This article is based on a sermon that our senior pastor, Vasile Filat, preached at our youth service one Friday night. It was geared toward young people who use Facebook on a regular basis. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot of helpful information that I would like to pass on to you.
First, we will begin with some stats about Facebook and its users.
- 500 million users
- 50% of those 500 million use Facebook daily
- 130, the average number of friends a person has
- 200 million people have Facebook on their cell phones
- People who have Facebook on their cell phones are twice as active on Facebook that those who do not have it on their phones
- Facebook has about 1,700 employees
Facebook is your image to the world
You know the old saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. This is very true and applicable for Facebook. Your profile is your first impression for many people. What message do you send out to those who view your profile on Facebook? If you are a Christian then you must live the Christian life, even in the virtual world. Here is what the Bible has to say about your image and the impression that it creates.
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches; and loving favor rather than silver or gold. (Proverbs 22:1)
Gold and silver as well as great riches are things that we value greatly but the Bible says that your name (character, image) is more valuable than either gold, silver, or great riches.
A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. (Ecclesiastes 7:1)
Do you have a good name by what you follow and promote on Facebook? That is the first impression that many people will get about you. According to your Facebook page, what would a person who does not know you and sees your profile think about your name or image, or better yet, your character? What kind of pictures do you have on Facebook? Are they all about nonsense or are there important pictures there? Looking at some people’s pictures, I get the impression that all they do is drink and party. What kind of causes do you promote on your Facebook page? What is the central message of the stuff that you have on Facebook? Is it all about you or do you use Facebook as a tool to build relationships and share the Gospel?
Be careful with the jokes that you like and share
The wisdom of the wise is to understand his way, but the folly of fools is deceit. Fools laugh at sin, but among the righteous there is favor. (Proverbs 14:8-9)
You are God’s people, so don’t let it be said that any of you are immoral or indecent or greedy. Don’t use dirty or foolish or filthy words. Instead, say how thankful you are. (Ephesians 5:3-4)
Do you laugh at obscene things on Facebook? Do you pass them on for others to see? Or, do you use Facebook as a way to show everyone how thankful to God you are because of all that He has done for you?
Use your time wisely
Walk in wisdom toward those on the outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, having been seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Colossians 4:5-6)
We all get the same 24 hours every single day. We cannot make more time and we cannot save time. What we can do is use it wisely. How do you spend your time on Facebook? Do you spend it playing senseless games? Do you spend it just looking at pictures, wasting hours upon hours of time? Do you use Facebook just to pass time (kill time as we say)? Facebook is a great tool to use to preach the Gospel to others. If there are 500 million people on Facebook, I guarantee you that there is a large portion of them who needs to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What are you doing to get that message to them via Facebook?
When Christ Jesus comes as King, He will be the judge of everyone, whether they are living or dead. So with God and Christ as witnesses, I command you to preach God’s message. Do it willingly, even if it isn’t the popular thing to do. You must correct people and point out their sins. But also cheer them up, and when you instruct them, always be patient. The time is coming when people won’t listen to good teaching. Instead, they will look for teachers who will please them by telling them only what they are itching to hear. They will turn from the truth and eagerly listen to senseless stories. But you must stay calm and be willing to suffer. You must work hard to tell the good news and to do your job well. (II Timothy 4:1-5)
As a Christian, this is your calling and my calling. We need to use every opportunity and every tool that we have to preach the Gospel to the lost and dying world. We are to confront sin but with the purpose of helping people overcome their slavery to sin. This is what will bring happiness to people. Use Facebook to promote good sermons. Use Facebook to challenge people to study the Bible. Post articles that share the message of the Gospel. Renew old friendships so that you can share how God has been working in your life since you last saw that person. There are so many ways to share the Gospel on Facebook. Invite people to your church activities. Why should you do all of this?
You will have to give an account before God
God has blessed us so much. He has provided for our salvation so that we can have a relationship with Him. He helps us break our slavery to sin. He wants us to take this Good News to others and we will have to give an account to Him about what we did with the time we have between our repentance and death (or Christ’s return).
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings out good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings out evil things. But I say to you that every idle word, whatever men may speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned. (Matthew 12:35-37)
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done through the body, according to that which he has done, whether good or bad. (II Corinthians 5:10)
Are you ready to give an account of how you have been living, especially in the area of spending your time on Facebook? Are you ready to give an account for the things that you look at and promote on Facebook? Will you be able to stand proud for the way that you used what God has given you or will you stand with your head hung in shame?
May the Lord help us make the most of the time that we have, using Facebook as a great tool to share the Gospel with the people around us as well as make disciples of Jesus Christ.