A Young Man Glorifies Jesus at a High School Graduation

Last week I got into a debate with a man about school prayer specifically prayer at High school graduation, he had posted an article that got my attention. After debating the man on this subject I decided to share with him something that I had recently witnessed, something that caused me to glorify God and give thanks for his people; you see the man that I was debating says he is a Christian, so if this event had that an impact on me, I assumed it would have an impact on this man.

My daughter had recently just graduated high school 5/28/2011. A young man whom I know well had finished as one of the top students in his class and therefore was given the honor of the opening welcome for the graduation ceremony; he asked everyone to stand and said "let's pray". He gave thanks to God for the entire student body for everything he had done for them all of their lives to bring them to high school graduation. He asked Him to guide them all throughout their lives. He praised the Lord Jesus for saving him from his sins and prayed for all the students to come to faith In Christ. He ended with in Jesus name, Amen. In attendance there were Believers, Atheist, people who just don't care, and I noticed a group of Muslem women sitting together. This is what I heard in this prayer the Lord was glorified, and all heard him declare his faith for salvation was not in himself, not in the works he does, not in his goodness, even declaring he was sinful, but his faith for salvation was in the son of God and all heard! Glory be to Jesus! And He was glorified before all that day!

The answer that the man I had been debating gave astounded me, I
was finished with the debate at that point and would discuss it with him no longer, and I shook the sand from my feet, but this has weighed heavily on my heart all week and I have spent much time in prayer with my Lord about this and for this man, God has called me to pray for him and his family daily. This is the answer he gave “and that school broke the law”. I have to tell you, I couldn’t believe it! How could a story like that not bring great joy to anyone who believes Jesus is the only begotten son of God who takes away the sin of the world? This High School graduation was in a large arena filled with people, some spilling over into a nearby auditorium where the ceremony was televised, there were somewhere around 3,000 people listening. This young man comes to the podium and in a quick and concise way preaches the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 3,000 people many who are not believers heard him in a very loving way tell people that there is salvation from sin in Jesus Christ.

Here is the first Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”.

I ask you, if this young man had been prevented from saying this prayer, whose rights would have been violated? I tell you it would have been his! There are three distinct marks of a believer and all who truly trusts in Jesus Christ have them.

1. Obedience to His (Jesus’) word: If Christ says “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” you go.
2. Desire to be with Jesus at all times: That is your ultimate goal in life, to be where Jesus is, that is why believers pray without ceasing, that as why they are in His word daily, to be with Jesus because He is their one true love.
3. Worship Jesus Christ as Lord: They don’t worship themselves, they worship Jesus, He is their adoration, they drop to his feet and worship.

Jesus said before ascending to His Father in Heaven, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). This young man was obedient to his Lord standing up in front of 3,000 people preaching the gospel. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech”. Now I ask you again if this young man would have been prevented from saying this prayer whose rights would have been violated? Jesus said, “preach the gospel”, this young man being obedient to his Lord did just that, if he had been prevented from doing so his rights under the first amendment would have been violated, he would have been prevented from freely exercising his religion and from freedom of speech. This was not the government establishing religion, this was the government getting out of the way and not preventing this young man from freely exercising his religion and freedom of speech. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most powerful and loving thing that has ever happened in this world. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). But to a depraved humanity wrath and anger rise up over the gospel of Jesus Christ, because to believe the gospel you must see your eternal state before God in truth, that you are a sinner headed to Hell, you then must be willing to turn away from the pleasures of sin and by faith turn to Jesus believing that He is the only begotten son of God that takes away the sins of the world and offers all who believe eternal life. The gospel is not an easy thing to take, to believe the gospel and except it, Christ said you must be “born again” (John 3:3). God has to transform you spiritually before you can even believe. There are many who believe in a kind of Jesus but it is not the Jesus of the gospel it is only God who can cause a man to believe the gospel because he must be “born again”.

Just like there are three things that mark a believer there are three things that mark a false believer:

1. Disobedience to His (Jesus’) Word: If Christ says “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” you will do anything but. You may do a bunch of good deeds thinking you’ve done something great but never preach the gospel.
2. No burning desire to be with Jesus: They love the world and all of its sinful pleasures, they only want Jesus for what he might give them or maybe some of His precepts, but when it comes to repentance they go the other way.
3. They do not worship Jesus, not the Jesus of the gospel: They worship themselves and will support anything, wither it is the church or government that will serve them, there wants and their desires.

No one’s rights were violated by this prayer this young man gave. There is no right to not here something, if you are offended by the gospel of Jesus Christ guess what, you’re not unique, most of the world is offended by the gospel. The world tells you are good; the gospel says you’re bad. The world tells you that you deserve good things that you deserve to be happy; the gospel tells you that you deserve Hell. The world leads you to believe that you are at the center of all things, that you are god; the gospel says that Jesus is Lord. Yes the gospel of our Lord is hard to take and it goes against our sinful human nature; you truly most be “born again” to except it and this truly is what is going on here with this debate, not just between me and this man, but in this country over the subject of school prayer. The gospel is offensive and many will go to great lengths so that they don’t have to hear it. The first amendment was written to keep the government from interfering and is now being twisted in such a way to cause interference, to keep people from freely exercising their religion and from freedom of speech. To shut the mouths of those who obediently serve their Lord, doing what he said to do “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

In the record of the early church the book of “Acts” while the ruling leaders of Israel met to discuss how they may stop “The Way” the gospel of Jesus Christ, a Pharisee named Gamaliel a member of the council stood up and said; “but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God”. The ruling leaders of Israel tried to stop the Apostles from preaching the gospel but they did it anyway and it spread. Rome tried to put the church to death but believers continued to preach the gospel and it spread. The Catholic Church tried to hold the gospel hostage and keep it from being spread to the common man and the world; but those who where obedient to their Lord preached it and it spread. Satan has even come up with false gospels to confuse; but the true gospel of our Lord continues to be preached. Satan has placed wolves in the church to discredit the gospel; but it continues on. I don’t care what law man passes that attempts to silence the Lord’s people, the gospel cannot be stopped and I for one will continue to preach it no matter the cost, for all the glory belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. This young man glorified Jesus Christ in praying at this High School graduation I encourage you to do the same.

Glorify Jesus Christ confess Him before all men;
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ