In an effort to fulfill the great commission to evangelize and make disciples of all nations, it would help to understand the people of today and how they think. Every generation has had its share of struggles. With each generation our worldviews continue to evolve. For many of our older generations, we have a hard time understanding the modern-day culture and the way they make decisions. That said, the younger generation can’t seem to understand the older as well. That’s why a study like this is vitally important.
Last week I mentioned three different forms of information that people base their understandings of truth on. Do you remember them? If you haven’t read the previous posts in the enews, it would be good to go back and see what we’ve already discussed.
Psychology and philosophy both agree that people base their understanding of truth on these three sources of information: empirical data (our five senses tell us what is real), rational data (two plus two always equals four and never five), a priori data (self-consciousness). But there are other influences that also play a part in each of these categories, such as, past experiences, passions, talents, addictions and so forth. Then add sin into the mix and what we have now is a jumbled mess of anything goes and no absolute truths. All the above has been shaping the beliefs of the billions of people that have lived since the beginning of time. When God created man in His image, this is what He gave us so we could make decisions. But you and I know, and I think even the world knows, there must be something more. There is… “Revelation.”
Revelation is the fourth source of information that philosophy nor psychology will admit to. Revelation is supernatural. It is an external, unattached source of information that not everyone has. Revelation is from God and will not come from the world, self or even a lifelong pursuit of knowledge. Revelation is God revealing Himself and the things that are “hidden.” The understanding of God and His word comes through revelation. That’s why a non-believer can read the Bible from cover to cover and conclude it as merely fables and folklore. While others might read it and begin to see their lives transformed. What’s the difference? One reads the words and does not believe it because it does not fit into the three categories of reason, experience or thought. Jesus walking on water, the virgin birth, the stopping of the sun, or a donkey speaking are all irrational. We’ve never seen these things happen before or experienced it and it goes against all rational thought and laws of physics, therefore it cannot be true. However, another person reads it and God “opens their eyes”, then everything begins to make sense. That’s why faith is so important. Hebrews 11:1-3 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Faith takes us beyond human experience and rational understanding. That’s why so many are lost and don’t follow God.
Now that we know these things, we need to be praying for God to open their eyes like He did for us. Face it, if it wasn’t for God opening our eyes, we’d be doing the same things. Which, in reality, we are doing the same things. We’re all enticed by sensual experiences and led away by rational thinking. We all, like sheep, have gone astray. Thanks be to God for the reconciliation that comes through faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit who empowers and guides us to live for His glory. With that, we will continue the great commission, moving forward in love, mercy, grace, patience and understanding.
For more information on reaching this generation, check out this book. Click on the book to see what's inside...