The Next Generation
Recently, I was reading through Psalm 78 which speaks about the need to tell the next generation of the wonders of God’s mighty deeds. The Psalmist speaks of the teachings that his generation had learnt from their parents (v1-3). He then declares that they would not hide it from their own children but teach them “the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done” (v4). Teaching the next generation about the LORD was an important aspect for the people of Israel. We see it in Scripture. For example, in the Book of Proverbs, the Teacher implores his son to hear his Father’s instruction and to not forsake his mother’s teaching (Proverbs 1:8). To neglect his parents’ teachings would have resulted in falling to sin (1:10), disaster (1:33) and death. In other parts of Scripture, this is also evident. When the Israelites in the promised land forgot the LORD, they would eventually serve other gods and it would result in suffering and judgement (e.g. Judges 3:7-11). Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he charged his disciples to make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as well as teaching them all that he commanded them (Matthew 28:19-20).
I’ve heard it said that the Christian Faith is just one generation from becoming extinct. Of course, that can be true of anything. Recently, one historian speculated that “there was a funeral at which the last active believer in Thor was buried by children who no longer shared their faith.” Could it be possible that there will be a ‘last Christian’ in Australia some time in the near future? Of course, it is possible! But by the grace of God the gospel continues to be taught and the gospel continues to be believed. The gospel is powerful. God’s word goes out and does not come back empty (Isaiah 55:11). The gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16-17). We can be confident to know that God’s will will not be thwarted. Therefore, doesn’t that bring great comfort to know that as we teach the next generation about our LORD, he will use our weak actions so powerfully. For those of us who have children still under our care at home, what a privilege the LORD has given you! And for those of us who do not have children at home, what a privilege it is to be an example of Christ to those who attend our church. How important is SRE to teach the next generation all that the LORD has done through his Son Jesus Christ. Let us be empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak boldly knowing that as we speak he will use us. As we are merely broken jars of clay, the message of the Gospel will shine powerfully through us. May we all pray that the LORD would open the eyes of unbelievers to the glorious truth of the gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ.