Your Local High School

On December 19, 2013 by Bobby Blakey

gospel of johnThis week I had an extraordinary opportunity.

I taught the Gospel of John at one of the highest-ranking high schools here in Orange County.

Every semester I visit a World Religions class to represent Christianity, but this time I was invited to come back.  The entire class, who had not read the Bible before, read through the Gospel of John together so we could talk about it.

As I told my family and friends at church about this open door for the gospel, they were excited and intrigued!  The Bible being read and taught at a public school seems like such a novel idea in America today.  For both the class and me, this was going to be a new experience.

The students all had their copies of the Gospel of John.  Almost all of them seemed to agree it was a very interesting read.  They liked the stories. We began to turn the pages and look up some passages together.  As the students became comfortable and I asked for their feedback, two of them began to ask a lot of questions.  And the questions did not stop.  Eventually the teacher interrupted:

“The reason they are asking you so many questions is this is what we train them to do.  Our whole educational system is teaching them to be skeptics…”

This broke my heart.  My excitement to go through the Gospel of John with these students was replaced by a deep sadness that they had already been taught not to believe it.  As I walked off campus that day there was a heaviness over me, a burden for the lost teenagers of every possible ethnicity talking happily all around me.  Their mandatory education was designed to make every one of them…


I began the class with the glorious hope of the gospel ringing out and a response of salvation!  I had been praying for God to save through the power of his written word and the profound truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Even though that did not happen, I still wonder what the rest of the students in the class walked away thinking.  Even though two of them talked most of the time, what was happening in the hearts of the over 20 other students listening to this most important conversation?

We began with John’s stated purpose in writing his gospel:

John 20:31 - “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that be believing you may have life in his name.”

We talked about two ways John seems to argue over and over for the deity of Jesus.  One is by quoting his frequent “I AM” statements throughout the gospel.  Another is by telling us of miracles Jesus has literally done. We went through the death of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection on the 3rd day.  And the questions began.

“But don’t many people claim to be Jesus?”

“But how can we know these miracles literally happened?”

“How can we believe what this John guy is writing and not think he is making it up?

“Wasn’t the Bible really written by the Council of Nicea in 325?”

Although I did my best to answer all of these questions, I could not replace the students skepticism…

We got into the fact that the Bible is a unique book in its popularity and ancient manuscript preservation and that is why I believe what it says about Jesus.

We went though the fact that Jesus claimed to be God and so he is either a Liar, Lunatic or the Lord of all as C.S. Lewis argues in Mere Christianity.  There is no middle ground on Jesus like everyone wants to take today.

We talked about how the apostle John was an eyewitness to Jesus writing down what he saw and heard before he died.  It was not one man’s opinion as there are four gospel accounts that go together.  In fact, in 1 Corinthians 15 there were 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrected Jesus the readers could go and talk to.  We talked about how after John died his identity and writing were testified to by disciples like Polycarp, Irenaeus and Tertullian.  The Council of Nicea was not writing Scripture but simply recognizing what was already being taken as Scripture for years.

I asked them what they needed to believe John’s testimony.  There were lots of jokes about pictures or videos.  In the end, they admitted that if God wanted to make himself known the most popular book in human history would be a good way to do it, but this still did not mean they wanted to believe it.  They were still not convinced.

By the end of the class time together, it was clear we were coming at life from two different worldviews.  The students asking most of the questions believe what they are taught at school: the scientific theory of evolution. They believe it will eventually be able to fully explain where life came from.  Therefore, the point of their life is to be what they consider a good person.  I believe God is the creator of the universe and therefore its center.  The point of life is for him to get all of the glory. Therefore I live for him.

There was a good moment, as I was able to clearly articulate the gospel of Jesus Christ and what it meant to me personally. Jesus died for my sin so I could  have this awesome opportunity to know God and live life seeing all of his glory!  “You can know this relationship with God too!” I told the class.  “The Gospel of John calls it eternal life.”

Still, I walked away with no clear interest from the students, much less saving response…

So if you are reading this please pray for this class. Pray they will believe in Jesus and find life in his name.

But don’t just pray for this class.  Pray for whatever skeptic training center is near you that the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ will save students from their sins.  See your local high school as a mission field.


If we will not pray for them who will?

If we will not evangelize them who will?

There is a generation of skeptics growing up right now in America.  What are you and I going to do about it?

I may have walked away from campus sad this week.

But I am more resolved than ever to see the high school campuses of Orange County revived in the name of Jesus in 2014!

Is anybody out there with me?

21 Responses to “Your Local High School”

  • Matthew Fabarez

    What a great reminder for all of us that we need to get back on our horse and be resolved for taking down our high schools for Jesus Christ. The weekly activities just drain this passion to see people get saved. This is what it’s all about! We most definitely learn the most in our failures and it’s my prayer that 2014 would be the year where we see more souls added to the kingdom and that this year we would see the last person repent and in a twinkling of an eye we are taken up in the clouds. Maranatha 2014!

  • Sam Graham

    I am WITH you Pastor Bobby! It is my passion to see lost souls looking for satisfaction find it in Jesus Christ, the King of all Kings! God loves to glorify Himself…Revival comes when we passionately pray for His glory!!! Praying that God will be glorified through skeptics and critics turning from their sin and living all out for Jesus Christ!

  • Henry DaMour

    Super encouraged by all you’ve been doing, Pastor Bobby! I’m praying that we keep fighting the good fight even in the face of this world so openly skeptical, and even opposed to Christianity. Christ didn’t come to save the righteous, but the sinners and skeptics, and they’re the reason we’re in our respective mission fields: The people that will shut us down and try our faith. Our job is just to be the messenger, and as long as we do that willingly in His power, God will bless us. Keep on keeping on!

  • Tayler Key

    Praying for University HS and all Orange County high schools! Praying specifically for the class you spoke to, that the words of John, and your own words would be heavy upon their hearts and lead to repentance!

  • Mark Richards

    I can’t express how close to home this article hits. Many of my peers are the exact same way, and I often find myself discouraged by their skepticism. But that is when I absolutely must remember to get on my knees and pray to the Almighty and Sovereign God. Thank you so much for this article and the reminder and exhortation to pray. I am praying for the students at Uni High School, that God would soften their hearts and open their eyes to the truth of the gospel, and I’m praying the same thing for my peers at my high school.

  • Jay Rubin

    As someone who responded to the Gospel message 7 years after the initial seed was planted… and a Jew… I pray you do not lose heart. You may never know all of the souls that were saved through the delivery of your message. God is with you and is using you to save souls. You are blessed!

  • Ryley Breithaupt

    This senior year I have realized how the topics such as evolution, homosexuality, and abortion are becoming a “trend” and young adults in high school are simply jumping on the ban wagon with everyone else. It is awesome to be that light when you say you don’t support gay marriage because it is the minority that say that but it is heart breaking to know people are so blind. But there is hope from Gods word that He is faithful to lift the veil from their eyes just as he did with all of us who are saved! I am with you and so ready to see revival all over our campuses! So pumped for the upcoming months and my last year in true north!

  • TaylorThompson

    Praying for Revival! Praise God for continuing to send out his gospel!

  • Stacy Petersen

    I am both pained and encouraged by your post, Pastor Bobby! I am encouraged by the passion and obedience you exemplify for us in your witness to His Truth, but I am pained by the initial discouragement you walked away with. Like many of your fellow brothers and sisters, I KNOW God will claim this for His glory: the bowing down of people to the King, and the expansion/furtherance of His Kingdom. Thank you for strengthening His Church (and ME, specifically!) in your saying AND doing. We love you!

  • John Fabarez

    Praying to see sight given to those who are blind to Gospel of Christ!

  • Eric C. Wilson

    In a strange way, I was actually encouraged by your discouragement Pastor Bobby. For if you, who are an evangelism warrior, get discouraged from time to time, then I should not think it so strange when I do too. Thank you for being real so as to let us see the human-side of one of our own heroes of the faith! ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS!!!

  • Erika Garcia

    I am with you pastor Bobby! Your post has totally encouraged me!! God wants people to get saved and He wants to be glorified, if we are faithful to be praying and evangelizing, God will save people!! I am definitely praying for my high school and for Uni high school that God would open students’ eyes to see He is Lord and that they would come to repentance and faith!!!

  • Daniel Nevins

    Moments like these cause me to reflect back to Gods perfect display of mercy and grace shown to me by the sharing of his glorious gospel. As far away from a Christian home as I could be, God placed a friend and family in my life who not only shared the gospel of Christ with thier mouths, they also lived it out with their lives. From 4th grade through high school I was told of the good news. It went right over my head, and I allowed my pride to try and show them I was a good person on my own. In these times of discouragement remember in Gods timing all those seeds you throw he will use for his glory. As I watched the birth of my first child God opened my eyes to the need to get right with him. As excited as my best friends family was at my searching out the truth, they we’re devastated to see me seek out the Catholic Church, and then the Jehovah Wittness church. God however had other plans for ALL those gospel giving seeds thrown back then for me. By his mercy and grace he saved me out of false doctrines, false Gods and my pride. The boldness and faithfullness of all those in that family sharing the gospel with me way back then, encourages me to do the same today. Because I look back at my doubting and pridefull self, and think there is no way a kid like that will ever believe. That being said, keep on throwing them there seeds. Praying for you and your students.

  • Brian

    I work at Sonoma high school .I am looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of these students.I am a born again christian andI daily pray for the Holy Spirit to come and cover the school.I believe that God has plans for me here.

    • Stacy Petersen

      Brian, I am praying right now for you, and praising God for the encouragement He has given me through your post.

  • Sofia

    I’m a Christian high school student in Sonoma county. I have recently been feeling a great burden for all the lost people at my school. I’m a very shy person and it is extremely difficult for me to just go up to people to start witnessing. So I visited the christian club with the hope that they would be as eager as I was to preach the gospel and that we could help and encourage each other in this effort, but I was dissapointed to find a group of passive “Christians” who care more about pretty much anything other than the word of God or fulfilling the great comission. So I decided to go it alone. I started out by handing out some tracts, and then using them to start a conversation. I had only tried to witness to six people (with some very negative responses) when I was called into the office by the asst principal today and told that someone had complained that I was “harassing” people and that I had to stop. I dont have a church yet and have no Christian friends and do not know of any true Christians in my school that want to share the true gospel. It just makes me feel alone sometimes. Any advice?

    • Jay Rubin

      I read the following post from Pastor Mike Fabarez of Compass Bible Church and thought of you.

      Rejection hurts. And unfortunately our Christianity increases the likelihood that we will encounter it more often. Part of the cost of “taking up our cross” and “following Jesus” is the harsh reality of “bearing the disgrace he bore” (Heb.13:13). As Jesus himself said: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (Jn.15:18). It is a vain hope to expect the favor of Christ and the accolades of everyone else at the same time. “Woe to you when all men speak well of you,” Jesus warned (Lk.6:26). Amid the pain of rejection, our challenge is to learn to value and cherish the approval of Christ more than the acceptance of those around us. But that, of course, is easier said than done – especially when the rejection comes from those we love. In the lyrics of his inspired song, David is resolute as he sings: “Though my father and mother forsake me, Yahweh will receive me” (Ps.27:10). While we can expect the pain, we can also anticipate the incomparable treasure of being embraced by the King of kings and Lord of lords!

      I hope this helps. You need to pray daily about this so you can get the guidance you are asking for.

    • Hello Sofia! Thanks for commenting here! I am in Huntington Beach but it is awesome you commented all the way from up in Sonoma county! It is crazy you commented on this post because a couple of comments above you is Brian who works at Sonoma High School! I don’t know if that is the same school you go to but it is hope that there are other Christians out there!
      The main thing I would encourage you is to pray God will provide for you a church or other Christian friends at school. No Christian is meant to go it alone. First of all, you are not alone for Jesus promises to be with you (Matthew 28:20). Secondly, God will provide fellowship for you. So keep praying. A great example is how David prays in Psalm 12! Prayer is not giving up, but rather believing God can do something! Keep praying and he will answer you!
      One thing I have learned is if you are handing out tracts you are going to get asked to stop. I have seen this in public places or in shopping malls or at school. That is why I always think conversations are better. I prefer to start by talking with someone and not handing something out. After a long conversation if you hand someone an invitation to church or even a Bible it is more likely to mean something. Also, it does not seem to others like you are just soliciting everyone who passes by. I hope this helps and please let me know if there is anything else I can do!

      • Sofia

        Thank you so much for replying. I know God will provide. Just today, as I was leaving school I was overjoyed to find people on the street corner handing out Bibles. It’s not that the school has asked me to stop giving out tracts, but they are telling me I can’t go up to people to start a witnessing conversation as you were talking about. Are they allowed to do that?

  • Hello Sofia! No! I don’t think anyone can tell you to stop telling other people the gospel of Jesus. I believe we have a right to religious freedom still here in America. I would make sure what you are doing doesn’t look like “soliciting” where you are just going up to one person right after the other. I would also make sure you are speaking with gentleness and respect as it says in 1 Peter 3:15. But if you are just being friendly with your classmates or getting to know other students at your school and then you turn the conversation towards your relationship with Jesus Christ and how he saved you and ask, “Who do you say Jesus is?” I encourage you to keep doing that! Even if our school or work or government tells us to stop speaking about Jesus I don’t think we should. (And that day maybe be coming here in America.) Jesus makes it clear that we should fear God rather than men (Matthew 10:28). Jesus makes it clear that those of us who are truly his will not deny him but acknowledge him before men (Matthew 10:32-33). Even though the apostles were told to stop speaking in the name of Jesus they did not and prayed for even more boldness (Acts 4). Even though Paul was mistreated in Philippi, he walked right into the next town of Thessalonica and continue preaching the gospel with boldness (1 Thessalonians 2:1-6). Even though Paul was in prison, he still asked for prayer that he would open his mouth and speak boldly as he should (Ephesians 6:19-20). This Sunday I am actually preaching a sermon called The Lost Christian Virtue Of Boldness at our church here in Huntington Beach. Today so many Christians stop talking about Jesus. They let the rejection from people get to them. But we need to persevere. Don’t lose your fire to tell other people about what Jesus has done for you and what he can do for them. This is the good news. If we know that Jesus is the Christ, that he died for our sins and rose again how could we not tell other people? If we stop this will have a negative effect on our own relationship with him. I hope this helps and will pray you will not be ashamed of the gospel no matter what happens (Romans 1:16)!

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