I find it extremely hard to be a Christian. I am 14 years old, my father and mother are in ministry. I go to church every Sunday and have done for the past 12 years. My father became a minister several years ago. I grew up in a society where there are few Christians and not a solid Christian community, especially of young people. I have always believed in God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. I've always believed that Jesus died on the cross to save my sins, rose on the third day, that he loves me and has blessed me with life and the things around me. I've never really doubted any of this.
It all started around the end of primary school and the beginning of secondary school when I started swearing and backsliding against Christianity. I guess it was the people around me and society around me. I always loved music, and I had a computer in my bedroom, which I used to socialize and listen to music on and watch videos on. I guess this was part of my downfall, as I became subject to things of the world. My father had put a block on web sites, but I am ashamed to say, I was a sneaky child, I would always find a way around these blocks, to watch the videos I wanted to, listen to the music I wanted to and visit the web sites I wanted to. I also had a friend, whose house I would go to, I used to stay the night there. His parents were very relaxed about what he did, that is where I watched my first pornographic video, played my first violent game, and watched late-night television. I was all subject to from the beginning of my last year in primary school up until three years into primary school. I then took these habits home and did these same things at home.
I only had two Christian friends in those years - from fourth grade up until around seventh grade, in which I stopped talking to the girl. Now the Christian boy was my best friend throughout childhood, we did everything together. But as I became a subject to the things of the world, so did he, because we had the same friends and enjoyed doing the same things. So as he began to backslide, so did I, and it made it worse for me because I saw what he was doing and thought, if he is doing it, it must be normal. I am now in eleventh grade, my last year of secondary school. Throughout secondary school, I was a rebellious, naughty child. I got into trouble and messed around. Also, I felt like I did not fit in, so I did things for attention, which later came back around and made everything worse.
In the past several years, I have been stuck in the same place, on the edge of Christianity. I know God is real, I know Christianity and the Bible are real. What usually happens is: I ask God for forgiveness when I realize I have been doing wrong, but mainly in the night, because I am very scared about the Rapture, New World Order, Antichrist, etc. Sometimes I think, what if the rapture happens tonight, and I always think, what with everything falling into place and all the terrible things happening around the world, the end is coming; after all, we live in the last days. So I usually pray for forgiveness and guidance in the night, or when I am thinking about these things, but then not long after, I forget I am trying to live a Christian life and I mess up, or at the end of the next day I realize I made a prayer last night, and today I have sinned. Also, I am ashamed to say, I swear a lot, and I do have bad thoughts. I find it really hard to keep out these thoughts and refrain from saying these words. So as I said, I will pray for forgiveness, then mess up, and it is like a vicious circle! I keep asking for forgiveness and keep messing up. But being the minister's son, it is hard. I also have to pretend I am living a life I am not living! I really would like to be a Christian, and I would love to serve God.
My other issue is, I love making hip hop music, which I have done for a while. I have a manager and I perform at different events. My music is not a bad example and is something I keep under control. I do not swear and do not talk about girls or immoral things. My issue is: I would like to make a professional career out of it, be famous, and make money, but I do not know what God may think of it. I will be completely distraught if God says His calling is for me to do something else because I love what I am doing, so will I be able to pursue my dream? But that is not the main issue. The main issue is what I mentioned before about me being in a vicious circle!
Please keep me in your prayers and I am looking forward to your reply, even though I have not asked a question, I just seek guidance.
As you are discovering, just because you were brought up by good people, it doesn't necessarily follow that you will be good. Sure, you were given a solid foundation, but you've reached the age when you must decide for yourself which way your life will head. I can't make that decision for you, your parents can't make it for you either. We both have our preferences and we will be encouraging, but in the end, the decision must be your own. "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20).
When you say you are pretending, I wonder which way are you pretending. Are you a wicked young man only pretending to be good, or are you a good young man making a pretense of being bad? Throughout your note, you've stated that you believe and want to be good. You've taken the time to show me a bit of your heart, so I'm left with the impression that your heart's desire is to serve God.
It appears that a good portion of your problem is that you don't often stand on your own. Your parents follow Christianity, so when you are with them, you imitate them. Your friends haven't been following Christ, so when you are with them, you imitate them. "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God" (I Peter 4:1-2). No one can make you do good. If you want to do evil, you will always find a way. Your parents can try to slow you down and discourage you from harming yourself, but they can't stop you. The decision is completely your own. So which life is going to describe the real you?
Reading your description, I know your parents and I don't see the Bible in the same way. Antichrists have been in the world for a long time (I John 2:18). The Bible does not speak of a rapture; not in the sense of a separate resurrection of the good and the bad (John 5:28-29). Nor does it speak of a new world order. But this world will one day end, and you and I will stand before Christ in judgment. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10). Therefore, you are right to be concerned because no one can guarantee how long you will have on this earth before Judgment comes. "Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14). So what legacy do you want to leave behind? What do you want Jesus to find in your heart when you appear before him?
No one forces you to sin. You have to choose to do it. God makes sure you always have a choice. "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13). After you decide who you are and who you will be, then we can talk about ways to break the bad habits you have developed. But I can't help you break habits if you aren't committed to God. The commitment is most of the battle.
In regards to your career, in general, there isn't anything wrong with a career in music. There are dangers, and you are particularly vulnerable to those dangers at the moment, but it isn't that you can't succeed.
First, look at your stated motivations for doing it. You said you love it, which is good, but you also said that you want to be famous. That is something that is completely out of your control. If you make being famous a criterion for success in your chosen career, you'll be disappointed. You will also add extra temptation to do things to gain or keep your fame. "Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool" (Proverbs 19:1). Making money is a part of any career, but if it becomes the focus, you again will add temptation to do things to keep the money flowing in. "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (I Timothy 6:10).
Second, what I see more often is that pride often plagues the famous. They begin to believe that it is all about them. They forget God and they forget about the importance of other people. They think they have the right to break rules because they are famous.
Then, there is the problem of pressure to do wrong. Would you be able to stay pure if some "groupee" wants to have your baby? To be accepted by the big players, would you compromise and use drugs or alcohol so you appear to be one of them? Would you go ahead and add lyrics about immorality because "sex sells?" Given your past, it seems you'll be vulnerable to this type of pressure.
God doesn't specify what career any person must follow. Like most of life, we are given free choice. But not all choices are good ones. God did explain in His Book how to make good choices and what to watch out for that would lead to bad choices. So, it comes down again whether you put God first or second in your life. "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:31-33).