Lord Jesus Christ! Lord, God, Creator of heaven and earth. You knew us before we were conceived in the womb. You knew us and planned for our lives before all creation. I pray a special blessing over these young people gathered here today, who have come—some maybe not exactly willingly, maybe under a little pressure from their parents, or let's face it, a lot of pressure, God bless their parents, they mean so well, they care about their children, they care so much, just as, Father, you cared to send your one and only Son to the earth, born of Mary, to die for our sins—I pray a special blessing over these young people. I know young people are so close to your heart, Lord God. So close.
Harden not your hearts, the Psalmist says. Harden not your hearts. Lord, make the hearts of these young people soft and malleable. Please heavenly Father, make their hearts teachable. How pleasing in your sight is a teachable heart!
Lord, no one is holy, no not one. No one here is holy. Not the people in the front row, not the people in the back row. Not the people in the middle rows. Not me. No, not me. I've spent years studying your Word and praying on my knees but that does not make me holy. We are not holy, no not one. We are all conceived in original sin, the sin from the fall of Adam that affects us to this day. The sin that has stained our souls for generations and generations, the stain that makes us all corrupt and all sinners in need of your unmerited grace to save us.
Lord Jesus, save these young people! Ask and you shall receive. I’m asking, Lord Father God. I’m begging you to save them. Save them from the temptations of the flesh, from the secular ways of the world, from sexual sins, from lust, from pornography, from apathy, from rebellion, from hatred, from atheism, from homosexuality, from false religion, from all the temptations and evil of the world.
Oh God, it’s hard to be a young person today. There are so many more temptations, more sins and vices easily obtained than in my day. I know the temptations of the world. I myself succumbed to them for many years before you came into my life and saved my soul. Lord Jesus, you touched my soul, you saved me from a path of destruction.
I was young, and I was a sinner. I was living a life of sin. I was having pre-marital sexual relations, which are unholy in your sight. I was taking illicit drugs, abusing my body with hallucinogens and marijuana and cocaine and living a life that made me so unhappy, so unhappy, I didn’t know it at the time but I was lost, completely lost. I was like the prodigal son who took his inheritance and spent it frivolously. He thought he was having fun but no, he was sinning and living a life that brought him no pleasure in the end. Orgies, threesomes, pre-marital sex, homosexual relations under the guise of experimentation—Lord God, these are unholy in your precious sight and in no way enjoyable.
Sexing, pornography, these are the tools the devil uses to lead us astray far from your Word, Lord Jesus. Dear God, help me talk to these young people today about one of the greatest ways they can be led astray: masturbation. It’s not an easy topic to speak about. There may be some embarrassment. Lord Jesus, give me the strength and wisdom to talk to these young people about the dangers of pleasuring themselves. They are curious and young but masturbation only leads to impure thoughts, pornography, and the most serious sin of all, pre-marital sex.
Lord Jesus, you brought me here with all these young people today to talk about sex. Help me be frank and honest with them. Sex is a great gift, a great gift you gave us to use within the bonds of sanctified marriage. It's not something to use frivolously. Once we give away that gift we can never get it back. Once we give that away we are soiled, ruined, unless we ask you to make us pure again. Lord Jesus, so many young women today dress inappropriately. I pray a special blessing over these young women here today. Help them know what it means to be a young holy woman, as Mary was. Pious, holy, meek, submissive.
And these young men, help these young men to be leaders to their sisters-in-Christ. Help them be true men of God, like Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice his only son out of his faith and love for you.
Lord, I can speak to these young people because I was once in their place. I came from a broken home—my parents divorced—I was looking for meaning, for anything. I started smoking marijuana. I remember that first hit, how it made me feel. I felt truly happy for the first time in my life. I felt truly relaxed and chill. But it was only temporary. I had to get that feeling again and again. I was chasing that feeling. How many years wasted!
I turned to alcohol to quench the spiritual hole in my heart. I turned to sex. Lots of sex with many different women to try to fill the hole in my heart. But Lord Jesus, nothing compares to the pleasure of having you inside our hearts. There is no pleasure in the world as great as that of doing your will. Help these young people see that.
I saw that Lord. I saw that one night when I woke up in that alley completely naked. I had only vague memories of the night before but some details were very clear. There was alcohol, there was dancing, there was sex in the bathroom of that club with a woman I didn't even know—I never met here before in my life, I pray for that woman now, I think her name was Elizabeth, or Evie, Evelyn maybe, something with a E, you know who I'm talking about, dark hair, maybe five-seven, five-eight, full bosomed—and then there was more drinking, more drugs.
We did a shot of tequila and Wolff—that was his name, my best friend at the time but who I later found out was only a temporary friend, he was cheating with my girlfriend—suggested we go to a strip club. Oh Lord, I pray for all those strippers that I saw that night, taking off their clothes to pleasure the lust of man. Oh God, I sincerely repent of my ways. Thank you for forgiving me. We were at that strip club and we got champagne. I don't even like champagne. That's how drunk I was. Wolff went off with a woman. I got a lap dance. It was an Asian woman named Hakiko. God, I pray for Hakiko right now, I pray that she has seen the light of your Word, that like Mary Magdalene the Whore she has seen the light and has been touched by you.
After the lap dance I wanted another one, because lust can never be truly satisfied, and Hakiko was truly a skilled performer, but I didn't have any money. Hakiko left. I said, No, Hakiko, don't leave, I'll get the money. And I went off to find Wolff. But I couldn't find Wolff. He ended up in the hospital; he later told me that he thinks he got roofied. I went out to the ATM. But I only had a dollar and nine cents in my account. I had used all my money to satisfy the sins of the flesh.
And some guys, they were hanging out there on the sidewalk, and I explained my situation. I said I just needed twenty bucks for one more lap dance. I said I’d pay them back the next day. And they said they would give me twenty bucks if I took of all my clothes and ran around the block. I said, No way. They said, Yes way. They had a bottle of Jack and were just drinking it out there on the sidewalk. And they gave me some. And I had some more. And they said would I do it, they'd give me fifty to do it. Then one hundred. Then two hundred. I said, I'll do it for two hundred and twenty one dollars—that number made perfect sense to me at the time. That was the magic number I would debase myself.
I took of all my clothes, and I ran. I ran so hard. I passed a policeman who started chasing me but he was incredibly fat and couldn't keep up. I was scared. I passed some ladies who were laughing at me. I turned and there was my girlfriend with her friends. It was the craziest coincidence. My girlfriend was there and she saw me and I ran past her and I yelled I would call her later. I ran around the block and got back to where the guys had been.
But they were gone. They had taken all my clothes and my wallet and my cell phone. I didn’t know what to do. The cop was going to be there any second. I tried to get back into the club but they wouldn't let me. I couldn't find Wolff. I went to that dark, dark alley and I started crying. But I wanted that lap dance. Dear Lord, it was a low moment.
But I must be honest so that others won't be led astray as I was. Young people appreciate honesty, I know I did. I saw Hakiko leaving for the night by the back door. I saw her and my lust was enflamed, and—Lord God, you know what I did—I pleasured myself in that alley. It shames me to say it. Then I passed out. When I woke up, I felt so incredibly low and depressed. I didn't have any clothes. No money. I had the worst hangover of my life, which was saying something. I started to root through the garbage to find some clothes, since I didn't want to walk around naked. I found a t-shirt. And beneath that t-shirt, I found a Bible. I lifted it up and looked at it for a second. I was going to throw it back in the trash but I heard a voice. It was the strangest experience and most beautiful experience of my life up to that moment. I heard a voice that said, Take up and read. So I opened that King James Bible—the Bible I still have today—just opened it randomly. Romans 13:13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. That phrase really hit me. Let us walk honestly. I couldn't even do that. I was naked. I couldn't even walk through the streets honestly.
I had really hit rock bottom. I was so empty. I knew I needed a change. And I said, I didn't even know what I meant exactly, I said, I'm going to be a youth pastor. I just knew it, even though I didn't know exactly what that meant. You had planted that seed in me, Lord Jesus, when I was naked in that alley that Sunday morning. Thank you, Lord Jesus.
Dear God, may these young people consecrate their virginity to you. May they pledge to remain pure until marriage. May they pledge to have only pure thoughts, to not think of sex until they are ready to get married and have many children, in accordance with your will. I pray that their hearts may be open to you and when I hand out the virginity pledge, they will take it.
Lord Jesus, I have gone on too long. Thank you for your patience. I know there are many prayers ascending to heaven now, many prayers from this conference alone. We are all crying out to you to help us lead holy lives so that we may spend eternity with you. The consequence of us not accepting Jesus into our hearts and living a holy life? Eternal damnation. People don’t want to talk about hell, but I’m not afraid to talk about it. Lord Jesus Christ, save these young people from hell. Save them. Thank you. We love you, Jesus Christ, we love you so much.