First of all, I love being on the mission field and I spend MOST of my time with people that do not know the God of the Bible, haven’t heard about God and have no idea how much God loves them! I am in a area we have been working quite significantly for fifteen years, planting churches and encouraging believers to share their faith with others. Just yesterday, one mile from a church planted years ago, we stopped and talked with five teenagers that were just standing out in front of a home…introducing ourselves and taking small talk to a simple question, “Have you ever heard the story of Jesus Christ, the Cross and the Resurrection?” Not one of them had ever heard the story…nor have they ever heard about the person, Jesus Christ!
It’s times like this that prove we have not even scratched the surface to reach the nations with the Gospel! I am finding our “assumptions” to be wrong when it comes to where we REALLY are in Gospel work!
Just a few days ago, while speaking in a college classroom in Brazil, I was asked this question, “Why is the world growing colder towards God and people towards each other, more violence and more social disarray?” By the way, this student is not a Believer in Christ nor does he have any real church background.
Several thoughts came to mind but two seemed to be what they boiled down to. I shared these following thoughts from my heart, based on Scripture and also what I have sensed while being a father of four children, two sons in law and three grand children.
First, I believe we have a full generation of people that have not been taught about the God of the Bible. They don’t know Him, haven’t heard of Him nor do they understand faith in any form. No one has taught them about God, who He is and all that comes with a “biblical worldview”. What comes along with no understanding of God? A generation void of God creates a complete lacking of truth, no understanding of gratitude, sin, consequences, foundational history, repentance, salvation and eternal hope.
Second, I told them all that what we are now seeing is biblical, foretold in Scripture, nearly two thousand years ago (1 Peter 3:3-10, Matthew 24:12). I explained it NOT to be because God wanted people to be cold and not know about Him, but because God knows human nature and what humanity will become without God…careless about themselves and others, self-destructive and finally…cold! God knew these days would come and He warned us about them and used them as “signs” the end of this side of eternity was coming closer.
This generation I am talking about, my own children are in it! This generation is between the ages of 18 and 40. I not only see it in our nation and others, I see the struggle within my own family. My children were raised with a biblical worldview and it seems at times they are fighting tooth and nail just to stay alive. At times, me too!
There is more to this though…if we have a generation that does not know God, the generation that was suppose to teach them abandoned their role as parents and a people that are and were supposed to serve a Holy and loving God. God designed the mother and father to pass on the heritage of Scripture and to make the one and only true God, the absolute center of humanity, life and all creation. This, by in large did not happen and those that were supposed to do it…are now in leadership roles throughout our nation and the rest of the world. Behind them comes an even colder people, untrained in faith, hope and love…knowing absolutely nothing about truth and God!
Stay with me here…finish reading this Blog!
So, are we too far gone? With a God that restores…NO! We are NEVER too late because God is not only a God of judgment, He is a God of compassion for those who love Him! Jeremiah 29:11, thought highly misused and misquoted to “put God on the hook” for us to have a better and wealthy life…this is about going into, living in and coming out of a time of judgment…in the end being restored and living in fulfilled promises from a loving God and in fellowship with Him.
I shared this with that college class, “I believe God is using this time to purify the Church in my Nation and others. God always defines and identifies His “remnant”, the faithful ones that have trained their families and live as if there is a Holy God and there is absolute truth. Thank God for the faithful fathers and mothers that have done what God has planned and called them to. I believe much is happening just because of the faithful ones…they may not be the majority but certainly have a power, THE power of God which overwhelms the odds with favor, protection and provision (I Corinthians 1:18-19)!
We are not at a place of hiding and survival at all. These are the most exciting times for the Believers…a time to declare Christ to our families, neighbors, cities and nations, with a resounding voice…”God loves you!”
I will be in Brazil for another week. I love encouraging Believers here, in Africa and my in own nation I deeply love…to share their faith and engage with people for the long haul. I love meeting people that don’t know the God of the Bible. I love embracing them and becoming friends with them…over time, letting them see the God who lives in me, spending time reading and teaching them about the God of the Bible. We may have a nation full of people living as if there is no God…the answer to getting it into a generation…ONE PERSON AT A TIME!
From below the Equator where toilets flush in the opposite direction…