A Generation That Knew Not God – Brother Bill Graham

May 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Sermons

“And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders
that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.  And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. 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 2:7-10

As I read through this portion of Scripture, it gives me a burden to do what ever it takes to raise
the next generation of young people who will love the Lord. I think too many Bible-believing, fundamental
Baptists feel that our children are just going to live for Christ just because we expect them to
do so, but don’t be fooled, because it just doesn’t work like that.

Judges 2:7 says, “And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the
days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.”

Did you notice that even after Joshua died, the people he influenced continued to live for the
Lord? The Bible says they did that because they were able to see for themselves all the great works
that the Lord had done for Israel. Joshua, no doubt, did as the Lord wanted him to do, and the people
of Israel were able to see Joshua perform His work. They were then able to see the fruit of Joshua’s
labor when God blessed them.

Now don’t get me wrong, you are not saved by works, but your works are a testimony of what
you believe. Do you know what kept that next generation serving God? It was because they saw
Joshua, not only teaching people what to do, but he lived what he preached. That is why the next
generation continued to serve the Lord.

Do you want to know why our movement has so many young casualties? It is because they
are not seeing the works of God wrought out in our own lives. The Bible says that this generation not
only did not know the Lord, but they didn’t even know the works of the Lord. The verse goes on to
say that there came another generation that knew not the Lord, “…nor yet the works.”

God doesn’t just want us to tell our children how the Lord works in the lives of people; He
wants them to see God working in our lives. We can no longer live the old adage “Do as I say but not
as I do.” We talk a good talk but to be honest with you, we don’t walk a good walk when it comes to
living a saved and consecrated life for Christ. Do you want to know why your children are not excited
about soul winning? It is because they never see you do it and they never see your excitement about
it.

The Bible says that they knew not the Lord, nor the works that the Lord did for Israel. Children
do not do what they are told to do; they do what they are taught by your actions. There is more
caught than taught. Teaching is done by example.

Soul winning is a lifestyle; it is not something that is done only on Saturdays! This verse tells
us about an entire generation that, as long as Joshua was alive, would follow the Lord. There was a
following of the Joshua that knew the Lord. They knew the Lord, and God did mighty works through
Joshua and for Israel. They believed in God.

The greatest way in which we can fail our children is to not continually share with them the answers
to prayers which we have received from God. They need to know that God is alive. They need
to know that the same God of the Bible, is the same God that I worship and the same God that answers
my prayers. If you want your children to believe what you say you believe, they must see the
works in it.

They must see you pray.
They must see you in your Bible.
They must see you faithfully attend church.
They must see you as a soul winner.
They must see you trusting the preacher’s counsel.
They must see you giving your tithe.
They must hear you supporting the youth pastor and his programs.
They must see you give the preacher the double honor that the Bible tells us to.
They must see these things taking place in your life, not just hearing you preach it to them.

What are we rearing? Are we rearing a future generation that will not win souls? Are we rearing
a future generation that will not financially support a good Independent Baptist church with their
tithe? It is time, parents, to not only come to church and hear what is being said, but for your children
to see you also doing right. They need to see you reading your Bible and God speaking to your
heart. They need to see that you pray and that God answers your prayers. They need to see you
serving God with your local church. We have children who grow up to be young adults who were
born and raised in our churches and have heard the preaching of great Godly men all their lives. But
then about the time they are ready to make their own decisions, they make a left turn and go straight
to the devil in a handbag. They turn to all of the wicked, ungodly, vile things that the world has to
offer.

You would think because they have all been in church and under Bible teaching these many
years, they won’t get too far away from the Lord, but that is just not true. They do it because they had
Christianity on the outside, but not on the inside. They do it because they really didn’t believe what
they heard, and many don’t believe it because their parents didn’t show them by their actions!

Just because you’re busy in the church doesn’t mean you’re okay. Many young people get
into sin because for years parents would go home and talk bad about the pastor or youth pastor.
That puts a big question mark in your young person’s heart about God’s servants. We must get to
the point where we understand that what is said from the pulpit through the Word of God, is the Word
of God. It is what God says to do, and when God commands something to be done, every parent in
this room should decide that they will do it.

It is a crying shame that parents always have to spoon feed their children. Once a child becomes
a teenager, they should be old enough to understand that they need to have a Bible relationship
of their own with God. If they don’t have one, something is wrong in the life of your young
person. Some parents think they don’t have to get serious about God until they become an adult.
That’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Make serving God an honor, not a dreaded task.
Put the challenge before them to have their own personal walk with the LORD.

Twenty years ago preachers used to preach like this and the church would shake and rattle because
of the shouting that the people would be doing. But that’s not so anymore. Today, people are
more interested in their children making money during high school. Once I asked a teen if he was
going to a youth activity we were having, and his response to me was, “If I take another day off work
for a teen activity, my mom will kill me.”

There are many things worse than not having money. What ever happened to the God you
were once excited about? Did He die?

When I surrendered to preach the gospel in Baton Rouge Louisiana, money didn’t matter to
me. I was making over $60,000 a year and I could have retired April 27, 2007, making 80% of my
salary with health benefits. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make ends meet. As a matter of
fact, I took a job working at a car wash picking up cigarette butts, cutting grass, and emptying trash
cans. And I was glad for that opportunity, as long as it kept me serving the Lord. It didn’t matter to
me that I was going to have to get a job and work to pay the bills. I only knew that my God, who had
provided before, would continue to provide.

Our humanistic thinking is damning our souls and our children’s souls. We are losing an entire
generation because they are not seeing the works of the Lord in our lives. We need parents who love
the Word of God and realize they have a mandate from God to rear their children in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord, who will not allow wrong influences in their lives! Who will tell their children
that the preacher is God’s man, and to listen to him. We need parents who will make sure their children
will see and know that they love God. This is good stuff, even if it makes you mad!

All the days of Joshua, they served the Lord and they saw the works that God did for Israel,
and then when all the influences died, do you know who was left? A generation that knew not God,
neither the works!

It only takes one generation to walk away from God, and your heritage is shot. And then there
won’t be a second generation Christian left in our churches. Can you say that the works for God that
you are establishing in your homes are known to your children and have priority in your life? How do
you do that? You do the works that the preacher has been preaching about from the Word of God.
Do your children know that God Almighty is in control of your home?

All parents want to be proud of their children. But if you want to be proud of them, you better
put something in them, not only on them. Teach them to live for the Lord and serve Him, not only because
you told them to, but also because they are seeing the works that you are doing! That is the
only way we can stop from having another generation that knows not the Lord.

After our children are grown and away from God, it will be too late to change our ways and repair
all the damage from our years of neglect and apathy. Let’s make some decisions now and make
some changes in our lives and in our homes that will allow our children to see that serving God and
obeying His Word is the most important thing in our lives, and that the blessings we enjoy from His
hand are because of obedience to Him, the same blessings we want them to receive. We don’t want
them to grow up to be a generation that knows not the Lord.

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