For the past three months I have been teaching a class on the Book of Beginnings—Genesis. One of the amazing things about this book is man continues to repeat the same patterns of life every three generations. When God created Adam he declared him to be perfect. Adam walked with God and was taught by God. There was a spiritual dynamic to the life of Adam that was marked by his relationship with God--new things were happening all around him. God created Eve for Adam to be his helpmate in life. This was the first generation.
Time passes and Adam and Eve make a poor choice and are removed from the Garden of Eden. In a new environment of struggles and challenges they begin their family-- the second generation. Three sons are born Cain, Able and Seth. These three did not know the experience of the Garden of Eden but knew the story of how things were when Adam and Eve were young. Cain, like his father made a poor choice and killed his brother Able. The relationship Cain had with God was not the ideal. He lacked the motivation to put forth the effort to sustain a spiritual dynamic that once motivated his father. Able however, tried to preserve and consolidate the teachings of Adam into his daily life. He may have even dreamed of one day being able to experience the Garden of Eden like his father and mother. Seth, the youngest of the three sons took the place of Able and continued the lifestyle of his brother. Cain and Seth were involved in preserving the success of the present. They were concerned with maintaining the status quo. They were fearful of losing what they had accomplished. They would not risk the present for the future; they were set in their ways of living.
Time passes on and the third generation comes on the scene. They have only heard about the stories of the first and second generation. They have watched as grandfather tries to preserve the past and father is only concerned about maintaining the present. They find no reason to preserve the past, they are not concerned about the need to secure the present and have no concerns about preserving what was earned by the two previous generations. There is no vision that drives them, no passion that moves them and no purpose of life--no future.
The decedents of both Cain and Seth ran wild. Irad and Enosh both questioned the past generations. This generation has an identity problem. They have no desire to live as their grandparents or parents. They did not want to be part of the family or the established community. They struggled with trying to establish their own identity; they were uncommitted, lacked a driving passion and had no vision. They questioned what they truly believed. They set about to establish their own moral and ethical standards.
During the time of Enosh, the Bible tells us that this was the generation in whose days they began to err, and to make themselves idols, and surnames their idols by the name of the Word of the Lord. Enosh is the father of idolatry. Long before Nimrod founded Babylon paganism was alive and well.
Paul in writing to the Romans gives a perfect description of this generation. He said they knew God, but they refused to honor him as God. They made their own gods. The reason is they wanted to do evil. What is sad is that they chose to remove God from their daily lives and he allowed them to go their own way. So they became completely immoral. This generation did not feel it was important to have a true knowledge and understanding of God. So God allowed them to have their own worthless thinking. The end result of this generation is they were filled with every kind of evil, greed and hatred. They hated God. They were rude and proud braggers. The invent ways of doing more evil things. They ridiculed the law’s God and man saying that anyone who lives by the laws of God should die. ( Romans 1:18-32 will give you the scripture.) So we see the third generation is one of moral and ethical decline without regard for God or man.
In regards to the spiritual side of man the first generation had a personal relationship with God and was righteous; the second generation had knowledge of God and was religious; the third generation did not know God and were reprobates. The cycle of these three generations are repeated all through the history of mankind.
Paul in writing to Timothy tells us that the end time or the last days will be marked by the third generation attitude. They will be evil people who cannot see what is right or wrong. They have no conscience. The say it is wrong to marry—sound familiar. They say there are some foods people must not eat—sound familiar. In his second letter to Timothy he describes this generation in more details. The times will be terrible. People will love only themselves and money. They will abuse others with insults. They will be ungrateful and fight against everything that is pleasing to God. They will not obey their parents; they will have no love for others and refuse to forgive anyone. They will have no self-control; they will be cruel and hate what is good. And everyone will pretend to be a Christian but they will refuse to change their way of living.
Paul says to stay away from these people. The problem with this advice is this is the generation of today and the churches are full of these types of people as well as every aspect of our daily lives. This generation has been confused in their thinking and the faith they have is worthless.
So, what do we do? We are to tell everyone the Good News of the Gospel. We are to tell people what they need to do, tell them what they are doing wrong and encourage those who are doing right. But remember people will not always listen to the truth. More and more you will find that they only want to hear what makes them feel good about themselves and not what is truthful. The end result of this generation is trouble is coming with a vengeance and we must be ready to do the duties of a servant of God.