up·ris·ing (noun): an act of resistance; a rebellion or revolt against the establishment.
That’s exactly what happened Friday night as 850 students assembled for Uprising, an event that calls young men and women to rebel against the world and rise to the higher calling of Christ. The problems and pressures that today’s youth are facing are unprecedented. Things that were virtually unheard of a generation ago—sexting, cyberbullying, guns in school, the open extolment of homosexuality, and a heightened antagonism towards Christianity, for example—have become commonplace among today’s youth culture. To live the life of a genuine Christ follower is revolutionary, and 145 students decided to do just that as they received Christ as the Lord of their lives.
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The night kicked off with great worship from the Uprising band. Then hip-hop artist Tedashii dropped some beats and encouraged the students to “make war” against the flesh and “go hard” for Jesus. The flow and energy of the night kept building for the most important event: the preaching of the gospel.commercial slip and slide
Pastor Daniel Hooper provided a reality check for the students: “As a culture, we are in a tailspin and our young people are literally losing it. Our youth are in crisis. If you look at young people today, the words that describe the general mood and attitude of our teens wouldn’t be happy and optimistic. Today’s youth is better described by words like frustrated, angry, hopeless, depressed or lonely.” This is a result of sin, and the difficulties many students face by coming from broken homes, being victims of sexual, physical or verbal abuse, which often lead to depression or suicide.
How do young people cope with the harsh realities of sin and life? Pastor Daniel named a few ways: substance abuse, sexual experimentation, escapes from real life through the virtual world (video games, social networking, etc.), and dreams about a better life through success and fame. Then he shared an alarming statistic: 31% of American teens expect to be famous. But even if a few were to “make it,” what would that accomplish?
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Pastor Daniel shared the words of Jesus with the students, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36, NKJV). For those who want to “gain the whole world,” the questions must be asked: “Would that solve your problems? Would that remove your loneliness? Would that get rid of your insecurities? Would that heal your pains? Would that get you into heaven? Jesus’ answer is no, because it won’t satisfy you as a person, and it won’t solve your greatest problem—sin.” Then he shared the great truth that we were made to know God, and only He can satisfy the human heart. Apart from Jesus we’d all lose our souls, but Jesus has solved our greatest problem (sin) through His sacrifice on the cross.
Thankfully, many young people responded to this gospel message by committing themselves to Christ! The answer to this generation’s difficulties isn’t fame or success, it’s Jesus Christ! That’s what Uprising is all about!
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As the young people of God let’s continue to rise up and reach out with the gospel. Let’s revolt against the godless world system and pray for an uprising in our city!