The Passing of an Era

Judges 2:7 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.

An era was coming to an end. Joshua, the faithful, godly leader of Israel had come to the end of his journey. Soon those of that generation would all be gone. The nation would be at a crossroad. Would that generation pass on to the next their heritage and commitment to stay true to Jehovah? Sadly, they did not, “…and their arose another generation…which knew not the LORD.”

Similar circumstances continue in the present. This was evident just recently as I attended the funeral for Evangelist Dr. Neil Cadwell. As I looked around, there were a lot of “grey heads” in the congregation, many of which had been classmates of Dr. Cadwell in those early days of Pillsbury Baptist Bible College. I was struck with the reality that an era was passing.

In fact several eras have already passed within the fundamental movement. For most of us serving in this present era, the former eras are just the stories of the fundamental-modernist controversies and accounts of the ministries of men such as Riley, Jones, Stranton and others. They are just history we read about and sadly, often don’t understand or properly interpret. Why does this happen and what should be our response?

The Inevitability of Time

Time is no respecter of persons. Solomon makes this rather clear in Ecclesiastes 12. When a youth we think we are invincible, yet time takes its toll upon each of us. King David discovered the effects of time upon his own ability to lead his troops. At one event he was almost overcome and had to be rescued, 2Sam. 21:17. Age brings a reduction in strength and sight.

Distance brings a natural reduction in fellowship and influence. The children of Israel were made aware of this affect when the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh returned to the east side of the Jordan. They had erected a great altar as a visible memorial that they and those on the western side were one people, Joshua 22:24, 25.

Death brings an obvious end of the influencing presence of one we love and admire. Joash was the little prince saved by Jehoiada the High Priest. He was hidden from his evil grandmother, Athaliah, who would have killed him to secure her ambitions. When Joash finally ascended the throne, he was a godly king all the days of Jehoiada. But, alas, it was at the priest’s death that he drifted from a place of righteousness.

Each of these preceding dynamics are inevitable. Yet must we simply resign ourselves to the diminishing of God’s favor because time marches on? In future posts we will examine the reasons for negative effects and a proper response.

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Published in: on May 10, 2017 at 1:02 PM  Comments (1)  

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  1. This is a good beginning and observation, Pastor Walt. It also broaches many other things we are experiencing today. One of these, that I observe, is the loss of identity with Biblical Christianity we see in the modern / progressive church movement. As the era of fundamentalism passes off the scene, what is left behind?
    I don’t mean this to say that the Holy Spirit is no longer working in the hearts of people who are really searching for the truth, but I do believe that the true Gospel is being suppressed by what we see going on today and so, it has a much diminished effect on our nation and communities. You capped it by saying that you saw all of the grey heads at his funeral. Why weren’t there as many dark heads? This brings us full circle to what I said.
    Good series coming, I’m sure.


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