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Tags: college students | hope | christ | peace | god
OPINION

Instill Faith, Hope and Light In Students to Counter a Dark World

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Kent Ingle By Wednesday, 25 October 2023 02:02 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

College campuses seem to be in disarray. Since Hamas brutally attacked Israel on Oct. 7, higher education institutions appear to be perplexed on how to respond. Some college presidents have denounced the acts of terrorism. Others have remained silent.

Students have protested across campuses to "Free Palestine," while others have held up images of the victims of Hamas.

As a college president and former pastor, I am deeply concerned and disheartened by what is occurring nationwide. Political affiliation must never mar our perception of the atrocities that happened.

I recognize there are layers to the conflict. Many innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives have been taken — and are under threat. We mourn with and pray for those who have lost loved ones and are amid the conflict.

College campuses feel the tension of what is unraveling in the Middle East. As a faith-based institution, we are reminding students of how these events fulfill Scripture and the importance of being vigilant in their faith.

Here are three ways that we are discussing recent events with our students and how parents can do the same.

First — Share how students should be alert to what is happening worldwide so they can see how it correlates with the Bible.

While the Bible provides a chronological map and guide for the future, it is clear that not all Scriptures have been fulfilled.

Israel becoming a nation in 1948 fulfilled Scripture and brought the possibility of the end times. "​​He shall raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:12).

The Bible depicts the end times as a woman in labor, beginning with birth pains — wars, famines and earthquakes (Matthew 24:4-8). Like a woman in labor, we are uncertain of how imminent Christ's return will be.

With the catastrophes our world faced over the last few years — from devastating floods and earthquakes to the war in Ukraine — it's no surprise that nearly half of Christian Americans (48%) believe that we are living in the end times.

As a parent, talk to your student about the events taking place today. Discuss why they are happening and how specific events are evident in Scripture.

Second — Teach students how they can be prepared for what is to come.

While people may predict Christ's return, Scripture tells us that "the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Not even the angels of heaven or the Son know of His return (Matthew 24:36).

The discord in our world is not a surprise to God, and it shouldn't be to us either. The days leading up to Christ's return will be filled with war and unrest — world peace will be unattainable.

In Mark 13:7, Jesus said, "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come."

Remind your student of the importance of staying rooted in their faith. In the end times, their faith will be tested and under attack. Many will fall away from the faith. But there is hope in Christ. Mark 13:13 reassures that "the one who stands firm to the end will be saved."

As they prepare their hearts for what is to come, share how Christ gives them strength in any circumstance (Philippians 4:13).

Third — Demonstrate how students can be a light in their communities.

The world may be encountering some of its darkest moments. At times like this, Christians can offer hope.

Emphasize the importance of prayer. The Bible highlights the power of prayer and the strength of believers uniting together for a common purpose (Matthew 18:18-20).

Encourage your student to pray for Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). Pray for peace, that the conflict stops and for those greatly affected. And pray that God gives the leaders of our world wisdom in decision-making.

Talk about how your student should be aware of how their actions and words — even on social media — can change people's perspective of Christ. Christians are to "let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

Encourage your student to be a part of initiatives that are helping those overseas in conflict zones, create awareness of what is going on and be a part of community events that help those enduring hardships.

What our college students need most right now is the reassurance of the hope found in Christ. As they prepare their hearts for Christ's return and focus on the future, they can find comfort in knowing that God's peace will guard their hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7) for what is to come.

Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the president of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. A champion of innovative educational design, Ingle is the author of "Framework Leadership.'' Read Kent Ingle's Reports — More Here.

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KentIngle
College campuses feel the tension of what is unraveling in the Middle East. As a faith-based institution, we are reminding students of how these events fulfill Scripture and the importance of being vigilant in their faith.
college students, hope, christ, peace, god
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2023-02-25
Wednesday, 25 October 2023 02:02 PM
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