By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
A lost generation is warned of in God's Word; which involves losing benefit of instruction, ceasing to exist, and unable to recover.
Generation is defined as a single step or stage in the secession of natural descent; the ordinary period of time at which one rank follows another, a state of development, a class of men of certain quality. A generation gap is defined as difference between the view of the young and old.
Youth of today, without Bible knowledge or conviction, can readily be targeted toward acceptance of ungodly lifestyles condemned in God's Word. They are easily influenced because of a lost generation concept in which little regard is given towards older generational instruction.
We are seeing the wisdom of an older generation being brushed aside; as newly proclaimed ways of a younger generation are being adopted. The youth of today, spiritual leaders of tomorrow, can become a valuable asset to society; if nourished in the Word of God, and passed from one generation to another.
Scripture reveals that a newly crowned King: Forsook the counsel of older men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him (1 Kings 12:8).
For he spoke to the people after (or according to) the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions (1 Kings 12:14).
Today, we are seeing the wisdom of an older generation being brushed aside (bringing into existence a lost generation concept) as newly proclaimed ways, of a younger generation, are instituted; without the benefit of generational leadership.
Scripture reveals: And all that generation were gathered together unto their fathers (they had died and joined their ancestors); and there was another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel (Judges 2:10).
A Bible commentary noted: The previous works which had been done for Israel, through godly leadership, had no effect on the next generation which did evil in the sight of God. This reveals that a lost generation concept leaves individuals open to ungodliness.
Scripture reveals: Take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life: but teach them your sons, and your sons' sons (Deuteronomy 4:9).
Moses was instructing future generations to walk according to the law of God, and not walk away from it. To observe the punishment inflicted on the breakers of godly instruction and the blessings bestowed on those who observed it.
Instruction was given to teach their children and grandchildren, that they may be trained in their youth (the best time for learning), so as not to depart from godly precepts; passed on from one generation to the next.
Scripture reveals: You (the believer in Christ) are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savor (or flavor) wherewith (or by what) shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men (Matthew 5:13).
If one loses their God-given testimony, their zeal and affection being cast aside, they become susceptible to a corrupt nature, no longer upholding once godly values, bringing a reproach on Christianity rather than glorify God.
Scripture reveals: For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was (James 1:24). A Bible commentary noted: He takes a slight glance of himself and departs. He forgets his spots, blemishes, and imperfections. Being a sight hearer of the Word of God; he is not concerned enough to practice what he hears. Though he observers some things amiss in himself; when the discourse if over, he goes his way and thinks no more about it.
Biblical terms such as sanctification (being set apart unto God), righteousness (doing what is right in the sight of God), and holiness (without which no man shall see the Lord), are being cast aside (as one who beholds himself in a mirror and goes his way with no desire for change), with acceptance of worldly attributes that seem to be more in tune with today's culture.
Scripture reveals: Wherefore I was grieved (or angry) with that generation, and said, They do always err (or go astray) in their heart; and they have not known my ways (Hebrews 3:10). A Bible commentary noted: This speaks of a generation which displeased God; taking no notice of their sinful ways, which was the cause of God's indignation, with their unbelief, ingratitude, and committing of idolatry.
They erred (or went astray) in their hearts, because their sins not only sprung from the heart, but were done continually, which showed their stubbornness and rebellion. They did not take notice of God's ways or His provision for them; helping to usher in a lost generation concept rather than strict adherence to God's Word.
Scripture reveals: Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation (Joel 1:3). The prophet Joel was instructing the people to never forget the devastation of the locust plague punishing the people for their disobedience to God; not to wipe it clear of their memory, but use it as a reminder to not make the same mistake again.
We are seeing a movement towards no longer informing future generations of the Holocaust that took place in the days of Hitler. There is a movement to downplay any historical event that has a blemish; in an attempt to wipe it out, as if it never happened.
There is a lost generation concept due to lack of generational instruction of Biblical teachings. There is a new generation that no longer adheres to the Biblical instruction of the past; with a failure to continue its flow from one generation to the next.
In many Western nations the church has allowed a breakaway from traditional teachings of God's Word; bringing in an ungodly culture, and entertainment, that was once shunned by the church. One man of God said: The church use to set an example for the world; now the world sets an example for the church. A lost generation concept promotes such a setting.
A legendary evangelist of the first Great Awakening, Charles G. Finney stated: Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours to a great degree.
If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of justice, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact; but let us lay it to heart, and awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.
Had this instruction (given in the late 1800's) been fully comprehend, and adhered to, by each succeeding generation, we would not have entered a lost generation concept! One cannot take an intermission in the promulgation of God's Word; and expect the same results later.
Scripture reveals: This know that in the last days (which we are in) perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1). Evil men and seducers shall wax (or grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13).
For the time will come when they shall not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables (that which is fictitious) (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
A Bible commentary noted: Preaching is the God-ordained means to prevent defection form the truth. Teachers who appeal to itching ears tell people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. This ushers in a lost generation concept due to no longer receiving sound biblical teaching or preaching.
Scripture reveals: Whereby the world that then was (in Noah's day), being overflowed with water, perished: The heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against (or until) the day of judgment and perdition (or destruction) of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:6-7).
A lost generation concept is losing sight of God's day of reckoning; as those in Noah's day: As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of man (the Lord's coming), they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all (Luke 17:27).
Life went on as people spurned Noah's warnings (a preacher of righteousness), but judgment did fall. Apathy in the world; prompts a lost generation concept, by failure to receive generational instruction concerning the future!
Wholehearted devotion to God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, as opposed to loving possessions or life itself, will be the only refuge in that day. It is unfortunate that many are being deceived, with a lost generation manner of living; due to acceptance of sin and ungodly behavior! Unless an attitude adjustment (conviction) takes place; the dominance of worldliness, and its lustful traits, will continue unabated.
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