Legendary Bible teacher G. Campbell Morgan told us, "The church persecuted is the church purified and therefore powerful. The church patronized is in peril and often paralyzed!"
Is this an accurate description of the church in America today? Since revival is not for society at large but a reviving of a sleepy, ineffective church, have we reached a "tipping point" where divine intervention is no longer optional but essential?
Is America on the brink of collapse and our only hope is a visitation of God's power and presence?
Noted author and Christian commentator Dr. Michael Brown sat down to discuss issues like these with me. We've been close friends since the historic Brownsville revival and co-laborers to awaken Christians to the urgency of the hour.
Dr. Brown has an exciting new book, Revival or We Die: A Great Awakening is Our Only Hope, which covers the following in greater depth.
State of the Country-Serious
We are not being overly dramatic or attempting to be sensational in waving a red flag that the condition of America is on the threshold of a major collapse. We're not being pessimists but rather realists who are trying to also be optimists in surveying the scene.
As "watchmen on the wall" we can see the decline is not only extremely serious, but rapidly accelerating. No need at this point to emphasize shocking trends and developments in our culture but we do need to come to grips with the brutal realities. In a word, our society has come unhinged!
For centuries America has honored our Judeo-Christian foundations. Government, schools, the media and churches have basically shared the values that have brought incredible blessing to our nation. But starting in the 60s, a cultural revolution has taken place displacing God, traditional morality and prayer, catapulting us onto a trajectory of secularism, Socialism, perversion and unthinkable confusion.
Recently even an extremely liberal lesbian communicated on biased CNN how crazy our culture has gone and how we can't even differentiate between a man and a woman without being labeled and canceled! The madness is apparent to all of us who are honest and willing to admit the dangerous path we're on.
Edward Gibbon in his classic "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" described the conditions before Rome fell as "bizarreness masqueraded as creativity." How accurately that phrase paints the picture of our culture in the 21st-century.
State of the Church–Serious
"Revival is exploding across America ... masses are turning to Jesus Christ ... it's the season of breakthrough ... the enemy is on the run and His Return is eminent!"
Superlative statements like these come from well-intentioned individuals hoping to encourage the people of God but they're not really accurate.
Dr. Brown says that the answer to the question "Is revival exploding across America?" is both "yes and no" to be precise and responding in integrity. Revival is not sweeping across America in this time of national crisis but we are experiencing places where the "holy fire" of God is falling.
"Signs and wonders" are not only miraculous healings and deliverances but hotspots where there is obvious visitation of the Holy Spirit inspiring the people of God to believe there truly is something more than lackluster, dry religion.
Some Common Denominators
Having both experienced the incredible inbreaking of God during the Brownsville Revival from 1996 to 2000 along with the Jesus Movement of the 60s (sweeping the two of us along with Mike Bickle, Greg Laurie and others into the Kingdom of God), we recognize certain aspects of revival that were also evident during the First and Second Great Awakenings as well as the Hebrides Revival and Pentecostal outpouring at the turn of the last century:
Passionate and prevailing prayer
Genuine repentance and living lives of happy holiness
Freedom for the Holy Spirit to move in spontaneity under godly oversight
Rekindling lifestyle evangelism and consistent, compassionate outreach to the lost and those suffering in poverty, persecution and exploitation.
Rediscovering the pre-eminence of the Word of God
Restoring a healthy fear of the Lord through a revelation of divine judgment and experience of Holy Spirit conviction.
Most importantly, rekindling the fire of first-love zeal and simple devotion to Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Dr. Brown's Directives
Dr. Brown encourages us with the following course of action:
Not in morbid introspection but a healthy longing to respond wholeheartedly in this urgent hour, get alone with God and let Him impress on our hearts what's been missing and where we need to circle back to experience His Presence like at the first.
Give ourselves to study and reflect upon past moves of God and revivals throughout history to "wet our appetite" afresh for the Holy Spirit to come once again with His manifest Presence and magnificent power.
Go to where revival fires are burning with an expectation of receiving a fresh touch from God to catapult us into the fullness of what God has for us at this time of history.
Here's the Deal: Dr. Brown is a gift to the body of Christ and it behooves us to believe God for a fresh outpouring in our generation! Seize the opportunity to listen to the embedded podcasts with this article and procure a copy of his new book to set us ablaze for God.
"And it will be that, afterword, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh..." (Joel 2:28).
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Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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