America’s Greatest Need

April 21, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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In light of the presidential race and the focus on America, I’ve been hearing a lot about what America needs. Issues like jobs, the economy, tax reform, the environment, and abortion are all over the news with each candidate putting their spin on the issue in hopes of gaining the most votes and the presidency. All of this got me thinking about something…

What is America’s greatest need? Is it one of the issues listed above or is it something else? In the church, there might be a somewhat different response (although many churches today seem to be caught up in the same social issues that the world is). With spring comes buds on the trees and beautiful flowers, but spring also heralds the season of revival for many denominations. From now until the fall churches across the nation will be holding weeklong revivals in an effort to stir up the hearts of God’s people. There will be fiery sermons and exhortations. There will be songs of praise and worship. All of this will be done in an effort to please God and to “get Him to move” in the lives and cities where His people dwell.

But, is this America’s greatest need? Do we need revival? Should the body of Christ spend a week at a time clamoring for God’s attention, emotionally and spiritually whipping themselves into a frenzy? Should they put off everything else to spend an entire week of nights in the building called a “church” hearing a sermon that they may or may not remember a month from now? Is revival really America’s greatest need?

I don’t think so. I have nothing against revivals and have heard some wonderful sermons preached during these events, but that’s all they are: events. I don’t think that America’s greatest need is revival and I think that the church needs to realize that as well. In the book Downpour, author James MacDonald says what should be common sense to the church and yet seems to be ignored so many times. He says “to be revived, you have to be vived in the first place”. For revival to take place, those who profess to be Christians have to be “vived” to begin with. Sadly, that’s not the case. There are many in churches across the country living in sin (many openly) and no one is saying anything about it. There are people (including pastors!) committing adultery and they just keep on preaching “the Word”. There are people lying, stealing, cheating, and lusting after others and they are all professing to be Christians!

I don’t think that America’s greatest need is revival. You may disagree with me, but America’s greatest need is repentance. America needs to repent before we can ever be revived. So many talk about God bringing revival to the land, but many of those same people haven’t repented. We want our country to be free from the plagues that we face from every side, and we cry out for revival but to no avail. Why? Because we need to repent.

I’m not talking to the pagans and heathens either. I’m talking to the “Christians”! I’m talking to all of those pastors who are preaching a different gospel whether it is the “prosperity” gospel, the “feel good” gospel, the “you are god” gospel, the “social gospel” or any gospel other than the one that Jesus preached. REPENT! I’m talking to those “Christians” who think that they can live in adultery or sexual immorality and no one will know. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those youth who are sexually active or secretly pregnant. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those “men of God” who spend hours on the Internet looking at pornography. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those women who smile all pretty and talk sweet to people’s faces and then turn around and talk about them like nobody’s business. REPENT! I’m talking to all of the “Christian” men who need to be husbands to their wives, leaders in their houses, and examples to their children. REPENT! I’m talking to all of the women who profess to be Christians and have no problem at all killing the child that’s inside of them. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those “Christians” who claim that they can live a homosexual lifestyle and still be obedient to God. REPENT!

Is it any wonder why our country is in the shape that it’s in? We sit back and allow the world to fill our heads with lies about everything (and we believe it!). We chase the world and it’s ways in an effort to be “relevant” so that we can “reach out to the lost”. We spend all of our time and money on entertainment and events and the things that are “popular” in the world’s culture to draw people into the church, even though we know that Jesus said that we were to GO into the world! Our children run rampant (I’m talking about the ones from “Christian” families), they get into just as much trouble (if not more because they think they’re immune), and they are just as sexually active as those in the world. The divorce rate in the church is just as high as that of the world, even though we have scriptures that tell us how much God hates divorce and how it’s a permanent covenant that “no man” should separate.

Many will read this and say that the answer is 2 Chronicles 7:14:

2 Chron. 7:13-14:”If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and 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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

My first post was on the event last year called “The Call”. In almost a year since The Call, I’ve looked back to see very little impact from that event. The verse from 2 Chronicles was used extensively during the pre-Call time as well as during The Call itself. But is that really what happened? Is that what’s happening now? I wonder if those who profess to be God’s children really know how to do what’s quoted? First, do they know if they are His? If they’re living a life of sin, they are not His. Do they know how to humble themselves? I have seen a lot of false humility in the body of Christ lately. Many act like they are humble and contrite, but they don’t live it out. Do they know how to pray? I’m not talking about shouting to the heavens so that God might hear you better, and I’m not talking about rocking back and forth speaking in tongues. I’m talking about praying, spending time with God talking to Him, and interceding according to the truth of His Word. Do they know how to seek His face? From the looks of the modern church they don’t. They seek His hand or they seek His Name but they don’t seek His face. They look for “the blessing” and they talk about how they are glorifying God but they lack the substance that should accompany their efforts. Do they turn from their wicked ways? I can say with confidence that the answer is NO. They don’t turn from their wicked ways; they look to twist scripture to justify them. They seek for “loopholes” in scripture that they can make use of to suit themselves and lead others astray. They turn a blind eye to the truth of God for their own lives but seem to be quick to point out the troubles in the lives of others.

If none of what’s in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is happening, is it any wonder why God can’t hear us? Is it any wonder that our land isn’t being healed?

As I said above, I believe that the thing that America needs most is repentance. Those who profess to belong to Christ and follow Him need to actually start doing so. They need to stop living out “their best life now” or living Christianity out their own way and start living the Christian life the way that scripture says to live it. We are called to be holy. We are called to be set apart and different than the world. We are called to be a royal priesthood. If God were to treat us like He did the priests in the Old Testament, He would consume us with fire (Lev. 10) or have the earth swallow us up (Num. 16) because of our disobedience!

I can’t help but wonder something else as I write this. Why would we not want to repent? Ultimately, I know why. Think about it though. We have been given the greatest gift ever given! We have been given freedom from our sins and reconciliation to God! Not only that, but we have been offered the chance to be used by God to share that gift with others by telling them the truth of the gospel! Why are we not doing this? Why don’t we repent? Why aren’t we be rushing to God to ask for forgiveness, aligning our lives with His Word, and then doing everything that we can to go out and preach the gospel to the lost? Are we that happy with living our lives in the flesh? Are we so proud of ourselves and our accomplishments that we would rather rest on those than in the Savior of our souls?

What is our problem?!?!?!

To be honest, our problem is the same one we had in the garden. A friend of mine and I were talking about the Fall. She made a good point about Eve eating the fruit. In Genesis 3, when Satan questions God’s Word to man, Eve replies that she can’t eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or touch it or they would die. God only said that they couldn’t eat it. So, when Eve allows herself to be carried away and enticed by her own lusts (James 1:13-15), she reaches for the fruit. When she takes the fruit and it doesn’t kill her, she may have thought, “Well, I didn’t die then…”

THAT’S what’s happening today too. We sin against God and it doesn’t kill us on the spot so we delude ourselves into thinking that it’s ok. We begin to feel comfortable with that sin so we commit another one. That one doesn’t kill us either and in time, we are ok with it too. Eventually, we are miles away from God, but we are comfortable with it because we have fooled ourselves into thinking that we’re still His, still doing His will, and nothing is wrong. I mean, if it were really as bad as it sounds, God would have done something about it by now right? I bet the Amorites said the same thing, until Israel came out of Egypt millions strong and decimated them…

Our greatest need here in America (and from the sounds of it everywhere else too) is not revival. It’s repentance. We need to truly repent of our sins and trust in Jesus. We need to live out our lives according to the way He has said. We need to study to show ourselves approved and to equip ourselves to do every good work. We HAVE to do this if we want to see America restored!

America, it’s time to repent!

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