We are living in a wicked and perverse generation and we have an obligation to not only keep our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but to pass it on to the next generation. We need to have the same burden as King David had. He said, “Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:17-18). Certainly, there is no better person who can testify of the goodness of the Lord but we who have seen all the wonders that he has done in our lives. Because of our firsthand experience with the Lord, our witness is more credible than those who only have heard of the goodness of God.
The importance of passing on our faith to the next generation cannot be overemphasized. In the Book of Judges, we are told: “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals” (Judges 2:10-11). While the generation of Joshua and the elders that survived him were faithful to the Lord, having personally seen God’s power displayed before their eyes, the generation that came next did not know him. This was the generation that was born in the Promised Land where there was freedom and abundance. Rather than serving the Lord, they focused on the things that the land could offer. They also served Baal and every other god introduced to them in the land. They completely abandoned the faith of their forefathers. Because of this, they suffered under the hands of their enemies.
While we have the opportunity, let us do everything needed to pass on our faith to our children. In a relay race, the baton has to be passed on by the incoming runner to the outgoing one within the space allowed for them to win the race. The incoming runner’s inability to pass on the baton will spell their defeat. In like manner, we need to pass on our faith to our children while they are young. Scripture tells us to “train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6). Our failure to do so will cause the next generation to grow up not knowing the Lord. We need to be mindful of the limited span of time in which we must be able to pass on the baton to them. We have to redeem the time for the days are evil.
Our children are too precious to be lost. In the Book of Psalm, we are told that “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3). If they are indeed our heritage and reward, we have to treasure them more than we treasure our earthly wealth. If we keep and enjoy our earthly treasures for as long as we live, we also need to treasure our children not only when they are young but even when they grow old. We have to ensure that they remain faithful to the Lord so that they too can pass on the faith to their children. While it is true that life is short and we should take every opportunity to enjoy it, it should also be noted that life is eternal. If we indulge in what this world can offer in this short life that we live, and forget to serve the Lord, we might miss the opportunity to enjoy life with the Lord in eternity.
In passing on our faith, care must be exercised so that we do not dilute it by our own philosophies or wrong interpretation. In his epistle, the apostle Paul exhorted Timothy saying, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). A distorted gospel is not gospel at all. Therefore, let us pass on our faith by teaching the pure gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To ensure that we are able to faithfully pass on our faith to our children and to the children that will come after them, God gave us the Bible. The Psalmist said, “He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children” (Psalm 78:5-6). Lest our children be lost, let us persevere in teaching them the Scriptures. Let us be uncompromising when it comes to worldliness. For us to be lenient, it will cause the passing of an adulterated gospel that will further be adulterated by the next generation if remained unchecked. May the generation of our children be one that will uphold our faith to the highest standard. May we do our part in passing the baton carefully and faithfully. May not one among them be lost. Praise the Lord!