The following is a blog post that was originally written last July. Some of you may have read it before but I felt the need to repost again.
Proverbs 14:34 (NIV): Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.
Proverbs 14:34 (NLT): Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
The more I pray and read the Bible; I am absolutely convinced that the United States is in need of a revival. However in many congregations today, the mere mention of a revival makes those who belong to the body of Christ uneasy. Churches, like our society today, are afraid that they will offend someone whose beliefs or opinions don’t correspond with their own. We are sometimes very cautious to present our beliefs in a manner that won’t upset or insult anyone.
The Apostle Peter writes about how to be an effective witness to others in 1 Peter 3:15: But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. In other words we are to be respectful of others and should be careful not to degrade or humiliate them. We must not be afraid to speak the truth but we must do it in a way that brings ultimate glory to our Lord Jesus Christ. As followers of Christ we are to model our ministry after the ministry of Jesus. Jesus showed compassion and mercy to everyone he encountered but He was not afraid to speak the truth of God’s word, even if that truth could make someone uncomfortable.
We are a nation that is turning away from God in many different areas of our lives. God is being pushed aside or away from many public places. As our country becomes more secular, we become less dependent upon God and more dependent upon ourselves and our systems of government. We deny that God is active in our world today and we fail to recognize that God could ultimately punish us because of our disobedience.
Many Christians today don’t like to talk about God and punishment. We all want God’s blessings instead of God’s discipline. While I prefer to focus on God’s love and mercy as well, we can’t expect God to continue to bless us if we continue to deny who He is to the fallen world that we live in. God loved the nation of Israel, who was His chosen people, but He had to get their attention when they turned away from Him and began to conform to the society that they lived in. They had to endure the loss of their homeland and many hardships until they were ready to confess once again, their belief and trust in God, who would then restore them.
The great British Particular Baptist preacher C.H Spurgeon said this about revival: “The word “revive” wears its meaning upon its forehead; it is from the Latin, and may be interpreted thus—to live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired; to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished.”
Spurgeon in his December 1866 writing, Sword and Trowel says: “If an ungodly man steps into a congregation where all the saints are revived he does not go to sleep under the sermon. The minister will not let him do that, for the hearer perceives that the preacher feels what he is preaching, and has a right to be heard. This is a clear gain, for now the man listens with deep emotion; and above all, the Holy Spirit’s power, which the preacher has received in answer to prayer comes upon the hearer’s mind; he is convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come, and Christians who are on the watch around him hasten to tell him of the Savior, and point him to the redeeming blood, so that though the revival, strictly speaking, is with the people of God, yet the result of it no man can limit. Brethren, let us seek a revival during the present month, that the year may close with showers of blessing and that the New Year may open with abundant benediction. Let us pledge ourselves to form a prayer-union, a sacred band of suppliants, and may God do unto us according to our faith.”
The body of Christ must be rekindled today so that we can carry the word of God to a lost and faithless nation and to the world. As the Apostle John reminds us in 1 John 2:17: The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.