Perspective changes everything, so even as I write these things, some will say to me, "You are wrong." Understood that from a different perspective, the things espoused in this post are wrong. However, from the perspective from which I speak, they are correct.
Biblically, every generation is filled with only sinners, and such worthy of eternal damnation. "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) I am in no way trying to say anything different in this post, however, all sin does not mean that all men sin the same.
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews told his hearers they should not harden their hearts. Logically then, some men have harder hearts than some others do, even though all are sinners. According to God's word, He has judged all guilty according to the knowledge of creation, conscience, and His law.
There is a principle outlined in the book of Judges that sets forth generational differences quite clearly. First, the principle is explained and repeated in story form throughout the book. There are four phases to Israel's behavior and God's treatments of them.
First, beginning in chapter two and verse eleven, "Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD..." (Judges 2:11) Second, "The anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them..." (Verse 14) Third, "Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them." (Verse 16) Fourth, "Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods..." (Verse 17).
The truth set forth for our understanding in this post is the one found in verse nineteen. "But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them..." All Christians need to hear and understand the teaching that not all evil is the same. Neither is the condition of every sinner or generations the same. How can all sinners be the same when the scriptures say that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers?
There is one judge of all the earth, and He is neither you nor I. As Christians, it is not our job to judge, that is, in God's place. Yet, we are to stand up and be counted with the faithful - those who do not compromise. If you would like to be blessed by a man who built his ministry by not compromising, then watch this when you can.
The picture at the top of the post is the fiftieth wedding anniversary of my grandparents. They came over from Italy at the turn of the 20th century. Standing between two young ladies, right up front, is a toddler, that's me. The older people were teenagers during The Great Depression. Families had to stick during those years to survive.
Out of the struggle, once again, a generation of Americans banded together to fight for freedom. Many gladly enlisted, in those days, to rescue the world from tyranny. The main targets began with misfits, the unborn, and graduated to Jews, blacks, and gypsies. Eventually, the whole world came under fire.
That generation is almost all but gone now. Gone and sadly forgotten by many, but not all. There was a generation that stood and fought over slavery in this nation. Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. This number comes from an 1889 study of the war performed by William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore. A recent study puts the number of dead as high as 850,000. Not until Vietnam did the amount exceed the dead during the civil war. Forty thousand who died were black.
All men are sinners; this should not be denied. If men could embrace the reality of all our sinful hearts, there would little energy left to criticize one another. Much has been done during the past forty years to rewrite American history. Think what you want about the reasons for the civil war, but at its end, the black man was legally set free. Why it took much longer to reach the status he should always have enjoyed before other men and God is a debate about the parties involved.
Generations come, and generations go; some are heroic and self-denying, and others are self-infatuated and sadly misled. One generation followed the Kiser into defeat and humiliation before the entire world. Only one generation later the same thing happened following Adolf Hitler. One thing is sure, some men are sheep and others are heroes. What will history say about this present generation?