Monday, March 23, 2015

Can your church make a difference in the world?

The title of this post is a question I asked a church yesterday as I began preaching a revival for them. The church is a small, rural congregation that has not seen much growth in a number of years.  I began the message by pointing out some of the challenges our nation and the world is facing and then shared my belief that only a God-sent revival can save our nation.

We cannot depend on the White House, the statehouse, or the courthouse to rescue us from the many problems we face as a society. In fact, it is often their policies that create the problems. Besides, at the core of many of our problems we are dealing with spiritual issues that can never be solved by man-made solutions, no matter how well intentioned.

Spiritual problems require spiritual solutions. As a nation, we must turn back to God. Church as usual will not be sufficient. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is clear that it is when God's people begin to humble themselves and pray and turn from their sins that God will bring healing to the land. This is the true revival that our nation needs, and it won't come just by inviting in a special speaker and some singers to get everyone excited for a few days.

There will be tremendous opposition to such revival. Secularists demand that religious beliefs, especially Christian, be kept within the four walls of churches. Genuine revival cannot be contained, and it will spill out into the marketplace. Lives will be changed as people are confronted with a holy God. Businesses that depend upon the sinful weaknesses of people will begin to shut down. Liberal churches will see their doors close as people leave for a real encounter with the true God. There will be great outrage, but we must remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of Satan.

I read recently that ISIS consists of about 20,000 forces. I also recently read one report that claimed there are about 270 million Christians in America. Each evening the news is focused on what ISIS is doing. Little is said about what the church is doing.

What could happen if revival came to the 270 million Christians in America? If even half that number is right, what impact on the world could 135 million Christians have if they experienced true revival in their lives?  Revival is an inside job. It begins with one, and then spreads to a few, and then spreads to a church, then to a community, and then to a nation.

God has sent nationwide revivals before, and He can do it again. But, it will only happen if churches and individual churches will humble themselves, turn from their sins, and pray and seek God's face. Can your church, regardless of its size, make a difference in the world? The answer is yes if you are willing to seek genuine revival in your lives.

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