It is each generation’s responsibility to pray for, train, and model faith in Jesus Christ to the next. As such, we are always just one generation away from the virtual disappearance of Christianity in our culture. One brief period of compromise can change a society forever.

Read Judges 2:10-11. The generation who entered the Promised Land with Joshua—those who fought the battles and saw the mighty hand of God with their own eyes—remained faithful and walked with the Lord. But there arose another generation who had not experienced the saving power of God firsthand and did evil in the eyes of the Lord.

What happened between the time of Joshua’s generation and the generation “who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel” (v. 10)? There was a generation in between who, as they grew older and settled in the land, forgot God’s faithfulness and made compromises with the cultures around them.

These compromises were small at first—a broken commandment here, a nod to an idol there. But by the time their children came along, they were so at home with the Canaanites and the Baals, they didn’t even bother to tell their children the story of how God brought the nation of Israel out of Egypt. There were no bedtime stories about the sun standing still, no campfire tales about the plagues that brought Egypt to its knees, and no discussions of manna and quail over Saturday morning breakfast.

The intervening generation lost touch with the Lord one day at a time and, as a result, did not pray for their children, did not train them up in righteousness, and did not model the way of God for them. Thus, their children fell into the snares of the enemy.

Their story serves as a warning to all future generations: The emerging generation is our mission field. We cannot afford to lose them to our culture.

But there is good news too. Just as God rescued His people when they cried out to Him in the book of Judges, He will rescue anyone today who turns from his or her sin in repentance.

There is hope for those of us who have compromised. There is hope for those of us who have failed to lead our children well. And there is hope for a generation walking through the remains of a culture that has largely turned its back on God.

Let’s not let them down. Instead, let’s pass them the baton of victory.

Prayer: Lord, I praise You for the mighty works You have done on behalf of my family. Show me how to lead my children well, that I might pass on a legacy of faith to the next generation. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series Preparing the Next Generation: WATCH NOW | LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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