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The Problem with Second Generation Faith

April 9th, 2006

“And I said to the angel who talked with me, ‘What are these, my lord?’ Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ I said, ‘No, my lord”

(Zechariah 4:4-5)

There is something to be said for second generation faith. Paul said, “I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors… I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Tim. 1:3,5). But, for members of the Lord’s church who have assumed the posture that faith is transferable by mere association, it may come as a surprise that such a notion is problematic nonsense (Heb. 8:10-11). Grandpa and Grandma may have been faithful in their church attendance; gospel meetings; service to others; teaching of children; hospitality; students of the word; and being disciples of Christ— BUT, THEIR FAITH IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY TRANSFERABLE! Each soul must choose whether heaven or hell will be their final home. There will be no piggy-back rides into eternity. Paul would write, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12-13).
We are planning to deliver a series of lessons from the book of Zechariah this fall. Basic concepts from Zechariah teach personal faith. The Menorah of Zechariah 4:1-14 is one such concept about light. May our brethren learn to get their own faith. The problem with second generation faith is that the individual has not developed a personal faith of their own.

-Robert M. Housby

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