In a time where many in the body of Christ are deeply concerned about the condition of the nation, about 70 pastors gathered on Friday in Lakeland, Florida, for a meeting hosted by Believers Fellowship in partnership with All Pro Pastors International. Host Pastor Jonathan Friedt told the group they had assembled "to hear what God has to say and to do what God has called them to do." Ché Ahn, senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California, and apostle of Harvest International Ministries, a network of over 20,000 churches and ministries, served as the keynote speaker.
Pastors from around the state came together in solidarity, greeted by Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz, who expressed his deep respect for the pastors gathered in the room. He also praised them for their dedicated work to make our communities and citizens better by serving them in their ministries, saying, "The fabric of what makes our communities really count happens through your organizations." Mutz went on to solicit pastors from the Lakeland area to reach out to his office, assuring them, "I have the privilege of serving with a very godly commission, and what a privilege it is."
Defending the Faith
Ahn wasted no time while speaking to the leaders in the room, immediately addressing the struggle in our nation with governmental policies implemented in the beginning days of the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdown.
"Schools and restaurants are still closed in California, and there is no science behind this," Ahn said, telling the group how much he was enjoying the simple privilege of having a meal at a restaurant during his stay in Florida.
Ahn rose to national prominence in the last year as his church launched a lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who enacted a shutdown of churches, Bible studies and prayer meetings, all under the guise of public health. That case spent months being bounced around from court to court. During that time, the state of California threatened him with a year's jail sentence for his refusal to stop holding services as well as a $1,000 fine for every person who attended his church per week.
The threats of imprisonment kept coming, Ahn said, and the fines reached into the realm of millions of dollars. While his friends and family were concerned for his safety and well-being, the longtime pastor remained unmoved. He knew the case would be a breakthrough not only for his church, but for every church in California. After months of legal battles, the Supreme Court decided to hear Ahn's case and ruled in his favor 6-3. "Thank God for President Trump nominating and confirming three conservative judges," he exclaimed to a room full of applause.
"I've been to over 100 nations worldwide, and I'm standing before you today to testify that even with all of our issues and all of our problems, America is still the best nation in the world by far!" Ahn, a native of South Korea, said. He went on to note that America is still the No. 1 mission-sending and mission-giving nation in the world.
Call to Action
Following the results of the 2020 presidential election, God drew him to a place of deeper desperation to hear His voice for this moment in history, Ahn said. He cried out to God and felt a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit come upon him as well as an anointing to step into the ongoing struggle for the soul of our nation.
With a renewed touch from heaven and a fresh commissioning from God, Ahn received what he called a "spiritual download" regarding where we go from here as the church in America. God showed him the blueprint of historical revival and told him to call the church to action.
Blueprint of Historical Revival
1. The church gets revived. Scripture tells us that judgment begins in the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17). Many in the American church have dumbed down the requirements of the gospel in order to be relevant to our culture, Ahn said. Yet in our newfound "cultural relevancy," we have become irrelevant to the kingdom of God moving on the earth. As a result, many pastors and leaders are bound by spirits of fear and of pleasing man. "Even though it is now legal to meet in California, churches are paralyzed with fear and many won't have in-person services," Ahn said.
2. The harvest comes in. We aren't talking about a soul getting saved here and there, but rather a moment of time where the masses are turning to Jesus. Ahn referenced the mighty move of God that occurred in the early 20th century now known as the Welsh Revival and the more contemporary Jesus People Movement. which occurred from 1967-1977. Some 20 million people found Christ as their Lord and Savior during the Jesus People Movement, reports estimate.
3. Society is transformed. Genuine historic revival must include the transformation of society. It is the salvation of souls on the micro level and the renewal of government systems on the macro level, Ahn said. He referenced the English politician William Wilberforce (1759-1833) and told the story of how that Christian political figure worked tirelessly over decades to see the slave trade abolished in Great Britain. He proclaimed that abortion is the chief scourge of our nation, and as long as we have life in us, we must work to protect the lives of the unborn.
Strategy for Revival and Reformation
In a sobering moment, this pastor, apostle, social warrior and modern-day defender of the faith declared, "I'm tired of playing games and playing church. We must get serious about seeing our nation changed."
He then cast the vision for the pastors in the room, imploring them to realize the time is now for revival and societal transformation. Ahn believes there is an apostolic mantle on the state of Florida and that God has chosen the state for "such a time as this."
He shared a strategy for revival and reformation, adding that he had already begun the implementation with 12 major megachurch leaders and apostles in the body of Christ. Ahn said he had put a fleece before the Lord (Judg. 6:40) and invited those 12 leaders to a meeting to discuss what he heard. If all 12 came, he would know his strategy to mobilize the church of America was from the Lord. What was the strategy?
1. Start a house of prayer in every church in California to pray for the state. Pray specifically for the government and governmental leaders. Prayer moves the hand of God, and it is our privilege and responsibility to come before the throne of grace to implore God's mercies over our communities.
2. Pastors must return to their first love for Jesus. Every local church pastor must resist the temptation to let their love grow cold because of the lawlessness now being unleashed in our country. Now more than ever, pastors and leaders must press into God and rekindle their first love for Jesus and the gospel.
3. Hold public revival meetings. California churches are partnering with ministers such as Mario Murillo and Sean Feucht in order to gather the lost and share the gospel en masse. It's time to once again "cast our nets" to reach a harvest like never before.
4. Start a new small-group ekklesia movement. Ahn has a vision for small groups forming all across the nation where believers work together to stay focused on the gospel and on letting God use them for the purposes of revival and reformation in our day.
5. Solicit one person from every local church to run for office. From city council to school boards, there are vacancies that need to be filled with godly, Bible-believing people with hearts to serve God and serve their communities. Changing and impacting our government must be practical, and if every local church had one person elected to office, we would immediately see a massive impact to the societal and political climate in America.
Not only did all 12 of those national leaders attend Ahn's meeting, thereby confirming the word the Lord gave him, but at the end of that meeting, he asked every one of them to commit to seeing this vision fulfilled and to sow a seed of $10,000 each to start funding the mission to which God was calling them. Each leader made a financial commitment, and since then, there has been no looking back.
Glory Is Coming
Ahn concluded the meeting by saying, "Don't be discouraged by a setback. I love this nation, and I want to see transformation like never before. Remember the prophet Haggai who said, 'The glory of the latter house will be greater than the former.'"
After the presentation, a tangible sense of faith and excitement filled the room. Pastors stood to receive a fresh blessing from the Lord to go back and implement what was spoken of, many carrying a fresh energy and vision for the days ahead.
Ahn encouraged the pastors one last time by recalling a testimony he heard from evangelist Mario Murillo. Before Murillo hosts a crusade in a city, he invites local pastors to gather together to hear about plans for the event. Murillo typically has about 100-150 pastors attend such events. Not long ago, he put out an invitation for the first evangelistic crusade he conducted since the 2020 election took place. The response was overwhelming and unprecedented, with first 100 pastors signing up, then 200. The 200 grew to 500 and kept rising until the ministry had to cap the event with 1,000 pastors registered to gather with hopes of a revival in their city!
God only knows what will happen next. But all signs point to the fact that the rumblings of revival are beginning. Every church, pastor and believer will have to decide how to participate in God's purposes in the earth at this time. Let us pray that God would indeed send a fresh revival to our land and that it does nothing but grow in intensity and spiritual fervor that we might see a mighty awakening in our day!
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