Ripe for Revival

We need revival. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a Ph.D. to figure that out. Just watch the news or examine what’s happening with gangs, the prison population, delinquent dads, unwed mothers, fighting churches, and dying denominations. We are desperate for revival, whether we choose to admit it or not.

Recently, Carlton Fletcher, a writer for our local paper, wrote an editorial on “Discontent Growing in Albany.” He talked about the “simmering anger of residents who are tired of government corruption, incompetent leadership and underlying racial animosity that appears to be nearing critical mass, a boiling point of no return that portends some form of drastic action.” I concur with his observations about our community. We are in trouble and not willing to deal with it. However, I’ve traveled to cities all across this land, and Albany is not unique in this problem. It is obvious to me that the only thing that changes is the name of the town—the issue is the same wherever you go. There are few, if any, exceptions.

The crisis is a crisis of leadership. The church is not being the church. Leaders are lacking as I look across the landscape. We have local, state, and national political leaders who are average at best. They aren’t men of the caliber of past generations. Most are weak, politically correct, and too rich to represent the common man. Added to that, we have weak, watered down pulpits and cloistered churches who care little about the least or the lost. It’s a recipe for riot…or revival.

What troubles me the most is that many believers are looking to a Mormon talk show host as their “messiah.” Glen Beck drew a massive crowd at his Washington, D. C., rally on the mall. He called us to “revival.” He had evangelicals share testimonies, and they sang songs of faith. Now, Beck has been called the new leader of the “Christian conservative movement.”  I don’t think so. I’ll have no one who believes in “another testament of Jesus Christ” telling me we need revival.

Reform in our government? Yes, I can buy that. Return to the principles of our founding fathers? Okay, I’m with him on that. But he’s neither Christian nor evangelical. He is conservative. We share much in common. In fact, I’ve had the privilege of being on his television and radio programs. He’s passionate, and I like that. He’s well informed—I like that too. He’s concerned about the direction of the country, and I’m also with him there. In fact, there is much we would agree on.

But I am concerned that we don’t have an evangelical Christian calling for the same things. Where is the Francis Schaeffer or Chuck Colson of the hour? I’m all for turning America back to God, but the question comes, which God? Islam is for turning America to Allah. They are passionate about it. But Allah is not the God of our founding fathers. Now remember, many of the founding fathers were deists. They were not evangelicals, but they did follow the Judeo-Christian ethic in writing our founding documents.

Regarding this issue, Dr. Russell D. Moore (www.russellmoore.com) noted, “It’s sad to see so many Christians confusing Mormon politics or American nationalism with the gospel of Jesus Christ.” I’m afraid we’ve got more emphasis on country than on God. Yet, the God of the Bible is the hope for our land! He is the God of love. He sets captives free. He calls us to repentance. He is the God who has blessed this land. And He is our only hope.

Again, quoting Dr. Moore, “Where there is no gospel, something else will fill the void: therapy, consumerism, racial or class resentment, utopian politics, crazy conspiracy theories of the right, anything will do. The prophet Isaiah warned us of such conspiracies replacing the Word of God centuries ago (Isa. 8:12-20). As long as the Serpent’s voice is heard, ‘You shall not surely die,’ the powers are comfortable.”

The call that needs to ring out from our pulpits and pews is, “Repent and return.” We need a revived church to correct a corrupt culture. We will not win this war in rallies, but in prayer meetings. We will not win the battle in the Halls of Congress, but in a church that spills out into this world with good news.

I’ve written two books because of my burden for this nation and the church. I wrote The Power of Desperation because I believe we won’t seek God until we are desperate. If you aren’t desperate, it’s because you’ve got your head in the sand. God is attracted to desperate people. Are you desperate for a mighty work of God? Are you praying to that end?

The Power of Surrender is a book calling us to revival. Revival is an old fashioned word. It’s out of date, and it’s not hip or cool…but we need it desperately. Before we have a riot, we better seek God for a revival. We must repent, return to God, and restore our first love. My city is ripe for revival. I’m asking God to position the church I pastor to be a catalyst for revival. How about your city? How about your church?

3 thoughts on “Ripe for Revival

  1. Michael,
    Thank you for your books, your honesty, your leadership, and your passion for sharing the Saving Grace of JESUS CHRIST! Know that you have inspired and encouraged a man to leave everything to follow the Call of CHRIST!
    Daily praying for you,
    Matthew

  2. Michael: It was indeed a pleasure meeting you and some of your staff while at ReFresh. I truly have been praying for revivial at our church. God knows, we need it. Wes Allard

  3. I was searching the web for articles on revival because I am desperate for a true God sent revival and came across your site. I totally and wholeheartedly agree with your comments!

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