I can’t quite remember what my two-year-old daughter said the first time she parroted me, but I do remember how it made me feel.
Man was I struck.
Not because she said anything bad, but because it was in that moment – that moment I heard her mouth utter the same words mine did just seconds before – that I realised that what I say and what I do will have a profound effect in shaping this little girl’s life.
All of a sudden, I felt the gravity of both my responsibility and my privilege to teach, and be an example to, the next generation.
Recently, I’ve engaged in conversations with many people older than me and – as these conversations progress – inevitably the topic of our post-modern culture comes up.
These conversations tend to go along the lines of “…I used to think society was bad back in my day…”, “…I used to wonder how things could get any worse…” and “…I’m concerned for the young people who are growing up in our godless culture.”
I even heard one pastor say that he would call the culture we’re living in ‘pre-Christian’ culture, in that it’s as if the gospel has never come.
“This is blatant Baal and Molech worship, paganism 2.0,” he said.
Chances are you’re already aware of this, but we don’t have to dig very deep to see just how far our society has fallen. As a matter of fact, it’s being broadcast right in front of our eyes.
And how rapidly this appears to be happening.
In one human’s lifetime, we’ve seen the complete turnaround in what are considered social norms, values, morality, the focus of education and on and on.
The Bible has been ‘thrown out’ it appears, and – with it – just about all standards of behaviour.
Essentially, what we’re seeing – and continue to observe – is the rising of the words found in Isaiah 5:20.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.” (ESV).
So now, the challenge for us as Christians living in this culture is knowing what to do. And, what should we do?
Because we can’t just sit back and watch our young people be swept into destruction by this rebellious movement.
As Christians, it’s absolutely vital that we instruct and teach this next generation the truth of the gospel.
We, simply, have a duty to teach this coming generation the truth of God and the truth of the Bible.
Much like a relay race, we have a baton of truth that’s been handed to us and we’re now responsible to pass it on.
I love Psalm 78. It’s an instructive psalm and a fantastic reminder to all of us of our responsibility and privilege to teach our children the things of God.
“My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old – things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done.” – Psalm 78:1-4 (NIV).
“We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done…”
I pray this will be the testimony of our generation.
You know, the greatest praiseworthy deed, the greatest power displayed and the most wonderful act God has ever done is that of sending His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for our sins.
Therefore, the greatest thing we could ever tell this coming generation is that of what Christ has done for them.
I shared at the start of this article the experience that I had with my daughter.
And I did that in hopes of showing you that, even from such a young age, our young people follow a natural course to learn from the older people God has placed in their lives.
It’s been said our young people are ‘sponges’, the question is what are they soaking up?
Have we become ashamed of the gospel and perhaps so passive as Christians in our culture that the only water available for these kids to soak up is the ‘water of the world’ that poisons and leads them directly into God’s wrath?
Or, are we demonstrating to them what pure and living water looks like?
Are we offering to them living water, peace with God and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the glorious hope of the gospel?
If we don’t teach them God’s ways, then who will? If we’re not faithful to preach – and live out – the gospel to them, what hope do they have?
It’s simply crucial that we impart the truth of the gospel to the next generation, and then the next generation and so forth – one after another until the Lord interrupts that chain with His coming.
We have a God-given responsibility to pass on the baton of truth, let’s not drop it on our watch.
“…to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:21 (NIV).
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About the author
Nik and his wife Danni have been married four years, they have two children. Nik works full time in ministry – at Maori Postal Aotearoa (MPA), where the team marks Bible lessons and distributes gospel literature, and at his local church, The Fathers House in Bulls. He considers it a privilege to help continue an MPA ministry his grandfather was part of for many years.
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