Brian Mowrey began by explaining how this passage has haunted him. It took just one generation to forget what God had done for the nation. In the USA church scene it can look as though the best days are in the past. The decline in percentage of evangelicals is striking: 65% of Builder generation (pre-war), 35% of the boomer generation, 16% of Gen X, and of the Millenial generation, just 4%. There is a generation who does not know God, but God loves to redeem things. The church is a generation away from extinction, but it is also a generation away from changing the world.
The statistics are slipping. The million dollar question is what do we do? We need to abide in Christ. We are going to need one another. We must be family. We are going to need the Holy Spirit. We are going to need God’s word.
There is a real threat of letting go of the Scriptures. The lack of biblical depth in the Christian church is shocking. Many think “God helps those who helps themselves” is the Bible. No it isn’t. Thats the exact opposite of the gospel. God helps those who CANT help themselves. Lay your life at the foot of the cross and ask God for grace. The Bible tells us how the gospel is meant to work. We must fall in love with the Scriptures. Carry it with you. Why are people loosing hold of the Bible?
1. We value experiential knowledge over objective reality Reality is wisdom, and it comes from God. (Proverbs 2:4). We don’t look for wisdom that is outside of us. Many think science trumps Scripture. Science is a record of our experience. If we can’t fit our experience into Scripture, we reject it. We see resurrections in the Bible and that isn’t something we see day to day so we think it can’t have happened. Science doesn’t cover the most important things in life, such as love, justice, right and wrong. If natural selection is how we got here, why do we care about cancer sufferers? Why do we fight nature? Only the Bible explains this conflict in us.
2. We don’t understand the Bible’s purpose. We have been told that it is a road map to life. We expect it has some simple answers that are going to make us healthy wealthy and wise all the time. When we are discouraged, we look for a menu of Bible verses to fix it. The Bible doesn’t for example help you make decisions between two good places to live. The great news of the gospel is not that I have cleaned up my act and now I am able to come to God, but that Christ died for you while you were helpless. Don’t believe the lie that your sin is too big for the cross. Meditating on the Scripture is what will help you grasp the gospel. The issue is not so much that we don’t know what to do, it is that we need to become a new person. Romans 12:2-3 tells us that we can be changed. Our minds get renewed by the Bible.
3. We miss our calling in life. We exchange God’s plan. The verse says they did not know God or what he had done. Joshua fought the battles, but this generation didn’t fight. Its not enough to know the rules of Christianity. The bible is God’s self-disclosure to man, and it is a mission manual. The Bible is not merely there to help make you a better person. A passion for God’s word and a passion for his calling goes together. Philippians 2:15-16 is our calling. We are meant to shine. How will they know him, if you wont show him? How will they know that God is merciful if you wont show mercy? If you are living for a nice car and a nice house, they will not see him. Stand up and stand out in the middle of a crooked generation. It is by holding fast to the Word of Life that we will be stay true to our calling. It IS difficult to read. Without the Holy Spirit you can’t understand. It needs to be wrestled with.
Where else would we go? Jesus is the only one who has the words of life.