I have always said that the church is generational. We see this in Scripture and in many of our local churches that have come and are now gone.
Judges 2:10 After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.
Everywhere I go today, churches are merging congregations … one congregation is dying and another younger church is growing new families and converts. Churches that do not invest in the younger generation will eventually die or merge to preserve their ministry and transfer their assets to the next generation.
Leaders of churches must learn that growth in any church must happen among the young. Most churches will lose most of their young to the culture by the time they reach high school. If the church does not invest time and money in their youth … the culture will. With social media, every young person is at risk of the darkest influence the world has ever known. Never in the history of mankind has information and communication been as prolific as it is today with the internet and mobile devices. We love the convenience of these devices, but they can become dark and more influential than family structure and the influence of the church. That is the sad reality.
The war on this generation through social media is calculated and persistent. It is no surprise to any of us who have a smartphone to be a target of online advertising based on your phone listening to private conversations you have within earshot of that phone. I have proven this repeatedly to people who are skeptics about phones listening in to us.
Just think if technology is that perceptive to hear a conversation about products and then immediately start sending you ads about those products to your social networks, how much more will technology target youth on ideas, issues, and propaganda? The Bible teaches us that our enemy the devil knows how little time he has left to corrupt this world, and so his kingdom of darkness is in a full-on assault in this world.
Revelation 12:12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.
This is the root of our darkness today. It is evil unleashed, and many Christians are arguing about the timing of the rapture or figuring out how to have their best life now. I don’t want to be sarcastic here but think about what is at stake. We have generations of people who identify with Christianity denominationally who do not know the Lord. They may go to church and listen to nice sermons about nothing of relevance to the Lord.
I know people who do not like that word, Christianity, because that is what some of these churches use to try to get people in the door. They say they are relevant, yet in reality, they are deceived in what they think is relevant because God is grieved by their relevance. He is grieved because He knows they don’t know Him, and this is the greatest darkness of our day … the knowledge of God is gone and in place of it is the relevance of compromise.
Sorry folks, but it is the truth. If you compromise God’s Word, you have lost your relevance to God, period. It doesn’t matter how relevant you are to the culture. If you lose your relevance to God, you might as well turn your church building into a community theater because you are no longer a threat to darkness … you are cooperating with it. Why do you think Judges 2:10 says that the next generation did not know God or His works among the people? It was because somewhere between the miracles God performed and the next generation someone compromised the story. This compromised story grew to the point where no one had a clue about the nature of God, nor His purposes on earth. Nothing has changed, has it?
People will sit in church year after year and take in sermon after sermon, study after study, yet know nothing about God and His purposes on earth. I realize that is a strong and broad-brush statement, but prove me wrong. This is the state of the church today. Here’s an excerpt:
Sharing one's faith—evangelizing—is a core practice among many religions. For Christians, it's viewed as a mandate from Jesus himself before he departed earth: commanding his disciples to "spread the good news." Yet, today, a number of factors are curbing many Christians' enthusiasm for faith-sharing, including the decline of religion in America, a spreading apathy toward spiritual matters, and a growing cultural suspicion of people of faith. ~George Barna
Now, going back to the idea that concepts of Christianity can be, and often are, generational. Here is another except explaining it:
Despite this, many Millennials are unsure about the actual practice of evangelism. Almost half of Millennials (47%) agree at least somewhat that it is wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith.” ~George Barna
So, to cut to the chase on this, let me conclude that as Christians our job is to teach the next generation about God by the example of our lives. As churches, we need to invest more in the next generation than we do in the present adult generation. Those sitting and funding our churches are mostly convinced about Jesus as Lord, so let's put them to work in helping to convince the next generation to have the same convictions.
We need to stop the compromising in our lives and get real with God. We must learn to reach the next generation … not with our doctrines, not with our contemporary music, not with our relevance of messages, but by what the Apostle John told us would be our victory over the darkness and evil in the land. Here it is … the secret to defeating the darkness that has gripped our world:
Revelation 12:10 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
You defeat darkness by this truth … the Cross preached and lived through the sacrifice of all things to make His message known. It is that simple.
In a recent discussion I had with a group about the Cross, some said it should not be the only thing preached in church. Yet, what greater message than the Cross can be preached? The Cross is the wisdom and power of God, and the next generation must understand that, or we will lose them.
1 Corinthians 1:24 But to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler
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