Old Paths For A New Generation
by Terry Broome
The rise of each new generation has always presented the problem of keeping alive God’s True Religion in the hearts of men. It’s frightening to see the whirlwind of changes we’re exposed to. Some are no doubt permissible and healthy. Others need very close scrutiny. In the face of it all, we must be concerned to preserve the Lord’s Way in our generation and for the next generation to know how to walk in His ways. The church is “The pillar and the ground of truth” (1 Tim 3:15). If we don’t support truth, we fail in one of our major reasons for existing as the church: Ephesians 3:10-11 (NKJV) 10 “to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Think of the consequences of a generation that does not know God! (Judges 2:8-12).
Studying the apostasies of the Old Testament shows how hard it was for men to be true to God over a long period of time. Apostasy was prevalent. There were faithful men and good times, but always the problem of a new generation. It’s not that new generations are bad. They’re really quite wonderful; however, they simply must be taught properly. Even in the First Century the New Testament Church lived in the shadow of apostasy. It resulted in a complete departure from the faith. 1 Tim. 4:1 “Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
Elders, Preachers, and all Bible school teachers should realize the responsibility that is theirs. We must never tire of the old truths. We must know our roots. We must look back to see where we came from so we can know where we are going. Tell these stories over and over again. Advertisers of products know the benefit of repeating slogans constantly. Keep telling about God, Christ, the Holy Spirit. The Bible is God’s revelation to man. It is the product of Divine Inspiration. We must never treat it as “optional” literature.
Tell of the wonderful teachings, miracles, death, burial, resurrection of Jesus; the glorious ascension to heaven; the plan of salvation in its simplicity; the meaning and importance of church membership; the importance of true, Scriptural worship. In short, in the words of the Apostle Paul, we too must strive with all that is in us to declare “all the counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27).
A generation of careless teachers who fail to study and teach God’s word faithfully will produce a generation that knows not the Lord nor the works He has done. It’s far better to build safeguards at the summit of the mountain, than to build hospitals at the base. A generation untaught is a reflection on the generation that failed to teach them. We must remember that a generation not thoroughly taught will not be faithful to the Lord. David’s prayer needs to be our prayer today: Psalms 71:17-18 “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
Friends, The Old Paths for each new generation was God’s successful formula for maintaining faithfulness in the Old and New Testaments, and it still is today.
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.