Hosea 4: 6-7
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.
It was interesting this week to see the attempts of the older generation reaching out to the few 30 something crowd at the convention. The 20 something was almost non-existent at the event. The younger generations are slowly taking the place of the older generation in the SBC and the numbers and leadership ability is dismal.
Don’t get me wrong I am EXTREMELY happy that there ARE people about God’s work in the state, in our nation, and around the globe. But the age difference between the generation that was leading, the generation leading now and the next generations to step up and take the reigns of the Illinois SBC is great.
I met the young and old pastors. I spoke with them about doctrine and about the Gospel. The older generation is making way for the younger in a disparate way reaching out to them with music and positions in the State convention and trying to build up the ranks… but where are they? The doctrine of the few I had conversations grieved my heart. A Younger generation of pastors that have been forgotten.
Forgotten to disciple.
The lack of solid doctrine teaching in our homes and churches is the problem. It is not the amount of programs we have. We continue to water down the doctrine of the Gospel and scripture and we wonder why our children do not grow up in the knowledge and understanding of the Lord. Our parents have dropped the responsibility of biblical instruction and biblical living on the Church. The church has dropped the ball on discipleship of the parents to teach them how to reach their children, what makes us think that we would have better luck to disciple the next generation.
Forgotten to Protect.
I know parents try and protect their children from the hurt that comes with life. but when did it become okay not to instill the reality of God’s comming judgment or the consequences of Sin on the hearts of our children? When did the protection of our children begin to NOT involve their souls? It is more than a shame that parents are not agressive in their teaching but also that the schools, the universities and the seminaries are not protecting our children. Where is the fear of God in the forgotten generation? It is gone. It is forgotten for the moments of pleasure brought about for selfish reasons.
Forgotten to Grow.
We allow our children to make a few mistakes but we do not teach them to grow up. We have generations of Christian walking the Christian life without any real growth. They grow older and have grey (or thinning) hair but their knowledge of the Lord is superficial at best, Humanistic at worse.
The vast majority of Man Centered doctrine that permeated the few conversations I was able to have with “men of God” grieves me greatly. I love the SBC, the cooperative program, the joint ministry, the great commission partners… but I fear that we have given the next generation over to their own lusts of the flesh.
Titus says, “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” (Titus 1:16)
I realize this is hard to hear but sometimes the truth is difficult. We have Generation Forgotten… we must pray for a revival. I needs to start in the pulpit and the preaching of the Word and be in every conversation. We must beg God to reach our children before the Global church moves on and leaves us for the history books. God gives us the opportunity for revival at anytime… we simply must repent and go running and screaming to His arms open wide.
Something must be done. Action must be taken.
Repent. We need to repent on our face before God as a church, as parents, as children to our King, begging for mercy from our sins of neglect. We have caused the generations that follow to flounder because of OUR SIN! How much more reason do we need to admit it and claim God’s forgiveness and victory in our lives. Pride must be put down. We have tried it on our own and we have failed. We must turn back to God. We must go.
Disciple. We must confess the truth of God’s love and not neglect the judgment on Sin. We mock God with our so called teaching. The watered down truth we give to our young and old alike, claiming that they can not handle the sound doctrine that the apostles passed down and told us to do the same.
Preach. We need to return to the ways that worked, no longer seeking to “tickle ears” with the entertainment that many preaching today emulates. We must go back to the Bible with sound expository preaching. Preaching the truth surrounded by prayer begging for God to open hearts and take action in our people.
Obey. With correct hearts and correct motivation, with sound doctrine and clear preaching results will come. We MUST obey, our master commands it. We must take the result of preaching the Gospel of Christ and train up the generations that come.
We stand at a cross roads as every generation realizes it is time to let go of our “good ideas” and rest soundly in the message of Hope that we are commanded to deliver and allow God to give the increase.