Passing the Torch
And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. (Judges 2:10)
WHEN A GENERATION PASSES AWAY and a new generation takes its place, it can be the greatest thing that ever happened, or it can be the worst thing that ever happened. It was merciful of God to give us the Book of Judges to warn every nation and family about the unchartered waters of a new generation. Judges, chapter two, has America written all over it. Barbara and I read Judges together some time ago.
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
And they forsook the LORD and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. (Judges 2:11-14)
THEY HAD FORGOTTEN: Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; (Exodus 23:2a). God had constantly warned them not to follow the evil of their neighbors.
WHAT HAPPENED HERE ON A NATIONAL SCALE also occurs at the family level and the church level. Have you thought about how important the book of Genesis is to anchor your children in the Word of God? It’s not enough to have our children in Sunday school. Survey after survey shows that today in Bible preaching/teaching churches that 60% of the young people drop out of church by the time they graduate from high school.
IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE WHAT GENESIS SAYS ABOUT CREATION, then you don’t need the rest of the Bible. If the Bible is not reliable about God creating the heaven and earth in six days, then it may not reliable about anything else it says. (That’s what many kids are saying who are leaving the church.) “God and Moses didn’t know how to write the Bible so, after three thousand years of plain reading of Genesis by Jews and Christians, Darwin and the evolutionists have come along to teach us how to read Genesis.” Is that foolish talk? Yes indeed! That is foolish talk. God knew how to write the Bible, including Genesis. But a lot of people don’t like the way it reads and want to add words to it. It began to happen when a new generation came along after the Civil War of 1860-65 A.D.
I BEGAN CARRYING AND GIVING OUT TRACTS WHEN I WAS ABOUT 18. I had never seen a tract ‘till then. Somewhere along the way I began printing and giving out yellow cards and pink papers with John 3:16 printed on them. It’s what Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3, one of the religious leaders of Israel.
JOHN 3:16 HAS BEEN THE BEST LOVED BIBLE VERSE IN THE WHOLE WORLD for the last 2,000 years. Almost half of the people I talk to under 30 years of age, do not know about John 3:16. I ask people, “Did your mother take you to Sunday school when you were little?” “Did you learn about John 3:16? “ I challenge you to give out Gospel tracts and John 3:16.
IF I'M GOING TO BE WITH PEOPLE DURING THE DAY, I check my pockets for my car keys and for the John 3:16 cards. It’s a habit. I say to people: “You probably know about this already.” I want to know if they know it. Sometimes I ask them: “Do you need to be saved?” “Do you want to be saved?” “Do you know how to be saved?” We are losing our children and losing our nation because we have lost our Bible. I believe my generation was more aggressive about engaging people with the Gospel then the present generation. Am I wrong about that? How are you doing with it?
WHEN I RUN OUT OF PRINTED CARDS OR TRACTS, I write out “John 3:16” on something. Sometimes I ask the person if they have a little piece of paper I can write on. That works fine. I write “John 3:16” on the piece of paper and hand it back to them. “Do you have a Bible at home?” Witnessing begins with our own Bible reading and prayer. If we talk with God about people, it’s a lot easier to talk with people about God.
I BEGAN "GARDENING" WITH MY MOTHER WHEN I WAS ABOUT FIVE. learned that we only expect a garden to grow where we plant seed. I would like to pass this torch on to everybody. Sow the seed! Sow John 3:16 everywhere. If you want to use more than that, fine. Remember Tee Bow? He wrote “John 3:16” on his face and America saw it. It stirred up a hornet’s nest with those who hate Jesus. But many were curious and looked it up in a Bible. Let’s work at getting out John 3:16 in America. Talk about it. Ask about it. Be nice, not overbearing, but get it done.
IT IS A GREAT TEMPTATION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE to want to fit in with the “cool” kids who seem to have the inside of what’s in style. Today, Christian parents often make the big mistake of going along with their kids “so they won’t lose them.” So, they all walk into the swamp together. If the kids get right with God, their biggest problem they will have may be with their backslidden parents.
I CAN'T THINK OF ANY GREATER NEED IN AMERICA TODAY than a revival of the family altar. Brother Roloff named his daily radio program: The Family Altar. Judges from all over America sent troubled young people to his homes to keep from sending them to prison. He took their phones and radios away from them and their sugary diets and poured the Word of God and Gospel songs of hope into them. Many of them were on drugs and alcohol and it was a hard road. I miss Brother Roloff. He was a dear friend.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST SOURCES OF THESE TROUBLED YOUNG PEOPLE was the homes of church pastors. Pastors sometimes get so busy saving and serving that they lose contact with their own children, who become bitter and rebellious. And sometimes pastors do everything right and, still, their children become rebellious on their own and resent the flak they get from other young people. Being a pastor today is not for sissies. Being a parent today is not for sissies. We need the family altar. We have lost the community support we used to have in helping to raise our children for God.
Tom Brokaw, NBC’s news anchor for the NBC Nightly News and managing editor from 1982 to 2004 wrote a best-selling book: The Greatest Generation. Please read it and strengthen your backbone. It’s hard to explain why the generation that went through the great depression and provided the American manpower to fight and win World War 2, was the greatest generation.
A LOT OF THINGS CAME TOGETHER IN THE NATION TO MAKE IT SO. I’m convinced that one of the biggest things was that the “Great Generation” was raised in a culture that still had a lot of structure in it from strong Christian influence that shaped the schools and communities. His book is a daring, imposing title. I love American History and I think his title is accurate and Tom Brokaw's book is worth reading.
IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE GENERATIONS THAT HAE FOLLOWED the “greatest generation” do not measure up to the “greatest generation.” That is my opinion and I’m sticking to it. This fits into our Passing the Torch comments for today. The point is that in one generation a nation can forget its heritage and lose its moral compass, which we have done. It takes a new generation to do that. It’s not likely to happen to “old dogs in one generation
AMERICA WAS NEVER A CHRISTIAN NATION IN THE SENSE THAT ALL THE PEOPLE were Christians. But there was a strong Christian consensus of what defined right and wrong for community behavior; for the overriding values taught in the schools. We are now in the stage of having a memory of a Christian consensus. We will soon be without even a memory of a Christian consensus. So, what’s going on at your house? Parents? Grandparents? We have a lot of living to do to display our faith in the God of the Bible. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
November 18, 2019 – MONDAY
A.M. Ezekiel 17-19 P.M. Hebrews 13
Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)
Song for Today:
Stand Up For Jesus (2:22) (Christian Gospel Choir - Lively)
Historic Quote: “There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the framers intended to build a wall of separation (between church and State)…the “wall of separation between church and State” is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.” (William Rehnquist who was at that time the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.) (P.41, What They Believed by D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.)
Health Tip: Bacteria & Virus. By comparison, a bacterium might be likened to the size of a Clydesdale horse and a virus the size of a bantam hen. Bacteria cannot enter a body cell because it is too large. Therefore, an anti-biotic can be given to kill bacterium. A virus is small enough to enter a body cell. Inside the body cell it is safe from anti-biotics. The body’s own immune system must produce a killer for the virus and this takes several days. But now we are seeing ads for Tamiflu, claiming it is anti-viral. But what begins as a viral infection (common cold, etc) may have a bacteria following it and the bacteria may have to be treated with an anti-biotic.