The Necessity of Bridging the “Generational Gaps” in the Last Days

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“THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB”

The above Bible verse is one of God’s most revealing titles for Himself.  Throughout Scripture, the righteous declare their purpose; to declare the glory of God to the next generation:

“Yes, even when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not, [but keep me alive] until I have declared Your mighty strength to [this] generation, and Your might and power to all that are to come”  (Psalm 71:18 AMP).

“One generation shall land Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts”  (Psalm 145:4 AMP).

We can see clearly that each generation is called by God to build on the foundation left to the previous generation.  Therefore, ALL GENERATIONS are in great need of each other in completing the work that God has called His corporate Body to fill.

At The End Of The Age…

Malachi 4:5, 6:  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord;    And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.  (KJV)

There WILL be a great generational warfare at the end of the age.  SATAN has a plan already in action– to cause tremendous disunity and mistrust between generations.  It’s already happening in the world around us, more so than we’ve ever seen before.

Nevertheless, SATAN will ultimately FAIL–because the Lord has already ordained at a key moment at the end of times– one of restoration among generations!

THE WORK OF RESTORATION:

Part of the reason this work of restoration will be so glorious, is because of the severe darkness of the times.  Even as we see as fulfillment of Malachi 4:5, 6; we also see the fulfillment of 2 Timothy 3:1-5:

BUT MARK this:  There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of God–  (NIV)

Even as SATAN is attempting to create outright warfare among the generations, the Lord is restoring unity to them.  He is beginning this work inside of many churches.  Within our families,  our ministries, our churches, jobs, schools, etc;

GOD is knitting together multi-generational teams to fulfill various purpose for His kingdom.  In some areas of Christianity, God’s plan might not have manifested, but it doesn’t change the fulfillment of God’s plan.

There has to be a willingness to listen!

Sometimes the greatest barrier within the church, is the barrier of differing views on how one should please the Lord.  One might even think this would be…THE UNITING FACTOR within the church!

For the mature in Christ, I believe that it is.  However, with prideful and immature Christians (and none of us are perfect yet), different opinions on how one should please the Lord have become major issues and stumbling blocks–even the pastor to the members of the church and vice versa.

BARRIERS EXPOSED–DIFFERENCES UNVEILED:

Psalm 145:4:

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power  (NLT).

The most recognizable barrier between people in general are the generational mindsets  in church and society.  We argue over how involved Christians should be in everything from politics to rock bands.

And Questions Arise…

What are the limits one should keep, in reaching out to the lost and dying world?

What is mere legalism masquerading as holiness?  And, what about true holiness misconstrued as legalism?

How tolerant is the Lord to our cultural blind spots?

What are His greatest hates?

What are His greatest loves?

We should know that the answers, in part, only to be found in the mix of varying generations who are willing to listen to each other.

The very thing that often rubs us the wrong way is destined to separate the wheat from the chaff in our own hearts.

RESTORATION COMES WITH INVOLVEMENT:

Death to Old Loyalties–

BELIEVING in the RESTORATION of the generations is part of GOD’s end time plan and will play a major role in silencing the Enemy.  It cannot arrive at this union without some BLOOD (dying to self and applying the BLOOD OF JESUS to our minds); SWEAT (it will take true effort on our part); and TEARS (repentance, prayer and seeing GOD’S face).

“It’s just not happening for me in ‘my situation’ “

If you and I are in a particular situation of generational conflict, let us take heart.  If we respond correctly and find that GOD is working His character in us, He will bring reconciliation like nothing the world has seen before.

Within the Church confines today, GOD is raising up the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).  We all have the opportunity to be a part of this group, but the only way to do so is to die to self; die to our old loyalties.

THERE ARE WARNINGS FOR US ALL:

IF YOU are of the younger generation, it’s crucial to remember some LESSONS laid down in your Bible:

“CHILDREN, OBEY your parents in the Lord, for this right.  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth”  (Eph. 6:1-3 KJV).

“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you”  (Deut. 32:7 AMP).

“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith”  (Hebrews 13:7 NASB).

There is WISDOM in the older generation that can only be received by those whose hunger for truth and formed humility in their hearts.  If all that you want to do is DEFEND your views, you’re robbing yourself from all the wisdom and understanding that is available.

Holding to the STANDARDS of ages past doesn’t necessarily equate with a “religious spirit”.  Almost always, there are good reasons to their standards, and those who are seeking wisdom and understanding will LISTEN with an open mind.  PASTORS, this applies to your way of thinking as well as the youth leaders sitting under your instructions and guidance.

There is nothing more foolish than a younger person, who thinks they have seen it all, trying to correct an elder! [not the position, but of a spiritual mature, older generational saint].

If you are reading this Blog-post and are a ‘older’ member in your church, NO AMEN’s here.  I’m not talking to you, yet.  I’m specifically referring to the younger generation!

Like Elihu in the Book of Job:  Better to keep your mouth shut until the appropriate time to speak.

Now to Those Who Are Older–

First of all, let me just say, I am of the older generation; “senior-citizens”, as society calls me.  We should diligently work to see Christ being formed within those who the Lord has entrusted to us.

But like good doctors, we must be certain of what we have to offer is the right cure to those who are ailing.

Similar symptoms not always point to the same disease; the wrong medicine can kill, rather than heal a person who is infected.  We must remember that some traditions are neither good or bad–and enforcing them in a legalistic way might be a stumbling block to the younger generation; the children, who need the right balance between freedom and law.

“And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?”  (Matthew 15:3 NIV).

“And fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger–do not exasperate them to resentment–but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord”  (Eph. 6:4 AMP).

THE IMPORTANCE OF ‘ONE GENERATION’:

ONE GENERATION
ONE GENERATION

There is actually ONE HOLY GENERATION that GOD is extracting from all the ages of human history.  And, it is clear from Scripture, that the entire Body of Christ is actually the same generation no matter what age they live in!

Look closely at the following Bible Verse, written over two thousand years ago:

“BUT ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”  (1 Peter 2:9 KJV).

Psalm 24 also speaks of this same generation:

“THE EARTH is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the waters.  Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?  Who may stand in his holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.  He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior.  Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob”  (verses 1-6 NIV).

From these verses we can see that there is a spiritual generation and has nothing to do with our date of birth.  It is a generation of over-comers,  one earth in all of human history.  It transcends 20, 50, 500, 3,000 years difference of natural age.

The year of our birth doesn’t qualify or disqualify us being part of this generation.  Rather, it is the attitude of the heart.

The famous verse from Joel as quoted by Peter in Acts is specifically for both the old and the young:

[17] “And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of y Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams.  [18] Yes, and on My menservants also and on My maidservants in those days I will pour out My Spirit, and they shall prophesy”  (Acts 2:17-18).

The Apostle Peter in Acts, who applied the above verses, is part of the same generation that you and I belong to.  We are the generations who seek His Face.  So, let’s make up our minds not to view each other after the flesh, but after the life and calling of the Spirit within us.

“Mingling of Generations”–

1_large_gen_trombones340What does that mean?  It means to deliberately commingle with other generations and yielding to the Holy Spirit as He works out the rough edges of relationships in life.  Whether in a Community Orchestra, or in church ministries.

We need each other in fulfilling the Great Commission by moving in holiness together from where we are in the right now! 

BE LISTENING TO THE CALL:

What is “THE CALL” we are to be listening for?  As the rest of the world experiences greater alienation to each other, becoming more unrestricted.

We then, as true believers in our Lord Jesus, must reach out with compassion, demonstrating the wonder-working power of the Holy Spirit.  O, that this restoration spirit begins within the church…my church, your church.

The World is Watching…

The world is literally dying… to see this LOVE MANIFESTED anywhere!  Once they see it in play, they will run to Him the Restorer of us all.  We must live out this call right where GOD has planted us–our family, our neighborhoods, our workplace and our churches.  Really, this is a call at the very hour, being manifested [made visible] in our day-to-day lives; we should want to see a sweeping move of the glory of God more than anything else in the world.  NO PRAYER, NO GLORY!

The “Bridging” Begins with Prayer–

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“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called,  The Repairer of the breach, The Restorer of paths to dwell in”  (Isaiah 58:12 KJV).

4 thoughts on “The Necessity of Bridging the “Generational Gaps” in the Last Days

  1. theworddetective/ Mel Thompson April 18, 2013 / 11:15 am

    It is “spirituality” Sherry and with that said, maturity in Christ goes hand and hand. In any age group, if “listening” to one another is not part of the conversation because of age differences…there is a problem. POSITION doesn’t come with it, “I’ll do things my way or the highway…” approach to conversation. It will cause separation, division, and ill-feelings because of pride. I have just observed a similar situation in a local church. The older generation leaving, the younger staying put. Sad, but true. THANKS for your input.

    Like

    • Pastor Sherry April 18, 2013 / 1:16 pm

      Most of the time it’s the youth leaving. Either way is evidence of a pathetic situation. God must shake His head at us sometimes.

      Like

  2. Pastor Sherry April 18, 2013 / 9:41 am

    Powerful thoughts, Mel. The tension between the older and younger generations will certainly have to disappear before we can truly be one in the Lord. That means both “sides” will have to learn to accept and live with the other. Actually, the underlying issue here is spirituality. While it’s natural to want to be around those in our same age bracket, if our whole focus was on God, His love, His will for us, etc., the age difference would melt away in the face of the greater focus.

    Like

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