Posts Tagged ‘repentance’

Recently, many have been voicing their fear while comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. This is strangely reminiscent to me of Barak Obama’s run for president.

Comparing someone to Hitler is as ridiculous as comparing someone to the Antichrist.

Every American president since George Washington has likely been suspected of being the one to usher in the end times. FDR, JFK, Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama have all been named by various individuals and organizations as being potential Antichrists. And it most likely won’t be long before Donald Trump is added to that list.

Anyone who studies the Bible would know that the Antichrist will be not be revealed to the world until a great falling away happens first. (2 Thessalonians 2:1- 4)

One has to ask: What would cause a great many people fall away from their faith?

The apostle John states that if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God and has the spirit of the antichrist, which is already here. (See 1 John 2:18; 4:3)

Just as God poured out His spirit onto those who believed, Satan has also poured out his own spirit on those who have rejected God—the spirit of the Antichrist. And without a true repentance and surrender to God’s will, that spirit will continue to grow like a cancer until it destroys all who it infects.

The result of this spirit is people becoming lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. (See 2 Timothy 3:1-9)

But it is not the same with those who profess to be followers of Christ. We are to be submissive to rulers and authorities (provided they do not rule against God’s word), to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:2)

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray by various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us—not because of good works done by us, but according to his own mercy through Jesus Christ our Savior. (See Titus 3:1-6; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 2:1-15)

I can’t help but think how it must break God’s heart to watch His people, whom He created in His own image, argue amongst themselves about worldly matters. So instead of verbally attacking others who don’t happen to agree with your point of view and speaking slanderously about someone you don’t really know, perhaps we can follow the advice of Ephesians 4:29-31: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”

But this will involve repenting of our own wickedness and turning over our own tables in our lives.

If everyone would do this maybe, just maybe together…we could make our country truly great again.

 

 

I normally try to stay away from writing about political matters, but this year’s election has revealed the moral compass of many Americans. (And not in a good way)

The world has witnessed more back-biting, name-calling and violent protesting during this election season than most people can remember.

And sadly, the few candidates who showed high moral standards and common sense were passed over. And now Americans are left with a choice between an angry, insulting, narcissist, who believes that only HE can make America great again, or a woman who has a long history of lies and corruption. But it seems that the American people either have short or selective memories.

Trust is an important part of any good personal or professional relationship. This is especially true when comes to deciding who to choose for the highest office in the country. If past performance is an indicator of future actions, our country is in big trouble.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is either really sketchy, super savvy—or a little bit of both. Trump has made millions of dollars facilitated by high-profile connections and unprecedented subsidies and tax breaks from the government. The Wall Street Journal published a report claiming that he made millions of dollars endorsing a multilevel marketing firm called ACN. The company has undergone regulatory investigations regarding pyramid scheme allegations in three countries—allegations Trump told WSJ he had never heard of.

He has also gotten into hot water recently over Trump University—now known as the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. The seminar initiative has him embroiled in two lawsuits in New York and California for misleading people into believing it was an actual university.

Trump’s corporations have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on four separate occasions: the Trump Taj Mahal in 1991, the Trump Plaza Hotel in 1992, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts in 2004 and Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009. All of his bankruptcies were tied to casino and hotel properties in Atlantic City. And this is the man that we’re going to trust with our economy?

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has repeatedly called for a crackdown on all types of trafficking of women and children across international borders. In a 1999 speech she said, “Finally, trafficking of women and children has emerged out of the shadows and into the spotlight. We must prevent it, protect the victims and prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent of the law.”

That same year Human rights investigator and whistleblower Kathryn Bolkovac tried to investigate cases of human sex trafficking in Bosnia—and lost her job. There were many cases, but they were never prosecuted. Young girls from Romania, Ukraine, Moldova and other Eastern European countries were forced into prostitution and used on the UN and military bases as sex-slaves. The cases involved the officers from many foreign countries, including the USA, Pakistan, Germany, Romania, and the Ukraine who worked with local organized criminals. The suspects were immediately removed from the mission or transferred to other missions, but most were never charged under diplomatic immunity. (You can read her story here)

But despite a presidential directive that set a zero tolerance on human trafficking, those working in the sex trade have still been operating with impunity—Some under the cover of the U.S. government!

Just last year a report from the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services indicated that “peacekeepers” working in Haiti were guilty of raping Haitian women at an alarming rate. The report also indicated that a large number of the victims were underage.

According to the report, there were 231 people in Haiti who claimed they were sexually violated by UN peacekeepers, and were forced to perform sexual acts in exchange for food and supplies that were intended as relief packages. (Read more at http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/report-hundreds-of-women-a-children-forced-into-sex-by-united-nations-peacekeepers-video/)

Sex trafficking among the elite

In 2002 Former president Bill Clinton took repeated trips on the ” Lolita Express”—the private passenger jet owned by billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Clinton shared Epstein’s plane on at least 11 flights in 2002 and 2003—before any of the allegations against them became public—according to the pilots’ logbooks, which have surfaced in civil litigation surrounding Epstein’s crimes.

Meanwhile, Bill and Hillary Clinton have remained mum about their ties to the Palm Beach pedophile—despite evidence that shows Bill was one of the most famous and frequent passengers

Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 in Florida to one count of soliciting underage girls for sex (and one count of adult solicitation), for which he only served just over a year in county jail. But he has reportedly settled lawsuits with more than 30 victims since 2008! The youngest alleged victim was only 12 years old at the time of her abuse! (Read more at: http://gawker.com/flight-logs-put-clinton-dershowitz-on-pedophile-billio-1681039971)

And to make matters worse, (If that’s possible) yet another victim filed a suit in New York accusing not only Epstein, but also Donald Trump—of raping her at a series of sex parties when she was only 13! Trump has denied these claims and his reps have said he barely knew Epstein—even though  Epstein had 14 private numbers for Trump and his family in his little black book.

And in spite of these disgusting reports, the American people are more outraged about some lost and leaked e-mails?

When did we lose our moral compass? 

The answer is that the two bedrocks America was founded upon and depended upon are today reviled and attacked as not being relevant to modern society—the Bible and the Constitution.

The Bible is no longer viewed as the truth a vital nation anchors its present and future aspirations upon, but is viewed as the resource of foolish and ignorant people who subscribe to a theology of bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

But if there is no God, there is no absolute truth. And if there is no absolute truth, then our decisions are based upon what feels good to us. We in effect then, contribute to the creation of chaos and disorder—because then there are no behaviors that are too wretched and evil, and nothing is unacceptable.

Consider just a few of what many claim are resources of foolish and ignorant people:

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:8-10)

America’s moral compass is embedded in our Constitution that acknowledges that ALL men (including women and children) are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights—among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Having a moral compass means having a sense of what is right and wrong and moving toward that direction or goal. It also means that we do not idly stand by while members of our society are denied those unalienable rights by the government or other powerful groups and cliques who abuse the rights of those who cannot defend themselves.

The Constitution of the United States (and its documents) are the most influential preservers of human rights and critical in setting of limits pursuant to the reach of government. Yet today the Constitution is looked upon as an outdated creation of wealthy, old white men who are no longer relevant today.

America has replaced order and morality with chaos and selfishness. America is no longer a standard to the world that shows forth truth and constitutional justice. Instead, America has become a purveyor of lies, debauchery, betrayal and subjugation. America has lost its standing with the world because America has lost its moral and constitutional standing with its own people.

Regardless of who becomes president in November, the only way I see America returning to the morals and values of the Founding Fathers is that we repent of our wickedness and turn back to God. If not, we will become further entrenched in even more lies, debauchery, betrayal and subjugation—that eventually will lead us to cry out to God for mercy.

Either way, God wins. Maybe that’s what he planned all along.

Why America is no longer great

Last year I posted a blog titled, “An Open Appeal For Revival”. It was copied from a letter that I had sent many years ago (before the popularity of the internet) to almost every pastor in my town with the hope that they would begin preaching on the subject. I also mailed copies to several famous radio evangelists.

Sadly, I received no response.

Since then I have often wondered, “Why is there no revival today?”

Anyone who reads a local newspaper or watches the evening news will have to admit to the fact that America is in deep trouble.

We’ve replaced the Bible and prayer in our public schools with metal detectors and police security; We’ve given up the security of family values and replaced them with immoral ideas and attitudes; We’ve traded the value of honest work for enslavery to a bureaucratic government system of relief; Sanctity of life is no longer fought for, and more often is legislated against; Our children have become uncontrollable beasts who murder without conscience; And those who were designed to help us, protect us and be examples for us—from parents and teachers to the local minister on up to the President, have instead led us to the brink of destruction.

And yet, people still believe that if we just elect the right person, he or she will make our country great again.  But Psalm 146:3 states: “Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.” (NAS) I like how this verse translated in the New Living Translation: “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.”

For decades, instead of putting their trust in God, people have put their confidence in powerful people—and discover that there is no help from them. Consider who the candidates for the next presidential election are. One of them who is leading in the polls is a man who is narcissistic, brash, insulting and often goes into obscenity laced tirades against anyone who disagrees with him. Another one is promising a political nirvana where the government will take care of everyone—from education, to healthcare, to job equality. Many of the other candidates have been so busy attacking each other that the real issues get lost in the shuffle.

In his book, “Why Revival Tarries” Leonard Ravenhill writes:

“Solemnly and slowly, with his index finger extended, Napoleon Bonaparte outlined a great stretch of country on a map of the world. ‘There,’ he growled, ‘is a sleeping giant. Let him sleep! If he wakes, he will shake the world.’ That sleeping giant was China. Today, Bonaparte’s prophecy of some one hundred and fifty years ago makes sense.

Today Lucifer is probably surveying the church just as Bonaparte did China. One can almost behold the fear in his eyes as he thinks of the Church’s unmeasured potential and growls, ‘Let the Church sleep! If she wakes, she will shake the world.’ Is not the Church the sleeping giant of today?”

Years ago Keith Green recorded his song, “Asleep In The Light” about how the Church has become so comfortable in their salvation that we have become oblivious of the suffering and danger all around us. It is as pertinent now as it was then.

America cannot be great again without repentance! 

Year after year we have all heard the sound bites of presidential candidates promising to make America great again. But without repentance, all they are are useless sound bites.

Repentance means more than just being sorry. Someone once said that the road to destruction will be paved with the souls of the sorrowful. I’m sure that all of the fallen angels are sorry now that they followed Satan in his failed revolt against God.

There are two types of sorrow. There is worldly sorrow—like when someone is sorry they got caught, but not for their actions. We have seen this time and time again with political leaders. They tend to speak about the consequences of their sin but never take responsibility for the sin itself. Godly sorrow is when someone is truly sorry for their actions and the nature of their sin; and also take responsibility for it. (See 2nd Corinthians 7:10)

Results of true repentance will be a new life washed clean by the spirit of God. The person repentant of sin will no longer be pleasing themselves but will strive to please God and others. Those things that were once important to the flesh will no longer matter as much. Those who truly repent will work at making a better home, a better workplace, a better community, and a better world.

All of the reasons why America is not experiencing power and greatness today can be explained with one word: REPENT!

Consider the prayer of the prophet Daniel:

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. (Daniel 9: 3-10)

Notice that Daniel confessed the sins of his kings and princes as if they were his own! We must come to God now and acknowledge our sin to him—And the sins of our leaders, past and present as if they were our own!

We are in critical condition and are in need of true revival by the spirit of God! We need to stop relying on political leaders and surrender ourselves to God and receive His forgiveness and mercy. Only then will America be great gain.

Until the Church repents of her sins and turns from her wickedness, we will never witness the healing of our land:

“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters, they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward…Come now, let us reason together saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land, but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword. For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”  (Isaiah 1:4, 18-20)

I don’t think the world has ever been in a greater sense of turmoil than it is at this moment. I don’t think our nation has. All the blasphemy, all the unbelief, all the dirty stories, all the lying, all the deception, all the sexual perversion, and all the drunkenness—this tremendous iniquity goes up in the sight of God. The shadow of darkness and death is over this generation like nothing we’ve ever had before. And yet, the greatest tragedy of all is this: We have neither the vision nor the passion, nor at this moment, the intention of setting our house in order.

We need to learn from history what happens when people forsake God.

When Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house, and surveyed all that he had successfully accomplished, Solomon celebrated by throwing a gigantic party and feast for eight days!

Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.’  (See 2 Chronicles 7:14:11-22)

Could it be that the reason America is no longer great, that our leaders have become weak and scorned by other nations is because we, like Israel of old have forsaken the one true God and held onto other worldly gods?

Remember God’s warning to His people through the prophet Isaiah:

“Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on Him. Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness—only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with olive oil. Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers…Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice…If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (See Isaiah 1:2-20)

It is my hope and prayer that America, just like Nineveh of old, will repent of its sins—from the president on down to the youngest child. And we will be saved from God’s wrath. (Jonah 3:1-10)

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Researcher George Otis Jr. writes in Charisma Magazine.com: “Of the nearly 800 cases of authentic, transforming revival in the last 15 years, only two were in North America.”

So why has it been so long since the Church has experienced a true spiritual revival like those in the 1800s? Because our need for a true spiritual revival will always be determined by our true condition. The question of whether we will actually experience revival depends on how we perceive our condition. But until there is a conviction of need, there will never be a desire for change.

I find it interesting that so many Christians quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 as a formula for revival in the land. But they totally overlook verse 13: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people…” And then concludes with verse 14.

Why do so many Christians purposely overlook verse 13? Possibly, like Israel of old before they were exiled to Babylon, Christians today refuse to believe that God would purposefully bring adversity to us. (See Jeremiah 29:1-14) If all Christians in America would heed God’s warning and do what this verse says, I believe revival would come, but so far it hasn’t happened–Mainly because most Christians in the land have not repented.

Throughout history nations have fallen because people forgot God and did what was right in their own minds. (Judges 17:6) One only has to examine the fall of the Roman Empire to see that this is true. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet learned from the mistakes of our ancestors. The major causes for the fall of the Roman Empire were:
• Antagonism between the Senate and the Emperor
• Decline in Morals which led to the Gladiatorial Games
• Political Corruption
• Constant Wars and Heavy Military Spending
• Failing Economy
• Unemployment of the Working Classes
• Decline in Ethics and Values

Sound familiar?

There is much talk in Christian circles these days about “taking back our cities for God”. And there is no shortage of books and evangelists who promote strategies for transforming everything from our neighborhoods to Hollywood to Washington, D.C. But God has not called us to win the so-called culture war. He has not called us to change the world, but to overcome it. But how do we overcome the world when we have become so much like it?
I recently read an article that listed U.S. companies that were considered to be religious.
Yahoo Finance

Many of the companies were listed simply because they print Bible verses on their products or claim to begin meetings with prayer. But quoting a Bible verse or starting a meeting with a prayer does not necessarily make you religious. Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Matt. 7:15-18)
What are the fruits some of the so called religious companies listed in the article?

• Forever 21 – Sells skimpy clothing for young trendy girls.
• Tyson Foods -The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a complaint against Tyson Foods, Inc. for violating the Federal Trade Commission Act after it was revealed that workers routinely abused animals.
• Jet Blue airlines – Lowest rated airline since they stranded passengers for hours in 2011.
• Carl’s Jr. – Uses racy videos with scantily clad women to sell their unhealthy menu.

An even better Old Testament passage than 2 Chronicles 7:14 concerning revival can be found in Psalms 85:6: “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” King David, who was a man after God’s heart, knew that the purpose of revival was so that people would rejoice in God. Revival is not to be used bring glory to a program or a denomination or a person, but to God.

This verse places the origin of revival in God and not man. It is God who must quicken us that we may be changed to a people that rejoice in the Lord. If God is the one who sends revival, then He is the one we must plead with. We must ask Him to send revival on the land. We must cast ourselves on His mercy and ask that He send what we do not deserve. We deserve judgment as a nation for our sins, but we must intercede with God to have mercy upon us and to turn us around by His mighty power. We need God’s mercy toward us in this hour that He might turn us around that we might be a people who will acknowledge Him and rejoice in Him.

We need to pray as the prophet Daniel did: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land…Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” (Read Daniel 9:1-19)

Charles FinneyCharles Finney (1792-1875) knew about Revival, he knew how to be a soul-winner. He was a man with a message that burned through the religious community and secular darkness of his time. Finney was a lawyer by trade and did not come to know the Lord until he was nearly thirty years old.

He was criticized for nearly everything like most people who are being used by God. One of the main reasons Finney was criticized among the religious community was because he believed that a small group – or even one man, could start a revival and that we could actually initiate a revival. It was this belief that motivated him to evangelize the lost, to confront sinners and to initiate revival in the Church. Finney’s passion caused him to be one of the greatest revivalists of all time. He led about 250,000 souls to Christ. (Which was a big number considering the time he lived in) His passion for revival was so strong that at times he would simply walk through factories, and without speaking a word, people would become so overwhelmed with their sinfulness that they would drop to their knees in tears and repentance!

Charles Finney’s books reveal his secrets to revival. In chapter one of his book, ‘How to start a Revival’ he wrote, “Revival is renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God. It is giving up one’s will to God in deep humility.” Charles Finney knew how to stir up the hearts of man to seek God, to go to the Lord with repentance, and to equip the church to win souls. The book of James says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (James 4:8 NLT) With this promise who does the initiation? The person who takes the initiative to come close to God.

“Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2Chron. 7:14 NLT)
The Lord gives us the initiative to go to Him. Jesus said “ask, and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Mat. 7:7) The Lord through the prophet Jeremiah said, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jer.33:3) God has given His word that we CAN receive answers to prayer, but it is up to us to initiate it.

When is it time for revival?
You know it’s time for a revival when:
• There is a lack of brotherly love, and Christian confidence among believers.
• There are dissensions, jealousies and evil rumors within the church.
• The church has no interest to serve and has no concern for those dying without Christ.
• The Christians becomes selfish and prideful with no fear of God in our churches, homes and culture.
• There is a worldly, compromising spirit in the Church.
• Church leadership is openly living in sin.
• The Word of God is watered down and neglected in the pulpit and in private devotion.
• You see Christians conforming to the world in music, dress and talk.

When you witness these things then you know it’s time to wake up the Church and to get to work! It is as much the Christian’s duty to get to work as it is the fireman’s duty to get to work when a fire breaks out.
Christians in the Church must now wake up and get the sin out of our hearts and lives and out of our churches. What kind of fireman will be asleep when people are burning up? The fireman would be guilty of neglect of duty for not waking up and would be relieved of duty! The Christian will also be guilty of neglect of duty if they sleep while souls around them are headed for destruction. It is our responsibility to wake up and revive the Church! WE MUST WAKE UP!

Charles Finney said, “Christians are more to blame for not being revived than sinners are for not being converted. A church cannot continue without revival. Without it, more people will die unconverted inside a church building than new believers will be added to the Body of Christ!”

One of the first things we must do to start a revival is prayer–And not some weak general prayer asking God to save sinners, but serious, heart wrenching prayer for revival that will move God to act! Christians who have the spirit of prayer for revival will also have a deep concern for souls. The Greek word for “watch” is γρηγορέω (grēgoreō) and means to be awake and watchful, to give strict attention to, and to actively take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one. It is like the watchman of Ezekiel 33, who keeps watch for dangers and who is always aware of the situation.

Once again a message came to me from the LORD: “Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose one of their own to be a watchman. When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths. “Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself. (Ezek. 33:1-9)

Using the same word, Jesus told us to watch (grēgoreō) and pray. Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak. (Mat 26:41 KJV)

Breaking up our fallow ground
We must not grieve away the Holy Spirit when God begins to send revival as a result of our prayers. Unless we remove the sin from our hearts, revival will not stay. One cannot continue in their hidden sins of the heart like pride, and expect a move of the Holy Spirit.

The primary purpose of a farmer plowing up the fallow ground is to turn over the upper layer of the soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying weeds. The remains of previous crops, and weed seeds will be plowed into the soil, allowing them to break down. It also aerates the soil and allows it to hold moisture better and provides a seed-free medium for planting an alternate crop.

Jesus compares our heart to the ground in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed: (Matthew 13:1-23)

We must prepare our hearts for revival by breaking up the fallow ground of our hearts.
…”Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD that He may come and shower righteousness upon you.” (Hos. 10:12 NLT)

And the results will be a heart ready to receive God’s Spirit:
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put My Spirit in you so that you will follow My decrees and be careful to obey My regulations. (Ezek. 36:26-27 NLT)

Revival consists of two parts: 1st, that which affects the church and 2nd, that which affects sinners. The Bible talks a lot about having a hardened heart, a stony, stubborn, a non- teachable heart and attitude. The heart is like soil – whatever you plant in it will produce a harvest as long as it is good ground and not full of weeds or even worse, nothing but hard, stony ground. The Lord spoke a great deal against the hard- hearted person, the “stiff-necked” who will not repent or change. Stubborn people have this kind of heart, and unless the “hard ground of their heart” is fallowed, or broken up and softened, those people will be in danger of the fires of Gehenna.

But God gives us a great example of how to break up the fallow ground of our heart by reading about Samuel confronting Saul:

Stubbornness is as idolatry: For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. (1Sam. 15:23-24)

You can break up the hard fallow ground of your own heart by self-examination. Soften up the ground of your heart by looking inside and examining your motives, your thoughts and the intentions of your heart. Make it a point to do this, but don’t be in a hurry. Let the Word of God and the Spirit of God give you a supernatural heart examination. The Lord is The Great Physician so let Him do a little heart surgery on you. He is The Lord of the Harvest, let Him plow your ground and uproot the bad seeds and roots of bitterness. Let Him uproot things that would grieve the Holy Spirit. Let the Lord of the Harvest plant and bring forth a harvest. As He points out these issues, stop and repent and plant the seed of the Word of God in its place. Sow the seed of the Word of God in your heart concerning the issue at hand. The Lord of the Harvest knows how to plow, uproot, sow and water.

Self-examination is opening up your heart and looking at your life and just like a computer virus scan, allow the Lord to scan your “system” in order to look for “threats” and things that contaminate your system’s function. Self-examination is looking at your true character; examining your sins one by one and then cutting out its source. It will revive and resurrect your conscience, causing you to come back to God. Don’t have a seared conscience and be stubborn. A seared conscience is someone who has no or little conviction and is so used to resisting the Holy Spirit that they have a seared conscience.

Examine yourself in light of the Word of God and find out why you do the things you do, why you say the things you say – examine your character and motives of your heart. Self-examination of your sins is a detailed examination and remember don’t just repent of sin in general, but confess every one of them to the Lord. When you committed those sins you did them one at a time and it would only be right that you repent of them one at a time and completely focus on uprooting them and replacing them with God’s Seed – The Word.

As you examine your heart don’t forget the sins we commit that would be considered “omission” like the things we neglect, like not being thankful. Ingratitude is a sin that needs to be repented of. There is no blessing that you have received that did not come from the Lord. God’s grace saved you and continually blesses you – do not neglect your duty to thank God.

Another thing we must look at is our lack of love for God. How would you feel if your child refused to obey you, took you for granted, and didn’t pay much attention to you unless they wanted something? Would you be moved to bless that child? Repent and make it right and revival will come to you.

Another sin of “omission” would be of neglecting the Word of God and prayer – allowing doubt to creep in to negate what you used to believe. The God of Truth has promised to give the Holy Spirit to those (of His) who ask Him (Luke 11:13) Do you believe this? Do you expect Him to answer? Poor spiritual attitude, a lack of concern for unbelievers and a lack of love for the brethren are all sins that must be repented of.

The sins that we willingly commit out of our free will of choice
Vanity and Pride are things that must be put away; the Word of God says that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. (1 Cor. 5:7) Do you put more effort on your outside appearance than you do on the inside appearance to God? When you get ready for church do you get ready spiritually, or is it all about outward appearance? Man looks on the outside appearance but God looks at the heart. (1Sam.16:7) Allow God to get in your business like Samuel did with Saul and like Nathan did with David.

Do you have a critical spirit? Remember the times you had a bitter spirit about a brother or sister and spoke against them in a way that was not in love? Have you ever slandered a brother or sister? Do you have a lack of seriousness in the things of God? These are things that hinder revival, get them out of your heart and you will experience revival and the refreshing presence of the Lord again!

Let us be like David and repent as God’s Spirit reveals the sin in our heart. We all need a Nathan who will point his finger at us and say “Thou art the man!” Deception is a lie and done with intention. Do you have a lying spirit? Have you ever lied to get your promotion or to receive an extra benefit? Cheating and hypocrisy and robbing God are sins that must be repented of individually and each one must be dealt with separately. If you sinned against God get it right; if you sinned against a anyone get it right and do your best to fix it with the person before moving on. Jesus said to not even give an offering unless you deal with the issue of the heart concerning your brother. (Matthew 5:23-24) By the grace of God, try to revive and resurrect your conscience and call it into accountability with God and His Word, and your ground – your heart, will experience revival as a fire burning in your bones! (Jeremiah 20:9)

Just as Paul told Timothy to “stir up the gift of God within you” and as Peter said in his epistle to “stir you up by way of remembrance”, I want to stir you up to seek God to correct these issues and prepare your heart for the spirit of prayer and partner with you to initiate a revival in the Church.

The secrets to revival are not secrets anymore. We must return to our First Love. We must not be luke-warm. We must return to the Lord and get our hearts in sync with His through repentance – repentance from religious works and repetitive, unfeeling prayer, and return to making God first.
When we come to the Judgment Seat of Christ we will each give an account to Him for what works we did and did not do. I exhort you today to return to your First Love and go back to doing what He told you to do! Keep yourself examined and be free of revival hindrances! Remember the sleeping fireman, and don’t be a sleeping Christian! The zeal of the Lord is in you! The divine embers of life from heaven are still in you and waiting for the wind of God’s Spirit to blow on them and cause them to explode!

This article includes excerpts from Charles Finney’s Revival Lectures. CLICK HERE for more.

 

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. John 10:29

My Lord and Savior, I too, am among those whom the Father has given to you because I have come to you. And I know that you will never cast me out.

You came to save and not condemn and cast out – Not even those who reject you. So how much more will you make certain that those who believe in you, weak and feeble as we are, will be protected from the enemy’s schemes so that no one is able to pluck them out of the Father’s hand.

Listen! It’s the Savior’s voice you hear

Come to me, and do not fear

Believe my words and do not doubt

I will never cast you out

Rich or poor, beggar, thief,

Come to me and find relief

You don’t have to live in doubt

For I will never cast you out

We all know the statistics showing the high rates of divorce, babies born out of wedlock, youth violence, and so on. Anyone who reads a local newspaper or watches the evening news will have to admit to the fact that America is in deep trouble.

Sanctity of life is no longer fought for and more often is legislated against. Our children have become uncontrollable beasts who murder without conscience and pornography has been piped into our homes for us and our children to view at the push of a button on the remote control.

We are no longer, the land of the free and home of the brave, but the land of deceit and home of depraved. Just as Israel of old, we too, have forgotten God and replaced him with our own golden calf. We have bowed down to the idols of humanism, secularism, and government control, and we have reaped the rewards of our actions.

When it comes to politics, Americans are divided on a variety of issues, but there is one thing on which almost everyone agrees regardless of their political affiliation: They don’t like Congress and would replace the entire membership if given the chance.

Will Rogers once said, “Congress meets tomorrow morning. Let us all pray: Oh Lord, give us strength to bear that which is about to be inflicted upon us. Be merciful with them, oh Lord, for they know not what they’re doing. Amen.”

When our nation’s Founders designed their plan for a more perfect union, they understood that the success of a modern republic would require more than a political document like the Constitution. Because of their study of history and knowledge of human nature, the Founders knew the pitfalls that plagued civilizations before this one. They concluded that the Constitution alone could not curb individual selfishness. They believed that virtues were necessary for sustaining the American experiment.

In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion – From Bill O’Reilly to Rush Limbaugh and everyone in between. There is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring us back to a place of a consistent life of freedom in America?

This year’s presidential election may be one of the most important in recent history. The outcome will determine whether we live under an overreaching administration that violates our constitutional rights or one that will promote the true freedom that our nation’s Founders envisioned.

The only way I see to attain true freedom is to seek God’s mercy with a repentant heart and pray that He will place the leader we need, and not the leader we want, in the White House.

Rather than just saying a general prayer for the candidate of your choice, I would like to challenge everyone reading this to commit to joining me in a 40 day morning to evening fast, beginning March 5th, and pray that God would appoint the leader that He desires – A leader who will have a heart for America and the World, with humility and a faithful spirit, like David.

I believe as a follower of Jesus, it is our responsibility to stand in the gap for our fellow Americans. Your involvement will help ensure, as President Abraham Lincoln said in The Gettysburg Address, “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

The power of prayer should not be underestimated. James 5:16 declares, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James goes on to explain that, “Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (v. 17-18)

God listens to prayers, answers prayers, and moves in response to prayers. Jesus said, “…if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt.17:20)

Besides praying for our nation there are also other things you can do to promote a greater America:

  •   Get involved – Educate yourself about our national leaders and how they vote on key issues. Contact them about issues important to you and your family. Most members of Congress are easily reached by letter, phone or email, so take advantage of the privilege you have to become an active participant in American democracy.
  •  Vote – Let it be known to those who represent you that you do watch their actions and will vote accordingly. Politicians these days realize they are constantly running for re-election and that your vote matters, so encourage them when they do take action you agree with and politely speak up when you oppose their actions.

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

LORD, we pray for this election – that truths will be revealed and that each candidate focus on what they have to offer and give for America. Let no pride be found in our future leaders, but instill in them only a servant spirit. Amen.