Summary: Fathers are crucial to the next generation. Not passing on the faith, not just mere beliefs, by living out the truths of God's Word, will turn us into a godless society within a generation. Look around at our country, we are almost there.

The first place to share your faith is where you live. Remember we must back up our words with our life. Our goal in life is to live a life that reflects Jesus Christ. Fathers are to lead the way as the spiritual leader in the family. The question for fathers this morning is; What are you passing on to your children?

In his popular novel 1984, George Orwell wrote, “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” Once they got in control of the present, both Hitler and Stalin rewrote past history so they could control future events; and for a time it worked. How important it is for each new generation to recognize and appreciate the great men and women who helped to build and protect their nation! It’s disturbing when “revisionist” historians debunk the heroes and heroines of the past and almost make them criminals. [1]

How does this happen? How does a nation or people forget where they came from? How is our heritage lost?

Judges 2:7–10 (NKJV)

At that point in Israel’s history, Joshua stood next to Moses as a great hero, and yet the new generation didn’t recognize who he was or what he had done.

The blame is on families failing to pass to their children teachings of where they were and how they got here.

In more recent history (the last hundred years) families relied on the school system to teach children about our heritage and parents relied on the Sunday School to teach their children about God. These are subjects to be taught in the home and only reinforced in the schools and the Sunday Schools. And if the Schools and churches are not reinforcing what is being taught at home, then the schools and churches are not being held accountable. If they fail to teach those things (assuming for a moment they are being taught at home) and reinforce those Godly values, then it’s time to change schools and/or churches.

We as a people, have done neither; the fact is, we, as a people, do not care. And that is the problem, for years parents are not teaching those values, and if they are, they don’t care what contradicting lessons are being taught in the schools and church.

Now here is the crunch, the head of the housewhole, the fathers, the husbands, will be held accountable by Almighty God for what they have taught at home or failed to teach. As Christ is head of the Church, the Husband is head of the wife (family). Ephesians 5:23-24.

One startling bit of research conducted by the Christian Business Men’s Committee found the following: When the father is an active believer, there is about a 75% chance that the children will also become active believers. But if only the mother is a believer, this likelihood is dramatically reduced to 15%. If a young person gets saved then they will reach 19% of their family. If a woman gets saved she will reach 32% of her family. If a man gets saved He will reach 82% of his family. Fathers, no one, and I mean no one can do your job but YOU! [2]

But what happened to the nation of Israel? Moses lead them for 40 years in the desert, 40 years instead of going right into the promise land because the people had sinned. Then Joshua takes over and leads the people across the Jordan and on to the conquest of the Promise Land. At the end of His life, he gathers the people the together for one last pep talk:

Joshua 24:15 (NKJV) And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

The people were pumped up. There have seen the great things God had done. On this past Memorial Day weekend, I preached about the stones, taken from the Jordan River so they will remember what God has done. The people were clear in their determination.

Joshua 24:16–18 (NKJV) So the people answered and said: “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods; 17 for the LORD our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed. 18 And the LORD drove out from before us all the people, including the Amorites who dwelt in the land. We also will serve the LORD, for He is our God.”

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