Someone has said, “The church is always one generation away from apostasy.” This may sound like a pessimistic statement to some, but it carries a certain burden of scripture. What I mean is that scripture makes clear our role of teaching the next generation about God and His word. God’s warning of ancient Israel is an example to teach us (Rom 15:4):
Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship
other gods and bow down to them.Then the Lord’s anger
will burn against you . . . Fix these words of mine in your
hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and
bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children,
talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk
along the road, when you lie down and when you get up
(Deut 11:16–19 NIV).
The prophet Joel introduces his message of true repentance (rend your hearts and not your garments – Joel 2:13), God’s judgments, and God’s promise of restoration with this command: Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation (Joel 1:3). The Psalmist reminds Israel of God’s glorious purpose of one generation teaching the next — one generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts (Psa 145:1,4), and in the prayer of the old man — Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come (Psa 71:18).
Truly, no generation can remain faithful to God or have faith in Christ without knowing the message of the Holy Scriptures (John 17:20; Rom 10:17; Heb 11:1,6). It falls, then, to the current generation to know and teach the word of God to the next. My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6) is as true today as it was in Hosea’s day.
May God continue to bless all of our efforts in teaching the next generation through: the Tues/Thurs School, the Bus Program, LTC Training, Youth Ministry, Bible Classes, Worship Services, and teaching our children on a daily basis at home. May God bless richly all of our parents, grandparents, and Bible Teachers for what they do to teach the next generation, Amen!