to break them. It just isn't true. God gave us those rules because He knew if we obeyed them we'd find real happiness. But a long time ago we decided to do our own thing and break them. So we wound up in the prison of sin and found ourselves miserable. A man named Paul had a lot to say about this, "My inner being delights in the law of God" he said, "But I see a different law at work in my body. . .It makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is at work in my body. What an unhappy man I am!" See Romans 7: 22-24.

God made us to be good, and happy. Our unhappiness, our boredom comes from sin; from conforming to and obeying the law of sin. And the big-shot sinners who tell you to break away form God and be free are really enticing you into conformity and bondage. Paul exposed them and gave us the solution to our dilemma: "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your mind from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves toward the goal of true maturity." See Romans 12:2. And, we might add, true happiness.

When we broke God's law we deserved punishment and misery instead of happiness. But God loved us too much to see us miserable. "For God so loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life." See John 3:16. God's Son Jesus came to live among men and show them how to find real happiness. This is what he said: "I have told you this so that you can share my joy and your happiness may be complete."

Across the world, thousands of people your age have found real happiness by having this man Jesus as their friend. Their lives are full and exciting. They can face and solve their problems. They can wear a genuine smile on their faces. Because of Him they are important individuals; instead of numbers on punch cards they are sons and daughters of God. They have found that "If the Son (Jesus) makes you free, then you will be really free."

There is no freedom nor happiness in unbridled sexual license. Even when premarital sex does not result in conception, someone gets hurt. For example, in those couples who indulge and soon marry, even though neither party has been promiscuous, circumstances arise that suggest doubts about the fidelity of the one spouse to the other. The memory of the previous behavior increases the lack of trust and confidence and leads to quarreling, incrimination, and too often to divorce, with its attendant disruptions of the family and quota of disturbed children. Perhaps it doesn't go this far, but guilt feelings may bring women to a doctor, a pastor, or to a mental breakdown and hospitalization.

Sex is talked about so freely at present that even mere children are amazingly well informed about anatomical facts, and most adolescents believe this is the whole story, blissfully ignorant of what constitutes a mature understanding. Young people of high school and college age who see adults seemingly doing as they please and getting what they want, equate freedom with absence of restraint. They often are led to seek no higher control for themselves than their feelings. But feelings are temperamental, changing from minute to minute, variable according to circumstances. Action on this basis is not freedom nor a "new freedom." It is the old slavery to passions, leading to destruction of all that makes life here worth while and life hereafter possible.

Sex in America is fast becoming a cult, the cult of sexology.

This cult flourished in pagan nations in ancient days. Ashtoreth, the patron goddess of sexual love, known to the Babylonians as Ishtar, was worshiped throughout the ancient east. Aphrodite was worshiped by the Greeks. Diana, by the Romans. In honor of these goddesses the ancients built temples. In these shrines they worshiped the sex symbols and participated in festivals of immorality in their honor.

The Noachian world was destroyed and Sodom and Gomorrah were turned to ashes because of their immorality. "Every imagination of the thoughts of his [man's] heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5.

"Every emotion, every impulse and imagination, was at war with the divine principles of purity and peace and love. It was an example of the awful depravity resulting from Satan's policy to remove from God's creatures the restraint of His holy law." Babylon, Greece, and Rome, nations which at the height of their supremacy were seemingly impregnable, were humbled to the dust. They collapsed and were overcome, not alone by the might of the military power arrayed against them but because of moral degeneracy.

A stream can arise no higher than its source, and the source had become polluted. Nations live by moral force, and their moral force had been spent.

Although modern man, supposedly Christian, has built no outward shrines to his passions, it is nevertheless clear who and what are his gods.

Women of loose morals, married so often that they live in consecutive polygamy, are the pin-up girls of the masses. For their theatrical portrayals of roles of immorality, they receive higher incomes than do kings on thrones. Their immodest fashions have become the fashions of the nation's women, even of many who profess to be followers of Christ. Their standards of morality have become the standards of the multitudes. Great indeed is Diana of the moderns!

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