We desperately need a revival in Western society. A third Great Awakening or a wholly new revival that is outside the traditional church is the only thing that could possibly delay our inevitable fall. Our lives, as we know them, hang by the scantest thread over the precipice of destruction and yet we go on ignoring this. We fail to realize that our inaction has consequence. We are seduced by comfort. Hypnotized by the things of this world. Ironically, clinging to what we have will be the reason that we lose it. We will clutch our shiny cars and 401k’s even as they become worthless when society breaks down around us. How foolish are we? We put our hope in the temporary and disregard the eternal.
It will take much to bring about a revival today:
We must break down the walls of the church. We cannot sneak out of our subdivisions and into our churches anymore. Our neighbors must know that we are Christians by more than the glimse of us dressed up on Sunday mornings. The traditional church building is convenient and probably necessary sometimes, but it has created a “Country Club for Christians” atmoshpere. The chuch needs to be a place to sinners to not only feel welcomed but wanted. How can we sneer at the homeless through our tinted windows as we drive to church? How do our neighbors not even know what religion we are? Why are we ashamed of what we know to be the only truth?
We must be relevant. Society will not take notice of outdated traditions and prejudices. We can stay true to scripture and still be creative and current with our approach to the lost. The old way has a place and is an encoruagement to believers. I love to sing old hymns and go to tent revivals, but we cannot be so mired by our traditions that we ignore an entire world that knows no hope. Let God’s Word be our guide instead of “what we have always done”.
We must fast and pray. Prayers are powerfull. We can directly communicate with the creator of the world and yet we don’t. Oh, we pray….for 30 seconds before we go to sleep, for our meals and in church. What do we pray for, though? We pray for ourselves mostly. Help us do this. Please give me one of these. If we pray for anything righteous it is in generalities. Help the church grow, etc. etc. Basically we pray for things we want when we should be praying for what God wants. ” Who can know the mind of God?” you say. We can; because He tells us what He wants.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. -2 Peter 3:9 NASB
Unfortunately what God wants does not usually line up with what we, as sinners, want. We should pray for those who percecute us. (Mat 5:44) We should pray that we would be used of God to reach the world. (Mat 28:19-20) We should not pray for a cooler car or a large inheritance.
God’s will is not a mystery to be sought. He makes it known throughout the scripture and our interpretation of it through the Holy Spirit. If we are ignoring His will and praying instead for ours, we will not see him working in our lives.
We must not ignore politics. I’m not saying that the church, as an institution, should pick sides (that is not the role of the church), but we as believers need to be aware of what is happening and our responsibility in the political processes that we have. It is absolutely horrible that our society has come to where it is, but we are, at least, partly to blame. By failing to be involved politically we have allowed God to be legislated out of our lives. At least get educated and vote!
We must repent. We have fallen away from God and are suffering for it. Repent means “to turn away from”. We must stop the way we have been living and turn toward living the way that God wants us to. We cannot simply pray or want “the church” or “America” or repent. We, personally, must repent and turn to Him. We must start with ourselves.
I don’t hold out much hope for revival and this is wrong. Part of me just wants it all to come crashing down and hasten the return of the Lord. I want to be in heaven with my daughter and put all of this behind me, but this is a very selfish view. While it may seem like an ideal scenario for me, it would be the worst scenario for all those who are lost. I would be condeming them to a much harsher reality. This wish would also be bad for me eternally because I would’ve waisted my opportunity to do God’s will while here on Earth. This is the only shot we get. The things we do now will determine how we spend our eternity. I am saved and so my sins are removed, but what have I done with Jesus? How have I served the Lord? He has blessed me beyond comprehension. I have a job, an awesome wife, a daughter, and I have never known hunger. He has given me His Word, His Son, and the Holy Spirit to help me serve Him and what have I done with all this? What if He returns for us today and this great opportunity slips from my grasp?
We may only have a short time here. Make it count.