The Failed Reformation of the 80's
.... "When God brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt, He intended for that generation to go in and possess the land. Nevertheless, when they proved faithless, their bodies fell in the wilderness as they wandered forty years, and God did this work through their children.
.... "Likewise God has a plan for our generation in following Him. But if we turn aside, He is able to wait for another generation who will have this faith."
(see 1 Cor 10:5,11)
.... For example I spoke, in those days, to one of our pastors and showed him how the Lord’s emphasis had brought the church to the Knowledge of the Son of God (I’m assuming you’ve read our previous posting). His eyes lit up when he matched the Scriptures to our situation and he saw the correlation very clearly. He completely agreed and was taken with enthusiasm.
.... Soon the church was disappointed and confused. Their shift toward the knowledge of Christ seemed unsustainable so they began to refocus outwardly. An emphasis on relationships, a focus on the family, and other horizontal connections were substituted as psychology rushed back in to fill the gap. I was dismayed to see the knowledge of the Son of God falter so quickly, and it brought me to a very sobering realization.
.... Please think about this for a moment, and try to be honest with yourself. If you were to preach a Christ-centered sermon today, what would you say? We all have a wonderful lesson that we've experienced, that we’d love to pass along to others. Maybe two. Maybe three? But after our personal experience peters out, we’d have to start digging for new material. Soon, our Christ-centered sermons would degenerate into pep rallies and we would start to feel discouraged about them. Can this really be all there is? Does it really mean that our walk with Christ has been so shallow? Could we really say it all in just one or two weeks? Then what?
.... I struggled with this perspective like everyone else in those days. I realized that we were woefully unprepared to pursue it. We had asked our leaders to teach us, and they had tried but could go no further. The prophecy I mentioned brought sorrow to my heart because I saw our generation failing and it seemed we could do nothing about it. The learning curve was simply too great.
.... I did realize, however (in returning to the analogy of Israel possessing the land), that the entire generation of the Exodus had not perished in the wilderness. Two survivors, Joshua and Caleb, had endured the long dusty march and had come to the promised land at last, before the end of their days. In fact, they were the only ones who had been there before and they had not lost faith the entire time. This was a sobering new challenge for one who had been so hopeful just a short time earlier, but if that was all that was left to me, I set my heart to prepare for it.
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