Why Young People Should Be Sanctified
1. Because it reduces the danger of backsliding to the minimum. The carnal mind is the most prolific source of backsliding. We can never place our young people where they will be exempt from temptation; but sanctification having destroyed the inward tendency to evil, and buttressed the will, and given intensified love and zeal for God and righteousness, the danger of backsliding is reduced to a minimum. God has said, “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11.) This would seem to indicate that full salvation, or “the whole armor,” is necessary in order “to stand;” the implied teaching is that whoever does not have on “the whole armor” will not stand.
2. Because it is the best possible preparation and qualification for the duties of life. Having started right, there is no time lost in retracing steps, and straightening out “crooked paths.” Sanctification, giving a clarified vision, enables even a young person to place a proper estimate on things temporal and things eternal; to see light in His light, and so gives to the entire life a soul-poise and equilibrium that is otherwise impossible. Not only so, but God has undoubtedly a purpose and plan for each life, and by making the consecration necessary to sanctification, the soul is brought into harmony with the divine purpose, and so enables one to determine and begin the vocation and calling of life under the conscious direction and approval of the Holy Spirit. God sanctified me while in my eighteenth year, and called me to the work of the ministry, so that I have been enabled to give to God my very best years in leading thousands of souls to the foot of the cross. Had I failed to make this consecration thus early in life, I doubtless would have thwarted the divine plan, and missed my opportunity, which might have been the source of much trouble in this world, and occasioned eternal regret.
3. Because it will properly adjust social relations. In accordance with the old adage, “Birds of a feather flock together,” it is most natural for young people to seek the companionship of such as are of like mind. There can be no real fellowship between a truly spiritually-minded and a worldly-minded person. How many homes are unhappy and lives blighted because a mistake has been made in the choice of a life companion, and becoming “unequally yoked together.” Suppose I had married before I was sanctified, I would most likely have married an unsanctified — if not an unconverted young lady. Then suppose God had afterward sanctified me and called me into the ministry and evangelistic work. She might have said, as we have heard some say, “I did not marry a preacher or an evangelist,” and although she might not have prevented my obedience to God, she might have greatly hindered and been the cause of much sorrow and heartache. Thank God He sanctified me first, and then gave me one of the best sanctified young la dies he ever made, as a wife, who has ever been like minded with me, and has ever been a genuine helper and blessing to me, making my home seem like a little corner of heaven for, lo, these many years. What an irreparable mistake it would have been for me to have married before I was wholly sanctified.
4. As a secret of happiness. Young hearts crave pleasure and are inclined to follow that which will give them enjoyment. The secret of true happiness is a pure heart and a clear conscience. The happiest people on the face of the earth are the sanctified people. A regenerated soul will have some joy, but will find it intermittent and spasmodic; whereas a sanctified soul will have the fullness of joy — abiding and perpetual. Sanctified young people find such a fullness of joy in the service of God, they never crave any worldly pleasures. In the language of the poet, they find,
“As by the light of opening day,
The stars are all concealed;
So earthly pleasures fade away
When Jesus is revealed.”
I have been pastor of a church where there were two hundred young people, and not one of them could have been persuaded to attend even a church social, or party of any sort – simply because their cup of joy was filled from fountains of living water. They asked for nothing better than a red-hot prayer or class meeting, where saints rejoiced and shouted for joy.
5. As a preparation to meet God. Old people must die — young people may die. Death claims multitudes while in youth. Sanctification is that act of divine grace whereby we are made holy. Holiness is the only fitness for heaven. Holiness is the best possible preparation for life. Holiness alone can satisfy the cravings of the soul, qualify for life’s responsibilities, give victory over sin and give a passport for glory. It is the need of all young people.