Summary: A sermon discussing from a scriptural perspective the kind of faith that we should pass on the the next generation.

Title - The Power of Unfeigned Faith

Text - 2 Timothy 1:5

Intro. - One of the great burdens that I have is that our children would grow up to serve God and become involved in the work of the Lord. I pray daily, not only for my kids, but for your kids as well that this would be the reality in their lives.

In the interest of that burden I have spent a considerable amount of time studying from Scripture the pattern of declining faith from one generation to the next. What I have dis-covered I have taught from this pulpit in recent months. As a result of my study I have diligently and prayerfully applied the principles of Scripture to prevent the decline of faith in my own family.

My wife and I both have a wonderful heritage of faith and Pentecost in both of our fami-lies. My wife is 5th generation Pentecost on her side of the family. I am second genera-tion Pentecost on my side of the family. That makes our kids 6th generation pentecost on her side and 3rd generation pentecost on my side. We are what we are because we have been raised in the faith and in the experience of Pentecost. We want our children to expe-rience the same thing that we have experienced and then to pass it on to their kids so that this great heritage can continue.

The bible is full of stories concerning the pattern of declining faith. Stories that document the failure of preceding generations to pass on successfully to the next generation the faith that they found in God. But in the midst of the failures there are success stories that document the fact that one generation successfully passed on to the next faith in God and then that generation passed on to the next generation a living, vibrant faith in God as well.

One of those stories is found in our text this morning. Turn to 2 Timothy 1:1-5 and read along with me this morning. Pay close attention to v. 5.

I noticed three things from this text that I want to draw your attention to today:

I. The Three Generations Principle

A. This is a principle that is established throughout the entire Word of God.

1. Illustration - Illustrate the principle by using three chairs each one representing a generation.

B. Scriptures supporting the three generations principle:

1. It begins in Genesis 19-35 with the story of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There you find the story of Abraham’s conversion, Isaac’s blessings as a result of being raised in the home of Abraham, and Jacob’s deception of Isaac and his subsequent conversion at Bethel.

2. The next time you find the principle of The Three Generations is in Judges 2:7-10.

a. Judges 2:7-10 says, “And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel. 8And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. 9And they buried him .... 10And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.”

b. Let’s consider the illustration of the three chairs in three ways or sayings that can describe the declining process that takes place from one generation to the next:

1. There was a generation (First Generation) that saw and experienced the move of God.

2. Then there was a generation (Second Generation) that saw the move of God but never experienced the move of God.

3. Then there was a generation (Third Generation) that neither saw nor experi-enced the move of God.

d. Or,

1. The first generation knew the Lord of the work.

2. The second generation knew the work of the Lord.

3. The third generation knew neither the Lord of the work or the work of the Lord.

e. Or,

1. The first generation were strong believers.

2. The second generation was weak believers.

3. The third generation are unbelievers.

3. The third place is Scripture that I would turn to is the story of David (first genera-tion), Solomon (second generation), and Rehoboam (third generation).

a. In 1 Samuel 16 we find that David was anointed King when he was a young person. In 2 Samuel 2 he was officially anointed King over Judah. David was not a per-fect man. He had his problems. But it was said of him in Acts 13:22 that he was a man after God’s own heart.

b. 1 Chronicles 29:28 tells us that David died and his son Solomon reigned in his place. Solomon was really more wicked than his father. He compromised everything that he had been taught and made agreements with countries that worshipped idols and mar-ried women from these countries.

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