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The Next Generation

Book of Judges   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The greatest tragedy in the bible has to come from our text today.It is probably the saddest scripture to read and a failure of not just one person.
Judges 2:
Judges 2:10 ESV
And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.
This is by far one of the saddest verses in the bible. Probably more so than Adam and Eve because God gave them the Law to help them to follow Him. A generation that didn’t know God, and it’s only excuse is that no one taught them. No one took the time to disciple them, share their testimony, or even utter the name of God.
We read in V 11 that because of this generation hadn’t been told about God they reaped a judgement to no fault of their own and the world picked them up and devoured them teaching them to serve other gods. The biggest most profound message we can gather from this verse is

If we aren’t reaching out and Discipling people—the world will be more than happy to take our place!

And the result of this neglect turned into a nation that grew increasingly difficult to evangelize.
Judges 2:16–17 ESV
Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord, and they did not do so.
As I was writting this sermon I felt God telling me: And you wonder why Millennials are hard to reach and seem to be so easily swayed back to the world. My heart began to break for all the kids because our simple evangelistic styles aren’t working anymore.
Joshua’s generation served the Lord, but yet their kids didn’t follow. Joshua’s generation went through the rituals, attended the temple service, sacrificed for their sins. They followed God, but how did that not translate to their kids. They had to be watchers right? I mean if you’re praying and sacrificing. If you fasting, and serving. They must have seen. They must have noticed.
While my mind was racing with all these thoughts I thought louder than the rest hit me.
Kids learn to drive when they are 16 years old. I have yet to witness a kid who watched their parents drive for 16 years get behind a wheel and perfectly drive that car. No one that I know of goes into take their drivers test the same day they were 16 and never touched a gas pedal until their test. Why? Because it takes guidance, instruction, and teaching to learn how to drive. The same is true in following the Lord. Most new Christians and even some Christians who have been around a while don’t know how to read their bible more than just sitting down and opening it to read it like every other book.
Some may say: Well that isn’t true—the Holy Spirit can direct them! He can give them revelations and the Holy Spirit is a better teacher than any theologian you could must up.
to that I reply: You are right, but show me in the bible where God moved without willing people? You won’t find it. Everything God does is through His people. But Pastor Musllims today are getting saved through visions and dreams—no one evangelized to them. You’re right, but once they were enlightened they find someone who can instruct them.
Look at the number of kings in the OT who had dreams and needed an interpretor- They didn’t need dreaming the dream, but they needed help understanding it.
Well what about Paul? Paul didn’t get taught he was blinded then stated after his healing, conversion, and baptism he immediately went to teach about Jesus. But Paul was a Pharisee. He was taught the scriptures better than most. The blinding just helped him to connect the dots to Jesus. Paul was one of the most educated disciples they had.
Ephesians 6:4 ESV
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
This verse gives us the NT mandate this it is, at the very least, that father’s are supposed to instruct or show their children the way of the Lord.
The ever quoted verse
Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
I like this verse for multiple reasons. One of the biggest ones is because it comes from Solomon—while he was still wise and following God, but also because it simply states

A Child

We are responsible to disciple—even to those whom do not share our last name.
You cannot call yourself a Christian if you are not discipling others.

What is Discipling?

When I state discipling I hear many responses of “well I share my faith with others, I pray for people, I read my bible in public so others can see.”

There is a difference between sharing the gospel and discipling.

While Jesus was walking on Earth he told many about the way to Heaven, but only walked with 12 Disciples. We know those 12 weren’t the only ones who believed in Jesus, but they were the only ones that were entrenched into Jesus’ life. He taught everyone, but he instructed a few.
To disciple is go to past a mere sharing of faith. It’s to pour yourself into someone for their soul benefit of growth.

Every Christian should have AT LEAST 1-2 people they are pouring themselves into!

To instruct, guide, lead, direct. All words demanding reltationship. I can say many things from the pulpit, but there are certain people I can pull aside and be very direct to, very blunt with, and extremely honest with because I have built a relationship of Trust. These people are the ones I disciple. Sometimes, like Jesus, they make you want to pull your hair out and scream how long do I have to put up with you. Other times they make you leap with Joy.
If you are truly discipling someone they should be almost like a child to you with the amount of investment you pour into them.

Who are children?

My Dad once told me that no matter how old I get I will always be his child. It used to frustrate the life out of me—especially when I was 15 and 16 years old and declaring adulthood.
Paul states it quite well
Hebrews 5:12 CSB
Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food.
1 Thesselonians
1 Thessalonians
Hebrews
1 Thessalonians 2:7–8 ESV
But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
1 Thessalonians 2:7 NKJV
But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.
Infants drink milk. Those could be your “Spi
When the bible talks children—for the most part— it’s talks about spiritual knowledge. To the degree that you have a deeper relationship with God is to the degree in which you chronologically grow in the Spirit. Anyone you can lead, you can pour into, can be your Spiritual child waiting for instruction.
Saying there is no one to disciple is like going to a vineyard and saying you can’t find grapes.

How to Disciple?

Simply be available, be attentive, and be knowledgable and willing to instruct with care. Only monsters are horrible to children, seek to hurt children, or neglect children. It doesn’t take a degree to mentor a child. It simply takes heart, knowledge and a whole lot of patience.
Like a father teaching their daughter to drive it takes guts and a calm temper. It takes showing, reviewing, showing, instructing, repeating, instructing, showing and teaching.
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