Pastor's Corner

19 Feb
Franklin Graham

Mid-Week Challenge

Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”  That can be said of any belief system or way of life.  We are only one generation away from losing many of the things we and our children take for granted.  We are in great jeopardy of not only losing the freedom to practice, but the very idea of thinking about religion.  Take for example what is happening right now in Europe.  Just a few weeks ago Evangelist Franklin Graham had an eight stop (May 30 and Oct. 4) evangelism crusade scheduled and booked across Europe. The plan was similar to the one his late father used to great success in spreading the Gospel.  Thanks to a small movement in the LGBT community, every venue that the Graham Association had booked has now canceled the reservation. The arenas and convention centers that were set to host Graham dropped him under pressure from LGBT groups and activists. At issue are Graham’s biblical positions on marriage and sexuality. In response Graham defended himself by saying, “Activists inaccurately claim that I am homophobic, Islamophobic, and say that I speak hate. Anyone who knows me or has heard me speak knows that this really isn’t true – but, I DO preach the TRUTH of the Gospel. Could it be, rather, that these folks are truthophobic or free-speech-ophobic? Those in opposition are okay if their opinion divides, but they don’t want to hear anyone who disagrees with them. This is really a fight for truth, and the Gospel is what is really being ‘banned’ from these venues. It really boils down to the fact that they disagree with the message.” Martyn Iles, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby points out, “Society has become so ‘tolerant’ that it is now intolerant of mainstream Christianity.”

The move makes sense.  In England, two-thirds of young people now say they don’t believe in God—in a culture where most people once went to church. In America, a major poll indicated that two-thirds of young people will leave the church once they live on their own. George Barna, Real Teens: A Contemporary Snapshot of Youth Culture (Ventura, California: Regal Books, 2001), p. 136.

All lost on one generation, really?  Remember when God miraculously enabled Joshua to lead the people through the Jordan River, the first thing He told Joshua to do was to take twelve stones from the riverbed to build a memorial. But what was the memorial for? The stones were there as a memorial to allow the children to ask about what had happened and the parents to tell the story of God’s work.  (Joshua 4:21–24). We forget that the stones were there for the parents as well as the youth.  The stones were a reminder to tell the story, don’t wait for the children to ask.

I think one of the saddest passages in the Bible is in Judges 2:10–12, “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel . . . forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them.”   After Joshua and all the first generation of parents who entered the Promised Land died, the next generation served false gods! It took only one generation to lose the spiritual legacy that should have been passed on.

Why did it happen??? Things were SO good!  They were in the land of milk and honey! Things were easy and going their way, so why talk about any situation that makes you uncomfortable? Leave it alone, it will die down and take care of itself, right?  Wrong, we are dealing with the generations who have refused to have the “hard conversations” of life.  We are now dealing with what happens when one generation fails to do their part to protect what was given to them from the previous generation.  Because we have it so good it is so easy to “kick the can,” but we are now beginning to experience the ramifications of what happens when one generation does not do right by the other.  Is it too late? I don’t think so, but the longer we wait the harder it gets. 

“These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children…”  Deuteronomy 6:6 

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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