The Next Generation
In light of the fact that tonight begins our VBS, I wanted to take this time to highlight this opportunityToday we’re going to examine the topic ‘Let Us Rise Up and Build the Next Generation’.
Now before we begin, I want to make sure to lay a foundation concerning our theme this year.
Our theme is premised on Neh. 2:18 “Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.”
As many of you know, the walls were in shambles and Nehemiah was there to rally the COI to Rise Up and Build the walls again.
Something needs building which is what we’re addressing here today. What needs building is the Next Generation. The Next Generation is in trouble. REMEMBER WHAT WALLS REPRESENT - SAFETY, STABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY. The Next Generation - they’re not SAFE, they’re not STABLE and if things continue the way they’re headed, it’s UNSUSTAINABLE - America will cease to exist for much longer.
(Ill.) I saw a clip recently speaking about Gen Z. The lady said Gen. Z is in trouble. Now the lady was a comedian joking, but the best comedy is always based in reality. But she said - talking about Gen Z - they can’t read cursive, they can’t read a map. She said that if Gen Z takes over the world, it’s going to be pretty easy to take it back - we’d just write our battle plans in cursive.
Now when I heard this I laughed, but the truth of the matter is this: Who’s fault is it? Our generation - Gen X and to a degree Millennials we have been failing our children.
They don’t know how to read cursive because we haven’t taught them.
They can’t read a map because it’s largely unnecessary (or so we think).
They believe that there is no such thing as truth because we’ve allowed those seeds to be sown
They can’t define what a woman is because we’ve strayed away from God
We are reaping what we’ve sown - and it’s time to stop!
But how? How are we going to reverse this monstrosity that we’ve set in motion? That’s what we’re going to explore today.
Today we’re talking about the Next Generation - both our own kids, and kids that we have the opportunity to influence. THIS CONCERNS EVERY SOUL IN HERE!
That being said, let’s look first at Our Mission
I. Our Mission
I. Our Mission
To Teach Them
Every day there is a battle going on that most are ignorant of. It’s a battle for the mind of our children. They are constantly learning - something. And there are so many things out there that are either directly or indirectly attempting to teach our children.
Btw, if your children are watching the most popular YouTuber Mr. Beast, I’d advise you change that. Because what they’re getting there is subtle indoctrination affirming the trans movement.
What your children are reading will influence your kids
(Ill.) In 1980 there was a man by the name Mark David Chapman. And on Dec. 8, he was camped outside a building called ‘The Dakota’ in Manhattan where he met a musician who lived there. This musician was on his way to the studio to record when Mr. Chapman stopped him & got his autograph on one of his albums. Later than night the musician would return and there was Mr. Chapman. As John Lennon walked past, Mr. Chapman stuck his hand out - only this time he didn’t have an album in it, he had a 38 special revolver. He fired 5 shots - 4 of which hit Mr. Lennon in the back killing him. After the murder, Mr. Chapman sat down and waited on the police and continued reading the book that inspired his actions - The Catcher in the Rye.
What they read can influence them.
And what they’re not reading, won’t. This is why we need to stress the importance of reading the Scriptures.
The School System
This is what we expect from them. However, many teachers have deviated from teaching the ‘three R’s’ to indoctrinating an ideology. is a measure on a sliding scale, as quality varies drastically between school systems.
So what we see is that there are a variety of different channels seeking to teach children. And there are two broad topics that they are teaching them in that WE NEED TO TAKE CONTROL OF.
The first is Values. We need to teach them Biblical Values
Your values are what you esteem valuable in life.
The world places a high value on physical appearance.
The Bible however does not. In fact Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for this very thing: Mat. 23:25-26 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
The world places value on the physical body
The Bible places greater value on the Spiritual body: 1Tim. 4:7-8 “But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
The world teaches that it’s acceptable for girls to dress like harlots
The Bible teaches that women adorn themselves modestly: 1Tim. 2:9 “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;”
The world teaches that truth is subjective
The Bible teaches that truth is absolute: Rom. 3:4 “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” 1Jo. 5:20 “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
The world teaches that gender is fluid
The Bible teaches that gender is binary: Gen. 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
The world teaches that sodomy / queer lifestyle is good and acceptable
The Bible teaches that it’s an abomination: Lev. 18:22 “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”
Btw: That’s the only sin that God destroyed 2 cities over
The world teaches that there are many paths to God
The Bible teaches there is ONE WAY: Joh. 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Church SOMEONE is teaching these kids SOMETHING. It’s up to us to teach children WHAT THUS SAITH THE LORD!
We must teach them Biblical Values
If there’s one thing that I feel hinders most Christian couples, it’s not gross sin. I don’t think that most Christians - even in this church - are out committing vile acts of sin. But what hinders most is improper priorities. Not putting ‘first things first’.
Let me give you an example of proper priorities:
For men proper priorities would be this:
Mat. 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Once you get those in the proper place in your life, the rest will take care of itself.
Notice I didn’t put the church. Do you know why? Because if you put the first three in proper order, then the church will take care of itself. You’ll be here when the doors are open. You won’t have to be begged to serve in the church. Because if God is first, then you know that God expects you to be here. If you’re putting your wife & children 2nd & 3rd, then you’ll be here - because it sets the right example for them.
Proper Priorities. This is the main Achilles heel to most Christians. This is what separates the mediocre life from the victorious life.
We must teach them proper Priorities - else they are destined for a life of mediocrity.
To Train Them
Pro. 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Train (def) To draw, To exercise; to discipline; to teach and form by practice
We must not only teach, but we must train.
TRAINING IS MORE THAN TELLING. You cannot simply tell your children these things, you must train them. To draw them along, to exercise and discipline them in the way.
This is done...
Church, children will not live godly lives left to their own devices. Not in this wicked world and the influences within & without.
The Bible tells us:
Pro. 22:15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
Jer. 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
I have said on many occasions that children are not inherently good, they are inherently wicked by their nature. They are products of US! We don’t teach children to lie, but they do. We don’t teach children to steal, but they do. And if they don’t it’s because they’ve been trained not to.
But this stuff doesn’t come by accident - you have to train them intentionally.
When we’re talking about training our children, it’s not a one-off, it’s a process. It’s something that we must be willing to do repetitively.
Kids will mess up, they’ll forget - we need to train them repetitively.
(Ill.) When my son began driving, one of the things that I took for granted was that he understood that cars need gas to operate. Well, I don’t guess I trained him thoroughly enough as he proceeded one day to run out of gas. After that, I spoke to him about the issue and even told him to check his fuel. Well, guess what - he proceeded to run out of gas again. But after that, he’s not had that problem again. It took a few times to train, but he’s got it down now.
We must train them Repetitively
We cannot tell them that part of the Bible is important and then tell them that it’s ok to reject the parts that they don’t like. We must be consistent in our training.
(Ill.) My youngest child is in truth a young man now. I’m sure that he gets tired or frustrated when he hears the constant instruction of his parents. However, just because he turned 18 years old doesn’t mean that my responsibility as a parent is over. Nor does it mean that I have nothing left to teach him.
We should train them indefinitely
Our Mission. Next, the Mindset Necessary
II. The Mindset Necessary
II. The Mindset Necessary
If we’re going to Build the Next Generation, we must have the right mindset.
Understand our Role
We must understand the Role that we’ve been given in the teaching & training of these children
Us parents we must understand the role to which we play in our children’s lives. It’s a role that is absolutely vital to our children. Most children will either rise or fall primarily on the teaching & training that the parent provides.
(Ill.) As you and God knows I love children. God has given me a heart for children & teens. I desire to try to be a help and positive influence in their lives. And I would love for nothing else that to be able to teach & train your children to follow the LORD - my impact will (most likely) never have the impact that yours does.
God will provide us many children to come to our church over the course of this week. And what they need to see in us is a group of Ambassadors for Christ: Paul said: 2Cor. 5:20 “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
They need to see the wisdom of Jesus in the lessons
They need to hear the music leaders glorifying Jesus
They need to see the compassion of Jesus by those working the crafts
They need to see the love of Jesus in those registering them
They need to see the providence of Jesus in those distributing snacks
We are ambassadors for Christ - me must make sure that we are representing Him the best way we can.
This speaks directly to the teaching & training. We cannot expect our teaching & training in the things of God to matter to our children if they are not displayed in us.
Paul writing to the church: 1Th. 1:7 “So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.”
We must be examples in what we see & speak. Let us not look on or say things that we’d not want our children to.
We have a role to be an example - but not a role only, but a responsibility.
Realize our Responsibility
We cannot take this task on as if it were optional. We must understand that it’s our responsibility.
Look at our text: Ps. 78:5-8 “For he established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which he commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; Who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation; A generation that set not their heart aright, And whose spirit was not stedfast with God.”
I want the next generation closer to God than ours - but the only way that will happen is of we take on this great resposibility.
We must Realize our Responsibility
Our Mission. The Mindset Necessary. Lastly, Our Motivation - Why should we?
III. Our Motivation
III. Our Motivation
To Honor our LORD
We should teach & train up the Next Generation BIBLICAL Values & PROPER Priorities because it Gives God Honor.
It means that we’ve taken our commands to train them up & our commission seriously. We’ve dedicated ourselves unto HIS WILL instead of our own. This give God glory.
Ps. 29:1-2 “Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, Give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”
To Honor our LORD
To Save the Lost
We must take on this responsibility so that lost souls will come to the know the Salvation found in Jesus!
To Save the Lost
To Redeem those Led Astray
The sad truth is that most children today are being led astray - like lambs to the slaughter. They are believing the Satanic lies of this world. We must stand in the gap and tell them the truth! It may be that God can use us for instruments to bring those that are drifting away unto the knowledge of the truth.
To Redeem those Led Astray
To Demonstrate our Love
Love is an action word. If we love our children. If we love children and truly want the best for them - we’ll rise up and teach & train them right.
If we don’t, we won’t.
This Demonstrates our Love for them.
Church, the Need is Apparent, the Opportunity is Ours - We Must Rise Up and Build this Next Generation - and we must seize this opportunity today!