Friday, October 24, 2014

How desperately we need revival

Jan Markell's ministry sends out lists of headlines every day now, and it's hard to choose among them what is the most dire situation we need to address.  They're all dire, that's the times we're living in.  Here for instance is today's list.  Religious liberty is threatened in Houston, the wellbeing of the entire nation is threatened from the seats of power in Washington, Kerry is blaming ISIS on Israel, ISIS is continuing its rise.  

So a bunch of pastors did send Houston's mayor some sermons, which is a good sign in that at least a bunch of pastors is alert to the situation, but clearly the Church is being targeted and clearly we aren't showing the ability to stand up against it in any way that would demonstrate that we have the power of the living God behind us. 

I'm driven back to my desperate wish for revival because revival would bring us that power, would bring God Himself down to us. 

Is the list of obstacles to revival I discussed a few posts back to be taken seriously?  Are these really the reason we haven't had a revival through all the growth of the power of our enemies and the enemies of America and of the west over the last decades?  Why did Leonard Ravenhill's impassioned calls to revival fail?  Why have we had only the morally and spiritually impotent "revivals" of the signs-and-wonders Charismatic churches in these decades?  Those are the questions I've wanted God to answer and I think the list I gave is unfortunately only too likely to be His answer, at least in the ballpark of the explanations we've been missing.  

Then, as the complaint about Replacement Theology has been capturing my attention lately I've wondered if the Dispensationalist errors should be identified as another hindrance to revival to add to the list.  More on Replacement Theology is what I intended to write about in this post that I'm now finding myself addressing to these more general problems.   I'll probably go on to that topic in the next post, but I feel so strongly that if we don't have revival all is lost that I wanted to add these thoughts about it.

If the problems I listed can really be taken as obstacles to God's willingness to give us revival, how much hope is there that we could overcome them?  Could those who are committed to ecumenism open themselves to the idea that they are wrong and repent of it for the sake of revival?  Could charismatics be persuaded that their own beliefs could be a hindrance?  What about all those in the churches who have been divorced and remarried, what on earth could anyone do about that?  Dying to self is our calling but these things are a call to more dying to self than we've ever even begun to ask of ourselves.  Then there's Bible Inerrancy:  the chances of the churches who deny it changing their minds seems awfully remote so should we not include them in prayer for revival or what?  (I think as we pray for revival we should clearly denounce these false elements in the Church.)  And so on.

I realize as I write this that nothing that I know of is happening toward revival anyway, this is all just my own ponderings, mostly an expression of despair.  All the best analyses of what's happening can't help us.  Nothing we can humanly do can help us. We need God's power SO desperately and everything we are doing is keeping us from having it.

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