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Tonight, I sat on a stool and fielded questions from the high school group of Hope Church. We talked about the Bible, heaven and hell, parents, friends, the question of evil, suicide, rape, abortion, anorexia, incest, abuse, purgatory, life-changing books, eschatology, denominationalism, Hope Church, elders, Christmas pageants, Obama, favorite Bible passages, and evangelism.

Several thoughts came from the hour-long Q and A.

1. I really like these guys and gals. They asked serious questions and great follow-up questions. They laughed at my attempts at humor and a lot of them stayed afterwards to visit. They are smart, quick, and interested in so many things.

2. Teenagers live with a lot of pain. They hurt for their families and worry about the future. Their friends are talking about suicide and worrying about STD’s. More than one opened up to me afterward about their own experiences of abuse, rejection and fear. No one gets out of high school without brokenness.

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3. They care – about their world, their friends and their families. They want their friends to know Christ, and repeatedly asked how they might share Him with their friends.

4. God is a great reality to some. The atmosphere was very quiet as I tried to paint a picture of God as sovereign in salvation and history. The idea that God’s grace is magnified in heaven and His wrath is magnified in hell brought several follow-up questions. They want more than pat answers.

5. Authenticity and relationships are very important to them. They wanted to know if I would be honest with them and did I care for them. Hopefully, they saw Jesus in me.

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