Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Passing the Gospel to the next Generation

I invite you to read Psalm 78: 1-7 in order to make sense of the following thoughts. Some call this a historical psalm because it looks back on the history of Israel and how Almighty God sustained his people. The longing of this historical psalm is that God's people would remember and never forget the greatness of God and then pass to the coming generation this intimate knowledge of God.

Scientists know that light travels at the speed of 5.87 trillion miles a year. They also know that the galaxy of which our solar system is a part is about 100,000 light years in diameter—about 587,000 trillion miles. It is one of about a million galaxies in the optical range of our most powerful telescopes. It has been estimated that in our galaxy there are more than 200 billion stars. The sun is one of them, a modest star burning at about 6,000 degrees centigrade on the surface and traveling in an orbit at 135 miles per second, which means it will take about 250 million years to complete a revolution around the galaxy.

Scientists know these things and are awed by them. And they say, “If there is a personal God, as the Christians say, who spoke this universe into being, then there is a certain respect and reverence and wonder and dread that would have to come through when we in the church talk about him and when we worship him.”(From Let the Nations be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions by Dr. John Piper)

When our passion and zeal for God is weak, then our mission of telling the next generation will be weak. Churches that are not centered on the exaltation of the majesty and beauty of God will scarcely kindle a fervent fire and example for the next generation.

Those coming behind us will see the disparity between our bold claims about God and the blandness of our engagement with God. The future of many of our mainline churches depend on how well we passionately know God through Jesus Christ and pass on faith to the next generation.

I have heard it said on many occasions, "Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living!" What will we pass on to the generation coming behind us?