Thursday, January 30, 2014

It Only Takes Four Generations to Lose the Gospel

The following has been mentioned by many leading Christians before but it is worth revisiting here. In his book book Marks of the Messenger, Mack Stiles explains how the gospel can be lost in just four generations.
I think to understand the answers to these questions, we need to understand the process of losing the gospel. Paul wrote Timothy to tell him to guard the gospel. He did that because he was aware that the could could be lost. In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul points to four "generations" of people who are to pass on the gospel: Paul ti Timothy, Timothy to faithful people, and faithful people to other faithful people.

These "generations" of Christian leaders might be the next generations of elders in a church. It could apply to the next generations of leaders in a ministry. it might be student generations on a college campus. Regardless, Paul new if we did not guard the gospel for the next generation, we would lose the gospel.

. . .

Losing the gospel doesn't happen all at once; it's much more like a four generation process too:
The gospel is accepted —>
The gospel is assumed —>
The gospel is confused —>
The gospel is lost.
For any generation to lose the gospel is tragic. But, as Philip Jensen says, the generation that assumes the gospel is the generation that is most responsible for the loss of the gospel. As you can imagine, both an assumed gospel and a confused gospel present particular challenges to healthy evangelism . . . (39-40)

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