Is the Young Man Safe?
Paternal love is intensely strong. What have not fathers borne? What have not fathers forgiven! Anything rather than give up a child. Look at David — as basely as Absalom acted toward him — how solicitous he was for his safety. Hence when the army was going out to battle, He said, "Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom." And when tidings were brought him of the victory, his first question was, "Is the young man Absalom safe?" 2 Samuel 18:29. Let us apply the words to our young men, and notice,
THE SUPPOSITION. Young men are exposed to danger — the greatest danger. They are in danger of falling . . .
and into Hell!
Their danger arises . . .
from their corrupt passions — which are apt to be fierce and fiery,
from their inexperience — the path of life is new and strange to them,
from false friends — who feed their vanity, and gratify their lusts,
from wicked associates — which are often fascinating, and always injurious,
from Satan the seducer — who watches them, lays in wait for them, and seeks their destruction.
In a wicked world like this,
with deceitful hearts like ours, and
with such evil influences acting upon us —
we are all in danger — but the young especially, and young men most of all.
But here is, AN INTIMATION. They may be safe. Blessed be God, many young men are. But it requires caution in reference to the choice of your companions, the books you read, and the way in which you walk.
There must be care and caution, or before you are aware — you will be entrapped, ensnared, and be placed in circumstances of the greatest danger!
There must be faith, faith in Jesus. Without faith . . .
we have no interest in Christ,
we can derive no benefit from Christ,
no blessing flows to us from Christ.
But when we come to him, entrust our souls to him, and exercise confidence in him — then we are safe. He becomes our guardian, defender, and Savior.
There must be prayer, and where there is faith — there will be. Prayer will call in God's aid, obtain from God wisdom, and place us under the shadow of his wings for protection.
When young men proceed with caution, are careful with whom they walk, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and seek divine keeping by prayer — then they are safe.
Then comes, THE INQUIRY. "Is the young man safe?" When a father asks this question, it shows deep solicitude and great kindness. In David's case, his heart was wrung. O how many godly fathers are almost broken heart-hearted about their sons! With what intense anxiety they put the question, "Is he safe?"
Well, does he respect the Bible, and treat it as God's book?
Does he avoid evil company, associating with the wise and good?
Does he abstain from bad habits, and cultivate purity and piety?
Does he strive to improve himself by reading and proper cultivation of his mind?
Does he unite with young Christians, and attend to the means of grace?
Does he believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and keep his commandments?
If so — he is safe.
Absalom was not safe, nor are many young men now.
If they are mirthful, vain of their appearance, and fond of dress;
if they are selfish, conceited, and covetous;
if they are careless, reckless, or indifferent —
they are not, they cannot be safe!
There is no real safety — but in Christ, and through faith in his name. Until a young man is . . .
convinced of sin,
sensible of his danger,
and embraces Christ —
we cannot pronounce him safe.
As the shipwrecked sailor is not safe until picked up by the life boat, or otherwise conveyed on shore; so the sinner is not safe until free grace picks him up, as he is floating on the waters of this world, and brings him to Christ as the harbor of safety!
Young man, are you safe? You were not always so, and if you are now, you must have passed through a great and important change.
You are not safe because you have been convinced of sin, have reformed your life, and have felt comfortable in your mind; for this may be true — and your soul be in the greatest danger. You are not, you cannot be safe — unless you are in Christ. If you are resting on his finished work, if you are copying his holy example, if you are really united to his person — then you are safe — safe for time, and safe for eternity. Then if the question is put, "Is the young man safe?" The answer is, "Yes, safe, and safe forever!"