Friday, February 27, 2004

Can Anything Good Come Out of America?

      (First of all, I will say right up front that this post won't be comprehensive or exhaustive. I may post again on it but I wanted to at least start it because it's been on my mind lately.)

      As was asked in the Bible, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" so I wonder "Can anything good come out of America?" I constantly hear other Christians talking of the end times. In fact, it seems it's all we can talk about. I agree, I think we are close. But don't mistake your contempt for the world with prophecy. I think things are bad, really bad. But they could be worse, a lot worse. Don't get me wrong, the return of Christ is imminent, but could we see a revival or another awakening again before that occurs?

      Some believe we have had many awakenings and revivals since the inception of our young nation. I am not one that holds to that view. I think it depends on your definition of revival and awakening. I believe there has been only one Great Awakening which led to the founding of the greatest nation on earth, on Biblical priciples. Only one awakening but many revivals. What's the difference? Look at the definitions of each:

Awakening
               1. To induce or elicite a reaction or response.
               2. To cease sleeping; stir
               3. To cause to wake up.

Revival -
               1. The act of reviving or condition of being revived.
               2. A continuing after interruption.

      So if a revival is a continuing or resuscitation of something, what is it continuing? I think revival comes after awakening. I think you can have an awakening without revival but you can't have a revival without an awakening.

      As the Holy Spirit begins to stir, Christians begin to wake up and respond. That is an awakening. It is a major movement rarely seen because of it's magnitude. But when it happens it's awe inspiring and long lasting.
      As habitual sin re-enters, as it always does, the progress of the Christian is interrupted. Prayers become empty, service becomes vain, repetitious and hollow. Thereby requiring a revival to resuscitate the deadness.

So where does that leave us? Are we in the beginning stages of an awakening or a strong revival? I believe we are in the beginning of something.
You don't have to pay attention much to see that satan has stepped up his efforts in recent days. Christians talk of how bad it is, but have you ever thought about why? Satan and his minions aren't omniscient but they do know when good is being victorious and I'm sure they are aware of the moving of the Holy Spirit in a major way.

            The Passion of the Christ may have started a culture war but it only precipitated what has been happening for some time now: a major moving of the Holy Spirit. Politics has become visceral and combative. Godless practices such as homosexual marriage are occuring on a regular basis, anti-christian groups dominate the airwaves, muslim extremists are waging war on other faiths, media is battling decency issues, liberal media outlets such as MTV have increased filth, Christians are being persecuted on a daily basis, and hollywood can't shut up about their Godless beliefs.

      So what are we going to do about it? Can anything good come out of America?

Make no mistake, satan is at work. And I think it's because the Holy Spirit is at work in a major way. When the Holy Spirit moves and there is an awakening like what occurred in the 18th century, people will be overcome of their sin and overwhelmed by the presence of God. They will forget about trying to dress up before they come to God, and they will just come as they are. They will forget about being a perfect Christian and look inward to the perfectness that already resides there. They will be gripped with the reality of evil that is around and fearful of hell, for themselves and for loved ones. They will be consumed with God's word on a daily basis and in a personal way. They will be prayer warriors, praying in a compassionate and aggressive way. As David prayed, "Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled."(Psalm 6:10) Awakening will start in the home and spread to the church, not the other way around.

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