The prophet’s heart was broken because of the Lord and His holy words (Jer 23:9).
I just now understand some things that I couldn’t years ago. Then I remember trying to share my heart for holiness with some Christian friends. I’d preach strong raw messages in churches without ever smiling. It was like trying to drive an armored truck over a stick bridge. People accused me of being too hard and too heavy. Their bewildered look would be best described by the robot that appeared years ago on the show “Lost in Space” who would often say, “This does not compute!” But I voiced the robot’s other notorious cry, “Danger, danger!”
They didn’t really believe the state of affairs in the Church was that bad, or at least not as bad as I was saying. Of course, in my immaturity I was not very convincing either. But what I didn’t understand back then was that it was really much worse. With hindsight it is obvious to see now how a careless and casual sowing in years gone by, has in many places, resulted in the reaping of some pretty rotten fruit. I think time and history have borne witness to this fact: In times of prosperity and well being, the general populace including the complacent Christian, will hardly believe warnings of impending danger. Similarly, trouble across the ocean seems so far away. We muse and rationalize saying, “It could never happen here.”
Take the example of the Titanic. Who would’ve believed the unsinkable to sink? The impending danger was infinitely greater than any of the passengers could’ve ever imagined. Even after it smashed into the infamous iceberg, some still disbelieved the mighty Titanic was really sinking. The unwise captain failed to heed sound judgment. Other captains from other passing ships also failed to respond to signal calls for help. The entire tragedy could’ve been avoided. All that was needed was a simple course correction.
In many ways, America, among the nations, has been like the mighty Titanic. For a long time now we’ve needed a serious course correction. Does God hold the Church accountable? When a nation sinks into the deep icy waters of decadent sin and immorality? When its own president and many leaders symbolize such?
Are we accurate in our reasoning to say that an earlier course correction in the Church would’ve perhaps and maybe undoubtedly avoided the imminent danger our nation now faces? If captains of gospel ships we call churches and ministries would’ve heeded the warnings of scripture and lessons of history, course corrections could’ve been made. Ah! But where were the trumpet voices of the prophets? Where were the sounds of alarm and war? Who was calling the Church to arms? Ah! But we were on the mighty Titanic and the Christian life for many was one big happy party! And what of our mighty trusted captains? Many were just happy to have us on board. Perhaps only a small remnant that were at the helm even detected that a real course correction was necessary.
In good times, fat hearts tend to become hardened and develop a false sense of immunity to anything that upsets their earthly security and cozy existence.
This hardness and insensitivity is usually sure proof of their idolatry. Israel was infamous for disbelieving and persecuting the prophets.
“But the Church is in revival now,” some would say. A few may be in revival, but can you count the ones that aren’t? Some are holy and passionately in love with Jesus, but can you count the ones that aren’t? Some are ready for hard times and the judgments of God upon the Church and the nation, but can you count the ones that aren’t?
At critical points in history great course corrections have been called for. We call them revivals which God has ordained to reverse the process of moral decline and degradation. With great momentum, revivals can turn into mighty awakenings which change the course of history by altering the course of nations.
The Church has always been one generation away from extinction. If not for these merciful and mighty moral course corrections, the Church would undoubtedly fade into oblivion. The next few years in America may determine her ultimate destiny. An awakening or anarchy (or both) will be her fate. One thing is for sure; something has to change.
I know that there are some who will staunchly come to America’s defense and question God’s displeasure with her. “After all,” they will say, “there are millions of Christians in this nation.” That is exactly my point. With these supposed millions of Christians, why I ask you have we not made a definite, resounding impact in turning our nation around? A strong Church will have a phenomenal affect on any nation. There are even some among us who still insist on calling America a “Christian nation. They are greatly deceived.
When our nation’s leader shakes his fist at God we are not a Christian nation. When he feels no accountability to our constitution and his ‘yes’ men do nothing about it we are not a Christian nation. When he stands with Islam and not Christianity or Judaism we are not a Christian nation. When more than half of America including many professing Christians lacked discernment in electing such a leader we are not a Christian nation.
When we allow the legalization of same sex marriage now in many of our states we are not a Christian nation. When entire denominations promote this perversion in their pulpits and call it love we are not a Christian nation. When we continue to kill millions of babies we are not a Christian nation.
The line is blurred; justice is turned back, truth is fallen in the streets (Isa 59: 4, 14-15,) because the Church has not lifted up the standard. And when she has tried to she has failed, because the world does not respect her. A lack of character, wisdom, fire, and power has made us blend and bland. All we do different than the world is talk.
By now you ought to be able to tell that God has inflicted me with a disease. No, it’s not pessimism and skepticism. It’s divine urgency. In order for the Church to really arise I believe she needs to first be aroused. Before a war becomes physical it is always spiritual. Those who are casual in war time irk and disturb those who are vigilant. Indifference in life and death situations is all the enemy needs to advance. We need to regain the battle mentality and fighting spirit that is so depictive of the Christian life.
But how can we fight if we don’t believe enough in the cause for which we are fighting? Fun, food, and fellowship is the only brand of Christianity some believers know. We can make all our excuses. But the real problem is our love is not strong enough. A drug addict will find a way to get his drug. Strong love will find a way to reach its needy subjects. Jesus was moved with compassion (Mat 9:36).
Some churches need to reinvent themselves. We have among us many doctors of doctrine but few preachers of power. We have much monotone but little fire. We have many equippers but so few evangelists. We have many meetings where we laugh, but so few where we cry. Whatever happened to faith for lost souls, which works by love? Real faith has humans as the object of its love.
Please do not be offended by all this. I’m just a messenger of the Lord doing my job. More fun, more food, and more fellowship is not what many of us need right now, unless of course, it is somehow linked to winning the lost. We don’t need fads that come and go. We need fruit that remains. We will always need teaching, but we also need to realize that more teaching will only help the doer and not the hearer. More fire, more focus, and more fruit are what we need.
(Stay tuned for Part 2)